For many years, I have harbored a secret love of the art of papercutting. There’s something so immediate and enchanting about the intricacy of the art. Today, I read a wonderful article about friend and paper cutter extraordinaire, Cindy Bean, whose work was featured on the fantastic blog The House That Lars Built.
Although I don’t want to even attempt to compare my skills to Cindy’s when it comes to scherenchnitte (which means “scissor cuts” in German and is the art of papercutting design – thanks, Wikipedia), every once in a while I attempt a project to exercise my novice papercutting skills. I recently designed a gift for my husband for Valentine’s Day: a papercut map of the world to showcase our travels together. It’s not perfect–I wouldn’t use it to navigate the globe or anything like that–but I’m pretty proud of my handiwork.
Papercuts are inherently cost-effective, which is one reason I like them. (Relatively cheap materials and tools make me happy.) To make my map, I searched the interwebs for a map image that I liked; copied and pasted it into Photoshop; enlarged it to the preferred size of 24″ x 36″; and finally printed it out. With this template in hand, I overlaid it on black paper and proceeded to cut out each continent. Once I had completed the papercutting, I pasted each cut piece onto a sheet of watercolor paper and mounted the whole shebang to a cork board that I had discovered at the local thrift shop (I painted the frame of the cork board black – I always go for a black frame). I then added some sleek and simple pushpins to locate where my husband and I had traveled over the years, and voila! I had my map and the perfect gift for my honey. A fairly simple but handsome DIY project that turned out pretty well.