June 23, 2012

Cutting 101



I am sure you spend a great amount of your time cutting.. just like I do. I always have a stack or a box that needs to be finished. I feel like I have perfected the “art of cutting” and I am super fast.

My niece was visiting a couple of weeks ago and I put her to work cutting. She lasted 20 minutes, she had a blister and she was S-L-O-W. I told her she needed more practice.. HA!  She quickly told me she was not about to practice cutting! {she’s 12 and obviously has WAY more important things to do!}

So here is my way of cutting..


First.. Do NOT cut before you laminate.

That just means you have to double cut everything!


Next is a VERY important step and there is not a single first grader that has gone through my class that does not do this. I preach this to my students..

Cut everything “apart” before you start cutting “out”.

This is also a step that I can do while I am laminating. While I am waiting on another piece of paper to go through my machine I cut the sheet that just finished apart into smaller pieces.


Next tip.. see those orange scissors above. See that brand?? They are not the most expensive BUT they are good quality scissors.


I promise.

Good quality scissors are often “tight” and hurt your hand after you cut for awhile. I love good scissors and I have to have them them for certain projects.. but not to cut laminated items!


Trust me.. you need these..cheap scissors from the Dollar Tree. If I start cutting with a “good pair of scissors” I quit within minutes and get a “cheap pair of scissors”.


Next is a scrap bowl.

I sit crossed-legged in my chair with this bowl in my lap. All my scraps fall straight into the bowl and when I am done.. I can easily dump the bowl into the garbage for a super easy cleanup. No more picking up a million little pieces all over the floor!

This bowl is a wooden salad bowl I got as a wedding gift .. we have never eaten salad out of it but I use this gift almost daily!


Happy Cutting!

xoxo, Kacey

PS.. both of the items shown above can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Animal Telling Time Activity

Bunting Word Sort

{shop} Doodle Bugs Teachers Pay Teachers Store


  1. Does the lamination hold up? I've always been afraid to not double-cut because I didn't think the lamination would then be sealed properly on my home laminator.

  2. I love it!!! I too am afraid to cut apart after laminating. Also, I love the trash bowl. It reminds me of Rachel Ray!

  3. The scrap bowl is such a good idea! I always end up with little strips of paper all over the living room floor!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  4. I agree with everything you said! I actually do everything you said. LOL! The only thing I will add is that a good TV show must be on. It really helps with the boredom!

    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  5. This such a great post with such great tips. I love the idea of the cheap scissors. I've never thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. And, I love the scrap bowl. That's a nice one :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  6. In my next life, I will have a personal cutting assistant that just sits and cuts laminating out all day...

    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  7. How true How True this all is!!! I have the cheapest scissors I could find. And the only time I cut things out before laminating is when they are printed just on white backgrounds and have to be mounted on some colored background. That is the biggest reason I look for units and products from teachers that have been created with a background on stuff. I love the units you have listed...need to go shop :)!

    Farrah Shipley
    Fabulous Firsties

  8. Great tips!! I too am scared to laminate before I cut that it won't hold up. I am taking it with this post that everything does hold up so I am off to try it out. Thanks so much for saving me time.


  9. Great post! Thanks for giving me a way to use our wooden salad bowl (also an unused wedding gift). Now to find me some cheap scissors!

  10. Great post! I always laminate before I cut too. If the laminator is hot enough my stuff seals fine. I also like to use a small paper cutter on the square stuff instead of scissors. Saves my hand.

  11. I, too, am always afraid if I don't cut before laminating, the laminating won't hold up. I'll have to try it out on something small soon.

    I use a wooden salad bowl for scraps, too! And as someone else said, a good TV show on while cutting is always a must!


  12. I love the bowl to catch the trash. I am always finding scraps all over the place.

  13. I agree about the scissors. If I don't have cheap ones nearby I cut with the kids scissors. They actually most of the time cut easier than any scissors I have. I love the idea using a bowl. I typically have a plastic bag under me. Then I close it up and throw it away but I like the bowl idea since the bag sometimes makes it hard to get it in. Thanks for the tips. :)

  14. I, too, was taught that one had to laminate first & leave an edge while cutting. I spend sooooo much time "double cutting". I'm really fortunate because my husband LOVES to cut...he says it relaxes him. I wonder if our school laminator just doesn't get hot enough to seal? I need to get one of those personal ones like you all have. :) Thanks for all these ideas. I have not been doing ONE THING CORRECTLY other than marrying a wonderful man!

  15. As a fellow crazy cutter, I found the most amazing pair of scissors. At Michael's, they are Fiskars but they at spring loaded and do half the work for you! They take a little getting used to and are not cheap ( use a coupon!) but I promise you will be impressed!

  16. What laminator do you use? I am looking for one for at home but I don't know anything about the brands. Thanks!

  17. Love your adorable blog! Thanks for the helpful hints! I'm going to try the bowl!

  18. Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? Well I do and to show my appreciation I'm posting something at midnight (oooooh the suspense) about you!!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class

  19. Hey Kacey, I see your personal laminator here and am wondering if you use it frequently and if it's good and where you got it. Also, how much are the page refills? Please let me know. Thanks!

    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  20. i loved that when i just read this it made me feel less crazy about about much i cut, my obsession with particular scissors, and the 'way' i like it to be done! thanks for the tip with the bowl... i'm going to definitely try that next time!

  21. i loved that when i just read this it made me feel less crazy about about much i cut, my obsession with particular scissors, and the 'way' i like it to be done! thanks for the tip with the bowl... i'm going to definitely try that next time!