Punch Basics #3: Different Materials

by Lisa Storms

This articles is another example of getting the most out of your basic paper punches. This project focuses on punching trickier and different materials.

Punch Basics Project #3

There are a few materials I punch often which require a little help for success. First up is tissue paper! I love working with tissue paper as it is a fun, inexpensive material that I always have laying around the house already.

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The first thing I always try is punching many layers at once. Punching through one layer is just too thin and soft. It will just tear.

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The other technique to try is adding in a sheet of scrap paper or cardstock along with the tissue paper on the cutting side. This is especially necessary when punching through only one layer of tissue paper. Depending on the softness of the tissue paper, I have also needed to use the extra paper when punching many layers.

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Tissue paper flowers are one of my very favorite things to craft. I use them often at parties and as gift toppers. They are just too easy to make! Punch 8 to 12 layers of tissue paper using the Star lever punch. Stack in an alternating pattern and staple at the center. Pull up one layer at a time, scrunching up each layer toward the center. Fluff the flower back open to complete.

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Another tricky material is tape, from trendy patterned tape to good ol' painter's tape. I love using painter's tape for masking shapes. It masks well and comes off very easily without disturbing the paper.

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The trick to punching tape is to first secure the tape onto wax paper. The tape will peel off the wax paper while still retaining its adhesive.

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To use painter's tape for a watercolor mask, I punched several hexagon shapes and adhered into a honeycomb pattern on a sheet of watercolor paper.

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Paint over the shapes with watercolors and allow to dry fully.

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Remove the tape once dry. I also ran a wet paintbrush over the revealed honeycomb design to soften the look and add to the watercolor feel.

You can always add a negative punched shape over materials that just will not run through a paper punch. Felt is a good example of such a material.

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Simply punch the shape into cardstock and either punch around the shape with a larger shape, hand-cut, or use a paper trimmer as I have used here to frame the negative shape. Adhere the felt to the back of the shape before adhering to project.

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With a little creativity, you can get the most out of your paper punches with any material.

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