How To Cut Paper Bead Sheets
Types of Cutting Tools
These are fine as long as you are just cutting tapered strips of various sizes and you are not worried about presicion. Just don't use your fabric scissors for this. Standard 8" long scissors work best, even though I have seen paper scissors as long as 12" long.
Hand Held Rotary Cutter & Mat:
This is the one I will use when I don't have enough room left on the paper to use the Guillotine type cutter. I use a quilter's ruler which has a lip at one end which makes it work like a T square. This will help make for precise straight cuts. Of course you can use a T Square but I found using the quilters ruler with the lip on the end works great because it is transparent.
This is the cutter I actually have! This is the cutter I use most of the time. I bought it from Amazon.com. The way I use it is I mark my paper on the back side at the top and bottom of the sheet of paper the width that I need for the length of the bead I am making. then I take it to the cutter and line up the edge of the cutter where the blade is with the marks on my paper and cut. If the design on the paper really requires precise cutting, I will cut the paper with the design facing up. When I get to the edge and it is too narrow to cut with the cutter, I then use my rotary cutter and cutting mat to finish the last 2 or 3 strips.
Rotary Paper Trimmer
I have this type of trimmer that is in the picture. This type of cutter has a cutting base, a rotary blade and an arm that you swing down to hold the paper in place. You are supposed to start at the top of the paper and pull or roll the blade down to the bottom. Some people swear by this type of cutter. I do have one made by Fiskars but I really do not like it. I tried to cut a single sheet of paper and could not get the rotary blade to cut through it! Plus it is really hard to be accurate with this type of cutter.
Electronic Cutting Machines
There are several different electronic cutting machines out there. These are great to use because they result in very accurate and consistant cuts every time! I offer downloadable cutting templates that will work with any of these machines.
The cutting machine I use is called the Pazzles Inpsiration Vue. This is what I have used to cut my strips with the files that I designed with the software that came with it. It is rather expensive but the company offers a payment plan where you pay so much down, then pay monthly payments for 1 or 2 years depending on your down payment which gives you access to their Pazzles Craft Room for the length of your payments. It's a great deal! I paid $99.00, plus shipping, initially and now I am paying $19.95 for 2 years. My last payment will be in 2017. There are other brands out there but this is the one I chose because of 2 reasons. I had control of the files I made and have the option of selling the files I designed and also it had payment plan I could afford. I am very happy with my Pazzles cutter.
The other brands you can check out. Here are 3 examples I know work with the files I design and sell. Brother ScanNCut, Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine, Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool All three of these are available either through their own web sites or through Amazon.com. You may also find them in other retail outlets. Just do a search on Google or another search engine to start your journey to electronic paper cutting!
Cutting Different Types of Beads
- Cut each sheet one at a time for best results.
- With rotary cutter, T-Square and self sealing cutting mat, cut margins off just to meet the printed edge if you have margins.
- Lay paper onto cutting mat sideways, so the images are lined up horizontally across the top of the sheet and so it is perfectly lined up with the T Square or straight edge so that you will be cutting the paper into straight strips between the printed images. Tape the left corners to your surface taking care to only put tape on the bottom margin and not on the bead strip itself. That way the sheet will stay in place while you cut it.
- Lay your quilters T-Square or ruler on the paper lining the edge where you want your cut to be. I use the quilters ruler and it has measurement markings which makes it easier to be precise on where to cut. I am right handed so I cut on the right hand side of the ruler keeping the blade touching the side of the ruler as I cut.
- When you are done cutting the strips, remove the taped margin and discard or carefully remove the tape and make into a fun bead which you can decorate later. If your piece of paper has information about the beads printed on it, make sure you keep that strip with the information with your cut strips so you will know what they are later.
- Cut each sheet one at a time for best results.
- Do the same as for the tube beads but make your cuts diagonal from one side to the other.
- When you are cutting tapered beads, your images, if they are separated by white space, are easier to cut. Line up your ruler to the white space lines at each end so your ruler is diagonal. Cut along the ruler. You should end up with tapered strips with the image at the narrow end unless you printed your paper on both sides.
- As you can see in the picture, the dashed lines show where to cut your paper into strips.
These templates make marking your paper for making paper beads really easy!
You can either order the sheets already laminated for $15.00 or purchase and download the file, print them and either put them into page protectors or laminate them your self!
Cutting Tapered Beads Sample Layout
You are now ready to roll your bead strips.