Suzu Papers Blog

Handicrafts with paper - My tips & material recommendations

by Susanne Meixner on April 06, 2019

Hi everyone,

Just recently we have launched our first digital DIY template HAPPY as a print-out manual to self-crafting a birthday explosion box! We have been working on this template for a long time and we are really looking forward to your first feedback, so make sure you check out the template in our shop 😊.

DIY template - birthday box "Happy

If you are currently working on your own handicraft project with paper or if you have already downloaded one of our DIY explosion box templates, then continue reading to get my most important tips for improving your own handicraft with paper. In order to achieve the best possible result and make your explosion boxes a real eye-catcher, I have summarized my material recommendations below:

1. Selecting the right paper
If you want to create an explosion box with our template or work on any other print-out paper project, the choice of your printer paper is very important for the final result since the box consists 100% of paper 😉. The higher the quality and thickness of your paper, the better. I recommend to not use paper under 200 gram, otherwise the stability of the explosion box will suffer. Please check in your printer specifications which paper thickness your printer can handle before you purchase our DIY template or any printer paper! I found that there are quite big gaps between home printers. If your printer specification allows it, I recommend to use 250g paper. Here you find a link to suitable paper with 250g* and 200g* from papyrus. Both papers can be ordered via Amazon and have not caused any problems with my multifunction printers (tested with Canon Maxify and Epson Workforce). With paper over 200g thick, I've found that automatic double-sided printing is more likely to cause paper jams. If you switch to manual double-sided printing and re-load the paper itself, this problem is less likely to occur.

2. Selecting the right adhesive
When it comes to selecting the right adhesive, I would like to warmly recommend two products: double-sided adhesive tape and paper specific adhesive. Why? Because double-sided adhesive tape provides strong adhesive strength without any drying time. For our DIY birthday template "Happy", I would only use liquid glue to glue the cake, the balloons and the rosette on the lid and otherwise use double-sided adhesive tape. In addition to the waiting time, liquid adhesive has the disadvantage that unpleasant waves often form when paper is glued. If you should use liquid paper glue anyway, using less in terms of volume is often more. If you have a good adhesive, even small quantities are sufficient for a good bonding result. From my own experience, I can recommend the paper glue and the double-sided tape from the company Rayher (available in our shop).
Adhesive materials - handicrafts with paper
I use these glues myself for handicrafts and I am very satisfied. In my opinion, the double-sided tape is most practical in two widths: 3mm * and 6 mm. I use the 6 mm tape to glue larger areas or for the lid flaps. The adhesive tape is also available in 9 mm or 12 mm width. But I think 6 mm is quite sufficient and you can save some money here. The thin adhesive tape is particularly suitable for narrow gluing, e.g. for gluing the side pocket. In the beginning I had some problems to remove the protective layer of the tape. If you feel the same way, take a pointed tweezers* to help, then it's easy and practice makes perfect 🙂. If you use liquid glue, watch the drying time before you continue working with the paper elements of your project. To make my products perfect, I always weigh down glued elements with an object until they are completely dry. By doing so, the molds slip less during gluing and they close better. Another adhesive I often use to make my paper works look alive are 3D adhesive pads*. The plates are already cut to size and adhesive on both sides. I use them to highlight individual elements or to create a spatial effect.
Adhesive materials Double-sided tape
3. Creating a professional crease line (folding line)
It's very simple: place the ruler on the line you want to fold and trace the line slightly with a cutter knife. I like it best to use a metal ruler* because it's robust and can't be damaged if you cut yourself with the cutter. In addition, there are special craft knives with narrow tips, which are very suitable for crafting and allow precise work (available in our shop).
Drawing a folding line with a precision craft cutter
In my opinion, a normal cutter that you probably already have at home is sufficient for the beginning though. It is best to take a piece of paper and practice a few crease lines before you start on the template. If you press it too hard, you cut the paper through or the paper breaks when you bend it afterwards. If you press too weakly, you will not be able to make a proper crease line. A few test runs should be enough to get the hang of it and the result will look like this:
Folding line
The advantage of this technique is that you get a very straight crease line which makes your overall paper work look more professional. Since many people already have a cutter at home, it is an easy way to pimp up your handicraft. Therefore, I recommend this technique also in our template manual. A small disadvantage of folding with printer paper is that a narrow white stripe becomes visible when folding. If that bothers you, I suggest you take a look at this embossing pen* instead of using a cutter. This is available at a very reasonable price in stores and the principle is the same: simply place the ruler on the line to be bent and tighten it with the embossing pen. Here you can also press a little harder and don't be afraid to damage the paper. There are even handicraft knife with exchangeable tip*where an embossing attachment is contained. Here you have both in one and can try out both options and decide for yourself what you can work with best 🙂. Another folding and buckling aid to obtain a clean edge is a folding stick* which I also use to smooth out.

Handicraft materials for paper crafting

4. Last but not least: Cutting paper elements
To cut out your paper elements you can simply use a pair of scissors that you already have at home. For cutting straight lines, you can also simply use your cutter and ruler that you normally use to draw your crease lines. Just place a cutting mat underneath and fix it a little tighter. What makes cutting smaller elements and curved lines easier is a precision scissor (available in our shop). The tool is more delicate and leads to more beautiful cutting results when working on smaller elements. Now it's time for my last recommendation for today: If you want to save some time and you often tinker with paper, it might be worth considering buying a cutting board.
Cutting material for paper craft projects
I love, for example, my Cutting board from the company Fiskars (small* | big time). It has a practical wire on the cutter so you can always see exactly where your paper is being cut. It also an expandable fold-out function if you want to process larger sheets of paper. In addition, it comes with an integrated folding device. Here you can replace your cutting blade with a folding blade in just one easy step. However, you have to buy the folding blade extra and the fold line will be a bit wider than if you work with an embossing pen (stylus) or cutter. If you often do handicrafts and like to work on larger paper design such as greeting cards yourself, then I would recommend to take a look at the cutting board. Otherwise I believe this investment might probably be less worthwhile for you.
Fiskars paper cutting machine - Fiskars' paper cutting board Fiskars Folding and Cutting Board + Folding Attachment - Fiskars' paper cutting board

Now you should be perfectly equipped to continue with your own handicrafts with paper. Do you also have any special tools that you like to work with or have any other recommendations I haven't listed? Then feel free to leave me a comment below. It would be great to see what your additional tips are and discuss them with you. If you have tried one of our explosion box templates, I would be happy to see your final results. Just link us and share them on Instagram #suzupapersDIY. I'm looking forward to see your photos!

See you soon! Your

The IDEE Creativmarkt and Rayher Hobbymarkt are great online stores for craft supplies. Here you will find all the necessary material for your DIY projects: handicrafts, knitting, sewing or jewelry making - there is something for everyone here! Take a look at the following links *:

The links marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called commission links. If you click on a link and make a purchase through this link, Suzu Papers will get a commission from your purchase. The price does not change for you as a consumer. [Source:]

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