How to Make a Papercut Picture By Hand

Ever wanted to know how to make a papercut picture by hand?

These day with machines like Cricut and Silhouette, papercutting is a breeze. But attempting a new craft — particularly one that uses your hands — is really fun!

Over the years, I’ve made flower wreaths; learned how to make pom poms — with a pom pom maker.

And also learned how to make a papercut picture by hand.

Craft Blog Club

A few years ago, I joined a Craft Blog Club on Twitter.

It was a lovely group of people, who would chat about crafting on a Tuesday night.

One year, we all agreed to take part in a craft-style ‘Secret Santa’. We were given a name and an address of our swap partner and told to make something.

I decided to make a papercut picture by hand.

It was my first attempt; a far cry from the complicated cuts I produce for my website!

So after a little bit of head-scratching — and a few hours of graft (not to mention quite a sore index finger!) — I worked out how to make a papercut picture.

I’ve show the steps here, if you’d like to try it yourself.

How to Make a Papercut Picture By Hand

1. I created a design on the computer, flipped it, then printed it out…

2. I stuck the design on a clean piece of thin white card. And began to cut away the white pieces of the design with my scalpel.

I got a pretty sore index finger from pressing down on my scalpel, but it was soon forgotten as I saw that little pile of paper cut-outs beginning to stack up!
Seeing the image emerge was fantastic!
Not too much more to do…

3. I carried on cutting until there was nothing left apart from the frame of paper.

4. I carefully separated the card from the paper.

Et Voila!

5. And I was left with my final design, face down on the cutting mat.

6. Next, I laid my finished paper-cut onto a piece of dry, adhesive covered paper.

And put a piece of paper over the top to protect my work.

7. Then very gently rubbed over the design, to make sure the adhesive covered the back of the paper-cut.

8. Next I carefully stuck it onto a piece of midnight blue card. Ready to be framed.

how to make a papercut picture — 20. Et Voila.

Et Voila

My very first attempt at making a paper-cut picture!

Maybe I should have designed a less complicated one for my first go. But all in all I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!

It’s inspired me to design some more and perhaps even begin selling them on my website.

So, from a hurried acceptance to join a virtual Craft Blog Club on Twitter, making this Secret Santa present has been a gift in itself!

It has given me the impetus to learn a new craft and — it’s one I’ve enjoyed so much — I am inspired to continue (and will look into doing it commercially). Designing stuff is in my blood — I’ve made a career out of it — so a new medium to discover is really exciting!

Finally, I mounted my paper-cut again onto an off-white piece of card, ready for framing, and sent it off to my Secret Santa recipient :)

Was so excited to receive a tweet to say that it had arrived safely; and really happy that Jess liked her picture! I look forward to seeing a pic of it framed and hanging on her wall, across the pond in the US of A.

Please share, if you like this!

About Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

32 thoughts on “How to Make a Papercut Picture By Hand

  1. I’m just starting out, and am at a loss for mounting my work –
    where do you get the adhesive covered paper?

    1. Hi Ditza, thanks so much for stopping by! I can’t remember exactly where I bought the adhesive from. I’ll have a look and see if I have any left — then I’ll be able to let you know the name :)

  2. WOW! I literally could not believe how fab it looked! I love these prints and would love to have a go. You inspire me with your crafts so much. Jess xx


    1. Aaah thanks lovely! It was such a nice thing to do! Lovely to see it hanging up on her wall when it arrived at it’s destination too! She lives in the states so it had a bit of a long journey! :)

    1. Thanks darling. You WOULD have the patience!! You have 3 little boys so heaven knows, you have the patience of a saint. TIME on the other hand ;) You wouldn’t have the time!! LOL!! xx

  3. You certainly are one talented lady, Caro, and determined too. I bet whoever got your personalised gift absolutely loves it.
    I have been planning to give paper cutting a go for years now. My mother in law’s 60th birthday is a couple of months away. Maybe I could have a go at a card for that.
    Thanks for the great instructions and sore finger warning!

    1. Aah thanks lovely :) They’ve certainly come on a bit since that first attempt — but I’m still really proud of that first one. Particularly as the twins were only a few months old!! As if I hadn’t got enough to do?! ;) Love making work for myself, that’s for sure!! x

  4. Ooh, I LOVE this! I have always wanted to try my hand at paper cutting and was only thinking about it this week. (Thought I might try to do one for my Mum as she is my biggest cheer leader!) What programme did you use to create the template on the computer? Thanks so much for sharing, you’ve just given me the shove I needed! Xx

    1. Hi Sue! I’m a designer by trade so I used Adobe InDesign. Canva would probably work just as well too. It’s SUCH a fun thing to do — would highly recommend having a go! Just mind your fingers :)

  5. Oh, I’d never heard of the Twitter Craft Blog Club before – it sounds ace.

    My word, you must have the patience of saint – there’s no way I could sit and scalpel out delicate pictures without getting extremely sweary.

    I love the gift you got from your secret Santa too – utterly adorable.

    Thanks for hosting #HomeEtc xxxx

    1. Thanks lovely! They’re still going but I’ve been SO busy recently, I haven’t joined in with them for absolutely ages. I think they’re still doing their challenges and swaps though — it’s a lovely group to be involved with :) I still don’t know who made the cat for me!! x

  6. That is absolutely gorgeous. You clever thing – I love it and this post has made it seem like something I could do too.. . maybe one day ! :) #homeetc

    1. Thanks so much Steph! It’s fairly easy — just very time consuming — and you’ve got to be super careful with the scalpel too!! I’ve lost count of the times I’ve slipped and cut myself over the years!!!

  7. What a lovely piece of artwork, well done you! And that cat is so adorable too, what a thoughtful and amazing gift, it must have taken a while to make! #HomeEtc

    1. Thanks so much Carolyn! I think that’s what I really like about these swap projects. People really make such an effort. It’s lovely to receive something that someone has put so much time and care into x

  8. I am deficient in the craft gene; there’s a huge disconnect between what I envisage and what I eventually create. My husband can do anything though, so hopefully Gwenn will inherit that from him!

    I have a lovely Rob Ryan print in my kitchen and I’ve always been fascinated by paper cutting. Yours in absolutely beautiful. x


    1. Aaah that’s so lovely of you pet!! It’s a curse though because I’m CONVINCED — whatever it is — I can make it!!!! Usually, I can, but it’s a nightmare as I end up with ‘projects’ coming out of my ears!! xx

  9. Wow, you have a steady hand, I’m so impressed! What a lovely thing :) I love how getting in to something like this can be so absorbing, it’s the only time I ever really switch off from everything else and lose myself. You’ve inspired me! #HomeEtc xx

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