Tutorial | Pattern Paper Cut Outs

Hi Everyone… this is Jenn (jk703) here today to share my Tutorial: Pattern Paper Cut Outs. it’s a fun one, with heavy images, so you might want to let it load. I had to share a fun little take on the Swiss Cheese Technique. It takes that technique of cutting out shapes in a paper to see the layer behind just a little further.
For my examples, I’ve used Renne’s perfectly spring “Love You More” kit! It is so bright, fresh and fun, I couldn’t wait to use it for this tutorial! Here is my page… check out the paper with the circles cut out. We will make that today.


Every kit comes with oodles of paper, lovely patterns and this can be a hard decision when deciding on your background papers! Here is a way that you could mix and match them, add something new, or just give a pop to your layout.

First, I have a plain beige background paper open with the red circle paper on top. The red circle paper is a pattern in the Love You More kit, is 12 x 12 and has no cut outs already. 🙂 Renne inspired this tutorial as one of her papers has a cut out on it already! I’ve reduced my red polka paper by 10% for that thick edging.

Next, I’m going to use the Magic Wand Tool. Here is what the Tool looks like.

After we have the correct tool, and you have the polka paper selected in the Layers Palette, you will click on a part of the RED. Anywhere that is red. Why? The red is connected across the whole sheet. You will get marching ants around all the red parts of the paper. But, don’t jump ahead, we have to switch it around. My example layout leaves the red section and cuts out the holes!
Choose Select from the Menu, and then choose Inverse.
Your selection will seem like it moves, but the marching ants changed direction and the outline of the whole BG paper now has marching ants. Like this.

Now, with the red polka paper still selected, press delete. The white circles will be gone! Magic! Nah… it’s the Magic Wand! LOL – not really… but really cool. If you scroll up, you can see that the white on the red polka paper is a smidge different than the BG paper. Now, here is the after… you can see the other white anymore.

Add a little shadow, and you’ve created a Pattern Cut Out.

 Now, what about other patterns. Here is another example with the leaf paper and how it looks. This technique is fun, and addictive. 🙂

Magic Wand used on the white (outside of individual leaves):

No need to inverse since I wanted to delete the sections between flowers. So I just pressed delete. Then D to remove the marching ants. Looks cool as it right here:

Add a little shadow and it looks really cool! Different, but not over the top or too hard to do!

Now, what happens when the Magic Wand cannot help you select the areas you want to cut out. Here is a super easy work around. Bring the paper into the layout, and have it selected in the Layers Palette. (I have chosen an angled striped one.) Choose Select > Color Range. A menu will pop up.

When you move your mouse cursor, it should be the eye dropper. Within the menu, a regular mouse icon should appear. Change the Selection Preview to Quick Mask on the bottom. This will show you what will be masked and not deleted. With the eye dropper, click on the color that you want to remove. I clicked on the brown.
Once you click on the OK, you will get marching ants around the To Be deleted area. Like this:

One other cool feature of this way is that you are deleting by color – so this would work with flowers, polka dots, stripes, and so many other patterns. You can inverse your selection by clicking on the little option, and here you can see the brown is masked from deletion.

Also, the Fuzziness meter will show you less or more of the specific color you want to delete. As I moved the slider up to a higher number, my lines became more pronounced and clear than above at a lower number.

Here is with the brown deleted, and just the blue remaining. The white paper is behind it, and I’ve added a slight shadow. Looks like a whole new paper, right?!

This technique is fun to use and really lets you jump into the versatility of patterns. It almost lets you pick and choose what you want on your pattern. You could cut out the colors or even blend the paper after cutting out to make a whole new paper!

Oh… just in case you wondered, my paper with the red polka is now green. I removed the white circles, and then clipped a green solid paper to the new cut out paper! I then added the little hearts from the kit behind the cut out paper and randomly put them in circles. I love it!

Super easy, and really lets you work with all those pattered papers in a whole new way!
Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

Jenn (k703)

what joy will you create today?


  1. What a great tip! You did an awesome job showing all the different patterns to do this technique on. I have done this with textures and gotten a selection of, say, the highlights, then, turned it into a brush. These turn out real nice. It's amazing what negative space can produce, eh? LOL
    Thank you!

  2. What a great tip! You did an awesome job showing all the different patterns to do this technique on. I have done this with textures and gotten a selection of, say, the highlights, then, turned it into a brush. These turn out real nice. It's amazing what negative space can produce, eh? LOL
    Thank you!

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