Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Paper Cutting 101--Practice: Straight Lines

Today's lesson is about cutting straight lines and not overshooting your starting and ending destination. This is trickier than it seems and for most projects you simply resign yourself to having a few extra "crosses," x's" and "t's". Most people don't care, some people won't even notice but I feel that if I am going to sell a piece of artwork, I should try and minimize them.

The above pattern is what I call--Diamonds. I know--it's obvious but sometimes I am simple minded like that. Here are your goals:

Goal #1: most importantly, have straight lines. When I design something like this, I try and design the line strength equal to the width of my cutting blade. In some pieces, you have to try and decide to cut in the middle of the line, the exterior of the line, or the interior of the line. So above, you should cut the blue lines as they are.

Goal #2: Don't overshoot your starting and ending points. As mentioned in a previous post, you can use pin holes for starting and ending points. When you first try this exercise, you might want to do that. At this point, I don't but for more complicated designs, I still do use pin points. The orange lines above should be cut on both sides of the orange line (in other words, the orange lines are the connectors of the odd number diamonds). There are seven diamonds (counted from the inside--out, they are 1 through 7. The connectors join all of the odd numbered diamonds together. If you overshoot cutting on the connectors you will separate them from each other.


(1) Make several copies of the pattern (trust me on this one, you will over shoot and separate your diamonds).

(2) Start with plain copier paper and practice on that. Print the pattern directly on the paper.

(3) Once you have completed one set, practice on a different piece of paper. Any other paper--preferably colored paper. Print the pattern directly on the colored paper and work on the colored side of the paper.

(4) Work next of light weight card stock. Print directly on the card stock.

(5) If you want, practice transferring the pattern onto a piece of paper or card stock.

(6) Finally, start shrinking the size of the diamonds by reducing on a copier. Obviously, the smaller the diamonds, the more difficult the process.

Please contact me directly if you want a PDF of the diamond pattern.

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