If you are a paper crafting enthusiast like me, likely you have an arsenal of blades that would impress your local fencing master. Seriously, have you ever inventoried all of the sharp tools in your drawers and baskets, and on your counters and shelves?

There are pinking and fabric shears, Scherenschnitte scissors, craft scissors, fringe scissors, utility scissors and edge-shaping scissors.

Don’t forget your button shank remover, paper piercers and rotary blades.

Likely you have or are developing a Dewey Decimal System for your shape punches, border punches, corner punches, hole punches and rotary punch.

Consuming all of your horizontal space are your machines (clockwise, starting in upper left corner below): Dreamkuts; The Cinch; Bind-it-All; Cricut™; Sizzix® Big Shot™; 7Gypsies® Binderie, Zutter™ Kutter,  and more.

After you wake up each day, you turn on your computer, and then you locate your craft knives, Crop-A-Dile® and paper trimmer.

So, where does that leave me as a Blade-Carrying Paper Crafter? I admit it: I’m a tool junkie. But sometimes I wonder if I could manage as our ancestors did—with an ordinary pair of scissors. And I also wonder what came first, the tools or the paper crafters? Before all of today’s convenient tools were developed, paper crafters wielded a ruler and drawing compass, a pencil, scissors—and an imagination wrapped around folding techniques—to create paper shapes for their projects.

I am happy to report that these tools still do the job, and that there are people out there who have developed paper templates (or instructions for creating your own) that you can use to cut out shapes the longhand way: with plain ol’ scissors. Sometimes this is still the fastest way to get the job done!

Since I was looking for printable envelope templates recently, I visited the following sites to see what digital designs are available to print and cut out with my scissors:

  • Mirkwood Designs. Once upon a time, Ruthann Logsdon Zaroff was an instructional designer who created and sold rubber stamps. At that time, she generated a treasure house of paper templates for the Triangle, Square, Pentagon and Hexagon Petal Card; the Puffy Box; the Heart Basket; Basic Envelope; Secret Heart Card; Library Card Book Pocket; Wine Glass Shade; 1-Inch and 2-Inch Envelopes . . . and many more designs. Although Ruthann fills her present days with quilting, cooking, reading and music (in addition to paper crafts), her original Web site still contains her simple-but-effective designs. You can follow Ruthann at her blog, Adventures in Creativity, where you’ll find more resources for paper crafters.
  • Over 100 envelope tutorials and patterns. At Melz Stamps, Mel McCarthy invites her readers to use her digital designs for personal use, or in handmade items they may sell. Mel describes her crafting style as a hybrid between traditional stamping and supplies, and digital design. Among her tips and tricks are ultra quick ideas for lining any envelope; patterns for a standard A2-sized envelope (4 1/4 in. x 5 1/2 in.); square cards and matching envelopes in various sizes; the Mini Long Note envelope and matching box; the Corset Belly-band-elope, and links to many other sites with digital printables.
  • How to Make a 5×7 Envelope. I went on a scavenger hunt this week to locate 5 in. x 7 in. envelopes for an envelope pocket album I am making. Although I eventually found these envelopes at Michael’s, it occurred to me that you can produce a much wider range of colors, or make patterned envelopes, if you create your own. This eHowâ„¢ tutorial walks you through 8 easy steps for making your own template.
  • How to Create Your Own Envelopes. Jamie Brock on HubPages, another online information-sharing community, explains how you can create your own envelopes simply by deconstructing an envelope you already have, and tracing it. She also provides links to other envelope-making tutorials.

What great sites have you discovered for paper templates that will make your scissors dance?

© 2012 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.


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8 thoughts on “Make your scissors dance with paper templates”

  1. I have way more scissors and other paper cutting tools that I care to admit, especially when you start counting paper punches. Thanks for this awesome round up of envelope templates! I have not made my own envelopes for cards yet, but it’s on my “to do” list. This will be a huge help.

  2. My name is Edi…and I’m a tool junkie 🙂 I’m pretty sure I have over 1/2 of the items you listed! I still do certain things the old fashioned way…but I love my toys (I mean tools)!

  3. I make my own envelopes with regular scissors;) I’m decidedly not a tool junkie. While I do have lots, I try not to pick up something unless I really, really need it, so what I do have are mostly the basics.

  4. Erika, Artful Rising

    I like the thing for your scissors–it reminds me to see things in a different way as a means of organizing my tools. But I am getting rid of my supplies:)

    Artful Rising

  5. Fabric Fascination

    What a collection you have Judy. I love tools too, and since I am a dabbler, I have them in all kinds of crafts.

  6. All of these items are so interesting and so tempting! I have done some paper work and enjoyed it! But right now I need to keep on track with my goals and keep my narrow focus. Thanks for the luciuos tempting moment!

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