Papercuts are an exquisite folk art form that has been around a long time. Very thin rice paper is cut and pasted together to create delicate finished pieces. Some of the earliest papercuts found in China date back to AD 386-581. There are a myriad of patterns: dragons, pandas, birds, people, landscapes, just about anything you can imagine. In the household, typically women and girls make the papercuts. However, men usually make professional papercuts. As with most art there are several ways to execute the craft.
- Scissors or a sharp knife, scissors are usually preferred.
- Thin paper such as rice paper look around your local craft store for a good substitute if rice paper is unavailable. Use solid or colored paper. For different effects several different papers are used and then layered or the paper is dyed different colors.
- Line cuts: The lines are cut away.
- Space cuts: The white space is cut out leaving the lines in tact.
- Combination cuts: Both space and line cutting techniques are used creating quite imaginative effects.
- Fold cuts: The paper is folded one or more times and a pattern is cut out creating a symmetrical design. This is a good technique for children.
Now it is time to create your own papercut.
- Create or choose a design below.
- Transfer the design to the rice paper with the chalk.
- Cut it out, try to make each piece one continuous cut.
- Gently and carefully remove the papercuts.
- Lie the papercuts on the “base” paper.
- Brush on some paste going from the center to the edges.
- Let dry.
Designs to try.
Click on the thumbnail image you want, it will open in a new window. Right click on the image and save it to your computer or print. Note: images are turned for optimal printing.
If you make a paper cut, please let us know!