Paper Cutting: Shelf Paper (Hearth Blessing)

This traditional domestic adornment was often cut from newspapers. I prefer glossy, colored pages from magazines. (I find it exciting that, after years of making this shelf paper, I happened to move to Pennsylvania, which is known for it, as part of Scherenschnitte—the tradition of Pennsylvania German papercutting.)

It is easy to make, it’s as if you’re cutting paper dolls, and it looks great even if simple.

Papercutting of Fan. Francesca De Grandis Designed & Cut

I usually prefer to design complex, detailed cuttings (such as the fan pictured here, which I probably made between 1994 and 1998). But since complexity is not needed with shelf paper, you gain two benefits: 1) It is a craft project your children can do with great results. 2) I wouldn’t want to spend hours on one complex shelf-edging, because wear and tear will make me have to replace it within the year, unlike the cuttings that I frame.

If you fold three magazine pages together, and cut them all at once so that they are identical, you can attach them to each other to adorn a longer shelf. In recent years, I’ve added the use of paper punches that make fun shapes like moons and stars, but you can do it all freehand, I used to, and it was just as lovely that way.

This paper “lace” is not laid down on the horizontal surface of a shelf like regular shelf paper. Attach it to the edge of a shelf—see picture. I use masking tape.

A few years ago, I realized you can use the same cutting method to make a decorative cover for a flower pot. I love upcycling paper! You can do so many wonderful things!

Making shelf paper for my home and a couple of friends seemed like a way to bless our new year and start it off fresh. It also is upcycling.* (LOL. Doing craft with whatever is around the house is not new to our generation, it is traditional!) Upcycling feels homey and cozy during the winter, I feel it adds hearth blessings to the cuttings.

Love and kisses,
Francesca De Grandis

* To upcycle means recycling material into art or crafts projects. I recycle a great deal of material for the arts ‘n’ crafts I create. Speaking of art, if you’re looking for pics of my artwork here, browse my blog. I like integrating my visual art with the rest of my life, so thus far I’ve only a few out ‘n’ out gallery posts.


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5 Responses to Paper Cutting: Shelf Paper (Hearth Blessing)

  1. Barbara says:

    Oh, Francesca! That fan is so pretty! Thanks for sharing the beauty of this craft.

  2. Pingback: Hearth Magic to Bless the New Year: Papercutting | Outlaw Bunny

  3. Sandra says:

    ~* How pretty! This is such a great idea!

    • francesca says:

      Thanks! I love traditional crafts (though I don’t feel the need to do them in a traditional way, myself. And I so respect people who can execute them in the traditional manner).

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