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Beginners

How to Get Started on a Paper Crafting Project as a Beginner

So, you are interested in starting a paper crafting project. Great! Let us help you kickstart that.

Paper crafting

First thing you need to know: it’s not going to be challenging. Paper crafts for beginners can be as easy as you want it to be, and even with basic tools and supplies, you can make wonderful cards for your family, friends, and loved ones. All you need are paper crafting essentials and a dash of creativity.

Let’s dive into how you can start your first paper crafting project! Here are some steps that we recommend:

1. Have a clear idea about what you want to do first.

We know: it’s really tempting to start buying paper craft supplies immediately. But hold your horses, or you may end up buying something you’re not sure how to use or something in the wrong color. That’s just gonna lead to unnecessary frustrations – we’ve all been there and it’s not fun.

Paper crafting 2

Like most creative endeavors, everything starts with an idea. First step is to figure out what your project is all about. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I interested in?
  • What do I want to create? (For this, we recommend starting on small, simple projects like cardmaking.)
  • How much time should I allot for the project? 
  • How much am I willing to spend? What are my budget constraints and considerations? 

Your preferences and constraints will help you choose the perfect project for your skill level. And don’t worry about running out of ideas. Paper craft ideas for beginners are everywhere – nature, events, holidays, and even your own personal experiences can be treasure troves of inspiration!

2. Pick out your supplies.

Now it’s time to buy your supplies. We recommend doing a simple project to begin with, and for that, essential supplies include the following:

  • Paper (cardstock, vellum, crepe) 
  • Cutting tools, like scissors
  • Stamps and inks
  • Adhesives (glue and tapes)
  • Your favorite embellishments, like washi tapes, stickers, and enamel dots

Of course, it’s important to determine the right supplies for the right project. For example, cardstock is best for cardmaking projects, while patterned paper is your go-to for scrapbooks. On the other hand, dye inks dry faster while pigment inks are waterproof and last longer.

Pro tip: Invest in good, quality supplies. You may be paying a little bit more now, but in the long run, they last better than low-quality products. 

To help you on your beginner journey, check out these 7 Must-Have Cardmaking Supplies for Beginners.

3. Choose your paper crafting techniques.

The part you’ve been waiting for is here: it’s time to get crafting!

One thing to keep in mind: you don’t have to use just one technique for paper crafting. Crafters, both beginners and pros, can use and combine various types of paper craft techniques to create beautiful pieces. Here are some of the more common ones:

Stamping

One amazing paper crafting technique is using stamps. No, we’re not referring to those massive wooden blocks used for official documents. We’re talking about clear stamps.

Clear stamps are a paper crafter’s friend. They allow you to easily imprint images and messages on your crafting paper. All you need is a stamp block and your ink of choice, and you can stamp away! Plus, unlike wooden and rubber stamps, clear stamps are see-through, so you won’t have to worry about your stamp going out of alignment, as is often the issue with opaque stamps. 

You can even take your stamping experience a little bit further through layered stamps. Watch this tutorial about how to use layering stamps:

Folding

Even simple folds can create awesome patterns and geometric shapes that can embellish your paper craft. Most notable way to incorporate folding into your paper crafting project is the Japanese art of origami

Did you know? The term ori is Japanese for “folding,” while gami is derived from the Japanese term kami, which means “paper.” Quite literally, origami translates to folding paper!

Create various objects like flowers, animals, and even spaceships with simple folds. There’s a lot of exciting shapes and figures to be had with origami.

Coloring

Of course, easy paper crafts for beginners wouldn’t be complete without talking about coloring. Simple color combinations can help liven up and add pizzazz to your crafting projects. Use watercolors, alcohol markers, and inks to create dazzling hues and shades! 

To know more about the best color palettes to use for your project, check out our blog, Picking the Perfect Color Palette for Your Card Design.

Cutting / Die Cutting

Ever made paper dolls before? How about Valentine’s hearts? Yep, that skill of cutting out patterns is really handy for your paper crafting project. Basic shapes and patterns can do wonders for your project. 

But you might be thinking, “Oh, but I want those complex patterns and shapes, but I’m not really good with scissors.” That’s where die cutting comes in. 

Die cutting is a crafting technique that uses “dies” and a die-cutting machine to cut intricate shapes out of paper. Dies are like cookie cutters, with paper as your dough! To use it, sandwich your cardstock and your chosen die between two die cutting plates, then feed it into your machine. Your new die-cut pattern is ready to use!

Here’s a first-hand example of how die cutting works:

Final Tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment!

With various paper crafting tools and techniques, the possibilities are endless. The only limit is your imagination, so don’t hesitate to experiment.

Try out new techniques. Use different types of paper for stamps and dies. Read about color theory and make your own palette. Test out inks on paper scraps and see which works best for you.

Welcome to your new adventure as a crafter! You’ll have lots of fun, guaranteed. As a bonus, read about these 7 Easy Tips and Tricks for Making Cards Like a Pro!

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