Since I started this blog last year I have gotten several requests about offering papercut patterns on my Etsy store and today I am so excited to announce that I after many tests I finally put together the first four patterns for you to cut with your very own hands! Yay!!!! You can click on all the pictures bellow to see the larger versions.
This first series of 4 patterns includes:1 Red Riding Hood, 1 Alice in Wonderland, 1 Peter Rabbit and 1 Pinocchio. When finished, they will beautifully fit into 5"x7" frames or larger. You don't need to transfer or draw these patterns on any surface or anything like that because they are already printed on the exact professional paper that I use for my papercut pieces. This is a beautiful archival paper, 100% cotton, acid-free and the color is ivory. The pink color that you see in the pictures is the part that has been printed on the paper and that's exactly the part that we will need to cut out from the design. It couldn't get any easier :)
All you will need is a knife (I recommend an X-Acto knife with the #11 blade because they're the sharpest ones) and a self-healing cutting mat (they come in different colors and sizes). This is a great opportunity for you to give papercutting a try and right here I am going to guide you through the process of how you can cut these pieces all by yourself. These four pieces won't only make great gifts but they will also be a therapeutic activity for you. From my personal experience I can say that papercutting is one of the most relaxing things that I have done in my 38 years of life (and many more to come!)
Let's start by taking a look at this pattern featuring Peter Rabbit, this piece will be our example. Do you see the little numbers on it? Each number is a little "island" within the general design and we are basically going to cut out these little islands one at a time, following the numerical order. The little black broken lines that you notice here are just a way to turn large spaces into islands.
Before you start working on your first pattern I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to take a piece of paper and make some cuts on it, just to let your hand "warm up" a little bit. Hold the knife in the position that is most comfortable for you. I do it in the same way that I hold a pen. Below you will find a practice sheet that I designed specially for you to exercise a little bit your hand before you start cutting your actual pieces. You can download this sheet, and print it out on regular office paper:
Here you can see how I just cut out the island #1. You will be doing this with your knife and my number one advice is: enjoy the process and relax. Imagine that you're a surgeon and you are doing an exciting "operation" in order to bring your pattern to life :) While making the cuts, hold the paper with your other hand for more control and rotate it whenever is needed.
Here I just cut island #2, one cut at a time.
And so on...The key is to relax and enjoy the process :)
After all the islands have been cut we will have some smaller details to work on, I didn't number them, we just need to cut them out after you're done with the islands. Here I want to tell you a little secret about how to cut the eye: instead of doing a circular cut make short straight cuts, one next to the other around the edge of the circle. In this picture you can see how I did it.
When you look at the piece your eye will see a nice little circle :) The little straight cuts won't be visible. You see them in this picture because this is a close up.
So, after the inner part of the design has been cut out we are now ready to cut the outer silhouette of the apple. And this is very easy too.
An in order to do that I illustrated another little secret for you: how to cut curves. In order to cut curved lines without accidents all you need is to do it gradually, don't try to cut a looooong line because it is very possible to go wrong and ruin the design. See the example above and notice how I made my first little cut.
Then I looked through the window to see the flowers :) I took a nice breath and then I made the second little cut. Oh, I am so relaxed!
Then the third cut (I looked at the flowers again...) And before I realized I was already done cutting my Petter Rabbit piece. Yay!!!
It feels great when you see your little piece in front of you ready to frame :) You feel proud of yourself for having done the whole thing from the beginning to the end and then you feel that you can go out there in real life and do all the things that you need to do in the same way: one "cut" at a time, enjoying the process.
Now you understand why I haven't been able to stop making papercuts. Once you make one with the right state of mind then you will want to make more complicated ones. Stay tuned because I will be designing new ones. I am going from basic to advanced level. Yay!!!!
I wish you all my best in your papercutting adventure!!
note: If you have any question, any recommendation about what other patterns I should design...just leave me a comment here in this post :)