Free Paper Crafts Tutorial: Making Your Own Faux Die-Cut Scalloped Papers Using Clear Acrylic Shapes as Templates

Scalloped Heart Shape

Die-cut papers and shapes are trendy right now, but they also tend to be expensive. A pretty sheet of die-cut paper often costs $2.00 or more!

Did you know that you can make your own scalloped and shaped papers very easily? It takes a little more time, but the results are lovely, and much less expensive than buying premade die-cut papers. Plus, once you know how to do it, you can use any paper you like, which gives you many more options than you’d have otherwise.

This tutorial teaches you step-by-step how to make a piece of scalloped paper shaped like a heart. Once you have the basic idea, you’ll be able to do this with other shapes and decorative edges as well.


Choose an acrylic shape, patterned paper or cardstock, and a darker marker that coordinates. For this tutorial, I chose

Take your acrylic shape, place it on the paper and trace around it with the marker. Remove the shape.

Outlined Heart Shape
Outlined Heart Shape

Use scalloped scissors or other decorative scissors to cut around your outlined shape. I used Fiskars Paper Edgers (the Heartstrings design) to create my scalloped edges.

Scalloped Heart Before Edges Have Been Colored In
Scalloped Heart Before Edges Have Been Colored In

Take your marker and color in the area between the outline you drew, and the scalloped edge of the paper.

Coloring in the Scalloped Edge With Marker
Coloring in the Scalloped Edge With Marker

Here’s how it looks when it’s finished:

The Finished Scalloped Heart Shape
The Finished Scalloped Heart Shape
Use the Scalloped Heart Shape in the Craft Project of Your Choice.

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Use the Scalloped Heart Shape in the Craft Project of Your Choice.
Here's the Scrapbook Layout I Made With My Scalloped Heart Shape
Here's the Scrapbook Layout I Made With My Scalloped Heart Shape

Supplies Used:

Why Do You Say I Have to Use an Acrylic Shape for the Template? Why Can’t I Just Use a Chipboard Shape?

Good question.

The answer: This technique will also work with chipboard, but there is an advantage to using clear acrylic as your template shape.

When you use clear acrylic, you can easily see the pattern on your paper through the shape. It allows you to choose the very best spot on the paper for positioning the shape.

When you use chipboard, you have to take a guess at how it will look. You’re likely to waste a lot of paper trying to get it right. When you use acrylic, you can see exactly what you’re going to get, allowing you to place the shape exactly where you want it the first time around. Big difference!

I Don’t Want to Do a Heart Shape – I’d Rather Do a Cupcake / Bird / Owl / (Whatever!) Shape Instead!

There are a zillion different acrylic shapes out there, so try using whichever shapes appeal to you. When you’re using them as templates, you can re-use them as many times as you like! Then when you get tired of making shaped papers with the shapes, you can scrap on the acrylic itself. Pretty cool!

I’ll leave you with some more inspiration, because I’ve made tons of different shaped papers using clear acrylic shapes as my templates.

Cupcake Shaped Paper

Hand Cut Scalloped Cupcake Paper for Scrapbooking

To make this cupcake shape, I placed a Clear Scraps XL Cupcake shape on plain white cardstock. I traced around it with a pink Sharpie, then cut it out with Fiskars Mini Scallop Paper Edgers, then colored in the outer edge with the same Sharpie. Then I attached the cupcake to a 12″ x 12″ sheet of pink cardstock.

Voila! It’s ready to use for making a scrapbook layout.

Bracket Shaped Paper

One more thing I should mention at this point: You can use the negative spaces as well as the positive spaces.

Mod Blue Scrapbook Paper

Hand Cut Bracket Paper for Scrapbooking

Check this out: I started with a mod blue geometric paper that’s been in my stash for years. The edges are all bent up and thrashed, but that’s OK because this technique will give me a good way to hide the messed-up edges.

I used one of the XL Deco shapes by Clear Scraps as a template for creating the dark frame around the outer edges of the paper.

I placed my acrylic shape on ink-colored cardstock and traced around it. Then I cut it out with ordinary straight-edge scissors. I used the cut out shape in a layout, and used the leftovers to enhance the mod paper with the messed-up edges. This is a quick and easy way to update papers that are looking outdated and unappealing.

More Free Scrapbooking Ideas

Want more creative project ideas? Check these out:

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