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What Can You Make From Paper?

We check out how paper is a versatile material within the arts and crafts industry.

Posted by Stef Cowie

From simple origami creations to intricate paper sculptures, the possibilities of what can be made from paper are endless. We explore the vast array of things that can be created using this humble material.

What is Origami?

Origami is the art of folding paper to create intricate designs. The name Origami comes from the Japanese words for fold and paper. Invented in China in the 2nd century, it became popular in Japan later on. The original purpose of paper folding into shapes was for the decoration of shrines and temples.


Many people create beautiful animals, flowers, and even geometric shapes with a single sheet of paper. The art of origami requires precision and patience, as each fold must be carefully executed to achieve the desired result. Over modern times it has become a specialised skill within the arts and craft movement.

Some popular origami creations include:

#1 Birds

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#2 Butterflies

#3 Hearts

#4 Dragons



The Art of Paper Mache

Paper mache is a technique that involves using paper and glue to create sculptures or decorative objects. It is a versatile art form that allows for the creation of both small and large-scale projects. As well as paper folding, paper mache also originated in China, where they used the method to make helmets dating back to BC 202 – AD 220.

The process of making paper mache involves mixing shredded paper with a paste made from water and glue. The mixture is then applied to a mould or shape and left to dry. Once dry, the sculpture can be painted and decorated.

Common paper mache creations include:

#1 Masks


#2 Piñatas

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#3 Decorative bowls


Paper Cutting

Paper cutting, also known as papercraft or kirigami, involves cutting intricate designs into paper to create delicate and detailed artwork. This art form requires precision and attention to detail.

Paper cutting can be done by hand or with the help of specialised tools such as scissors or craft knives. The possibilities for paper-cutting pattern designs are endless, ranging from simple silhouettes to complex scenes.

Favourite paper-cutting designs include:

#1 Snowflakes


#2 Silhouettes

#3 Intricate patterns


Paper Sculptures

Paper sculptures are three-dimensional artworks created by shaping and manipulating paper. This art form allows for the creation of stunning sculptures using only paper and glue.

The sculptures can typically be made using a variety of techniques, including folding, rolling, and twisting paper. The result can sometimes provide an amazing piece of art that can be displayed or used as a decorative object.

Examples of paper sculptures:

#1 Animals

#2 Flowers

#3 Birds


Paper Quilling

From ancient beginnings, quilling became fashionable in 18th-century Europe. Paper quilling is a technique that involves rolling and shaping strips of paper to create intricate designs. This art form has been around for centuries and is still popular today.

To create paper quilling designs, strips of paper are rolled into tight coils and then shaped into various forms. The coils are then glued together to create the desired design.

Paper-quilling designs:

#1 Flowers


#2 Butterflies


#3 Greeting cards



Paper is a versatile material that offers endless possibilities for creativity. Whether through origami, paper mache, paper cutting, paper sculptures, or paper quilling, there are countless ways to transform this humble material into works of art. So next time you have a sheet of paper in front of you, let your imagination run wild and see what you can create!

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