you probably have a lot of specialty papers lying around unused, unloved, uncut. "Oh, that's too pretty to cut!"
Specialty papers are most often found in the art section of big box craft stores or in fine art supply stores. They generally come in very large sheets on tilted paper racks, although some scrapbook paper companies produce them in 12" x 12" sizes or smaller.
One thing I've learned since I started papercrafting is that specialty papers stick around a LOT longer than the latest Basic Gray collection. Art paper suppliers are less given to trends. You can buy the same velvet paper I bought ten years ago today at Hobby Lobby. Rice papers are always around, too.
So instead of hoarding specialty papers, use them to make pleated ornaments for the holidays!
It's hard to tell from my stellar photograph (not), but this is red velvet paper. In real life, it looks fabulous and feels even better. I scored it on the back to pleat so I didn't damage the pile of the velvet.
Green ornaments on trees don't show up well unless they are light green or very glittery/shiny. This is what I call rice paper (not sure it that's the real name, though). It has interesting, slightly shimmery fibers in it.
Finally, we have some silver faux-leather paper, which adds texture and shimmer to the ornament.
There are plenty of online tutorials on making these beauties, but here are a few additional tips to help you out.
1. Use a glue gun. It holds the best of any glue I tried.
2. Score the folds, then punch the edges (I used Fiskar's Threading Water edge punch), THEN fold the paper.
3. I used strips that were roughly 21"-22" long and 2" wide, which gave me lots of pleats. But this isn't a souffle recipe. Vary as needed for your own purposes.
4. The snowflake is a Martha Stewart punch, and the scalloped circle is from Marvy.
5. You could use these as gift tags, too, but definitely tell people they are ornaments. You don't want these beauties ending up in the trash. Instead, make a whole set for someone as a gift. That was my plan before the Great House Sale of 2011. Now, I'll cut myself some slack and just wait until next year.
That must be the sanest decision I've made in the past two months.