HOW TO: Graffiti-Style Paper Cut Portraits

6 years ago

This is a piece I did for my husband Patrick's papercutting class and thought I'd share it here too. I have to admit, I am really digging this papercutting process. I'm going to do more. Portraits! It's so relaxing and the results are beyond satisfying! 

Here are directions - but there is also a tutorial video at the end of this post!

cutting mat

You can cut any portrait into a cool graffiti-inspired graphic! It
takes a bit of practice to be able to “see” where to cut.

The way Iʼm able to “see” is by drawing over the portrait with a
heavy black marker. I darkened the areas that Iʼm going to cut. I
then flip the paper over to see the back to see a peek at what it
will look like. Small whispy cuts add more character, but some
people may like bold and simplistic designs. The best to find out
your own style is to play around and just cut until you find your

Eyebrows are easy! When it comes to the eyes, go slow to be
able to get the pupils and lashes. For the nose, you can cut the
nose holes and maybe a bit of outline of the shape once you get
more practice. Donʼt forget to get the hair and lines for the neck.

If you want to transfer the design to heavier paper than copy
paper, use graphite paper and stylus to trace/transfer design. Cut!


Crafts/DIY editor, Kathy Cano-Murillo, is the founder of and is the author of juicy craft-themed novels.

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