>> Carla Sinclair is editor-in-chief of CRAFT magazine.
The Power of Paper
You can rip it, wear it, recycle it, and use it
to craft just about anything imaginable.
One of my first jobs as a teenager was hemp, bamboo, and the plant fiber kenaf. I even
wrapping presents during the holidays found some stunning paper made from very thin
at a place called Wrapping Unlimited. slices of fruit and vegetables at my favorite paper
I loved learning how to perfectly measure and fold store, Hiromi (
the paper, conceal the tape so that the paper looked Another alternative to industrial tree-made paper
nearly seamless, cut fancy tips on the ribbon, and is to make your own! And in this special Papercraft
make ornate, handmade bows. I felt like a sorceress, issue of CRAFT, we’ll show you just how to do it, with
transforming ordinary items into bright, mysterious junk mail, scraps of paper and fabric, glitter, leaves,
parcels that glittered with enchantment. flower petals, and other goodies usually destined for
Of all the materials we use to craft (which is just the recycling bin (page 132).
about anything, really), paper seems the most After making your own paper, let it spring to life
magical to me. Paper dolls and cardboard forts with both our jumping paper toy project (page 138)
were ingredients for many of my childhood make- and our pop-up greeting cards (page 54). Or roll it
believe worlds. My durable white paper pants and into shiny, colorful beads (page 47). Save your
airbrushed paper hoodie in the 80s seemed surreal road maps to weave a basket (page 124). Save your
(paper clothes that didn’t rip!). Even now, a blank lunch bags to make a paper-sack scrapbook (page
piece of paper, with its limitless possibilities, inspires
100), or to include in your decorative “stab binding”
in me a strong eagerness to create. notebook (page 97).
Take a peek into the lives of origami master
Robert Lang, who shows us how to get fancy with a
dollar bill (page 50), and folk-singer-turned-paper-
artist extraordinaire Phranc, who demonstrates how
to make a custom gift box (page 42).
eagerness to create. Whether or not you actually make a gift box, we have dozens of other non-paper projects that — if
you can part with them — will make perfect gifts.
Some of these include our T-shirt “T-skirt,” modern
heirloom quilt, Norwegian felt slippers, knitted
“fish” scarf, marzipan confections, papier-mâché
hat stand, and a vintage-style jewelry box. To come
full circle, we’ll give you ideas to creatively wrap
presents in ways that are resourceful, unique, and,
shall we say, quite enchanting!
Finally, starting with this issue of CRAFT, we’re
happy to announce that our pages are now made
with 30% post-consumer recycled paper. We’re
proud of this big jump from the 10% post-consumer
recycled paper we’ve been using, and hope it makes
even a little difference. ×
A blank piece of paper
inspires in me a strong
Of course crafting with paper also brings us two
important earthly concerns: 1) industrial papermaking is one of the world’s leading causes of highly
toxic air and water pollution, and 2) about 9% of
paper is still made from old-growth forests, which
are impossible to replace.
The good news is that we don’t have to use trees
to make paper. In fact, paper was originally made
from bark, hemp, and cotton rags — trees didn’t
enter the picture until the 1800s. And there’s
currently a growing movement to make pollutant-reduced, tree-friendly paper not only from recycled
paper, but also from other pulp sources such as