I mentioned this little paper cut side project I’d been wanting to do over a year ago, and I’m happy to say I finally finished it!
I’d originally intended on doing a much larger version with a lot of different animals and flowers, but I scaled it back since it was really my first serious paper cutting endeavor. I have to constantly remind myself not to bite off more than I can chew!
Paper cutting is a slow and somewhat tedious process, but it’s the perfect thing to do while I’m watching a movie or tv. It’s kinda like assembling a diorama. Man, I loved when we got diorama assignments in school!
Here it is a little closer:
And at a wonky angle so you can more clearly see the different levels that give it the three dimensional depth:
When I was finished, I wasn’t sure I was happy with it. Naturally I can see every flaw. But once I framed it and put it on the wall and took a few steps back, I decided it turned out pretty kickass. Some things aren’t meant to be looked at up close.
The only things not done in paper are the white parts of the eyes, the red/pink detail on the dogwood flowers, and the silvery background. I mixed up some acrylic paint in metallic silver and a midnight blue for the background and painted it on a piece of cardstock. I didn’t mix it all the way up so I got some streaks that kind of look like sunlight filtering through the trees.
Naturally, I learned a few things doing my first papercut, so here are some of my tips:
- A cardstock weight paper seems to be a good weight. It’s thin enough that you can shape it a little to get some curl to things like leaves and crisp enough that it can support a few layers without getting floppy.
- Elmer’s glue is way too wet and dries too slow. I had to completely redo Mr. Deer because he got wrinkly spots from the wetness of the glue the first time around. I recommend Beacon 3-In-1 Craft Glue and Glue Dots. A glue stick might work well, but I didn’t try it personally.
- Stock up on blades for your craft knife and CHANGE IT OFTEN. I kept trying to use the blade as long as possible which eventually led to the blade just ripping through the paper instead of giving me nice clean cuts. Every time I changed the blade, things got easier, and I wondered why I didn’t change it sooner!