If paper chains feel passe and you're a bit bored with your baubles, try a DIY papercut tree decoration for a feelgood festive craft
The appeal of papercutting is the simple satisfaction of creating something from nothing. Starting literally with a blank sheet of paper, a drawing can become an intricate work of art. And like many other creative pursuits, it’s a meditative process, requiring your full attention.
Papercut artist Poppy Chancellor says, “We all need time to be artistic. It’s good for your brain and soul. There is something very soothing in this art of taking your time. When you patiently follow the lines with the knife, you will start to see elegant artistry emerge from a single sheet of paper. The hours slip away and all those daily worries start to dim. You don’t need much skill to cut along a suggested line but practice and patience are essential. Anyone with a scalpel and a steady hand can give it a try.”
If you’ve tried cutting a few designs, the next step is to draw your own, either by hand or digitally (just remember to flip your image once you are done and trace or print this mirror image on to the back of your chosen paper). Start by following paper artists and other creatives on social media to feed your mind. Share your own creations online and ask for feedback.
From Roman statues to Greyhound buses, there seems no subject too obscure or too tricky for papercutting. But some things are easier than others; Poppy’s drawn us a beginner’s papercut star tree decoration*, for example – well, it is Christmas!
This beautiful 3D Christmas scene is practically a paper sculpture and not a project for beginners. But see where having a go at our paper star template could take you (find it in the December issue of The Simple Things). You can also download her paper snowflake design. We’d love to see pics of them hung on your tree @simplethingsmag
Our template design features in Poppy’s book Cut it Out! 30 Designs to Cut Out and Keep (Virgin Books).