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Receiving holiday cards is one of the best parts of the season. But let's be real: you can only hang a certain amount on your refrigerator before you run out of magnets. Instead of tucking them away in storage (where they'll never be seen) or throwing them away (even worse!), why not upcycle them instead? Here are a few fun ways to breathe new life into those beloved holiday cards that arrive in your mailbox.
Kimberly Stoney
DIY party decor has never been easier than a simple — yet festive! — paper pennant banner. It makes a gorgeous backdrop for selfies and adds a finishing touch to any other decorations you've set up around the house. And guess what? The whole thing takes less than an hour to put together!
Kerry Buckley
When you think of die cutting, you probably think of paper. But there are so many kinds of paper you can die cut, transforming them into shapes that make up the coolest projects. lf you're ready to go beyond the basic card stock (though that should definitely be used, too!), here are a few ideas to get you started.
Julia Stainton
Need a card, like, now? Been there. But here's the good news: we've got all the inspo for quick cards that still look cute. You can make these cards in under 30 minutes, with supplies you probably already have around the house (or buried in your craft room). Score!
Kimberly Stoney
Technically, calligraphy, requires special tools — usually a pointed pen and dip ink. But if you're just dabbling and haven't invested in calligraphy tools, don't fret: we've got some work-arounds that let you explore this craft with whatever you have on hand.
Laura Lavender
French artist Henri Matisse once described paper collage as "painting with scissors." Sounds fun, right? If you're new to paper crafting or curious about artistic collage, experimenting with these six techniques is a great place to start.
Sara Barnes
Paper quilling is just. so. cool. But if you're a beginner, the learning curve can be steep (and maybe even a little frustrating). Luckily, knowing a few key tips and hacks makes all the difference. You got this!
Erin Curet
Making your own stationary is THE BEST way to share your creativity with all your favorite peeps. And while you certainly can dive into the world of card making with nothing more than a pair of scissors, some construction paper and a bottle of white school glue, having a few more specialized tools and materials on hand will make the whole process a whole lot more fun.
Amy Robison
Once you get hooked on card making, you'll soon realize that simple paper-and-glue designs are really just the beginning. A dimensional, mixed-media approach takes cards to the next level, making your missive a true work of art.
Julia Stainton
Paper crafts are always a blast to do, but heat embossing adds a magic touch. This technique lets you add textured elements to your card stock or paper, using stamps, ink and special powders. (It's all about the melt!) You won't need too many supplies to get started, and the results are gorgeous. Get ready to see just what you can do.
Kristen Magee
We're way into the new craze called quilling. "Craze" is an unlikely word to describe a craft that dates back to the Renaissance, but whatever — it's trending.
Erin Curet
Quilling is all about paper, so it's weird that we don't get more excited about picking just the right type of paper. It's so easy to get caught up in planning our quilling projects that the paper practically has to scream, "Yoohoo, what about meeee?"
Erin Curet
Quilling, the art of transforming coils or scrolls of paper into beautiful designs, can be surprisingly minimalist: All you really need to try it are strips of paper, glue and a skewer or toothpick.
Erin Curet
Picture this: crowds of strangers eyeing your artwork and wanting to buy a piece or a whole collection for themselves.
Jessie Oleson Moore
Your kitchen table is absolutely covered (no room for even a coffee cup) with photos, ticket stubs, stickers, papers and other lovely bits and pieces that you'd like to arrange in a scrapbook.
Kerry Buckley
You've probably never made your own sketchbook — it's easy enough to buy one, after all. Possibly the thought of making this thing never even occurred to you.
Hannah Cooper
Embroidery + paper = one of the coolest cards we've seen. Seriously, look how beautiful this is! And it's actually pretty simple to make, even if you haven't tried embroidery before.
Kimberly Stoney
This Valentine's Day, give a piece (er, pieces?) of your heart with a cool mashup of collage and watercolor. Not a watercolor fan? No sweat — you can reinterpret this design using markers, colored pencils or even glitter. Whatever medium you choose, your boo will heart it.
Kristen Magee
#LetterEnvy is a real thing—you scroll through artists on Instagram and you think to yourself, “I wish my letters looked like that!”
Samantha Zabell
You might think that learning lettering requires just a paper and pen — and you’re right! But you’ll find it’s much easier to learn this new skill if you get a little more specific with your supplies. I’ve broken it down into three major categories to help guide your shopping.
Samantha Zabell
No one's surprised that hand lettering and hand stitching are instant BFFs, right? Beautiful, swirling script accented with neat, textural stitching just makes sense.
Sara Barnes
Gold foil gives me all the feels. To share the love, I'd like to teach you how to use the foil to make cards printed with big gold hearts (or whatever design you like).
Amy Robison
It's my job to make parties look amazing on shows like Bring the Party and my own Bluprint DIY Party Decor class. (Yes, I have the best job in the world.) And not surprisingly, I have a hot glue gun in my hand pretty much every waking hour.
Kristen Johnson
Remember paper chains? Well we've got an even better way load up your tree with bold, bright, beautiful paper. Seriously, look how cool these are.
Bluprint
It's so easy to take glue for granted. It's been around forever, it's cheap and it gets the job done.
Victoria Hudgins
Reduce, reuse and recycle your way to a totally original tree! It all starts with a simple paper garland and paper airplanes (no kidding!) made from leftover wrapping paper. Fold up your airplanes, then fly them straight into the tree for the most fun you've had decorating a tree...ever.
Kimberly Stoney
Along with practicing every day (yes, every single day!), following fellow lettering artists on Instagram is a great way to get inspired as you learn the art form. Whether you’re intrigued by traditional marker lettering or you're thinking about dabbling in mixed mediums, these are the artists to stalk.
Samantha Zabell
Part of the beauty of origami is its simplicity. Just crisp, flat paper and your own two hands, right? Almost. Origami is simple, and it's great to keep it that way. But rounding up a few specialized items can set you up for success, especially when you're just starting out.
Chrissy Pushkin
You gotta love this: DIY wine tags that combine your love of wine with your love of crafting. This project adds a personal, seasonal touch to any bottle of wine, whether it be a gift for a fall b-day or your contribution to the Thanksgiving table.
Bluprint
A memorable place card is the ultimate way to tell your guests how much they matter — especially when you make it yourself. Go sweet and delicate like the ones pictured here, or bring in a pop of bright color to complement your other party decor. Super easy, totally original and so pretty.
Amy Palanjian
If you love cruising Instagram for decor ideas as much as we do, you're already well aware that the (paper) stars are out and shining! While you can always pick them up from IKEA (fun fact: paper stars have Scandinavian roots), we guarantee it’ll be even more satisfying if you try your hand at crafting your own.
Shelby Deering
Sure, you could pick up bags at the store. But this DIY version really piles on the style — and won't look like anything else you see this season. The key to to all this graphic coolness is using metallic markers that really POP on the black bags. You can use these for school events, give 'em out to trick-or-treaters, or stuff them with costume-party favors. Add on our printable gift tag, load 'em up with goodies and you're done!
Kristen Magee
When you think of origami, your mind might go straight to complex cranes and other intricate designs. But origami doesn’t have to be difficult. This DIY is SO easy and such a fun way to bring color and texture to a bland wall. Consider it the ideal origami project for beginners!
Bluprint
Swirl, curl, and twirl all with — wait for it — paper! Quilling, also known as paper filigree, is the art of shaping paper into intricate designs. It’s done by rolling strips of paper and pinching or curving them into various forms. Multiple pieces are then glued together to create gorgeous 3D art on cards, canvases, and more. Pick up this paper craft with these six beginner’s tips.
Jin Yong
Sure, origami can be simple — you might’ve even folded some as a kid. But your basic crane (or airplane!) is just the beginning of this craft. Contemporary origami artists are building on traditional techniques to create works of art that have us gawking (and wanting to try it ourselves!).
Sara Barnes
Keeping a travel journal is a great way to preserve memories of both far-flung and close-to-home travels. You've probably already thought of filling your pages with stories and sketches, museum tickets and cafe menus. But how about some dirt? For real! Check out our tips for really capturing the spirit of a place.
Kristen Pope
One fact about artists: We practice a lot! And because of this, we accumulate many (many!) extra pieces of art. Instead of tossing those watercolors in the trash, why not turn them into entirely new works of art, or re-purpose them into something you can use?
Elise Engh
Sure, there are about a bajillion fonts you could use for your project. But there’s still nothing quite like hand lettering to give your invitation or word art that extra-special touch. Before you get ready to put pen to paper, brush up on the different type of calligraphy. Yes, there are several!
Samantha Zabell
There's nothing like a handwritten letter, whether it's a thank-you note, an invitation or a postcard. For me, the best part is that every piece is a blank canvas, and I love embellishing them for my lovely recipients. Being a calligrapher would actually be really handy here, but it's definitely not necessary; in fact, we bet your friends won't even know the difference after you embrace these tips.
Samantha Zabell
Move over, dirt and seeds! Paper flower artists are sprouting some pretty incredible blooms, too. From giant peonies to uber-realistic bouquets, these no-wilt creations are popping up everywhere from galleries to weddings to Instagram. Follow these six feeds to get your fix. No green thumb required!
Sara Barnes
If you love the look of homemade cards but have neither the time nor the moolah to go all-in on loads of special supplies, we have three words for you: paper lace doilies. (Yes, they still exist.) These budget-friendly paper goods offer a cute and whimsical way to upgrade store bought thank yous and invitations. Try it for your next baby shower invite or thank you card!
Victoria Hudgins
Paper flowers are big. REALLY big, if you're talking with Tiffanie Turner. The artist, author and workshop instructor has captured the attention of museums and galleries, and the hearts of thousands of Instagram fans, with her extraordinary larger-than-life paper blooms. We took a few minutes to learn more about the mind behind those perfect (and sometimes not-so-perfect) petals.
Elaine Lipson
“Stop the Machines.” “The Time Has Come.” “City-Wide Stickball Champs.” Browse through Jon Contino’s portfolio and these are the sayings that jump out of his award-winning art. He pairs these bold words with gritty hand-lettering and genius illustration to create a graphic style that’s straight out of his New York City roots. And the big guys have taken note: Clothing, corporate logos, movie posters, book covers and branding now all bear his signature look. We caught up with the artist on the eve of his upcoming book release, Brand by Hand, to find out more about his style, life as a dad and what inspires his creativity the most.
Marlene Blessing
l love a good DIY project just as much as the next girl. But a few years ago, I was craving a hobby I could also teach myself. And, preferably, teach myself while at home mindlessly watching Netflix. Brush calligraphy ended up being just the one! And while I won’t get into how many hours I spent practicing while binge-watching Parks & Rec, you really only need 10 minutes a day to hone this new skill.
Samantha Zabell
There are many reasons to love fresh flowers. But when it comes to DIY, pretty paper ones pack an awesome bang for your buck. Raid your wrapping station for tissue paper, and then get started making this bouquet of blooms.
Michele Boyer
One of my favorite things about paper is how quickly it can turn from a simple flat sheet into a gorgeously festive party statement. And this leaf garland is a great example. You can pull one together in under an hour, then drape it across a wall to make your event feel extra special. It's also completely customizable: Use shades of green for a foliage look, harvest hues for a Halloween party, or even metallics for the new year.Paper GarlandHow to make a homemade garland
Victoria Hudgins
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