Paper Piecing is the piecing together of bits of paper to form designs. They utilize your scraps and are inexpensive embellishments that you can tailor to your layouts or cards. They can be simple or complex depending on the number of pieces and how intricate the design. You can enlarge or shrink them to fit any page and match your color scheme for greater continuity. A pattern can be created from almost anything – coloring books (with the thicker lines), clip art, or make them up!

Isn’t he a cutie pie?


I got my graphic from this website Coloring Book Bear
If you need to, you can re- size him to fit your layout.

Supplies to begin:

A pattern

Cardstock and/or patterned paper


Micro tip scissors

Colored Pencils, Gel pens


Swivel Knife or X-acto (for tight corners)



Transform a Coloring Page into a Paper Piecing!

1. Select a coloring book page (thicker line art is easier to use) or an image online (be careful with copyright issues)

2. Trace the coloring page on a light box; make sure they all the lines meet up. Online images can be printed directly to your craft paper. Here is where if you want you can alter the design, simply add or subtract the parts you do not want.

Basic Steps:

1. Find a pattern to coordinate with your theme

2. Select the cardstock or patterned paper

3. Trace your pattern (add or subtract from image)

4. Cut the pieces out & label (lightly on the back)

5. Add depth & detail by chalking, inking, pen stitching or doodles around the edges

6. Layout pieces before gluing to make sure they fit and look alright

7. Assemble & glue pieces

8. Draw any detailing lines or facial features etc

9. Add beads, buttons, ribbon, or any other embellishments.

Tips & Tricks:

~ Make a copy, this way if you make a mistake you have it to make another.

~ Trace all of the parts, then cut them out, use stylus to add any details you want to transfer.

~ If using many pieces of the same color to save time print out directly on the cardstock and cut; for the rest trace and cut on their respective cardstock colors

~ When cutting make sure that you place the pattern so that the design (or texture) side is facing the right way for the finished piece – face down on the backside of your paper

~ Sometimes you can substitute a punch for a shape or letter of similar size

~ Keep smooth edges smooth and sharp edges sharp

~ For some it may be easier to embellish before you assemble

~ To make them pop use 3D tape

More pictures to come of the process.

Chalking a simple, effective way to decorate:

Most of us scrappers have some chalk lying around. It is inexpensive and adds such charm to any type of paper. To apply use a cotton swap, makeup applicator or pom-pom balls and an alligator clip. (I use a computer tool looks like a retractable claw). It can also be erased if you make a mistake with a white plastic artist eraser and redo.

Chalk helps to define each piece and creates dimension (necessary if you have a piece with one dominant color). Apply chalk around the edges and in the creases.

Leave chalk set for several hours or overnight and you shouldn’t have a problem with it smearing or running. If you prefer there are chalk fixatives that will seal it. A blending pencil will also help to seal the chalk but will mute the colors and give it a slightly shiny appearance.

© 2007-2014 Maddie Hall
Please email for permission to reprint.