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Published April 13th 2020
Cheap & free paper craft ideas
If you are looking for fun and cheap things to do these school holidays, then you can't beat paper craft. You can use tissue paper, used printer paper, napkins, crepe paper, cardboard - the materials are endless. It is a good way to recycle paper that you don't need any more and turn it into an entertaining craft for your young ones. Here are 10 ideas of what you can make together, these school holidays...
1/ Make a Fortune Teller by cutting out a square piece of paper and folding it from corner to corner in one way, then corner to corner the other way. Next, fold the paper in half one way, then in half the other way. When you lay the square out flat, there should be creases in a star pattern from the centre. This is where it gets a little trickier, so see the wikiHow website for each step. Write your fortunes inside and watch your kids enjoy this toy for hours!
2/ Make Streamers For Your Bedroom by cutting long lengths of coloured paper 3cm wide and then taping two of them together at right angles. Simply fold each piece over the top of each other, all the way up the length to the very end. Join several of them together. Hang them up with balloons and Chinese Lanterns, below.
3/ Make Chinese Lanterns by folding a piece of paper in half lengthways and cutting strips up from the fold until 2cm from the end. When finished, lay the paper out flat and then tape the two shorter edges together to make a tube. To make the handle, cut a rectangle of paper and tape it to the top of the lantern. Do you remember making these at school yourself? From my memory, we always made them for Christmas or Chinese New Year, however, they also look good as bedroom decor in bright colours.
4/ Make a Paper Mâché Plate or bowl using leftover, scrap paper. This project below, took us 5 days to make, as the plate has 6 layers of paper mâché that needed to dry between each coat and 2 days to dry at the end.
Firstly, cut strips of paper (we used printer paper that had been printed on one side) and wrap a small plate in cling film. Place it upside down on a bowl for stability. Use white glue, or makeup 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for paper mâché glue. Using a paintbrush, spread glue over the upside-down plate then lay the strips of paper down in one direction and then again in the opposite direction, using plenty of glue. Put out in the sun to dry and repeat for 6 layers. When dry, trim around edges with scissors and then decorate. Add a gloss varnish to seal. See here for the method we followed.
Our plates worked out great - they were as hard as a rock and the flour glue mixture worked well. The only downside was that we went through a lot of flour for two plates!
Make your own Paper Mâché Plate! When it is finished you can paint it (left), or cover it with wrapping paper (right)
5/ Make a Flamingo using glitter cardboard, half a plastic plate and napkins. Firstly cut a plastic plate in half, then cut out large squares from the napkins, to collage the plate. Use tape to attach the napkin squares, making sure you tape under the layer above, so they look like feathers. Cut out a flamingo head shape in pink glitter cardboard and the leg design, beak shape and eye in silver. Tape them on to the back of the plate. Glue on the eye and add the pupil. Add Blue Tack the back of your flamingo and stick her up on the bedroom wall.
6/ Make a Napkin Holder by cutting out a rectangle shape in coloured paper, in a size that would wrap around a toilet roll with a small overlap at the back. Just like with the Chinese lantern above, fold the paper lengthwise in half and cut strips up from the fold, until 2cm from the end. Open out flat. Cut strips of paper in a different colour, the same width. Thread the strips of paper horizontally through the paper with slits, weaving in and out as you go. Push tightly to the top. When finished the square, glue ends securely. Wrap around toilet roll and tape together at back. Repeat 4 times for a table setting.
7/ Collage is a fun way to use scraps of leftover paper and turn it into something beautiful. One idea is to make a Plastic Plate Jelly Fish by cutting up scrap coloured paper and using collage to glue it onto the plate. Then add huge eyes, beaded tentacles and accessories. See here for instructions.
8/ Make Crafts using Wrapping Paper is a fun way to use up pretty wrapping paper in a variety of designs. There is a wide array of things you can do, such as decorate cards, wrap boxes to make desk organisers, learn how to origami and cover notebooks. If you are looking for Christmas ideas, you can also use Christmas wrapping paper to make Paper Mâché Plates, as shown at Number 4 above. See here for ideas.
Fun with wrapping paper - make cards, cover boxes for desk organisers & make a picture!
9/ Toilet Roll Craft is always entertaining, as kids often come up with hilarious ideas. Cover toilet rolls in coloured paper and have a wide array of accessories for your kids to add to it - googly eyes, pom poms, pipe cleaners, foil, tissue paper, textas, pegs and more. Make robots, aliens, butterflies or an army of toilet paper ants. Get creative!
10/ Make a Wreath for ANZAC Day or Christmas, by painting your child's hands and stamping them onto paper, to make the green part of the wreath. Add paper flowers and proudly hang it on your door. See here for instructions.
Still, after more ideas using paper? Then learn how to origami, decorate your own writing paper, get creative with potato stamping, learn how to marble paper, fold up a fan for summer or learn how to recycle paper and make your own. With so many options, your school holiday crafts are covered - for these ones and the next!
Make a wreath for Anzac Day or Christmas using hands!