I wrote an article about cutting paper with scissors to the Finnish paper crafting magazine “Paperilla.” The collage shown here was made as an illustration for the article. It is called Fruit Tree. For the collage, I picked some solid colored papers and cut them to pieces. After glueing the pieces, I added a black background and thin decorative lines with black markers. So simple yet effective!
I have nothing against die cutting machines but still – think about the possibilities of plain old scissors! It is like all the stencils and cutting files of the world are packed inside of them!
There are at least five reasons to enjoy cutting paper with scissors!
1) Hand cut pieces are 100 % You
People often worry that if they cut by hand, their circles are not perfectly round or their squares perfectly rectangular. I like to call my irregular cuts “organic.” To me, they look unique and full of potential, especially when combined with the other imperfect ones. They are a little bit like my plants – marigolds and geraniums which I grow each year. They might bloom a bit late, and they would not probably be accepted by the finest of the garden centres, but I love them.
2) While hand cutting Your subconscious guides You
When you keep on cutting those odd shapes, your imagination begins to work. Sometimes it takes less time, sometimes more, but when that happens it is like reading an interesting book, like taking a personality test … It is so much fun to find out what those scissors reveal each time!
3) You can repeat Your favorite shapes
Here are the six examples of mine! I have cut them so many time that they come out naturally. I also know a lot of ways to use them. Because of their familiarity, I can easily make variations from them. Finding your favorite shapes can even create the base of your unique style.
I also love to decorate the shapes with some doodling. That makes similar shapes look different from each other.
4) You can use Your own papers – or any papers!
As you know I love to make my own decorated papers. They are often as curvy and irregular as my hand cuts but no worry. With scissors I can cut any paper, thick or thin. I can spend time with fabulous papers or make even the ugly papers fabulous when I cut them thoughtfully. (The papers seen here are the best solids I know – my own watercolored papers where I have used several layers of watercolor to increase the color intensity. There’s gel medium in the jar for glueing the pieces.)
5) You can always think about hand cutting
You can take couple sheets of paper and the scissors with you wherever you go. Or you can just take the scissors and re-use paper from the magazines, tickets, leaflets, etc. Furthermore, I promise, you will begin to see interesting shapes everywhere. (Feel free to copy that crocus shape – a long stem with an oval shape on the top!)
6) Bonus! You are one step closer to being an artist!
Just wait, your art journal, card collection or whatever you do with the hand cut shapes will begin to live and breathe. Just keep on adding those elements!
Think about how this spread would look if I had cut the shapes using a die-cut machine. Nothing alike! Without even mentioning the differences in the experience of cutting and assembling. Art needs freedom, and your scissors can take you there!
Create more hand-cut collage art: Buy Doodled Luxury!