Friday, September 27, 2013

Frequently Asked Friday - Paper

Whenever you are creating a silhouette, it's important to use paper that is comfortable for you to cut. Everyone has different preferences. The best kind of paper to cut is the kind that works for you. What I'm going to tell you isn't the end-all be-all of papercutting, it's just what works for me.

1. Make sure it's archival. You're going to want acid free paper or else it'll get brittle, yellow and fall apart after time. If you don't care how long it lasts, use whatever you want. There are a lot of phone books out there that don't get any love anymore!

2. Try a variety of things. My first papercut I ever did was on cardstock. That just didn't work for me. Or maybe it's because it was the first papercut I ever did.

3. The first paper I used that I felt worked the best for me and I still use it often is Origami paper. It has a nice weight to it, it doesn't tear that easy and you can buy whole stacks of it in certain colors on the internet. Plus it generally has a white backing to it and you can draw or print your design right to the paper. Just search for "large origami paper black" and there are a bunch of different places to purchase this paper online.

4. The next thing I experimented with was scrapbooking paper. You can find a lot of nice colors in the scrapbooking aisle of your local craft store. Generally the paper is a little thicker, I prefer the thinner brands. Whatever you get, just make sure it's something you can see your design if you print or draw it on the paper. If you're taping a template to it, that's a different story.

5. This is the most traditional of all the papercutting papers and I only recently started using it and I love it. Silhouette paper is made specifically for silhouettes - go figure. It has a nice soft feel to it and it cuts really easily. I purchased a bunch from Dick Blick's.


That's what I use. Is there anything different that you use?


Dr. Russ said...


The greatest factor for me was the amount of pressure that was needed to cut through the paper/card stock. With thicker papers, I was having to press so hard my hands and wrists would hurt. I too found the love of silhouette paper and wholeheartedly agree with all of your assessments of the papers you discuss.

Rebecka said...

Spot on. I found the silhouette paper about a year ago and it is definitely my favorite.
I've tried scrapbook paper, photo paper and cardstock too. Even plain old copy paper and then sprayed it with flat black paint after I was through cutting.
Love love LOVE your stuff!

Suman Pandit said...

Love your work. really liked this post. So sad we do not get the silhouette paper here in India :(

Michelle said...

I've only ever used cardstock... oddly enough it never even occurred to me that it would be "okay" to use something thinner. A whole new world of possibilities has just opened up for me!

Chatty Cathy-Clip Your String said...

I have just recently bought some tyvex paper after reading some paper artists blog who use it as well. I haven't done a whole paper cutting on it yet but have fiddled around with some cuts and it's a smooth cut and not able to be torn which is a plus for very small details where the paper likes to tear. The silhouette paper from Dick Blick's has changed from that they had years ago, have you noticed that and if so have you switched to a new paper?