My collection of E-xacto blades.

I’m not an expert at papercutting. I haven’t actually done too much until the past few days. Being an admitted klutz, I’ve always preferred scissors – but not the safety plastic ones. I’m not that bad. Honest. Anyway, I’ve managed to get through all my recent papercutting without any accidents or injuries. Go me.

In the past few days, I have learned some important things when using these things:

1. The blade handle is a personnel preference. I found that the weird-looking fiskars blade was way more comfortable than I expected. I actually used it more than the other handles I had. The finger wrap design was easier to control the blade movement. That said, as long as the handle was padded I’m happy. The plain metal (cheapest option) just felt uncomfortable and small after using the others.

2. Sharp blades are a must.

3. Practice on a piece of scrap and go slow.

4. Go slow and take your time.

5. A self-healing cutting mat is a REQUIREMENT! (This should be higher but I’m lazy and not going to reorder everything.) I bought the biggest one the store had. Mine’s officially 12X18 inches but the grid is only 11X17 with the other “inches” accounting for the space between the grid and the edges. I also have smaller mats that came with various scrapbooking tools (these are 5X5 inches are smaller and for setting brads or whatever…) I wish it was another inch or two around but it’ll work fine for 8.5X11 paper. I haven’t tried it with 12X12 yet.

I’m glad I gave the E-xacto blades a chance because I don’t think my hands could have managed cutting out all those sheets of flowers and leaves with scissors. I went way faster with the blade and didn’t need to take as many breaks. (My back was tired from leaning over the table faster than my hands were cramping. I call that a win!)

Anyway, I ran out of ink from edging all those flowers and leaves so I’m off to get more before lunch with my MIL.

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