Kirigami is the art of Japanese paper cutting; however it is very similar to Chinese paper cutting as well. The basics of this art is to create beautiful shapes and patterns with a simple sheet of paper and a cutting tool like scissors or a scalpel knife. While there are many different devices that look like printers that will instantly cut out any desired pattern, manually cutting out paper is truly the best way to go. Not only is there a greater sense of pride in the work but there is also great satisfaction from completing a paper craft unlike any other.
Ideal Paper Craft for Beginners and Children
For beginners and children, it’s certainly a wonderful paper craft that can be enjoyed at any time, and it’s a wonderful way to use the imagination to create any number of different kirigami patterns and shapes. Although it may seem like a difficult craft, it can be very simple. In fact, some of the kirigami templates are simple enough for children who have just learned to use scissors properly.
One of the best parts of kirigami is that virtually any paper type, size or even shape can be used to make lovely little decorations. These paper cut outs can then be used for other craft projects like card making, ornaments, collages, scrapbooking and more.
Kirigami Pattern Basics
The most basic kirigami pattern will begin by folding a piece of paper in half. The next step is to draw half of an image on one side of the sheet, making sure to include the middle fold in the drawing. Cut out the image by following the line and making sure to include the middle fold to ensure both pieces will stay together when it’s done. Unfold the cut out and there is one complete image silhouette.
Once the basic forms of Japanese paper cutting feel comfortable to do, more details can be added for greater intricacy and appeal. Though they can be a challenge for some, they are certainly worth the effort in the end. Some extra details can be whiskers for animals, lines on leaves and petals, blades of grass or pretty patterns on butterfly wings.
Paper cutting is a great activity to help children not only train their hand-eye coordination along with their ability to use instruments like scissors but it’s also a wonderful craft to help children expand their imaginations and see what they can make from one simple piece of paper. Many will be amazed and impressed with the final result for all of the cut outs.
This craft is also a fantastic opportunity to recycle many every day scraps of paper that tend to collect over time. With all of the different packages, newspaper, magazines and flyers that constantly float around the average home, it’s a great chance to use it for something fun and even useful (when made into gifts). The best part about recycling various paper products is that each one will create a different look depending on the paper colour, pattern, weight and texture, so one kirigami template can be used for different results.