Saturday, June 4, 2011

Papercuts: a traditional Chinese art

Papercuts are one of my favorite souvenirs of China. They are so colorful, not to mention especially fragile. They're made from very thin paper and tear easily, but that doesn't make them any less fun.

Papercuts are traditionally made from red paper and cut by hand. Traditional papercuts are of Peking masks, Chinese maidens, birds, flowers, the Chinese zodiac . . . the list of topics is endless. But, in recent years, a Western influence has been creeping into the designs. Stuff like Disney characters and Santa Claus, with some of the papercuts being made in several colors.

The Chinese put papercuts in their windows or frame them for wall hangings. Mostly papercuts are small, maybe 3" x 5", but I have seen some as big as 3-5 feet square. I don't put mine in windows or frame them. I use them on the greeting cards I make, using double-sided tape to stick them to the front page.

If you're looking for unique souvenirs from China, consider papercuts. They're inexpensive and come in small, lightweight packages of eight or 10.

Are you going to China?

If you're planning a trip to China, please check out Cheryl's China, my website about traveling in China, especially Beijing. and feel free to email me if you have any questions. Also, check out my Amazon Kindle page for my travel guides to Beijing.

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