Scherenschnitte Art

Valentine's Day   

Scherenschnitte, pronounced, Share-en-shnit, is the art craft of intricate paper cutting. It was carried to America by German and Swiss immigrants during the late seventeenth century. Many of these immigrants settled in the Lancaster county area of Pennsylvania and were fleeing religious persecution from their homelands. Symbols of faith were common in German Scherenschnitte, and were often circular in design, featuring hearts, flowers, birds, and other animals. This paper-cutting art form was used to convey love messages towards God, and was used by men to express their love towards their sweethearts. Many Scherenschnitte cards contained verses or other expressions of love and is the forerunner of today's Valentine's Day card! In fact, Hallmark Cards owns a collection of Scherenschnitte art and their artists continue to use them today for inspiration.

To make a traditional Scherenschnitte paper cutting, the paper is marked with half a design, then folded in half. The paper is then snipped away bit by bit until only the design is left. Tiny cuts create fancy edges or holes in the paper to decorate the picture. Many 19th century paper cuttings were mounted on dark colored backgrounds to show off the silhouette design.

To make this Scherenschnitte Valentine Heart, shown here, you will need: a white paper doily, black paper 8.5" x 11" folded in half, heart shaped red paper. Fold doily paper in half, cut a half of a heart design out that will fit onto the front of the folded black paper. Unfold the doily to reveal the whole heart design and mount onto black paper. On the inside of the black paper you will mount a red paper heart with these words printed on it:

For God so loved (write person's name) that he gave his only beloved Son,
so that (write person's name) will not perish but will have eternal life.
-- John 3:16 --

Copyright 2001 S.A. Keith

The dove, below, was created using one of our Chrismon-Kids patterns

I used a small, sharp pointed scissors, and a small hole punch to randomly cut the designs into the pattern. However, you can use white paper doilies, like the heart above, along with the Chrismon-Kids patterns to create easy-to-make Scherenschnitte art!

More paper cutting fun!
Chrismon Snowflake Ornaments are reminiscent of the art-craft of Scherenschnitte. 

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