Craft Around the World Series Polish Wycinanki: Traditional cut-paper

Crafts Around the World Series Polish Wycinanki: Traditional cut-paper


September 21, 2020 - Author:

Enjoy learning how to make simple crafts from seven continents: Africa, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America & South America.


Introduce youth to some simple cultural traditional crafts from around the world.  Journey around seven continents, learning how to make simple crafts and having fun creating.


  • Learn the cultural history and origins of the craft.
  • Find the country on a map and/or globe.
  • Develop fine motor skills in paper cutting.
  • Increase cultural awareness and creativity.

 Education Standards:

  • Understand the visual arts in relation to history and culture.
  • Apply geometric methods to solve design problems.

Experiential Learning:

  • Create designs cutting with scissors.

Use these phrases:

Do it, What happened, What’s important, So What, Now What?

 Audience:  Grades K-12


Europe is the sixth largest of the world’s continents.  Home to 44 countries.  Some areas of the world combine Asia and Europe into one continent called Eurasia.



                 TRADITIONAL CUT-PAPER

Wycinanki" pronounced Vee-chee-non-kee is the Polish word for 'paper-cut design' .  Wycinanki was traditionally used by Polish peasants to decorate their cottages and they often depicted scenes from daily life, such as weddings or holidays. Scissor snipping can include German Scherenschnitte, Chinese Hua Yang, Japanese Kirigami, Mexico Otomi Indian cutouts, and Pennsylvania Dutch cutouts.


Developed by MSU Extension Educator, Janis Brinn with History and instruction sheets from A Palette of Fun with Arts & Crafts 4HCCS BU-07597 2001 pgs. 22-23

 TIME: 30-45 minutes or multiple days depending upon the interest to learn more.


  • Colored Paper (Construction Paper works well)
  • Scissors -  Łowicz cut-outs were traditionally done with sheep shears. 
  • Exacto Knife (only advanced crafter should use for safety)
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil (white pencil if drawing on dark paper)
  • Cutting Matt (if using an exacto knife)
  • Optional: Markers or crayons
  • Optional: Samples, templates, patterns and instructions


 PROCEDURE:  How to make designs cutting paper

  • Do some research and print out a design that inspires you (especially traditional Wycinanki designs like a Rooster) or create your own.
  • Fold the template in half using a dotted line as a guide.
  • Cut out your design (like cutting a snowflake) following the lines.
  • Unfold.  The remaining piece is your Wycinanki!
  • Glue your finished Wycinanki onto colored construction paper backing.
  • More advanced—use the exacto knife for cutting fine details.  Add by gluing different colored layers and details to your design.

 Art Science – Be creative with your design.  Experiment with different types of folds, images and other traditional techniques. Create a variety of uses for your designs i.e. decorative snowflakes hanging from the ceiling with string, festive cards, wall hanging, etc.  Ask questions & make discoveries!

 Research other scissor snipping traditions: German Scherenschnitte, Chinese Hua Yang, Japanese Kirigami, Mexico Otomi Indian cutouts, Papel Picado and Pennsylvania Dutch cutouts

 Reflection Questions: What surprised you and why? When were you the most creative, and why do you think that is? What made you curious today?  What can you do with what you learned today?



Tags: 4-h, 4-h arts, 4-h global & cultural education, 4-h visual arts, homeschool 3-5 arts, homeschool 3-5 global, homeschool 3-5 social studies, homeschool 6-8 arts, homeschool 6-8 global, homeschool 6-8 social studies, homeschool 6-8 stem, homeschool 9-12 arts, homeschool 9-12 global, homeschool 9-12 social studies, homeschool 9-12 stem, homeschool k-2 stem, parents 3-5 arts, parents 3-5 global, parents 3-5 social studies, parents 3-5 stem, parents 6-8 arts, parents 6-8 global, parents 6-8 social studies, parents 6-8 stem, parents 9-12 arts, parents 9-12 global, parents 9-12 social studies, parents 9-12 stem, teacher 3-5 arts, teacher 3-5 stem, teacher 6-8 arts, teacher 6-8 social studies, teacher 6-8 stem, teacher 9-12 arts, teacher 9-12 social studies, teacher 9-12 stem, teacher k-2 arts, teacher k-2 stem, teachers 3-5 global, teachers 6-8 global, teachers 9-12 global


Janis Brinn

Janis Brinn

You Might Also Be Interested In

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at