Got Scraps?

Do you have a collection of bits of paper — scraps? Often times I will go through my scraps and will be amazed at how pretty the paper is and wonder why I did not use it up. Then, I wonder how I could use it. Often times we get stuck in a rut with our scraps. They are not big enough to be a base and to small to mat a photo. I discovered a great way to get the most millage out of my scraps by punching them! I like to create seasonal or themed “kits” to work out of. This allows me to utilize my supplies so I don’t turn into a hoarder. I also come up with the most creative projects when I have a few things set up and ready to go in a kit. I rummage through my stash of scrap paper and pull out all the scraps that would go with my theme. Next, I look through my stash for half used packages of things that would match. I punch out shapes and put them together to create unique embellishments for projects. When I have thoroughly enjoyed a kit and need to move on I either pass on my leftovers to my scrappy friends or toss them — and I don’t feel guilty about it. I really do get the most I can out of my supplies when I do it like this.

After I got done setting up this kit I noticed that some punches worked better than others and some downright hurt my hand! I wanted to share with you this information. That way if you are looking to purchase punches you will have a better idea of comfort and quality.

Fiskar: The Fiskar Hexagon punch is by far the most comfortable easy punch I have ever used. It fits nicely in my hand and is smooth. It does not require a lot of pressure or squeezing on my part to punch the shape.  I used it on card stock and cork. It cut like butter! However, the other Fiskar punches I have (most of which I have not used before this project and are new) did not punch through anything thicker than a flat piece of paper easily and hurt my hand. I will buy the Fiskar brand with the handle like that on my Hexagon punch, but I will never purchase any of the other kinds again.

Close To My Heart: These punches are about average. They cut pretty smooth, but after time they do become dull in places. When they get dull I punch them on foil a few times and that helps. I bought these because I used to sell the product, otherwise they would not be in my stash. They do not hurt my hand — which is great!

Stampin’ Up: I really like these punches! Not only do they punch well, stand the test of time, but they are super CUTE! They also have coordinating stamps which is really nice. They don’t hurt my hand when I use them. I don’t know if they can punch in anything thicker than a piece of flat card stock because I have never had the need to do so. I have used them a lot and they have not gotten dull yet — that is good because they are on the rather high end for cost. I will purchase these again.

EK: These are by far my favorite! I love them! They are fairly priced, can cut through thicker materieal, never hurt my hand and I have not had to sharpen them yet. I use these a lot, simply because they are so comfortable. They have a nice locking mechanism on the bottom as well. I always look at these stamps before I check out any other brand. I will purchase these again.

Here is the tutorial I created showing how to use your punches and a few ideas on setting up a kit.

 
Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!
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