postheadericon How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

There are many forms of creative expressions within Judaism, and Jewish papercut art is an age-old tradition that has long been used to accompany Jewish religious texts, helping to bring them to life for the younger ones and for the sake of its own beauty. Doing your own Jewish-themed paper-cutting is one way to connect with your faith and create something beautiful that can serve as a reminder for a special Jewish themed event.[1] Paper-cutting is easier than you think and this tutorial provides one example of Jewish papercut art, with instructions.

Steps

How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

1 Draw your design onto the back side of the paper. If the design has words in it, you’ll need to draw them in reverse. Or, trace a design using the carbon paper. Your Jewish papercut design could be made for a decoration or gift for a bar mitzvah or a Jewish wedding, given as a gift for a rabbi, or used for some other Jewish theme. Some suitable designs include: Words, such as Bar Mitzvah (shown in the image here) Star of David One of the symbols from the Twelve Tribes of Israel or other Judaic symbols Hebrew letters or words.

How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

2 Be sure all the parts of your design touch other parts, so that elements of the design don’t drop out unintentionally. Start with a small, simple practice design. If your design is to have multiple layers, plan out the desired layers before you start cutting.

How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

3 Cut out everything that will not be in the top layer of paper in your design. Start in the middle and work outward. If the whole design comes out of the paper, do all the interior cutting first, then cut around the outside of the design.

How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

4 Review the effect so far. The image in this step demonstrates how the cut piece looks when you flip it over to the right side. Before you glue a contrasting color sheet of fine paper to the back, try some different colors to see what you like and whether the color combination provides a good contrast with the top sheet. If you planned your design to be several layers of paper, consult your original design and decide now what you will cut away from the second layer, third, and so on.

How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

5 Apply an adhesive to the back of your top layer. Carefully place the top layer glue-side-down on the front of the second layer of paper. If you will be doing several layers, a spray adhesive will stick the layers together more firmly, making it less likely the layers will shift during cutting. Be sure to use the spray in a well-ventilated or, even better, outside.

How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

6 Once the top layer is glued down to a second color of layer, flip the papercut over and work from the front. Cut out everything that will not be in the second layer of your design. As you add layers of paper, always apply the adhesive to the back of the previously cut layer(s).

How to Create Jewish Papercut Art

7 All done! Hang, post or add to a craft project, as desired.

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