A Guide to Selecting Decoupage Scissors
Decoupage is a decorative crafting technique that involves cutting out and layering paper or fabric onto surfaces such as wood, glass, metal, or ceramics. There is evidence of the technique from as far back as 12th Century China! It allows you to transform ordinary objects into personalized and visually appealing pieces. The word "decoupage" is derived from the French word "decouper," which means "to cut out." You can use decorative papers, such as napkins, tissue paper, or patterned craft paper, as well as fabrics or other materials for decoupage. But you’ll need something to do the cutting. There are craft knives and specialized decoupage scissors just for this purpose.
We’ll see that there is a variety of decoupage scissors, such as those with a straight edge, a serrated edge, a zigzag edge, a wavy edge, and more. You can then apply decoupage adhesive to the surface you are decorating, and then layer pieces of paper and fabric, arranging them in various patterns and designs. Once you’ve applied the desired number of layers and let the project dry properly, you can choose to apply a protective varnish or sealant to give the surface a durable and glossy finish.
We’ll go through some of the decoupage scissors on the market. You can then decide which ones to add to your repertoire of craft tools.
What are decoupage scissors?
Decoupage scissors are specialized scissors designed for decoupage, a decorative crafting technique that involves cutting and layering paper or fabric to create collages on various surfaces. Decoupage scissors have distinctive features that make them suitable for precise and intricate cutting in decoupage projects. Here are some key characteristics of decoupage scissors:
Fine-Tip Blades: Decoupage scissors typically have thin, sharp blades with fine tips. These fine tips allow for detailed and intricate cutting, enabling the crafter to precisely cut out small shapes or intricate designs from paper or fabric.
Serrated or Decorative Edges: Some decoupage scissors have serrated or decorative edges. These edges create interesting patterns and decorative effects when cutting paper or fabric. They add an extra touch of uniqueness and creativity to the decoupage project.
Non-Stick Coating: Many decoupage scissors feature a non-stick coating on the blades. This coating helps prevent adhesive residue from sticking to the scissors while cutting through glue-coated materials. It ensures smooth and clean cuts without the adhesive gumming up the blades.
Comfortable Handles: Decoupage scissors often have comfortable handles designed for prolonged use. The handles may be ergonomic or cushioned, providing a comfortable grip and reducing hand fatigue during extended cutting sessions.
Decoupage scissors are a valuable tool for decoupage enthusiasts and crafters who enjoy working with paper or fabric cutouts. They offer precision, versatility, and decorative options to create intricate designs and achieve desired effects in decoupage projects.
Can one pair of decoupage scissors be suitable for cutting all types of materials?
Decoupage scissors can be used with a variety of materials, but their suitability depends on the specific material and its thickness. Here are some considerations:
Paper: Decoupage scissors are well-suited for cutting various types of paper, including decorative craft paper, patterned paper, scrapbooking paper, and even thin cardstock. Their fine-tipped blades allow for precise cuts and intricate designs.
Tissue Paper: Decoupage scissors can also be used to cut tissue paper, which is often used in delicate and translucent decoupage projects. However, tissue paper is very thin and delicate, so you may need to handle it carefully to avoid tearing.
Fabric: While decoupage scissors are primarily designed for paper, they can be used to cut thin and lightweight fabrics, such as cotton or silk. However, for thicker or heavier fabrics, regular fabric scissors or shears may be more suitable.
Other Materials: Decoupage scissors may not be the best choice for cutting thick or heavy materials like leather, vinyl, or dense fabrics. For such materials, it's better to use appropriate tools such as fabric shears, utility knives, or rotary cutters.
Overall, while decoupage scissors excel at cutting paper and can handle lightweight fabrics, it's important to select the appropriate cutting tools for thicker or heavier materials to ensure clean and precise cuts.
Types of Decoupage Scissors
There are various types of decoupage scissors available, each designed for specific cutting techniques and decorative effects in decoupage projects. Here are some common types of decoupage scissors:
Straight-Edged Scissors: Straight-edged decoupage scissors are the most basic type and feature straight blades with sharp tips. They are versatile and suitable for general cutting tasks in decoupage, such as cutting out shapes and trimming paper or fabric. An example is the Tenartis 153 Decoupage Scissors. They’re made from nickel-plated carbon steel, which ensures that they’ll last a long time.
Tenartis 153 Decoupage Scissors
Serrated-Edged Scissors: Serrated-edged decoupage scissors have blades with serrated or scalloped edges. These scissors create decorative patterns and textured edges when cutting paper or fabric. The serrated edges add visual interest and unique detail to the decoupage designs. They’re also known as “zigzag-edged decoupage scissors” or “pinking shears”. Cutting fabric with a serrated edge can add a decorative touch and prevent fraying in fabric cutouts. An example is the Price Xes Fabric Pinking Shears.
Price Xes Fabric Pinking Shears
Deckle-Edged Scissors: Deckle-edged decoupage scissors have blades with irregular, uneven edges that mimic the appearance of torn paper. These scissors are commonly used in decoupage projects to create a natural and textured edge effect. An example is the Efco Deckle Creative Scissor.
Efco Deckle Creative Scissor
Wavy-Edged Scissors: Wavy-edged decoupage scissors have blades with a wavy pattern along the cutting edge. They create wavy or undulating edges when cutting paper or fabric. Wavy edges add a playful and decorative element to decoupage designs.
Corner Rounders: Corner rounders are scissors or punches specifically designed to round the corners of paper or fabric. They create smooth, rounded corners, adding a softer and more finished look to cutouts in decoupage projects.
These are just a few examples of the types of decoupage scissors available. Each type offers different cutting patterns and decorative effects, allowing crafters to explore various design possibilities and add unique touches to their decoupage creations.
What reviewers say
We went over some customers’ impressions of the decoupage scissors they chose:
Curved tip vs. straight tip: Customers recommend using curved tip scissors for embroidery and sewing purposes, and a straight tip pair of scissors for fine details and general DIY use.
Comfort features: Note that there are decoupage scissors with rubberized ergonomic handles. This cushioning will increase comfort and relieve fatigue by reducing pressure. Some have contoured handles that are shaped to fit the natural contours of the hand, promoting a more relaxed and comfortable cutting motion. Some scissors include a spring-loaded mechanism that automatically opens the blades after each cut, reducing the effort required to open and close the scissors manually. It can be particularly beneficial for users with limited hand strength or those who experience hand fatigue easily. Some even include an adjustable tension screw to adjust the tension between the blades, customizing it to your preference or specific cutting needs. Adjusting the tension can affect the ease of cutting and the amount of pressure required.
Here are some tips about purchasing decoupage scissors:
Length of the scissors: You’ll notice that decoupage scissors come in a variety of lengths. Scissors with shorter blades will tend to be more precise, while larger blades will suffice when making long cuts that don’t need to be particularly accurate. Experts recommend 8” scissors for general work, 5.5” scissors for detailed work, and scissors as short as 4” for cutting hard-to-reach areas.
Maintenance: The best blades will be made from steel or titanium. To prevent the scissors from getting rusty, it’s suggested to keep them dry and wipe them regularly with oil to prevent oxidation.
Sets of decoupage scissors: You can also purchase a set of decoupage scissors, which will include scissors with a zigzag edge, a serrated edge, a wavy edge, and more. An example is the Kinteshun Lacework Wavy Paper Edger Scissors. However, this particular set is intended to be used by children.
Kinteshun Lacework Wavy Paper Edger Scissors
Using the scissors on delicate or coarse materials: When working with different materials, it's important to consider their thickness and texture. Test the decoupage scissors on a small section of the material before committing to cutting larger pieces. If the material proves too challenging for the decoupage scissors, consider using alternative cutting tools that are better suited to the specific material.
We went through some types of decoupage scissors, and where you’ll utilize each of them in your crafts work. Even though you can get very inexpensive pairs of scissors, it’s probably more worthwhile to invest in quality decoupage scissors whose blades will remain sharp for a longer period of time. They’ll also cut the materials with which you are working more accurately. That's important in decoupage, where you might be working with materials that are hard to come by!