Back in spring, a fire finally lit under my behind to get movin’ on creating new Mother’s Day and wedding themed cards. But, I also needed inspiration and possibly some cool new toys! So I headed over to Joann’s, armed with some gift cards from the holidays to make it happen.
At first my goal was to find some new cute clear stamps for the occasion. They’re usually my go to tool since they are reusable, translucent and so much fun to play around with. I have, in the past, strayed from the mass market of other tools out there since they are, frankly, too darn expensive and most of the time too bulky for storage. But, Joann’s was having a sale and I did have my gift cards. I splurged. Well, sort of. I left the store with one set of stamps (that I couldn’t wait to use) and a border punch, that I had so much fun playing around with!
If you’re not too familiar with paper crafting tools, you may be wondering what the heck a border punch is. Well, it lets you create things like this:
It’s Pretty simple: you line up your paper, punch, and realign until your desired border has been created. In order to help people the first time around, the backside of the packaging has simple directions with images and Fiskars also provides a How-To Guide on their website. Just click the download link under, “How to Use a Border Punch.”
I love all of the possibilities for layering and playing with textures and colors. For this bookmark I punched the top patterned layer and also the middle white layer and arranged them both on top of a coordinating green layer. Simple.
As fun as these are, I do have a few complaints: (1) there is no compartment for scraps, so the little ‘confetti’ just end up on your desk or table; (2) the tool is not very strong, so be careful and only punch one sheet at a time. After a few runs, my first one actually broke. I called customer service and they quickly sent me a new one; and (3) if you don’t line up your paper just right, you might accidentally mis-punch and ruin your paper. I did that the first time around and had to start over, despite the directions on the back! But after that first mess up, it was smooth sailing.
Which brings about my suggestions: (1) add a catch compartment for scraps; (2) make them stronger and more reliable; and (3) make the entire contraption or just a portion with translucent plastic. It would be so nice for the punch itself to have translucent plastic (at least over the lever) so you can see exactly where the paper is lining up. This would definitely be helpful for times when I want to create the border in a specific length or when I don’t want to chop off the entire bottom portion of the paper and only want to do a partial border, leaving that bottom portion in place, creating a whole new look like these:
Nonetheless, these punches are great once you get the hang of it (and that doesn’t take too long). My imagination can go wild thinking of ways to use it and hopefully yours does too! Do you have any great ideas? Share them with everyone by leaving a comment, we’d love to know your secrets!
Check out the effervescence border punch I used for the bookmark and also the rest of their product line. Fiskars also makes multiple versions of their corner punches, squeeze punches, border punches and the everywhere punch!