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Decorative Paper Crafts: 18 Fun Ways to Use Patterned Papers and Cardstock

Jamie loves writing about DIY projects, decorating on a budget, craft ideas, and creative ways to reuse and upcycle products.

Shapes made with paper punches

Shapes made with paper punches

Endless Possibilities for Paper Crafts

I love doing paper crafts because they are easy and quick and there is an impressive selection of decorative papers to choose from. You can find decorative scrapbook papers at lots of different stores nowadays, plus you can even download them from the internet and print them with your home printer.

The thing about these decorative papers is, you can use them for so much more than just scrapbooking and that is what this article is all about. I wanted to show you some different projects you can do besides just scrapbooking with all these pretty patterned papers. I am hoping to inspire you with these different ideas. So, get your good pair of scissors out, and let's get going.

Patterned Paper and Cardstock Craft Ideas

1. Embellishments

10. Matchbook Notebooks

2. Accordian Folded Rosettes

11. Marble Magnets

3. DIY Gift Boxes

12. Cute Mini Albums

4. DIY Gift Bags

13. DIY Envelopes

5. Decorative Tins

14. Decorative Clipboards

6. Gift Bows, Tags and Embellishments

15. Paper Beads

7. Pinwheels

16. Wreaths

8. Fringe Flowers

17. Cute Birds

9. Decorate a Journal and Matching Pen

18. Decorative Clothespins

1. Embellishments

You can use craft paper punches to cut shapes out of patterned or decorative papers. It's easy to do and they make nice embellishments that you can use for many different paper crafts such as decorative garlands, cupcake pics, make dimensional embellishments by stacking shapes using foam dots or squares between each layer, etc.

2. Accordian Folded Rosettes

These cute paper flowers can be used in many different ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Use them to embellish scrapbook pages, handmade cards, journals, or even wrapped gifts.
  • Use them to make a bouquet like here.
  • Cover a wreath with them
  • Use them to make garland decorations for birthday parties or holiday decorations.

You can also make them larger to use as:

  • Photo backdrop
  • Hanging decorations (just add a string)
  • Piece them together to make a table runner or centerpiece
DIY Gift Boxes

DIY Gift Boxes

3. DIY Gift Boxes

Patterned or decorative cardstock makes wonderful gift boxes. You can either:

  • Print a template onto a sheet of pretty card stock, cut it out and assemble.
  • Use a paint program to fill the template with your own design, print, cut, and assemble.
  • Use a scoring board to score and fold card stock into small gift boxes
  • Use a ruler and straight edge to make gift boxes like in this tutorial.

There are lots of free templates for small gift boxes available online. The little purple box/bag was made using this template and tutorial at Homemade Gifts Made Easy.

4. DIY Gift Bags

You can use decorative paper to make gift bags as well. Just like with the gift boxes, there are also tons of free templates online available free for download so you can make your own gift bags.

  • Find a free template online and print it onto patterned paper and make a gift bag.
  • Make gift bags by covering cereal boxes with pretty paper, like in this article.
  • Use 8.5x11 and 12x12 sized paper for small and medium bags and use thick wrapping paper or packaging paper to make larger gift bags.

The cute little gift bags with matching tags in the second photo I found over at Things to Make and Do along with a fantastic tutorial and in the third photo are DIY gift bags over at Lines Across.

In the last photo is a gift bag that I made using a cereal box as a form and some wrapping paper. I constructed the bag and then removed the cereal box. The handles were recycled from an old torn-up gift bag and I couldn't help but make a matching bow for it.

5. Decorative Tins

Cover a tin with decorative paper to make a pretty container. You can find tins for a dime a dozen at thrift stores or you can use smaller ones like the Altoid mint tins and similar.

Cover small tin cans and coffee cans and use them for storing pens, pencils, etc. Decorative tin containers also make the perfect packaging for small gifts, gift cards, and even a place to put a tooth in for the tooth fairy like this cute tin over at Jennifer's Stamp Pad.

I also fell in love with the paper-covered cans in the second photo that I found at Life Rearranged. They do make lovely flower vases!

6. Gift Bows, Tags and Embellishments

Use decorative and patterned papers make nice gift bows. You can also make cute matching tags and embellishments for your gifts!

15-easy-and-fun-paper-crafts-using-patterned-papers

7. Pinwheels

Pinwheels are lots of fun for kids and they also look pretty in the garden. Did you know that you can make your own using pretty paper or card stock?

Fringe flowers

Fringe flowers

8. Fringe Flowers

I can't get over how precious this bouquet of "fringe flowers" is I found over at handmade crafts! These are really nice. You could omit the wire and use these flowers to embellish your scrapbook layout, handmade cards, picture frames, gift wrapping, and all kinds of things.

Tip: They actually have scissors that will shred now so you could use those to fringe up the edges of the flowers. Martha Stewart has shredder scissors out but I bought a generic brand for 5 bucks on Amazon and they work great.

9. Decorate a Journal and Matching Pen

Turn a plain journal, blank composition book, or even a regular notebook into something really pretty. This journal was covered with decorative tapes but the same look can be achieved using pretty patterned papers. You could even use wallpaper, wrapping paper, newspaper, etc.

Want a matching pen for your journal? Here is a tutorial by Patty over at LaLatty Stamp 'N Stuff that has great photo-illustrated instructions on how to cover a journal with pretty paper and it shows how to make a matching ink pen to go with it!

You could even make matching pencils sort of like ones I found at Made Right Guide. These are nice and she even shares the tutorial. This is a perfect project to help use up leftover scrap paper.

Matchbook Notebooks

Matchbook Notebooks

10. Matchbook Notebooks

Make some matchbook notebooks or mini-notebooks! These cute little notebooks make great party or wedding favors or even stocking stuffers for Christmas. They are fun and easy to make!

Simply cut the cover out of card stock, cut paper for the inside, and staple them together. Here's a great tutorial from Tonya over at The Craft Mummy!

Easy to make Marble Magnets

Easy to make Marble Magnets

11. Marble Magnets

These are those inexpensive flat marbles that you can buy in the floral section of stores. They make perfect little magnets for the fridge, magnetic bulletin boards, metal cabinets, etc.

Mini albums

Mini albums

12. Cute Mini Albums

These are perfect for holding pictures, journaling, and things like that- like mini scrapbooks. They look fairly easy to make as well and I love that they have an accordion-style spine. I had never seen these before. The covers are like a blank canvas, allowing you to decorate them however you would like. See this tutorial over at Sunday L Designs.

15-easy-and-fun-paper-crafts-using-patterned-papers

13. DIY Envelopes

Make your own envelopes out of pretty paper. They are really easy to do. Don't forget to make a matching card!

15-easy-and-fun-paper-crafts-using-patterned-papers

14. Decorative Clipboards

Make some pretty decorative clipboards and hang them around your office space…or anywhere you need one!

15. Paper Beads

You can make beautiful beads out of patterned papers. You can actually make these beads out of just about any type of paper including magazine pages, newspaper, wrapping paper, etc.

Make some paper beads from a map like in this tutorial over at Art with Kids.

16. Wreath

Did you know decorative papers make pretty wreaths? Over at DIY Showoff, I found the tutorial for this super cute paper leaves wreath. How cute is this? Think about the different color combinations and prints that you could use for this. The possibilities are endless!

Here's a super cute paper heart wreath I found over at North Texas Kids. What a cute kids' craft for Valentine's Day!

Rocking round robins

Rocking round robins

17. These Cute Birds

Looking for easy paper crafts that you can do with the kids? What about these little cuties? I found these over at Projects for Preschoolers. I know this is a craft for preschoolers, but I would love to make some of these myself!

18. Decorative Clothespins

Use pretty patterned papers or decorative paper to embellish ordinary clothespins and turn them into fridge magnets, card and photo holders, decorative clips for the kitchen, etc. Here is an embellished clothespin tutorial.

Another thing you can do is make an adorable clothespin wreath, like this one I found at Superfluous.

Tips for Printing Your Own Papers

For these projects, you can use papers purchased at stores