Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Use Your Punches: Making a Parenthetical Banner

As part of my Use Your Hoard (UYH) challenge, I'm pulling out my punches. Since I don't have a die cut machine, punches are really the easiest tool I have for cutting shapes to use on cards.

But punches have their down side. They are bulky and hard to store, taking up a lot of space. Also, like rabbits, they've multiplied over the years. Well, not exactly like rabbits. I've been paper crafting for about 13 years now, and I have roughly 130 punches. Ten a year doesn't sound too bad, does it?

Anyway, I have border punches, circle and square and oval punches, scallop-edge punches, nesting punches, label punches, flower punches, snowflake punches, corner punches, tag punches, bird punches, butterfly punches, fish punches, large punches, small punches, and medium punches. I even have a mitten punch, a pumpkin punch, and a bow punch.

I need to use them! So I've started my UYH Punch Challenge with border punches. When I pulled out my Fiskars parentheses border punch (that's what I call it, at least), I got an idea to make a banner out of it. Like this:

It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but here's how I made it.

1. Start with this punch. Note how the shape it punches looks like a string of parentheses. There are other border punches that might work equally well for this...just explore what you have!

2. Turn the punch upside down, and punch a single parenthesis on the edge of a 1/4 sheet of card stock. Turning punches upside down is the single most brilliant tip I've picked up for using punches.

3. Then, flip the paper to the other side and repeat step 2.

4. Using the straight cutting method of your choosing, separate the banner from the sheet of card stock. (I use a quilting ruler and x-acto knife.)

5. Then, using a pair of small scissors, snip the corners to tidy them up.


 And that's all it takes! Here's the same card as above, just in a completely different color scheme:

Since the parenthesis is exactly 1" wide, you could cut the strip first and then stick the ends in the punch. That might actually be easier, but I didn't think to measure it until I'd finished making two of them the hard way and taking all those pictures!

stamps: Hero Arts starbursts; Gina K (sentiment on gray and red card); Papertrey (sentiment on green and purple card)
ink: Memento Luxe, Fresh Ink
paper: Neenah Solar White 80# and 110#
accessories: Fiskars border punch, dimensionals, rhinestones, scissors, quilting ruler, x-acto knife


  1. 130 punches? 130? My stars and garters! Tell me which ones are your favorites and which ones are the most versatile. Are they from several different companies? I have so many questions.

    1. A lot of them are simple circles (everything from 1/16th of an inch to more than 3 inches) and squares (1/4" to 2 3/4"), plus the coordinating scallops. I mostly regret the scallop shapes, though they have come in handy making Christmas ornaments. The ones I've used the most are the leaf, flower, star, and heart punches, plus the snowflake and holly punches for Christmas. I regret the tag punches...tags are just too easy to make to justify the space the punches take up. Brands include Fiskars, Martha Stewart, Marvy, StampinUp, and no-name ones. Hope that helps!

      Keep in mind that I don't have a die cut machine or any dies at all, and a lot of these punches were purchased half-price at Michael's, JoAnn's, and Hobby Lobby over a very long period of time!

  2. I love my punches and find them a lot easier to use than my machine. I think my favourites are the 'squeeze' handle ones. Don't quite have 130 but getting there!!!!!

  3. I love my punches and find them a lot easier to use than my machine. I think my favourites are the 'squeeze' handle ones. Don't quite have 130 but getting there!!!!!

  4. I love this idea. I have that same punch & never thought to use it this way. And thanks for showing "the hard way" to make this AND sharing "the easy way"! I'd have come around to it, EVENTUALLY! :-)

  5. You are so right, Susan...there are endless possibilities with punches. One has only to play around with them and get more ideas! Thanks for bringing this up...great card!


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