Living with EDS: Testing out paper crafts

LET’S EXPLORE FIVE PAPER CRAFTS

I love crafting because it’s an active distraction from the pain I’m in. More than that, indulging in a craft is mentally soothing and usually at the end you’ll have something pretty that you can gift to others for being there for you. So I decided to write a review of crafts for those with EDS so that you can judge for yourself which one you would like to try. And even if you already have a craft you love, it might be fun to see new ones or have a good laugh at me struggling with them at the very least. So let’s get on with it and look at what kind of paper crafts are out there.

Origami:

Now personally I have swan neck fingers and am extremely hypermobile in my hands. Due to this, Origami was not my friend. I love the precision. I love that for a while you feel like you’re just folding random shapes and then only at the end does it burst into life and become the thing you wanted. I love that you can find great tutorials on YouTube that make things much easier than following a book tutorial. However, I lost count of the amount of times I had subluxed and dislocated my finger joints. It’s very detailed work which I struggled to do with my semi functional hands. You also need a certain amount of strength in your hands which I don’t have. And worst of all it caused me a lot of pain. So how did it score?

  • How easy is it to start? – Easy, all you need is paper, any paper. – 5/5
  • Cost of Craft – Cheap – 5/5
  • Time Taken on a single project – I did Darth vadar in under 2 hours, the teacher on YouTube did it in 45 minutes. – 5/5
  • How easy is it to learn? – I found it a bit complicated and I couldn’t retain much afterwards – 3/5
  • Is it E.D.S friendly? – Not for me and my hands but I can see that if your hands are better, then it may be great because you don’t use much movement however you do need to really concentrate which can be exhausting. – 2/5

Papel Picado:

This is such a beautiful craft, you use a scalpel to cut out your design in some card and then you use that as a template and cut through it onto layers of tissue paper to make many. When that’s done you string them up to form bunting. But alas my hands struggled with this craft. Using a scalpel for such precise work was extremely painful and exhausting. I dislocated fingers and my hands hurt throughout. This meant that after I completed the template, I gave up and never got to the tissue paper. In the future I’ll get my boyfriend to cut it all out so we have great bunting for Halloween but for me, enough. Which is a shame as I love it’s visual effect.

  • How easy is it to start?Medium, you need a scalpel and cutting board as well as card and tissue paper. – 3/5
  • Cost of Craft – Materials like the board and scalpel are pricey but you only need to buy them once – 4/5
  • Time Taken on a single project – The template took me two hours. I assume longer to make the bunting – 3/5
  • How easy is it to learn? – Easy – 5/5
  • Is it E.D.S friendly? – If you have bad hands like me, I recommend drawing the design and getting another person to cut it. – 2/5

Chigirie-e:

This is the Japanese art of hand tearing paper to form a collage and I suck at it! I sucked so much, even my boyfriend was shocked and exclaimed ‘but you’re usually so good at arty things’. But though I am terrible at this craft, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad craft. It’s fun and therapeutic. It’s easy and can be stunning. Just because I couldn’t really fathom it, means nothing. I’m terrible at water colours too and in a way it’s similar in the layering process. I do recommend it. Ignore how terrible my piece looks and google it to see some great works of art, then try it yourself.

  • How easy is it to start? – Easy, all you need is tissue paper – 5/5
  • Cost of Craft – Cheap – 5/5
  • Time Taken on a single project – However long you want. Mine took an hour or so. – 5/5
  • How easy is it to learn? – Easy – 5/5
  • Is it E.D.S friendly? – Very – 5/5

Shikishi Ningyo:

This is the art of making paper dolls. I didn’t think I would like this craft but I was oh so wrong. Not only was it easy but there is something indescribably satisfying about the end product. It just made me smile to see this little Japanese paper doll. Now the one I did was very plain and simple but they can be extremely elaborate. With a mixture of cutting, folding and gluing your make the doll. Nothing could be more simple. I will be trying this again with more fancy paper.

  • How easy is it to start? – Easy, all you need is paper, any paper – 5/5
  • Cost of Craft – Cheap – 5/5
  • Time Taken on a single project – My doll took an hour while I watched TV. – 5/5
  • How easy is it to learn? – Easy – 5/5
  • Is it E.D.S friendly? – Yes. Though there is some folding and cutting, I didn’t find it too bad at all. – 4/5

Quilling:

This is making art with strips of paper that have been rolled up to form spirals. I decided to make an autumn scene because it’s my favourite season and I think it went really well. Making the art itself with the quills is easy enough, just arrange it how you want and glue it down (I used stick glue which was a bad choice so you can see the glue marks). But the process of rolling up the strips took its toll on my finger joints and rubbed at my skin. Because of this, I probably wouldn’t keep up this hobby.

  • How easy is it to start? – Easy, all you need is paper/card – 5/5
  • Cost of Craft – Cheap – 5/5
  • Time Taken on a single project – My autumn scene took about five hours. – 4/5
  • How easy is it to learn? – Easy – 5/5
  • Is it E.D.S friendly? – It’s not great for weak hands and fingers to do the quilling which is a shame. – 3/5

SO WHICH PAPER CRAFT WINS?

The winner of ‘which paper craft from this list is the best for people with E.D.S’, is, (drum roll please) Chigirie-e!!! Yup the one I was worst at. But it truly was the most suited to my hands. However the one I will be actually doing in the future is Shikishi Ningyo. I just think it makes the cutest figures. It goes to show you that this is more of a guideline than a rule. ;D

If you can think of more paper crafts that I can test then tweet me with your ideas. And if you try any of these yourself I would love to see you art so take a picture and tweet me.

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