Papyrus is one of the earliest forms of paper, made from the stalks of a Cyperus papyrus plant. It is a rougher form of paper but lends itself to crafts and unique pieces of art because of its texture and old visual appeal. It is coarser and grainier than regular modern paper.
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Calligraphy and Hieroglyphics
Write a poem or favourite quote on a piece of papyrus using a marker or regular ink calligraphy pen. Young kids can try writing on it with crayons or coloured pencils. Tell a short story on multiple sheets of papyrus and bind them by hand as small books using strips of papyrus, or twine to give the book an ancient look. Make the cover with fine cardboard covered in papyrus.
Create a treasure map on a piece of papyrus to use for a treasure hunt or make enough for a party and roll up and pass out decorated papyrus invitations to a themed Egyptian or pirate party.
Make a hieroglyphic page using a set of hieroglyphic rubber stamps or by drawing the figures by hand using a fountain pen. Make a menu to put on a dinner table at each place setting. Make matching name place cards.
Paintings and Hanging Art
Mount papyrus on a hard backing to use as a canvas on which you can paint. The grainy texture of the papyrus will make the piece of art look aged and add a different texture to the piece. Try painting with different types of paint to see what each medium looks like on papyrus. Use acrylics, poster paints, oil paints or watercolours. Experiment with different types of brushes as you paint, using sponge craft brushes or fine art brushes. Mix in other mediums--pen and ink, rubber stamp printing or a natural-looking collage using dried flower petals, twigs and leaves.
Texture Covered Crafts
Use a small wooden box to make a jewellery box or desktop box, where you can place odds and ends. Cut pieces of papyrus and cover the top and sides of the box. Glue the cut pieces in place with white craft glue. Keep the covering simple by leaving it plain or add visual interest to the box by adding hieroglyphics, small paintings, bits of twigs, old postage stamps or old coins.
Cover a wooden or glass vase with papyrus in strips or squares overlapping the pieces as you glue them in place. Give it a lacquer or varnish finish to protect it and let it dry. Tie raffia, twine, fine rope or cording around the neck of the vase. Add beads or metal charms to the hanging ends of tie or string the beads on the raffia, twine, rope or cording before you twist it around the neck of the vase.
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