Reported By Colleen Schaan
When I was asked to write an article about my favorite tool, I thought it would be simple. Sure…no problem…I can write about anything! Well, problem it was; a BIG problem. Why? Because I don’t have a favorite tool!!! (GASP) I mean, I have LOTS of favorite tools! I struggled to think of just one tool I owned that I could not live without. My first thought was my Big Shot. I just LOVE my Big Shot…I use it all the time. The problem there was that I had already written an article on my Big Shot, (click HERE to see my review) and while I am a talker…I just couldn’t justify another article saying the same stuff. So I figured I would use my second favorite tool…my Rubicoil! That’s it…I LOVE my rubicoil! Oh darn…yup, an article on my Rubicoil already exists HERE. Hmmmm….what other tool do I use often and have something to say about? Well, lately that would be my paper piercing tools. Phew…I finally have a topic…now to get writing.
My paper piercing tools came as a part of the Crafter’s Tool Kit from Stampin’ Up!. It includes a hammer, two hole punches, an eyelet setter, two large needles, a paper piercing tool, a tweezers, a paper piercing template, a self-healing mat, and a foam mat. I use the large paper piercing tool along with the piercing template and the foam mat for my piercing projects. I really like the quality of the paper piercing tool and the texture and density of the foam mat, but I am not too thrilled with the piercing template. The guidelines and holes are stamped just a bit off center making it a little more difficult to get things perfectly straight on my projects. But since I am aware of the issue, I usually remember to compensate a bit and tilt my template to the left.
The piercing tools can be used for …well… piercing. The tool is sharp enough to pierce patterned paper, cardstock, chipboard, foam, thin metal, and some plastics. I usually stick to patterned paper and cardstock. You can use the piercing tool to create any number of holes in your projects. Why would you want holes??? Well, you can use them to place eyelets or brads, you can thread ribbon or string through them, you can leave them open to show a different layer underneath, you can drag a marker across them to create the look of stitching, or you can do any other thing you can thing of with hole”y” paper.
Here is a quick tutorial for Faux Stitching using the paper piercing tools.
Cardstock, patterned paper, or chipboard
Paper piercer or large needle
Paper piercing guide or template (optional)
Rubber or foam mat
Step 1: Decide where you want the “stitching” to be. Place the piece you want stitched on the foam mat and place the piercing template or guide over the top.
Step 2: With the paper piercer or a large needle, punch holes in the paper in a continuous line or pattern. If you want a straight stitch, pierce one line of holes. If you want a zig-zag stitch, punch two parallel lines alternately punching every other hole.
Step 3: Using a thin marker, connect the dots. This becomes the thread between each hole. For a realistic look, make sure your marker stops very briefly in each hole.
You would be surprised at how real this faux stitching looks! I used to skip the paper piercing step and just draw a dotted line where I wanted a faux stitching look, but I have found that by adding the paper piercing it looks 100 times better. You can create many different stitches just by alternating where you punch the paper. Try “stitching” two pieces of patterned paper together with a zig-zag stitch, use a cross-stitch to frame a sentiment, or create a design all your own.
Here are some other examples of cards using the paper piercing tool.
I used the paper piercing tool to punch holes aroud the side of this circle. I left them open for a subtle yet interesting border.
For this card I used a large needle to pierce the paper along the outsides of the design on the patterned paper. Then I threaded a tiny needle and hand stitched through each hole. It took hours…days…but produced an awesome textured and stitched card.
I am just now seeing all of the possibilities that my paper piercing tools have, and I know there are tons more ideas out there for “My New Favorite Tool.” Please feel free to share any ideas or tips with me here!