View Full Version : Scherenschnitte

Thursday, January 5th, 2012, 01:04 PM

Scherenschnitte (German pronunciation: [ˈʃeːʁənˌʃnɪtə]), which means "scissor cuts" in German, is the art of papercutting design. The art work often has symmetry within the design, and common forms include silhouettes, valentines, and love letters. The art tradition was founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 16th century, and was brought to Colonial America in the 18th century by immigrants who settled primarily in Pennsylvania.


Over the years I have come across examples of this here and there at yard sales, flea markets and art shows. I personally like the rural farm scenes and everyday living. Below are some examples.

A simple yet beautiful design

Christmas card.

Everyday life scene.

More everyday life scenes.



A very complex design.

A more modern design.

There are even modern designs if that is what you are into.

It is very simple to make and requires just a few simple tools. The tools that are used are fine scissors, craft knife, paper, a old magazine and a pencil.

Not all paper is created equal you want to use letter weight paper or parchment. Avoid card stock at it is too heavy and hard to cut, copy or printer paper is too lightweight and tears too easy.

Your scissors should be of good quality and made of good steel, avoid the ones made in China, Pakistan, Japan, India or other such places, just stick to the ones made in countries know for good quality steel like Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, and England. If you do not use good quality scissors your work could come out fuzzy of less fine. The types of scissors that are best are Iris, cuticle, embroidery, and many other fine or surgical scissors. The craft knife should also be of decent quality steel, exacto is one such brand and if you can get one a surgeons scalpel is really great.

Further reading:
Gilpin, Sandra. "Scherenschnitte and Fraktur." Pennsylvania Folklife 37.4 (Summer 1988): 190-192.
Hopf, Claudia. Papercutting: Tips,Tools, and Techniques for Learning the Craft. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2007. (ISBN 9780811732697 ISBN 081173269X)
Schaffer, Sharon A. "Scherenschnitte of the Pennsylvania Dutch." Pennsylvania Folklife 29.4 (1980): 14-16.
Schläpfer-Geiser, Susanne. Scherenschnitte: Designs and Techniques for the Traditional Craft of Papercutting. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 1996. (ISBN 1887374183, ISBN 9781887374187)

If have further questions feel free to post them and ask I know someone very well that does this although I did not post her art work here, yet. ;)

Or maybe you would like to post some more pictures or even work you have done yourself.:)

Thursday, January 5th, 2012, 01:33 PM
These are absolutely beautiful!!!!! Does your wifey make these also?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012, 01:43 PM
These are absolutely beautiful!!!!! Does your wifey make these also?

Yes she does a little, but I have other family members that also do this, plus a few friends wives.:)

I have to get permission to post their work here.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012, 11:25 AM

You might even learn to jodel by wacthing this.:)