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Crafts: How to Cut Out Waves

From collages to scrapbooks to stencils, lots of projects require cutting out waves. You want your waves actually look wave-like, though, or you could accidentally give the impression of a lake, or worse yet, a nonsensical blue mass. Waves are simple to cut out with a preliminary sketch as a guide. In the end, you'll have a tri-tone ocean scape that declares readily its nautical character, ready for placement in any paper craft project. You can follow the same technique for fabric cutouts as well.

Things You'll Need:

  • 2 Blue And 1 Green Sheet Of Craft Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Artist'S Razor Or Scissors
  • Paste

Draw a horizontal line across a piece of blue craft paper, 1 inch from its bottom edge, using a ruler and pencil.

Make small pencil marks every-other inch along the line.

Sketch curving wave peaks that point to the left about 1 inch above the horizontal line, making one wave above each small pencil mark. Shape the waves this way with your pencil at the left side of the paper, and begin drawing to the right. Bring your pencil line up in a backwards "C" shape. At the top of the C, bring the line back down, just to the right of the C curve. As you near the bottom of the C, open the line out more to the right, dip down for the trough of the wave, and begin a new one. Make some of the peaks a bit taller than others.

Cut along the sketch of the waves using a sharp artist's razor blade or a pair of scissors. Go slowly around the tips of the peaks and the swoops of the troughs to avoid cutting to deeply into the design.

Repeat this process on a different blue shade of craft paper. However; this time, make the original horizontal line 2 inches above the bottom edge of the craft paper.

Repeat the process yet again, on a green piece of craft paper. This time, draw the horizontal line 3 inches from the bottom of the paper.

Turn the three cutouts over to hide the pencil marks. Paste the cutout waves together with the tallest ones in the back, and the shortest ones in the front.


Experiment with different shapes of waves. Make one big wave in the highest, back row and a mellow, rolling waves in the lowest, front row. Cut out mermaids, fish, boats or surfers to paste between the rows of waves. Use a row of orange waves for the middle section, accompanied by a cutout of the sun for an ocean sunset. Cut the waves out of a manilla folder to use a single row as a spray paint stencil. If you want to use this technique on fabric, the key to a good result is using sharp sewing scissors for cutting.


  • If you use an artist's razor, work on a cutting mat to avoid damage to your tabletop.
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