Paper cutting is an art form that dates back to 4th century China. Around the 14th century, as it became increasingly popular, paper cutting crafts spread to many countries across Asia and Europe.
As paper cutting has integrated itself in various cultures around the globe, there are a range of different papercut arts that are distinctive to each culture. Here are 10 of the most creative paper cutting crafts to inspire your next art project.
1. Traditional Chinese papercut art
Known as jianzhi, Chinese papercut art was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009, showing its significance in Chinese culture. Predominantly folk art, this type of paper cutting craft often uses zodiac animals and Chinese symbols for health and prosperity.
2. Beautiful trees
You can make the most mesmerising trees through paper cutting. Tree of life designs are particularly known for their intricate lines and are a perfect introduction to more advanced paper cutting designs.
3. 3D pop-up books
A fun and inventive surprise for friends and family, papercut 3D pop-up books are a great way to show off your paper cutting skills. Or if you simply want a cool present for a birthday, there are many papercut pop-up books available to buy.
4. Paper lanterns
Papercut lantern designs can be quite complex, or very simple. Suitable for both decoration and night light use, they can brighten up any room in your home. Expect a range of different designs for this papercut art, and the best thing about it of course is that it works as an actual lantern too.
Who said papercut art was just for decoration? Inspired by jianzhi, why not try creating Chinese New Year bookmarks for the upcoming lunar new year? Papercut bookmarks are creative and useful; to make them last longer you can laminate them before use.
6. Hanging decorations
If you’re looking for a fun way to decorate your home, papercut hanging decorations are perfect. These can range from intricate papercut art to simple shapes like teardrops.
Change up your Christmas decorations with papercut garlands. These are an eco-friendly way to make your holiday decorations more inventive. Hang them on the tree, or go for an arrangement of various leaf shapes for a unique decoration to place on your mantelpiece or bannisters.
8. Picture overlays
Create abstract and innovative overlays to go on top of your framed pictures for that extra touch of fun and creativity. Adding papercut overlays is easy, so whether you’re a beginner or an advanced paper artist it’s an ideal paper cutting craft.
9. Greetings cards
Papercut greetings cards can be styled in different ways, with options to keep things simple, or layer paper on top of each other for more intricate designs. A digital cutting table could be used to mass produce this type of papercut craft, so don’t assume you need to manually cut every single card you want to send out.
10. Colourful creations
Adding colours to your design can make it more bright and lively rather than a monochrome theme. If you want to add different colours to your papercut art, it’s best to layer the colours on top of each other and glue them together.
Have we inspired you to have a go at some paper cutting crafts?