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The Crafter's Guide to Paper Cutting | Papercut Book Review

Updated on October 26, 2013

Paper cutting is a versatile paper craft that involves cutting intricate and ornate patterns out of paper. It is a traditional technique but recently it has become very trendy and popular, with many artists putting a modern twist on the classic art form.

Could I Try It?

Absolutely! It is an excellent craft to try even if you don't have much space, money or crafting experience because there is mostly just the one skill (cutting) to master, and you need very few inexpensive items to get started.

You will need a craft knife with spare blades, a cutting mat, scissors, a pencil and paper. If you are a crafty person you probably have most if not all of these items already, so it really is simple to get involved.

Why This Book?

I have only recently taken up the craft myself, and as a result I have accumulated quite a few books on the subject. This one is my favorite, and there are a few main reasons why:

1) There are a huge 50(!) templates provided at the back of the book which are all ready for you to cut out and make beautiful creations with straight away. These templates are all printed in color on both sides of the page, with funky patterns on the backs, plus the paper is very nice quality. This is the main point that sets the book apart from the competition, and it definitely gives you great value for your money.

2) The fact that the book takes you from an absolute beginner right through to being able to take on more challenging designs (or even design your own).

3) The variety of the projects; the designs range from simple shapes to more challenging scenes, and the end results can be anything from greeting cards to shadow puppets. There are also various techniques covered such as 'sherenschnitte' (where you use scissors to cut a folded piece of paper), layering (where you stack different colored papercuts on top of each other), freehand cutting and intercutting.

4) The tips and instructions for each project, as well as very handy diagrams highlighting the areas of a template which are most difficult to cut by circling them in red. I find this very useful because it makes you aware of when to be more careful with your cutting.

5) Lots and lots of photos; I'm a very visual person so this is very important to me. There are photos of really impressive papercuts by professional artists as well as step-by-step photos in the tutorial sections.

6) The attractive style and layout, and the cheerful colors that run throughout the book. If you would like examples of the style you can expect in the book, you can visit the author's blog by clicking here.

Contents of This Book

The book begins with interesting information about the history of papercutting, followed by a 'getting started' section which details the basic tools, materials and techniques you will need to use.

Next is the 'designing papercuts' section for helping you to form your own design ideas and original templates.

The fourth section is the 'projects' section which is the largest at 46 pages long. This includes 20 tutorials, including 5 card designs, plus family silhouettes, bunting and a mobile.

Lastly is the ready-to-use templates section so you can easily make the projects a reality.

I would recommend this neat book for both complete beginners and paper crafters who are looking for more challenges and project ideas. It's also perfect for card makers who perhaps haven't used papercutting in their work before but would like to introduce it to add a new dimension to their cards.

P.S. If you are in the UK and want to buy this book (or read more details), you can click here to go to the Amazon page.

Here are a few 5* rated papercutting books which are also very helpful:

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This photo shows the front cover of my copy. The text seems to be a different color than in the image above - but don't worry; it is the same book!Beautiful framed art project.This photo shows the ready-to-use templates at the back of the book - and you can see on the left that the back of that sheet is nicely pre-patterned.This one is my favorite idea; I love the dramatic contrast between red and black.
This photo shows the front cover of my copy. The text seems to be a different color than in the image above - but don't worry; it is the same book!
This photo shows the front cover of my copy. The text seems to be a different color than in the image above - but don't worry; it is the same book!
Beautiful framed art project.
Beautiful framed art project.
This photo shows the ready-to-use templates at the back of the book - and you can see on the left that the back of that sheet is nicely pre-patterned.
This photo shows the ready-to-use templates at the back of the book - and you can see on the left that the back of that sheet is nicely pre-patterned.
This one is my favorite idea; I love the dramatic contrast between red and black.
This one is my favorite idea; I love the dramatic contrast between red and black.

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