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Scrapbooking 101: Cutting & Tearing Paper

Cutting Straight Lines

Few people can cut perfectly straight lines with a pair of scissors! But, a paper trimmer is perfect for cutting straight lines. It also makes it so much faster and easier to cut photo mats, especially nice when you have a lot of photos to cut, or if youre making multiple mats. However, if youre using scissors, use a ruler to draw a line on the back of the paper before you start cutting. This also helps if youre cutting with pattern-edged scissors.

You can also run the blade of a pen knife alongside a ruler. Place your paper on a cutting surface, then press the ruler against the paper while you cut. A metal ruler is great because your cutting wont damage it.

Tearing Paper

Torn paper lends a decorative look to a scrapbook page. You can get two different looks with torn paper: a torn piece with a white edge or one without. For the white edge, hold your paper with your left hand and tear the edge toward you with your right hand. Tear away from you to achieve a non-white edge. The white edge will act as a mat, giving a bit of visual space between the paper youre tearing and the background paper. When tearing a large piece of paper, place the paper on your table or flat surface, holding one side steady with your hand while tearing with the other hand. Hold smaller pieces in your hand and tear with your fingertips.