Easy things you can make with paper

Written by megan shoop
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Easy things you can make with paper
Create simple paper crafts to entertain children and decorate your home. (Getty Thinkstock)

If there's anything that most households have an overabundance of, it's paper. You use paper to print important documents, wrap gifts, tote groceries and leave messages. Certainly, you can send paper to the recycling centre, but repurposing the paper is more entertaining. Plus, you'll end up with some original art pieces for your home.

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Five-Finger Blossoms

If you love lilies but can't afford to keep fresh ones in your home, help your children create a handprint bouquet. Simply trace your hand onto a piece of white, yellow, red or pink paper. Curl the paper into a cone-shape with the base of the palm as the point and tape it fast. Slip the cone down onto a green pipe cleaner and wrap the base with green floral tape to hold it. Use a pencil or the handle of a wooden spoon to curl down the fingers to create the petals.

Paper Lanterns

Though the kids can help with this craft, you can also create Chinese lanterns that you'll enjoy displaying as decorative items. Choose a piece of paper that you love; it can be leftover scrapbooking paper, parchment or even brown paper. You may also stamp or colour a design onto your paper before cutting.

Draw lines widthways on your paper about 1.5 cm (½-inch) apart. Leave a 3 cm (1-inch) border between the ends of the lines and the edges of your paper. Cut along each line with a utility knife or scissors and curl your paper into a cylinder. Tape the edges of the cylinder fast and pinch the centre of each cut paper section so it sticks out. Set the paper over an LED candle or other electric light.

African Khamsa

This craft teaches your kids about other cultures while adding an eclectic feel to your home. The khamsa is a good luck symbol often worn by north African natives. These hand-shaped amulets are decorated with protective and lucky symbols. To make your own, trace around your hand onto a piece of shiny silver paper or aluminium foil. Cut out the handprint and glue it to a piece of deep blue cardstock. Cut more designs from other pieces of brightly coloured paper and glue them to the hand. You may use spirals, flowers, suns, moons, stars and geometric patterns. When dry, frame the khamsa with matt board and tack it to the wall.

Tissue Paper Buds

If you have extra tissue paper and want to surprise your sweetie for less, try making tissue paper flower buds. These tiny blossoms look delicate and sweet when attached to a real branch. Find a small tree branch with plenty of sturdy twigs on it. Clean off any dead leaves or flowers and slip it into a pretty vase.

Cut green and pink, white, blue or red tissue paper into 1.5cm (½-inch) squares. Place a petal (coloured) square on top of a green square and smooth them over the tip of a retractable pen. Twist the pointed part of your blossom cluster to keep the papers together and glue the buds to your branch with a tiny bit of hot glue.

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