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The Perfect Papercut Design for Beginners: Practise With a Polar Bear!

The Perfect Papercut Design for Beginners: Practise With a Polar Bear!

If you’ve ever found yourself admiring the intricacies of all the papercutting masterpieces to be found online, but never plucked up the courage to pick up the craft knife and have a go yourself, then we’re here to change that today! This gorgeous layered box frame created by Carla Bagshaw features a beautiful papercut design that looks impressive… but is completely accessible to beginners! We’ve even included the printable templates to guide you through each and every layer. Check out Carla’s step-by-step tutorial below, and create this wonderful, wintry papercut box frame for yourself… and discover a new hobby that’ll have you hooked!

2 hours

Beginner to Intermediate

Papercut Design Tutorial

This adorable layered box cut makes the loveliest handcrafted gift, and the perfect way to introduce yourself to the world of papercutting!

Step 1:

All the printable templates you'll need

Print out all templates and choose your preferred shades from your cardstock stash. For this one, I used browns and creams. It is generally a good idea to stick within the same colour family, using the darker colours for the back layers.

Step 2:

Papercut design tutorial step

Work out which colour you would like each layer to be, and tape the appropriate template on top of the preferred card. Using a craft knife, cut through the template and the card below. Cut away the grey sections, and cut around the faint square border.

When each layer has been cut, set them aside so that you can create the box (keep the templates that you have cut through, you will need to use the polar bear one again).

Step 3:

Take two sheets of matching coloured 12x12” cardstock (for the back and front of the box).

Papercut design tutorial step

On the first sheet, place one of your cut layers in the centre of your card. Very faintly draw around the outer square so you have an exact measurement.

Adding box tabs

Now, using a ruler, create a parallel line against each drawn edge with a 1” distance. These four rectangles will form the tabs for the box.

Papercut design tutorial step

Step 4:

Papercut design tutorial step

The original template with the polar bear that you set aside will now become your central aperture template. Place it exactly inside the square you have just drawn and tape it down. Use your craft knife to cut out the circle.

Step 5:

Papercut design tutorial step

Cut around the outside edge of your drawn lines (tabs) and score along the original square so that the tabs will bend. Place this onto a matching piece of card and trace around it (ignore the circle, as this piece will be the back of the box). Again, score the lines so that your tabs will bend (the top should fit snugly over the bottom).

Step 6:

How to add foam pads for dimension

Take your cut image layers and arrange them in the order you wish them to be displayed. Place foam pads on the back of each layer to add depth and dimension, then stick down the layers to create a stack.

Step 7:

Papercut design tutorial step

Once done, place and stick down the back layer into the bottom of the box.

The finished papercraft project

Now place the top on the box and glue down the flaps so that the box is sealed. And there you have it – a beautiful papercut design presented in a pretty box frame, that you can use to decorate your own craft room… or give as a gift to a friend!

Lisa at Create & Craft