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Hand-Cut Titles by April Foster 09/26/2009

From the time I was in elementary school, I was practicing the art of handcut-titles. Remember those bubble-letters we used to draw? And, those posters for pep rallies? Well, handcutting titles is really no different.

All you need is 4 supplies:

  • Pencil
  • Scissors (fine point)
  • Craft Knife
  • Self-healing mat
To begin, choose your patterned paper. A lighter color is easiest to work with.

Next, write your title word(s) lightly with the pencil. You'll want to write the letters larger enough to cut around. (I've written this a little darker than typical, so you could see it in the photo.)

Using scissors, cut around the pencil lines leaving about a 1/4" on each side. At this point, it's easy to see if your letters are a bit off, so if an "L" is too short, just cut it taller, or if a "C" is too flat, round it out a bit more. Here, my "r" was too narrow, so I cut over a bit to compensate.

To finish the title word, cut inside the letters using an exacto knife and self-healing mat, then erase the pencil lines.

Now the title is ready for your layout!

A few more ideas for hand-cut titles:

  • Before erasing the pencil lines, hand-stitch or sew over them to accentuate the word.
  • Before gluing the title to the layout, add a layer of glossy accents.
  • Handcut a title from cardstock or lightly patterned paper, then stamp directly onto the title before adhering to the page.
  • Trace around the outside of the letters with a black journaling pen to make them stand out.