Intro to Incire or Lace Paper Art

This is an intro to Incire paper art.  I made a bookmark years ago and found it while cleaning my craft room.  I find the most amazing things.  But back to the bookmark.  It was made by hand, before my first cricut (stone age).  I loved it and went looking for patterns and things to try.  These are just some of what I found or made

I have lots and will share my original stuff today and throughout the week.  But first a little info on Incire.

What is Incire?

Incire is a paper craft technique that involves cutting a series of angles and curves, folding back the shapes, and then tucking them under the adjacent slits to make it look like the paper is braided or woven. (From BellaOnline)

This works best with double sides paper but sometimes looks OK with single sided paper (white is a color after all).  The designs can go around curves, create a border or create a picture.  it all depends on the pattern.

Incire is NOT for the crafter without patience or attention to detail and it is not a quick craft.  One of the cards I am working on took over an hour to cut.  I will have that one next week because I haven’t finished it yet.  But when done, they are beautiful and all the work that went into them shows.

Today’s Project

Today I am just starting you with the basic bookmark.  These are simple and usually in a straight line.  There are no design space files to download because I cannot draw curvy lines in design space easily but Inscape does that well.

What you will need

Paper Selection

The paper for Incire must be two sided.  The beauty shows with the contrast between the two colors.  Origami paper works wonderful for this but there are plenty of papers that work.  The background piece does not need to be two sided but it does need to be a solid color.

When the patterns are cut you can make either side the primary so try both sides to see which you like better.  These two bookmarks were done with  he same paper.

Bookmarks cut from the same two sided paper
Bookmarks cut from the same two sided paper

Also the difference between light and dark is very important.  One of these bookmarks was cut from light paper and the other from dark.  The pattern is the same but the two bookmarks are very different. And background color matters too.  The purple is too dark for the one on the left but the dark green looks great on the other one.

Incire cut bookmarks
Cutting the piece

This is actually the easiest step because the cricut does all the precision cutting.  Just be sure that the paper is cut well and all the way through.  I usually cut the pattern twice by hitting the C on the machine when cutting is done just to make sure.  The paper tears easily when trying to fold if the cut isn’t complete.


These projects don’t have score lines because they would be so small.  The paper folds easily though.

First decide which side you want on top.  Then fold all the little tabs straight up, like this:


You can start tucking at the top or the bottom.  One way eventually feels easier that the other, but that depends on the pattern.  Then tuck the raised pieces in the opposite way they were cut so that the back color shows.  Each pattern can different where you tuck the pieces in, but usually the tab is tucked behind the non folded piece next in line.  The example above is one of those odd ones and the piece is tucked under the second unfolded piece away.   Usually the tab gets tucked under the furthest piece it reaches and it is easy to figure that out.

Don’t worry if you tuck it in wrong, just untuck back to where the error is and try again.  Nothing at this point is glued and comes undone with just a little pull.

Finishing Up

Once everything is tucked in you will have one tab left.  You can cut it off if you want, but I prefer to glue it down continuing the pattern.  Then glue the whole piece to a base piece.  In my examples most of the base pieces are light purple because that went with the paper.

I hope you enjoyed this project.  Tomorrow we will do the shamrock and I will show you how to accent a card with Incire.

Shamrock Incire
Tomorrow's Project

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