Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scrapbook Punches Tips

Cropping Corner Tip: Photo Frames Using Paper Punch Art

Scrapbook punches can be used to create distinctive photo frames for your scrapbooking layouts. Decorative paper punches are a great tool to use for photo mats to craft unique edges and designs. You can use scrapbooking punches to cut out the edges of your photo mat and use it as an overlay. In order to do this, cut your photo mat about ¼” to ½” larger than the size of your photo. Use your craft punch to form a design around the edge of the photo mat, place your photo in the center of the photo mat and cut another mat slightly larger than the first in a coordinating color. Use the largest mat as your base and place your decorative mat over the base mat. The paper punch art will stand out with the colored mat behind it.

Another photo mat idea is to use a corner punch on your photos or photo mats to create decorative or rounded corners. You can also use a scrapbook punch to make a scalloped edge around your photo mat by punching the edges and connecting the shapes all the way around your photo mat.

Creating unique photo mats for your scrapbook pages is just one of the many things you can do with your scrapbook punch tools.

Caring for Your Scrapbook Punch Tools

Scrapbook punches should be sharp enough to punch through cardstock or other scrapbook papers. In order to get a clean punch, you can punch your craft punch through wax paper a couple of times before you cut through your scrapbook paper. The wax paper will help sharpen and clean your scrapbook punch.

Another material that will help keep your paper punches sharp is aluminum foil. Punch your craft punch through the foil several times to keep the edges sharp. If the aluminum foil is not doing the trick you can try very fine sand paper. Hold the punch right side up and upside down to sharpen both edges, be sure not to sand too much or push too hard on the metal.

If your scrapbook punch jams you can try putting it in the freezer. The cold will shrink the metal a little bit so you can get it lubricated. Wax paper is the best lubricant for your craft punches.

Keeping your scrapbooking punches clean, sharp and in working order will ensure perfect paper punch art for your scrapbooking layouts.

Cropping Corner Tip: Scrapbook Punch Embellishments

Scrapbooking punches can be used in many ways to embellish your scrapbooking pages. Decorative paper punches like those from EK Success can enhance your borders and photo mats, as well as journal blocks and title bars. Paper punch designs make fun die cut decorations. Craft punches are available in many shapes such as flowers, hearts, stars and snowflakes. These shapes can be used to embellish your scrapbooking layouts.

One idea is to use a balloon paper punch to create conversation boxes for your photos. Punch out the balloons, then write words or sayings on them to tell the story of your photographs.

You can also add some dimension to your pages by making cute little “pop ups” out of your craft punch shapes. All you need is some wire and your scrapbook punch shape. If you have a flower paper punch, you can make a small flower garden at the bottom of your scrapbook layout and have every other flower popping off the page.

Craft Punch Borders

The craft punch is an inexpensive scrapbook tool that can be used as an aid in creating scrapbook pages. Scrapbook punches are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some craft punches even come in sets with shapes for a specific theme. For example, you may be able to buy a set of alphabet paper punches. Craft punch art can be used on different elements of your scrapbook layouts. One suggestion for using a scrapbook punch is to decorate your scrapbook page border.

First, cut strips of cardstock the same width for all four sides of the page. Use the scrapbooking craft punch to make a repetitive pattern along the strips of paper. Once you have punched out your border, you can glue the strips around your scrapbook page base and you will have a finished page border ready for photos and embellishments.

Cropping Corner Tip: Craft Punch Shapes

Paper punches can be used for so many different aspects of your scrapbooking layouts because there are so many craft paper punch possibilities. Have you ever thought of what you could do with a heart craft punch? Here are some suggestions:

  • Make a flower with four or five heart shapes
  • Use two heart shapes vertically to make angel wings
  • Make a shamrock or four leaf clover

What can you do with a circle craft punch?
  • Use them as a baseball or basketball
  • Make bubbles for a bath-themed layout
  • Use them for Christmas ornaments
  • Draw on them to make animal paws or prints
  • Circles are everywhere. You can also draw happy faces or make a Christmas wreath with circles.

What about the square craft paper punch?
  • Make a diamond border
  • Use them for school books
  • Make letter blocks or baby blocks
  • Use them to make birthday or Christmas presents

Whether you are using hearts, circles or squares there are numerous things that can be created with paper punch shapes. If you piece together your punches you can make almost anything your desire.

Cropping Corner Tip: How to Operate Your Paper Punches

Scrapbook punches will punch through many types of material including cardstock, paper bags, sheet protectors, vellum, handmade paper, thin craft foam, etc. If you are punching through very thin or delicate materials, it is a good idea to use cardstock behind your material. This will help with tearing, ripping or jamming.

The correct way to use a paper punch is to place the punch on a table or flat surface, insert your paper and press down firmly with the heel of your hand. If you are making a border or a repetitive design you will have to use the punch upside down to keep your scrapbook punches aligned straight.

Paper punches give you an avenue to create beautiful designs and embellishments for your scrapbook pages. Keep your punches stored properly away from heat and moisture.

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