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Papercut Hearts

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008

Paper cutting has been a craft for many years in many countries all over the world. In Germany, the art of paper-cutting design is called "scherenschnitte," which literally means scissor-cuttings. It was a popular folk art in the 1800s, used to decorate birth and marriage certificates and even Christmas decorations.

Tools and Materials

Valentine paper-cutting template
Heart background template
Martha Stewart Crafts 12-by-12-inch "Candy Shop" Crafting Paper Multipack or any lightweight light and dark pink paper
Transparent tape
Spray adhesive
Martha Stewart Crafts Collector Box or decorative paper for displaying
Bone folder
Craft knife
Self-healing cutting mat

Papercut Hearts How-To

1. Print out valentine paper-cutting template.

2. Fold light pink paper in half with a bone folder.

3. Using transparent tape, secure valentine paper-cutting template onto light pink paper.

4. Using a craft knife and a self-healing mat, cut out all shapes.

Tips for Cutting

1. Start with the small inner shapes and progress to the larger shapes. Start at every corner -- do not cut past the end of a line. Replace the cutting blade often.

2. When all the inner shapes are cut, cut out the outer shape of the heart.

3. Unfold the cut heart.

4. Print out the heart background template on a darker shade of paper, and cut out the heart shape.

5. Lightly spray adhesive onto the back of the light pink (cut) heart.

6. Center the light pink heart on the background heart and press lightly.

7. Mount the two attached hearts in a collector box using pins. Or mount the two attached hearts on another piece of decorative paper cut to fit a basic frame. Center and secure the hearts to the background piece with spray adhesive; frame the entire piece.


Crafting paper and collector box from Martha Stewart Crafts.

Comments (59)

  • kzwierstra 27 Jan, 2011

    Love this. Did not have a working printer but managed to trace the template with some sheer tracing like paper. for the center heart I used a tea stained colored paper. a scarlet red for the meanings heart which i just calligraphy inked in by hand. and black for the backing to make it a little more masculine to give to my husband. looking forward to his reaction.

  • lizcurley1 8 Feb, 2009

    If you hit the close button on the top right hand side of the media window with the clip from the Martha's Show the template and info is underneath there.

  • MargaretEA 30 Jan, 2009

    I bought the current magazine for one reason: to get the template for the "Hideen Poetry" antique style Valentine on page 129. I can't find it at this address. Help!

  • CrystalRock 12 Feb, 2015

    Can't wait to get started!

  • yusi 29 Dec, 2008

    For ChloeandLiz's question, what I did was do a google search for paper cutting and you get all kinds of other patterns.

  • sjp79 30 Oct, 2008

    This is a silly question but why do the instructions tell you to fold the light pink paper? I'm assuming it's so you don't have to do the cutting on both sides of the heart. Doesn't the fold line down the centre of the heart look bad?

  • ChloeandLiz 19 Aug, 2008

    Where can you get other design? I have made this heart eight times for valentine's day but I want to know where I can get other designs for other holidays

  • rdywenur 13 Apr, 2008

    Is there a difference in paper weight between Candy Shop and Alpine Garden. How thin is Candy Shop. Alpine Garden feels like a board so think this one is too heavy. Would not be able to fold. Can someone email please cconway127 at

  • rdywenur 13 Apr, 2008

    This may sound like a dumb question but printer paper is only 8 1/2 by 11" so when coping the heart and using Marthas paper 12 x 12 do you cut the red paper (2nd heart so you can print to it the background? If I don't thene there is no way to copy lettering around the heart with a template.

  • kamkan 18 Feb, 2008

    LuvMaerz, Thanks very much for reposting the link. It sure did work. Looks really cute.

  • kamkan 15 Feb, 2008

    I did the heart pattern and it came out beautiful. This has made me want to do more. i found cutting on regular colored paper was easier than cardstock. LuvMaerz, would you please repost the link to the website where you found the cute squirrel pattern? I tried the link on your post and it didn't work. Thanks. btw, if anyone has any cute patterns, please post the link. Thanks a bunch.

  • beffym 13 Feb, 2008

    I found cutting through 3 layers difficult also. So after my first, I used the same pattern to do others. Because it was already cut out and much easier! I would also love more templates posted!

  • fayno_e 13 Feb, 2008

    I had no problem getting both templates to print, but after my husband got addicted to cutting out the first two hearts- we found that the background heart is too small to show the margin printing with the cut heart on it. am going to Staples and have them enlarge the background hear by 5 or 10% -thnks it was still fun! Fay Allen

  • LuvMaerz 12 Feb, 2008

    I made two of these in coordinating colors for my bedroom, framed them, and am planning on giving them to my husband on Valentine's day... he hates the pictures I currently have hanging on either side of the bed. Although this is a little time-consuming, it isn't really too hard. You just have to make sure to pay attention and have NO distractions! They are really beautiful when finished. I would love to see more templates!

  • anduin 12 Feb, 2008

    My mother's designs - the hummingbird and the heart that was on the side of the fridge - are not on any website. There are many sites, though, that do have beautiful designs for sale or download. If you are having trouble downloading the templates here, please be patient. The paper-cutting template is especially large due to the detail involved and might take more time to download than usual.

  • MrsJacks 12 Feb, 2008

    Hooray! Glad to hear it

  • annwane 11 Feb, 2008

    MrsJacks Thank you for the offer of help. I'm not sure how ,but today I tried and I was able to download the template. I was soo pleased and thank you.

  • MrsJacks 10 Feb, 2008

    Annwane- if you want I can try e-mailing it to you as an attachment. Let me know and leave your e-mail address. Hopefully you have already resolved the problem.

  • annwane 10 Feb, 2008

    I have tried and tried and cannot get the valentine papercutting template to print. I have tried all the methods and it always stated that the file is damaged and cannot be repaired, I then tried the heart background and it downloaded and printed fine I am so dissapointed. What is wrong? Can anyone help?

  • bljames 9 Feb, 2008

    Using a high quality card stock worked for me and a new blade in my exacto knife. I tried with an old blade and it wasn't very good so changed the blades. You have to cut slowly and firm, and I had to go over it twice. I am giving them to my daughters and grand-daughters. I too am anxious for more templates maybe one for Easter eggs.

  • mom23inMI 9 Feb, 2008

    I think I need to try this again with different paper. I used some plain white paper I already had and found it difficult to cut through the three layers of paper cleanly. It turned out okay, and I will probably give it to my husband, but it's not worth framing. I can't wait to try a different pattern.

  • ivphb 9 Feb, 2008

    ok, martha, you win! I have tried four times to do this project. I have bought new knives and new blades....tried different paper.......terrible results. I have great passion for all things requiring paper, patience and tedium.......but this, this is ver difficult. My family is laughing at me, one, for all the paper bits on the floor and two because I can't do something of Martha's. Martha, you win.

  • perclique 7 Feb, 2008

    Does anyone have other patters--I would love the one from the show that was on the refridgerator with the blue background--it was beautiful!

  • mariechea 6 Feb, 2008

    why can I not get this to print?

  • HJRUDY1 5 Feb, 2008

    Hi all, I too found the Noahs ark on the following website that was mentioned earlier but I have not found the wedding/hummingbird one?? Did anyone have any luck on that one? This craft is so much fun!!

  • debtripp 5 Feb, 2008

    would also be interested in the website pebbles68 is refering to...

  • BDooley 5 Feb, 2008

    The website that Auduin gave is a great site for supplies and patterns - there is also a book by Claudia Hopf enttitled Papercutting that is a wonderful resource with instruction, tips and patterns and if you are really interested in this there is the Guild of American Papercutters at that is a wealth of information. I had never heard of this until watching the show but have gotten into it big time since then and have totally enjoyed it. Thank you Martha!

  • Pebbles68 4 Feb, 2008

    Thank you so much for leaving the website for the templates on this post!! I was looking for the Noah's Ark that was shown on the show, and I was able to find it on that site!!
    Again Thank you!!!

  • Jewelry_Designer 3 Feb, 2008

    I just did this project and it came out beautifully! I recommend it!

  • darrikhuma 1 Feb, 2008

    what is the website she is mentioning?

  • rdywenur 1 Feb, 2008

    Are you giving the program enough time to load. If you are on a slow speed like dial up you might need to wait for the template to load in adobe acrobat . Any of the links that are written in blue open the template up.

  • rdywenur 1 Feb, 2008

    I believe the one of the birds was a wedding gift done specifically for her daughter and was shown only as ab example but there is not template available.

  • rdywenur 1 Feb, 2008

    How are you trying to download. I have no problem, It is in PDF format . Do you have Adobe Reader program. If not you will need to go and download it so you cn read the program. I jsut save the template to my comouter. Or click on the template file and then in Adobe click on the printer Icon to print. Don't understand why you see blank unless you did not have this program.

  • CDee 1 Feb, 2008

    I have tried to download the paper heart cuts out and all I get is a blank screen. How can I get these templates. Help Please

  • anduin 1 Feb, 2008

    A standard size 11 blade should be fine. Just work slowly and carefully. The tight curves will be more difficult; try poking with your blade around those corners instead of dragging it. If there are jagged edges, you can clean them up after you've opened the finished heart.

  • malsdurf 1 Feb, 2008

    I just got paper and made copies of the templates. I can't wait to try it out!

  • mizrani 31 Jan, 2008

    Is there a recommended blade size that should be used? I have a size 11 and am having a hard time cutting out to the small details.

  • Lablady2007 31 Jan, 2008

    Hi .lynda here . I just finished mine and it turned out beautiful ,can't wait to frame and give as a gift . Most impressive, thanks for the pattern download which worked fine for me .;-))

  • anduin 31 Jan, 2008

    Hi - this is Anduin, the Art Director of the Martha Stewart Show, who did this craft with Martha. Unfortunately, my mother doesn't publish her original designs. There is a lovely website that sells very nice templates - The templates on this website do work - please keep trying to download them. Good luck! It's a very rewarding and relaxing craft.

  • JaneAyers 31 Jan, 2008

    oops -- should have spelled it "scherenschnitte"

  • JaneAyers 31 Jan, 2008

    I found some lovely paper cutting patterns by typing in "scherensnitte pattern" and "scherensnitte template" on my internet search bar. :)

  • ajd 31 Jan, 2008

    the guest that was on the show does she have a web site that i could go to to get the template that was shown for a wedding gift from her mother.

  • Jolenetoo 31 Jan, 2008

    I would also like to find the template for the hummiing bird cut out, and other templates for paper cutouts.

  • Jolenetoo 31 Jan, 2008

    I would also like to find the template for the hummiing bird cut out, and other templates for paper cutouts.

  • evan_mom1099 31 Jan, 2008

    I would like to know where to find the humming bird cut out, I thought that humming bird cut out was beautiful.

  • MrsJacks 31 Jan, 2008

    The Today Show search box searches all of MSN and not just the Today Show. Does anyone know what day it aired on?

  • dori1 31 Jan, 2008

    just type in the search box papercut hearts

  • ajd 30 Jan, 2008

    On today show what is the web site paper cut outs

  • dori1 30 Jan, 2008

    I also had problems, then i saved the file to my desktop and then went to desktop right clicked on the file and opened with adobe reader and it worked, so try that good luck

  • Juliestroh 30 Jan, 2008

    I can't down load the templates either. Has anybody else figured out a way to do it?

  • jgbartz 30 Jan, 2008

    I was able to print out both templates. I clicked on heart then printer icon and it printed out for me. Try it again. This looks like such a beautiful craft. Cant wait to get started. I have been buying all the Martha Stewart tools and paper at Michaels over the past several months and now I have quite a collection. Cant wait to use them all!

  • Lauriegreco 30 Jan, 2008

    Thanks, I've clicked on them all and still get notihing. Maybe it's the weather?

  • Lauriegreco 30 Jan, 2008

    Love the papercut hearts. Would love to make one, but can't seem to print out the template. What am I doing wrong?


  • bljames 30 Jan, 2008

    Bonnie I was having the same problem but went to the instructions and clicked the blue heart background template in #3 of the instructions and it came up. Good luck this looks like fun!

  • seedfiend 30 Jan, 2008

    I love this craft. I am going to try and Google Paper cutout templates ans see if anything comes up. There must be a site for these things. I'd love to do the one they showed on the show today. ( The one the Mom did with the two birds!)

  • touitsmrs 30 Jan, 2008

    I finished the templet offered on the site. Where are more to do? I have been searching the net and have to find anything comparable to what was on todays show. can someone please email if you find other papercutting patterns.

  • skateblade5 30 Jan, 2008

    Hi my name is Bonnie I have tried several times to print out the template of the heart background and it wont come up. I wanted to do this for my boyfriend as he has cancer, I thought it would be nice, we have been fighting this for 2 1/2 yrs.Can you help me or senr it to me Thank you Bonnie PS. I watch you every day.

  • Pixelpup 30 Jan, 2008

    Where does Karen get her ideas or tempates that were shown on the show?

  • layla0691 30 Jan, 2008

    Beautiful design with History. easy, but will take a bit of tie and patience.