16 Easy Paper Crafts to Celebrate National DIY Day & Stress Awareness Month

Last Updated: April 6, 2024

April 6 is National DIY Day and April is National Stress Awareness Month! These occasions provide an opportunity to focus on the importance of managing stress through creative activities like card making, scrapbooking, and DIY paper crafting.

a collage of various DIY crafting projects, made with Altenew stamps, dies, stencils, and more

Engaging in do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and immersing yourself in the world of paper crafts can have numerous benefits for stress relief and overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the therapeutic effects of DIY crafting, provide tips and tricks for managing stress through crafting, and inspire you to celebrate these events through the art of paper crafting!

DIY wall plaque with 3D paper flowers and the words "live laugh love"

What is National DIY Day?

National DIY Day is all about celebrating creativity and the art of making. Thanks to a crafty group called the Craft Box Girls who launched the first-ever National DIY Day on April 2, 2016. They wanted the movement to bring people together for a day of making. Since then, there have been celebrations from Atlanta to New York to the UK and Australia! (Source)

DIY wall decor on a black and gold frame with a red 3D paper flower

When is National DIY Day 2024?

National DIY Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of April each year. This year, National DIY Day is on April 6, 2024

Benefits of DIY Paper Crafts for Stress Management

Engaging in DIY paper crafts can be incredibly beneficial for stress relief. The act of creating something with your hands and focusing on the creative process can provide a much-needed escape from the pressures of daily life. Whether it's making handmade cards, folding origami, or scrapbooking, the meditative nature of paper crafts can help to calm the mind and reduce stress levels.

A blank journal page and some Altenew crafting supplies

Furthermore, the act of engaging in paper crafts can have therapeutic effects. Studies have shown that participating in creative activities like crafting can help to reduce anxiety and improve overall mood. The repetitive motions involved in paper crafting can have a soothing effect on the mind, allowing for a sense of relaxation and calm.

In addition to these benefits, engaging in DIY paper crafts can also promote mindfulness and relaxation. Focusing on the present moment while working on a craft project can help to quiet the mind and alleviate stress. The tactile nature of working with paper and other crafting materials can provide a sensory experience that is grounding and soothing.

2 colorful ombre greeting cards with large sentiments and silhouettes of palm trees

What is National Stress Awareness Month?

National Stress Awareness Month started in April 1992. This month-long observance aims to raise awareness about the causes, effects, and management of stress in our modern lives.

Tips and Tricks for Managing Stress through Paper Crafts

If you're looking to incorporate paper crafts into your stress management routine, here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.

1. Set aside dedicated time for crafting.

Schedule regular sessions for engaging in paper crafts. Whether it's a few minutes each day or a longer crafting session on the weekends, carving out time for creative activities can help to reduce stress and promote well-being.

A crafter holding a handmade card in an in-person cardmaking workshop

By carving out specific periods in your schedule for crafting, you can prioritize self-care and relaxation. Whether it's a few minutes each day or a longer block of time each week, dedicating time to paper crafts allows you to focus on a creative and enjoyable activity, providing a much-needed break from the demands of daily life. Looking for more creative inspiration? Try joining these fun crafting challenges:

  • Inspiration Challenge
  • 30 Days of Crafting Challenge (coming back in May, so stay tuned!)
  • #AltenewColoring

  • An artist painting some potted plants using Altenew's Artists' Watercolor Pan Set

    2. Create a calming environment.

    Set up a dedicated space for your crafting activities that is peaceful and conducive to relaxation. Consider incorporating elements like soft lighting, soothing music, and comfortable seating to enhance the overall experience. Here are some curated YouTube playlists to help your creativity!

    Creating a calming environment for crafting can greatly enhance the stress-relieving benefits of paper crafts. Setting up a designated crafting space that is organized, comfortable, and free from distractions can help you fully immerse yourself in the creative process.

    Altenew's Jen Rzasa and Lydia Evans relaxing during one of Altenew's team retreats

    3. Use paper crafts as a form of self-expression and emotional release.

    Channel your thoughts and emotions into your craft projects. Whether it's creating handmade cards that convey heartfelt messages, journaling your thoughts, scrapbooking memories, or expressing yourself through DIY home decor, using crafting as a means of emotional release can be incredibly cathartic.

    Altenew's March Mindfulness virtual cardmaking retreat is a great way to practice mindfulness and crafting at the same time.

    Altenew's March Mindfulness virtual cardmaking retreat is a great way to practice mindfulness and crafting at the same time. We hope you can join this retreat next year!

    4. Incorporate mindfulness techniques into crafting sessions.

    Incorporating mindfulness techniques into crafting sessions can help deepen the stress-relieving effects of paper crafts. Practice mindfulness while engaging in paper crafts by focusing on the sensations of the materials, the rhythmic movements of your hands, and the intricate details of your creations. This mindful approach can also help quiet the mind and reduce anxiety, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the creative process and experience the restorative benefits of crafting.

    A hand-lettered motivational quote, made with Altenew's alcohol markers

    Celebrate National DIY Day & Stress Awareness Month with These 16 Craft Ideas

    Since it's do-it-yourself day, it's a special day for you to create handmade projects to share the joy! And what are paper crafting and card making all about, if not doing it yourself?

    1. Try some DIY fun with alcohol inks.

    Masculine greeting card with an alcohol inked background

    2. Organize your paper, cardstock, die-cuts, stickers, and more with this DIY mini accordion folder.

    2 DIY mini accordion folders for files, paper, cardstock, die-cuts, scraps, and more

    3. This DIY gift-wrapping idea is a must-try! And it’s super easy too!

    white gift wrapping decorated with 3D layered snowflake die-cuts

    4. Make an expanding file folder from your favorite patterned paper.

    DIY expanding file folder made with scrapbook patterned paper

    5. Personalize handmade notes with scrapbook paper and dies.

    2 DIY handmade notes made with Altenew patterned paper and dies

    6. Create easy handmade cards to remind your family and friends to relax and unwind. Watch Lydia’s video tutorial below and follow along!

    7. This super easy DIY wood coaster is so easy to make, that you’re going to wonder why you haven’t done it before!

    2 DIY wooden coasters customized using Altenew stamps and pigment inks

    8. Got bookworm friends, family members, or coworkers? Gift them the ultimate book lover’s treat with this matching handmade card and DIY bookmark.

    Matching handmade card and DIY bookmark

    9. Decorate your wallet, pouch, clutch, etc. with any of our 3D realistic layering dies!

    A brown clutch customized with 3D flowers cut from artificial felt

    10. Here’s another DIY bookmark idea to wow the bookworms in your life. You can also turn this into a greeting card or a DIY gift tag.

    DIY galaxy bookmark with a winter snowy scene

    11. Looking for more ways to stretch your dye ink re-inkers? This DIY wall plaque is a must-try!

    DIY wooden wall decor with a 3D paper flower wreath and motivational wordsA close-up of Altenew's Poinsettia 3D Dies assembled on a DIY wall plaque

    12. Did you know you can customize your flower pots with our stencils? Give this DIY flower pot design a try!

    A flower pot decorated with stenciled flower designs

    13. Add some pizzazz to old frames using Altenew floral layering dies, 3D embossing folder, and gold embossing powder.

    DIY wall decor with a 3D paper flower made with Altenew dies

    14. Another beginner-friendly DIY project is decorating and embellishing notebook covers. With just some stamps, dies, and your favorite inks, you can easily do this!

    Notebook covers decorated and embellished using Altenew stamps and dies

    15. If journaling is more your cup of tea, try creating a DIY journal and adding your own personality to it with stamps and coloring pencils.

    A journal page with stamped flowers, colored in using coloring pencils

    16. This DIY autumn wreath is so fabulous, we implore you to try making it! Use any of our fabulous Craft-A-Flower layering dies or any floral dies you have in your stash. Believe us, you won’t regret it!

    DIY autumn wreath made with Altenew Craft A Flower layering dies

    Celebrating National DIY Day and National Stress Awareness Month through creative paper crafting can be a wonderful way to manage stress and promote overall well-being. By incorporating DIY projects such as paper crafting into your stress management routine, you can enjoy the many rewards that come with creative expression.

    DIY mixed media home decor depicting a night scene at the ocean

    There's something truly special about the act of creating something beautiful with your own hands. So go ahead and take some time this month to try something new, indulge in creative me-time, and celebrate the joy of DIY on National DIY Day! Make sure to drop by In the Craft Room for more DIY crafting ideas, tips, and tricks!


    • Altenew

      Hi Liz! That is awesome! Last-minute DIY projects are the best! Glad you enjoyed the blog and the ideas we shared. :) Happy crafting!

    • Liz O

      Thank you for sharing this array of DIY ideas with us! Even though I was unaware of this holiday, I had the opportunity to DIY a reusable gift bag for a friend and created a card using Altenew products during Bridget’s Saturday class. I appreciate everything you do and share with us! Have a wonderful day!

    • Altenew

      Thanks for your feedback, Teri! No worries, there are a lot more special crafting holidays to look forward to within the year, so you’ll have plenty of chances to schedule a family craft day! Don’t forget to share your cards on Altenew’s Facebook and Instagram — we’d love to see what your family comes up with in the coming days! ❤️

    • Teri Howard

      I wish I had known this earlier. I would have scheduled a family craft day! Thank you for all of the beautiful ideas.

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