Faux Paper Piecing

I love Paper Piecing. It adds such wonderful dimension and character to a design. In fact, Pazzles began as a company that sold Paper Piecing patterns. I designed Paper Piecing characters and themes and sold the printed pattern. You then traced the pattern onto paper and cut the pieces out by hand. Goodness, that seems like ages ago, so slow and primative! The Inspiration electronic cutter has made the process so much easier by eliminating the tedious hand cutting. Still, there are times I would like to speed the process up even more. That is when I like to use a trick I call Faux Paper Piecing.

It isn’t practical for all paper piecing designs but for a design like the turkey shown here it is fabulous. This turkey has a lot of small pieces. Many of you would look at it and say, “Forget it, I don’t want to glue down all of those tiny pieces!” Thankfully, using Faux Paper Piecing, I reduced the number of pieces to glue together from 33 down to 8.

 Not all paper piecing designs will work for the Faux Paper Piecing method. Look for ones like the turkey and ornaments shown here.

They should have a good thick outline to use as a base for gluing and a definite separation of the pieces. The pieces of one color should be grouped together in a section. Then use the Draw Segment from Path tool to trace a color block around a section of the same color. You don’t need to be fancy, so even those of you just learning to use the draw tools can do this. Just make sure the color block does not interfere with the pieces for another color. Use the Move Point tool to make minor adjustments to the lines so that the edge of your color block cannot be seen in an opening.

Cut out the pieces in the colors desired. Then turn the main piece over and glue the color pieces to the back side. Apply glue in small dots to the main piece NOT the colored pieces. Use as small amount of glue as possible so you don’t have glue oozing around the edges. Make sure you cannot see any edges of color peeking through an opening of another color. When your project is assembled you can chalk and outline the colored pieces for more depth if desired.

Using the Faux Paper Piecing method, I can make a whole flock of turkeys in no time! I have included the cutting file for the turkey so you can make your own flock. Have fun!


To download the turkey cutting file click here.




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8 thoughts on “Faux Paper Piecing

  • Victoria Kee

    This reminds me of stained glass! How pretty….and here is another idea in using it for the holidays….just came to me Chris. Why not make the ornaments for a small tree….but instead of using paper taped behind the outline…use some sort of acetate and the stained glass paints that are in reality plastic? These would be cute to hang on windows. The reason that it came to me is because I have been looking and looking for a stained glass ornament for my mother’s window…the clings…etc. But, I could make a bunch of these and they could hang them…and toss them after….not worry about a huge expense. Thanks for this idea!!! Now, I can make something at least 12 X 12!

  • Victoria Kee

    I was hoping that I could edit my last post, but couldn’t. Just had a better idea…instead of the paint…just print all of this on acetate…cut out the outline and then piece mirrored images of the black “lead” to either side…easier yet!

  • Christine Post author

    I have been thinking the same thing about creating a stained glass look Vickie! (Although I hadn’t thought about painting on acetate.) I just wanted to keep the ideas “secret” so I can use them for upcoming projects. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Fiorella Hodgman

    Hello, I wonder how it will look if the colored part was color printed in translucent-vellum paper and then cut both pieces (translucent and card stock) in the pazzles. I will try tonight and let you know tomorrow.

    Great idea Chris! Thks 🙂

  • Victoria Kee

    I’m sorry Chris…this is the second time that I have done this to you….cupcake wrappers being the first. I guess that great minds think alike…LOL.

  • Chris Paddock

    I have struggled with my paper piecing for a long time and this has just hit the nail on my head lol. Thank you so much. Endless possiblities

  • Christine Post author

    Vickie, what can I say! Great minds think alike, LOL!!

    Everyone- I would love to see what you do with this concept. 🙂