Paper

Published on February 13th, 2008 | by Autumn Wiggins

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Happiness is Recycling Folded Paper

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Origami SackLet me guess, you have a ream of 100% recycled, Rain Forest Alliance Certified paper conveniently stacked next to the printer. You earn additional eco-brownie points for printing on both sides of each sheet. Good for you! Now, don’t take off running for the recycle bin. Your humble memo may be destined for a higher purpose before meeting it’s maker.

We are all familiar with tiny paper cranes and jumping frogs in the world of origami.These popular characters often require a specialized paper that is thin and square. However, if you think outside the box, then you can make a box, along with many other useful items.

The following video shows you how to create an amazing flower shaped CD holder by tracing around the disc. You will need something a bit bigger than copy paper. Expired wall calenders or old posters might enjoy this fate. These materials would even be good for making super-sized versions of the 8.5″x 11″ sheet projects linked below.

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Make a heart, postcard case, envelope, or sack from printer paper at Origami Club
– I quickly whipped up both the postcard case and sack (pictured at top). They are completely easy and adorable! Try following the first few steps of the diagram before folding along with the animation. I might also note that I lazily grabbed the first scrap sheet I saw for the sack, which was a copy of a tax form. Documents with sensitive personal information should not be used for origami, unless your accountant has an artistic side.

How Turn a Piece of Paper into a Bowl at Tricklife – For this one, be ready to pause and rewind at a few steps so you can catch up. The little side handles lend a nice basket-like appearance.
Origami CD Envelope
– Kiss those plastic jewel cases goodbye. This is cute, sturdy, and unlike other tutorials that I found, doesn’t need glue or tape. Enjoy!
A Folded Paper Box in 8 Steps – From two pieces of paper you can make a 4″x5″ gift box that is 2″ deep. It utilizes the size of the paper well, while being very quick and easy.
Recycle your Paper and MAKE BOXES! at Etsy Labs – Yet another wee box! This one requires a bit of cutting, but the results are very clean lines. Make 2 for a square gift box.

My name is Autumn, and I’m a vigilante eco-craft ninja, here to DIY your socks off while saving the planet.

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About the Author

This 2008 interview pretty much sums it up: 1. How would you describe yourself? An oddly situated performer of thought experiments 2. Do you have any anecdotes about your work (how you got started, frustrating moments, or funny stories)? At this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, I gave a presentation on how the trend of green crafting can ultimately address the problem of consumption and waste. Dale Dougherty,the publisher of Make and Craft, later had a gift delivered to me, a staple bound book of poetry: Music Like Dirt by Frank Bidart. This is the last thing one would expect to take home from an event so focused on renegade technology. To my surprise, it was an existential reflection on the human need to make things that I now find myself going back to whenever I need some inspiration to look beyond the materials and processes of crafting. 3. What kinds of things do you do for fun? In my spare time I enjoy amateur astronomy, outdoor adventures, collecting domain names, and hanging out at coffee shops. 4. What interesting projects are you working on right now? I'm working to organize community involvement in upcycling, and have a few top-secret website projects up my sleeves! 5. Where do you live? Kids, pets, spouse, occupation? O'Fallon, IL, a suburb (and I mean a totally typical suburb) of St. Louis, MO. Rather than moving to the more culture friendly urban environment, I am staying put and annoying the heck out of Wal-Mart by throwing a massive indie craft show(Strange Folk) in their backyard. I have a husband, Doug, and two sons: a 7 year old mad scientist named Jack, and 6 year old Max, who we think is an aspiring tattoo artist since he's so fond of drawing all over himself with markers. To pay the bills, I do freelance writing, mural painting, and website design, sell my handmade crafts, teach art classes for kids, and work part -time at a local coffee shop. 6. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently? The concept known as "Cradle-to-Cradle" is a blueprint for sustainability that states everything we manufacture should be either biodegrable, infinitely recyclable, or intended to be upcycled. This is the basis for many of my ideas of how the crafting community can be more widely involved in solving the environmental crisis. 7. What is your favorite food/color/tool? granola/green/sewing machine!



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