Handmade Paper Curios

Layabouts – books, paper, curios

Rebus Puzzles or Dingbats are Paper Curios

Rebus Puzzle Cards Packaged

Rebus Puzzle Cards Packaged

What do I mean by paper curios?  Cards and curios overlap, and, of course, are related to handmade books – the underlying theme of this website.  What can you do with a piece of paper?  Here is one example, prompted by Web Courses Bangkok who have kindly featured Layabout Books in their May 2016 email bulletin:

WCB Dingbats Honourable Mention

Web Courses Bangkok May 2016

Thanks to Layabout Books for “Dingbats Rebus Puzzles” gift!  Steve, the founder, took our Build With Us course and you can now see his lovely site at http://www.layaboutbooks.com/



Take a closer look at the cards and three examples of rebus puzzles.

Rebus Puzzle Cards

The cards showing front and back

The puzzles themselves are created in Photoshop and Word then printed onto 200 gsm cardstock.  The individual cards are further mounted onto 100 gsm marbled mulberry paper from Chiangmai.  This gives them, roughly, the strength and rigidity of playing cards.

Answers come separately inside a Japanese letterfold wallet, but punters should struggle with them for a while first.  These cards make good bar-top curiosities and icebreakers at informal group sessions.

The packaging is a sliding box covered with Japanese unryu tissue.  No, this is not like Kleenex – please see the previous article on Rice Paper – and you would not want to blow your nose on it.  It’s smooth and strong because of its long mulberry fibres.  Conservators use unryu in book repair, as well as for protective wrapping of old books.  It is semi-transparent, as you may be able to see in the first photo above.

The following card shows examples of rebus puzzles or Dingbats.  These are old and date back to heraldry.  German printers used rebus-like ornaments to divide sections in lightweight books.  They called them ‘thingummies’ or Dingbats – hence the name of the game.

Examples of Rebus Puzzles

Three Rebus Puzzles


The three examples are:-




These puzzles depend on a knowledge of English idioms.

Posted by SteveMongkut