A few days ago, Audrey was in the process of being made. Today she is finished! What were the next few steps in her completion? Well I cut the head from the color photocopy sheet.
The most important thing is to leave a margin of paper around the image and ESPECIALLY to leave enough paper at the bottom (in approximation to the upper chest area where the collarbone lies). The bottom of the head piece will be glued to the top of the heart piece (bodice), so you can visualize about how much paper to leave. If you cut too much off, don't worry, it can be repaired later.
As the photocopy paper needs to be stiffened, I glued the head piece to a scrap of cereal box cardboard. I used ordinary all-purpose white glue (wood glue). Apply glue to the wrong side (plain, non-printed side) of the cereal box cardboard in an area a bit larger than the head piece. Set the head into position, smooth down carefully to remove air bubbles, and place between heavy books to dry for a while. To prevent glue from wrecking your books, sandwich the glued papers between waxed paper or plastic from a bag.
After a half of an hour or so (you will likely want to peek), check the head piece. You can just leave it alone over night if you want. In any event, the glue should be dried enough so that the bond is made. The papers may still be damp and that is okay. You just want to be sure that the bond is made and that the papers are dry enough so that they won't buckle with handling and that when you cut the margins away, the paper won't tear. Wet paper tears if your cutting blade or scissors are not as sharp as can be. Avoid having the paper tear. The paper head section will want to curl. Gently coax the shape flat by using your fingers and gently flexing the paper in the opposite direction of the curl. Just be gentle. Take your time. There is no rush. In sewing, this step would be called 'finger pressing.'
Usually, I let the papers dry before I start cutting. Or, if I want the piece cut out before it's as dry as a bone, I check to make sure that it is not really, really moist. Make a trial cut along the waste area. When all is ready for cutting, sharpen your scissors (I use a whet stone) or replace your X-acto blade with a brand new one. Carefully cut around the head image LEAVING a hairline margin outside of the image. Try not to cut into the image area. I cut away larger and/or straighter sections with scissors, and then go in with an X-acto knife to get the sharp corners and angles cut away. Now you have a head piece!
We will continue next time. See you soon! Hugs, Norma.
p.s. the 'mother' in me has to jump in here and remind you to be sure to have a sturdy cutting surface to cut on if you're using an X-acto knife. Use cardboard if you don't have a mat. There are mats available at the dollar store. Work slowly, steadily and cut SMALL sections at a time. Breathe. The X-acto blades are sharp!