What is Papercutting?

Papercutting is the art of cutting paper into beautiful intricate designs to use for cards, gifts, framing, home decor and many other projects.


Papercutting is easy. Here you will learn how to Papercut curves, corners and straight lines with 6 great tips and tricks from the best in the papercutting business Once you have chosen your design, trace it or print it on paper of at least 220gsm. Any thinner and the paper risks tearing and may not be able to stand upright in your frame. But paper of too much thickness will be too dificult to cut.

The Tools

  • Cutting mat
  • Craft Knife with a strong fine point blade
  • Ruler
  • Papercutting template


The Technique

1. Flip the Design.

While you papercut, it’s natural to sometimes fall off the pencil line. If you don’t flip the papercut design over before cutting then these pencil lines will show up in your final cut which no one wants really. It will be impossible to rub them off later.

2. Intricate Parts First.

Small bits between letters and negative cuts should be the first thing to papercut. These are usually the hardest part of papercutting so if you do make a mistake then you can easily start again on a fresh piece of paper… now imagine starting all over again if the intricates were the last thing you attempted.

3. Cutting Curves.

The next hardest thing to papercut are curves. You can cut curves by turning the page instead of the knife. You could cut the really tight curves by making lots of smaller cuts instead of one straight cut. These days you can get knives which have blades that swivel around, but they take a lot of practice to get used to.

4. Cutting Corners.

To achieve a neater cut, you should try cut away from the corner point. If you cut towards the point, you may end up with a tiny piece of card which could fray and rip the paper.

5. Cutting Straight Lines.

Straight lines are the easiest thing to papercut and could be done so using a metal ruler, instead of a plastic ruler which may end up with shavings here and there. The border of the design is best left till last because the rest of the paper helps to anchor while you cut.

6. Backing Your Papercut.

The paper or fabric you use as backing material should be of contrasting colour to your papercut card. I prefer going for darker backings but you could try multi-coloured and patterend prints too. As for infills, simply trace them out using the actualy papercut, then cut and stick them on the back of your final papercut with cellotape.

And that's it!

The courses on this website will help ordinary papercutters learn how to easily design beautiful papercuts so they can hang, gift or even sell them on.

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