Paper is thought to have been invented in China between 140 BC and 86 BC. The advent of the printing press in the 1400s popularized paper in Europe. Paper is now a global staple and is used for many practical and artistic purposes throughout the world. Get creative and make enjoyable and meaningful crafts at home using just one piece of paper and a little imagination.
Fold a piece of paper in half three to four times, then cut the point off with a pair of scissors. Cut out geometric shapes along the folds to make a snowflake. Make one or more snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling or attach them to a wall to create a snowy scene.
Paper was introduced to Japan in the sixth century. The Japanese developed the art of origami by folding paper into beautiful shapes representing animals and flowers. Origami shapes accompanied gifts and were used as decorations for celebrations. Use a piece of thin paper to create origami art. Consult a book like "The Complete Book of Origami" by author Robert J. Lang or visit a website such as Origami-Instructions.com for step-by-step instructions detailing how to construct various shapes.
Fold paper in different ways to create many different versions of paper airplanes, from commercial jets to Air Force fighters that actually fly. To create a simple airplane, fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise, then open it flat again. Fold the top corner of each half down to meet the center crease and form a point. Fold each half down again so the edges meet at the center. Refold the plane along the lengthwise crease to form a triangle. Fold the points down at right angles on each side to make the wings and sail your paper plane into the air. Visit the website Fun Paper Airplanes to download free instructions for 15 different plane designs.
Make a greeting card using colored or plain paper. Fold the paper in half once or twice to create the size you like. Decorate the card with paint, photos, crayons, stickers, beads, uncooked macaroni noodles or other creative media. Personalize the card to suit the occasion and the recipient for an unforgettable sentiment.
Mail a letter in a personalized envelope by creating your own. Fold the edges of a decorative piece of paper in toward the center, leaving a minimum area of 5 inches by 3 1/2 inches in the center to meet mailing regulations. Glue edges together and insert notes, invitations or other correspondence.
Lisabeth Hughes holds an Associate of Fine Arts from Minnesota State Community and Technical College with a Bachelor of Arts in progress at Prescott College. Hughes began writing professionally as an assistant at First Rate Freelance in 1995. In 2009 she began to submit her own work and has now published numerous articles on various websites and in "Kush" magazine and two poetry anthologies.