Many handicrafts require special equipment or expensive materials. Not so with papercraft. “You really only need three things to create these beautiful objects: scissors, paper, and glue,” says Elysia Liang, assistant editor at Lark Crafts, of Quilled Christmas, a holiday-themed papercraft title that pubs in August. “The creative potential of paper is amazing.”
If authors of forthcoming titles have their way, crafters will be off and running with scissors.
How Does Your Paper Garden Grow?
Paper plants and flowers are having a moment in the sun. In Handmade Houseplants (Timber Press, Sept.), Corrie Beth Hogg, art and craft director at David Stark Design, presents instructions for crafting fiddle-leaf figs, monstera, and more out of paper; photographer Christine Han documents the step-by-step directions. Hogg, who also offers suggestions for styling finished projects—using paper leaf sprigs as place cards, for instance—has had her work featured on Today, The Martha Stewart Show, and in many print and online publications.
Lia Griffith, a designer, crafter, and blogger, has built an extensive following in outlets including the Knot, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens. She’s also the author of Crepe Paper Flowers (Clarkson Potter, Aug.), which teachers budding crafters to fashion a garden’s worth of blooms, including tulips, daffodils, peonies, and chrysanthemums. Griffith traces her interest in the medium to learning about the handmade crepe paper still produced in Germany and Italy. “Crepe paper was out of style for a long time,” she says. Now, she has a line of paper with her name on it, and 185,000 Pinterest followers.
Of the more than 30 designs in The No-Kill Garden (Running Press, Aug.), which lets even “the blackest of thumbs,” as the subtitle says, create lifelike houseplants, half are the work of paper artist Angela Rio (crafting blogger Nikki Van De Car provides the knitting and crochet content). Rio uses three techniques—slot joints, folding, and layering—to create paper orchids, dahlias, daisies, and other flowers and plants. “There’s something so magical about taking a two-dimensional object and making it three-dimensional,” she says.
Looking ahead to March 2019, The Paper Florist by Suzi McLaughlin (Kyle) taps into, among other arenas, the DIY wedding market. “More and more brides are choosing to use paper florals,” McLaughlin says. “Flowers can incorporate love letters, maps—anything you can think of, anything meaningful.”
The book features 15 wedding-appropriate projects, such as calla lilies crafted from sheet music. McLaughlin’s commercial clients include British retailers Harrod’s, Harvey Nichols, and John Lewis, and high-end perfumer Jo Malone; in 2011, the Royal Horticultural Society commissioned her to do a life-size garden entirely from paper.
Other forthcoming papercraft titles stray from the botanical. “Anything can be tackled with paper and lots of time,” says artist Hattie Newman, who, in Say It with Paper (Ilex, Sept.), covers pop-ups, paper cutouts, and 3-D shapes, some—such as a Ferris wheel—with moving parts. Newman’s professional work typically involves large-scale projects—a model of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the 2012 London games, for instance—but that’s no reason for newcomers to papercraft to feel daunted. “I’m still discovering new ways to make things and build certain shapes,” she says. “It’s always a learning process, and there’s no wrong way to do something.”
Helene and Simone Bendix, identical twins from Denmark—one an architect, the other an actress—launched the font-forward lifestyle brand Edition Poshette in 2010, selling book-themed leather bags and accessories. In Paper Poetry (Kyle, Sept.), the siblings show how shopping receipts, wrapping paper, and old books can be transformed into whimsical objects such as butterflies and shooting stars.
Celebrate and Decorate
With Quilled Christmas (Lark, Aug.), Alli Bartkowski, whose previous titles include Quilled Flowers and Quilled Manadalas, devotes an entire papercraft book to the holiday. Quilling, also known as paper filigree, involves tightly rolling strips of paper into coils, forming them into different shapes, and gluing them together. A snowflake ornament is among the more simple designs, and more advanced projects include a 3-D nutcracker figurine.
Paper Crafts by Rob Ryan (Thames & Hudson, Oct.), produced with London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, is the latest in the V&A’s Maker’s Guides series, which translates pieces from the institution’s collection into achievable projects, says Amanda Vinnicombe, head of editorial at Thames and Hudson. Earlier titles covered embroidery, and patchwork and quilting.
“The resources of the V&A Museum have totally opened these crafts up,” Vinnicombe says. “For example, we discovered a collection of paper flowers from the seventh century that were Buddhist offerings.” That sort of legacy, she says, speaks to the appeal that such projects have for the modern crafter: “People have been engaged in paper crafts for thousands of years.”