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How to Cut a Circle for Scrapbooking

Learn how to cut a circle in this Howcast scrapbooking tutorial featuring expert Carla Sylvester.


Sometimes you're working on a scrapbook page, and you just need a circle. And so, let's see how to do that. Well, you could do it the old-fashioned way. You could trace a circle, and these are three that I traced last night using different jar lids. You could trace a plate and then cut it out with your scissors, or you can do it the easy way.

There are different types of circle cutters out on the market now. This is one circle cutter, and it actually allows you to cut, like, a whole, whole lot of different sizes of circles. And you can also find the center of your photo by putting it right in the cross-hairs there. This piece is the blade, and my little triangle here is going to fit into the notch of whatever size circle I want, and I'm going to rotate it to cut my circle.

If you wanted to cut multiple circles, you want to start with the smaller ones first and then you work your way out. So, let's just do a few circles here. First, I want to get my triangle seated right inside my notch. I'm not cutting yet because in order to cut, I have to press really far down. But this allows me to just kind of get a feel and see if there's anything. This is just a solid cut, solid piece of card stock. But in a moment we're going to try this with a photo, and you can really see the difference.

I like to start with the blade right around the 8:00 or 9:00 point if you imagine this as a clock, and this is 12:00. This is 6:00, so I am around 7:00 or 8:00 or 9:00. Press down. Then rotate that blade around. Now, I'm not going to pick it up just yet because I want to cut a few more concentric rings. So, let's just do that a couple more times here with my blade into the notch, press, and rotate.

All right, I'm going to take everything away and we're going to see our circles. I actually forgot to mention that I had taped this paper down beforehand which kept the paper from moving. And that's what helps make those circles work, come out just perfectly.

So, I've cut the circle with card stock, but now let's see it with a photo. One of the things I really do find useful is to actually tape my photo down to my glass mat. If I didn't mention before, when you're cutting with a circle cutter, you definitely want to have a glass mat underneath and not a self-healing mat. The glass mat just really helps the circle cutter move so much easier.

So, I've got my photo taped down, circle cutter's on top. Now this is where I get to see how much of this photo will actually capture with my circle cutter. I really don't even need to put the blade in the hole just yet. I can use my finger to trace around and see where I want it to go.

If I put the cross-hairs on Nancy's face and circle around like that, I'm going to get just her face and not the bag and this whole sort of scene. I'm going to move the cross-hairs down, more to the center of the photo, and that way I can capture a larger circle. I can get her head. I can see how this piece is going to move around her head. It's going to get the bag, so this is my hole.

And these all do have measurements on them, but a lot of the time unless it's really important, I don't necessarily even look at the measurement because I'm looking to see how much of the picture I'm capturing.

All right, so I've got my blade in, and I'm holding the frame of the circle cutter down very firmly, pressing the blade down. Circle around. I felt like I might have lifted the blade up a little bit down on the down-swing, so we'll just see what happened there. Nope, I got it. There is Nancy.

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