Five Rules for Using a Blade in Craft

I managed to ruin my thumb a couple of weeks ago when I thought ” I’m only cutting a small line, let’s just cut horizontally”, then…..there was blood, pain and feelings of stupidity as I held my hand towards the sky to stop the bleeding.
I would share with you the wisdom that I myself am yet to accept.

The five rules to cutting anything paper /card using a blade.

1. Always cut down. This means the cut you are going to make should be as vertical as possible in relation to your body. It is easier to cut a straight edge this way and also easier to see what you are

The right way to cut.

The right way to cut.

2. Use a guide, be it a ruler, a plastic straight edge, something the blade can rest against ( I like to use a quilters square because the edge is thick and the area I can rest my steadying hand on is wide). This means there is less chance the knife will jump the edge and attack your hand.

The wrong way to cut.

The wrong way to cut.

3. Make sure your blade is sharp. Sounds a bit silly to suggest having the sharpest blade possible when I am advising of the best ways to retain all of your fingers but there it is. Less pressure will be needed and less repeated runs of the blade if you are cutting thick card.

3. Know where the pressure you are exerting will send the knife/blade if it were to jump the guide and come for you. When you realise the potential trajectory, make sure your hand is not in the way. That way, you’ll only have a nasty slice on your ruler/guide and not on your very precious skin.

I wish you the best of luck with your blades. Feel free to check out the outcome of my blade adventures; my beautiful books- all guaranteed blood free at


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