Paper cutout effect made with GIMP

GIMP Tutorial: Paper Cutout Letters

GIMP Tutorial: Paper Cutout Letters 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can create paper cutout letters using GIMP version 2.8. This lesson isn’t just limited to letters though — this can also be applied to logos, icons, entire words, or anything else that has a transparent background.

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An outline of the steps will be depicted below. Skip to the end of the post in order to watch the video tutorial with full instructions that even a first-time user of GIMP could follow.

Paper Texture

To create this effect, we’ll be working with a paper texture. Download this image and save it to your hard drive so you can import it into GIMP, or you can simply click on it to open it, then copy it and paste it as a new layer in GIMP.

Paper texture

Click image to enlarge

Once you’ve copied the image, in GIMP go to Edit > Paste As… > New Layer.

Creating the Cutout Effect with GIMP

Creating this effect is simply a matter of adding color to the paper, creating a letter where the paper texture is masked over it in a different color, then simulating the appearance of lights and shadows in order to make the letter look like it’s cut out of a piece of paper.

We’ll be working a lot with the blend tool and layer blend modes in order to achieve this.

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Here’s a visual of the outlined steps that we’ll be going over in the video tutorial…

GIMP tutorial steps

The finished result is as follows…

Finished paper cutout

Video Tutorial

For step-by-step instructions with voice narration, check out the video tutorial below and don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions or run into any problems. Make sure to subscribe to my mailing list if you’d like to receive email alerts whenever a new tutorial is posted. And as always, thanks for watching!


Get Started with GIMP!

Want to learn more about how GIMP works? Check out The GIMP Series – a comprehensive collection of over 60 videos where I go over all of the major tools, features and function in GIMP and explain what they do, how they work, and why they’re useful.


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Nick Saporito

Nick Saporito is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who specializes in branding-specific design. A full portfolio and information regarding services offered can be found at

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