All about Kirigami

All about Kirigami

Kirigami is a kind of art that requires a certain proportion of the Master. Even working on a special template, it is necessary to strictly follow the proportions and recommendations. You can make something original using conventional scissors and paper at hand. Paper can be color or conventional, less impressive from this finished product will not be. Literally the translation of the word Kirigami from the Japanese language and means “cut paper”. Compared to other types of needlework art, this relatively recently born. For the first time he is mentioned in 1980.

      What it is?

      Call the exact date when it was the art of Kirigami, today no one can, but his peak of its popularity falls on the 80s of the twentieth century. In common, this art has become called paper architecture. So that the technique has become perfect and, to achieve this skill in reproducing various products, newcomer or master will have to constantly practic.

      To begin with, a certain template is selected, the details are cut. You can cut, both from a separate sheet of paper and from several. To obtain volume fragments or a whole figure, you will need to deploy a sheet. In the process of work, you will need to attract a fair fraction of fantasy and, accordingly, a set of tools. In addition to conventional scissors, small stationery knives can be approached, various in their shape and magnitude.

      Kirigami can be seen, for example, in popular folding children’s books. All this is created manually, and paper figures originally and clearly recreate scenes from history. When transferring pages a sense of the present dynamics of narration. And bright paints and careful study only enhance perception. Postcards, where the figures can be collected separately and insert into specially cut fields also refer to the industry in Kirigami.

      They do not spoil at careful handling, and in the unfolded form it is easy to form a visual picture.

      History of origin

      Now, Kirigami became a branch of paper architecture, and it was born in Japan, at the end of the last century. Only at the very beginning of the 80s were created thousands of various schemes and models. This art has become the basis for the production of modern two-dimensional and three-dimensional cards. Masakhiro Chatani Master was able to perpetuate his name in history, creating a fundamental new direction in needlework. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional architectural models of different colors, congratulatory souvenirs and reproduction of production layouts from paper has become possible due to the appearance of Kirigami. This uses various materials and tools.

      1. Cardboard or fine colored paper, not exceeding a density of 120 grams per square meter. Such paper is easy to find in the office. As for the necessary sizes, this is specified depending on the selected scheme. Paper sheet is twice after transferring diagrams or pattern.
      2. Small handicraft scissors. They can be purchased in a special store. The main condition is sharp tips and a thin blade, and such that are commonly used when embroidered.

      Depending on the complexity of the selected idea, the technique of work changes. For example, with a solid drawing, paper will need to pierce. To avoid “misses” and sharp edges, the tips of the scissors in the process are not communicated to the end, and the billet itself is constantly rotating. Sometimes in the list of the necessary toolkit, depending on the scheme, may include:

      • Stationery knives of different shapes and sizes+
      • Special needlework knife for working with small fragments+
      • Rubber mat for fixing crafts during operation+
      • paper clips (sold complete with rugs)+
      • Special blade for smoothing paper+
      • Metal ruler and simple pencil to indicate markup+
      • resistant adhesive, not leaving traces after drying.

      Review of species

      Kirigami has several directions, as in any industry of art.

      • Jenigami, based on the use of three-dimensional figures. They are prepared separately and stored in folded. Glue for creating is not required.

      • Origami – products from several paper sheets. The basis of the technique is that the paper is developing a unique way, while forming the necessary figure.

      Cut or align small parts in this case.

      • Kushudam – derived from origami direction, more complex. It is thanks to this technique in the future paper bouquets or compositions are collected. In sophisticated products, special threads or glue are used.

      • Scrapbooking – art of making albums or diaries from paper. The basis can even serve as old magazines or newspaper cuts.

      When you select a specific template or playback schema, you can rely on a series of prompts. For example, solid lines on the diagram show the direction of the cut. Dotted – folding of product lines inside, and several dotted points – the direction of the bend outward. In the manufacture of the master will need patience and perseverance. Do not get upset if something fails the first time, the most important advice is to act “from simple to complex”.


      Flat Kirigami – a separate art type, the main part of the work in which the preparation of the image itself is. It usually emanates a variety of small parts and complex patterns. For reproduction, a monotonous background and bright, contrasting colors are used. The most striking example can be the manufacture of traditional flat Christmas snowflakes from paper. Many cities are the same indispensable decoration on the windows, like bright garlands.


      Volumetric crafts will require much more care, experience and labor. Playing three-dimensional designs – the task is not for a beginner, but if you follow the instructions, nothing impossible in it. You can recreate anything from home to the castle or the most real historical or artistic scenes. The three-dimensional image folds due to the cuts, bends and holes. The more difficult design, the more paper will be required during the work. But the result really justifies itself, such a handicraft can become an interesting idea for a gift made by hand, for relatives and loved ones.

      Schemes for beginners

      Understand how to make postcards in technique Kirigami, you can not only visiting the master class. The first thing that is required of the user is to prepare everything you need to work and choose a suitable template for making. Paper and scissors will fit as starting materials and tools, and sometimes stationery knives for more sophisticated work with small details.

      The algorithm of work is easy.

      For example, to step by step to make Valentine’s holiday, the sequence of operations will be.

      1. Calculate or redraw template. The heart can be located on a sheet A4 or A5, the main thing is that the paper is quite dense.
      2. According to the scheme without getting out of the edges, you can start cutting paper by a stationery knife or scissors. It all depends on the individual user preferences. The main thing is that in the end there are no uneven or torn edges.
      3. Cut minor details separately, fold paper sheet.
      4. Inside, you can write like wishes and the name of the recipient. If there is no desire to paint the postcard, you can immediately use non-ferrous paper or cardboard as the source material.
      5. Stretch the heap spiral and fold the figure, the middle part is attached for one of the half of the heart, for the sake of the volume you can bend the figure to outward and get three-dimensional Valentine.

      Thanks to the template, you can easily create a lock or paper house. But scissors and other tools will need more subtle to play a real paper architecture. For some things you can use even scalpel. Do not forget about safety regulations. For a lock or home you will need:

      • Carefully draw contours and parts for the workpiece+
      • All contours to cut, starting from the top and ending with the bottom+
      • Horizontal lines remain intact so that later it was possible to easily fold the shape+
      • Towers and contours are cut down gradually, work always goes from top to bottom+
      • Operactions and other holes below cut through the contour+
      • The windows are cut separately+
      • The folding of the workpiece goes from above and from the middle of the design.

          In more complex structures, you can even use glue. Sometimes it makes sense to prepare and the background for the lock so that the volume and detailing of the figure look more impressive. Background is better to pick up. It can be a panoramic drawing with a sunset, steppe or a real forest under the towers. Depending on the complexity, the speed of work is changed, so that in the process you need to be as attentive as possible.

          In order to freely create volumetric figures, it is recommended not to forget to use a special rubber substrate.

          So much less risk spoil in the work expensive furniture. Creating a hut or house with Kirigami, you need to follow several simple rules.

          1. You need to cut the paper from the top point, paying attention to all inner details, dropping to the lower edges at the very end.
          2. Working on a tiled or roof, you will need to use a thinner blade for playing all parts.
          3. Cutting a tree, you can use different types of blades. This makes it possible to work with details at an angle. Before that, the feature is cut by a knife, and only then to introduce the tip of the scissors themselves. As you are cut, the blades never connect to the end+
          4. To bends you need to start only after all other parts were cut out. Bend lines need from the middle of the crafts. The blade or spatula will help reproduce the bending.

          Another scheme for a novice master who strives to master the art of Kirigami – Staircase. Here the user will learn to wart a few tools in the time, including blades, spatulas and metal ruler. Instead of scissors, it is more convenient to use the stationery knife. The stairs scheme can be redrawing any, but the most difficult to reproduce the mirror reflected steps. The algorithm of action looks like this:

          • lines vertically cut the knife+
          • Next, using a spatula and blades, get the paper, reproducing internal and external bends – all this will require care and caution in the execution process.

              Frog – Classic Figure for Beginner. It is ideal for children who are just starting to master the skills of working with paper. The procedure for action is quite simple. In the process, you will need to use high-quality adhesive pencil, which dries quickly and leaves traces:

              • folded the sheet of paper in half, the front side should be inside+
              • You can draw a pattern, both in advance and immediately after that+
              • Carefully cut the frog along the contour on both halves+
              • short movement make a small incision for the future mouth and bend corners of paper+
              • Expand the frog, bend edges and glue the faces with a pencil glue.

              To give a scope figurine, it is enough to unscrew the corners of the paper from the left and on the right side.

              Eyes or drawn, or pasted separately. The language is cut from another sheet of paper, most often the color is preferable red or pink. One end should be necessarily rounded, it can be done with glue. The width is selected so that it corresponds to the proportions of the figure. To the inner cavity of the mouth is glued separately. If a jug is planned for a frog or background, the basis can be prepared by bending the paper in the right direction. It can be blue or green blue.

              Snowflake for children under the New Year is simply cut along the contour quite thin scissors. Most often for home or office The basis of the snowflake is the usual album sheet of A4 format. The pattern and complexity of snowflakes can be any, at the discretion of the user. But everywhere it is better to be guided by the principle of “from simple to complex”, it will give the opportunity to avoid mistakes, and work skills for hands on simpler designs. Then the reproduction of complex products will not be any problems.

              For example, Cake to the winter day, can be made of paper in the form of a postcard. One of the main steps is to outline clear contours to reproduce the workpiece. Three-dimensional design – properly bent paper. Films can be marked not only by dotted line, but also in color, starting from the middle. For example, blue will be the bends inward, and red – out. Empty fields and background around remains for wishes to recipient postcards. If the winter cake, then the deer can be depicted. Deer and Sanny Santa, for winter subjects, can be cut and separate.

              When cutting out fish, you need to consider that Paper is divided into two main parts: Background and drawing of the fish. Color is better to select contrast and not too “sweating” in vision. Bilateral paper is best suitable for the craft to glue. All solid lines must be carefully cut, but if the fish have strips – they can be left. Paper folds from the middle, and in the corners is bonded by glue, so that the figure does not break.

              For the manufacture of snowflakes you need to fold the square, sharp angles must be combined with each other. As a result, a small triangle or a rectangle should be obtained, which needs to be carefully cut without disturbing. Next, the figure is developing again, all sharp corners must clearly coincide with each other.

              The base is aligned and smoothed, and then the snowflake itself is cut along the contour with small scissors.

              Christmas tree – another symbol and a confused attribute of the New Year’s decoration. Why buy a postcard if it can be done manually? Collect the finished product do not even have to start, it is enough to use paper or cardboard of different colors and shades. It is the best cardboard format A4 cardboard for this purpose, christmas toys can be both drawn and pasted. Rhinestones are suitable for garlands.

              The inner figure of the Christmas tree is cut with a knife strictly along the lines. Then there comes a turn of the contour itself along the edges. Fibems better denoted by dotted. The external bend serves as the basis for ate, and the inner reproduces it. The whole essence of the design is a neat fold and carefully drawn and cut parts.

              Traditional star or Swan to Victory Day is also not very difficult, just follow the selected scheme. For small parts, we use a stationery knife, and for threads on the contour – sharp scissors. It is fragments and patterns that are cut first and always from the center of the product. To the edges should go at the very end of work. A rubber lining and vice for paper will be able to work with the workpiece long time, and reduce the risk to spoil it with inaccurate movement. It makes sense to acquire special knives for Kirigami if the user has a desire to master this art professionally.

              About how do it yourself make a volumetric card with Kirigami, see in the following video.

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