28 October 2009

Punch Art Fun 1 - Look in the Book - Page 4

Well, hello! How are you today?

Today is LB - page 4.

So, what's on page 4?

More bits and pieces that I thought would be helpful for you to know!

(Got your book open?)

The other thing I didn't mention about page 3 was that we kept some designs at full size and reduced others. I talk about that in the little Space Savers section. I really wanted to give value for money and put a lot of things in, but was concerned that it might cause some confusion, well, because the designs were smaller than in real life basically. Hopefully it wasn't a problem.

The whole book was an experiment really. I made the best judgement calls I could according to what made the most sense to me. And then hoped it would make sense to you.

So, back to page 4.

Here's a card from page 4. I've always liked this simple daisy card. So nice and easy and simple and good.

And I've just realised that the version above is simpler than the one in the book. Hmmm, unusual. Usually they get more complicated...

So, page 4 talks about punching techniques/lingo. Repunching (from page 3), Cut and Paste, Mounting. I did this to give background info and just to help you out. Hope it did.

As I type now, I'm looking at the Trimming Punch Pieces section.

It was important to me to give as much info as possible in the book, so you'd obviously know which punches to use, but also what to do with them. For example, CP2: 1" Circle (trim for pot). I put little bits of info like this throughout all the instructions in the book. I think it worked well.

Just out of interest - I've got a copy of each of the books designated as the "to be fixed" books. If I find a mistake, or one is pointed out to me in class, I fix it in those books in big, black pen. My personality needs to do that!

I added the flower card above because of the pot. In the Trimming Punch Pieces section there's pictures of how you can turn a circle into a pot. I did this a lot. When the book was made, there were no pot or vase punches in the Carl range, so circles and squares were used instead. They made (and still make) good pots and show that you don't have to have every punch to have a nice card. What do you think?

The pot in the above card is an Emaginations one. Have you heard of that brand? All their punches were a maroon colour. I don't think the company exists anymore.

Now I'm looking at the Tips and Tricks section. Ah, tips and tricks. Knowing a few of these can make all the difference.

This is why I always encourage people to come to a class with me if they can. It's amazing how much sense something makes when it's explained to you in person...and I like sharing all the tips and whatnot I've picked up over the years. It's what I'm here for!

Tip 1: Complete card designs look good as a decorative element on a scrapbook page. Turn to page 38 as an example of this. The Merry Christmas card is actually doing dual duty - decorative element and title.

Tip 2: Borders become versatile when chopped up. The present/party border in the book can be shortened to the simple birthday card above. Easy.

Tip 3: Enlarge or reduce the designs you see in the book by changing the size of the punches.

We're all a little more punch savvy now. Back then we weren't. I wanted to mention all the basic things to get the creative juices going. And the brains ticking over.

Tip 4: Okay, this one's a kicker. All punch pieces have a right and a wrong side. I didn't know this in the beginning! I'd been doing punch art for about 10 months or so, and one day just noticed there was a front and a back to the punch pieces in front of me. What a revelation that was.

Tips about tip 4:
When you punch out a shape, it comes out bad side up. That is, if you put the punch flat on the table, put the paper in and punch, the punch piece will come out bad (wrong) side up.

On the wrong side the edge is rough and curved down slightly.

On the right side, the edge is smoother, rounded and curved up slightly.

If you punch a daisy, and then turn it over a few times on your desk top, you'll see what I mean. Makes a difference, hey?

Tip 5: Yep, always draw the face before you glue any hair or ears on. Particularly if you haven't done any in a while!

Tips 6 and 7: Maintaining those punches.

A lot of people get this one confused.

Problem 1:
Your punch is new, and it's sticking.

Lubricate it.

(You don't need to sharpen it because your punch is new and not blunt)

Problem 2:
Your punch is old, and it's sticking.

Lubricate it.

(This is normal. It happens)

Problem 3:
Your punch is old, it's sticking, and the punch pieces are more raggy than normal around the edges.

Lubricate it.

Sharpen it.

Lubricant - is that a word? - options: cooking spray (my go-to choice), sewing machine oil, white candle, white crayon, wax paper.

To lubricate - go to pantry and get cooking spray. Ask yourself for the 100th time why you don't keep some in the office. Spritz a couple of drops into the back of punch. Grab a tissue and wipe around the metal. Push the button into the punch as you walk back into your office. Punch on white copy paper until there's no residue anymore. Punch away!

Sharpening options: aluminium foil, very fine grade of black sandpaper (my go-to choice).

To sharpen - Find sandpaper that you bought for that very reason and congratulate yourself that you didn't have to go down to your husband's workshop to find some. Put the sandpaper in punch and punch 3 times. Turn the sandpaper over and punch another 3 times. Punch out some card to see if it's punching more easily. Repeat if necessary.

Note: I don't sharpen my punches very much at all. They hold up really well and rarely need any maintenance. I might sharpen something once a year? Honestly, it's not very often.

And I'd lubricate a punch or two a couple of times a year. Not very often either. I know of at least one that needs some work, but I never remember until I go to use it. And then I flick it and choose another one...

Talk soon.


4:10pm Edited to add:

Guess what I just did? Yep, went to the kitchen and used ye olde cooking spray to lubricate a punch.

And it was the one I knew that needed it.

You know, the flicked one...

That one.

It's happy now because it's back in the rotation. It's what punches live for, afterall.


  1. Hi Debra,
    I enjoyed all your tips & tricks for LB page 4. Especially the "Maintaining your punches" section. I never thought of cooking spray.....Will now keep a tin in the crafty area. Does it matter what brand?

  2. Hi Jammie,

    No, not at all. Mine's just Home Brand. Just make sure to use a cooking spray, not real oil in a spray pack - you know, those new modern ones. Too much oil will come out. Good old Home Brand cooking spray.
    Glad you enjoyed the tips!

  3. Matchy sister SuziOctober 30, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    Deb You still keep ye olde cooking spray in the kitchen because part of your 'oiling routine' is to work the punch on the way back to your office...you've been doing that for years!!

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  5. Yes, you're probably right. And also I go to the kitchen to keep all the spray off everything on my desk!


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