My question refers to this kind of design:

enter image description here

(the example is from another question here, How to cut a tiny circle in paper?)

I suppose first I will have to draw that design on paper, then I will cut it. If I draw with a pencil, pencil marks may show through the cuts.

After all I have to cut by holding the blade in my hand, I cannot expect machine level perfection soon.

What medium should I use to make an initial design on paper for paper cutting such that no marks are shown after I am done?

  • Shall I assume the scope of this is you are going to cut it by hand as supposed to using an appliance?
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 15:44
  • Oh sorry, there is a communication gap. By hand, I meant that I will hold blade in my hand and then cut.@matt Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 15:46
  • Maybe edit this to include the word "template" somewhere.
    – user24
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 15:48
  • @CreationEdge sorry, I didn't get it. What template? What do you mean? Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 15:49
  • A template is a base design, often reusable, that lets you make things without marks. Like a stencil works.
    – user24
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


I use two different methods to accomplish this:

  1. I will create a template piece out of a stiff piece of paper. This paper has my design drawn on it with pencil or whatever.
    • Then I cut out the design on that paper.
    • Once done, you lay the template over your final paper, and secure it with some type of clips. You want to make sure the template doesn't slip around.
    • Then, you cut out the design just as you would use a pencil with a stencil.
    • There's no need to create the entire design in your template piece. You can create small pieces, just as you would use a French curve, eraser shield, or stencil.
  2. I simply draw the design in reverse on the back of the paper you're using, if it's meant to be viewed only from one side. Use a light pencil and make your cuts. The final product will not have the lines visible, as they're on the back.

Erasing marks afterwards has not been successful for me. It often leads to tearing of the paper, without erasing much.

  • 1
    You can get a reverse design by drawing the right way round in pencil on another (thin, or better still tracing paper) sheet then flipping that onto the back of your final sheet and rubbing over the lines. If your design includes lettering that's far easier than mirror-drawing, at least at my low skill level
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 7:01
  • Many people who used to do this a lot used scissors and freehand work, without designs on the paper, experience helped them though.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 19:20

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