Shabby Chic Easter Card: Fussy Cutting 101

Hello, My Name is Kathy, and I am a Paper Hoarder

020 (2) I have a confession to make.  For those of you who know me, it won’t come as much of a surprise….I am a paper hoarder.  From the time I was a little girl, I’ve had a fascination with paper.  Beautiful papers are the Sirens of my world: they beckon me, allure me, seduce me, and like hapless Odysseus, I am nearly powerless to resist their appeal.  Some papers are so beautiful that I am loathe to cut into them.  This shabby chic Easter card uses some of those papers, cut into loads of layers and suitably embellished. 

Fussy Cutting 101

024 (2) I created a 6 1/2 by 5″ card base and covered it with designer paper that had been stitched around the edges.  Then, I began to fussy cut the individual elements from the paper and layer them onto the base.  Fussy cutting is the art of finding a particular design, picture or print in your paper and then cutting around it so it fits onto a portion of your card design.  I have my best success when I use very sharp scissors with a short blade.

When I’ve selected an image that I want to fussy cut, I make the job easier by “whacking around” the image with my scissors.  (Yes, that is a technical term!)   Basically, it is far easier to fussy cut around a small piece of paper than it is to fussy cut a 12×12 sheet of paper. 

The secret of fussy cutting is to hold your scissors still, and move the paper into the blade.  This creates a clean edge and eliminates the “choppy” look.  Sometimes, I place the blade of my scissors slightly outside the edge of the design, creating a little edge or border around the image.  But sometimes I don’t want that edge, so I cut as close to the outline’s image as possible. It’s really a judgement call: sometimes images look better with a border, sometimes they don’t.  The point is,  don’t be afraid to cut into a beautiful piece of paper; it’s only paper, after all.  The world will keep spinning, the paper police will not show up at your door, you will not alter history if you cut into a beautiful piece of paper and make a mistake.  It doesn’t matter how lovely the paper is if you fail to create with it.  So get out your scissors, be bold and give it a try!

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Lots of Layers

Shabby chic style is defined by using loads of layers, feminine florals, soft and scripty font, and embellishments like lace, twine and “found” items.  So this shabby chic Easter card is loaded with layers. 

007 (2)  When you are building your layers, I’ve found it is best not to glue anything down until you are satisfied with the placement of all your fussy cut items.  This will save you much heartache.

008 (2) In keeping with the shabby chic style, I decided to add my sentiments in my own handwriting.  This tag was made using the Design Tool Kit.  I then stamped using Tea Dye Distress Ink.  The sentiment was written using my dad’s old fountain pen.  You could also use your computer’s word processing program to write your own custom sentiment.  Just keep it soft and scripty, and it will carry that shabby chic vibe onto the inside of your card.

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004 (2)Click on photos for larger images.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little blog today.  I hope you’ve been inspired to create something beautiful with your scissors and some hoarded paper. Go ahead…you know you want to!  If you have any questions about today’s post, I’m more than happy to help.  I love your comments; each one makes me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time….



Products used in this design: Webster’s Pages: designer paper, trim, crochet doily, cabochon; Ranger: Distress Ink, Glossy Accents, Stickles; Paper Wishes: Design Tool Kit; Inkadinkado: Script stamp; K and Company: Designer paper. Sizzix: Sizzlits butterfly die



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7 thoughts on “Shabby Chic Easter Card: Fussy Cutting 101

  1. Anita Houston

    You need to submit this to SSS&S! Absolutely YUMMY! Layers and layers of Easter goodness and stitching! WOW! Love the bunny, the cage, the green, the sparkle, the frill…all perfection! A gorgeous gorgeous make!!!

  2. Tanya

    I love your penmanship! Your handwriting itself is art. I so enjoyed the layers of these cards and the little bits of glitter here and there. The lace was just the perfect touch! And the little bird peeping out makes my heart sing! What a joyful studio , the one that holds all these luxuries of paper and your creative attention.

  3. Theresa Lode

    Oh Kathy. Your artistry is amazing. And I agree with your other commenter, hoarders don’t share so you can’t lay claim to that title. 😉

    There’s some life lessons in your narrative that go far beyond crafting a card. How often does fear keep us from creating and brining our art to the world?

    You bless me, my friend.

  4. ncguygirl

    So beautiful! The layering and fussy cutting on this card makes me think of a shadow box. Love that you used Dad’s pen to write the sentiment. You may be a paper hoarder, but you share your beautiful creations made with that paper, and I appreciate that! I actually would call you more of a paper collector or paper appreciator, as hoarders are not prone to sharing. 🙂 The top card image is lovely too. Both of them just draw your eye in. You do beautiful work!

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