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1307-3 China
Paper Cutting

Designed by Patty Cox

Chinese paper cutting is an ancient art very much like our contemporary paper snowflakes. Paper cuttings are traditionally cut from red paper using short scissors. Common patterns used in paper cutting are the crescent shape, the arc and the saw tooth patterns. Paper cuttings are used to decorate doors, windows, mirrors, lanterns and gift packaging. They’ve been used as patterns for embroidery and lacquer work. Paper cuttings are meant to bring good luck.

Age Range: 7 to 12

Grade Range: 1 to 6

Skill Level: Moderate

Appropriate for These Special Events:
Every Day and Rainy Days

Supports Subject Area(s) of:
Social Studies
Language Arts – e.g. step by step instructions
Visual Arts
Math – e.g. measuring

Time Needed for Project:
1 hour plus drying time



Main supplies:

  • 5” red napkin or thin red paper
  • White printer paper
  • White gift bag or folder

Basic Supplies:

  • Small sharp scissors
  • Elmer’s ® Clear School Glue
  • Elmer’s® Repositionable Glue Stick
  • Pencil
  • Disposable bowl or cup
  • Sponge brush


  1. Cover work surface with waxed paper.
  2. Tear white tissue into about 3” pieces. 
  3. Squeeze a puddle of glue on foil or foam plate.  Working in sections at a time, use brush to apply a thin layer on outside of jar.  Tap brush onto a piece of tissue then press on glue.  Carefully brush on another coat over tissue.  Add another piece of tissue slightly overlapping the first.  Repeat step till entire jar is covered.  Let dry then repeat step.  Let dry.
  4. Determine patters of paper for each pattern pieces then use pencil to lightly trace on white side of envelope.  Cut out number needed for each jar.  To create flower, punch a hole in center of each petal then use scissors to cut from hole to center of flower referring to photo. 
  5. Decoupage each pattern piece in place referring to photo for placement.  Start with design on around bottom of jar then work up to lip of jar trimming bamboo sections as need to fit your jar.  Let dry.

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