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

Updated on August 12, 2016
Shapes made with paper punches
Shapes made with paper punches | Source

Craft Ideas For Your Patterned Papers and Cardstock

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

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 paper 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.

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Large rosettes decorationsPaper rosettes
Large rosettes decorations
Large rosettes decorations | Source
Paper rosettes
Paper rosettes | Source

2. Accordian Folded Rosettes

These cute paper flowers can be used 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 even make them larger like in this tutorial over at Broke A** Bride to use as:

  • photo backdrop
  • hanging decorations (just add a string)
  • piece them together to make a table runner or centerpiece
  • and tons more!

DIY Gift Boxes
DIY Gift Boxes | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gift bags from patterned paperSmall gift bags with matching tagsDIY Gift bags from scrapbook paperDIY Gift Sack
Gift bags from patterned paper
Gift bags from patterned paper | Source
Small gift bags with matching tags
Small gift bags with matching tags | Source
DIY Gift bags from scrapbook paper
DIY Gift bags from scrapbook paper | Source
DIY Gift Sack
DIY Gift Sack | Source

4. DIY Gift Bags

You can use decorative papers to make a 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 a thick wrapping paper or packaging paper to make larger gift bags.

Go to Gem's Cottage Blog for the free tutorial including template for the cute bags in the first photo. 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 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tooth Fairy Tin Covered can vases
Tooth Fairy Tin
Tooth Fairy Tin | Source
Covered can vases
Covered can vases | Source

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 like in this tutorial. You can also make cute matching tags and embellishments for your gifts!

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 | Source

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.

Decorative journal
Decorative journal | Source
Paper covered pencils
Paper covered pencils | Source

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 these 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 | Source

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 | Source

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.

For a detailed tutorial see my marble magnets tutorial.

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 a 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 Sundayl Designs.

13. DIY Envelopes

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

14. Decorative Clipboards

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

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Very pretty paper beadsPaper beads made from maps
Very pretty paper beads
Very pretty paper beads | Source
Paper beads made from maps
Paper beads made from maps | Source

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.

For a wonderful paper beads tutorial, go to mad mim.

Or make some paper beads from a map like in this tutorial over at Art with Kids

Click thumbnail to view full-size
#1 Paper leaves wreath#2  Paper loopsPaper hearts
#1 Paper leaves wreath
#1 Paper leaves wreath | Source
#2  Paper loops
#2 Paper loops | Source
Paper hearts
Paper hearts

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 | Source

17. These Cute Birds

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

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Embellished ClothespinsCute clothespin wreath
Embellished Clothespins
Embellished Clothespins | Source
Cute clothespin wreath
Cute clothespin wreath | Source

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 a 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 or you can use papers downloaded and printed from the internet. In case you are interested in the downloadable printable papers, I want to share some important tips about how to print and use them:

  • Inkjet ink is NOT waterproof so be sure to seal your printed papers with something like Mod Podge or do some light coats of a spray sealer. This will help protect your paper projects so they will not run or blur if water comes in contact with them.
  • I hear they have waterproof inkjet printer inks out now but I have never tried them.
  • Laser printer ink (black or color) will not run and is more economical to use. From what I understand, it can be used for different patterned papers but will not do as good of a job as inkjet printers for photos. It's worth a try, though. If you have one, I would love to hear experience with it!
  • For the best possible print, use a good quality paper or cardstock. The quality of the paper does affect the look of your finished print.
  • Print borderless when you can, the finished print out will look better and it's great for when you are making cards and things like that- less cutting. Some printers have the option and some do not.

That's about it....I hope that you have enjoyed these ideas!

Happy Paper crafting :)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      This is such a great hub especially for me who is always happy to find beautiful new ideas to create. I am bookmarking this and sharing. Thanks for taking the time to write this and your lovely photos. Voted up up and away.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      The paper loop wreath and the button flowers are cure, but my favorite of all is the fringe flowers. I've seen them before, but never in those paper patterns with the polka dots, etc. They really stand out with the twisted wires and a jar decorated to match. Oh yes, and the gift bows. A great way to use up paper, whether it's been printed on, gift wrap, or even newspaper. Just make some long paper strips/ribbons and use your bow maker to create a bow.

      You always have such great ideas! Voted you up and the works!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This looks like so much fun! I love the pinwheels and fringe flowers...but then I love the marble magnets and paper beads too. Thank you, I am going to start on at least on of these! Voted up!

    • Victoria 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for linking up my tutorial for your post! Great collection of crafts, too!

    • marthamuldoon profile image

      marthamuldoon 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      Cute projects! Many of these could also be done with reused paper - old books, magazines, newspaper, comics, wrapping paper.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Love love love the beads! It's a great way to recycle old magazines and it's amazing what colors one can find on the pages. Great hub and very inspiring! Gotta get my crafting hat on now.

    • sunbun143 profile image

      sunbun143 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I always learn so much from you! I've made paper bows, cards, envelopes, pinwheels, and flowers using your tutorials...next up - boxes and bags!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Well done as always, Jamie! I love your craft hubs. It is amazing how many different things you can make with decorative papers.

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Aww.. hugs to you carol7777! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the hub and thank you so much for sharing :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Au fait- Thank you, I'm so glad you like these! I really like those polka dot flowers too.. I actually have some "shredding scissors" and I want to use them sometime to make those type of flowers.. I think they would really make it easy. You mentioned the bows, I have seen them made out of magazine pages and all kinds of things. It's amazing all the things being done with paper nowadays. Thank you for dropping by and for the votes :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Jackie Lynnley- Thank you for dropping by :0 ) I want to try the pinwheels and fringe flowers too...if you are looking for a quick and easy one, the marble magnets are great.. I've made those a few times and they are such fun. Thank you so much for the vote up!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Victoria, you are so welcome! Thank you for stopping by :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      marthamuldoon- Absolutely! I am amazed at some of the things I've seen made with old magazines, newspapers and things like that. Thank you for dropping by :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Glimmer Twin Fan- Oh yes, I agree.. the first time I saw these type beads they were made using magazine pages and they really were pretty... Loved them! Thank you so much for dropping by :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      sunny- Aww... hugs to you! Thank you so much... I love hearing that you've learned from my hubs.. I'm always hoping I can be helpful or inspire people to make something. Your continued encouragement definitely helps me to keep going.. Thank you! P.S. Have fun with the boxes and bags :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      randomcreative- Thank you, I was quite surprised too! I mean, I know there was a lot but geez.. It's mind boggling what you can do with pretty paper these days :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Such cute stuff and such--love these ideas! The pinwheels are darlings. Combined with the paper flower bouquets they would be delightful outdoor party arrangements. I'm also inclined to add the birds to the paper leaf wreaths. However, making a mobile out of the birds (leaves too, now that I think about it) is very appealing at the moment.

    • Anjo Bacarisas II profile image

      Anjo Bacarisas II 4 years ago from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

      Impressive, arts made easy. This hub contains very helpful information. Thank you.

    • Patty Gorka 4 years ago

      Thank you for letting me know that you linked my matching journal and pen, that was so nice of you. Feel free to link any of my tutorials. I'm so happy to share them. I love the pinwheels, rosettes, and paper wreath you posted, such wonderful projects.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      These are some FANTASTIC ideas! I have a huge box of various art papers and I was just wondering what I could do with them. Love this...voting up and pinning!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      RTalloni- Oh yes, I think a mobile with leaves and birds sounds darling.. I'm actually currently working on another hub that I will be publishing soon that has a paper butterfly mobile/chandelier in it... and it's beautiful! I love the pinwheels too.. my 4 year old son is currently into anything that spins and he loves pinwheels though he calls them windmills :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Patty, you are some welcome.. I LOVE that journal and pen.. it's gorgeous! I will definitely be back to feature some of your amazing crafts! Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by and I'm so happy that you enjoyed the hub. It is truly amazing what people are doing with paper these days!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      TToombs08- Wow, thank you so much! I am happy that I could give a few ideas about what to do with your box of art papers! Have fun with it and thank you for the vote up and pin!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      My pleasure, Jamie! Thank you for writing such a creative and useful hub. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      All such pretty ideas, love the paper birds. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      teaches- You are welcome.. thank you :)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      You are just as creative as you can be. I wish I had found this a few weeks earlier. I was teaching a fun art class in summer school. The kids would have loved this. Up and awesome.

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      KoffeeKlatch- Aww.. thanks! What a compliment :) Wow, I bet teaching that class was lots of fun and I bet the kids had a blast too. Thank you so much for dropping by and for the votes. Enjoy the rest of the summer :)

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 4 years ago from Florida

      Love the bow and wrapping ideas!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      danielleantosz- Thank you for stopping by, glad that you like them!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Anjo Bacarisas II- You are welcome! Thank you for stopping by :)

    • Vicki Smith 4 years ago

      Thanks for adding my paper map beads to your roundup! They are fun and addictive.

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Vickie Smith- You are welcome! Thank you for sharing them on your blog.. they are super cute. Thank you for stopping by as well. Hope you are having a great day!

    • partycraft secrets 4 years ago

      thanks for selecting my paper birds for your round up - my preschoolers adn I had a great time making them; and I'm sure you all will too! x

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      partycraft secrets- You are so welcome and thank you for sharing them first on your blog :) I can't wait to sit down with my little one to make them!

    • sahbam16 profile image

      sahbam16 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Absolutely brilliant love it!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      sahbam16- Wow, thanks.. and thank you for dropping by :)

    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 4 years ago from united states

      thank you for all the crafty ideas in this hub! i especially like the idea about making gift bags with cereal boxes...i wonder if something like this could be arranged with the big cereal bags (the ones without boxes) as well...i might have to give it a try! blessings

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      tiffany delite- What a great idea.. I bet something really could be made with those large cereal bags.. I haven't even thought about those. Maybe cut the top off a few inches down and figure out a way to add some handles... I bet it could work! Will be thinking about that one for sure.. Thank you so much for dropping by!

    • Della Read 3 years ago

      This is great! I've shared over on my blog, Artful Paper Crafts at http://artfulpapercrafts.wordpress.com/as I continue my obsession with paper scraps! :)

    • Della Read 3 years ago

      This is wonderful Jamie. I've posted it on my blog Artful Paper Crafts over at http://artfulpapercrafts.wordpress.com/ as I continue my obsession with paper scraps!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 2 years ago from Texas

      Della Read- Thank you for sharing this!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 2 years ago from Texas

      Della Read- Thank you so much! I really appreciate that :)

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 2 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      What brilliant ideas for things to do with paper. I'm going to try some of these, especially the gift bags.

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 2 years ago from Texas

      Stazjia- Thank you so much.. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub :)

    • Diana Abrahamson profile image

      Diana Abrahamson 21 months ago from t Francis Bay

      Love your paper craft. The birds are beautiful!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 15 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Pretty cool and just pretty awesome, Jamie. Love it all!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 13 months ago from Texas

      Kristen Howe- Thank you!!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 13 months ago from Texas

      Diana Abrahamson- Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • Designitbig profile image

      Victoria Stephens 11 months ago from Cornwall, UK

      I love the idea of making the matching pen to go with the journal. I wouldn't have ever thought of doing that. Thanks for sharing some great tips.

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 9 months ago from Texas

      Designitbig- You are so welcome! Thank you for dropping by.

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