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Make Some Fun Paper Art

written by: Pamela Martin • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 9/23/2014

Take paper crafts to a new level when you make your own handcrafted paper, make string paper beads, design paper masks and fold origami water bombs.

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    Handmade Paper

    Most people are familiar with scrapbooking, making greeting cards and simple origami designs, but paper lends itself to an unlimited number Art Supplies of project ideas and variations. Use these advanced paper art projects for kids to jump-start creativity and fun. Add natural fibers, like flower petals or tiny pieces of fruit peel or grass, to make a one-of-a-kind art paper.

    You will need:

    • Old paper — magazines, newspapers, construction paper or any other papers
    • Water
    • Blender
    • Washtub or deep bowl
    • Wire clothes hanger
    • Old pantyhose, knee-high hose or stocking
    • Newspapers
    • Rolling pin

    1. Tear the paper into 1-inch pieces.

    2. Cover the paper with warm water for at least 30 minutes; overnight is best.

    3. Fill the bowl of the blender half full of water.

    4. Add a large handful of the soaked paper to the blender bowl. Pulse until no more paper chunks are visible.

    5. Pour the slurry, or blended paper and water, into the tub or bowl. Repeat until you’ve used all the soaked paper.

    6. Mix in the petals or grasses, if you plan to use them.

    7. Bend the clothes hanger into a round or square shape.

    8. Cover the wire shape with the leg part of the hose, tying it in place to make a screen.

    9. Dip the screen in the slurry tub, scooping the contents onto the screen.

    10. Spread the slurry evenly over the screen, pressing firmly to remove excess water and pack it together.

    11. Place several thicknesses of newspaper on your work surface.

    12. Flip the screen onto the newspaper with your paper between them.

    13. Carefully peel your paper from the screen.

    14. Place more newspaper on top and press it down. To get as much water out as possible, press the stack heavily with a rolling pin.

    15. Set your paper aside until it is dry.

    16. Stack your sheets and punch holes in one side or in the top.

    17. Tie the sheets together with ribbon, specialty yarn or leather thongs to create a summer vacation journal. If you prefer lined paper for writing, use your handmade sheets for the journal cover, binding them around trimmed note sheets.

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    Paper Beads

    Add a few crystals or metal beads to make beautiful jewelry unlike that of anyone else.

    You will need:

    • Scrapbook paper or wallpaper
    • Wooden kitchen skewers or toothpicks
    • Craft glue
    • Water
    • Paintbrush
    • High-gloss acrylic craft varnish (optional)

    1. Draw 6-inch tall isosceles triangles with a 1-inch base on the back of the papers.

    2. Cut out the triangles.

    3. Mix equal parts of glue and water.

    4. Beginning with the wide end, wrap the paper tightly around the skewer. When it begins to overlap, paint the surface with the glue mixture to hold it.

    5. Paint another thin coat of the glue over the entire bead surface when you reach the tip of the triangle. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

    6. If you want a shine on the beads, paint or spray them with a glossy craft varnish and left them dry.

    7. Slide the beads off the skewer and string them for necklaces, bracelets or earrings.

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    Origami Water Bombs

    Combine water games with paper crafts with these water “balloons." All you need for this project are paper squares, from any type of paper.

    1. Fold the square in half diagonally. Press the crease sharply.

    2. Open the square and fold it diagonally in the opposite direction, making another sharp crease.

    3. Open the fold and hold the square with the “hills" on top.

    4. Push the folds toward each other, collapsing the sections between them inside, toward the center. Crease the new folds sharply.

    5. Fold the two loose corners to the top center. Turn the triangle over and do the same with the corners on that side.

    6. Fold the left and right side points to the center. Flip the diamond and repeat.

    7. Fold the bottom flaps up and slid them between the layers of the corners you folded in the last step. Repeat for the other side.

    8. Blow gently in the small hole at the top of the packet to inflate the bomb.

    9. Add water through the hole and toss the bomb for a cooling, damp game of catch on hot, sticky afternoons.

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    Create masks for storytelling or as “mood signs." Create a sun face with bright tissues, make masks with fruit or vegetable shapes, or design masks of for animals like bunnies, lambs, calves or birds.

    You will need:

    • Cardstock
    • Tissue paper
    • Glue
    • Embellishments: beads, sequins, feathers, paint, etc.
    • Elastic cord or ribbon

    1. Tear the tissue into irregular pieces, about 1 inch in size.

    2. Mix equal parts of glue and water.

    3. Brush a small section of the mask with the glue mixture.

    4. Place the tissue pieces on the glue, overlapping them collage-style. Repeat until the whole mask is covered.

    5. Paint the entire surface with a thin coat of the glue mixture and allow it to dry. Apply a second thin coat and allow it to dry thoroughly.

    6. If you like, glue sequins, beads or feathers on your masks. Add a metallic gleam by dipping an old toothbrush in gold or silver paint; holding it over the mask, drag your thumbnail over the bristles to spatter the paint onto the mask.