Today we have another How To-sday from our design team member Sara Case Strickland. I love fussy cutting, but it always seems to take me forever. These tips from Sara are awesome!

I have a confession to make: I love fussy cutting!

I love the depth, texture, and visual interest it gives a project. And I actually love the process of cutting little things out – I find it soothing. Really!

For those of you who are now shaking your heads and wondering about my mental health – it’s ok. I’ll win you over! Once you learn a couple of tips and tricks, including one foolproof method that makes you look like a pro, you’ll love it too. Well, at least you’ll be able to tolerate it better!

My first tip: move your paper, not the scissors. What this means is that while you’re cutting, turn your paper around the stamped outline and let your scissors just do the slicing through. Obviously, you will turn your scissors a little but the paper will do most of the work and you’ll get a smoother outline. In the photo below, I just started cutting:

And in the next photo, I’m going around the snowman. You can see I’ve turned the paper a full 90° but my scissors have only turned a little:

My second tip is heat embossing. Even with detailed stamps, if you heat emboss the image you have a thicker outline than you get with ink alone. Because of the raised powder, you also have a guide for your scissors to travel along. If you accidentally cut slightly into the image, you’ll still be on the outline and no one will notice your small slip! The snowman I cut out is not perfect, but it looks like it:

Finally, the most important trick: get a black brush tip marker. More often than not, we stamp images in black. Because of this, it’s super easy to make your pieces look perfect. Simply cut out your image as you normally would and take a careful look. See the raw white edges?

It’s easier to see in person but it’s still visible in the photo. To make it look crisp, sharp, and perfect I just took a brush tip black marker and ran it along the edges:

Suddenly the piece looks like you cut on the lines like a pro!

Now, just add your detailed images to a layout or background, like the ones we made a few weeks ago, and you’re done – an instant pop of interest!

Now, that wasn’t so bad after all, was it? ;)

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Thanks Sara! Come back tomorrow for the next installment of our Lotrite Mid Week Mojo!