Olive & Reid Studio


Luxury calligraphy London

Win The Joy of Lettering: Paper Cut Letters


You can win The Joy of Letteringthe newest book by Gabri Joy Kirkendall and Jaclyn Escalera in this series of project reviews. See details at the end of this blog post.

As part of my review of The Joy of Lettering, it seemed only fair that I should give some of the lettering projects a go. In my previous post, I tried out negative lettering with great success.I've chosen projects that are different from anything I've done before in lettering. Today, I'm sharing how I went with paper cut letter.

Paper cut letters

Before I get on with the project, you need to know that I'm a) heavy handed and b) hasty. I've been known cut twice (often more) and measure once. Luckily for me, no measuring is involved in this project. But there is a lot of cutting, involving a craft knife and a delicacy that befits one who is not me. All that said, I'm therefore pretty stoked with the end result.

  • Duration – 3 hours
  • Difficulty  – Medium (Hard if you've got weak wrist)
  • True to step plan – No idea. I mostly just looked at the pictures and made it up as I went along.

Step 1 Design and transfer onto card

I was already in out of my depth re: aforementioned cutting skills, so I decided to go with a very similar design style to the project. Then, using the age-old technique of chalk on the back of my design, I transferred it to my dark navy A5 card. Again with the haphazard ovals!


Tip – Block cutting

I realised pretty quickly that I needed to try and block shapes, rather than focusing on cutting individual elements such as "letters" or "flowers". I started first with big areas that were pretty straightforward (the loop of the 'h' and the space after the 'y'), and it really helped me propel my momentum.

Step 2 Cut out all the bits you don't want

So, that's really all you have to do. Sit, cut and cut some more till you're done. You might want to take some breaks because it does require a bit of wrist pressure. You can see in parts of mine, where, as I excess card away from the design, I hadn't cut all the way through the card. It leaves a bit of cardboard fuzz that's not particularly stylish, so you'll either need to clean it up after, or try and cut all the way through, all the time.


Step 3 Clean up and finish off

All that's left is to wipe away your chalk or erase any pencil marks, and add a pretty background if you want.


Win the Joy of Lettering by entering the competition


I'm really pleased to be able to offer this book as a prize to my readers. I think it's an invaluable source of inspiration for your collection, set out in a really accessible way for beginners and professionals alike. Unfortunately, I can only offer the prize to those based in the UK, but I promise I'll be doing more international giveaways in the future so stay tuned!

To enter, submit your entries via the widget below. It will require you to sign in and then check off each step that you take to enter (e.g. if you tweet something, you need to indicate that you've done it in the widget — it's not automatically detected).

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