Last updated: August 19, 2021

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There is no more satisfying sensation than to create, to give shape to something, to start from a material and turn it into something you dream of. Cutting, tearing, folding, painting, moulding, sanding, all that an artist does with his materials before turning them into precious objects. This is how beautiful roses can blossom from a piece of crepe paper.

When working with crepe paper the limits are set by your creativity, it is one of the most fabulous materials you will find; they come in all colours, and their texture and mouldability are unbeatable. If you love to materialise ideas, crepe paper will be your best friend, and we will tell you everything you need to know about it.




The most important things

  • Crepe paper is a type of paper with a crumpled appearance and a rough, porous texture. In some countries it is known as Pinocchio paper, crepe paper or corrugated paper. It is flexible and quite elastic, which is why it is widely used by those who make crafts, billboards, costumes, piñatas and party decorations, among other arts and crafts.
  • In the first instance, crepe paper is a type of paper, so its main differences are made by the weight of the paper and the density of its folds, which in turn determines its elasticity. You can get heavy crepe paper (which is the heaviest weight), standard crepe paper (average weight) and thin crepe paper (the thinnest and lightest of all).
  • The most common use of crepe paper is in the creation of flowers, but it is also widely used in other areas of crafts such as costumes, pinecraft and general decoration; for each of these uses you should choose a different paper taking into account the percentage of flexibility and the precise grammage you need.

The Best Crepe Paper: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about crepe paper

Although it might seem simple to choose a crepe paper, you need to know some of the defining characteristics that make the different types of paper unique. In this buying guide we will show you the differences between paper densities, as well as the need for flexibility and strength, among other important aspects.

Bring colour and joy to your parties with creative crepe paper decorations (Photo: famveldman/ 123rf.com)

What is crepe paper and what are its advantages?

Crepe paper is a type of paper that is widely used by those who enjoy the artistic creation of handicrafts and, even more so, floristry. It is especially characterised by its corrugated or rough texture, it is also rough and quite resistant even in its thin form. You can get it in a countless variety of colours.

The corrugated texture is one of its main virtues because it makes it a flexible and very mouldable paper, since by separating the narrow folds that give it texture, a smoother and smoother paper is revealed, which means that each artist can use crepe paper at the level of stretching that best suits his or her work.

It is one of the most used papers for the elaboration of handmade flowers, not only because of its elastic and flexible characteristics, but also because it is resistant, depending on the thickness chosen, that is to say that it can be easily twisted or folded. Moreover, the colours stand out for being very stable, whether saturated or pastel.

Advantages
  • It has up to 130% elasticity
  • It is mouldable
  • It is resistant to handling
  • It has a wide variety of colours
  • It is economical
Disadvantages
  • It melts with water
  • The colour fades at the slightest contact with humidity
  • Some brands are of low quality and break

Heavy, standard or thin crepe paper - what should you pay attention to?

Everything has its own art and every detail needs attention, especially when it comes to the material for your own creation. When it comes to crepe paper, the main variable you should pay attention to before buying is the weight of the paper: the difference in density between the different variants is great and has an impact on the finish of the piece.

Heavyweight. Heavy crepe paper is the thickest, it can reach 180 grams per sheet of 2 m x 50 cm. It is resistant and quite firm, and is often used in the production of flowers precisely because of its capacity to adapt to shapes and its stability. It is most commonly available in specialised shops or online.

Standard. It is the most common grammage of all because it is located between the thickness of the heavy and the fine, being approximately 48 grams of grammage. It is common because it is cheaper than heavyweight and is quite resistant although it is considerably thinner. It can be moulded, but it must be done delicately.

Thin. It is very thin, with a grammage of about 32 grams. It has the disadvantage of breaking when handled. Although the low density of this paper is often related to its poor quality, it is important to know that this type of paper, if it is of good quality, is designed for the production of very delicate pieces with a subtle finish.

HEAVY HEAVY STANDARD THIN
Elasticity up to 140% 60% Up to 80%
Resistance Very resistant Resistant Resistant Can be not very resistant
Format Rectangular Rectangular and ribbons Rectangular and ribbons

Crepe paper is one of the best allies of handicrafts. (Photo: Jozef Polc / 123rf.com)

Purchasing criteria

Crepe paper is the start of a unique and great piece that will be born from your imagination and become a beautiful object. The success of your finished work depends not only on your artistic skill, but also on the materials you choose to use. Before you buy, consider these criteria.

Elasticity

There is no doubt that crepe paper has become one of the materials most used by artists and craftsmen for handicrafts, because it can be moulded and manipulated thanks to its great flexibility due to its elasticity, one of its most important characteristics.

Low elasticity. The elasticity of crepe paper depends on the frequency and depth of its folds, and low elasticity crepe paper, when stretched, increases in size by only 50% or less. This is the most commonly available in stationery shops, and we recommend it especially if you are looking for materials for pinafores, banners or streamers.

Medium elasticity. It is recommended for more specialised works that require a simple moulding, as its elasticity capacity exceeds 60%, reaching up to 80% in the case of a quality paper that is also resistant and firm. It is used, for example, for the production of flowers.

High elasticity. Highly elastic crepe paper is certainly a jewel to work with. Its elasticity can reach up to 140% stretch and usually this level of elasticity is associated with high strength, making it the best for complex work. Recommended for very fine finished floristry.

Strength

Crepe paper is sought after because it can be moulded and fixes the shapes once they are made. This characteristic requires the paper to have a certain resistance to handling. The strength of a crepe paper is related to how easy or difficult it is to tear when being worked and, in turn, is associated with the thickness of the sheet.

Low strength. In general, crepe paper with low elasticity also has low resistance to manipulation, and it is very common to find it in stationery shops or in non-specialised assorted shops. Use it for projects that do not require a detailed finish. Note that not all thin papers are low strength.

Resistant. Regular-weight paper generally has regular strength as well, which is considered "good strength". It is quite tolerant to handling, although it needs to be handled gently to avoid damaging the paper. If you choose this one, do not use very strong glues to avoid damaging it.

Very resistant. There are papers that are very resistant even if they are thin, but the heavier the paper, the more resistant it will be. Are you looking for a paper that allows you to handle it freely? Then choose this one. However, you should always bear in mind that it is a paper and that misuse is always a risk.

Crepe paper has the advantage that it is very versatile and mouldable, so it can be used for crafts with any theme. (Photo: / 123rf.com)

Format

As it has become popular, crepe paper has taken on new sizes and formats on the market. At first you could only get it in sheets of approximately 100 x 80cm. Nowadays the sizes vary according to the manufacturer, allowing users to purchase what they need most and saving them cutting work.

Sheets. The most common is to get rectangular sheets in rolls either large or small, the sizes depend on the presentation proposed by the manufacturer. They range from A4 to 250 x 50 cm sheets. The ideal size if you are looking to make costumes or any other piece that requires large extensions of paper.

Ribbons or streamers. This is a wonderful format, especially for piñata makers, as you can find the paper cut in strips and colours - what more could you ask for! Streamers or ribbons can vary in length, but are commonly between 7 and 9 metres long and 4.5 cm wide.

Colour

Crepe paper has the advantage of being available in a wide variety of colours and shades. Some manufacturers have even designed sheet kits according to specific colour criteria, which can be spring, with warm colours; autumn, with ochre colours. There are as many colours as you can imagine, the only thing you need to keep in mind is to keep your paper away from water.

Bright colours. Initially crepe paper was only available in bright primary and secondary colours. A selection of these colours will bring you closer to a rainbow than you've ever been in your life. They are beautiful and suitable for decorating a children's party and for creating piñatas.

Pastel colours. Pastel colours are widely used precisely because of the softness and subtlety they bring to the eye. They are ideal to be used in babyshowers, wedding decorations, birth celebrations, among other uses. It all depends on the effect you are looking to create in your celebration.

Metallic colours. The metallic effect in colour is really great for adding a touch of elegance to your creations. Not only can you get the colours traditionally associated with metallic such as gold, silver and bronze, but you also have the option of finding them in blue, green, red, purple, etc.

(Featured image source: Belchonock/ 123rf.com)

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