FREE Paper Slinky Tutorial

FREE Paper Slinky Tutorial

The Sunday Paper #217

July 15, 2018
Thanks to everyone who entered the June Twelve Months of Paper Giveaway featuring Arnold Grummer’s Papermill Pro Kit! And the winner is … Jane Wherry. Congratulations!

Paper of the Week: How to Make a Paper Slinky!

I love all sorts of paper techniques, from surface design to cutting, folding and the myriad forms of manipulation. Here’s an old technique that I’m calling a Paper Slinky. I think I first saw it in Pauline Johnson’s book Creating with Paper. Two variations are also included in my own book Playing with Paper. How have you used this technique?

I mention a few resources in the video tutorial:

If you create a paper slinky, send me a photo! And feel free to share this blog post with your paper-loving friends (there’s a share button at the bottom of the page).


In the Studio:

After being gone for two weeks, I’ve been catching up and packing kits to ship out to the participants in my Paper Illuminated online class. So instead of a studio photo, I’ll share this image with you from the current issue of Dwell magazine, which I picked up at the San Diego airport. What are the chances that I would pick up a magazine with paper shoes in it?!

Papery Tidbits:

For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, here are two workshops that are taking place next weekend that are not to miss!


Check out these miniature folded paper pieces by Oorjitha Dogiparthi, a self-taught origami, paper artist from Chennai. Most of her paper subjects relate to her area of study: food chemistry and food processing,

This is a cute video of two young boys unpacking The Necronomicon Pop Up book, which contains five pop up spreads each of which illustrates key moments in seminal H.P. Lovecraft stories. Grab a copy of the book here.

So… this isn’t exactly paper, but the article is about how we might be misinterpreting the meaning of the letters we send to friends and loved ones – don’t you think of paper as integral to a letter? Think again!

Raymond Boudet, stationed in Hawaii with the Navy during World War II, sent this coconut to his wife in Springfield, Mass. He wired a postage tag to it and carved a love letter into the hard exterior of the fruit. Boudet’s wife Marie donated the coconut to the National Postal Museum in 1995. (Image courtesy National Postal Museum)

How did the paper bag come to be? Here’s an interesting story from Smithsonian Magazine about Margaret Knight, who came up with a replacement for folding paper bags by hand—the inefficient and error-prone task she was charged with. Not only did Knight file for a patent, she rigorously defended her ownership of the bag machine idea in a legal battle with a fraud who had copied her, and this all took place in the late 1800’s!

Patent model for paper bag machine (National Museum of American History)

Speaking of automated paper folding, this is a fascinating article about scientists who are using gelatin to produce laser-written circuits on paper for all sorts of applications.


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  1. Hi, Helen,
    I’ve been enjoying your Sunday paper immensely. The beautiful images and artistry of paper artists, the international flavor of your findings, and the wide variety of resources of all kinds are eye-opening, informative, enjoyable, and inspiring. Thank you!
    I would like to suggest that you mention the wonderful company Mulberry Papers and More, in Parker, Colorado, if you get a chance. In this day of so many paper companies closing, they have actually just expanded and moved to a bigger warehouse. Their online paper offerings are extensive, and I find their website better than most. When I was in Colorado, the owners were so warm and welcoming, allowing me to tour their warehouse, even though they aren’t really a brick and mortar shop. I encourage you to visit them sometime, when you can! Contact Jennifer.
    No, I don’t have any connection with this company other than being a happy customer! Just a suggestion.

  2. Helen says:

    Helen, I have featured Mulberry Papers & More in the past, and I purchase from them from time to time! I was just there in May (in their old space) and they told me about the new space, which I read this past week that they got into. Thanks for the suggestion! – Helen

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