Shopping Trend: Paper Craft

Where to buy paper supplies in New Hampshire
photo by lisa brown
Fanciful creations at Hundelrut Studio

Paper has power. Most of us learned it early in life. Spitballs to the back of a boy’s head, paper airplanes, cootie catchers with predictions and more. In today’s world of texting and email, paper is a bit unappreciated. Maybe now is the time to change that.

Donald Hundgen of Hundelrut Studio is a master of paper. From fine pen-and-ink drawings full of hidden objects, messages and caricatures (of well-known people in town) to posters that might take a day to interpret, his artwork is eclectic and unique. But images on paper aren’t Hundgen’s only works. Hundgen is known for his outrageous papier mâché characters ranging from 12 inches to 12 feet high. A visit to the studio where he makes these critters is one huge giggle. Each papier mâché object is different, some named, others left nameless for the buyer to do the honors. His biggest sellers are from his line of angels ($40 and up), musicians (the piano player is a stitch) and his turtles. A look at Hundgen’s whimsical work is as mesmerizing as it is delightful. 

If you’ve ever been in Gus & Ruby in Portsmouth, then you know that their selection of stationery, note cards and letterpress items, which are printed by hand on an antique press, will inspire you to send old-fashioned mail. The store’s specialty, letterpress, is engraved paper often used for wedding invitations, special parties and oh-so-very-classy personalized notepaper. It is soft and luxurious to the touch. Who could say no to an invitation written on such a canvas? While in the store, pick up some luscious wrapping paper too.

Aspiring Picassos, put down your paintbrushes and take out your coloring books. Adult coloring books (tsk, tsk — as in, “for adults,” not “naughty”) are all the rage. Sitting down to color with your array of colored pencils is empowering and as relaxing as a Chardonnay. Go ahead, call yourself an artist. The Penguin Gallery in North Conway carries a whole line of coloring books ($14.95-$19.95) and, I kid you not, they are flying off the shelves. You’ll also find a few other things to color: posters, placemats and even postcards.

Get the kids into papercraft too, with a trip to North Conway’s Toy Chest. Look for origami (paper-folding) kits for all ages featuring shapes you can’t imagine. Most kits come age-appropriate with easy-to-read instructions, and the paper colors are fabulous. For the youngest in the family, check out the make-your-own pop-up card kits with tissue for folding. Think Thanksgiving turkey cards.

Pop it up! Pickwick’s Mercantile in Portsmouth is the place to go to make a lasting impression with confetti poppers. These all-ages toys are tubes filled with colorful and glittery confetti. Pull them out in the middle of a party and let the fun begin. Some people even buy them to have their own ticker tape parade! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the flying wish paper. This is thin paper where you write a wish, and light it. Your wish is sent off into the world where dreams come true.