Easy Scherenschnitte Projects & Patterns

Super Simple Scherenschnitte Patterns

Friday I hosted a craft class for 8- to 12-year-old girls. We studied the German art of paper cutting, otherwise known as scherenschnitte, and completed a couple of super simple projects.

Girls Craft Club

I’ve long loved this craft, so I started the class by showing the girls several examples of scherenschnitte I’ve made for my home over the years. As you can see, many of these examples are variations on a heart theme. Hearts are a very popular motif for Scherenschnitte — and also for wedding anniversaries.

Examples of Scherenschnitte

Since my husband and I married while we were both still in school, we had to live on a shoestring budget for the first decade of our marriage. So most of my early gifts to him were either scherenschnitte hearts I cut out (a very economical craft — paper’s cheap) or poems I’d written (again for the price of a piece of paper plus a little time).

Wedding Sampler

Supplies needed for doing scherenschnitte

  • small, sharp scissors

    You just need something small with sharp points and (preferably) slightly curved blades. When I was first learning this craft, I used a pair of nail scissors. Later, I bought some craft scissors made especially for fine detailed work and paper cutting. For the purposes of teaching this girls’ class, I got these economical but nifty little folding scissors.

  • paper

    Plain copy paper works great, but you might also try card stock or parchment paper in a variety of colors

  • patterns

    You can try cutting freehand if you like, but will probably achieve better results by following a pattern, especially for very detailed designs. I’ve included two super simple scherenschnitte patterns in this post, perfect for beginners. One is a bouquet of flowers and the other is a charming little house.

  • backing material

    You can mount your completed design on whatever backing you choose. I’ve used fabrics such as velvet or taffeta for mounting or matboard or scrapbook paper. Both the designs in this post are the perfect size for mounting on 4″ x 5.25″ blank note cards.

  • spray adhesive

    Use a can of spray adhesive for mounting your finished design onto your background of choose. It is much easier and less messy to use than plain white glue (although that’ll work in a pinch, too).

  • frame (optional)

    If you plan to frame your design, I recommend shopping garage sales and thrift stores for suitable frames, inexpensively priced.

Scherenschnitte Nativity

Instructions for doing scherenschnitte

  • If you are cutting a symmetrical design (like the super simple scherenschnitte patterns in this post), fold along the (dashed) center line with the pattern facing out. This printed side will be the back of your picture, so don’t worry if you don’t cut exactly on the lines. They won’t show once you glue the design to your backing.

    cutting paper bouquet
  • If your design is not symmetrical, you’ll have to cut without folding.
  • Always start with the smallest parts on the inside of the design and cut those first. For the patterns in this post, you’d begin with the teardrop shapes inside the flowers and bow on the bouquet, or the window panes in the house design.

    cutting paper bouquet
  • Continue cutting all the finest detail work before moving on to larger sections. This gives more support when you’re cutting the tricky parts and makes it less likely you’ll tear your design than if you do the bigger sections first.
  • Once you’ve finished all the cutting, carefully unfold your design, take it outside, lay it on the ground or on a piece of scrap paper and spray the back (printed side) lightly with adhesive.
  • Center the design on your backing material and smooth it down, working from the inside out. Now you’re ready to pen a note and send it in the mail or put it in a frame to hang on the wall of your home!

Two super simple scherenschnitte patterns

For my craft class, we made this super simple Scherenschnitte Bouquet.

Super Simple Scherenschnitte - Bouquet

Each copy yields four designs. We put our finished designs on blank note cards. Didn’t they turn out nicely?

scherenscnitte cards

I told the girls I’d put an extra design on the blog for them, in case they wanted to continue practicing at home. She here’s a super simple scherenschnitte house, as well:

Super Simple Scherenschnitte - House

And a picture of a finished example, which I mounted horizontally on another blank note card:

Scherenschnitte House

Keep On Crafting

If you’d like more craft ideas, you can peruse other fun projects here: Abby’s Craft Corner. And if you’re interested in learning the German art of paper cutting, then check out the collection of Scherenschnitte patterns and print packs I recently added to our shop.

Sensational Scherenschnitte
Super Simple Scherenschnitte
Seasonal Scherenschnitte
Scherenschnitte Cards

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  1. Oh wow! What a beautiful craft. I’m teaching this to some homeschoolers soon. I’d love some more of the patterns that I’ve seen shared with others that have left messages. And I’d love the silent night one for me! Thank you for your generosity.

  2. Hello Jennifer,
    I am planning to teach a small group of homeschoolers this wonderful art. Would you please send me any free patterns that you have available, especially The Holy Night.
    Thank you so much!
    Jayne Mraz

    1. I apologize for the delay, Jayne. Your request got buried in my inbox. I just emailed you that pattern this morning.

  3. Your bouquet and house patterns are beautiful and offer such a gentle introduction to this wonderful craft. I used to do this as a child with my mother and want to pass that on to my own children.Would it be possible to also get the pattern for your Silent Night cutting? It is simply breathtaking. Thank you!

    1. So sorry your message got buried in my inbox for a couple of weeks, Jessica. I just emailed you the pattern you requested. Enjoy!

  4. Hello! I just found your page and wondered if you could send me the Holy Night pattern. It’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing this art!

  5. By reading the comments I see it is a popular request, but may I also ask for a copy of your silent night pattern, please? It is really beautiful! Thank you for sharing this post!

    1. I sent it to you directly, Kate. You’re right. It’s a popular request. I plan to post a link soon to make it easier to download.

  6. Hello! I just found your page and wondered if you could send me the Holy Night pattern? It’s beautiful! Thank you!

  7. Oh my goodness! I just happened up on this page and was curious if you would share the Silent Night pattern with me as well? I’d love to make it for my best girlfriend for Christmas gift this year. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    1. I sent it to you directly, Deb. Hope your friend likes it (and appreciates your heart work). It’s a challenging pattern! 🙂

  8. Hello, Would you please email me a copy of your silent night pattern. That is absolutely gorgeous. It is rather hard to find free patterns these days. I thank you so much.
    Sue Keffer

    1. I sent it to you directly, Sue. Let me know if it doesn’t come through, and I’ll try sending it another way.

  9. Hi ❤️would you please send me the pattern for your holy night paper cutting, it is beautiful and I would love to cut it for my mom for Christmas ⭐️
    I love your blog ❤️
    God bless 🙏🏻

  10. So, printed this out and figured I am fairly crafty so if pre-teens can do this, surely I could. But…the patterns are so much smaller than I anticipated based on the youngster who modeled the finished products! I did my best, but truly need about 30% larger patterns to start!!! Thank you for the opportunity to try. Wish I could share a photo, it really isn’t too bad…

  11. Jennifer,
    I had done Scherenschnitte many years ago in the 1990’s. My family does a white elephant craft and game each year and I thought of doing this this year. Could you also please send me the Silent Night Holy Night jpeg? I would appreciate it so very much. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.


    1. I emailed you the pattern directly juts a few days before Christmas, Brenda. It’s very detailed. I hope you had time to finish it before your party!

  12. I would like to know if you have a book of patterns. I have gotten “hooked” on this art. Love your family values. ❤️

    1. I’ve actually been working on a book of patterns, but it isn’t ready to publish yet. In the meantime, I’m sending you a few of my newest ones for you to work on while you wait. 😊 Look for them to land in your inbox in the next few minutes. And best wishes for a very merry Christmas!

  13. I love this idea! I would love to have a pattern for the “Silent Night, Holy Night” one with the trees above.
    I appreciate you sharing your talents with us!
    Thank you!

    1. I created that one several years ago and did not save a PDF for it, but I just sent a JPEG to you directly, Marianne. Hopefully, you’ll be able to shrink/enlarge that one to a size you can work with. I’m planning to have a full collection of original Scherenschnitte patterns — including that one — ready before Christmas, so keep an eye out for an announcement as soon as they’re ready.

    1. You’re welcome, Pamela. I hope they enjoy learning the craft. I love that scherenschnitte is so easy and economical, but with such pretty results!

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