What are Paper Crimpers?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

You may have noticed paper craft projects which integrate textured paper with a variety of patterns. Textured papers can be purchased in bulk, but crafters can also create textured paper with the assistance of paper crimpers. Paper crimpers act like a punch, with a raised mold which leaves an embossed pattern on the paper. Many craft supply stores sell paper crimpers with an assortment of available patterns, or blocks which can be switched out to create different patterns.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Paper crafts are extraordinarily varied, and limited only by the imagination of the crafter. Scrapbooking, paper collage, and three dimensional paper art all benefit from varied colors and textures of paper. Keeping an extensive library of textured papers may not always be practical, since crushing the paper may distort or damage the pattern. Paper crimpers allow you to crimp paper, foil, and some other crafting materials such as light plastic on an as-needed basis. This allows you to store paper much more efficiently, since you do not need to worry about crushing delicate patterns.

The most basic paper crimper looks like a set of rollers which you feed paper through. As the paper passes through the rollers, the design is embossed into it. In a paper crimper which allows you to change the pattern, the rollers can be removed, allowing you to put different ones in. Others are designed to produce one pattern only. Roll-through paper crimpers are limited, however, as the width of the paper crimpers determines the width of the patterned paper you produce. They are usually safe to use for young children with adult supervision, making them a good choice for a children's craft activity area.

Paper crimpers can also be produced in the shape of flat presses. This type of paper crimper can range in size from very small, able to produce only a minimal pattern area, to very large. Interchangeable pads can also be used in these paper crimpers to produce different patterns. They tend to take up more space in the work room, but you may be able to crimp much larger pieces of paper with the use of these paper crimpers.

One of the most common crimped designs is corrugation, but paper crimpers do not just make corrugated paper. They can be used to emboss any pattern, and some companies allow you to create custom paper patterns. Hearts, stars, diamonds, circles, repetitive geometric patterns, and abstract patterns are all common choices for paper crimping patterns. The textural and structural elements created with the assistance of paper crimpers can make a project seem multi-dimensional and lively.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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