Paper Cut Art Journal Tutorial

paper cut art journal, paper cut tutorial, paper cutting ideas, paper cut for beginners

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

There is so much that’s beautiful and intriguing to me about a paper cut art journal. You might remember that I did my first one a few months ago, and shared it in this post. Now that I’ve begun my second one, I thought it would be fun to give you a peek. You’ll find a list of materials at the end of this post. But first, let’s get to the juicy part with some pictures and tips!

For this page, I’m using a simple leaf shape. It’s one I love to cut. Because I work intuitively, and usually without planning, I pay attention to not only what I think might look good, but what feels good guides me too.

Paper Cutting Technique

Be sure to cut towards yourself, use your other hand to steady the page, and be careful to keep your hand out of the path of the blade.

paper cut art journal, paper cut tutorial, paper cutting ideas, paper cut for beginners, paper cut patterns

This is an example of how repetition can be beautiful, at least I think so.

paper cut art journal, paper cut tutorial, paper cutting ideas, paper cut for beginners, paper cut patterns

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Paper Cutting as an Intuitive Art

Developing my own “vocabulary” of organic and geometric shapes is one of parts of the intuitive paper cutting process that I have found most fun. I went through a process of deep exploration, pushing each technique to see what I could do with it, and mining my own scratch pages for unique ideas. I walk you through this same process in my paper cutting class, Paper Cut Art Journal. It’s thrilling to see my students creating in ways I never dreamed possible with paper.

This is my happy place. I love seeing what develops before me. Working intuitively is such an adventure. I don’t know what will happen next. Sometimes I love what happens, and sometimes I don’t, but often those “mistakes” lead me to change things up and get more interesting. You’ll see how that happens with this series of pages.

paper cut art journal, paper cut tutorial, paper cutting ideas, paper cut for beginners, paper cut patterns

One of the things that makes paper cut art journals so fascinating is the way you work with layers. Because of the holes, each page has a relationship to the pages around it. I go more in depth into this in my class, Paper Cut Art Journal.

It’s so cool when you can surprise yourself, and it keeps happening for me in paper cutting, and for my students as well. Each time I think I know the limits of this beautiful art form, another artist proves me wrong.

Check out what you can do with a paper cut art journal – I think you’ll be amazed:

Materials List for Paper Cutting:


Sketchbook Project Journal from the Brooklyn Art Library – this is a super cool global art project that I LOVE!

10 Pack Scout Books Journals

Paper – If you’d prefer not to use a journal:

Strathmore 300 Series  Drawing Paper, 11 x 14, 50 sheets for $6.37 

Legion Stonehenge Light Paper, 11 x 14, 30 sheets for $29.42

Paper Cutting Knife:

Xacto Gripster Knife #11: $17.93 

(OR you can try the Excel Gripster Knife #11: $3.85, I have not tried this one, but it’s been recommended by many paper cutting artists I love.)

Paper Cutting Replacement Blades:

#11 Xacto Blades, pack of 40: $11.89  

(OR #11 Excel Blades, pack of 100: $17.01)

Paper Cutting Mat:

Self-Healing Cutting Mat , 18×24 inches: $25.99

I’d love to hear what intrigues you about paper cutting. Also, if you enjoy this post, share it with a friend on Pinterest. Just use the Pinit button that pops up on any picture.

Creatively Yours,


*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means, at no extra cost to you, if you choose to click and purchase something, you’ll support the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in all of us. Thanks!


  1. Lin Powell

    Your projects are so interesting and so great for inspiration in my art work.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Thank you so kindly, Lin! I’m so happy I could inspire. XO Amy

  2. Dorit

    Wow!i love every one! It is a wonderfull work! Thank you so much

    • Amy Maricle

      Thank you so kindly, Dorit. I’m so happy you are here and found some inspiration! xo

  3. Heleen van der Vegt

    i love papercutting Thank you so much for your inspiration

    • Amy Maricle

      Oh I’m so happy to hear it Heleen! XO

  4. Kate Marlowe

    Each page is a delicious work of art on its own. But then when they’re layered in the sketchbook, and become 3 dimensional, that’s where I find paper cutting to be so compelling. Captivating!

    • Amy Maricle

      That’s what fascinates me too! So happy it speaks to you. xo

      • Thanh Bui

        Love your work. Thank you for sharing.


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