Monday, April 9, 2012

Paper Review: Scrapbook Paper

Ah Scrapbook paper...that brightly colorful paper that fills the long aisles in craft stores. So many varieties!!

Texture, Color, Size: This paper is thick...it is between cardstock and printer paper in how thick it is...which of course means it is a pain to fold! You need either very strong fingers or a reliable bone folder if you want to do any really detailed folds. Scrapbook paper comes in a HUGE variety of colors and patterns, and in my opinion that is its biggest appeal.  If you can imagine it, most likely it is out there! Another really nifty thing about this paper is it does not come in one standard texture, true most of it feels and looks like thick paper, but you can get some that have been embossed, have an 'organic' texture, or (and this is my favorite) sparkly. The scrapbook paper does seem to have one overall similarity, its size almost always comes in 12in square sheets which makes it very easy to cut to whatever size you want it to be

Crane:

Ah the crane, one of my favorite things to fold. It is a classic for a reason! This crane was folded from 'organic' feeling scrapbook paper cut into a 5inch square. I find that 4 inches is the smallest size you can use before the crane just becomes a blob. On larger sheets (I have taken an entire 12inch square and craned it up before) the crane forms beautifully...very crisp and defined edges and folds. Scrapbook paper is one of my favorite to fold into cranes.

Star:  *hides under the desk* oh man...folding a star from scrapbook paper is not fun!!! You can take a strip and fold it into the pentagon shape, but when it is time to puff it out and make the points...well, maybe if you have thumbs of pure titanium. I just could not get it to work, the paper was too stiff and if I shortened the strip to a bare minimum length the star just collapsed into a black hole...I mean a crumbled mess. 

Minigami: I find that anything smaller than 2inches made with paper is a nightmare. It is too stiff to get any real folding, plus many of the patterns lose their patterness when it is cut smaller than that. 2 inches is great for modular designs, but anything else turns into a big mess as well.

Kusudama: 

I recently had to make 7 inverted kusudamas out of rose printed scrapbook paper...so I have become very familiar with how it works for this model. The ones I made from the 2 inch paper were a bit of a pain because of the stiffness, but they held together great. The ones made from 4 inch paper were the real show stoppers. Much easier to fold and really showed off the pattern of the paper. I recommend folding scrapbook paper into a kusudama because if you drop it...it is really hard to smash the petals. Score for stiff paper!

Sonobe:

In my opinion this is one of the prettiest Sonobe balls I have made...created from the standard 30 sheets (my standard 2 inches) of sparkly pink faux vellum scrapbook paper. I can also say it was one of the hardest sonobes I have ever made! The paper's stiffness has some major pros and only one con with making sonobes. The con is of course it is really difficult to fold, the pros are this, it is stiff so no matter how many times your throw it at the wall, those points are not going to dent and it will not come apart because the paper's strength really locks the model in place. I find scrapbook paper is my new favorite thing to make sonobe balls out of.

Availability: You can find this stuff everywhere!! Not just craft stores but most big box stores have them as well. Loads of online stores have them, you can even find 'digital' scrapbook paper if you want to print out the patterns. Sheets usually run from 40cent to $1.50 a sheet depending on design and how specialized they are. I have only once bought one of the expensive sheets because...like the goof I am...I crumpled it while trying to put it back into its storage bin. Oops. I have a nice sized tote filled with sheets of this stuff cut into little squares waiting for their appointed project ^_^

(if you want to learn about my reviewing process read this On paper reviewing )

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