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Written and Created by PaperCraftCentral Susan

A RAK is described as anything that falls under the category of Random Acts of Kindness.These kind of gifts can be anonymous or not, depending on your own wishes. The point is, there will be no special occasion for a RAK. It will just be a gift from the heart, just because.

"Treat everyone with politeness,
even those who are rude to you -
not because they are nice,
but because you are."
~Author Unknown

Badges and Banners RAK

RAKS are lovely ways to lift a person's spirit. Imagine receiving a little crafty gift in the mail, for no special reason other than someone is thinking of you!

Many people who are paper crafters send each other little gifts and tokens as a way to cheer each other up, demonstrate care and concern, and act as surprises.

Crafters who get to know each other may form clubs or lists where they provide their addresses on the understanding that someone on that list will send them a card or small gift at agreed times, or even randomly throughout a year.

There are groups of crafters who have Birthday or Christmas lists, or who may decide to encourage a friend who has an illness or other challenging life event taking place, by sending them little unexpected papercraft gifts in the mail, often anonymously.

Another reason many crafters may participate in this practice is so that they can learn from each other. There is nothing like receiving a beautiful or funny handmade card in the mail that demonstrates a certain technique for you. And what a great way to discover new ideas to try out yourself!

I love seeing other people's styles of papercrafting in person.

Here's an example of what I mean.

When I was new to the papercrafting world, living in the country where there were no craft supply stores and before Stampin' Up! came to Australia, I mentioned that I had no small bore paper punch to a group of crafters I knew online. I had no known way of purchasing one, either. I forgot all about that conversation until a few weeks later when I received a small package in the mail. In it was a small bore punch! One of the kind forum ladies had sent it to me as a RAK (Random Act of Kindness). It made my week, and I remember it to this day. It made me feel less isolated and lonely as a crafter and forged a link between me and the kind crafter who I still know today. I still use that punch too.

If you want to start a Random Acts of Kindness list of your own, why not consider it? You don't even need a list to start anonymously (or not so anonymously!) encouraging friends and family by sending a 'just because' card to someone.

Papercraft RAK Examples

I made the accordion tag album pictured below to give to a friend who had suffered unusually cruel and sudden losses. Mutual f riends from all over Australia secretly made a 'friendship' tag to fit into a pocket of the album, and sent them to me at my request.

Before we all started, we decided on the dimensions of the tags, found out what our friend's favourite colours were, and what style of papercraft she liked the most. The album was made according to these specifications.

I then collected all the tags together and placed them in the album before sending the gift on to our surprised and touched friend. Her reaction was the best reward of all.

It's amazing how much giving can bless the giver as well as the receiver.

Album RAK

Your gift doesn't need to be so fancy or need to involve a coordinated team effort. You can make a RAK just by yourself and send it.

The main thing is to touch someone's heart with your kindness, in a surprising way.

Here are some other ideas for you to make and send or give in person as RAKs

Some people take samples from their craft room or space of say, ribbon or lace, paper punched shapes or die cuts, embellishments or bling, card fronts or bases, buttons or bows (you get the idea? it can be anything you think the person you are sending them to will appreciate) and put them in little plastic baggies. They then send them off in a hand made card to a friend who crafts, knowing the friend will be touched by their thoughtfulness.

You can plan for RAKs so every friend feels the touch of your heart, or just send them spontaneously as the mood strikes. You are in control of your random gift giving!

For some of us, it is a good way to keep from being overwhelmed by our very own craft supplies. I rarely use ALL of a pack of designer series paper, for example. After I have played with it enough, I like to cut up the leftovers to bless my friends with RAKs.

Once you start thinking of ways to make your friend's lves better with RAKs, the possibilities really can start coming to mind. You may find it extends to other areas of your life as well, and joing the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation!

Happy RAK-ing!

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