Paper, What is it Good for? Absolutely Everything!

Paper is complicated. Just like ink, paper is formulated to a specific end use. Whether the end use is newspaper, magazine, copy paper, business card, greeting card or paper crafting, the paper manufacturer knows the intention for how the product will be used and creates formulas to accommodate the different market needs. In this brief review of paper, we will explore the history and production of paper and how the different characteristics effect crafting and art.

History

2017_jan_mm_paper_essay-02

Paper was invented in China around 200 BC to replace a cumbersome practice of writing on bamboo sticks and silk. Cai Lun, an official of the Han Dynasty, invented the technique of pulping by experimenting with turning fibers from hemp, fishnets, and rags into a paste, then pressing this goopy matter into a sheet form to dry. This highly praised innovation quickly became the standard in China and soon spread around the world.

In the 13th century, Spain created a leap in production with the introduction of the hydraulic paper mill which replaced traditional manual pulping. This change resulted in a significant price drop and quicker availability.

Moving on into the Industrial Revolution, paper making became even faster which enabled paper to be made in longer sheets (or rolls) with half the drying time. This is important because paper crafting would not work if paper costs remained sky high!

2017_jan_mm_paper_essay-3

Talk about Steampunk!

Character

Let’s get to the fun part and talk about characteristics and use. There are two essential characteristics to consider. First, the color of the paper is predetermined. Any bleaching or dying happens while it is still a soup. That means the color of the paper is deep in the fibers. (Unless of course you are using a patterned paper, then the colors are applied after. Papers may also be coated afterwards, to make it glossy, say.) Second, the density of the paper is also determined by the pulp type, density and thickness. Paper weight is commonly labeled in pounds. Paper weight is important because it paints a picture of how dense the paper is, and how the ink will absorb into that density. If a project requires a lot of color layering then it is best to go with a heavier paper. Fun Fact: the ‘weight’ referred to is the measurement of 500 20×26 inch sheets.

paper

A rainbow of colors! Each fiber dyed to its core when the paper was made.

The following descriptions break down the weights of some commonly used papers:

Copy Paper (20lbs.) – Used for general printing. Thin and inexpensive. Thin density causes it to wrinkle and warp easily with most wetter inks and paints. It will have a bit of a translucent quality if the paper if held up to light.

Cardstock (80lbs.) – Stronger and yet easily creased—crafters perfect paper! Many inks can soak into paper without wrinkling and warping.

Watercolor (140lbs.) – Can be gotten quite wet without falling apart or warping. It is literally built to absorb water and pigment. Unlike most copy and cardstock papers which are made with wood pulps, watercolor paper can be made entirely out of cotton or linen pulps.

This is certainly not an complete overview of all the different papers available! Head to your local art store and peruse the paper section. There’s a lot of variety—all of it made with a specific use in mind! It’s a lot of fun to try out new papers and discover new techniques to add to your repertoire.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis-Nicolas_Robert
http://germanistik.uni-graz.at/de/
http://users.stlcc.edu/nfuller/paper/
http://www.paperhall.org/louis-nicolasrobert/

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Pocket It

by Linda Lucas

AIR 2015_LL_May_Pocket_Card_Money_Holder_main 1 wm

As soon as I heard the theme for this project was gift card holders, I immediately thought of a pocket card. Of course with my own little twist. It is the perfect way to be a little bit ‘sneaky’ with an unexpected gift…as you will see from my tutorial. ENJOY!

Share your creative gift ideas with us on Facebook or comment below!

Gift Envelope

by: Maureen Cronin

2015_MC_May_Money_Finalwm

Gift cards, money or homemade coupons, this is a great way to give them to your special person. It also doubles as a cute storage envelope for all of their monetary gifts. This is fun to make and easy to change the gift theme. Find this Clean-And-Simple ribbon gift envelope here!

Share your CAS gift ideas with us on Facebook or comment below! 

Pocket Full of Posies…and Money!

By Roni Johnson

roni floral collage

This little flower pot holds more than posies…pull up on the flowers and you’ve got a nifty little hiding spot for a gift card. I’ve included the template for the flower pot in the tutorial for easy assemblage!

Share your floral gift card holder with us on Facebook or comment below!

 

Simply Scrumptious Gift Card Holder

By Clare Horner

2015_May_CH_Theme_Main_watermarked

Some times it is just so much simpler to give that picky teenager a gift card than buy a gift. I never know what to buy my nieces mainly because they have everything twice over already! I decided to create a slider card and figured that I could hide a gift card within the mechanism. Simple and pretty, they key part being the simple for me! Learn how to make your own scrumptious gift card holder under our “MAKE” page!

Share your gift card ideas and other project tips and tricks with us on Facebook or comment below! 

“Color of Fall” Card

Color of Fall

One of our sales reps, Emily Cates, created this bright and festive fall card with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento inks and Impression Obsession dies and stamps.

Products used:

  • IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Inks in Morocco, Potter’s Clay, Peanut Brittle, Toffee Crunch, Rich Cocoa and Pistachio
  • Stamps: Impression Obsession
  • Impression Obsession Dies: Basket DIE039-T, Small Leaves DIE095-D, Grass Border DIE060-I, Sm. Grass Border DIE096-D, Banners DIE123-P, Bow DIE063-I