Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Scherenschnitte Shelf Edging by Debbie

Scherencshnitte is scissor cutting and was brought to America during the 17th century by Germans who immigrated to Pennsylvania. It is a way of creating intricate paper designs that were originally used for embellishing birth and marriage certificates, valentines and house blessings. The directions here are for what is called poor man's lace because it is made out of newspaper but makes a delightful shelf border.

Scallop craft scissors or pinking shears
Paper clips
Tracing paper
Hole punch
Paper towel

A variety of folk images can be used for the design……houses, trees, hearts, diamond shapes, snowmen ….the variety is as endless as your imagination. You will need to draw the half pattern design( this just means draw a heart and cut it down the middle) on to a piece of cardboard and cut it out

Now measure the shelf you wish to lines depth and width add 3 1/2 inches to the depth measurement. Mark this measurements using your pencil and ruler on the classified pages of a newspaper. Keep the columns vertical this will make it so the scalloped edge border of your lining will be on the white margin of the newspaper. Now test your shape or shapes for fit making sure the paper lies flat on the shelf and the paper edge hangs freely over the edge. Trim as necessary.

Work along the area designated for the overhang. Use the bottom edge of the column as the baseline to keep your design going straight. For each pattern fold the newspaper once along the margin between the columns or along the middle of the column depending on where you want the design to be. Make a crease about 5 inches deep. Place the pattern on the folk and paper clip to secure. Cut along the pattern. For each quarter pattern work only one piece of paper at a time. Fold the paper in half vertically the same as for the half patterns, and then fold the paper again horizontally centering the folk in the overhang area. Position the designs on the newspaper matching the folk. Trace and cut out. Use the hole punch for small circular cutouts. Space the designs 1 or 2 inches apart. Remember this is only newspaper so if you make a mistake its no big deal!

Layer two or more of the cut-paper shelf edging together and cut the scallop edge with craft scalloping scissor or pinking shears.

To get rid of the creases made by folding the newspaper, iron it with an dry iron set on hot setting. Place a paper towel over the newspaper and press the creases for a few seconds.

Remember if you make a mistake this is only newspaper and no great loss but it makes a charming border for an old primitive cabinet or shelf. Other papers such as brown kraft paper, butcher paper and gift wrap can also be used. The motif can be changed with the seasons or to match any d├ęcor of a room, the uses are endless.

Debbie owns "Two Old Crows" (
and an eBay store "Two-Old-Crows"\
where she sells her hand painted folk art and
other handcrafted items she makes along with
primitives and vintage collectibles

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