Scrapbooking Paper Punches

Scrapbooking is a common way to preserve pictures and memories. While it could be a simple collection of sentimental items such as photographs or concert tickets, some scrapbooks have evolved to become archival-quality works of art. One popular tool, the paper punch, allows the scrapbooker to create custom crafts, shapes, and border designs with the click of a button.

What are the different types of paper punches?

Paper punches may fall into one of the following categories:

  • Shape - This type of paper punch is used for cutting small shapes out of a piece of paper. They are available in virtually any shape you can imagine, including hearts, stars, circles, and flowers.
  • Border - This paper punch is used to create a decorative border or make paper ribbons. They range in complexity from the simple scalloped edge to the complex cutout lace border.
  • Corner - This paper punch adds a small design to the corner of your scrapbook paper. Some of these are rather basic, merely rounding it off for a traditional finished look. Others are quite fancy, creating an intricate design that adds a touch of romantic flair to your craft.
  • Tag - These punches are the all-in-one go-to for your own gift tags and labels. Many models punch the tag and the eye hole then set the eyelet so you don't have to do any additional hammering.
How do you use a scrapbook paper punch?

A scrapbook paper punch may be operated in the following ways:

  • Hand-held - These punches are metal and scissor-like in appearance. To use it, simply place the punch over a paper or card and squeeze the handles together to punch out the shapes.
  • Standard - These have a plastic outer shell with the metal cutting blades on the inside. For optimal results, place this punch on the counter or table, insert your paper into the slot, and push down with the heel of your hand, allowing the weight of the cutter to do most of the work for you.
  • Windowed - These have a clear plastic container underneath that will catch the punched paper. This is useful if you intend to use the removed portion rather than the empty space left by the punch. It also allows you to see where you are cutting in case you would like to use a specific area of the patterned paper. Using this punch is very similar to the others  just position the paper where you want it and squeeze.
How do you sharpen a craft punch?

If your craft punch is starting to leave little fuzzies around the edges of the punched paper, there is a simple method to sharpen it. Follow these steps:

  • Take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it over once or twice.
  • Use the craft punch to cut through the folded aluminum foil two or three times.
  • Repeat steps one and two with a piece of wax paper, making sure to keep the waxy side on the outside of the folds.
  • Enjoy your like-new paper punch.