Crafting can be a pretty intensive hobby. Some people even have entire rooms of their houses dedicated to storing all of their various supplies. What’s amazing about paper crafting specifically is the simplicity. Think about it, it’s pretty easy to access a piece of paper. Then, once you have your hands on the raw materials, you’d be surprised by the amazing things you can create!
Paper crafts include a variety of hobbies such as origami, tissue paper flowers, scrapbooking, card making, decoupage, papier-mâché, paper cutting, quilling, bookbinding, and so much more. Basically, anything that lets you create with paper and in turn reap the benefits that come from the tactile sensation of manipulating it! Specific paper crafts still become trendy from time to time, even in our digital age (think adult coloring books and Cricut Machines). That’s because the benefits of paper crafting can’t be beat! Here are some examples of those…
Relax & Meditate
Take a break from all your devices, stop worrying about what the rest of the world is up to and take a breath! Paper crafts are actually proven to help with mindfulness. Take origami specifically, for example. Once you learn the folds by heart, this paper craft can actually become a form of focused attention meditation, which is a category of meditation that trains the mind on an object. This type of meditation has been shown to stabilize the mind and promote calmness.
Improve Your Mental Agility & Motor Skills
Studies have actually shown that crafting, like participating in most hands-on tasks, stimulates multiple areas of the brain at once and helps with the creation of new neural pathways. There’s a process involved in most paper crafts that requires some mental discipline and helps to promote decisive thinking. Going through the motions of following precise directions while participating in a hobby often leads to the associated mental skills carrying over into daily life. Paper crafting also helps to improve dexterity and hand-eye coordination, but in a way that won’t exhaust the mind or body. This makes paper crafting particularly helpful for the aging mind and body. In fact, according to a study published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry, playing games, reading books, and crafting could reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 50%.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
There are a lot of tasks we are supposed to complete on a regular basis, but very few of them result in a physical, tangible object. Being able to see and touch a task helps our wandering minds to focus until we’ve accomplished what we set out to do at the start. Once we’ve finished a craft project, we experience the same joy that we feel when achieving any goal. This feeling of completion, along with the mastery that can come from participating in the same hobby for an extended period of time, is sure to make you more confident in your abilities overall!
Get Creative & Express Yourself
Paper crafting is a great way to show others what you find aesthetically pleasing. It provides you with a wealth of opportunities to play with colors, shapes, and textures that you enjoy. It is also a great way to express your emotions. Feeling stressed? Try to relax through your favorite paper craft. Feeling blue? You might see a difference in what your crafts look like during a down period because you’re expressing yourself through the paper. Feeling grateful? Make a loved one a paper gift! There are often directions and rules in paper crafting, but the artistic side of this hobby encourages you to break those rules sometimes, and that can be an incredibly freeing thing to do!
Make & Strengthen Bonds
Paper crafts are a great activity to involve the whole family in, from the youngest member to the oldest. Alternatively, if you’re on the hunt for a new community to bond with, this hobby can also help with that. Crafting classes and groups are a great way for adults to make new friends. Once you're out of school and you’ve been at the same workplace for a number of years, or when you move and have to leave your old community behind, it can be hard to meet new people. Seeking out other paper crafters can lead you to a group of like-minded individuals and crafting together can help you form new bonds!
Reuse & Recycle!
Give old scraps a new life by using them in your paper crafts! In today’s society, we’re always looking for ways to extend the usefulness of our waste, and crafting is an excellent way to do that. If you’re a crafty person, you probably already save a lot of leftovers from past projects because you never know when they could become useful again. This is a great habit to have!
So, you can see why paper crafting isn’t just for kids! Although, there really is something kind of magical about turning a flat piece of paper into a 3D object. Why not bring back that sense of whimsy from your childhood years and escape in the paper?