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​Many moons ago, when I was in architecture school, I loved holding and using a cutter (and/or Xacto knife) for scaled model-making. I’m not sure why, but I feel a certain power when wielding extremely sharp things (ha!).

Fast forward to the present, and I still love wielding sharp objects, so I finally decided to attend a papercutting workshop by Papel De Pinay, a papercut artist introduced to me by a friend, and whose works I greatly admire (Check out her Instagram page, @papeldepinay).

The three-hour workshop was held in a dainty, French cottage-inspired cupcakes and coffee shop and was divided into 3 parts: The introduction to papercutting (history, tools, techniques), papercutting exercises, and the final exam (where the students get to design their own work and the best one gets a prize. Naturally, this was my fave activity).

Our workshop kit included: Several sheets of papercutting templates for practice, a frame for our final work, a personalized papercut name piece, several sheets of colored paper and stone paper, carbon paper, mini cutting mat, pen cutter with extra blades, pencil, & a metal ruler.

Despite some prior research (thanks, Google), I still learned a lot about the art of papercutting, along with some valuable tips and insider info. By the time we were halfway through the numerous exercises though, I had a newfound respect for all papercut artists as I found that this was not a cakewalk at all! I’m no stranger to long hours of crafting and cutting work but this really takes a lot of patience, and steady hands to boot.

When it came time for us students to design our own work for The Final Exam, at first I was overwhelmed by all the possibilities, but then decided on something I was passionate about: F1 Racing!

Here’s my final work. I did the best that I could with only the 1 hour alloted as well as the limited materials available, but lo and behold, my work was judged the best entry among the workshop participants and it won me cupcakes! Hooray!

Forza, Marj!

A couple of weeks later, I’ve decided to tweak my work a bit (I was so tempted to clean some lines but decided to just swap the colored paper for a red one and switch frames from white to black. Don’t mess too much with something that’s not broken, right?) and now I’m pretty happy with it overall. Not bad for my first foray into papercutting, eh?

I know I don’t really need another crafting preoccupation to exacerbate my insomnia, but papercutting is just too good of an activity to pass up. I’m already thinking of possible designs for new projects and cannot wait to start them, stat!