Do you sometimes struggle to stamp due to lack of creative inspiration? Try joining some papercraft challenges! You’ll get the creative ‘nudge’ you need, and maybe even win a prize!
What Are Papercraft Challenges?
Lack of creative inspiration is something every stamper suffers from sometimes. So to help combat this, various stampers from around the world teamed up over the last several years to create online ‘challenge blogs’. These are internet sites where, every week or so, they share new creative prompts — aka ‘papercraft challenges’.
Papercraft challenges range from using certain colors or techniques, to sketches for how to lay out your project. Each challenge is a little different, but every one will give you the inspiration you need to make something fun. Plus, many papercraft challenges offer a prize drawing for popular crafting supplies!
How Papercraft Challenges Work
Every papercraft challenge runs for a limited period of time — typically a week or so. On the first day of that period, the challenge is posted on the challenge blog. In this post, you’ll find:
- What the current challenge theme / creative prompt is
- Photos of sample projects that the designers who run the challenge blog made
- The deadline for participating in the challenge
- Any challenge rules you need to follow
- A ‘linking tool’ for adding the web address where your finished project can be found
- Info about what prize (if applicable) you could win for participating
How to Participate
To participate, you first make something based off the challenge theme. Then, you upload photos of your finished project to your own blog or online project gallery. Finally, you use the linking tool that’s provided in the challenge post to provide the web address of your project.
By linking to your project, the challenge team and other participants know where to go to leave you positive comments and feedback about your creation. If there’s a prize being offered, this also enters you into the drawing for it.
Once the entries for a particular challenge close, the challenge team usually picks at least one ‘winner’.
For physical prizes like stamping supplies, winners are normally chosen by random draw. The team simply counts the number of entries, and picks a number. Then, the person whose entry coordinates to that number wins.
Sometimes a challenge prize is something non-physical, like a month-long guest designer spot on the challenge blog, or a special ‘badge’ image that you can add to your website to show that you won that challenge. In these cases, the challenge team usually judges the challenge entries, and then chooses the one(s) they liked best.
The best way to find out if you’ve won the prize for a particular challenge is to check back when the next challenge starts. Winners are usually posted at the top of each new challenge post, along with info on how to claim your prize.
The Best Source for Papercraft Challenges
Papercraft challenges are so popular, that there are literally hundreds of different ones to choose from! So finding them by Google search is pretty easy. However, there’s an even easier way: visit the Paper Playful website!
The fabulous team of volunteers at Paper Playful posts daily updates about new papercraft challenges, including links to and basic details about each challenge.
TIP: Paper Playful can really save you time finding papercraft challenges, so if you do use their listings, please be sure to leave a comment to thank the all-volunteer staff!
Other Places to Find Papercraft Challenges
There are also some online stamping communities where you can find papercraft challenges:
- Splitcoaststampers — This “stampers’ community” website hosts a different challenge every day. Plus, the site offers all sorts of other fun resources for stampers, like project inspiration galleries and tutorials.
- Scrapbook.com — Although they’re a papercraft supply retailer, Scrapbook.com also has a forum for crafters that includes challenges.
- Outlawz Challenges — Although you must be a member of this stamping community to play in the challenges, membership there is FREE. Also, Outlawz Challenges offers challenge prizes, whereas Splitcoaststampers doesn’t.
Do papercraft challenges sound like fun to you? As someone who’s been playing in them for years, I can tell you they are!
Not only are papercraft challenges a great source of creative inspiration, but also a fun way to interact with other stampers. Playing in them regularly also helps you keep up on stamping trends, and new products you might enjoy trying. Of course, winning the occasional prize just for doing what you love — stamping — isn’t too shabby either!
If you do give papercraft challenges a try, be sure to let me know which ones are your favorites. I’m always on the lookout for fun new ones to help me find inspiration, too!