SEW with scissors and rotary cutters.

For instructions on how to make these letters, see below. 

I’ve seen a lot of “CREATE” letters in the blogosphere and while I love that idea, I knew that I needed a shorter word or I’d get burned out and never finish.  So here you go:  giant fabric-decoupaged letters.


I think I like them.  I’ve always thought that the tape measure fabric from Building Blocks would be great for sewing room decor.  The other two prints were just hanging out because I liked them, and now I get to see them everyday. 

And while I was cleaning up for the photo, I realized that I have a bunch of scissors.  8 to be exact, I’m not sure when I started increasing my scissor collection, but having so many scissors has really helped my sanity.  When I was a kiddo, I remember reaching for a pair of scissors to cut some paper, and just as I made the first cut, I’d hear my mom yell, “No, no!  Not my good sewing scissors!”  Well, mom, I’ve learned.  🙂  When I started sewing 10 years ago, I had 2 pair of scissors:  a nice set Ginghers (A), and a pair of  softgrip, spring-loaded Fiskars  (B).  And when I had to cut something paper or plastic I’d have to run around looking for the “bad” paper scissors in the kitchen.   Very inefficient use of time, you know.  So now I have several pairs of cheap, Westcott Titanium scissors that are sharp enough to cut fabric, but cheap enough to use on paper (D-G).  I got them in the office section at Target.  These have saved my sanity, seriously!  So here’s the scissor collection:


The little ones (C) are by my machine for cutting threads.  The other little ones (E) ones fit in a front pocket of my seamstress apron.  The medium ones  (G) are the ones I let the kids use to cut fabric.  And I have pinking shears by the sewing table.  The smiley faces are to distinguish between my scissors and my sewing student’s sewing scissors that look exactly the same.  Now I want to know how many scissors you have.  Not all over the house, but just in your sewing area.  I want to know if I’m normal!  And not to turn this into a competition or anything, but perhaps the biggest scissor collector deserves a small prize yet to be determined.

And while we’re on the subject of cutting implements, how many rotary cutters do you have?  I have 4.  The top one cuts circles.  I labeled one rotary blade “Paper” for cutting through iron-on paper backing.  And yet, it continues to be sharp enough to cut through fabric.  Amazing.


And all of these were purchased half-off during sales here and there.  Woo hoo!

ETA: The SEW letters in this post are 24″ paper-mache letters that I got at JoAnn’s.  They are around $8 each and are near the art section of the store on the same aisle with the wooden letters.  I cut fabric larger than the letter.  Then, some slightly dilluted ModPodge (matte finish, because it doesn’t smell as bad as the gloss finish), a paintbrush and I had a party, glueing and snipping the fabric to help it wrap around curves until the top was covered.  Then I cut 1.5″ strips of the same fabric (the same as the depth of the letter form) and went around the outside, covering up the ugliness that resulted from gluing on the top.  After they are dry, attach them to the wall using 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips (one of the greatest inventions in picture hanging history, I believe.  Thanks for telling me about them, Laura!).  Have fun with it!

50 thoughts on “SEW with scissors and rotary cutters.

  1. I am IN LOVE with your letters! Ironic thing…I’m doing the same thing right now for my friend’s son. *Just taking a break.* Yours look a lot neater and cleaner edged than mine, though!

  2. Those letters rock. And I love my spring loaded fiskars. Mine have a piece of green yarn tied around the handle so I don’t get them mixed up with my mom’s. I have probably 4 pair of fabric scissors, but what I really have are the little fold up scissors. Everywhere. One by my bed, one by my rocking chair, one in my purse, one in the kitchen, one on the ironing board and one next to the sewing maching. And my daughter has one in her little craft/sewing box. They aren’t the greatest, but I love to cut freezer paper with them. And snip threads. And cut finger nails. You get the idea. 🙂

  3. Cute letters! I have ni idea how many scissors I have, but I usually just buy the cheap ones, use until dull, then toss aside for a new pair of cheap scissors. I only have one rotary cutter. I’d probably have more if you couldn’t buy new blades.

  4. I love your letters, a fantastic idea. Let’s see, I have 2 rotary cutters (one for paper), one pinking shears, one paper scissors and then 7 fabric/ sewing scissors.

  5. I love scissors, too. I’m left handed with scissors, so my obsession started when I realised how difficult left-handed scissors were to find. Soon I started seeing (and buying )them everywhere!!
    Love your SEW letters! I think I could do with such an imperative statement in my face every day.

  6. Love the letters. Did you buy the wooden forms? I’ve never seen any that size before. mmm….I have about the same amount of scissors that you do and about 8 rotary cutters – the really small ones are great for cutting around templates or circles.

  7. Lovely letters and very organised sewing area – I don’t think my 3 pairs of scissors and one rotary cutter are going to win me any prizes somehow…

  8. Funny girl!! Oh, the things I learn about you on this blog. Of course, I don’t have the scissors and cutters around, but I would enter a contest for number of frames, purses, placemats, roosters….some of my collections!

    I LOVE the ‘SEW’ decor! What a pleasing environment to work your magic!

  9. first of all, very cute letters. your sewing area looks so nicely organized and spacious. i’m very envious.

    now, on to scissors. I have good sewing scissors, paper/pattern scissors, pinking shears, embroidery scissors, thread snips and another little pair that came with my machine. (That makes 6.) I also have a rotary cutter, but I’m still trying to figure out how to work that efficiently. I’m all over the place with that thing. Cutting where I shouldn’t be cutting. (Plus, I think I need a new blade.)

  10. Pretty addition to your sewing area.

    Cutting tools –
    8 pairs of scissors in the sewing area, including one for paper.
    2 rotary cutters.

    And I’ve been sewing for less than a year…and still need a pair of pinking shears.

  11. Hmmm. I definitely need more scissors. I only have 4 scissors and one rotary. I was well-trained by my mom too! I have my Ginghers, pinking shears, little scissors by machine to cut threads, and one horrible pair of paper cutters. I think I will buy some of the office ones you show here to replace my wretched paper scissors. They actually cut crooked–why have I kept them? I’ve never tried spring-loaded either–I’ll have to try those too. Fun post and cute letters!

  12. I love your scissor collection! I have three pairs of scissors, small applique scissors, what were my good fabric cutting scissors until I lent them to a friend who was learning to sew and her brother-in-law used them to cut his children’s hair! and the new scissors that I bought to replace the blunt ones.

  13. Wow, your letters are cool! I went around my sewing room and counted up my scissors, I have two pairs of Serra Sharps (fabric only scissors), four rotary cutters (2 for fabric, 1 for paper and one with a pinking blade), two pairs of little scissors for paper and cutting threads on my sewing machine, 1 pair of pinking shears, 1 pair of fiskars soft grip scallop scissors and finally 1 pair of fiskars soft grip wave scissors. Oops sounds like a lot but I can honestly say I use them all. The fiskars soft grips are great for felt! (Shh don’t tell hubby!)

  14. I have that many scissors and more, because I have several smaller scissors tucked into sewing kits at various spots around the house. I also have the gigantic olfa wheel, because I own the quiltcut, which you can cut about 8 to 10 layers of fabric-but you need the big wheel.


  15. Those letters are awesome! You’ll have to tell me what you used as forms. I’ve had this idea brewing around my head to do something like you did for my kicthen using cooking verbs like bake, mix, broil, etc…

  16. Cool letters! I hear you on keeping it simple and short, sometimes these projects can be draining.
    You and I must have started collecting scissors together! I have almost the same collection. The only thing I’m missing are those Gingher’s. I need that type of scissor for when I’m not using my rotary cutters.

  17. I love the letters! Adorable!

    Your sewing area is just a little too organized, dear. At least tell me you have some thread-tangle going on so that i can feel better about myself! 😉

  18. Love the letters…and your sewing room! I’m green with envy 🙂 I have 1 pair of Gingher seamstress (fabric only) scissors and a pair of Gingher pinking shears. Fabric snippers and several pairs of Fiscars lost in my house somewhere (where do they all go??). I have one rotary cutter that doesn’t get used much, too. I think you win!

  19. Your letters look great, I am not sure we can get letters that big here in Australia, I’ve only used ones about 6 1/2″ high. On the scissors and cutters I will have to get back to you, I know I have heaps of both just not sure on the numbers. I use a rotary cutter for my scrap booking and it still cuts fabric really well, if anything the paper keeps it sharp.

  20. Nothing like a little competition to get me to de-lurk! 🙂 But first, I have to say that I LOVE your blog. I found you last March one day when I pressed the “random blog” button on blogger. And I’m sooo glad I did! Your blog opened up a whole world of craft and mommy blogs that saved my sanity during a very long year of nursing my little one! So, thank you, thank you! 🙂

    But, back to the scissors. Don’t ever get into a scissor competition with a former preschool teacher / crafty person wanna-be! 🙂 In my sewing/ thread crafts stash (I don’t have a room, just a collection of boxes) I have one rotary cutter, razor-edge scissors, pinking shears, and a set of two spring-loaded fiskars (all bought during half-off sales!). Three pair of regular orange fiskars, two pair of IKEA scissors, my meat-scissors that I keep in my knife block, but use on crafts too. With my crosstitch stuff I have a pair of foldable scissors and the little metal scissors I had when I was a kid. Then I also keep two pair of a bazillion little pair of fiskars kids scissors (really THE best kid scissors) that I keep scattered about the house ‘cause you never know when you’ll need a pair – my husband thinks I’m strange because I keep a pair of these in each car, too!. So, I think that makes my total one bazillion – thirteen.  But, now that I think about it, if I actually had a craft room, I would probably not have so many – I tend to keep some in each different box.

  21. ARe the sew letters wooden underneath? Did you buy the underneath letters or make them? I’ve got one pair of zigzag sewing sisscors, and currently no normal sewing sissors. I constanlty loose them or end up letting the kids use them for paper when they can’t find theirs.

  22. Love the letters! I have six pairs of scissors in my sewing area (good shears, okay shears, pinking shears, paper scissors, curved embroidery scissors and straight embroidery scissors) and two rotary cutters. One for fabric and one for paper. I want a pinking blade for my rotary cutter (they do make those, don’t they?) but I will prob. just buy a new rotary cutter to keep as a pinking cutter. I can’t cut straight lines with pinking shears for anything.

  23. Linda.. I love your SEW letters. And fabric covered – totally love it!! I’ve been wanting to try it myself with fabric but just haven’t. You’ve inspired me to give it a try! I don’t have nearly that many rotaries (just one.) Gasp! But I do have two pairs of Fiskars pinking sheers – one for paper, one for fabric. And waaay too many scissors.

    Thanks for your nice e-mail too. It helped talking things over. 🙂

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