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Tag Archives | Paper Punches

Vendor Spotlight: Martha Stewart Double Edge Punch

Reported by Taylor Usry

I received a Martha Stewart Double Edge Punch (along with some wonderful paper) from Martha Stewart Crafts recently, and jumped at the chance to test this new product out. The punch I’m sharing with you today is called the Bangle Chain Deep Double Edge punch; there are several other styles available in stores and online.

I started by comparing the overall size of the double edge punch to several of the other Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page edge punches I currently own. Wow – this new double edge punch is much bigger! You can see above how much taller it is.

Here are the punches viewed from the front. The beefier one on the left is the Double Edge Punch.

Looking down at the punches it is easy to see the difference in length as well. For this shot I unfolded the sides of both punches. The Double Edge Punch also has a heavier weight than a regular edge punch, and a larger handle.

The Double Edge Punch is very simple to use. When viewed from underneath, you should see the wrong side of your paper – so you put the paper in the punch right side up (the side you want to see on your project).

It take a bit more force to squeeze this punch, but that is attributable to its considerable heft. I often hold my regular punches upside down to punch them, and that made this one a bit harder for me to squeeze (Note: I have nerve damage in one arm, which is why I do it this way. They are designed to just press down on). It still punches through card stocks and patterned papers just as well as the regular Martha Stewart edge punches. To line up the design and punch correctly, you want to make sure to place the punched-out image directly above the guidelines. In the picture above, you can see some of the cream-colored punch base. That is the incorrect placement for your paper.

Always line up your punched paper as shown above, precisely over top of the cream-colored outline. This will ensure a perfect punch!

The finished piece is about an inch and a half thick, as you can see when it’s placed on my Martha Stewart Scoring Board. Isn’t that wood grain paper gorgeous? It’s from the In Nature collection, and I was lucky enough to receive it in my goodie box from the kind folks at Martha Stewart Crafts!

Here’s another close up shot of the intricate design of this punch. You can see how cleanly the punch operates. There are no jagged or frayed edges, and every segment lines up really well, thanks to those guides on either side of the punch.

I made a few quick projects using this punch. The first were little paper cone treat holders for party favor treats (my son’s first birthday party was this weekend, and this seemed like a great idea for kids of different ages!). Doesn’t this Double Edge Punch make a gorgeous handle? And I love the yellow paper (also from the In Nature collection).

I also made a simple, botanical-themed card. I used the punched piece in lieu of ribbon, and set it with jumbo eyelets to create a raised ripple effect.

On the edge I placed a little butterfly, created using a Martha Stewart Stamp and Punch set. I love that Martha’s products work well together.

I am absolutely enamored with this Deep Double Edge Punch from Martha Stewart Crafts! It punches a variety of card stocks and patterned papers quickly and cleanly, and the possibilities are endless with it. I’ll be able to easily make borders for scrapbook pages, cards, altered and 3D items….my head is positively swimming with ideas!

Pros:

  • able to create quick borders and accents
  • easy to use guides make proper punching a breeze
  • available in a variety of designs
Cons:
  • larger size doesn’t fit in the same drawer as my other punches (I’m being nitpicky, I know!)
  • due to the heavier weight of this, it may be a bit harder to squeeze the handle together
  • I’d like to see this offered in matching patterns to existing edge punches, so people (ok, ME!) can create sets of coordinating items
The Deep Double Edge Punch is available online and in retail stores, and will jump right into your shopping cart with a budget-friendly MSRP of $17.99. 
Do you have one of these punches, or have you tried one before? Tell me all about it! What amazing projects have you made with it?

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

Fiskars Squeeze Punches

Reported by Jessica Ripley


Good old reliable paper punches. If you are a scrapbooker I’m absolutely certain you have at least 2 or 3 in your crafty arsenal (but if you are a scrapbooker like me, most probably more like 9 or 10). Before there was a die cutting machine for every taste and budget, we collected punches in every shape that appealed to us, from stars to lizards, and every size imaginable, from the tiny to the huge. Unfortunately for most though, we also suffered for our craft… those punches are hard on the hands! There is one brand out there however that in this crafter’s opinion rises far above the rest when it comes to just sheer comfort of use, and that is the Squeeze Punch from Fiskars.

The only paper punch to be awarded the Arthritis Foundation Ease Of Use Commendation, Fiskars Squeeze Punches come in over 50 designs. Besides being very easy on the hands due to the ergonomically designed handles that are easy to operate, another plus is that the punch is meant to be used face up so you can see exactly what you are punching out.


It’s nice to eliminate the guess work that some punches require when you have to place them on a table to punch out your shape (and then push with all your might with both hands, jump up and down, and grunt).

As mentioned above the punches come in many shapes. If I’m going to purchase a separate punch for my stash it has to be a shape that I can use again and again, and Fiskars understands the importance of that. Their designs for the Squeeze Punches include standards like circles, squares, flowers, and even corner rounders. They do also include a few holiday themed punches for Christmas and are currently featuring a special Fall edition. My absolute favorite design is their Seal of Approval scalloped edged circle used to make the tree leaves in the layout below:


Most shapes are also offered in different sizes, from small to extra large. The card below uses the Round and Round design in these two different sizes for example:


There are a few drawbacks of course, size for one. Because of that wonderful design that makes these punches so easy to use, they take up quite a bit more space than a smaller punch would in your drawers. A lot more in fact.


At an average MSRP of $14.00 (going up or down depending on the size), they are also about twice as expensive as their counterparts, and I rarely ever buy them unless they are on sale or I have a coupon.

As far as materials which can be punched, Fiskars recommends that the punches are used only with 65lb card stock or lower. This is definitely not a rule to test, as I have actually damaged one of my squeeze punches so that it no longer lines up properly to punch after trying it on thin chipboard. However, this isn’t something I hold against them at all, considering most other punches can’t handle thicker materials either.

Out of curiosity, I also tried out the Seal of Approval punch on a transparency, but it definitely won’t work. It barely cut out just a portion of the design:

Stick with paper for these punches as you would with most others, and save the thicker materials for your die cutting machine.

With that in mind, if you have a die cutting machine why even bother with paper punches? Honestly even though I do own one, I find myself constantly still reaching for a paper punch just to add a quick element or two to a project, to carry with me if I’m crafting away from home, or if I want to just cut out several of one shape super quickly. And while I may not be collecting as many punches as I would have before die cutting machines, when I do pick one up in the store, it will always be a Fiskars Squeeze Punch. The ease of use and the visibility in punching far outweighs any draw back on size or price for me.

In summary:

Pros:

  • Extremely easy on the hands when using, no grunting and jumping up and down when trying to punch!
  • Open faced design lets you see exactly what you are punching out. Great for when punching out certain details of patterned paper.
  • Comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, especially shapes which can be used again and again (like circles, squares, and corner rounders).

Cons:

  • More expensive that many other punches in stores.
  • Harder to store due to the large size, the handles take up a lot of room.
  • Punching through material which is too thick can damage the punch, stick to the 65lb or lower paper recommendation.

What’s your current paper punch collection like? Do you own any squeeze punches? We would love to hear what you love or dislike about them in the comments.

Disclosure

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

Vendor Spotlight: Just Imagine Crafts/Kreaxions (Article 2 of 2)

Reported by Beth Silaika
Some days I feel like Tim “the Toolman” Taylor. I love my tools, arrrh arrrh arrhh!! This latest tool is the Kreaxions 4 in 1 punch (model 922) and optional star template. It comes with the punch, which you can use alone, or it can be used in conjunction with the A, B or C plates. Using the A, B, and C plates allows the punch to be so versatile.


For most paper crafters, there are two types of paper which you use frequently with punches. The lighter paper, which is around 70 lb weight, is much easier to use with punches. The heavier card stock is usually between 80 lb and 110 lbs. Stampin’ Up! is around 90 lbs, so I decided to use that for my review, since it is a favorite of so many paper crafters.

If you use the punch without any of the plates, you get a nice design. On the left I used some paper which was provided to me by Kreations. It was a light weight card stock, around 70 lb weight, comparable to a nice designer paper. On the right, heavyweight card stock, Stampin’ Up!, approximately 90 lb weight. The punch easily punched through the light card stock, but it took a little more effort to punch through the heavier card stock. I had to place the Stampin’ Up! card stock on the desk and use my weight to push down to press through the paper.
That punch looks like the face of a jack-o-lantern, so I punched the design on a scrap piece of orange zest Papertrey Ink card stock (110 lb). Punching through this heavier 110 lb card stock took a little more effort, but the punch went through clean, without any jagged edges. Next, I punched the orange zest piece with a circle punch and then trimmed it to look like a pumpkin. I added some avocado scraps to complete the look. FABULOUS!!!

Next, I lined up all the plates to test their ability through the light and heavy card stock.

First, take one side of the plate and slide it in the side of the punch (as shown).

Second, slide in the second half of the plate and press the two plates together. They line up quite easily.

Here is the test with the A plate (white plates). It worked well with both weights of paper and although a little more “umph” was required to push through the heavier cardstock, the punch left no torn edges or jagged design.
On to Plate B, which is a corner design. This makes for a fun side for the edge of your card. You can even use this punch on a mat and tuck your photo in one, two or all four corners! FUN!
Plate C is one of my favorites, it makes a cute curved edge plus design. Oh the possibilities! So fun!!!

Here is a fun addition to the 4 in 1 punch….it is a Star Template Stencil Octagon which allows you to take your tool to the next level. First, you take the template and trim out your card stock. This is relatively easy, but a little time consuming, so I trimmed out three stars at once (you know, in case I made a mistake!).
Once you have your star trimmed out, you insert the “A” plates into your punch. Each point is inserted into the punch and you repeatedly punch each point out to create a fun design. Depending on how well the star was initially trimmed, you may have to trim a little portion of the edge off the border.
Depending on how well the star was initially trimmed, you may have to trim a little portion of the edge off the border. Here is the punched piece with the borders attached. I was able to easily trim them off and create a nice little “doily”.
I was able to use the trimmed doily to create a fun focal point on a card. Simply add some buttons to the center and a sentiment to the bottom of the card – this was such a simple design.

Take a peek at the Just Imagine Crafts blog here for a video on how to use this Star Template Octagon! I really enjoyed playing with the Kreaxions 4 in 1 punch and I like the idea of being able to use one tool with a few tweaks to create many different looks. After a few punches however, the palm of my hand was a little sore. I guess I have gotten spoiled by my squeeze punches! I like the idea of the Star Octagon template too, but to create mass production of the template would be quite time consuming, so I will probably not be using it often. It will be one of those “unique” looks I use every once in a while on my cards.

Pros:

  • The 4 in 1 punch gives you several different looks, all with one tool
  • easy to use, plates are very simple to change
  • inexpensive, less than $16 for the 4 in 1 punch and less than $3 for the Star Octagon template
  • punches through many weights of paper without leaving jagged or torn edges

Cons:

  • requires significant pressure to punch through heavier weight papers
  • older style punch may make the palm of your hand sore
GIVEAWAY
The folks over at Just Imagine are giving three lucky readers a punch and their circle cutter.  To enter to win this prize, you need to make a comment on this post. To comment, just click below this article where it says “crafters have an opinion on this post” and answer this question…

Do you own punches?  What kinds of projects would you use these punches for?

One comment per person, per Vendor Spotlight: Just Imagine Crafts/Kreaxion article (this is 2 of 2), please. Winner will be randomly chosen on July 1st and announced here on the blog.

Disclosure

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