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Aunt Annie's Crafts

Paper Cutting Techniques and Crafts

About the projects

These craft projects feature paper cutting techniques that can be used to add colorful designs to paper crafts, scrapbooks, fabrics and household objects. Apply what you learn in these craft projects to decorate greeting cards, in gift wrapping, and in home decorating.

Tip: Read a brief note about paper-cutting traditions around the world.

The projects range in difficulty from VERY EASY to AVERAGE.

Browse down this page for descriptions and illustrations of the projects, then select a project and have some crafting fun!

  • Simple Paper Cutting - In this project, Aunt Annie introduces you to the art of paper-cutting through the techniques of cut-apart and layered paper. These techniques can be used to decorate greeting cards, stationery, boxes, gift wraps, or any paper craft project.


  • Cut Paper Heart Valentine Ideas - This project features the art of paper-cutting to create Valentine's Day cards. You can easily make unique and striking Valentines using the included heart templates and colored and/or decorative papers.


  • Symmetry in Snowflakes - Learn how to cut paper snowflakes. This project includes patterns for several different snowflakes, including Aunt Annie's favorites. You will also learn about the symmetry found in every snowflake.


  • Easy Paper Snowflakes - Learn an easy way to cut snowflakes from tissue paper. With this technique you can make a whole flurry of snowflakes in a hurry! Using tissue paper makes cutting through many layers easier, but you can use any lightweight paper you like.


  • Paper Doll Chains - Create a chain of paper dolls by cutting multi-folded paper strips. Learn this basic paper cutting technique with paper dolls, then let your imagination run wild! Cut paper chains with themes for every season and every special event. They make great decorations for parties, classrooms and your home.


  • Paper Flowers - See how easy it is to make paper flowers by cutting squares of paper. It requires no patterns and uses simple materials. This is a skill well worth learning!


  • Paper Heart Chains - Create chains of paper hearts by cutting accordion-folded paper strips. You can easily make paper heart chains for Valentine's Day. It's just like cutting Paper Doll Chains—only easier! Use strips of red paper, plain or patterned, to decorate for a party, in the classroom, around the house or for a special dinner with your loved ones.


  • Paper Appliqué Cards - In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make paper appliqué cards. Basically these are cards made from cut paper arranged on the card to mimic the look of cloth appliqué. There's no end to what can be done with this technique.


  • Easy Valentine Cards - Need to make lots of Valentines in a hurry but still want to show your creative flair? These easy to make Valentines are based on hearts that are cut freehand. After some simple prep work, this project is as easy as fold, cut and glue. Great for kids!


  • Easy Mother's Day Cards - Mom will love these pretty cards with simple paper cutouts that spell out "M-O-M." Use whatever crafty things you have on hand to add your special creative touch.


  • Simple Father's Day Cards - Make these simple cards with paper cutouts that spell out "D-A-D." It takes very few supplies to make these fantastic looking cards. Dad (and Granddad) will love these special kid-made cards.


  • Paper Angel Chains - Create a chain of paper angels by cutting folded paper strips. It's just like folding and cutting paper doll chains! The angels stand on their own and can be used to add some sparkle anywhere you are doing some holiday decorating!


  • Stenciled Flower Pots - Turn a plastic flower pot from ordinary to extraordinary with stenciling. In this project, you will learn how to cut a stencil and then apply acrylic paint through the stencil to a small plastic flower pot. This technique can then be used to decorate just about any plastic container.


About paper-cutting traditions around the world

The first examples of paper-cutting came from China in the 4th or 5th century. The Chinese have developed paper-cutting into a beautiful and intricate art called chien-chih. The most sophisticated patterns take an incredible amount of skill to cut, and may take months to complete. The paper-cuts are usually created with very thin red paper using many traditional designs.

Paper-cutting has developed as an art all around the world wherever paper is plentiful. The best-known traditions are scherenschnitte from Germany and Switzerland, kirigami from Japan, and wycinanki from Poland. Paper-cutting also has a long and popular history in Mexico, with the craft originating with the Mayans in the 6th century. Each tradition of paper-cutting has developed a unique style that sets it apart from the others. The styles range from simple silhouettes to wonderfully intricate and colorful collages.

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Paper doll chains cut from white and colored paper

Tip: For how to cut paper dolls, see the Paper Doll Chains craft project.

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