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Hand Cut Birthday Card for My Brother

My Brother recently celebrated a birthday.  I was crazy busy around the time of his birthday and I didn't have a chance to make him a card before I headed to NYC to celebrate with him.  However, being a crafty girl, I figured I could make one once I hit the hotel room.  So I packed:

I got up early one morning and decided that not only would I make the card, but I would share the process live on Periscope.

I called on my inner-MacGyver and strapped my cell phone onto the hotel desk lamp with some hair bands...

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Hand Cut Birthday Card for my Brother

...and got to cutting.  It took me about an hour to cut it on air, but that did include me talking and answering questions the whole time.  Here's the result:

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Hand Cut Birthday Card for my Brother

I didn't have any kind of plan or sketch when I started cutting.  I simply started.

After I had finished, I decided that it needed some color in order for the hand cutting to really show.  So, I grabbed my watercolors.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Hand Cut Birthday Card for my Brother

I think it looks great!

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Hand Cut Birthday Card for my Brother

Hand cutting does take a while, but I think the results are really worth it.  Some tips:

  • Turn the paper, not the knife.
  • Always work with a very sharp blade.  A dull blade makes for tedious work. This is the knife I use.
  • A glass mat allows your blade to slide without stopping.  A self-healing mat slows your blade.  Neither is the correct choice -- it's simply what you like.
  • Paper becomes weaker as it is cut.  Therefore, don't skip areas with a plan to come back to them.  The paper will be too weak once there are cuts on both sides.
  • Paper matters.  Thicker paper is hardier and therefore easier for beginners. 

I took the live Periscope video I did and made into a super quick (about one minute) video.  It's a quick and fun watch:

Periscope videos disappear after 24-hours.  If you want to be sure to catch the live broadcasts and the replays, follow me on Periscope so that you get an alert on your phone any time I'm broadcasting live!

I hope you'll give a hand cut card a try!

Thanks for stopping by!

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