Hi, lovelies! I have a fun little project for you to try this weekend…this Paper-cut Bird Artwork. I was browsing my Illustrate board on Pinterest and I stumbled across some very colourful bird artworks. Like this one by Jessica Das. I just loved the “colour block” effect used to create the shapes of the birds. I wanted to create my own version featuring a flock of finches (my favourite) but in a more “analogue” technique. So here’s the step-by-step tutorial for you to create your own version, with your favourite birds as the stars. I promise it’s easier than it looks. Let’s get into it…
What you’ll need:
- Coloured paper (in the colour palette of your choosing)
- One piece of coloured paper to use as your backer board (this needs to be the size you’d like your finished piece to be)
- Printouts of images of your favourite birds and leaf shapes you’d like to use for your piece. I googled “finch line drawing images” and did the same for the leaves I was looking for. I had 4 different bird images and 2 leaves.
- A pencil
- An Exacto knife
- Paper safe glue
- Cheap paint brush (optional)
Cut the outside shape of each bird and leaf following the main outside line. These will be used as your templates for Step 2.
Place your first template on the coloured paper you’d like to use for that item. Now using your pencil, trace around the paper template. So now you should have the outline of your first item in pencil on your coloured paper. Repeat for all your items. You can use the same template as many times as you’d like. Remember we want to cover as much of our backer board as we can, so the more the merrier.
Now cut out all your items following your pencil outlines. I used both my scissors and Exacto knife for this, depending on the detail.
The next thing you’re going to do is make templates for the details on each of your items. You’ll do this by taking your original paper templates and cut the details out like you did in Step 1. For my project I chose to cut out the details for the birds wings and beaks as well as the veins of the leaves.
Now that you have the templates for your details repeat Step 2 on a contrasting coloured paper, using these new templates.
Using your paper safe glue, adhere your details to the main items. I chose to use this vinyl glue made for paper collaging. I used the paint brush to spread the glue out into a thin layer to prevent the glue from buckling the paper. And also to make sure that it reached all the edges. Allow these to dry.
Once you have all your birds and leaves assembled you can start to lay out your design. Place all your items onto your backer paper. Take a photo of your design once you are happy with your layout. This way you can glue them back in place easier.
Now take the item thats on top and number the back with one. Continue the with the rest till you’ve numbered them all. This again will help you reassemble your artwork easier.
Reassemble your artwork by glueing the first item to your backer paper. Use the photograph you took as well as the numbering on the back of your items to help. Allow your artwork to dry.
And there you have it! One fun colourful homemade artwork that you can hang up on your wall or gift to a friend. I’m in a rental so I just used some neon washi tape to stick it up on my wall. It honestly makes me so happy whenever I walk past it!
P.S: I’d love to see your version of this artwork so tag me in your photos on Instagram if you make this project.