Wednesday, November 19, 2014

creating: a thanksgiving paper cut banner

Hello! I wanted to pop in this afternoon and share what I've been working on for the past two days.

I love creating and completing projects. Sure, I could fold laundry, but I find so much pleasure and satisfaction making beautiful things and working with my hands. The whole creative process is an essential element to my happiness.

I am, when it all comes down to it, an artist.

For about fifteen years, I've dabbled in the art of paper cutting. I have a thing for cutting intricate paper snowflakes, too. 

When I recently saw this beautiful Thanksgiving banner on the Lia Griffith website, I knew I wanted to make it. And soon. This talented designer and paper artist has so many fun projects and resources. It's my go-to crafting place for ideas and inspiration. 

Here's my work space.
So grateful to have a place of my very own to create.

And this is me, at work. Intensely cutting away.
(Thanks, Isaac, for the nice photo.)

Here are some things I've learned about the art of paper cutting:

1. You use muscles in your hands, shoulders, and arms you didn't know were there. (I woke up today stiff and a little sore.) A lot of strength doing this tiny, precision cutting.

2. One slip of the x-acto knife, and you could get a bad cut. Luckily, I haven't yet experienced an oopsie. (knock on wood.)

3. Paper cuts make pretty, elegant, and inexpensive gifts (totally a gift from the heart.), cards, and decorations. All you need is a self-healing mat, tiny scissors, an x-acto knife, spray adhesive, paper, and frames.

4. With all the focused concentration, I find the process almost becoming a meditation practice. In many ways, the cutting is very relaxing and centering to me.

Ta-da! One of the completed panels of the banner after taking of the white printed pattern. So pretty.

Here are a some other projects I've done. 

Found this pattern on the Martha Stewart website a few years ago. Along with the vibrant Valentine red, I've done two of this design against a light tan background. Framed in a simple white wooden frame, these made very pretty Christmas gifts.

I've also made a couple framed paper cuts (as well as shrunk it down for a sweet birthday card) of this woodland scene from Charlotte Lyon's delightful Mothers and Daughters at Home: 35 Projects to Make Together. 

I like this simple "Tree of Life" design, but can't remember where I found the pattern.

Really pleased with the way this Thanksgiving project came out. Not only was it fun to make, but will beautifully compliment our autumnal fireplace mantle. A sweet reminder to our family of the spirit and message of this week.


  1. How very lovely, and certainly one-of-a-kind---all with your own touch.

    That DOES look like exacting work---I've meant to get a few strands of papel picado for certain occasions, and keep forgetting til the holiday is upon us. I love any kind of lacy filigree effect.



  2. What remarkable talent and patience. These pieces beautifully decorate your home and bring the spirit of the season.

  3. Very nice Emily. I can see how you would find that a relaxing craft project. Oh have a craft room? Sweet! Can I tell you what a nuisance it is to set myself up to do a little sewing, ugg and then putting it all away so we can use the dining room table.