Tuesday, November 17, 2009


paper cut ornament

This is a German word for scissors cutting, the ancient art of cutting paper into decorations. The finished product was then usually put against a darker background, sometimes hand-colored, and then framed. I've seen a few old examples with the paper written on in tiny script, covering most of the design.

Back in the 1970's or 80's scherenschnitte kits for Christmas ornaments were common, and could be found at craft stores. I even got my special scissors there. But, for whatever reason, it's now really hard to find these patterns anywhere but online. Which is a shame. Other than the initial investment of the scissors, which are 3 1/2" long, parchment paper is easily found, and after a little practice, the patterns are not difficult.

Most of the patterns I have are made like the snowflakes we all made in grade school: folding the paper to make the cuts symmetrical. In the case of my patterns, most are simpley folded in half, then you trace the pattern on one side, and keeping the paper folded, cut along the pencil lines, starting from the center, and cutting the overall shape at the very end. Then unfold the paper to reveal the full design.

Here is a picture of our Christmas tree showing this ornament:

I know, we have lots of ornaments, but I've been collecting for almost 40 years!!

Many thanks to Charlene, from the HeroArts Blog, who pointed me in the direction of the MoxieFab Old Country Christmas challenge - I think this qualifies!


  1. Hi Lin! ARE YOU SURE THAT'S NOT OUR CHRISTMAS TREE THAT YOU PHOTOGRAPHED???????? Honestly, we have the SAME red beads and ornaments, too. Isn't that FUNNY? I'll have to share a photo with you.
    Because we've been known to go away and Ron LOVES to keep his train going for a LONG TIME, we went "FAKO" last year. Oh, allergies were another issue, too. Can't believe that we gave up our tradition of cutting it down every year. Could this be us getting OLD? Loved your blog entry today. VERY INTERESTING and VERY BEAUTIFUL craft.
    Love, Karen

  2. Fun to read about Scherenschnitte! Although I am in Germany, I never decorated our Christmas tree with them - have to try some!


  3. your ornament is so pretty Lin! it is a shame that such a beautiful craft is so difficult for people to find and learn nowadays... thanks for the informational entry!

  4. These are so pretty. I remember doing things like this as a child...but didn't know that it has a name. Like you I have been collecting ornaments since I got married in 1978....so lots of different types... so no themed tree for us.... everything has to go on!!!!

  5. What a beautiful card! I love your take on the challenge!

    Betsy Veldman
    Paper Crafts Go-to Gal

  6. Great card for the moxie fab world challenge Lin. Love it.

  7. I love your wonderful card Lin! I haven't seen these beautiful paper cutting patterns before but will have to look on the internet for them. Your Christmas tree is fab! Ours is also packed full of decorations, ones we bought and others from family and friends. It's a lovely reminder of them every Christmas.

    Heather Maria


Thank you so much for your kind comments - they make my day!