Editorial
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Jan 10, 2019

Deconstructing the Construction Paper

From the name itself, construction paper is mostly the material of choice for arts and crafts and papercraft projects. Also known as sugar paper, it has a coarse and tough texture and predominantly comes in a variety of colors. Since it’s mainly sourced from wood pulp, the paper exhibits this particle on its surface. Let’s learn more about this paper and deconstruct it.

Historical background

Its historical origin can be traced to its production in the late 19th century at the time when paper production and synthetic dye technology were combined. The term may also be attributed to its use as an educational colored paper in the making-of-things and learning-how-things-work. In 1980, the Dictionary of Pulp and Paper described it as a “school paper used for cut-outs, crayon drawings, watercoloring, fingerpainting, etc. that is usually made from mechanical wood pulp.”

Significance of aniline dyes

In the early history of the construction paper, the type of dye used for its colored substance was the aniline dye. The mauve aniline dye was the first one developed by Sir Henry Perkin in 1856. The most common aniline dyes used for coloring paper are acid, basic, and direct dyes.

Two Types of Construction Paper

Two main types of construction paper exist: sulphite and groundwood.

Sulphite construction paper has interlocked, long, and strong fibers with a hard work surface and vibrant colors. It can be folded well, cuts nicely, can be easily glued, and is resistant to fading.

From using ground wood pulp, the groundwood got its name from its source and manufacturing process. It has the same characteristics as the sulphite in terms of cutting and adhesion, although not as fade resistant as that of a 100% sulphite construction paper. It also does not fold quite easily. Its surface is rougher and more ideal when used with charcoal or chalk drawings.

Because of the groundwood’s rough surface, it is thicker and heavier than the sulphite paper. If you’re in need of a more fadeless construction paper, then sulphite is the best option. Using fade-resistant papers for the background of bulletin boards are ideal.

Easy and Fun Papercrafts with Construction Paper

If you want to destress and relax or simply have some quality time with your family, here are some suggested paper arts using construction paper. You only need 3 major materials for these arts and crafts: glue, scissors, and our main star.

Family Tree

Not only is this simple and easy to make but your family members will also be reminded of their genetic origins. This innovative craft idea involves drawing of a tree trunk with its branches having names of family members. Using different colors of construction paper will make this a unique paper art. Loads of family bonding times as well with this project.

Paper Penguin

This artwork will keep your artistic blood flowing. You can have fun making this with your children too. You will need construction paper of orange, brown, and yellow color (you can change the colors, if preferred). For the penguin’s body, you can use a paper cup. An addition of the googly eyes will make this papercraft even cuter.

Construction Paper Ribbons

The act of gift giving is endless all-year round. What a better way to express a labor of love than with these gift ribbons made of construction paper. All you need for your personal styles are a variety of paper colors, scissors, glue, or staples. Adding your personality in these designs takes gift giving to a more intimate level.

When it comes to paper art and papercrafts, the construction paper will be a perpetual item. Its characteristics, versatile use, colors, thickness, and texture makes it ideal for any type of artwork. Lots of creative ways to use it too. It just takes artistry and imagination to deconstruct its uses.