Tag Archives | Paper Piercing

Making Memories Paper Piercer Deluxe

Reported by: Tracy Schultz

Paper piercing is a great way to add texture to your paper crafting projects. But if you don’t have the right tool, it can also ruin your projects at the same time!

I love my Making Memories Paper Piercer Deluxe for a few reasons: price, quality, availability, and its simple design.

Being the frugal person that I am, I tried for months to pierce holes in my projects with a standard needle. The needle would slip from my fingers so often that I would either stab myself or punch a hole in my project in the wrong spot! The Making Memories Paper Piercer Deluxe has a wonderful handle with grip markings on it making it easy to hang on to.

On one end of the tool is your piercer. The other end features a handy needle threader that screws off to store spare needles in. I’ve found the needle threader to break easily, so I don’t use it. But that’s not why I bought this tool anyway!

I use my piercer for adding decorative pierced borders and accents to my cards as well as piercing holes to add tiny brads to. Another use for it is picking up glue dots to add to my embellishments. This way, the glue dots are always in the exact center and I don’t have to worry about the dots sticking to my finger!


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to grip
  • Opposite end has a needle threader and needle storage
  • Readily available in most craft stores


  • Needle threader breaks easily
  • Seems like it’s being replaced by a newer version from Making Memories
  • Doesn’t come in any fun colors!

After scouring the Making Memories website, it seems like they’re phasing this particular paper piercer out in favor of one with a new design and a stylus on the other end instead of the needle threader.

Despite that, you can still find this exact tool at quite a few online retailers like Create for Less, Ben Franklin Crafts, and Save-on-Crafts; as well as many local craft stores (that’s where I found mine). It retails for $2.99.

I’d give this tool an 8 out of 10. It’s easy to use, easy to find, and easy on the wallet. I just wish the needle threader lasted longer and that the tool itself was cuter!

Do you use the Making Memories Paper Piercer Deluxe? We’d love to know what you think about it!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Tim Holtz Retractable Craft Pick, by Tonic Studios

Reported by: Dana Vitek

I am not a paper-piercing-kind-of-girl. My first paper piercer (it came in the Making Memories tool kit that everyone and her sister has) met its untimely end during the installation of my sliding-glass door (it seemed like a good idea at the time). I don’t think I ever actually used it for its intended purpose. But that didn’t stop me from replacing it with the snazzy Tim Holtz Retractable Craft Pick the last time I was poking around my local stamping store (pun intended). Clearly, I have issues.

I volunteered to write this review so that I would HAVE to use it for its intended purpose: piercing paper. As it turns out, I already had a number of paper piercing templates that I bought in the ‘before time,’ when I actually thought I might possibly be a paper-piercing-kind-of-girl. I did mention I had a problem, right?

I unwrapped the template (yes, still in its original packaging), slapped it down on some cardstock and went to town. Poke, poke, poke. Kind of addicting, like bubble wrap. Luckily, I moved my Silpat out of the way, and was piercing on this foam mat thing I have.

Anyway, I dry embossed the snowflake, and then poke, poke, poke, and then I used my emery board to expose the white core of the cardstock:

Here’s the card, in all its poky glory:

(Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder, American Traditional Designs piercing template PC-204 (discontinued), cardstock by DCWV)

So, getting back to Tim’s Retractable Craft Pick. It has a number of features that distinguish it from the other varieties out there, most notably, its retractability. This is HUGE in my house, because I have the dreaded sneaky kid infestation in my craft room. It starts in the early morning hours, and I have to make extra sure that all of the dangerous stuff is well out of reach. Having the pick retract into the plastic housing means my son would have to work too hard to inflict damage, and might move on to something less challenging. Seriously though, I love safety features that are built in, so I can’t lose them.

Also cool is the plastic loop on the top, that, if I were organized, I would attach it to a lanyard-thingy and hang it around my neck, so I couldn’t possibly lose it on my workspace when I just set it down 5 seconds ago (Tim? Have you been watching me craft?!).

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?


  • Retractable, and therefore safer, and as I always say, “Safety First!”
  • Variable length stabby part, and I love versatility.
  • Tapered stabby part, so you can make tiny holes with the tip, or wider holes by stabbing deeper, and I don’t like where this conversation is headed.
  • Plastic loop for carrying or wearing, if you’re cool like that.


  • I’ve heard complaints about the stabby part retracting during use. That didn’t happen to me, but as I mentioned, I haven’t been using it very long. I will be vigilant, and guard against this potential trouble.
  • It’s red. Red is my son’s favorite color, and he’s like a magpie when it comes to spotting red things in my craft stash. But, it’s not really Tim Holtz’s fault that I need a nanny. I do, however, prefer pink things.

I bought my craft pick at White Swan Rubber Stamps in Historic New Castle, Delaware, home of tax-free shopping. You can also find it online at these retailers: StarLit Studio,, and It retails for $5.00, and I think it’s well worth it. Will I use it more often now that I have gotten on the paper pierceing train? Probably. But I won’t be using it when we replace the windows.

What do you use for paper piercing? Have you upgraded to the Tim Holtz Retractable Craft Pick, or are you sill using “Old Rusty” the trusty thumb tack? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Paper Piercer Gives a "HOLE" New Meaning to My Favorite Tool!

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!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!