The Art of Paper Cutting

When the words ‘Paper Cutting’ is mentioned, perhaps an image like that comes to mind?

Screen Shot 2015 03 11 at 11 14 10 amSource 

剪纸 or Chinese Paper Cutting originated from China, as paper was invented by a Chinese in the Eastern Han Dynasty in Chinese. It is one of the oldest and most popular folk art forms in China. Some of the patterns are of a single image, while others are symmetrical designs that are cut after the paper is folded in half or into more proportioned folds. Chinese paper cut designs are mostly used for decorative purposes and till today, during Chinese New Year, many Chinese still follow the traditions of putting up designs on their walls, windows or doors that indicate their wishes for the new year.

The art has evolved beyond China and have adapted various cultural styles over time, there are Indonesian, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Jewish, Mexican, Swedish and Swiss versions of their Paper Cutting art.

ArtofpapercuttingSource L to R; Jewish, Swedish, Swiss, Indian Style Paper Cutting


Playing with Paper Craft recently, I got rather intrigued by Japanese Origami and discovered a variation of origami that includes not just folding the paper, but cutting paper as well. Kirigami patterns start with folded original paper, then the pattern is cut, opened to make the finished product. Like 剪纸, the patterns are mostly symmetrical, and it is alot easier to do then it looks, and the patterns go beyond just snowflakes :)

Screen Shot 2015 03 11 at 11 48 02 amSource

Snowflakes are simple enough for children above 5 years old to cut, however when it comes to other patterns that require more detailed cutting with a Xacto knife, the activity will be more suited for children 12 years old and above.

Kirigami patterns can be used for decorations, card-making, gift-wrapping, to personalise stationery and add some texture to scrap-booking layouts.

So what are the tools that you will need for Kirigami? 

1. 15cm x 15cm Origami Paper (You can get it for $2 a pack from Daiso)

2. Penknife

3. Sharp Scissors

4. Xacto Knife

5. Self-Healing Mat

6. Stapler

The Xacto knife and Self-Healing Mat are good investments if you want to give Paper Crafting a try. I got them from Art Friend at below SGD$11 each.

Kirigami tools 1


For more on Kirigami, go to this site or go to this post on the uses of Paper Crafts.

Next post, I will be sharing some ideas on how to make and use Kirigami.

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