Kyleigh Orlebar

How to make an Autumn leaf garland

I just adore Autumn don’t you? It casts a beautiful muted light on everything as the year gives her last and most beautiful smile. Autumn teaches us that it’s ok to let things go. That it’s ok to hunker down, safe in the knowledge that we’ll bloom again.

So I’ve decided to honour this beautiful  season with a DIY Autumn leaf garland craft that can be enjoyed throughout this beautiful season. It’ll accompany my pumpkin bunting and ghost garland Halloween decorations, but where halloween decorations are fleeting, this can be enjoyed for a little longer.

Autumn leaf garland– what you need

  • Scalpel or scissors
  • A4 Cutting Mat
  • Access to a printer
  • A4 coloured paper in Autumn shades
  • Glue stick or double sided tape
  • Twine, string or ribbon

SCALPEL – I like to use a Swann-Moreton 3 handle and a 10a blade, I’ve added affiliate links below but you can get  scalpels quite readily at craft shops like The Range or Hobbycraft. I also use a Fiskars Fingertip Swivel Knife for curves – you either love a swivel blade or hate them! As you’ll find out if you come along to a workshop.

Affiliate links: Fiskars Fingertip Swivel Knife | Swann-Moreton 3 Handle & 10a blades

CUTTING MAT – Needs to be ‘self healing’ cutting mat which means you can cut on it and it will ‘heal’. A good one will bear the brunt of your cutting and maintain a lovely surface. A cheap one will soon break apart leaving indents in the surface.

Buy: A4 cutting mat by Humbrol

Step 1

Buy and download my Autumn Leaf Garland here – There are 3 sheets each with 2 leaf designs on each page giving you a total of 6 individual Autumn leaves. I suggest printing x2 of each template on different Autumn coloured paper so you have 12 differing leaves for your bunting garland. You can of course draw your own leaf shapes – but for the price of a coffee I’ve done it for you 🙂

Grab yourself sheets of A4 Yellow, orange, red, purple, brown and even gold would work beautifully.

I recommend using anything from 90gam to 120gsm  paper, I have written an extensive blogpost on different paper weights which you can read here.

Step 2

With your printed sheet on your cutting mat, begin to cut around the outside of each leaf shape holding the scalpel as you would a pen. Always cut towards you in a controlled manner and aim to keep your cutting ‘within the lines’.

It doesn’t matter too much if you come off the lines as we’re cutting the back.

You can also cut around each leaf shape using a pair of scissors if you’d like – it’s up to you!

Be sure not to cut the thick stalk off as you’ll need this to be able to hang the leaves on the twine later.

Step 3

Continue to cut all the lovely leaf shapes. Don’t rush, it’s not a race. Enjoy the mindful meditative nature of papercutting – you’ll lose yourself in the relaxing and satisfying journey. So pop on a podcast or audio book and enjoy.

Step 4

When you’ve cut all your leaves out – turn them over so any grey edges are on the back (with a bit of luck you’ve cut them al so well there won’t BE any grey edges!).

Then turn your scalpel upside down or grab something blunt you can use to score lines – such as a blunt dinner knife. I used the handle of my scalpel which worked perfectly.

Score or mark the veins on each leaf – going down the middle and coming off in branches, with branches on those branches. Go simple or super detailed as you see fit.

Step 5

Lightly folded along the main middle vein – not too much, just enough to give it texture.

Then holding on to the leaf, take a blunt dinner knife or your nail, and score outwards in short strokes along the edges of the leaf.

This should make your Autumn leaf look curly around the edges which will add to it looking even better than it does already!

Continue to do this to all your leaves – scoring the veins, folding the middle vein and curling the edges upwards.

Step 6

Now it’s time to grab your double sided tape (or glue stick) and your twine (string or ribbon). Work out the order you want your leaves to hang in – and leave enough twine at both ends to be able to hang it.

Place each leaf face down and find the tab at the top. Fold it in half and score. Unfold again and put a slither of glue stick or double sided tape onto the tab, place the bakers twine, string or ribbon on the crease of the fold and fold down on top of the glue. Hold in place until the glue sets a little.

Continue sticking all your leaves on to the twine, remembering to leave a gap between each leaf. Hang it up and enjoy!

I recommend hanging it on a mantel piece, a dresser, or in the window – and as Halloween approaches, don’t forget to make my Pumpkin bunting and Ghost garland to add to the Autumn decorations!

I’d love to see how you get on – if you’re on Instagram, pop over there and tag me because I LOVE to see your creations and I’m happy to reshare to my stories if you’d like – always great to get a virtual high five!

Take care and happy cutting folks!

Kyleigh x

How to make Easter Egg Bunting

Howdy Easter chicks! Here’s a step by step guide on how to make my Eater Egg Bunting. So for the price of a coffee you’ll spend a lovely crafternoon making something stunning that will help you decorate your house for Easter for years to come.

Easter Egg Bunting – what you need

  • Scalpel
  • A4 Cutting Mat
  • Access to a printer
  • A4 white paper (7 sheets)
  • A4 assorted pastel coloured paper (6 sheets)
  • Glue stick or spray glue
  • Twine, string or ribbon to hang (I used this paper twine for extra eco friendly brownie points!)

SCALPEL – I like to use a Swann-Moreton 3 handle and a 10a blade, but do find one that YOU love to use because they are such a personal thing (like a favourite pen). I also use a Fiskars Fingertip Swivel Knife for the curves, but as I’ve said before – these are like MARMITE. You either love em or hate em!

Buy: Fiskars Fingertip Swivel Knife | Swann-Moreton 3 Handle & 10a blades

CUTTING MAT – this needs to be a ‘self healing’ cutting mat meaning you can cut your paper on it and it will magically ‘heal’. A good one will bear the brunt of your cutting and maintain a lovely surface. A cheap one will soon break apart leaving indents in the surface.

Buy: A4 cutting mat by Humbrol

Step onePicture showing printed easter egg templates on a cutting mat

Buy and download my Easter egg bunting here and print out all sheets. There are 6 sheets each with 2 egg designs on each page giving you a total of 12 individually designed Easter Eggs.

Most people have home printers, especially after this past year home schooling and printing endless PDFs! But if you don’t then maybe sweet talk a neighbour or friend into printing it out for you.

I recommend using 120gsm white paper, I have written an extensive blogpost on different paper weights which you can read here.

 

Step two

Grab Easter Egg Bunting sheet 1 and put the other sheets to one side. Put the sheet onto your cutting mat and holding the scalpel as you would a pen, begin to cut any of the inside grey shapes (the negative shapes). Always cut towards you in a controlled manner and aim to keep your cutting ‘within the lines’.

Once all the inside shapes on both Easter eggs are cut out, then cut around each of the shapes using your scalpel or a pair of scissors.

Be sure not to cut the top tab off the top of the egg as you need this to be able to hang the eggs on the twine later.

 

Step three

Continue to cut all the Easter Egg bunting templates out until all 12 are cut and looking mighty fine. Don’t rush – this is the beauty of papercutting, so enjoy and lose yourself in the quietly relaxing and satisfying journey. Ommmmm…

Step four

Once all eggs are done, print out the background template x6 times onto different colours of pastel paper. There’s x2 eggs on each sheet – I used pastel green, blue, purple, yellowand two slightly different shades of pink.

This is the shape that covers the back of the eggs. So an idea might be to print these sheets and have your children to cut around each one with scissors.

Or print them all onto white paper and have the kids paint or decorate each shape as you get on with your intricate egg templates. Something for everyone! You could also use patterned paper or glitter paper. Oooooh glitter!

Step five

So your background shapes are cut and your intricate Easter egg bunting shapes are all cut yeah? Ok let’s get sticking! Grab your glue stick and carefully put some glue onto your cut-out white egg . We put glue on the white egg and not the background colour so that glue doesn’t show through the holes!

Alternatively you can use spray glue (I like to use SprayMount by 3M). Doing one egg at a time (and not spraying them all at once) spray it OUTSIDE, spray for about .5 of a second, you really don’t need much. And (popping back inside the house!) place the egg face down with the glue side facing UP – then take the coloured background shape and place down ontop of the glued egg. Flip over and smooth down. I really hope that makes sense!

Step six

When all of your eggs have got their pretty coloured backs on then it’s time to grab your glue stick and twine, string or ribbon.Work out the order you want your eggs to hang in – and leave enough twine at the end to hang up.

Then place each egg face down and find the tab at the top. Fold it in half so the top of the tab folds back in line with the top of the egg.

Unfold again and put a slither of glue stick or double sided tape onto the tab, place the bakers twine, string or ribbon on the crease of the fold and fold down on top of the glue. Hold in place until the glue sets a little.

Continue sticking all your eggs to the twine, remembering to leave a gap between each egg. I left about 120mm between each egg. When all the eggs are stuck down, remember to leave the same amount of twine to hang up as the length you left on the other end.

Step seven

Hang up and enjoy! I hung mine at the window and will be making more this Easter for the dresser and even the wall or up the stairs. You can go absolutely CRAZY with it. If you’re hanging it in a window then why not print and cut all the Easter Egg bunting templates again, cut them again, cut off the tabs and stick the right pattern to the back of each egg so they look great and finished from either side. BOOM!

Let me know how you get on – and if you’re on Instagram, pop over there and tag me because I LOVE to see your creations and always reshare them to my stories where I can if you’d allow.

I hope you loved making the Easter Egg Bunting, if you get the bug then don’t forget there’s simply loads of instant printable templates for you to get stuck into here, on my Etsy shop and I can even create custom papercut templates for you.

Happy cutting folks!

Easter Bunting Template PDF

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It’s 12th Jan 2021, if you’re in the UK we’re just into week 2 of our 3rd national lockdown. Only this time it isn’t wall to wall sunshine. It’s actually bleak, dark and cold. And dare I say it, a little more daunting.

My first window rainbow April 2020

I sincerely hope this finds you well and coping ok – whether that is coping with home schooling, juggling your work while caring for others or coping with feelings of anxiety and loneliness.

I see you. Here I am giving you a virtual hug, ooh you smell nice.

Remember my last lockdown window rainbow? I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to see all your creations proudly displayed in windows up and down the country being shared on Instagram (I’ve made a story highlight of them all here).

I even spotted one on the national news while someone was being interviewed outside their home. And as I ventured out on the rare times I dared to go for a drive (I’m on the shielding list so housebound during lockdown, save the odd dog walk locally), I squealed like a child when ever I spotted one of them in local windows. Some even glued them to their car bonnets! You guys!

Well anyway, I figured that NEW LOCKDOWN 2021 calls for a NEW WINDOW RAINBOW 2021! Different words, same sentiment. The intention is to make someone smile and show passers by they’re not alone. It will help raise spirits, as well as raise money for nationwide foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.

What what? for charity?

Yes that’s right! I’m proud to say I’ve partnered with The Trussell Trust food bank charity and 50% of EVERY sale of these templates goes directly to the charity. That’s £2 of each one. The other half comes to me to help keep my little business afloat during these UNPRECEDENTED (oh my god I can’t believe I used that sodding word) TIMES. Helps me pay rent on a shop I can’t go to let alone open.

Super easy to make

I’ve made it super easy for you. Despite it having a finished size of 57 x 57cm, you don’t need a big A3 printer. You only need access to an A4 printer, and either colour or black and white will do. You don’t need a scalpel either – scissors will do. You don’t need to print it onto coloured paper, white paper will do. You don’t need to colour or paint it – I’ve coloured it for you too if you need it! Oooof I hope I’ve thought of everything!

What’s included:

  • A4 PDF of instructions
  • 10 page A4 PDF mono template to print on coloured paper and cut out with scalpel
  • 10 page A4 PDF mono template to print on white paper to paint/colour and cut with scissors
  • 10 page A4 PDF full colour template to print onto white and cut with scissors
  • Bonus – A4 PDF small full colour rainbow to cut around

What do I need?

  • Access to a printer
  • Scalpel or scissors
  • A4 (or larger) cutting mat
  • A4 sheets of rainbow coloured paper (2x of red, orange, yellow, green, 1x of blue and purple)
  • OR 10 sheets of white paper

Lockdown project for you

You can make this project just for you – discover the therapeutic nature of crafting to sooth your soul by taking your time cutting out each letter with your scalpel. Pop on a podcast or your favourite music and enjoy. If the kids ask to ‘help’ tell them they should be in maths, quick.. the teach is waiting in Google Classrooms! go!

Ok, ok let the kids help

There’s a version where you don’t need to cut the letters out – they print out in black and you colour or paint the rainbow in yourself. You could fill the space with doodles in the appropriate colour? Crack out the acrylics and do a solid colour wash. Or let them scribble the HECK out of it with their felt tips. Yeah that one can go in THEIR window eh?

Get the kettle on, I’ll meet you on the cutting mat in 5, yeah?

You can download it here. I cant wait to see what you create!

And like my new rainbow says: We’ve done it before and we can do it again. Just remember that one day this will be over and we will be together again with renewed appreciation. Keep smiling, stay safe.

Big love

Kyleigh xx

 

Give it a pin!

 

window rainbow

It’s 2pm Friday 18th Dec 2020.

The kids have just broken up from school on what was arguably the strangest academic year ever. Bless em. Hats off to all the incredible teachers – YOU. ARE. SIMPLY. AMAZING.

Mums and Dads – you’ll be wanting to do something Christmassy with the kids this year, yeah? Something to keep the little darlings away from Among Us, Fortnight or YouTube?

Gingerbread bunting to the rescue

With most of the usual things cancelled, why not crank up the Christmas tunes (Bublé I’m looking at you) and have a crafternoon making these little gingerbread papercraft beauties.

Oh, you don’t NEED kids to enjoy making these. In fact it is probably more fun to make them WITHOUT the kids tbh. Pour a glass of something strong and mulled, crank up the Christmas tunes (Bublé I’m STILL looking at you… ding dong) and enjoy an hour or two of complete relaxation while making a craft that will look lovely hanging up at home this festive season.

What you need to make this gingerbread bunting

  • Download my templates (for the cost of a coffee you help keep a small business going thank you x)
  • Red paper (1 sheet is enough for 6/8 gingerbread)
  • White paper (2 sheets – 1 for the accessories and 1 for the instructions)
  • Brown paper (4 sheets will make 8 gingerbread = 1.5m bunting depending on spacing)
  • Access to a printer (black and white is fine)
  • Scalpel or scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • String or bakers twine
  • Glue stick, sellotape or double sided sticky tape

What type of paper do you recommend?

That, my friend, is a cracking question, and one that I can get ridiculously geeky about.The long answer is here – read this blog where I have written about the different weights of paper. The short answer is: anything between about 90 – 130gsm. But if all you have is normal 80gsm printer paper, don’t let this put you off. You can still use this.

I’ve used sheets of A4 kraft paper for my bunting which I bought from Eco-craft – choose hairy manilla or ribbed brown (I will not make a joke about ribbed, I will not make a joke about ribbed). You can find A4 kraft paper sheets on Amazon too (affiliate link).

If all you have is white paper, then you can improvise. Use tea to stain it brown, use a sponge and brown watercolour or acrylic paint to make it speckled. Paint the template whole, keep it flat if you can and only cut the template when completely dry.

corona christmas decoration

How to make your lovely happy gingerbread bunting

Print out your lovely gingery friends. A mono (black and white) printer is fine for this. There’s 2 gingerbread per sheet so if you print out the gingerbread sheet 4 times onto brown paper that would make 8 gingerbread which equates to about 1 to 1.5m of bunting depending on how you do your spacing.

Print out the red PDF onto 1 sheet of red paper (green would also look good but let’s not confuse things right now) and print the white PDF onto 1 sheet of white paper.

Grab your favourite scalpel (you can read about scalpels on this blog post) and a cutting mat and make sure you’re seated at a table with good lighting.

If kids are doing it with you: Little ones can get cracking cutting around the gingerbread bunting shapes using scissors while you grab a scalpel and cut the tricky little bits on the accessories sheets – like the icing squiggles for the arms and legs. Tongue out to concentrate, remember!

With the kids still happy cutting the gingerbread bunting out – or perhaps they’ve grown bored and stomped off to watch tv or squish the presents under the tree – then you can crack on with the red accessories.

Why not pour another glass of something warm and mulled. I LOVE A MULL.

Oh, the kids have definitely given up now yeah? Well GOOD because you’ll do a much better job on the old gingerbread anyway. Pop on a Christmas film for them, pour yourself another mull and do the rest of the gingers.

WARNING: if you’re feeling a bit sozzled because you made the mull a bit strong. PLEASE be careful with the scalpel!

The Santa hats are made up using red and white, so once they’re both cut, then put some glue onto the back of the white paper and stick it on top of the red paper. Then put glue on the back of the hat and stick it on their little ginger head. But fold the tab over in half first and be sure not to stick the hat onto the tab.

You need to ensure the top tabs can still fold over when you stick on the accessories. The tab is needed to stick to the bakers twine or string later. Continue sticking any little accessories you like onto each ginger.

 

 

When all your little paper gingerbread bunting friends have their dresses, scarves, hats, face masks, bow ties and hearts on, then it’s time to get them onto the string. Space all your gingers out on a table or floor and get them in the order you want them to be on the bunting.

Cut a piece of bakers twine, string or thin 1/3 mm ribbon – you’ll need to to be the length of your gingerbread spaced out plus I allow about 30cm either end to be able to hang it up on the wall/dresser.

Turn all your finished gingerbreads face down and if you haven’t already, then fold the tabs in half and then unfold them. Pop a bit of double sided sticky tape on the tab.

Take of the backing of the double sided sticky tape and place your twine/string/ribbon on top of it. Folding the tab over on top of itself.

Repeat this for all of your ginger friends.

Oh man you’re are looking GOOD! Pour another mull to celebrate! What’s that, oh NOW the kids want to do it once they see how lovely yours is. No problemo! The PDF are yours to print as many times as you like* 🙂

Thank you so much for reading this – don’t forget to check out my other papercut templates that I have available for your papercutting pleasure, or read about how to papercut using templates here.

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*personal use only, obvs. Full disclaimer on the templates. Commercial licences available for 2021, just get in touch

What are the different paper weights, what the flip is gsm paper weight and what paper weight is best for papercutting?

Ok sweet cheeks, I’ll attempt to explain the best paper weight to use for paper cutting and get you choosing different paper weights like a pro.

What is GSM?

GSM is an acronym for ‘grams per square metre’ and it simply means the weight in grams of 1 sheet  1m x 1m paper or card. So as you would imagine, the heavier the weight or gsm the thicker the paper or card stock. The lower the weight or gsm, the lighter the paper or card stock.

Heavy heavy heavy gsm

300gsm and over is classed as heavyweight card and usually used for business cards, you know the lovely thick ones that are hard to bend. Yeah? That’s the hefty weight and you do NOT what to be papercutting this! You’ll seriously be hurting your fingers and most probably go through a zillion scalpel blades.

240gsm – 290gsm is still quite a thicko, usually used for greeting cards, invitations, menus. There is a time and a place for such weighty stock and it’s not papercutting.

Medium gsm

Anything from 190gsm to 230gsm is classed as medium weight and is usually used for certificates if that helps you imagine it, and greeting cards and gift tags.

180gsm is a lighter card stock and it is possible to cut this card with a scalpel to create greetings cards. It can be a bit hard on the fingers and you’ll need a super sharp scalpel blade. You also need to keep the designs relatively simple and not too intricate if you’re cutting this weight by hand. Don’t say I didn’t warn you?

140gsm – 170gsm in my opinion is a bit BLEUGH. It is too thick to be paper, too thin to be of any use as card. So for papercutting purposes it is best you move on, yeah?

The holy grail of gsm paper weights

135gsm – some of my gorgeous luxurious G.F Smith paper colours are only available in 135gsm, so this is one of the main reasons I say this weight. It’s still a teeeny bit thick but it means the papercut is a little bit more robust when finished. And you are able to cut intricate designs even at this weight. Mmmmmm paper.

120gsm – 100gsm – Ooooh now we’re talking. My scalpel fingers get twitchy just thinking about cutting this weight. One of my favourite papers to cut is 100gsm (flecked cream recycled, fact fans) and the scalpel slides through like a hot knife through butter. It’s also the weight of a slightly posher every day printer paper, you know, all silky smooth. Usually called ‘satin’.

90gsm – Ok we’re getting a bit thin now, it is still possible to papercut with.

Bloody lightweights

80gsm to 70gsm –  this is your bog standard every day printer paper weight. It’s flimsy af and can tear easily. At a push you could use this for practising your papercutting or printing out your practise sheets, but it’s not ideal to create a papercut from. If this is all you have, however, it’ll do.

55gsm to 35gsm – Well hello flimsy! This is the sort of weight your chippy chips are wrapped in (back in the olden days) or the weight of paper newspapers are printed on. And we all know how easily that tears eh?

35gsm to 10gsm – The thinnest of all is of course tissue paper. Now I bloody love tissue paper. I have a stack of gorgeous yellow tissue paper I wrap my finished framed papercuts in, but for papercutting? forget it, daddio!

In summary

If Goldilocks was choosing paper to do a papercut instead of stealing porridge and breaking chairs, then I would show her the following:

TOO THIN – 35gsm to 80gsm

TOO THICK – 140gsm and above

JUUUUST RIGHT – 100gsm to 135gsm

I hope that has helped you in choosing the perfect weight of paper for your papercutting project. I wish I could write a little rhyme for you to remember the weights but even I’m not that sad.

“So when you want to papercut

without doing your nut,

pick one twenty paper weight

and it will feel just great!”

The Paper Song by Kyleigh

Ah ok turns out I am that sad.

I have bought paper from all of these in the past:

Whatever paper you choose, you’re going to need to do it justice with some lovely templates – I’ve got you coveres, check out these papercutting templates, available from £3 instantly downloadable.

 

What is GSM? how to choose the right weight of paper for your project

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to papercut or you’ve seen beautiful papercut templates and thought “hey, learning how to papercut looks so fun, I want to do that!” then read on dear friends.

I’ll tell you how to create a papercut to be proud of.

And let you into a little secret too… it’s not ALL about the final beautiful papercut artwork.

You’ve guessed it, it’s all about the journey.

Choose a gorgeous papercut template

Obvious really, but the best way to start is to find a papercut template that gets you excited to want to cut it. There’s no point cutting a free template that looks crud at the end, right?

And man there’s a HEAP of free templates out there, but if you love beautifully designed things (yeah I know this is you, sweetcheeks), then you might need to spend a few quid to invest in a well designed papercut template to be PROUD OF.

With 25+ years as a professional graphic designer/creative director and 10 years of award-winning papercut designs, I feel I can show off a little if you’ll indulge, so allow me to show you some of my beautiful designs:

Instant downloads from my website HERE

Instant downloads from my Etsy shop HERE

Print it out

When you checkout and buy you’ll be given access to the PDF templates which also include a handy practice sheet. So open them up in your PDF viewer (Adobe Acrobat Reader is free to download or if you’re on a mac you can use Open with Preview).

Load your printer with a few sheets of lovely A4 paper. A good paper to start with would be a satin/silk white with a weight of around 100 to 120gsm. So not your standard everyday printer paper which is usually 80gsm. I go into more detail about paper here.

The template and practice sheet are black and white so for you mono printer users – I’ve got your back! And don’t worry if you can’t print edge to edge – I’ve allowed for this with spacing around the edge.

Tool up

If you have learned how to papercut at one of my workshops, either at my shop or at a festival then grab your cutting mat and a scalpel and crack on!

The rest of you – if you are new to papercutting, read on:

You’ll need an A4 self-healing cutting mat. As the name suggests they ‘self heal’ when the knife goes into them so you don’t ruin your lovely dining table. you can get them at various places – HobbyCraft, Amazon, haberdashery shops etc. If you are keen to get cutting but don’t have a cutting mat,  you can use a bit of thick card, PLEASE do take care not to go through!

You’ll also need your favourite scalpel. You might have to try a number of different scalpels to find the right one for you. Here’s a pic of just a few of the scalpels I have to hand. As you can see they vary quite a bit but they aren’t hugely expensive and can be picked up at various places like HobbyCraft, The Range and places like that.

What scalpels do I use I hear you ask?

Well thanks for asking, I use a Fiskars Fingertip Swivel Knife and a Swann-Moreton 3 Handle with a 10A blade attached (you can buy them as a set). Both are pictured with the YES above. These are my two true loves. The swivel for tricky swirly bits, and the fixed blade for straight lines.

Cut it out

papercutting a blue template with a scalpelStart with the practice sheet and follow the instructions.

Always hold the scalpel as you would a pen, and cut towards you in a controlled manner.

Work your way through the practice sheet which will have different shapes to cut out depending on what template you went for.

When you’re feeling confident, then it is time to embark on your template.

Enjoy spending time in the moment and losing yourself in the mindfulness that is papercutting.

There will be instructions on your template – be sure to follow these and concentrate on your papercutting and you can’t go wrong. Everyone who comes on my workshops find out that it is THE most relaxing thing to do. They never want to stop!

Admire your finished papercut

When you’ve cut the last bit of paper from your papercut template, stop. Put your scalpel down. Admire.

I see it time and again with people that come to my papercutting workshops – folk just keep on cutting.

The thing is, they are bending over it, so close to it that their attention goes to  every imperfection, every little hairline of paper sticking out. They cut and trim and slice in an effort to make it perfectly perfect.

Our eyes are so used to seeing typography as perfectly perfect. The only way to create a papercut perfectly perfect is to a) practice until you are amazing at cutting perfectly perfect or b) machine cut it. Which we all know is cheating.

May advice to you is – if it is an obvious stray bit of paper that can easily (and carefully) sliced off then do it. But step AWAY from your papercut, you will never look at it up close when it is hanging on a wall.

Show it off a bit

There are various ways to show it off to make the most of your creation.

The BEST way would be to frame it between two bits of glass in a floating frame (hello Ikea! hello Matalan!) but PLEASE make sure you buy the correct size frame. If you’re in any doubt then measure the edges of your printed out template, and make sure your chosen frame has enough room around all the edges so it doesn’t look hemmed in. It needs room to breathe…

If you have a standard frame with a back then you can show off your papercut by mounting it onto coloured card or paper. You can do this by using a tiny glue dot on the back of your papercut, or a tiny bit of spraymount. Then you frame as usual.

Repeat

By this time you’ll be slightly obsessed and you’ll NEED another template. I add new ones every month for your cutting pleasure…

If you want to challenge yourself then might I suggest ordering a personalised family tree template for you to cut? It comes with full colour photos of step-by-step instructions so it is like I’m guiding you through each and every cut.

Hungry for more? Come along to one of my workshops from my papecutting studio in Wimborne, Dorset

If you liked learning how to papercut, gimme a pin!

 

It is HEARTWARMING to know you now feel comfortable about attending my Dorset papercutting workshops and I want you to know my priority is the safety of you ALL during this, our new normal.

If you are booked onto a papercut workshop but are uncomfortable attending this year for ANY reason, you are more than welcome to move them to a different date this year or next year. Please do get in touch.

Likewise if you have a gift voucher for a papercut workshop – I will honour them for a further YEAR front of your gift voucher.

But if you’re RARING to get papercutting and nattering over a delicious array of cakes and biscuits, then I’ve listed my safety procedures for your perusal and reassurance.

  • Maximum of 4 students at a time with one huge table each which allows for 1m+ social distancing [EDIT: maximum 5 students plus me from May 17th 2021]
  • All the workshop tables, toilet and kitchen surfaces are disinfected regularly
  • I will keep my distance from participants unless we are both happy for me to be closer. If that is needed to help you it will be side by side and not face on and for no longer than 5 minutes.
  • Each workstation will have the tools and equipment needed which will have been disinfected to reduce the handling of shared tools as much as I can
  • The scalpels and cutting mats are disinfected
  • Where possible I keep the studio door open during workshops
  • A hand sanitisation station is at the entrance of the studio and participants will be required to use this on entering
  • Everyone using the toilet will be required to wash their hands before as well as afterwards
  • I recommend you bring your own refreshments, however I am happy to make drinks for those who would like one. You are welcome to bring your own mug if you’d prefer.
  • If your workshop includes lunch it will be provided by The Riverside Cafe next door who are fully up to speed with the current guidelines and have a 5 cleanliness rating. All their staff wear facemarks and will deliver your lunch to you at your workstation.
  • I am happy for you to wear a face mask during the workshop, I will have some available to buy or please bring your own. If we ALL agree during the workshop that we are happy with the distancing then we can work without masks.
  • I will have track and trace details for all workshop participants. I will be asking participants who become ill with coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms within 2 weeks of attending one of my workshops to notify you so I can implement track and trace.
  • I will ask participants if they have travelled anywhere with an outbreak/local lockdown in the last two weeks to re-arrange their workshop date.

I really hope this makes you feel safe. If there’s any other measure you feel I should do to reassure you please just get in touch.

Also…

Coming soon, online workshops… no need for hand sanitiser there sitting in your own filth on zoom eh? More details will follow as soon as they are bookable.

Rainbow face mask.
I know.
I'm so extra.

Window rainbow free template to cut or colour
Saturday 11th April 2020 – isolation day 25

I was keen to make a rainbow for the front window like everyone else is at the moment.

I mean – I FRIKKIN LOVE A RAINBOW (have you noticed my new logo by the way?)

So I put my mouse to bezier curve and created a papercut rainbow using some nice words I plucked out of my noggin. Like most of you, here at home I only have access to an A4 printer, so I designed it to fit over a number of A4 sheets of paper.


Instead of making it just for MY own window, I thought I’d offer it to you all for so you can create something beautiful for your window and brighten up someone’s day. Just imagine the next “clap for the NHS” thursday… your neighbours positively GREEN with envy! Not only that, imagine the smiles you’ll generate from everyone that walks past.

There’s three options I’ve come up with, listen up kids:

I REALLY hope you enjoy cutting these and showing off your new window. I can’t wait to see them! Please follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook and tag me for a virtual round of applause from me, and let me know if you’re happy for me to share.

Stay safe,

Kyleigh xx

As I sit here on my 7th day of isolation, with all the pressures and worries we all have at this CRAZY ASS TIME, I thought I’d revisit my blog and teach YOU, dear reader, with the basics of papercutting. You with me gang?

Think of this as a mind download, a pensieve if you will, were I just PLOP a lot of ideas and musings I hope some of you will find useful.

 

SCALPELS

I use two different types. A swivel scalpel for tiny details and curves, and a fixed blade scalpel for straight lines. I’ve found some one on Amazon (I’m hoping they’re still delivering, worth giving it a go) affiliate links below:

A Fiskars Fingertip Swivel Knife

A Swann-Moreton Scalpel and blades

 

CUTTING MAT

It is important to cut into a self healing cutting mat. They can be cut onto time and time again without getting all sliced up. they ‘self heal’. I wish we all would eh?

A4 cutting mat

A3 cutting mat

 

nb. You don’t need both – but A3 is handy if you’re cutting big things. A4 is perfect for most of the templates available on my website or Etsy.

 

PAPER

One of the main questions I get asked a lot if what paper to use for papercutting.

Paper is referred to by weight – ‘gsm’ or grams per square meter. It refers to the weight, so the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper.

The standard cheapy white printer paper we all have at home is generally 80 to 90gsm and is quite thin. This is FINE to use if you can’t get out of the house, fine for papercutting. But in an ideal world I would go a bit heavier.

  • 90gsm – standard every day printer paper, for black and white printing
  • 100gsm – standard every day colour printing. Ths is good for papercutting
  • 120gsm – Mmm now you’re talking. Get a satin for a smooth feel. Mmm. Smooth.
  • 135gsm – this is the thickest paper I use for papercutting. It might hurt after a while.
  • 150gsm – step AWAY. Too thick. It’ll really hurt your little fingies! seriously. Put it DOWN.

 

For white paper, I usually use Pro Design 100gsm, but I’ve found this on Amazon tonight

HP A4 100gsm Premium Choice Paper

 

Other than that, my absolute FAVE is beautiful G.F Smith paper oooof! gorgeous!

[EDIT] I’ve found this lovely ‘fill a box’ paper –

https://www.papermilldirect.co.uk/paper-card/boxes/pick-mix/PM-A4-S/80gsm-to-160gsm

lots of lovely colours – just make sure to only pick paper that is between about 100-120gsm for maximum cutting pleasure!

 

TEMPLATES

You’ll notice I’ve started adding my designs as cut-at-home templates. I’m adding my back catologue of designs, I started yesterday so bear with! There’s two different types:

Ready-to-cut templates

My Ready To Cut templates are designed based on words, typography or lyrics and have no personalisation. They’re as you would expect ‘ready to cut’!

Personalised Templates

Personalised templates are designed especially for YOU, you lucky thing you. So you’ll find my family trees, anniversary/wedding trees as well as letters and names. If theres a design you’ve seen of mine you’d just ruddy well LOVE to cut get in touch – I’m isolating for 12 weeks! gotta keep me busy folks, eh?

There’s also a variety of designs over on my Etsy shop. There’s some on here that Etsy doesn’t yet have and vica versa. Bear with while I amalgamate the collections. (is amalgamate even the right word? I’m suddenly thinking this has something to do with metal fillings dentists do?)

 

Ok any questions?

 

How do I download templates from your website?

Here’s where this platform I use for my website isn’t being my friend. I can’t find a way to have them automatically download a PDF on ordering, so I’ll be personally emailing you your PDFs (1x practise sheet and 1x template) once you place your order. Bear with me as sometimes I’ll be in the shower, homeschooling the nipper, walking the dog and heating my spaghetti hoops, you know?

 

So what about Etsy? How do they work?

Etsy is a bit more FANCY than my website and when you place an order over there you automatically get an email to download your PDFs. Again, it’s a practise sheet and the template you ordered.

 

Why is there ony A, B and C letters available on Etsy, can I order a different letter?

Because I’ve not had the chance to add the rest yet. I will, I will. And yes you CAN order a different letter. Send me a message or convo via Etsy and I’ll sort you RIGHT out, yeah?

 

I really hope this helps you get started, happy cutting!

Kyleigh x