Friday, January 11, 2013

The Scientific Method: Tips and Tricks for Fussy Cutting

Fussy cutting was originally a sewing term referring to the removal of images from cloth. Many paper crafter's have adopted this method  to fussy cut images from patterned paper. It's a wonderful way to extend the supplies you have on hand and to customize paper to fit your story. It works well on papers with busy patterns or patterns that might not fit your style.

Do you remember how I love to get warehouse  mystery boxes? While I love most of the supplies they hold, there are, at times, a sheet or two of a paper I just don't like. Either the paper is not my style or I don't expect to ever use the theme to document a story. This was one such sheet of paper that I received in a Rusty Pickle grab bag. I have a son so it's difficult to find a use for this particular paper. I decided it would be perfect for some photos of our cat playing in a paper shopping bag.

I used a craft knife to extricate the paper shopping bags. You can also use small scissors, however I find that a craft knife has one huge advantage. You can cut something more easily out of the center of the patterned paper with a craft knife. This leaves behind a negative image that can be used later on as either a stencil or on another layout. In this case, since I don't like other parts of this patterned paper, I might flip it over to use the B side with the negative images.

 To save a little on supplies, I cut the two sheets of blue patterned paper a bit smaller than I needed them. The border I plan to create with the shopping bags will hide the gap between the blue papers. No one but you will know it's there. You will now have just that tiny extra bit of blue paper leftover to use  elsewhere.

With any patterned paper, there may be instances in which the image you desire to remove is not intact. Other images may be layered over it or part of an image may run off  the page. In this case, I had parts of  green striped boxes on my shopping bags. I hid most of them by strategically layering the paper bags over one another.

The rest of the boxes were hidden with buttons. If your image is not intact, consider places you can tuck the undesired portions underneath photos or other parts of your layout Use embellishments to hide any other unwanted parts.

The Paper Bag Princess by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper: October Afternoon, Rusty Pickle; Alphas: Sassafrass; Buttons: Basic Grey; Chipboard: Tattered Angels; Ink: Ranger; Die Cut: K and Company; Marker: Bic Mark-it; Other: kraft cardstock

As you can see, the customized border works perfectly with the photo. Fussy cutting allowed me to make use of a sheet of paper that I might not have used otherwise.

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