Art Ideas: Kirigami or Creative Paper Cutting

Kirigami is the art of creative paper cutting, usually by cutting through all layers of folded paper. It requires only paper, a pair of sharp scissors and glue to attach the Kirigami to the My Art Cards template card. When the paper is unfolded after cutting, a one of a kind symmetric design is revealed. The term Kirigami comes from the Japanese word for paper, “gami”; “ori,” which means folding; and “kiri,” which means cutting.

Lesson Plan Suggestion: Paper cutting is like “drawing with scissors” and with safety scissors, even very young children can cut paper. Many Kirigami projects are based on geometry and help to visualize math concepts. Since paper cutting is found in many different cultures, it is also easy to integrate into social studies.

  1. Almost any paper can be cut for a Kirigami pattern, but a fairly thin weight works best because of folding the paper.
  2. Sharp scissors work best, but almost any pair of scissors that feel comfortable to handle can be used. When cutting the paper, hold the hand with the scissors still and move the paper into the scissors. This will help in cutting curves and intricate designs.
  3. Fold the paper into quarters.
  4. Find the closed corner, which is the center of the paper. Fold this corner in half.
  5. Cut sections of paper away from any of the three edges, making sure not to cut off or into the closed corner.
  6. Also do not cut from one edge all the way across to another edge.
  7. Unfold the paper and see your design.
  8. Glue your Kirigami pattern onto the My Art Cards template. The paper pattern can be an element of a larger design or part of a collage.
  9. Kirigami patterns are available online and can be duplicated with free hand drawing, photocopying or tracing.

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