Introduction to Basic Patterns in Chinese Paper Cutting

I compiled “Basic Chinese Paper Cutout Patterns” for a workshop at Nevada Museum of Art couple weeks ago. For beginners, I recommend that you practice each pattern one by one until you are familiar with all of them. And then, you can start making simple cutouts of your own. You can use a few patterns together in a single artwork or even just one pattern in repetition and various sizes, such as circles, to create an interesting piece.

For those who want to start cutting right away, you can read and download my most popular post Templates for Kids and Parents. My suggestion is to incorporate the basic patterns into the templates. There are snowflake, flower, butterfly, fish, and other simple motifs. Feel free to first pencil in the patterns and then cut them out. Doing so would allow you to make changes and cut more accurately.

From the images on the far right, you can see how I have used these basic techniques in my cut paper works. For more images of my work that incorporate these patterns, go to

Click on image to enlarge:

Basic Patterns in Chinese Paper Cutting. Text translated by Bovey Lee. Source: Minjian Jianzhi Jiqiao. Far right: Images by Bovey Lee. For educational use only. November 2012.