Paper Cutout (Kirie): The Fairy and the Frog Prince

切り絵 – 蛙と妖精

Paper Cutout (Kirie): The Fairy and the Frog Prince

Today I would like to introduce you to another paper cutout (kirie) work, The Fairy and the Frog Prince.

I love frogs. When I was a kid, I often used to stay at my cousin’s house, which was surrounded by rice fields. At night, the sound of the frogs was so loud, I could barely sleep! I especially loved the Japanese Tree Frogs, and I used to catch them in the fields so that I could observe them. I loved watching them up close and I would lose track of time. Before I knew it, I was being called for dinner and it was time to release them.

The rice field fields around my cousin’s house have almost all disappeared now and you can no longer hear the cacophony of frogs on summer nights.




Japanese Tree Frog アマガエル
Japanese Tree Frog


The Making of The Fairy and the Frog Prince

The Fairy and the Frog Prince sketch

As I intended to put this cutout onto a background, I was able to do a rough sketch directly onto the black paper. If I wasn’t adding a background, I would use a template instead because, of course, I wouldn’t want the pencil marks to show. The frog I sketched is actually a Tonosama Frog, which translates as Lord Frog. Unfortunately, the English name, Black-spotted Pond Frog, is not so grand!



Paper Cutout (Kirie)

Paper Cutout (Kirie)

Done! I did the cutout with an art (design) knife.


Hand Cutting Versus Bother Scan ‘N Cut

Paper Cutout (Kirie)

Next, I tried using Brother’s cutting machine, Scan N’ Cut. Rather than using a data file, I scanned my original kirie and cut it on the machine. In the photo, the hand-cut original is above and the Scan N’ Cut version is below.

To be honest, I still had to hand-cut some small areas that the machine couldn’t manage but I could have lived with the cut it made. The difference is that it took 3 minutes to complete with the machine compared to an hour and a half by hand! ?




Paper Cutout & Washi Paper

Paper Cutout (Kirie) with washi backing

I added a washi backing to the kirie because I wanted to add some colour to the cutout.


Distress Ink

Distress Ink

I wanted to add some words so I asked my husband for some ideas. After some thought, he gave me this phrase, ‘the once and future prince’. It’s a mixture of ‘The Once and Future King’ book about King Arthur, and the Brother’s Grimm fairytale, ‘The Frog Prince’.

The sentiment was written by hand and I used Distress Ink to give it an aged effect.

何か言葉を入れたくて主人に相談。キングアーサーの物語とグリム童話のカエルの王子様から The once and future prince (かつてのそして将来の王かな)に決定しました。偶然ですが殿様蛙にはピッタリ?

手書きで文字入れして Distress Ink でオールド加工しました。

Distress Ink Background for the Paper Cutout

Paper Cutout (Kirie) and backing mounted on card stock

The background was made using Distress Ink because I wanted to try the Bokeh technique that I picked up from @craftypooja, a friend at CRAFTWORLD (craft community site).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it very well because I ran out of white ink! I would like to try it again when I buy some more ink.

Finally, I mounted everything on white card stock. Seeing it now, together with the background, I think it would have been better if I had used a brighter washi paper for the wings of the fairy.

背景は Distress Ink で作りました。CRAFTWORLD (クラフトコミュニティサイト)でのお友達、@craftypooja さんに教えてもらった Bokeh テクニックに挑戦。白いインクがなくなってしまい、あまり上手く出来ませんでしたがまたインクを買ったらトライしたいと思います。


カッティングマシン Cutting Machine

Brother CM300 ScanNCut Craft Machine
Brother CM300 ScanNCut Craft Machine

This is the machine I use. I won it in a magazine competition a couple of years ago. Sadly, I haven’t really used it as much as I should. The truth is, I’m still a bit analogue! I want to get better at using it because it offers so many possibilities and it saves a lot of time!

There is a newer model than my machine. It is very convenient because it can send and receive data via wireless LAN.



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6 thoughts on “Paper Cutout (Kirie): The Fairy and the Frog Prince”

  1. Beautiful cut work work from you Nozomi and interesting to see the comparison with your scanNcut machine, would be useful if you are making multiple images of the same design I guess. I love the Bokeh technique as it gives a dreamy look … Steph x

    • Thanks, Steph. Yes, the Scan N’ Cut machine is useful. The main problem is that I often have trouble using designs I have made on my computer with the machine. It’s very frustrating because I would use it a lot more, otherwise.

  2. Gorgeous – i loved seeing this the other day on craftworld, he is a hansom frog for sure……ah good old king arthur – love the tales as he is very tied up in the mythology here in Cornwall, as children we were always told the tales. Funnily too where my parents have a house in Brittany, France, king arthur is also big there – he sure got around that guy ??? Emmax

    • Thanks, Emma. Yes, I love the legends of King Arthur and mythology in general, too. My husband says that the Breton people have close links to the Cornish. I really envy you living in Cornwall, surrounded by beautiful nature, all the mythology, the beautiful villages and, of course, pasties!


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