Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Crafter’s Guide To Papercutting
BY Emily Hogarth

Search Press
20 October 2019 Out in US on 23 February 2020 / ISBN 9781844488957
How-To Books /Paper Crafts

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


These days papercutting too often conjures up images of mass-produced die cuts produced by machines. I’m no Luddite so can certainly see the appeal, particularly if you have to produce a lot of one image, but this is only one type of papercutting. The other is the ancient craft of doing it by hand, which suits anybody who only wants one or a few of an image and eliminates the need for expensive equipment. All you need to do it is paper, scissors and a craft knife, plus perhaps this book!

This is a reprint of a much-loved classic produced back in 2012. Since then it has been reprinted five times, and it is easy to see why. I have been a fan of this craft from an early age and these days it has the appeal of not only being cheap to do but also giving the opportunity for using up leftovers from other crafts and recycling. Paper cutting by hand has lately been neglected in favor of the type of papercrafts that involve die-cutting machines. This book shows you how to be your own die cutter, starting with a short chapter on its history around the world and what you need to get started. This is not much, and it includes tips on handling your tools and the best way to begin, including choosing papers, using templates, finishing off your work, etc. This is followed by the projects, which constitute most of this book, but with a difference. Instead of tracing, photocopying or scanning and printing (although you can also do all of this) this is a book with the actual printed sheets at the back, ready to use. There are fifty sheets of good quality card to cut out and use, complete with colored fronts and backs (some of them patterned) and ranging from simple beginners’ pieces to the more complex. The projects tell you what you need to obtain and include some illustrated stages as well as a photo of the finished piece. I particularly liked the way it highlighted the most difficult places to cut and why; this is so useful and not always obvious at first glance. There are cards, a shadow puppet theater, mobile, cupcake cases, bunting, window decorations, silhouettes and more. Most are general purpose, but a couple are for Christmas, although sadly none of those are cards. Styles vary to the layered variety reminiscent of Poland to the Swiss and German types associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions and classic silhouettes. This is the sort of book that is a lot of fun and takes some time to get through so an excellent value for your money, especially as the end results are creations that are inexpensive to make but show off your skill. May it be reprinted many more times!

If you cannot find a good range of papercutting materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019