At some point, it's bound to happen: You graduate from making garlands with rings of construction paper. The next logical step in crafting? These clip-art paper crafts, which call on the same skills -- cut, bend, glue -- but yield more sophisticated results.
For these projects, our crafts department called in the talents of Tokyo paper artist Keisuke Saka, whose charming Make City postcard kits let you build tiny 3-D versions of urban icons (Paris's Eiffel Tower, Tokyo's sushi).
Saka got hooked on paper crafting while living in Denmark in the late 1990s. "It's not really a Danish art, but my wife was teaching Japanese there, and I had a lot of free time to practice," he explains. "I'd always been interested in paper work, such as pop-up books, packaging, and sculpture -- all except origami, which I'm still very bad at."
Saka thought it might be fun to make a kit for his friends that would let them assemble a mini replica of a classic Borge Mogensen chair. Once he'd perfected the basic instructions (especially the "hill" and "valley" folds), he started designing the city kits, as well as projects for Kirin Beverage Co.
For our how-tos, Saka tips his hat to "typical holiday images like Santa, reindeer, and snowmen that are popular in Japan. But the elf -- that's new to me," he says.
For best results, cut out the clip art with small scissors or a craft knife, and score folds with a bone folder. Wrap anything you want to have a curve or a curl (such as the nutcracker's arms and legs) around a pen. Assemble without glue to check the shape, then dab on glue with a small paintbrush.
Open our PDF in Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro to print clip art. Clip art opened in any other program will print text over the art.
Small craft scissors, $15, and bone folder, $6; by Martha Stewart Crafts; michaels.com. Booklet envelopes, 7" by 10", in White, $4 for 25, jampaper.com. Epson Premium Presentation paper, in Matte, $16, staples.com. Aleene's Tacky Glue Quick Dry, $5 for 8 oz., createforless.com. Make City kits, $5 each, brooklyn5and10.com.