Ways to Use Punches

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Article Courtesy Scrapjazz.com: by Nancy Stolz

Punches are some of the oldest and easiest tools to use in scrapbooking. Today, there are a wide variety of styles available to choose from, and you can buy them almost anywhere.

There are a few types of punches out there. The first is called a border punch. A border punch allows you to create a decorative edge along the side of a piece of paper. Another type of punch is a corner rounder. As the name implies, this punch will round the corners of photos or paper. A third type is a shaped punch. These come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. You can find one for almost anything, from dinosaurs to cause ribbons to alphabets. A fourth type is hand-held, for making a tiny punched shape, like the type used to make holes in paper for binders. These come in many designs as well.

Using Border Punches

Using a border punch eliminates the need for buying pre-cut border strips. When using this type of punch, you start by lining up the end of your paper with the center of the punch (there is a little line in the center for this purpose). Then, you use the picture on the side of the punch to line up the paper and repeat the design, until an entire border has been punched. Some ideas:

  • Punch one side of a strip for a single border.
  • Punch both sides of a wider strip and use as a mat for photos.
  • Punch a few strips and layer for a "ruffled" look.


Border punches are not just for scalloped borders, either. There are many fun designs, including drippy goo and cityscapes. There also is one that you can thread ribbon through.

Using Shape Punches

This type of punch is most used for punching shapes to use as embellishments on a page or card. Because of the array of shapes and sizes, you can make that perfect accent for just about any page. Ideas:

  • Punch several sizes of the same shape and layer them. Use many sizes of circles and embellish with a button or brad to make your own paper flowers.
  • Punch many small squares and create a mosaic effect.
  • Punch a sheet of transparency, found in office stores. You can create a design with the punch on the transparency, and then use the punched piece as a stencil. Use ink and an ink blender tool to create your own patterned paper. Use the punched-out shapes on your page as ghost shapes. Another fun thing to do, using this technique, is to use a light color of ink, and then layer punched shapes on top, creating a shadow effect.
  • Use a larger punch to punch a shape, then stamp with a journaling stamp to make your own journaling blocks for your pages.


Using Tiny Punches

Tiny punches can be fun to use on a page. Some ideas:

  • Punch tiny shapes on premade borders for a fun look.
  • Use a 1/8" circle punch to create holes for brads.
  • Punch many shapes and use as confetti, for a shaker box, or just for your next party.


Chances are you have a few of these lying around in your stash. Dust them off, bring them out, and try some of these techniques to add a little "punch" to your projects.


Shop all punches at Scrapbook.com


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