Sunday, November 20, 2016

Paper Snowflakes

This time of year paper snowflakes are really popular. It's a cheap activity for kids, and they make great Christmas decorations. But in many countries it is actually a popular and beautiful folk art.

In Germany it is called scherenschnitte. In Poland it is called wycananri. And in Japan it's called kirigami. All of them have one meaning cut paper.

Papercutting is an art and craft done by people all around the world. From the traditional and intricate designs favored by those in Germany and Switzerland to the bright "papel picado" banners of Mexico to beautiful Japanese and Chinese designs to colorful Polish birds and flowers, cut paper designs have been done for centuries.

Paper has been around for ages. And scissors have been around since Roman times.

People really started to use cut paper as a design because they couldn't afford fine paintings.

So how do you start? It's simple!

Here's What You Need

Scissors with a very fine point
Craft knife
Protective pad of newspaper
ruler, pencil, eraser
paper to cut: tissue, origami papers
background papers
mats and frames
white glue

Hints For Papercutting

Start with easy patterns. That means nothing to intricate.

If you want to mat and frame you work, it is much cheaper to begin with a standard mat and frame, then design your work to go in it.

Do not use gummed papers and some recycled papers may be difficult.

When cutting, try to move the paper more than the scissors..

For interior areas, pierce the paper with the point of the scissors, an exacto knife or even a needle.

When gluing it down, flatten your design first, even iron it lightly, then tack it to the background paper with several dots of glue. You can fill in with the toothpick and more glue as needed.

Do not rub.

And most importantly, use your imagination.

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