Monday, June 24, 2013

Getting Fussy with my Scissors (Practical Scrappers)

Today at PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS, our On Trend team is showing everyone how we get fussy.  No, we aren't having a rant over there, we are showing off our layouts and cards in which we used a technique called "fussy cutting."  What exactly IS fussy cutting?  I think the best, easiest way to describe it is how diecuts are made without a diecutting machine - like a Silhouette Cameo.  You see an image or shape you like on a piece of paper and you cut it out to add to your layout or project.  It's that simple!

Often, when crafters think about fussy cutting, we think of projects using what I call "image rich" papers (yes, I just now coined that term - feel free to quote me!) - Graphic 45 and Websters are two of the big names who design these types of papers.  But fussy cutting isn't only limited to cutting out elaborate, detailed images; it can be as simple as cutting out chevrons from a patterned paper you like to make and accent your embellishments, like I did in this layout using a combination of AMERICAN CRAFTS papers from the Yes, Please and Lucky Charm collections.  I took this paper:

...and I cut right outside the outline of several chevrons to create my arrows.  I then cut out individual chevrons and layered them on top of matching ones on my arrows by machine stitching them along the center line so that I ended up with this:

And, as you can see, because I loved my chevron arrows so much, I also used them as accents to draw attention to several of the individual photos - quick and easy embellishments that only required scissors and paper!

Of course, I did use my Silhouette, too, to make this adorable bicycle (which I embellished with buttons, a fabric heart sticker, and my bicycle flag made from twine and a hand made pennant).

...and to make this frame.  It was originally a polaroid frame that I elongated to fit my 4x6 photo.  I adhered different scraps of my AC papers behind each of my letters to make it extra-colorful.

Before I go, I wanted to leave a few tips for fussy cutting:

1.  Sharp scissors are an absolute MUST.  If your scissors aren't sharp, you will often end up with a frayed edge that looks a little "chewed up" by your scissors.  Fraying and distressing are good but NOT when you are fussy cutting!
2.  Maybe it's because I have small hands, but smaller scissors generally work better for fussy cutting.  They allow you to maneuver your scissors more easily when cutting out a shape, especially more intricate shapes.
3.  To keep your fingers from cramping and feeling like you will never be able to fully straighten them out again (especially if you are cutting out an intricate shape or lots of shapes), I highly recommend getting spring-loaded scissors, such as these, which can be found in most craft and sewing stores. 
That's it for me today.  But you know I'll be back - I've got some Pretty Little Studio and a blog hop in the works, so stay tuned!