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Paper Punches

Written and Created by PaperCraftCentral Susan

"Paper Punches: devices or machines for cutting holes or notches
(as in paper or cardboard)"
~Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Using Paper Punches to finish a Bleached Image Card

Do you use paper punches in your crafting? I think I bought some cheap ones at the very start of my crafting life, and did wear a couple out! Now I have Stampin' Up! tools my punch can take a lot more punishment without failing. I still reach for them quite often, like I did to create the next card I am going to tell you about. 

I used paper shaping tools to finish my bleached image card. I thought this finishing effect really added something to my project without taking away from the technique I used for the stamped image. See if you agree.

Here's What To Do:

  • Use a slit punch (I used to have one of these but Stampin' Up! has retired theirs now and I sold my last one before I realised!! Wish I had kept it) to enhance the corners of your image and the cardstock mat under it. If you don't have a slit punch, you can cut one with a craft knife and a cutting mat.
  • You can make your image square or rectangular of course, as long as it has corners to embellish. Maybe consider a star shape for Christmas cards?
  • You could also use a circle punch and mark where the centre of the circle is on the tool itself, then insert your cardstock corners up to those marks before pressing down to cut.

TIP: Always turn your punch over as shown in the photos below. That way you can insert the cardstock and see where the paper is going to be cut. 

paper punches
  • Use your Crop-a-dile or small hole punch to make holes in both the corners of your image and mat papers so you can insert split pins or brads in each corner. 
  • Gems or buttons would also look nice if you would rather not punch some holes.
  • paper punches
    paper punches
  • Stamp a greeting on a white piece of cardstock (I used Basic White, naturally) and cut it out with a circle punch, then make a hole in the top with the Crop-a-dile to make it into a tag.
  • Thread coordinating or contrasting ribbon through the punched hole of the circle shape and tie the ends of the ribbon around your main image and its mat. You can use Baker's twine, thread or cord instead if it suits your card idea better, or even a thin strip of cardstock or designer series paper.
  • paper punches
  • Decorate the card base with some Basic White cardstock and designer series paper. I used about 1/3 Basic White cardstock and 2/3 designer series paper. 
  • You could add stamped images to the Basic White if it is too stark for you, or run this piece through an Die Cut and Embossing Machine to add texture. You could also add ink to the edges or blend some ink across it with Blending Brushes or Daubers.
  • Just do something to the Basic White if your crafter's heart needs it!
  • paper punches
  • Layer your main image, its mat, tag, ribbon and extra stamped image to the front of your card base with some strong double-sided tape or Stampin' Dimensionals
  • paper punches
  • Now your card should be complete, but do continue to embellish till you like the effect by adding more bling, stamping, or extra punched shapes behind the main image, for example. 
  • paper punches

    Other Ways to Use Paper Punches

    Did you know some punches can create beautiful borders? Stampin' Up! border punches have marks along the edges to help you line up each 'bite' you take with the tool so you can have as long a border as you wish.

    The Evergreen Border Punch is an example of this type of punch.

    Evergreen Border Punch
    Evergreen Border Punch

    I like that you can also use the negative image (the spaces in the paper left behind when you cut a border) on a card also. 

    Builder Punches

    Some of these clever tools allow you to make specific images, by giving you all the parts and pieces for you to cut out and assemble. 

    One of the cute ones is called the Trucking Along Builder Punch. It has separate car body and tyre parts for you to punch out and decide what colour to use on them.

    Trucking Along Builder Punch
    Trucking Along Builder Punch

    You could punch many cars to run right across your card, all the same or in different colour combinations!

    A Few More Ideas

    Many punched shapes can be used as something other than what they were intended for, with a little imagination. Some shapes are generic, like circles, triangles  and squares. They are the building blocks for many different things. Overlap them to form lines. Build houses with squares for the main part of the house and triangles for roofs. 

    Punches that create animals can often be turned into a different type of animal. A penguin punch could be made to look like an owl, for instance.

    Even looking at the Trucking Along punch above, I can see that the window shape would make a pretty good pot or vase to fill with flowers and leaves, 

    It's fun to extend the use of your punches by using your imagination!

    Learning about and using Stamps Craft Techniques really does add to the enjoyment I get from cardmaking and I do appreciate being able to use my tools and stamps in so many different ways.

    I hope you will let me know how you use stamping with bleach or have a novel way of using paper shaping tools to make a card. Do share your project with me and give me more ideas about how to get the most from paper crafting.


    PaperCraftCentral Susan

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