Popsicle sticks are pretty handy for wooden stick crafts and art projects, but the challenge lies is cutting them. As such wood tends to be flimsy; you should find the best way to cut Popsicle sticks without breaking them and minimizing splinters.
As a general rule, crushing the wood at the right point with a wire cutter through a back and forth movement to snap the wood fibers would yield a tremendous result.
Similarly, you can employ sharp and thin blades or craft scissors to cut through this wooden piece. If you are engaged in an easy craft with Popsicle sticks, look through the proven methods for cutting such woods in this article.
6 Different Ways to Cut Popsicle Sticks
Depending on the edge type you want, there are a few ways you can cut Popsicle sticks, and the one you choose may boil down to how effectively you can employ such a method. Not to worry, you can use these two methods below and follow the explained steps to get tremendous outcomes.
1. Try Scoring with Sharp Blade
It is best to begin with scoring since Popsicle sticks are quite thin and can break easily. Hence, scoring with a sharp blade would aid in guiding the break, ensuring it doesn’t go through the rest of the wood.
A common blade option is the Xacto Extra Fine Saw Blade. Crafters commonly use this blade in making precise cuts, and the sharp points can help cut Popsicle sticks without causing them to break.
2. Using Wire Cutters
Wire cutters are great for cutting Popsicle sticks since they help generate even pressure around their blades while the handle closes.
First, create a marking across the area you want to cut on the wood; a pencil would help draw a guideline. Then, line up the wood sticks on the loosely held wire cutter, ensuring you slide them into the jaw of this tool as you search for the point you would like to cut.
Tighten your grip, close the wire cutter, and finish the process by wriggling the tool in a back and forth movement. You can twist the wire cutter to snip the wood off when you start hearing creaking sounds.
3. Serrated Knife and Clipboard
This method is another ideal way you can cut Popsicle sticks. Start by slipping the sticks into the wire of the clipboard to hold them in place, ensuring you cut smoothly across the desired point. Then, cut the intended part off using a serrated knife.
While the clipboard + serrated knife is a good combo for cutting Popsicle sticks when dealing with small projects, some crafters also employ a Dremel for bigger works.
A Dremel with circular blades can serve as a faster and easier alternative for cutting the sticks placed on the clipboard. Although a few jagged strands may appear at the edge of the cut sticks, you can “sand” them to achieve a smoother edge.
Be careful when using knives to cut such wood; avoid moving the knife towards you and cut away from your body to reduce the risk of sustaining an injury if you slip.
4. Create Multiple Shallow Cuts
Aside from scoring through, you can decide to conduct several shallow cuts, which seems like a slower yet safer method to achieve a successful result. Also, use a thin and sharp-edged blade to help cut the fibers of the stick.
If you need help to ensure a straight cut, you should employ a ruler putting some more sticks beneath to keep it flat. Then, continue further by focusing on the depth of the cut. With that in mind, you can use the following cutting tools.
5. Using Craft Scissors
While standard scissors may not cut through Popsicle sticks with ease, you can find a pair of craft scissors or serrated scissors designed for kitchen use doing an awesome job. Start by opening the scissor and placing the Popsicle stick between the sharp blades.
Position the cutting point very close that it sits perpendicular to the joint where both blades of the scissors meet. Then, close the scissor blades, exerting some force to cut the stick firmly.
Please note that: The harder you press the scissor blades against the wood, the less likely for the Popsicle stick to fray. Be sure to keep your fingers at a safe distance during operation, and kindly note that using a pair of scissors for cutting Popsicle sticks is likely to leave the cut edges roughened.
However, you can smoothen the edge using any sandpaper grit to remove splinters.
6. Get Help of Snips
Get a suitable snip based on how you want the cut on the Popsicle stick to appear; you can take some clues from the color codes (green for straight cuts, red for left cuts, and yellow for straight cuts).
Then, open the grip, and position the Popsicle sticks on the blades across the point you need to cut.
Squeeze the snip handle hard while keeping the wood sticks still to ensure the cut emerges consistently. For clean edges, remove splinters by pinching and pulling them with your forefinger or thumb.
Note: Be sure to dry each wood piece properly before you start cutting, as such an action would decrease the chances of splitting.
Q: How can one cut a Popsicle stick without breaking it?
Although Popsicle sticks can appear frayed and is likely to break if subjected to excessive force, you can still manage to cut them without breaking them. First, you need a suitable cutting tool to create clean work.
Serrated or craft scissors are great for cutting such woods and can help reduce the chances of splinters emerging after you are done. But, this tool can cause a roughened edge, and you may want to employ wire cutters instead.
Q: How can I cut Popsicle sticks lengthwise?
If you are keen on cutting through Popsicle sticks across their length, you should consider using a straight edge and a sharp blade.
Start by mounting the edge on the 4.5-inch wooden craft sticks, creating a hard edge right at the stick’s center.
Then, place the thin and sharp blade at the cut point and pull down through the length while maintaining a vertical line. You can also cohere the cut wood pieces using appropriate glue for Popsicle sticks.
Q: Can the Cricut maker cut Popsicle sticks?
You would be delighted to know that a Cricut maker can cut through basswood and balsa wood, measuring about 3/32 inches thick.
This tool creates a precise cut and comes in handy for cutting Popsicle sticks. As the Cricut maker glides through the multiple or single pieces, you will notice the perfection since results are less likely to have splinters.
Q: How do you flatten Popsicle sticks?
Soaking Popsicle sticks in hot water can prepare them to bend or straighten. If you have such wooden sticks in bent shapes, kindly let them soak in hot water and sit in there for about half an hour or more.
Then, remove these pieces with care, and start bending them to take a straight and flat shape afterward. Be sure to bend the sticks with care and prevent them from breaking due to much-exerted force.
Popsicle sticks are commonly employed for various crafts, but most DIYers often struggle to cut these wood pieces accurately.
There are various ways to break Popsicle sticks, from using a pair of sturdy serrated or craft scissors to employing wire cutters.
But you need to master the intricate skills to ensure you cut the sticks with precision crucial for any craft. In this article, you will learn the best ways to break Popsicle sticks without breaking them.