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What are Art Scissors?

Jessica Hobby
Jessica Hobby

The classification of art scissors may include two different kinds of scissors. The first kind of scissors are traditional scissors that cut a straight edge, which are called art scissors because they are only used on art projects. The second and most common kind of art scissors work the same way as a traditional scissors, however, they have a different shape of blade. The blade is made in a special shape that shows up when a cut is made on whatever project is being worked on. Many times, these kinds of art scissors may also be referred to as decorative scissors or paper edgers.

When someone cuts with art scissors, the cut leaves a very unique shape depending on the design of the art scissors being used. Art scissors can be purchased at a local art supply or craft store and can be found in endless amounts of shapes. They come in classic shapes such as a scallop, a ripple or zigzag. In addition to classic shapes, they also come in more contemporary designs that are more asymmetrical such as lightening, the reading off of a heart monitor, or the look of ripped paper. There are also designs, such as Colonial and Victorian, which are influenced from certain time periods, and shapes, such as Arabian, that are influenced from all different parts of the world. Art scissors used for very specific art projects come in themed shapes such as hearts, clouds, seagulls and flowers.

Art scissors.
Art scissors.

It is interesting to note that art scissors are a timesaver for those who use them. Prior to their existence in the marketplace, the same design could only be achieved with drawings, by stencil or by hand, and a traditional scissors to cut out all the intricate details. Art scissors achieve the same intricate details in one cut and offer exactness that is difficult to replicate by cutting out a design with a traditional scissors.

Art scissors are commonly used for creating scrapbook pages.
Art scissors are commonly used for creating scrapbook pages.

Art scissors can be used for a variety of things. They can be used to make stationary for a gift or personal use or to decorate the edge of photographs for an album frame or scrapbook. Some of the most popular ways to use art scissors are by putting together a scrapbook or making greeting cards. Children can use art scissor at school or at home to decorate the edges of their coloring or drawing papers. Regardless of how art scissors are used, they will most definitely add a personal touch to any project.

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Discussion Comments


@pastanaga - I think you just have to practice and you quickly find out how to line up your scissors so that they match the ends of each cut.

They are only really useful to people who are planning on making a lot of paper craft, or writing letters where they like to add an extra touch, though.

I wouldn't bother with them if it was just for one item.

But once you get the technique down it's much much faster than cutting out a shape with a craft knife or scissors and you're less likely to tear the paper, particularly when it's a lighter kind of paper.


For some reason I always thought art scissors were those kinds of kids scissors that you can get with the blunt ends so they can't cut themselves.

I didn't realize that you could get scissors which would cut particular shapes.

I wonder though, how do you make sure those shapes turn out properly?

I mean, every time you move the scissors forward you'd have to line them up again in order to make sure your edges work.

I think I would almost prefer to just do the whole thing with a stencil, particularly if it is on expensive paper, just in case I ruin the border and have to start over again.


If you are looking for a way to cut a lot of paper for your art work you are probably better off getting a small guillotine than trying to do it with scissors.

You can find them secondhand on auction websites and places like that, or they sell them relatively cheap in stationary stores, although be careful because often you get what you pay for.

If you get a secondhand one it might be worth bringing it along to a knife sharpener before you use it.

The same goes for scissors. The sharper they are, the better the edge you'll get when you use them.

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    • Art scissors are commonly used for creating scrapbook pages.
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      Art scissors are commonly used for creating scrapbook pages.