What is a Fussy cut?
Fussy Cutting is where you take a detailed focal point that you either drew or drew yourself, or taken from a collage book or magazine. You need small scissors that can be easily rotated to get around all the nooks and crannies in a given image. Some are fairly simple but flowers with greenery can be quite complex.
What do you use for these little bits and scraps? Above is an example of an ICAD (Index Card of the Day) challenge I did for the month of July using one of my hand-flowered black and white focal points. I love wonky, so perfection is never my goal for hard cuts.
Hard cutting scissors
I’ve tried 3 different types of “hard cut” shears and they each have their own pros and cons.
My top pick is Cutter Bee Scissors from EK Success.
It’s lightweight, works on a dime, fits my hand well and has a great safety tip. It features ergonomic handles that are comfortable to grip, and a precision tip blade so you have maximum control and stability for tough cuts. I can cut through sheets of tough stuff without my hands getting cramped.
Buy on Amazon, or Scrapbook.com
Singer Pro Series Detailing Scissors with Nano Tip
These scissors measure 4.5 inches and have a tiny nano-fine tip for detailed work. It also features comfortable, rubberized handles. No tip on these so be careful. They are very pointy!
- 4.5″ ProSeries Detail Scissors
- Small and precise detailing scissors for tailoring enthusiasts
- Nano tip for detailed work
- Comfortable rubber handles
Buy on Amazon.
Fiskars 4-inch detailing scissors
The familiar Fiskars scissors with small, orange tipped blades are designed to make intricate cuts through multiple layers of fabric. I just don’t like the way those feel in my hand as well as the other two above.
Buy on Dick Blick, Scrapbook.com, Amazon or Michaels
Canary Mini Professional Precision Scissors for Crafting, Collage and Origami
Japanese made detailing scissors have some amazing reviews! They’re on the pricier end, but people swear they’re just as great as German-made clippers with ultra-sharp blades and a precise turn.
Buy on Amazon
Tim Holtz has detailing scissors but they are a bit more expensive than the other three options so I didn’t buy them to try them out. I’d love to hear if they’re worth the price difference if you’ve given them a try.
Tonic Studios Tim Holtz 817 Kushgrip Non-Stick Micro Serrated Snips, 7
One of my favorite lessons at Fodder School 1 was the one given by Roxanne Padget where we made gorgeous dresses using painted paper. You had to cut through the silhouette and make both the inside and the outside and my hands were too weak to use an Exacto blade with any success. Luckily several of the ladies in the class gave me some alternatives to try and I found one that worked perfectly! There is another one going around but after reading the reviews it seems to be very difficult to control.
Buy from Amazon, Michaels or Scrapbook.com
Johns, Michaels, Amazon
Cut the scrap paper
Paper Dolls have made a comeback lately, creating your own thing and getting rid of the complicated ones in the books. There are instant digital downloads on Etsy, as well as stencils from one of my favorite mixed media artists, Megan Quinlan. It has 3 different decks to use for technical notation, difficult cutting of cards or ATCs, or just for fun. I like the Moonlight Serenade kit better so I can create my own body and clothes and use capes plus the raven and moon are very cool too.
Collected books for a hard cut
This is a popular collector’s book. Unusual things to cut and collect
Dina Wakeley has 3 books collected to date. (Click the pictures below to order)
Dina Wakeley Media College College Vol
Mixed media artists often cut out their own focal points, pictures from magazines, or Wonky Bits from Willa courses, but for people with arthritis or hand injuries, this can be painful or problematic. There are a few of my Wonky Bits below on top of the file Dina Wakeley bag.