Papercut Templates

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?

Papercraft gingerbread 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 papercraft

  • 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 papercraft 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 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 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 wobbly 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 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 gingers 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.

Like this? Pin it!

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

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!