Sunday, 16 March 2014

Paper Cutting

A long time ago, in a village far away (well, about 5 miles away from here actually), I used to make papercuts.  I started papercutting when I was at school and made some fun Christmas cards, using coloured papers and foil (from sweetie wrappers!) to fill in cut-outs and make The Three Kings' robes and gifts, stars, stable scene etc.  They were well received by relatives, but I never really made much after that, as I had studying to worry about.

I had another try about 10 years ago, cutting pretty paper doilies, decorations and pictures, mainly using a tiny pair of sharp scissors, but sometimes also a scalpel.  And, again, I gave it up because Life got in the way.

Recently, I've been admiring the lovely work of a couple of very accomplished papercutters, Louise Firchau (aka Paper Panda) and Jen (My Paper Cut Heart), who have pages on Facebook and sell their very beautiful cuts online. 

So, I decided to have another go.  I sat down with paper, pencil and scalpel, to make a paper cut! 

I made one on Friday evening and a second yesterday. 

This is what I made on Friday:

A Springtime Tree, with lots of wildlife. 
Cut from chocolate Murano art paper, with a scalpel.  Measures 14" x 9.5". 

I found this quite tricky to cut.  The scalpel went blunt quite fast and snagged on the mat.  But overall, I'm quite pleased with this.  It's not bad at all, for the first effort in ten years! 

For the second cut, I discovered that using my glass cutting mat makes the blade go far more smoothly, cutting through the paper like butter - and saving the blade too. It was a lot more comfortable to cut onto the glass, rather than the self-healing cutting mat.  

Saturday's effort:

Butterflies and Daisies! 
Cut from a piece of aubergine Murano paper, with a scalpel, on my glass mat.  Size A5 (8" x 6")
The first picture is going to be a Mother's Day present for my mum.  I bought a frame and I want to mount it onto nice paper and frame it up.  I have thought about trying to cut a duplicate (I drew the design onto tracing paper for the first attempt), but I'm still quite pleased with how it turned out, so I don't think I need to cut another. 

The second picture will be a Mother's Day card for my MIL.  Dave's very pleased with it, so I'll mount it onto some plain Murano paper and put it on a card base.
I'm very pleased with the results of my first attempts. I really enjoyed making these - something a bit different.  It's nice to have a change and try something new (or almost new), now and then. 
* * *
In case anyone else really fancies a go at this lovely papercraft, Paper Panda sells a comprehensive kit for beginners, complete with instructions and practise pieces.  You can buy the full version which includes a cutting mat, scalpel and blades, instructions, paper and practice pieces; or if you have these already, there's a version with patterns, paper and instructions only.  Louise has posted pictures of beginners' efforts and it seems to be a great way to get started.  She sells these kits through her online shop at Big There are also individual patterns, for those who are already confident enough to have a go by themselves. 
Happy cutting!


  1. It looks really tricky,'ve got 2 wonderful results.

    1. The tiny corners and points are the hard bit - and where two thin lines are beside each other - Trying not to rip the little thin strips of paper...
      It's fun though!

  2. Wow! I'm in awe =D Great artistic ability!

    1. Hi Jerosha & thanks! But you should just see the work of Louise and Jen - that is superb art!

  3. Very beautiful Lizzie! I hope you do more of these! I've had dreams of making paper cut cards, but haven't progressed much on that. I also find a glass mat is always best for precision cutting.

    1. Loving my glass mat! Thanks for the kind comments, Laura, it's really fun and not that difficult, so long as you try simple designs first & remember that shapes need to be attached to something - you can't make them float! X

  4. Lizzie I am in awe! A first attempt and they look so professional. Beautiful! I think the precision part would be my downfall! you have a lot of patience!

  5. Gosh Lizzie those are really beautiful. You must have the patience of a saint.

  6. Wonderful presents Lizzie - you are a talented lady!

  7. Oh my goodness, Lizzie, is there anything you can't do? I especially love that tree! I am sure I would just end up with cuts all over my hands ...


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