Wycinanki #001: Flower Heads

The Polish Wycinanki paper cuttings are so beautiful. You always feel better when you look at them. Rearranging old boxes in the basement I came upon some I made more than 40 years ago. Immediately I wanted to make more – in particular of the symmetrical type with colourful flowers in abundance. And I want to add what I have learned about weaving and joining. Also the cutting machine opens up new possibilities of more intricate patterns.

I decided to start out in a systematic manner first deciphering the traditional Wycinanki. The most striking items are the flower heads. The drawings below explain the basic principles.

Each flower head is made from multiple layers of individual pieces of different colour. To make the heads appear in balance the individual pieces come in families of ovals. Possibly not as strict as indicated but the drawing may be used as a guide. Each flower head is made twice cutting two identical pieces at the same time from the same sheet of paper. See the other drawing. It is important you fold along the longer centre line first, if not – one part will get just a little smaller than the other. Fold along the second and you are ready to cut. Throughout cutting make sure that the paper stays aligned. If you have planned to make some cuts “inside” the flower start cutting those. Then make the circumference starting from the point of the flower head where the long crease and the edges meet.

I include patterns for three different flower heads. They are made to resemble flowers on original Polish paper cuts. The flower heads from the printed patterns you make as explained above. Print on different colours. When you want to use very dark colours you may have to retrace the pattern or work free-hand. Possibly you may make up your own pattern.

Flower Head #001

Flower Head #002

Flower Head #003

If you are hopeless with a pair of scissors I also include cut files. In that case be aware. You need to cut the sheets as many times as the number of colours you prefer. Before you know you have bits and pieces of flower heads everywhere. But don’t attempt to make all colour combinations. With 7 colours there are 5,040 different combinations. Here are the cut files: flower 001 cut ; flower 002 cut ; flower 003 cut

3 thoughts on “Wycinanki #001: Flower Heads

  1. I love these, I don’t own a cutter machine and can do this with scissors easily, thank you for you creativity it gives my creativity a boost

  2. Thanks so much for posting these patterns. I’ve already made a set of nine and they are absolutely beautiful. Your work is amazing!

  3. Pingback: Hands-On Wycinanki |

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