Cutting Tools for Greeting Card Making

Important parts, these are. Fundamental to greeting card making is cutting paper so it's important that you know what's available. Read on for some of the many tools that can help you become more creative.

Paper trimmer/rotary paper trimmer - These are very helpful - I use mine a lot. They consist of a flat surface with measurements and a straight edge against which to cut. The cutting blade moves along a rail and allows for a perfectly square cut.

rotary trimmer
Rotary Trimmer - 24" cut length)
rotary trimmer
Rotary Trimmer - 12" cut length

They come in many different sizes. One type, usually simply called a paper trimmer, has a blade that is stationary within the carriage.

Another type is the rotary cutter paper trimmer which has a blade that rotates within the carriage (fig. 1). The latter style is usually considered to be a better choice because 1) it makes a better cut, and 2) the blade does not need to be changed as often since it is not in contact with the paper at a single point as the stationary blade is.

One more step up is the rotary paper trimmer that is self-sharpening (fig. 2) - the cutting wheel never needs replacing. These are usually more expensive than the first two.

craft knife and blades
Craft Knife and blades

Craft knife - The standard is the X-Acto #1 knife, which uses the #11 blades (fig. 3). The blade tapers to a fine point allowing for very detailed cutting. X-Acto makes several different models of knives and quite a few choices for blades to fit the knives.

Cutting mat
Cutting Mat

Cutting mat - (fig. 4) Not only for protecting your working surface, cutting mats also have measuring grids and a slight texture to grab hold of the paper. The self-healing types are made of a unique vinyl composite material that will not show marks or cutting lines from repeated use.

Decorative scissors
Decorative scissors

Scissors - There are many different kinds of scissors. A good variety to have is a large pair of shears for quick inexact cutting and small embroidery scissors for fine detail cutting. Also, you may want to invest in a pair of non-stick scissors for cutting things like glued paper or adhesive-backed papers or materials.

Decorative scissors - (fig. 5) Great, inexpensive tools for adding that elegant (or tacky) touch to your work. They come in many different shapes from a simple wave to scallops to a random ragged edge that is meant to simulate grass.


Punches - (fig. 6) These come in a variety of patterns and shapes and are used to punch decorative patterns and motifs into paper. Another way to use them is to use the shape that was punched out to decorate greeting cards with. And don't forget about the simple hole punch buried somewhere in your junk drawer!

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