This is the first in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches!
Punch Basics: Circles and Squares
Let's start with a technique I like to call "feedback" where a punched shape is fed back into a paper punch to create a new shape. This gives you more mileage from your punches and more shapes to play with while crafting.
This technique is very simple. Punch a shape and feed it back into the punch to re-punch. For example, we will turn a punched circle into a flower petal since circles and flowers are very common in crafting.
Fiskars Squeeze Punches make this particularly easy since you can see what you are punching with its convenient design.
Punch many petals this way using the circle punch as shown and adhere in layers onto another punched circle. Curl up the petal edges for extra dimension. With these flowers, I used a spiral flower cut from the same circle punch at the center.
The previous petals and this football, which I used on a Super Bowl invitation, were created the same way but feeding more of the original circle into the punch for the re-punch.
This creates a football shape which also works well as a leaf shape.
Another twist on this technique is punching into the edge of a piece of cardstock and feeding that back into the punch. I have done this here to create curved pieces to embellish the football.
Punch the tip of the circle punch on the edge of white cardstock. Feed this a little further into the circle punch and punch again. Repeat for the second piece needed.
Adhere these curved pieces onto the football as shown and trim off excess. For extra dimension, thread on laces using white string through holes punched with the 1/16 inch circle hand punch.
Here is another example of this twist using the square punch instead to create snowflake designs.
Using a paper trimmer, crop two strips of white cardstock, 1 and 1.5 inches wide. I find it easiest to mark the center of the strip with a pencil that can later be erased.
Feed one strip into the punch as shown lining up the center line with the corner of the square and punch. Now continue punching down the strip keeping it centered to create chevron shapes. Repeat with the thinner strip.
Trim three strips of white cardstock approximately 3/8 inches by 5 inches wide and adhere together at center evenly spaced as shown. Adhere one of the smaller and larger chevron shapes to the end of each strip to create a snowflake design. Leave the center as-is or have fun with colorful paper pinwheels and self-adhesive gems for a whimsical snowflake banner.
See what you can create by feeding shapes back into your punches. It is a good exercise in creativity!