There are many different types of handmade and speciality paper available and these can be a great way to add texture and interest to a rubber stamping, scrapbooking or other papercraft projects. Handmade papers can be made from a wide variety of materials and there is a growing trend towards making environmentally friendly paper or eco-paper which is created using waste material.
Many different materials can be used to make paper, the most important requirement is that it contains fibers. It is the fibers that give the paper substance and help it to hold together. This also gives paper its texture and is one of the attractive features of handmade paper. Fibers from plants have long been used to make paper. Traditional paper making materials plus many new ones are gaining in popularity and paper made from these materials is popular with craftspeople and artists who are looking for something a little special to add to their projects. Fibers from bamboo, silk, cotton waste and even elephant dung - are now used to create decorative paper that is ideal for using in rubber stamping and other papercraft projects.
For more information about different types of paper take a look at:
- Mulberry Paper and How to Tear Mulberry Paper
- Bamboo Paper
- Silk Paper
- Cotton Paper
- Elephant Dung Paper
Using Handmade Paper
Handmade paper can be used in many ways. It is ideal for making handmade cards or using in scrapbooking projects. Handmade paper often has a rich texture and adds a visual and tactile interest to a project. Many handmade papers also have a feathered edge when torn and this can make an attractive feature, particularly on layered projects. Some handmade papers are highly textured and this can make them difficult to stamp onto. However interesting effects can be achieved by using a solid stamp and stamping onto the surface of textured paper, thereby allowing the stamp to highlight the textured surface. It also looks great in layered projects. As handmade paper is typically more expensive than other craft papers an economical way to use it is just as a feature on a project, adding decoration and texture rather than using it to make an entire project.
Some handmade papers may be more absorbent than normal papers. This can produce interesting results and while it may make the precise placement of color difficult, the finished effects can be very attractive. It is best to work a small sample before embarking on a large project when using handmade or speciality papers.
Buying Handmade and Speciality Paper
Handmade paper is readily available from arts and craft stores, stationery supplies and specialist stores. It is also available online and this is a good way to find unusual or specialist papers that might otherwise be difficult to buy locally. Handmade paper is available in a wide range of colors, weights and sizes. When you are looking to buy handmade paper there are some points to bear in mind. These include:
- Shipping - large sheets of paper will need to be rolled and put in a postage tube for shipping, unless you are happy to have the paper folded. This can add to the delivery cost. Whether folded paper will be a problem to you will depend on what you want to do with it.
- Color - when buying online remember that the colors on the screen may not be true and as such the paper may appear a different shade when it arrives.
- Weight - as handmade paper is often made by small artisan paper makers, it is not always sold in uniform weights or sizes. If you require a particular weight or color of paper it is a good idea to ask for a sample first.
- Acid free - not all handmade papers will be acid-free. While this might not be a problem for some projects, if you are looking for paper for an archival project then it is important to check first with the supplier to see if the paper you are interested in is acid-free.
- Handmade - as paper is handmade there are often variations. This adds to the charm of the paper, yet also means that some pieces may not be identical.