Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Favorite Crafting Tools {Paper Punches}

We've got family coming in later today, so I may have to be a bit scarce this weekend.

Today I wanted to continue my Favorite Crafting Tools Series with my favorite paper punches. Here's a not-so-secret secret about me. My name is not Grace. By which I mean, I'm a little clumsy. And that translates into me being unable to cut paper and fabric precisely without seriously stressing myself out. Which is why I love my rotary cutters so much. And my Sizzix Big Kick. And my Silhouette SD.

But for certain projects, nothing beats the perfect paper punch. They are quick and easy, and generally affordable. These are my favorites:

Earring Card Punch


You can buy this punch at the Etsy shop sourced, although I got mine at my local Michael's using a coupon. I love how this punch allows me to create my own earring cards that look professional, yet also allows me to choose from any available card stock color or print, or even something fun like playing cards or greeting cards. My friend Danielle started a handmade jewelry business last year (you can see her stuff here!), and her colors were purple and black and white in a zebra print. So for her birthday I put together some earring cards in various sizes and sent them off to her with a couple of the zipper pouches like I showed you a couple of days ago and a corner rounder punch. She loved them, and she ended up buying an earring card punch of her own. :)


Corner Rounder Punches

These come in a couple of sizes, small and large.


To make the earring cards shown above, I used an assortment of bookmarks, blank inside cards, and printed card stock. I used a paper slicer to get them all cut into straight pieces. Then I rounded the corners using my punches. There's something so satisfying about getting that neat rounded corner! It's important to note that you do need a perfect right angle to start with to get a perfect cut. Another thing I use them on is wallet size photos. My photo lab offers die cut wallets, which are awesome, but they are a little more expensive than just getting an uncut sheet. So if I'm just ordering them for myself, I get a sheet, cut them apart, and round the corners myself!


Crop-A-Dile Eurohook Power Punch. This punch makes the little cutouts at the top of some of the earring cards I made, which allows them to be hung on a display rack. It's definitely a specialty punch, but one that you will use a lot, especially if you take your products to craft/jewelry shows or have a permanent booth in a local shop.

Long Reach Ribbon Stitch Punch


This of course is great for making a place to thread ribbon through if you want to add a little bow to a card. But what I use it for is to cut slots for the prong of a hair clip to go through on my display cards. I usually use the double pronged clips, just because I like them better, and the slots this punch cuts are just a smidge too short for the clips I use. But I just make the first punch, move the tool straight down just a tiny bit and punch again to get taller slots. However, you could just use single prong clips and they should work as is.

Standard Hole Punch (1/4 inch)



I really only use this for one thing, but it's a good one: Shrinky Dinks! This punch is perfect for punching a hole in your Shrinky Dinks before baking so that you can add a jump ring or a key chain.

1/8" Circle Hand Punch



This one is also great for Shrinky Dinks. It's best for items you want to use for jewelry and will be attaching to small jump rings.

1/16" Circle Hand Punch


This is great for punching tiny holes for cards for multiple pairs of earrings and also for punching a couple of holes to feed the bar of a pin back brooch through.

One Inch Circle Punch



This is hands down my most reached for punch. It cuts the perfect size circle for both bottlecap images and glass stone magnets. And if you cut out one inch circles from Shrinky Dink material, they shrinks down to perfect tiny 1/3 inch circles that makes darling earrings or charm bracelet charms. 

What are some of your favorite crafting tools?

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