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Quick Crafts Good On Paper

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I have a few craft projects in the works right now, but for instant gratification nothing beats a quick papercraft. Check out these bows I made from old magazine pages:

This is a tricky fold, but once you get the hang of it it's a fun keep-your-hands-busy-while-watching-TV activity. Tutorial here, found via How About Orange. (Which is a great design & craft site, btw!)

Then I spotted some nifty dollar bill origami over on Instructables, and decided to give that a try:

I didn't use a fifty to show off; I did it to freak John out. ("What are you doing with my fifty?!") Hee!

You can stick any coin in the middle, so I grabbed this one from my stash of antique coins just to be different.

Then I started brainstorming what else you could put in the middle, and came up with this:

That's a clear glass pebble (like the ones you fill flower bowls with) with a printed message glued to the back. The bubble of the glass magnifies the message a little - kind of a neat affect.

Then while fiddling around with the design I realized you could fold the bottom of the heart under, flip it over, add some googly eyes, and get a penny-munching monster:

(Sadly I didn't have any real googly eyes, so I just used paper punch-outs.)

 Go here for the heart fold tutorial.

Not exactly a DIY, but have you guys seen this fun origami shot glass birthday card?

You might be tempted to make something like this yourself, of course, but the really cool thing is that the cup portion comes pre-creased, which allows you to assemble it in just a couple of seconds. (Hit the link above to see a quick video.)

You can order one here for $4.99.

And if you like this kind of thing, you might want to follow my papercraft board over on Pinterest; I've been pinning all the free templates & paper crafts I plan to try myself over there. (I think the 8-bit popup cards are next on my list!)

Posted by Jen at 8:38 PM Labels: ,


  1. Jen,

    I love origami. I learned two things years ago that I still do today. I learned them from "Zoom" on PBS. One is a story that goes with a paper boat. And the other is how to make a paper cup using a sheet of paper. The paper boat story facinates kids and a couple of times when we were out and about and needed a drink but the water barely left the fountain I just whipped up a cup and we were all set. My daughter thought I was the greatest.


    P.S. It was great to see you in Pittsburgh!

  2. The shot glass card is really neat, I only wish it didn't end with "Get sh***y."

  3. Your post reminded me of an amazing documentary i saw recently. It is called "Between the Folds" and is all about paperfolding art and origami. There is geekworthy discussions of mathematics too. I highly recommend it if you enjoy paper folding art. I am not a practitioner nor super fan and I loved the show. I predict you'll love it :)
    It's on Netflix streaming for instant gratification.

  4. Origami always seems like witchcraft to me - I'm always so impressed! Some good simple papercrafting there! Jen x

  5. Gosh Darn it...I could of used that money folding idea when it was omgosh everyone is graduating graduation time and I don't have any gift ideas. Oh well, next May.

  6. Worlds collide! The designer of the shot glass card is a fellow alumnus, and I knew that thing was going to be a hit the minute I saw him post it. Seeing it featured on my favorite geeky crafty blog is awesome!

    Ross has got lots of other graphic artwork that he designs and prints himself over at his shop, Fifty Five Hi's. I own a bunch myself - really worth a look!

  7. Ah paper crafts. Thanks for sharing them! Also - the ring! I know the purpose of that photo was to show off that nifty dollar-bill origami... but when I saw the ring I went "ooooh" for maybe just a little longer. :)

  8. OH, I was going to try the bow, but when I saw the directions I thought "Oh, this is why I am not crafty!" I got lost at step 3. Thanks for the neat ideas, though.

  9. Love the bows and love the oragami heart holder. This site is such a blessing to read. Thanks, Jen. And John of course. :-)

  10. First of all, nice work! My folding skills are awful, and I'm that much more appreciative when someone does origami really well.

    Second, the coin in the first shot of the folded $5 bill (in case you didn't know) is not old at all - it's 1 New Israeli Shekel, which is about $0.28 these days, depending on the exchange rate. But if you ever wanted to come visit Jerusalem, you'd be totally welcome to crash on my futon. :)

  11. The heart dollar bill fold is my favorite way to leave tips to waiters/waitresses I really like! =)

  12. "the really cool thing is that the cup portion comes pre-creased, which allows you to assemble it in just a couple of seconds."

    Which is necessary because if you're like me, you've already had a few drinks before getting to presents. So trying to fold a non-pre-creased shot glass would be extremely entertaining for other party guests but not so entertaining for the birthday girl.

  13. Alright, Maureen, how do you make a cup out of a sheet of paper? I also really love origami--I took an origami class one summer when I was a kid and loved it. I also helped fold 1000 red cranes for a Japanese friend's dad's 60th birthday. It's a traditional decoration at a Japanese person's 60th birthday party. The red crane represents new life, so you are starting a new life at 60. Usually they're strung together and hung from the ceiling, but instead we put them in a giant glass jar. Her dad loved it so much that he put it on the hearth of his fireplace and would just sit and look at it. It was so fun to fold all those cranes, but I had red ink on my fingertips for WEEKS. It was worth it, though.

  14. I have a huuuuge stack of magazines I have been saving until, uh, I stop being lazy and Google some paper crafts already. Now, I don't have to. I can start making some pretty bows out of them. : )


  15. I love the dollar origami. I think it is a great idea for a grad gift! and the pebble message can personalize it.

  16. I love those paper bows! I've made a lemon/lime one from a magazine and I'll be making more! I never would have thought of doing origami with magazine pages, but it's a perfect idea. Thanks for the protip!

  17. @ Maureen - the paper cup is the *only* thing I can fold without instructions. Ha! I learned it as a kid some time.

    @ Colleen - Yes, I've seen it! Great documentary.

    @ Jenny - Thanks! The gold ring came from my grandmother. When my rainbow ring broke several weeks ago, I switched to the gold one as an impromptu wedding ring until I could replace it. :)

    @ Marisa Elana - Ah, I should have realized! I visited Israel when I was a teen, and loved it. I'll look you up if I ever get to go again!

  18. If you don't want to use real money for the awesome heart/monster, you can get bookmarks that look like real money at a bunch of local stores (like Books-A-Million or Target) to fold instead. Then you can actually glue things to it (and not feel bad..) :D

  19. What glue did you use to do the glass I love you? Thanks so much :)

  20. @ Jessi - I didn't saturate the paper with glue like you probably should; I just tacked the edges done with a little paper glue for the photo. To do it right, though, you should probably use a decoupage medium, or a clear Elmer's/white glue *might* work. (Anyone know if it will dry clear enough?)

  21. LOL. I thought the heart money fold was one of your geeky space movie battleships!

    Am searching for the cup fold instructions next!

  22. Oh my gosh, is that actually an antique Israeli shekel that your 50-dollar heart is holding? Sigh, just make me love your blog even more, why don't you? :) Very cool stuff.

  23. Hey, I made these origami hearts as Save-the-Dates for my wedding! Not with dollar bills, though.

  24. Thank you so much for the paper bows link - I was just wrapping up a birthday gift for the mail and these were the perfect special touch. I'll be keeping that link for Christmas time :)

  25. Hi,
    I rarely comment here but I read regularly, I wanted to say thanks for this post, it really helped me put the finishing touches on my entry for a Spoonflower Fabric Design Contest



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