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Best Cutting Tips for Beginner Crafters (Manual or Using Machines)

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Papercutting has been gaining so much popularity lately! If you’re new to this type of art I’m here this time to give some paper-cutting tips you can use as a beginner!

I think it’s fair to say ever since the pandemic hit a couple of years ago and we were all in quarantine, it was crucial to find a hobby to do during that time. Perhaps that’s why the art of paper cutting became so popular as a lot of people started discovering it during the quarantine era.

To be honest, there aren’t a lot of reasons why paper cutting should not be a popular craft. You don’t need any specialized skills for it, and the materials you need are also very easy to find. Really, anyone can do it!

Christmas Wreath 3D Layered Paper Cut Paper Cut Wreath all 1
Finished Christmas Layered Paper Cut Craft

However, sometimes papercutting can look a little intimidating for a newcomer. The importance of paying attention to details and the fragility of paper can be a problem most beginners have.

Did you know that there are actually some very useful tricks that are quite important to know as a beginner in paper cutting? Knowing these cutting tips might just be the little kick you need to completely fall in love with the art of paper-cutting!

From acquiring the perfect blade and maintaining it, to starting up your first Cricut project, there are many cutting tips that I will be covering today. So come and get comfortable while I tell you some of the cutting tips I have learned in my time as a crafter!

Cutting Tips When It Comes to Tools…

The first thing you would need to start a paper-cutting art project is obviously the materials. Though you can have various things to complement your craft, the most basic thing to have is simply just paper and a blade.

Cutting Tips Different Cardstocks and Vinyl 2
Different kinds of paper and vinyl

For a framed non-dimensional work, regular printer paper would work just fine. However, if you’re looking for a more sturdy base with more stability, try cardstock or poster board.

Once you get comfortable with paper, you can start using other trickier materials like vinyl, fabric, and even wood!

Cutting Tips Assortment of Knives Scissors and other tools
Assortment of knives, scissors, and tweezing tools

When it comes to blades, you may need to try out many types and brands of knives to find the perfect one for you. One thing you need to know is a sharp blade is a key to having smooth and clean-cut lines!

So the first of the many cutting tips is to make sure your cutting blades stay sharp. Cutting machines have replaceable blades. Keep some spares handy and remember to change your blade when needed!

One of my favorite cutting tips is to use a foil ball to keep your blade ends in pristine condition. Simply scrunch up aluminum foil into a ball shape and stab into it with the blades you want to sharpen a few times. Be careful not to cut yourself!

Cutting Tips Cricut Light Grip Cutting Mat
Cricut LightGrip Cutting Mat

Other than a blade and paper, having a good cutting mat is included in important cutting tips to pay attention to. Whether you cut manually or with a machine like Cricut, a cutting mat is essential.

If you have bought a Cricut machine then you will be familiar with the cutting mat it has come with. If not, then invest yourself in a good cutting mat so you can cut your art more comfortably and don’t break your blade on a hard surface.

Once you get your cutting mat then the next useful cutting tips would be the know-how of caring for it. It’s important to keep your cutting mat clean so that it can work properly. 

For Cricut cutting mats, they serve the purpose of keeping your materials in place while the machine does its job hence the sticky surface. Sometimes this mat can lose its stickiness once used too long.

Simply wipe with non-alcohol baby wipes to clean off any residue on your mat. Or if that doesn’t work, some soap and water should do the trick! Just be careful not to scrape off the adhesive on your mat.

If your mat is no longer able to keep the stickiness then maybe you should try re-applying the adhesive. Although keep in mind to not load it with too much glue as it can get into the machine and break it!

Let’s Start Our Craft!

Now that we’ve gotten all our tools in condition, let’s get to the fun part!

Cutting Tips Opening Cricut Design Space on Smartphone
Opening Cricut Design Space on smartphone

If you’re starting with a cutting machine then the first cutting tip I have for you is to get to know the machine’s application first. Each manufacturer has its own app that’s compatible with their machines so make sure you get the right one. 

If you’re using Cricut then great news! I have another article talking about how to send your designs using Cricut Design Space simply by smartphone. You can read the article at the link below!

When it comes to these applications there is definitely a learning curve, but overall they’re all pretty easy to understand and it’s not too difficult to pick up in no time!

The next one in cutting tips, you need to know when you’re using a cutting machine is to always do a test cut. Some materials have different thicknesses and resistance so there are times when they don’t get cut all the way through.

Cutting Tips Cricut Explore Air 2 knob
Knob setting on a Cricut Explore Air 2 machine

Following that, the next cutting tips would be to make sure that your machine is set to cut the right materials. You can adjust this on your machine’s settings accordingly.

Whether you are using a machine or cutting your paper manually, an important cutting tips: always cut off the smaller and more detailed parts first!

This is because the smaller the paper is, the more fragile it is. So I know the urge to start with the easier and bigger parts is real but if you do that then there will be a bigger risk of ripping apart the details!

Cutting Tips Weeding Finished Paper Cut
Paper cut weeding process

Last entry of cutting tips from me would be to have fun! Really! It’s easy to hyperfocus on achieving perfection when you’re crafting but honestly shouldn’t crafting be fun?

For example, when you’re cutting a pre-made design manually, sometimes you can find your blade steering away from the lines. That is perfectly okay! It counts as practice and it even gives your final piece a distinct character.

If you are looking for designs you can practice with, Drizy Studio is just the place for you! We have many cut designs you can get totally free! So there is no worry of messing up because you can just do it again and again until your heart’s content!

Come and check out our catalog now!

Christmas Wreath 3D Layered Paper Cut Paper Cut Wreath all 2
Finished Christmas Layered Paper Cut Craft

Want even more cutting tips and tricks to make your crafty life easier? Then you should join us on our Facebook Community! Not only can you share and get more useful tips, but you can also get many exclusive freebies!

Join us now and let’s craft together!

Follow our social media for more tips and tricks, How-To videos, and other great offers!

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