How to Stiffen Paper Crafts

Written by lane cummings
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How to Stiffen Paper Crafts
If stiffened properly, this origami flower would make a lovely pin. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Paper crafts such as origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, allow you to create animals, people, flowers, trees and other designs by manipulating paper. One of the drawbacks of using paper is that while it is easy to manipulate, it is also fragile and can tear or become crushed. Stiffening paper allows your creations to withstand time and the elements.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Acid free spray adhesive
  • Acrylic glazing medium
  • Paper plate
  • Acrylic paint
  • Wooden stirrer
  • 1-inch nylon brush

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    Flat Pieces

  1. 1

    Measure the piece of paper and write down the measurements. Cut a piece of card stock to the exact dimensions.

  2. 2

    Spray the card stock with an acid-free paper adhesive. An acid-free adhesive will ensure the lighter paper item doesn't disintegrate against the card stock over time.

  3. 3

    Press the paper item over the card stock and allow to dry for one to two hours. The card stock will stiffen and support the thinner piece of paper. This is effective for scrapbooking, particularly for magazine or newspaper clippings.

    Three-Dimensional Items

  1. 1

    Pour acrylic glazing medium onto a paper plate. Add a few drops of acrylic paint and mix the two together with a wooden stirrer if you wish to tint the item.

  2. 2

    Dip a 1-inch nylon brush in the substance. Coat the surface of the item with the glazing medium, covering it completely.

  3. 3

    Allow the item to dry overnight.

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