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Art-Making Activity: Cut a Wstega (FSTENG-gah) Design

The ribbon-like Wstega design comes from the Rawa and Opoczno regions of central Poland.


• Sharp scissors (manicure scissors for
intricate cuts)

• Colored paper—origami or solid color gift
wrapping paper

• Glue—white glue or glue sticks

• White or contrasting matte or poster board

• Iron (optional)

Folding and Cutting Instructions:

1. Begin with a rectangular strip of paper. This example was made from a 3” x 8” piece of paper. Carefully fold it in half lengthwise with the colored side of the paper to the inside. Press the fold firmly to make a sharp crease (fig. 1).

2. Fold it in half again, but crosswise this time
(fig. 2).

3. Fold it in half crosswise once more (fig.3). With this fold you have created eight rectangular sections within your strip of paper.

4. Cut shapes and designs through all the layers of paper along both of the longer sides of your rectangle, being careful to leave some areas joined at the edge that contains the fold (fig. 4).

5. Now cut shapes and designs through all layers along the shorter sides of the rectangle. As both of these edges contain folds, you will need to be very careful to leave some areas joined on each (fig. 5).

6. Carefully unfold your Wstega. You will see that you have created a repeating horizontal pattern that can be glued on a piece of matte or poster board of another color to make a vibrant border.



Source: Wycinancki: The Art of Polish Papercutting by Magdalena Nowacka-Jannotta (2003: CRIZMAC Art and Cultural Education Materials, Inc.)