Wednesday January 30, 2013
Making the cut
By LEE MEI LI
Artfully combine your paper-folding and cutting skills to create festive decor.
EVER tried cutting a string of paper dolls? Mine used to fall apart within seconds, because the shapes would never quite come out attached to one another. And the paper snowflakes I made always looked more like spider webs.
And so it seems, the art of paper-cutting is as much about your paper-folding skills as it is about your ability to wield a pair of scissors.
The tutorial below shares a lesson in paper-cutting the Japanese way, also known as kirigami. Made up of the words kiru (to cut) and kami (paper), kirigami often begins with a folded base, much like an origami feature.
What’s fascinating is the fact that each small snip you make on the folded piece will make or break the resulting image. This can be a great craft to help young children brush up on their planning skills and have them dwell on the wonders of cause and effect.
With Chinese New Year celebrations well on its way, gather the kids to make some kirigami blossoms to spruce up the walls. Or how about colourful kirigami bunting to complement the curtains? While it’s important to make calculated cuts, try leaving the pattern to your imagination and see what turns up.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Lee Mei Li gets her crafty inspirations from making ‘amigurumi’, a type of Japanese crochet doll. Meet her woven whimsies at amiguruMEI.com.
Skill level: Easy
Time required: 10 minutes
Stuff you’ll need: Origami paper, pencil and scissors.
1. Place the origami paper with its coloured side down. Fold along the dotted lines, ensuring that the bottom point meets the top to form a triangle.
2. Fold the triangle in half along the dotted lines. Make a small crease to mark the midpoint and unfold it again.
3. Fold the right corner upward at a 45-degree angle from the midpoint crease.
4. Fold the left corner upward so its bottom edge aligns with the opposite side.
5. Fold the resulting shape in half so the right edge aligns with the opposite side.
6. Draw a petal design on the folded piece.
7. Cut out your design, making sure to leave the left and right edges attached at some points to keep the piece intact. For this design, cut only along the lines that mark the top, the centre, and the bottom of the petal – leave the right and left edges intact.
8. Gently unfold the paper and voila! You have a five-pointed flower kirigami to do as you please. Keep the piece flattened by storing it inside a book.
WANT to get hold of a year’s worth of craft projects that the whole family will enjoy? Good news! Every Day’s A Holiday: Year-Round Crafting With Kids by Heidi Kenney is our special giveaway this month. Two readers each stand to win a copy of the book worth RM86.90, courtesy of Borders Bookstore.
Just tell us the one craft you’d want to master this year and why, in not more than 20 words, and send it to email@example.com, with the header “Craftypedia January Giveaway”.
All submissions for this instalment must reach us by Feb 13, 2013, and include your full name, IC number, address, and contact details (phone, e-mail).
Entries will be judged based on creativity. The judges’ decision will be final. The monthly winners will be notified by Borders Bookstore.