papercraftsKENTUCKY (2/11/14) — Millions of cards are exchanged each Valentine's Day, which, according to the Greeting Card Association, is the second most popular holiday to exchange cards, trailing only Christmas.

While thousands of greeting cards perfectly express personal sentiments, many individuals still prefer to craft their own personalized valentines. Papercrafting creates something unique and worthy of saving. An art form in which paper is used to create three-dimensional objects, such as models or sculptures, papercrafting's most widely known manifestation is origami, in which paper is folded and manipulated into various forms. Papercraft also can be used to make pop-up cards and other elaborate creations.

Papercrafting can be enjoyable and challenging and generally requires a good eye for design. But computer software programs and templates exist to make papercrafting a more viable option for those without a flare for design.

One of the advantages to papercrafting is it tends to be inexpensive. All a person needs is paper, a creative idea, a cutting tool, and an adhesive. Various projects can be created to make heart sculptures, homemade paper gift boxes, cupids, cards, and three-dimensional flowers ideal for Valentine's Day. Web sites like pepakuracorner.blogspot.com, www.papercraftsquare.com or kelleighratzlaff.com are great resources for prospective papercrafters.

Craft stores such as Michaels, A.C. Moore and Hobby Lobby also may offer tutorials on how to design and build various papercrafts. Visit a local store and inquire about classes. Such stores also may have books on papercrafting that often come with templates to help beginners get started. Books worth investigating include "Paper + Craft: 25 Charming Gifts, Accents, and Accessories to Make from Paper," by Minhee and Truman Cho; "Paper Made!: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper," by Kayte Terry; and "Decorating with Papercraft: 25 Fresh and Eco-Friendly Projects for the Home," by Clare Youngs.

Papercrafting allows men, women and children to put personal touches on crafty Valentine's Day projects.

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