When it comes to crafting with kids, there’s one magical material that always comes through: paper. Whether it’s construction paper, computer paper, or yesterday’s newspaper, your art supply drawer isn’t complete without this particular DIY ingredient. That’s why we’ve gathered up 19 crafts that spotlight paper in a big way, from cootie catchers to garlands to festive hats. Check ’em out below!
1. Educate your preschoolers with this Dragon D craft. Designed by Allison at notimeforflahshcards.com, it’s as simple as A-B-C-D to make!
photo: Fireflies & Mudpies
2. Giant Paper Airplane
We love this jumbo-sized paper airplane the crafty mom behind Fireflies & Mudpies made for only $1! Have the kids decorate the wings before heading outside for an afternoon of flight lessons. See these fierce flyers in action, and learn to make your own here.
3. Simple Apple Tree
This craft involves a little bit of twist and a little bit of curl. And remember there are many fruits out there that you can jazz the branches up with. Maybe add a bird or a squirrel or two! Check out Creative Jewish Mom for the full low down on how to twist, curl, and create this fun paper bag craft.
Photo: First Palette
4. Medieval Crown Craft
This craft from First Palette is fit for the pint-sized royalty in your life. With construction paper, crepe paper, and as much sequin bling as you can find, you’ll have a new addition for the dress-up bin. Head here for the full instructions.
Photo: Mer Mag
5. Paper Doll Chain Ballerinas
Paper doll chains are a pretty classic paper craft and we think this one from Mer Mag has a particularly irresistible charm. It’s perfect for your aspiring prima ballerina’s room decor or next birthday party. Learn more here.
photo: Christal Yuen
6. Mess-Free Glitter Sticker Pad
Melissa and Doug have a slew of paper crafts that anyone can do, but it’s their Mess-Free Glitter crafts that really takes art projects to the next level. Choose between 3D foam stickers for a ballerina, an adventure backdrop and more. All your crafty tot needs to do is take their glitter sheets and apply to the adhesive surfaces. The glitter peels off the sheets cleanly without a single misplaced speck. Scrape the glitter sheet’s surface with a coin to get an extra clean peel. Available at MelissaandDoug.com, $4.99 and up.
Photo: Handmade Charlotte
7. Animal Masks
Props to Handmade Charlotte, who came up with this super cute and easy idea for critter-inspired masks. All you need is repurposed paper bags, sharpies, and some imagination to get a house full of wild animals. Click here for all the inspiration you need.
Photo: A Subtle Revelry
8. Bright Cat Garland
This one goes out to all the itty bitty kitty lovers out there. Thanks to A Subtle Revelry, you can whip up a DIY garland that’s totally cat-tastic. The shapes and gluing are pretty simple and you can customize colors and whiskers too. Find the how-to here.
Photo: Buggy & Buddy
9. Crumpled Paper Art
Are you diggin the tie dye effect of this art from Buggy & Buddy? This activity is all about cheery watercolor and the perfection of imperfection. Get all the info you need here.
Photo: Babble Dabble Do
10. Homemade Harvest Herb Paper
Okay, so this craft is less crafting-with-paper and more make-your-own-paper. It’s an educational combo of art, science, and design and a great way to teach the littles about where paper comes from. Head here for step-by-step instructions for all kinds of homemade paper.
Photo: Cutting Tiny Bites
11. Dinosaur Hat
Here’s something to roar about: an ultra-easy dinosaur hat from Cutting Tiny Bites. Great when you need a quick prop for pretend play or a special accessory for that dinosaur party. Learn more here.
Photo: Naturally Educational
12. Paper Mâché Hot Air Balloon
What’s a paper craft roundup without some paper mâché? This activity may need a bit more effort and time but we think the creative result is worth it. Click here for instructions.
Photo: Babble Dabble Do
13. Paper Houses
Your budding architects will get a kick out of creating their own paper town. After some adult prep (for the x-acto knife steps), this turns into a paper coloring and gluing activity that’s sure to entertain for an afternoon. Snag the free house template here.
Photo: The Journals of Giddy Giddy
14. Paper Glasses
This idea from The Journals of Giddy Giddy will have the kiddos excited to get bespectacled. Just craft up your own silly, glamorous, and colorful glasses for a playful good time. Find out more here.
Photo: Easy Peasy and Fun
15. Shark Cootie Catcher
You know those cootie catchers you couldn’t get enough of when you were a kid? They’ve gotten a shark twist from Easy Peasy and Fun. Get the kids prepped for beginning origami and then get the template and instructions here.
Photo: Confetti Sunshine
16. Printable Shadow Puppets
Cardstock + straws + glue = some of the cutest shadow puppets you’ve ever seen. If the littles aren’t scissors savvy yet, you can handle that part and then pass the puppets off for coloring. Score the downloadable free printable here.
17. Newspaper Sun Hats
Your teatime will be extra stylish with a DIY newspaper hat. This is a great way to use up old newspapers–and your little miss can go wild with whatever flowery, feathery toppers she wants. Find out more here.
Photo: Create in the Chaos
18. Dragon Marionette Puppet
This idea from Create in the Chaos is one of those deceptively easy crafts. It only needs a few materials, there’s a free printable involved, and we’re willing to bet that your kid will be glad to color away. Get everything you need here.
Photo: Babble Dabble Do
19. Kirigami Water Blossoms
This idea from Babble Dabble Do is one part science lesson, one part paper project, and totally amazing. It involves paper flowers that expand in water–mimicking the real-life natural phenomenon. Click here for the full instructions.
Which paper craft are you excited to try? Share with us in the comment section below!