Cardmaking, Die Cutting, Essentials By Ellen, Stamping

3 Ways Paper Crafting Makes a Difference in Your Mental Health

Have you ever sat and thought about why you love paper crafting? Why DO you feel so good melting embossing powder and blending inks with a brush? Why does coloring bring so much joy and clarity? Design Ambassador, Daniel West, has a few reasons paper crafting makes a difference in your mental health.

Many of us celebrate May as Mental Health Awareness Month. This month has particular significance to me as I help run a non-profit that provides access to free mental health services in Spanish to our neighbors without insurance or access to services in their native language.

My card today is a bit of encouragement for our executive director. More on the project below.

3 Ways Paper Crafting Makes a Difference in our Mental Health

Part of our program includes a segment on creative therapy. It’s my favorite part of the entire effort!! Here are three of the reasons I believe paper crafting can be an integral part of a therapeutic plan.

  1. Paper Crafting Redirects Your Mental Energy
    Raise your hand if you overthink everything? Sometimes we spend so much of our mental energy on replaying and reviewing every interaction with others. We can spend even more of our thought life imagining every possible outcome of a situation and exponentially accentuating the negatives. Paper crafting can “take your mind off things”, but more than that, it can redirect your mental energy into something positive. Instead of spending all your strength on auto-evaluation, determine to redirect your thoughts toward building your coloring skills, or taking a class on design theory. By redirecting your mental energy from yourself to something creative, you have less time to beat yourself up. You can begin to focus outwardly and constructively.
  2. Paper Crafting Occupies Your Hands and Heart
    When we have nothing to do with our hands and our hearts they can often get us into trouble. You may have heard it said, “The devil finds work for idle hands.” It means we get into mischief when we do not otherwise gainfully occupy ourselves. Paper crafting can replace and addiction. The community around paper crafting can fill a lonely heart with friendship, too. The nature of my work requires many hours of alone time every week. But I occupy my hands and heart with design and creativity while meditating on Scripture and praying.
  3. Paper Crafting Inspires You to Make a Difference
    So many of you have used your paper crafting to bless others and make a difference in their lives. I have seen this community pull together to support each other, to encourage veterans, to cheer the elderly, to help defend Ukraine, and make a difference with many other causes. Paper crafting is a hobby with kindness and encouragement at its foundation. Every time you give a card to someone, you make a difference in their life. When you lay your head down on your pillow at night and think about your day, it’s a wonderful feeling to know you have spent it making a difference for someone else.

About my project today

Violet represent mental health awareness globally. It’s the color of our non-profit’s logo, too. So when I decided to make a card for this month, I chose some new Sketchmarker Pros in violet for my palette.

Steps to create this card.

  1. First, I stamped the berry sprig image from the Colorado Craft Company Berry Much Slimline stamp set onto the front of an A2-sized card two times with Catherine Pooler Twilight Ink.
  2. Then, I added some Sixteen Candles ink over the front of the card with a blending brush.
  3. Next, I stamped the berry sprig again onto some X-Press It Blending Card with Hero Arts Intense Black Ink and colored it in with Sketchmarker Pro and Copic Markers.
  4. For the berries, I used V60, V70, V80, V81, and V43 from my new Sketchmarker Pros.
  5. For the leaves I used Copic YG99, YG97, YG95, and covered each leaf with B04.
  6. For the branches Copic W8 and W6.
  7. After that, I used the Essential Ovals dies to cut out two different sizes out of white cardstock.
  8. Then, I heat-embossed some Hero Arts Gold Embossing Powder over one of the oval rings and adhered it to the front of the larger oval with liquid adhesive.
  9. Next, I popped the ovals up over the front of the card base with foam tape, centering them over each other.
  10. After that, I die cut the sprig with the accompanying die and set it over the front of the entire project with foam tape and liquid adhesive.
  11. Then, I trimmed off the pieces hanging over the edge of the card and popped one of them up on the left-hand side of the card.
  12. To finish it all off, I heat embossed the sentiment onto some black cardstock, die-cut it and glued it onto the front of the top oval.

The whole project added two hours to my life. By this I mean, it didn’t take time from me. It added time to my mind, my focus, my joy and my life. Now I have the opportunity to give it to my friend and add to her life, too.

I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did. All the items I used in this post have been listed in the grid below for your convenience.

Have a wonderful Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ll see you tomorrow here on the Ellen Hutson Blog!



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  • Reply Surekha Galagoda May 12, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    Sear Danile
    Your card is beautiful and love your color palette too. Your post taught me many things . I didnt know May was considered the Mental Health Awareness month and the color is violet.
    I myself am a depression patient and crafting gives me immense joy. I work as a journalist and translator for an international organization and my hobby is crafting. I spend all the money i can spare on purchasing crafting supplies. We don’t get good crafting supplies in Sri Lanka. I used to order and get down products from the US but it cannot be done anymore as our currency has plummeted so much. In addition, the Shipping cost is high. I am a widow and is collecting money to visit my daughter and family in New Zealand.
    I stay in Sri Lanka the tiny island nation below India. These days Sri Lanka is on international news for the wrong reasons. we are going through an unprecedented economic crisis and there is political instability too. In addition the former PM before leaving instigated his supporters to assault the unarmed peaceful protesters in the capital city Colombo. The protesters are requesting the President to step down. The supporters too were attacked by the angry people and most of them ended in a lake in Colombo. This resulted in angry people attacking the houses and vehicles of the ruling party members and torching the same. This is the first time people retaliated in such a manner. This is something about my country and me.
    Tc stay safe

  • Reply Ishani May 13, 2022 at 12:48 am

    Oh my God, you added 10 minutes to my day Daniel. Also, you left me teary eyed, when you said this card added 2 hrs to my day. I have tears running down my cheeks, as I type now and I’ll misspell 😄
    Not many around me understand this… but am glad there are like minded people in this world. Thank you for your amazing post and all that you do for your community ❤️ more power to you

  • Reply runpaperscissors May 13, 2022 at 8:29 am

    Surekha Galagoda, my heart goes out to you! I just read an article this week about the food shortages in Sri Lanka that were the direct result of bad government policy. I am so sorry that you are enduring difficult times! I pray you stay safe and that you can get to your daughter’s house soon!

    And thank you so much, Daniel, for this post! The power of handmade cards is real–for both the crafter and the recipient! <3

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