Scherenschnitte
6/12/2014

Remember grade school, when you used to cut paper chains of little girls holding hands? That's a form of scherenschnitte  (share-en-shnit-uh), or paper-cutting—an ancient art that's migrated to scrapbooking. Paper-cut embellishments are nearly as easy to create as those paper chains—and much more elegant.

Paper-cutting originated in China almost 2,000 years ago and spread throughout the world, with many cultures developing variations. Japanese kirigami began in the 11th century when nobles designed simple, circular motifs to represent family names. During the Middle Ages, German scherenschnitte adorned New Year's wishes, love letters and official certificates. German immigrants continued that tradition in America. The Polish have used sheep shears to create wycinanki (vee-chee-non-kee) since the early 1800s. All that history makes paper-cutting perfect for your heritage album pages—just follow these tips: