Fussy Cutting Is it just me?
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 3/30/2013 by wren176 in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 542,930
February 2012
Posts: 1,669
Layouts: 1

Posted: 3/30/2013 5:55:43 PM
I love the detailed look of cards and LO's that have fussy cut images. When I cut the images out they are just not as crisp and clean looking. I've tried detail scissors and exacto knifes with the swivel blade. What am I doing wrong?
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 433,880
August 2009
Posts: 556
Layouts: 0
Loc: NW Ohio

Posted: 3/30/2013 6:12:24 PM
I have found that I really need to take my time. I use my tiny Cutterpee (?) scissors and leave a small margin. If things look perfectly cut, are you sure it's not a die/stamp combo?


Stash Dash count, goal of 50 layouts by NSD.
38/50 done!
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 404,040
December 2008
Posts: 548
Layouts: 0

Posted: 3/30/2013 6:13:02 PM
Good scissors are key, as is turning the paper when cutting, not the scissors. If you are using TH scissors make sure you are holding the so the non serrated edge is the one cutting. I prefer using the yellow and black handled scissors for detailed cutting, although i do use the TH scissors.


PeaNut 370,270
April 2008
Posts: 2,964
Layouts: 22

Posted: 3/30/2013 6:27:05 PM
I love the Fiskars scissors with the spring in the center, those make fussy cutting easy. I agree with the previous poster too, remember to turn the paper as you're cutting.


PeaNut 572,333
November 2012
Posts: 505
Layouts: 44

Posted: 3/30/2013 6:31:15 PM
When I fussy cut a stamped image I turn the paper like scrprgirl says, but I also cut outside the stamped line. I really like the look of it and it doesn't have to be so perfect.. I just posted a card on my blog where I did this. Here is the link.

My version of fussy cutting!

likes shiny things

PeaNut 114,614
November 2003
Posts: 22,076
Layouts: 496
Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted: 3/30/2013 7:03:15 PM
I like to clean up the edges with a small piece of fine grit sandpaper or an emery board. Helps even out the edge and takes care of any little burrs.

See things that shine on Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Uploaded with iPhone client

Helen *Mc
Gone Walkabout

PeaNut 4,068
April 2000
Posts: 10,357
Layouts: 214
Loc: Aussie in SC. USA

Posted: 3/30/2013 7:30:13 PM
I use an xacto knife, but you need to have a sharp blade, and I turn the paper, not the knife to where I need to cut. It does take me forever though to cut one piece. Then on occasion I'll use really fine sandpaper if needed, as Ashley mentioned.

Scrapn Nana
PEAring through my camera lens

PeaNut 272,954
August 2006
Posts: 8,254
Layouts: 26

Posted: 3/30/2013 7:52:22 PM
Cutting slower definitely gives you more control.

My Scrapn' Blog

Photographers are violent people. First they frame you, then they shoot you, then they hang you on the wall; but if you're real good, they will scrapbook you!


PeaNut 24,903
November 2001
Posts: 3,572
Layouts: 25
Loc: Ohio

Posted: 3/30/2013 8:59:27 PM
I used to do the German paper cutting, for the life of me I can't spell the name of it, and I found if I used an exacto knife, a glass cutting board over a light box I did a much better job of cutting. Or using the tiny precision scissors.

Scherenschnitte - That's the name of it. I googled it, edited my post to include it.




PeaNut 65,877
January 2003
Posts: 13,107
Layouts: 30
Loc: So CA

Posted: 3/30/2013 9:32:40 PM
I tried many pairs of scissors before I found some I like - I love my CTMH ones I had bad luck with the cutterbee ones (I am sure it is just me as I have seen others use them just fine). Move the paper not the scissors and make sure I don't go all the way to the end of the blade.

I used to hate fussy cutting but in the last few years I actually like it but only if I am not in a hurry. This is not something to do if you are in a hurry.


My turn to hit the PEAnata!!!

PeaNut 121,208
December 2003
Posts: 13,261
Layouts: 74
Loc: SCV, CA

Posted: 3/30/2013 10:25:45 PM
cut slow and turn...cut slow and turn You'll get there! Don't give up!

Garden Girl

PeaNut 2,356
January 2000
Posts: 4,158
Layouts: 402
Loc: london, england

Posted: 3/31/2013 6:28:23 AM
Hilariously, I have a phobia of that phrase - not the action, just the words! Because before its use in scrapping I had only ever heard the word 'fussy' used to describe a baby! And I just can't make my head separate the two. So when I read it, in my head I say 'detail cutting, detail cutting'... because I am a basket case, clearly.

Anyway... definitely to slow and turn the paper, not the scissors. I am rubbish with a knife and can only fathom scissors. But I will throw out there that tiny scissors aren't always easiest, since tiny cuts can get jagged easily. I just use small blades for cutting into any extreme spots, but do all my real cutting with larger scissors so I can cover more distance on the blades - more of that slow movement and less of the open/close cutting motion, if that makes sense. It also helps to get one pair if scissors that feel right in your hands then practice until you can really predict exactly where they will cut. A bit of scissor zen!!

love & glitter,
blog * twitter
Uploaded with iPhone client

*Delphinium Twinkle*
I'm just a pea:)

PeaNut 163,613
August 2004
Posts: 78,287
Layouts: 236
Loc: *Sunny Southern California*

Posted: 3/31/2013 6:35:55 AM
I taught myself Scherenschnitte when I was about 9 or 10. The trick is to either use a very sharp exacto knife, light table and glass or if you're using scissors, then turn your paper not your scissors
I love detail cutting and I always look at my papers searching got some humbug really neat I can cut out,
I'm weird like that

proud Fiskateer #269
{My Blog}
*My Scraproom*
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 561,690
July 2012
Posts: 836
Layouts: 0

Posted: 3/31/2013 7:14:05 AM
One of our local teachers whose first language is Afrikaans, not English, says & writes "fuzzy cutting...."- appropriate slip IMO!

I am fine if I can take my time; anything rushed is definitely fuzzy irrespective of the equipment or technique used.


PeaNut 516,395
August 2011
Posts: 173
Layouts: 0

Posted: 3/31/2013 7:23:12 AM
Wren...I prefer to call it "cussy cutting" because it makes me say bad things!

All kidding aside...it takes practice and patience and nice scissors. Maybe you could print or stamp out some images and just practice before you cut something you are actually going to use.

One other suggestion. After you cut your image sometimes it looks nice to trace around the image with a pen to sort of tidy up the edges. For example if I am stamping an image in black that I am going to color, I'll use my black memento marker to go around the edges so that there is no more white showing. Make sense?



PeaNut 520,709
September 2011
Posts: 263
Layouts: 51

Posted: 3/31/2013 7:45:15 AM
I love cutting! since I got my honey bee scissors (yellow and black) it's such a fun thing! One tip - try to keep a tiny edge around your image. Later you can smooth it with scissors or just ink the edges.
And sure - make it slow and turn the paper.

7 years to get here... So now what?

PeaNut 251,919
March 2006
Posts: 5,342
Layouts: 19
Loc: Toronto, Ontario

Posted: 3/31/2013 8:00:43 AM
I hate fussy cutting. It's the sole reason I bought a Cameo.

Canon 60D
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Canon 85mm f/1.8
Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di Macro
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5
Canon EF 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Canon 430EX II
Photoshop Elements 10 - Lightroom 5

Helen *Mc
Gone Walkabout

PeaNut 4,068
April 2000
Posts: 10,357
Layouts: 214
Loc: Aussie in SC. USA

Posted: 3/31/2013 8:18:58 AM
Shimelle, same here. I've not heard of using the term 'fussy' for cutting until the last year (though I've been out of the game for a couple of years), and automatically thought of babies. I always called it detail cutting.

I love detail cutting and I always look at my papers searching

Thats what I've done too, many times lol. I love cutting details.

Drama Pea

PeaNut 70,463
February 2003
Posts: 10,362
Layouts: 161
Loc: Pea-ing from Orlando, Fl.

Posted: 3/31/2013 8:24:35 AM
I love to cut things out! That's why many times on my layouts you will see mostly paper accents I use a large pair of scissors because I just can't seem to manage a smaller pair to make the tiny turns and such. I know I'm weird.

After a five year break, I'm back baby!!! Now help Bellies get her Groove back....
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 239,742
December 2005
Posts: 1,410
Layouts: 0

Posted: 3/31/2013 8:42:43 AM
I think it was Kristina Werner who said to take a brush tip marker and run it over the cut edge of your image once it was cut out. It covers up any stray white areas you missed. It works wonders - hides any missed spots.


PeaNut 466,697
May 2010
Posts: 203
Layouts: 0
Loc: United States

Posted: 3/31/2013 12:14:52 PM
I haven't done the fussy cutting yet.

If you are coloring an image to use for a card, for example a Pure Innocence stamp, do you color the image first and then cut it out, or cut the image out and then color it?


Stuck In The Bucket

PeaNut 292,616
January 2007
Posts: 766
Layouts: 3
Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 3/31/2013 12:33:58 PM
Dies and machines like the wishblade and circuit where made just for me. I am one who has trouble drawing a straight line with a rule. I even shy away from my paper trimmer a lot. But, I would like to get better with my scissors. I just need to practice and finally am doing that instead of shying away from them. My biggest thing is I always try to cut too much and then have to go around the object again and it's really uneven. So, thank you for all the tips of leaving the border, how to smooth the edges, and adding the ink.

Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 473,951
July 2010
Posts: 1,884
Layouts: 92

Posted: 3/31/2013 12:56:39 PM
My fussy cutting needs a lot of help as well. I still do it, even though it ends up far from perfect. I do turn the paper rather than the scissors, which helps. Though normally patient, I can't go as slowly as I need to when fussy cutting.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 120,025
December 2003
Posts: 7,200
Layouts: 159

Posted: 3/31/2013 1:27:04 PM
I enjoy fussy cutting, and as others have stressed, I just take my time (it's relaxing). I do not like to leave a tiny white edge, but I cut on the outside of the line. Also helps to cut "backwards" when you come to a spot that will crimp/wrinkle a hard to get into area. I love to stamp and cut out the new Prima Mixed Media Doll stamps - see an example in my Gallery



PeaNut 149,537
May 2004
Posts: 1,065
Layouts: 567

Posted: 3/31/2013 2:32:35 PM
I fussy cut on my cards all the time. Like so many have already said, a good pair of fine tip scissors and turning the paper is key. I would also add, don't try to cut it all in one go leaving a bunch of the excess paper hanging on behind you. Completely cut off more and more paper as you go.
I know I'm probably not describing it well so here's a Youtube video I did on fussy cutting:

(sorry, not sure how to link)


PeaNut 59,870
December 2002
Posts: 633
Layouts: 95
Loc: Central Ontario

Posted: 3/31/2013 3:11:54 PM
I'm starting to do more 'fussy cutting' as well and appreciate all the great advice here - thank you!

Uploaded with iPhone client

peaing from my beach room

PeaNut 142,772
April 2004
Posts: 9,835
Layouts: 3
Loc: Northern Indiana...Fighting Irish Country

Posted: 3/31/2013 3:18:29 PM
If I'm cutting right along the image I ink the edges or go around it with my Copic fineline pen. It really cleans it up.


Shih Tzu Mommy
Million dollar camera, 10 dollar lock!

PeaNut 224,352
September 2005
Posts: 23,838
Layouts: 0
Loc: Right here

Posted: 3/31/2013 5:11:23 PM

I hate fussy cutting. It's the sole reason I bought a Cameo.
AMEN! Even the name is ultra dorky. Fussy!? Really? How did that ever gain traction? Detail cutting. Call it detail cutting.

Dog people are a special breed!

Helen *Mc
Gone Walkabout

PeaNut 4,068
April 2000
Posts: 10,357
Layouts: 214
Loc: Aussie in SC. USA

Posted: 3/31/2013 6:53:07 PM
The other thing too - cut the smaller pieces out first, like loops and triangles in the center of letters, small areas between leaves, around stems or flower buds, or serifs on letters also.

Post Reply . Post New TopicShow/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}