• DIY: Polish folk paper cut heart (Wycinanki)


    As folk as it gets, Wycinanki (click here to hear it being pronounced) translates to paper cuttings which were an inexpensive means of decorating the homes of Polish peasants and were popular from the mid 19th century. They were generally made by women using sheep-shearing scissors and any readily available paper. Layers of coloured paper were cut intricately and layered over each other to produce beautiful folk art to decorate homes.

    There are many traditions around the world which are slowly dying, so in the hope of injecting a little life into this beautiful craft, I have created a downloadable template for you to create your own layered heart folk art in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day.


    • cardstock in a variety of colours (at least 3 different colours)
    • craft knife (make sure it’s sharp)
    • glue stick
    • double-sided foam tape
    • square shadow box frame – I used a RIBBA 23cm x 23cm frame from IKEA
    • spray paint in a fun bright colour
    • layered heart shapes template
    • Silhouette Cameo (optional)

    How to:

    There are a couple of ways that you can tackle this depending of whether you have a Silhouette paper cutter:

    1. If you have a Silhouette cutter, you can download the cutting file here
    2. If you don’t have a digital cutter, you can download the PDF template here and either print it directly onto your coloured card stock and cut around each shape with a craft knife or cut out each template, then trace onto card stock and cut out with a craft knife.

    Once you’ve got your template sorted, you need to pick which card stock colours you’d like to use for each template piece – there are 5 template pieces in total. Additionally you will need one large square piece of card stock for the background which will need to fit into your frame.

    Once you have all of your template pieces cut from card stock (using either method one or two from above), then you can start glueing them to each other. Start with glueing the largest pieces down to the smallest. Make sure you centre each piece on top of the previous. Once you have all 5 heart pieces of card stock attached you can pop them under a heavy book to ensure they dry flat and don’t curve or buckle from the glue.

    Trim your background card stock down to size by tracing around the picture frames’ backing board onto the cardstock and cutting it out. When you heart layers are dry, attach double-sided foam tape to you back of your heart, remove the backing paper and attach it to your background card stock, making sure to centre it.

    I removed all the internals and backing board and spray painted my frame with some fluro red ironlak spray paint. Once dry you can pop all the internal components back into the frame including your folk paper heart artwork. Then all that’s left is to hang and admire!


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