A method of making a belt-creped absorbent cellulosic sheet. A paper making furnish is compactively dewatered to form a dewatered web having an apparently random distribution of papermaking fiber orientation. The dewatered web is applied to a translating transfer surface that is moving at a transfer surface speed. The web is belt-creped from the transfer surface at a consistency of from about 30% to about 60% utilizing a generally planar polymeric creping belt having a plurality of perforations, under pressure, in a belt creping nip defined between the transfer surface and the creping belt. The belt travels at a belt speed that is slower than the speed of the transfer surface. The web is creped from the transfer surface and redistributed on the creping belt to form a web having a plurality of interconnected regions of different local basis weights. The web is then dried.