Decorative Scissors Ideas and Tips

Updated on February 20, 2020
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Decorative Scissors Are Inexpensive Tools That Add So Much to Paper Crafts

When I started making scrapbooks, one of the first things that I bought was decorative scissors. They were reasonably priced and I figured I would be able to use them a lot. I was right. They gave me a lot of bang for the buck. There are lots of different companies making these scissors. Each of them have several different designs or patterns.

Although with all the new punches to do edges, I still like my decorative scissors. They are great to use to give photos and photo mat a nice decorative edge. They are easy to use on small delicate things like tags and journal items. They are very economical for the beginning card maker or scrapbooker.

Most decorative scissors are made in plastic. Most are in very bright colors with the pattern stamped on the scissors themselves. You can purchase them singly or in sets. The sets range from three pairs to twenty-four pairs.

I have seen one set of scissors where you get a handle with interchangeable blades, which helps with the storage issue.

Eighteen years after starting paper crafting, they are still one of my favorite tools. I use them on my scrapbook pages, my greeting cards and my paper crafts. There are so many ways to use them. You will want to have them handy for all your crafts.

Types of Decorative Scissors Cuts

There are several additional patterns that you can add to your collection

  • The Wave Pattern- This pattern looks like waves in an ocean
  • The Victorian Pattern-Looks like old lace
  • The Scallop- Neatly aligned half circles
  • The Zig Zag- Lined up triangles-looks like pinking shear cuts
  • The Deckle- Made to look like torn paper
  • The Ripple-Looks like three edges in groups
  • Clouds- Group of three cloud like design

Decorative Scissors

Tips for Using Decorative Scissors

Consider these tips when using your decorative scissors:

  • Especially when starting out with decorative scissors, it's a wise idea to start by making a line where you wish to cut. Make a light line with a ruler and a pencil.
  • Be patient. When using decorative scissors, you need to line up the blade after each cut in order to avoid a break in the pattern. This means you can't cut as fast as you would with regular scissors.
  • Practice cutting on scrap paper first if you're having trouble getting the pattern to line up correctly.

Neat and efficient way to store your decorative scissors
Neat and efficient way to store your decorative scissors | Source

If you buy larger sets of decorative scissors, they often come in their own stands

Caring for Your Decorative Scissors

When you invest in any paper craft tools, it's important to care for them. You want the money that you spent to be well invested. The first rule of thumb is to keep any adhesives away from the blades of your decorative scissors. That includes glue ,glitter and tapes as well. If you do get any adhesives on the blades, make sure to clean them right away. You can use some soapy water or baby wipes. Just make sure to dry them completely right away.

They will get dull after a few uses. The best way to sharpen them is to cut through a couple of layers of aluminum foil several times.

If decorative scissors are grabbing and tearing the paper you're trying to cut, you can try sharpening them by cutting several times through wax paper or aluminum foil.

Layering With Decorative Scissors

One of the best techniques for decorative scissors is to use them to layer different elements of your scrapbook page. Using the same design scissors, you can double and triple layer these elements to create dimension and design. Use this technique for titles, photo mats , borders and page dividers. You can use vellum or cardstock to add these layering elements, Or you can carefully cut vellum and layer that too.

Doodle around decorative scissor cuts to add whimsy to your layouts

Buying Decorative Scissors: How to Select Decorative Scissors

There are many companies selling decorative scissor sets. Many of the better scissor makers sell them in sets of four. If you can, start with the basic sets in a better brand and move forward. The better sets will last longer and give you a better cut.

Limit yourself to only one or two patterns of decorative scissors on a scrapbook page or greeting card. Adding more than that will make your project too busy

Decorative scissors will generally cut through lighter paper rather than heavier cardstock, depending on the quality of the scissors that you purchase. Buy the best quality that you can so they last longer and have more versatility

Fringe Tip Decorative Scissors

A fringe tip decorative scissor is a handy decorative scissor to have in your collection. Basically, it is a decorative scissor with ten blades. They can cut fringes, grass, and confetti easily and quickly with just a few cuts.

To get the cleanest cuts, cut from the middle of the blade rather than closer to the screw of the scissors. Make sure that you stop cutting before the blade tip.

More Ideas for Using Decorative Edge Scissors

Looking for more ways to use these unique craft scissors? Try these ideas

  • Edge the end or the bottom of a greeting card with your favorite type of edge
  • Edge a shape with your decorative scissors
  • Try edging washi tape with decorative scissors for a real custom design
  • Trim the edge of a journal block to add some dimension
  • Trim the top of a pocket on a scrapbook page with decorative scissor
  • Create faux ribbon by cutting thin strips of paper on both side with your decorative ribbon
  • Cut several shades of blue paper with the wave pattern to create a water feature on a scrapbook page
  • Trim the bottom of a tag with decorative scissors
  • Trim a photo mat with decorative scissors to add dimension
  • Trim the open end of a greeting card with decorative scissors
  • Cut around a stamped image with decorative scissors

Add ink to the edges of your decorative scissors cuts. It adds depth and dimension to your pieces

Types of Cuts With Decorative Scissors

  1. Single Cut- Single cut on one side of the paper
  2. Parallel Cuts- Cuts with the same distance and the same distance between each cut
  3. Mirror Cut- These are cuts that are the same as the parallel cut except you have turned the same scissor the opposite direction.
  4. Offset Cut- Where you vary the cut to get an entirely different look
  5. Combination Cut-Any type of cut that also uses punches in the design

Storing Decorative Scissors

Think a little bit about what you might have around the house to store your decorative scissors. If you buy a larger set, they often come with their own storage as part of the purchase.

  • A large coffee mug holder would work just fine if you only have a few pairs of decorative scissors.
  • Use a metal necklace holder to store your scissors
  • How about an unused rod where you could use a few hooks
  • A large coffee mug or soup mug would hold quite a few pairs of scissors
  • A large tin can (one that holds tomatoes ) decorate would hold a few pairs

Just think creatively and find something that you could use to store your collection.

© 2018 Linda F Correa


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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      22 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Thank you for the comment. I have about 14 pairs of these. I use them a lot. That is a great tip ! Appreciate your thoughts and ideas

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      22 months ago from USA

      Great hub! I only have a couple pairs of decorative scissors, but I use them a lot. One of my favorite uses is to hide a cut that might not be straight, like on the edge of a card or on one side of a shape. The decorative edge distracts from any unevenness. Thanks for this informative article!


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