Creating Paper Craft Magic

Last Updated: January 20, 2022

handmade floral cards with stamps and dies

The versatility and ever-changing qualities of paper never cease to amaze! From drinking out of it to wrapping things in decorative paper, from writing on it to creating home decor with patterned cardstock, paper most definitely has a profound impact on our lives! The possible number of things to make with paper seems endless, especially in the crafting universe. Paper - whether painted, printed, drawn, recycled, or as is, with its diverse combinations of color, texture, pattern, weight, and size, can be used in crafting in almost any project.

What is paper crafting?

It is all about creating magic with paper! It is a fabulous way to unleash your inner artist and explore your creativity. Just imagine: a single sheet of paper equals a world of possibilities! With a fold, a snip, a punch, or even just a drawing, it can turn into a personalized greeting card, a page filled with love, a gorgeous paper rose, or even beautiful home decor! 

Though paper crafting has indeed been around for the longest time, nowadays, with the combination of advancement in technology, creative thinking, and exploration of those ideas, we are in a space where almost anyone can be an artist. If you cannot come up with something original, social media makes it so easy for someone to learn, replicate, and become a master of crafts to do with paper.

What can you do with cardstock?

Purple gradient cardstock set from Altenew

Almost any project starts with the right choice of paper. Designers and crafters know that not all paper is alike. Cardstock is the most popular choice for crafting paper. We can even call it the paper crafter’s staple. This paper is much more durable and sturdier than standard paper while maintaining its flexibility and bendability. Nowadays, patterned cardstock is very much in trend. Sometimes, it feels good to be able to use paper as is. Patterned paper is perfect in such a scenario. It can be used as decorative paper for home decor and in so many other ways.

Altenew decorative paper pads

The availability of such a wide variety of cardstock makes it suitable for extensive creative use in cardstock crafts, both professionally and personally, including but not limiting to:

  • Scrapbooking - background and cover pages
  • Card Making - greeting cards, envelopes, business cards, announcements, invitations, place setting cards, menus, postcards, marketing displays
  • Die-cutting - cut intricate shapes with paper to make embellishments and add layers.
  • Home decor - paper flowers, paper art frames, paper lanterns, etc 
  • Personalised gifts - Embellishments/ Tags/ Gift boxes/Bags

What are some creative papercraft ideas?

Stamping is one of the best ways to create super impressive, professional-looking handcrafted projects. Altenew’s fantastic collection of acrylic stamps offers many images and patterns for making cards, invitations, journal covers, scrapbook pages, or even home decor. A stamp set or even just an image can create a consistent visual theme. Back in the day, stamping was all about just inking the image and stamping it on paper. Not anymore, though.

Handmade anniversary card

Today, incorporating die-cutting, layering, stenciling, hot foiling, embossing (not just heat embossing or embossing pastes, but also 3D embossing), watercoloring, and alcohol inking techniques to stamping, has opened up a world of opportunities for paper crafting enthusiasts! Here’s a quick look at some cardstock crafts.

Some Stamping Tips & Techniques

Stamping is a huge part of the paper crafting universe. It helps to breathe life into your handmade projects and make them look personalized and professional at the same time. It is no longer as simple as inking and imprinting images and words. Today, there's a whole line of excellent techniques that can be applied to stamping, such as layering, masking, glow stamping, sparkled glass, spotlight stamping, resist stamping, heat embossing, split stamping, kissing, etc.

Here’s a glimpse at a few of these techniques used in cardstock crafts:

  • Heat Embossing - This technique adds a magic touch with layers of dimension to our projects within minutes. It gives a shiny, raised texture to our images. 
  • Masking - Masking techniques cover up or block off part of the image or sentiment being used. It helps us avoid the overlap of images. 
  • Glow Stamping Technique - It is the idea of stamping bright colors on dark-colored card stock to make your images glow.
  • Sparkled Glass Technique - This technique works well with outlined images. It helps create a stained glass look by coloring on the back of acetate and then putting something sparkly behind it.  
  • Spotlight Stamping Technique - The idea behind this technique is to spotlight any one section of the images or sentiments used so that our eyes draw to that as the focal point. This can be achieved by coloring that area and leaving everything else in the background by inking them gray or black.

Creative Use of Stencils

Stenciling is a simple way to bring color and creativity to your card making, scrapbooking, or home decor projects. Stencils can be incredibly versatile. Altenew has a vast array of gorgeous stencils that can be used with a coloring medium of your choice, including ink sprays, watercolor, embossing paste, and inks. These stencils help to create unique designs on all sorts of things to make with paper, including but not limited to scrapbook paper crafts and card stock crafts.

DIY greeting card with layered stencils

Some popular Altenew stencil categories are:

  • Layering Stencils - These stencils are multi-layered, therefore giving beautifully detailed results on any project. 
  • Simple Coloring Stencils - These unique stencils are designed to be used with their corresponding stamp sets. With these stencils for coloring, we can easily add color and character to the stamped images. 
  • Background Stencils & Builder Stencils - Create beautiful and unique backgrounds or patterns on your paper crafts with these classic stencils!

DIY card with Altenew Leaf Burst Stencil

3D Embossing Folder and Hot Foiling Inspirations

3D Embossing Folders are an excellent way to add texture and dimension to all sorts of paper craft projects. Simply put, embossing is a technique that raises a 3D image on paper. Altenew has its own line of 3D Embossing Folders and hot foil plates, which are definitely worth a look.

3 paper craft ideas with 3D embossing folder

Here’s a quick look at just a few fascinating 3D Embossing Folder and Hot Foiling Techniques.

  • Combine ink blending along with an embossing folder of your choice to make the texture pop.
  • Emboss your cardstock. Flip it over, and fill in the dimension with paste or another medium. This gives a different twist to your embossed project.  
  • Using an embossing folder of your choice, emboss a specialty cardstock or a cardstock that has a metallic finish—using a sanding block or sanding paper, lightly sand over some of the raised areas embossed. The result is fabulous. It removes the card stock color and leaves behind a slightly silver shine!
  • Foiling on patterned paper or washi tapes can give fascinating results!
  • Try hot foiling on scrapbook layouts
DIY paper craft idea using hot foil plates

Papercrafting with Alcohol Inks & Watercolor

In the paper crafting universe, alcohol ink is a trend. As the name suggests, it includes a considerable amount of alcohol mixed with color pigments. In addition, it is a fast-drying transparent dye. Ink dries when the alcohol evaporates, leaving behind vibrant colors. Its transparent quality leads it to create depth and new colors. 

On the other hand, watercolor painting has been around for ages. They have a soft dreamlike appearance resulting from mixing beautiful watercolor pigments. It’s time to incorporate some watercolor into our paper crafting projects!

Creative paper craft ideas using alcohol inks

Using Alcohol Inks for Memory Keeping

Here are some simple, easy techniques using alcohol inks and watercolor:

  • Creating easy bold backgrounds with alcohol ink - Just add a few drops of alcohol ink on your paper, mix it with your blending solution and let it flow!
  • Use masking fluid to mask off areas of the cardstock we don't want alcohol ink on.
  • Watercoloring on an embossed panel - This is a quick and easy technique to add vibrant colors to our embossing paper. Simply apply water generously to your project, and drop color pigment on it. 
  • Add a quick splash of color to your stamped images - Add some watercolor to your card stock. Then stamp your image over it with obsidian ink.

What is the purpose of paper crafting?

We are so drowned in technology and so dependent on it that life has become mechanical in today’s world. However, it is impossible to shun technology from our lives, so why not direct our minds towards something more engaging and creative as an alternative? Papercrafting can simply be a hobby or an activity to make and strengthen bonds. What is impressive about paper crafting is its simplicity. It can help us not only to relax but also to stimulate our brains in so many ways. 

Last but not least, isn't exploring and unleashing our inner artist such a fantastic boost of self-esteem? So, why not take a few minutes of “you” time and visit Of course, if you are a fellow crafter, then that's a perfect stop for you, but if you’re new to the paper crafting universe, isn't it time to try out a few of these techniques?

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