Tagged: craft

Most Creative DIY Uses of Paper


Paper has been around since as early as the second century AD and the process of creating it is believed to have been developed in China. It is a multi-purpose substance and is widely used for several different applications, including representing value (i.e. money), writing, printing, packaging, cleaning and construction. Its existence and usefulness was spread to the rest of the world through the Middle East and into Europe during the Middle Ages, and the first water powered paper mills were built there circa the 13th century.

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In the 19th century, industrial production drastically lowered its cost, facilitating an increase in paper based communication and signalling a new era via massive cultural shifts. Even now, in the 21st century, with a massive shift to digital media, paper still plays a huge role in our daily lives. Not least, because it is still a very versatile substance that can be utilised in a plethora of creative ways. Here, we will look at some of the most creative uses of paper that can be replicated for DIY purposes in the home environment.

Papier Mache

Papier Mache

Papier Mache, from the French language and literally translating as ‘chewed paper’, is the process of crafting models artistically with paper strips soaked in water and bound together by flour, glue, wallpaper paste and/or starch. It is popular with primary school children and craft lovers alike and is used typically used for semi-permanent and temporary sculptures ranging from face masks and piggy banks, to piñatas and carnival floats.

Despite the French name, this craft technique was not originated in France but in China, where paper was first developed. It was commonly used in the manufacturing of helmets which were made sturdier by several layers of lacquer. The technique spread to Japan and the Middle East where it was used much as it is today, for mask making and festival activities, before spreading to the rest of the world by the 18th century when it became universally popular.



Decoupage, from Middle French ‘decouper’, meaning to cut out or cut from something, is the art of decorating an object by gluing coloured paper cut-outs onto it along with gold or silver leaf, etc. Typically, an item of furniture or something similar is plastered with several layers of paper cut-outs. The layers are all individually sealed with varnish until the result resembles painting or inlay work. The origin of the art form is largely considered to be East Siberian tomb art, where the Nomadic tribes of the time used cut out felt to decorate the tombs of their dearly departed. By the 1600s, the practice made its way into Europe, via Italy which had established strong trade links with the Far East.



Origami is the art form based on intricately folding paper in order to ‘sculpt’ a three dimensional model. If the use of glue, cuts and markings are applied, then purists do not consider it to be true origami. It is often associated with Japan and its culture, but in modern terms, it is used inclusively for all folding practices, regardless of their origin. The relatively small number of basic folds utilised in origami can be combined in several ways to create very elaborate designs, with the most popular example of an origami model being the Japanese crane.



Card-making is the art of hand-crafting greeting cards, done by both amateurs and experts either for personal or commercial purposes. The tradition of sending greeting cards, as with most things paper related, can be traced back to ancient China, where people exchanged messages and good wishes to celebrate the New Year. Greeting cards exchanged as a tradition did not begin in Europe until the 1400s, and by the 19th century they had been transformed from being an expensive accompaniment to a gift, or being the gift itself, to being an affordable and easily accessible means of personal communication. This was owed in no small part to the great advancements made in the industry due to the industrial revolution. The custom of exchanging greeting cards at Christmas time also began in the 19th century.

Recipes and all manner of cookery are popular sub-sections on many a homemade craft and design blog/website, and the variety of techniques used to make some truly fabulous eatables is astounding. – See more at: http://intoleitrim.com/#sthash.Xw7gqwbL.dpuf

Five Best Homemade Craft & Design Websites


Crafting a piece of homemade furniture, or making some chic decorative designs to liven up our personal living spaces, or even just getting involved in homemade craft and design purely for the enjoyment of the art, is something that many people enjoy and many people would like to do. The unfortunate part is, for many of us, the natural artistic touch that is sometimes required to create a breathtaking piece of DIY art or craft never found us. And so for many of us who would like to try, fear that the lack of ability and know-how will render any attempts futile stops us right in our tracks. However, due to the rise in popularity of pintrest and other similar sites and blogs on the internet, there has been a surge of interest in DIY and homemade projects. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most helpful and inspiring crafts and design blogs and websites on the World Wide Web.


Almost Makes Perfect

Almost Makes Perfect is a blog created by Molly, a freelance designer and editor based in California. Her blog covers food, DIY, travel, mixtapes and style. Her DIY tutorials cover a wide range of topics from ‘how to make a 5 minute gallery wall’ to ‘DIY printed donut favour boxes’. Her website is very elegant and chic, but more importantly, so are her craft ideas and tutorials. The mixtape section is a wonderful touch too, if you’re into that sort of thing.



Dollar Store Crafts

Dollar Store Crafts is a blog that was created by Heather Mann in 2008. Heather is a mother of three, crafter, writer and entrepreneur based in Oregon. Her site is focused on creating cool crafts that are easy to make, using materials found in the dollar store. If you love to craft, or even if you are a novice looking to get into the game, Dollar Store crafts is the perfect place to help you do that on a budget. The site has projects under the categories “$1 or free”, “$5 and under” and “$10 and beyond”,  and features some really cool, simple and straightforward tutorials.



Positively Splendid

Positively Splendid is a fantastic blog founded by Amy Bell in 2010. She is a wife, homemaker and mother of four, and states that helping others discover their own creative potential is what drives her in her endeavours with her blog. The blog itself is chock-full of project tutorials ranging from recipes to home decor crafts to gardening.



Lovely Indeed

Lovely Indeed is a great ‘creative lifestyle blog’ founded by Chelsea, a mother and wife based in California, and started out as a way for her to organise her wedding DIY projects. Its brand is now well recognised and has expanded to include consulting, workshops and speaking engagements. The blog itself has a strong focus on DIY covering a wide range of areas in the home, from the wardrobe to the kitchen.



P.S. – I made this…

P.S. – I made this… was founded by Erica Domesek, a design and style expert based in New York City. She has stated that her mission is to help others stylishly personalise their lives through DIY and embrace her concept of “I see it. I like it. I make it.”  As a result of Erica being so passionate about hand-making beautiful objects and fashion accessories, she launched her website in 2009 and soon after, Elle magazine did a feature on her, dubbing her “Fashion’s Queen of DIY”. The website focuses on style and trendiness, and features loads of tutorials that are very easy to follow.


Recipes and all manner of cookery are popular sub-sections on many a homemade craft and design blog/website, and the variety of techniques used to make some truly fabulous eatables is astounding. – See more at: http://intoleitrim.com/#sthash.Xw7gqwbL.dpuf