Intro to Scherenschnitte

64 Arts

Did you get creative with the scissors this weekend? Well, now it’s time to break out the craft knives.

At a book festival a few years ago I came across a woman working on a beautiful Ketubah (Jewish marriage contract). The artist specialized in intricate paper-cut borders and it was just amazing to watch her work. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated by the paper cutting that also goes by the name Scherenschnitte.

Spring Flight by Scraps

Scherenschnitte (pronounced sharon-sh-net or sharon-sh-net-eh, depending on the country) is deceptively simple. It’s sort of like that old saying of the sculptor who takes a block of marble and removes what doesn’t belong. In paper cutting you just remove what isn’t a part of your picture.

In order to have the best look on the front, it’s best to draw or print your design on the back of your paper. Remember to reverse any words your using unless you plan for folks to read it in a mirror!

Just like the paperdoll style we talked about last week, you have to make sure everything is connected within your design, so get creative with your connectors. In the picture to the left I used bands of sunlight to keep my bird in place.

You can see my step-by-step process for “Spring Flight” over at

Paper cuts can add a really elegant touch to your home when framed for decor or bring a smile to a friend’s face if used as a card. They can be fun or formal, and tomorrow I’ll share some of my favorite resources and blogs that use Scherenschnitte in amazing ways!

5 thoughts on “Intro to Scherenschnitte

  1. I did that before when I took art in school, and it was so hard! It takes such a talent to do it right.

    And about fried food–I adore it, but I rarely fry anymore. I’m a terrible Texan.

  2. My daughter has a crayola paper cutter and does something similar (for a 10 yr old!)

    That is really beautiful! We LOVE doing arty projects over here!

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