Fussy Cutting Tips for Scrapbooking

9 Fussy Cutting Tips 

I'm not much into fussy cutting, but now and again I do end up starting a project that ends up taking off in the direction of a fussy cutting mode... and once you start, well….you sort of have to keep going!!  So having recently gone down this road, I started to think about my technique and how I could improve.  Then I had the idea for a quick blog post “Tips for Fussy Cutting”. I thought it would be good idea to share tips and help others when embarking on a fussy cutting journey.

Fussy cutting might not be for everyone, because it is time-consuming and requires a little patience, and many might ask why would you want to fussy cut in the first place.  

Here are a few reasons why!
  • Fussy cutting allows you to use as many embellishments as you want because you're not limited by the number of pieces in the package.

  • You can design your project and customise your embellishments to match your theme. 

  • Add plenty of dimension and interest to your projects.

  • Allows you to be more creative.

So what is Fussy Cutting?

Fussy cutting in Scrapbooking or Cardmaking is using scissors to cut out a design or an image from patterned paper. In other words, fussy cutting is trimming out a design, image or motif. The term fussy cutting comes from the intricate details you cut out by hand with scissors.

The Importance of Scissors  

It’s all in the scissors. - I do like certain features in my scissors. Of course, they need to be small in stature.  Have a pointy tip, be easy to grip, and be nice and sharp. It's best to keep a set of scissors specifically for fussy cutting and be strict in not using them for anything else. 

There are three scissors I recommend for fussy cutting. One is the Cutterbee Scissors. These have pointy tips and feature a comfortable grip handle for left-handed and right-handed use and are great for cutting neat and perfect details in foam, paper, vellum, photos, and more.

Another very good brand of fussy cutting scissors are the WRMK Spring Loaded Micro Scissors  They also feature a soft grip handle and are very easy to use. Take a little getting used to, but well worth the investment. 

The other one I recommend Is the Tim Holtz Micro-Serrated Scissors. These also have the comfiest handles and a micro-serrated edge great for detail cutting. You can cut sheet rubber, vinyl and adhesive-backed papers. 

The Tim Holtz scissors are actually the scissors I use and if you want more detailed information read the Product Review - Cutterbee and Tim Holtz Scissors 

Fussy Cutting Techniques

Pre-Cut Elements

You can more or less cut anytime... however I think cutting while watching TV is a perfect opportunity to get batches done at once.  Just pick your papers with the pre-designed elements and have them ready to go.

Cut Around the Image  

When you start to cut, first cut around the image, freeing it from its surrounding paper or other images. Then you can start on the nitty-gritty.

Use the Bottom of the Blade.  

Use the bottom part of the blade, you will find it will cut cleaner and will be a lot easier as well as fewer slips and jagged edges.

Change Direction.  

I find it easier to cut into the image and change the direction as I go. This means I don't just go around the image at once. You will again get a nice clean cut, and also protects your image from being bent as you go. 

Remove Unwanted Paper.  

Remove parts of the design that you don't want. Then fine-tune the cut and remove the smaller bits. 

Move the Paper  

Let your scissors do the cutting, this means move the paper around not your scissors. This will not only save time but will make it easier. 

Fussy Cutting Scissors  

Make sure you use your fussy cutting scissors for just fussy cutting! Don't be tempted to use them on anything else. 

Fussy Cutting Techniques

Enhance Border  

You can enhance the border of the image with a black or white waterproof marker.  This way it will pop more on the page. Or alternatively, leave a white border.

Practice Makes Perfect  

Fussy cutting can be tedious and frustrating at times however the more you fussy cut the more you will get better at it. So I say persevere with your fussy cutting and you will soon become an expert. 

Fragile Paper 

Apply multi-medium to fragile or thing paper to strengthen it before you fussy cut. That will prevent the paper from breaking or tearing when cutting small and detailed shapes. Also, multi-medium can be used to repair a torn image. 

So if you haven't tried fussy cutting, then give it a go! If you have any further fussy cutting tips, I would love to hear from you.  Just post in the comments below.

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