Magazine article School Arts

Creative Cut-Ups

Magazine article School Arts

Creative Cut-Ups

Article excerpt

Freehand scissor cutting is a marvelous exercise for the mind, memory, and the dexterity of your hands. Teachers and students alike can enjoy this exercise.


contrasting colors of paper, regular household scissors, embroidery scissors, pins, white glue (preferably acid free.)

Getting to Know Your Materials

Begin exercising your hand and mind by cutting simple designs like circles, ovals, and triangles from scrap paper. Practice this type of freehand cutting until you have complete control over your scissors and the paper.

For large cuttings, you can use regular household scissors, but for finely detailed cutting you need small, sharp, and finely pointed scissors such as embroidery scissors.

For interior cuts, you need to make a tiny hole with a pin before inserting the scissors. The pinhole will prevent tearing the paper.

For your first attempts at paper designs, ordinary white glue will do. But for more serious work that you want to preserve, use a more expensive acid-free glue.

Exercising Your Skills

Once you are able to cut simple shapes freehand, you can attempt more detailed and complex shapes using a quality medium-weight paper. Natural forms, such as leaves, flowers, trees, and plants are good subjects.

Look at the various leaves on plants or trees in the garden or around your house. Start with a single leaf or petal. Some leaves are round, oval, long, slim, pointed, spear, or heart shaped. After you have done a variation of leaves, go on to the details. …

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