Here is a simple guide to get you started making paper cuts.
I have been making them for several years now and have discovered that they are a really good way to make a beautiful card, especially when time is against you. I make these each time a birthday or holiday comes around because if the design ends up a bit iffy, the lace-like delicacy of the paper stops anyone from caring. (And you can get away with not drawing your own design*)
In this tutorial I will walk you through the basics along with some tips and tricks to make it that much easier.
*Within copyright laws
Here's an overview of what you need, we'll go over it in greater detail in a moment.
-Card or paper
-Gluestick (preferably a bad one)
-An image you want to cut out
-Clear sticky tape
-Plain white paper (or in a contrasting shade to your card)
Scalpel: Any scalpel/cutting knife will do (x-acto etc) so long as it comes to a sharp point and is flexible. A stanely knife/box cutter (typically) just won't do the job: it is too clunky to get all the fine details. I bought my scalpel at the local art supply shop and prefer them to X-acto because the blade doesn't break on me.
Spare blades: Can be bought wherever you got the scalpel. Take a note of the number (10 A etc) of the blade that comes supplied as this one will definitely fit. There are lots of different types of blade shape but I haven't noticed much difference in performance.
Card: I have made paper cuts with paper as thick as 385 GSM (about 2 mm thick) and have seen artists use rice paper in their work. The thinner the paper is, the easier it is to cut, but the less it will tolerate mistakes and tearing. The thicker the paper you use, the harder it is to cut shapes out, but the more abuse you can put it through. For cards like this, newsagent card stock works pretty well. I like to use blacks, dark blues or purples as they have a high contrast.
The Image: It is easiest if you have your image printed in another piece if paper, that way you don't have to erase any lines. You can draw your own, or like I did, find an image online and cut it out. Line art from the 1900's works pretty well as a lot of the thinking is done for you (also, depending on your country, it should be out of copyright).