Paper Piecing in GIMP

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You don’t have to be an expert graphic artist to know that cutting shapes in GIMP can be quite tricky. And this limitation can sometimes prevent you from exploring other design techniques like that of paper piecing.  Fortunately, we have this easy to follow tutorial to share with you about getting your paper piecing in GIMP by cutting up different shapes to form a whole artwork like that of a jigsaw puzzle.

For newbies, we recommend that you choose a simple pattern to start with. We’ll have a pretty flower pattern and use different paper backgrounds from Digital Scrapbooking Megakit La Dolce Vita (PU/S4H) by Digidesignresort.

You can increase each image by clicking on it so you can easily see all settings used.

Paper Piecing

Let’s get started by creating a new transparent file in GIMP. For demonstration purposes, we have here a square workspace.

Paper Piecing in GIMP

Now, open a paper of your choice.

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Using the Elliptical Marquee Tool, draw an oval on the paper.

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Go to Edit > Cut

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And paste in into the transparent workspace as a new layer.

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We’ll need about eight of these oval shapes to make up the petals. Rotate each petal layer to form a circle.  You can opt to use another paper design and use them alternately like this one:

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For the stem, you can use the free select tool to draw one. Make sure that you use a different paper for another object.

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Place the stem at the most bottom layer in such a way that the petals are above it.

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Use again the Free Transform Tool for cutting out the leaves.

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Finally, make one small circle for the centre of the petals. Then assemble the remaining pieces together to form the flower. There you have it, our flower made by piecing together several cut out shapes!

paper piecing in gimp

We’re sure that after mastering these techniques, you’ll be able to start applying paper pieced embellishments into your digital scrapbook projects!

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