Paper dates back to 105 CE, when a man named Ts’ai Lun crafted it from vegetable fiber pulp. Since then, cultures around the world have used linen, cotton, wood pulp and other materials to create this versatile canvas. Today, it’s hard to imagine a world without the thin sheets of paper, which are used for everything from important documents to works of art. 

Graphite-smudged sketches and ocean-hued watercolors find perfect homes on a crisp sheet of paper. Starting with an empty page can be intimidating, but it can also be your greatest strength. Blank paper means endless possibilities, a canvas for countless colors and a completely fresh start for any project.

Certain forms of art, known as paper craft, use paper as their primary medium. From origami to paper cutting and collage, paper is a versatile tool for creating art in a whole new way.   

Playing with Paper Craft

Whether you fill your craft room or kitchen table with dozens of paper crafts or give your all to just one project, keep your mind open and remember to give yourself space to learn. 

Papercraft Art: A Cutting Edge Guide to Paper Illustrations

A papercraft vignette shows a little girl holding an ice cream cone after leaving the ice cream shop with her dog. The artwork is surrounded by the tools and materials needed to create it such as scraps of paper, a mug of colored pencils, scissors, tape, and the inspiration image.
Unleash the power of paper craft by creating a scene that’s totally your own. Still from Skillshare Class Papercraft Art: A Cutting Edge Guide to Paper Illustrations by Laura K. Sayers.

Bring your imagination to life with this paper craft art project. Centered around a character, you’ll create a scene inspired by a fond memory, an ode to your favorite place to visit or any other story you’d like to share.

Cut, paste and build bold color palettes while assembling your paper vignette. 

Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make

A bouquet of white, light pink, and red paper flowers sits in a pink vase on a window sill lined with more paper bouquets.
Seize the bouquet with these intensely realistic paper flowers. Still from Skillshare Class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

A beautiful bouquet of flowers can last forever when they’re handcrafted from paper. As your blooms come to life, you’ll learn to choose the right supplies for this project and create stems, leaves and other greenery.

With poppies and peonies as your inspiration, you’ll finish with a stunning bouquet you can enjoy for yourself or give as a gift. 

Abstract Pattern Collages: Mindful Drawing + Intuitive Collage for Self-Care

Both meditative practice and creative outlet, this intuitive paper collage project is perfect for you if you need some R&R. Still from Skillshare Class Abstract Pattern Collages: Mindful Drawing + Intuitive Collage for Self-Care by Mel Rye.

Quiet your busy mind with the practice of cutting out and collaging unique paper-based patterns. Even if you haven’t drawn since you were a kid, this project is accessible to anyone who is willing to get creative.

You’ll choose the right colors for your project, get inspired by exciting patterns and explore how composing collages can express different feelings and stories. 

Create Geometric Origami Paper Ornaments for Holiday, Party & Home Decor

Decorate window sills, shelves, or an empty corner with these handmade paper ornaments. Still from Skillshare Class Create Geometric Origami Paper Ornaments for Holiday, Party & Home Decor by Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand.

Turning a piece of paper into a whimsical 3D shape doesn’t require any fancy materials with this origami ornament class. Fold your way through festive decorations for a holiday party or add a touch of creativity to your home decor.

These versatile ornaments are an ideal activity if you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of paper folding crafts. 

Mastering Paper Art: From Digital Illustration to Dimensional Art

Jump into the whimsical world of character and scene design with this paper cutting project. Still from Skillshare Class Mastering Paper Art: From Digital Illustration to Dimensional Art by Fenway Fan.

Paper is more than a blank canvas waiting for paint or ink—it can be the medium, too. In the digital age, hands-on art activities are less common than they used to be.

This paper art project will launch you into the meditative power of designing, cutting, and layering as you transform a digital illustration into a physical one. 

Papercraft: Origami Boxes for Gifts & Trinkets

It’s always the littlest boxes with the best gifts inside–especially when they’re handmade. Still from Skillshare Class Papercraft: Origami Boxes for Gifts & Trinkets by Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand.

Every day is an excuse to celebrate something, and presents are a powerful tool to acknowledge your love or appreciation.

With just a few tools and pieces of paper, you’ll be able to craft a handmade origami box and add a little something special to your gift.  

Turning Memories into Artwork: A Beginner’s Guide to Scrapbooking

Create a living memory with a scrapbook filled with loved ones, important events, or unforgettable trips. Still from Skillshare Class Turning Memories into A rtwork: A Beginner’s Guide to Scrapbooking by Mei-Ying Chow.

Tell your story through scrapbooking, with photography and other thoughtful additions like stickers and dried flowers. You can reflect on fond memories all while getting creative and treating yourself to a moment just for you.

Transform your memories into beautiful artwork and create a keepsake you can reflect on for years to come. 

Get Your Creativity Down on Paper

With projects from an abstract paper collage to a cutting edge paper illustration, you have access to a ton of inspiration for any dimensional and captivating paper craft you’d like to learn. If you’re struggling to decide which project is for you, try whatever catches your eye first, and then explore from there. 

No matter what you start with, the fun in crafting isn’t just in your final product—it’s also in the time you spend creating it.   

Written by:

Calli Zarpas