Posted by: Sally Ingraham | December 14, 2011

Playing With Paper (and pumpkins)

Tonight while dining out with some friends, I found myself doing something I have done since I was a little kid. Almost without thinking about it, my fingers started fiddling with the paper napkin ring that was lying on the table, and after a minute or two a tiny paper crane flapped out of my hand. Yes, I am that girl – the one who leaves random bits of folded paper on tables for the busboy/girl to clean up. Maybe they bring a moment of pleasure to whoever finds them and find their way into someone’s pocket – or maybe they land in the trash. I don’t know. I just like to make them.

I love to play with paper. When my local library puts out a new paper crafts book – especially one that includes paper folding – I squeal. Usually out loud, to the dismay of nearby patrons. (You may remember my glee in February over Trash Origami!) Recently it has not been books that have gotten me worked up over paper, but blogs. I keep finding the coolest paper crafts on blogs I stumble across.

For instance:

3D Paper Ball

I'm always soooooo excited when these things actually pop together!

On Jessica Jones’ fabulous blog How About Orange I found her instructions for a 3D paper ball. I’ve only cracked the surface of possibilities with my first try (shown above), using plain old printer paper – but I have in mind a pile of 3D balls made from the pages of a picture book that is falling apart. Should be brilliant.

Fellow book blogger Bellezza of Dolce Bellezza recently wrote about her Christmas tradition of folding a new origami ornament every year. After myself and a few others asked for the directions she had used to make this year’s ornament, she obliged us. I was filled with Christmasy joy when this little 5-pointed star came together with such lovely results.

5-pointed star

Briggs wasn't really impressed with his new toy...

Finally, just tonight my geekery reached devilishly delightful new heights. Having taken knife to pumpkin in October in pursuit of the ultimate geeky jack o’lantern, it seemed only logical to take knife to paper in December in pursuit of the ultimate geeky snowflake! Between Anthony Herrera, Matters of Grey, and my little Gerber knife I produced these beauties.


Yoda, o'course

storm trooper

I always imagine that Storm Troopers are handsome blokes under those helmets.


C-3PO, looking especially adorable

Ah yes, now the festive spirit of the holidays is decking my halls – and windows. Once the tip of my middle finger regains some feeling (having gone numb from pressing my knife through layers of paper), I’ll have at it again and make a few more snowflakes. Might design some Doctor Who related ones. Speaking of which, since I apparently never posted a picture of my jack o’lantern circa 2011, here it is:


The Cyberman, feared throughout the universe

It’s the little things in life that make me happy. Like Cyberman o’lanterns and snowflakes from a galaxy far, far away. And paper – lots and lots of paper.


  1. wow, love the geeky snowflakes! and fantastic job on that pumpkin! very fun.

    • Thanks! I’ve been indulging my geekiness quite a bit this year. These were fun projects – but the real kicker is a Christmas present I made for my Doctor Who-loving little sister! I might provide a sampling from it after the holidays… 🙂

  2. Oh I love your Star Wars snowflakes! How fun (and geeky!) 🙂

    • Thanks! My finger is still numb from all the cutting, but I really do hope to make a couple more of them soon.

  3. “Devilishly delightful new heights” I love this expression.
    I like your knife to paper projects a lot. You are very skilled. I would only be able to cut out full moons I’m afraid.

    • My success is really owed to the fabulous patterns I find – there are such talented folks out there with the time and inclination to make such things! And I must have gotten some good genes from my Grandfather, a wooden sign carver, which explains why a knife feels kind of natural in my hands. As for the devilish delight, that is pure me – I must admit that I cackled a bit as I unfolded each snowflake!

    • Oh, and also: Thanks Caroline for your kind words! 🙂

  4. Those are so cool. And I’d love to see your Dr Who project.

    • I’ll certainly post about it if I ever get round to accomplishing it!

  5. Your star is perfect! I hope your kitty is as thrilled with it as I am!

    • Thanks Bellezza. It’s a design I will use again in the future, so once again thanks for sharing it!

  6. […] time making my presents and avoiding packing or organizing or planning for my coming move by doing craft projects. A natural multi-task was to rack up a collection of less-than-usual Christmas movies. I […]

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