“Paper Iris Glasses” by Instructables user art.makes.

So long, October!

Onward, now, into the eleventh month of our 2012 “Year of Materials” with a focus on paper. “Paper,” for those of you twelve and under, is a generally inexpensive, flexible, thin, sheet-like material made by pressing together moist fibers—commonly derived from plants—and allowing them to dry. “Plants” are living organisms, commonly green in color, with cellulose-containing cell walls, obtaining most of their energy through photosynth…

OK, OK, that’s going overboard.  The paperless office may have arrived, for some of us, but the paperless childhood, I am happy to say, has not. And anyway, the things other than office- and school-work that can be done with paper are truly and profoundly amazing. We’re looking forward to sharing them with you.

As always, if you have suggestions for interesting content you’d like to see covered under this theme, please do let us know, below.


Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • susan

    content suggestions: (1) pop-up book/card design that helps teach kids engineering, kinetics, etc., (2) how to make your own paper with local natural materials (DIY post-apocalyptic paper-making), (3) what makes paper archival … or how long will it last.

    • http://theresafireinmyheart.wordpress.com rjrugroden

      Great ideas! I second these suggestions. :D
      Also, Origami. And not just the paper cranes or Japanese artists (who are amazing). There are tons of amazing American designed things out there, too.

  • Righteous Fondue

    Tacome1942 and his cardboard/paper gun replicas deserve a mention. Their legality might be a bit questionable (Homemade firearms are legal, but distribution and IIRC instructions on how to make them aren’t.) http://www.youtube.com/user/Tacome1942/videos
    The technique he uses to harden paper is also very interesting.

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  • http://cargocollective.com/jaminhoyle Jamin Hoyle

    I got it done before November, but here’s my Halloween costume, made almost entirely from paper – bristol, chip board, matboard and corrugated cardboard. The only non-paper is a wooden dowel, brass hinges, magnets, some small brass tubing, an LED and plumber’s hemp. But that’s just how it’s made. The fun part is that it’s a wearable, functional, illustrated ghost story set in a haunted Scottish castle. It’s part magic puppet show, part automaton, part scary dollhouse.Took six months to plan and six months to build. Enjoy!


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