Craft | Paper birds and tissue flowers bring nature indoors

When it comes to crafting with kids, I like to keep things simple. Most of us find it hard enough to actually sit down and make something together with our kids. No one wants to embark on a complicated or expensive project.

I strongly believe children’s craft projects should employ easy-to-find supplies and be completed within a reasonable time frame. If you subscribe to a similar crafting philosophy, I think you will enjoy Paper Scissors Glue: 45 fun and creative papercraft projects for kids aged 3-10 by Catherine Woram.

This user-friendly book is divided into four chapters: cutting, folding, printing& painting, and modeling. Each chapter is filled with several projects using these techniques. Most of the projects can be completed in just four steps. The instructions are easy to follow and accompanied by vibrant photographs of children completing each craft. Best of all, many of the required supplies are items you likely already have around your house.

The book also includes a helpful template section that really simplifies many of the projects. Although the book is largely geared toward younger kids, older children will enjoy learning about some of the more complicated craft techniques like decoupage.

In order to get a better feel for the book, my 4- and 6-year-old children selected a few projects to try for ourselves.

We are looking forward to trying other projects from the book, including a paper doll chain, stained-glass butterflies and pirate hats.

Paper Bird

We started with a paper bird project from the folding section. First, we copied the bird template in the back of the book (enlarged to 200 percent). We placed the cut-out bird on a piece of colored cardstock paper and traced the outline. Using scissors, we cut out the bird and inserted a slit where the wings would go. To create the wings, we chose a square piece of patterned wrapping paper (about 6 x 6 inches) and made concertina-style folds about 1/2-inch wide. To finish our birds, we inserted the folded paper into the slit and carefully opened the pleats in the paper. We added a simple black dot to create an “eye” on both sides of our birdie.

Tissue-paper blooms

Next, we tackled a project that required both cutting and modeling. Using tissue paper we had around the house, we created giant paper flowers. Begin by evenly lining up six sheets of tissue paper in front of you. Starting with the side closest to you, press the paper into 1-inch folds (like an accordian). Be sure to press each fold very flat. Find the exact center of the folded paper and secure that spot with a pipe cleaner. Trim the ends of the pipe cleaner with scissors. Tie one end of a decorative ribbon around the center to make your paper flower easier to hang once it is completed. Use scissors to make a curved petal shape at the end of each side of the folded paper. Carefully unfold the pleats of the tissue paper and shape them into the petals of a flower. These blooms would make lovely decorations for your next tea party.

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