A short guide to papercutting with kids

With lockdown still ongoing, many of looking for ways to keep the kids entertained that doesn’t involve screens, YouTube or eating a week’s shopping in one day.


Therefore, I have been on the lookout for new arts and crafts.  One that caught my eye was papercutting.  Granted this is more for older kids, but it is a fantastic way to develop concentration and practise hand-eye coordination.


What is papercutting?

Papercutting is an ancient art of, unsurprisingly, cutting paper.  Since there was paper there has been papercutting and the design have become increasingly more elaborate.


It involves using a knife to cut out sections of paper to create intricate designs.  These can be your own designs or you can download templates.


The final pieces are delicate and stunning and show a real commitment to the task.  Unlike other crafts, like sewing or knitting, you don’t need any particular skills for this one.


What equipment do you need for papercutting?

You might not need skills, but you will need the right equipment.  You will need good quality paper for drawing or printing your designs.  This can be white or any colour you want your design to be.


A good crafting knife is a must.  And it is for this reason that you might want to save this activity for the older kids.  The better the knife, the easier this craft is.


You will also need some paper cutting templates.  You can draw this yourself, but if it is your first time doing it then you might want to look online for a paper cut template to try.


Last thing you need is a mat.  This is so your knife won’t scratch or cut your table.  You place the template on the mat and use the knife to cut out the unwanted sections.


What are papercutting files?

These are the templates.  They make it easy to know where you have to cut and can be easily printed at home.  You can buy these in packs or individually based on your needs.


Where can you get papercutting files?

There are lots of place that you can pick these up but one of my favourite is Design Bundles.  They have so many great designs and ideas that even the fussiest kids will be able to find something they like.


With options for all price ranges, including some free ones too, you’ll be able to find a project to start working on.  Once you have picked the one you like, you pay and download it.  After that, you print it out and you are ready to go.


Why is papercutting great for kids?

Kids love arts and crafts, but as they get older it can be hard to find projects that keep them suitably entertained.  Nothing says you’re all grown up like handing them a knife.  They’ll love the danger.


Plus, they will be able to choose designs that appeal to them.  They can use these for making cards for their friends or to decorate their bedroom.  A great sense of pride in their work.


The delicate nature of the work is great for developing and maintaining fine motor skills and concentration.  Both skills that they will need to use a lot in life.


Papercutting examples

To give you an idea of what I am talking about.  Here is an example of a paper cutting image.

You would then print this image and cut out the bits in white.  This would leave the image of the deer behind.  The final pieces and fragile and beautiful and show the commitment that the creator has put in.


What can you use the finished pieces for?

The final piece can be used for all sorts of purposes.  Many people stick them on birthday and Christmas cards to give to family and friends.  A lovely personal gift rather than the shop-bought items.


Alternatively, you could frame them and put them up around the house.  How proud would your children feel if you hung their project up in the living room for all to see?

You could also use paper cutting to create Christmas decorations or decorations for any festivities for that matter.  If your kids get really good, then they could try making some to sell for charity or a bit of extra pocket money.  That way you don’t have to keep all their creations in your house.


Have you tried paper cutting yet?

If you are not sure that your kids will like it, then why not try having a go yourself first.  You never know you might enjoy it more than the kids.

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