The How’s of Papercutting

It was only in July this year when I learned how to papercut through a workshop held by Hey Kessy. Mansy, the girl behind Hey Kessy, was actually the one who suggested that I start a blog of my works. And that’s when Papel de Pinay came to be.

Although I am only an amateur on this newfound hobby, I thought it might be helpful to share the very basics of papercutting on this blog, particularly to those who may also find interest on this hobby.

Papercutting consists of three parts: 1) Conceptualizing; 2) drawing; and 3) cutting.


This part is the one I enjoy the most as I have tons of ideas to do for my projects. However, if you’re only starting out and is still a bit unsure of what to do, why not think of an interesting quote or a line from your favorite song? From there, you can draw a lot of inspirations. If you’re the forgetful type like me, it’s good to keep a notebook where you can sketch your ideas and plan for your next projects. You never know when you’ll get all Dory all of a sudden.



Then comes the part I dread the most — drawing. Why, you ask? Because I seriously suck at drawing. I do. For one project, I even had to google a few cliparts just because I couldn’t draw a freaking owl. Really. The good thing about papercutting though, is that your drawings need not be perfect. So if you’re lame at sketching, don’t lose hope. Just don’t leave out the details as these are what make papercuts intricate and appealing.

Remember also that you will be drawing on the opposite side of the page (this is to keep the paper free from pencil traces), so make sure that your sketch is a mirror image of your project. Otherwise, if your project involves some text, one would need to master the art of reading in reverse to appreciate your work.



Last but not the least — the most important of all, actually — is the cutting part. Your craft knife is your magic wand. If your craft knife is dull, your cuts will not be clean and steady. You wouldn’t want to end up crumpling your work in frustration after spending a considerable amount of time conceptualizing and drawing, would you? That said, I really suggest investing on a good quality craft knife. Craft knives usually come with blades which can be bought in bookstores, specialty shops, and even hardware stores. I haven’t tried other brands aside from Maped, so I can’t recommend a specific brand besides what I’m using now. I have, however, heard good reviews on X-Acto so I might try that out next time.

For the finished product of this papercut, click here.

One more thing: when making your project, never, as in NEVER, cut without a cutting mat or board — unless, of course you’d want to engrave your project permanently on your tabletop and find your mom making a close-to-perfect impression of The Conjuring.

There you go. Just some of the basic things I wanted to share with you on my very limited knowledge on the art of papercutting. Try it out sometime. Who knows, maybe it might pique your interest like it did mine. 🙂