Paper folding and rubber stamping are great crafting partners. Paper folding allows you to take a sheet of paper and fold it into an item such as a decorative embellishment or a 3d decoration. Items such as gift packaging, jewelry and even paper photo frames can all be made from a sheet of paper.
Paper folding shares much with the ancient traditional art of origami. However, unlike origami, which always starts with a square of paper and where shapes are created through folding only, paper folding can start with any shape of paper, and pieces can be cut and glue can be used to hold shapes together. For more information about origami including lots of interesting projects don't forget to check out the About.com Origami pages.
Paper Folding ProjectsMost paper folding projects are simple to follow. Where making a fold in a certain direction is important to the project, you will often hear the term 'valley' or 'mountain' fold being used. This describes the direction that the fold is made and an illustrated explanation is available here - Valley and Mountain Fold
One of the benefits of paper folding projects for the rubber stamper is that you can create your own unique paper designs by decorating the paper before use. Use your rubber stamps to create attractively decorated paper and place stamped images in strategic places if required, for instance to make a feature of an image or to place a sentiment where it can clearly be read. You can also create double sided decorative paper, which can add extra interest to a project where the folds expose both sides of the paper.
Types of Paper Used for Paper Folding Projects
Almost any type of paper can be used for paper folding projects and many look superb when created with scrapbooking paper. If you are going to decorate your own paper then simple printer paper is a great place to start, however you could also use a light weight cardstock for projects where a more robust finish is required. When planning a design remember that the folding of the paper may result in some pieces being upside down or facing in a different direction. Therefore papers with a random all over design will work well.
Decorating Paper for Paper Folding Projects
There are many ways to decorate the paper that you use in paper folding projects. You can use your rubber stamps to create an all over design or a single feature. We have a round-up of paper decorating techniques that cover everything from bubble prints to creating marbled surfaces with chalks - Paper Decorating Techniques. There are a couple of important things to consider when decorating paper for paper folding using rubber stamps:
- The action of folding paper raises the surface along the fold and if you stamp over the folded part of the paper the result will be uneven. This will happen even if you have flattened the paper out after folding. Therefore if you wish to have an even pattern you may want to decorate the paper before folding.
- Finishing touches, such as adding embellishments are best done at the end of the project, this way you can carefully plan where an embellishment is to appear on the finished item.
- If you want to have your stamped images place in a specific place then make the project first using scrap paper to decide where the image is to be placed.
Paper Folding TipsThere are a wide variety of paper folding projects available and these range from simple gift bags through to ornate decorations. If you are going to have a go at rubber stamping and paper folding then here are some tips to help you get started:
- Practice! - it is always a good idea to have a run through a couple of times using scrap paper before moving on and creating the finished item using quality paper, whether it is your own hand decorated paper or scrapbooking paper.
- Score fold lines – to achieve really straight folds which will help to create a professional looking finish then it is a good idea to score the fold lines before folding. This is particularly important when using thicker papers.
- Customize – most paper folding projects can be customized in a wide variety of ways. One of the easiest ways to customize a project is to make it larger or smaller than the original. As paper folding projects are generally scalable, you can create a wide variety of finished items which can be used for a variety of purposes. A good example is this project for paper stars. Very small stars are perfect for jewelry whereas the larger stars make great decorations.