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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Punches - Use ,Care and Repair + Discount Code !

         
 I think you will agree that one of the charms of crafting as a hobby is that buying and hoarding craft supplies satisfies the innate “collecting” tendency many of us have!And I think Punches are among the top “collected” crafting tools by paper crafters the world over! 
Punches
        Before I got my Big Shot, I had a serious addiction to buying punches! And I think because there are many posts on my blog dedicated to punch-craft, if you google Punch craft tutorials you will find quite a few links leading to my blogI get a lot of mails asking for guidance on punches and this month Shalini and I decided to have  “Basics” type of posts sharing Tips, Tricks and Techniques on one of crafter's most loved tools : Punches!
What is a craft Punch?
I think all of us are familiar with the 2 hole punch we use to punch holes on papers to file them...well craft punches are just more sophisticated version of that.
Huge Paper Rosette with MS Daisy fan Deep Edge Border Punch
Using craft punches you can easily punch beautiful designs on paper for home decor and party decorations,
MS deep edge heart border and Vintage floral Punch around the page
make beautiful cards and gift boxes , add oomph to school projects,or for that matter any kind of paper craft!
MS border punches on House shaped Box
House Shaped Box with MS Vintage floral, MS lattice heart deep edge
Tips on Using Punches
Using Punches is so easy you dont require any special skills but here are a few tips and tricks to get the best out of your punches
Surface to Punch
  • Try to keep the punch on a hard surface[ not on your bed] while punching
  • You will get the best force with the least effort if you place your punch- paper on a sturdy table and use the palm of your hands to apply pressure on the punch [ arms extended with elbows only slightly bent so that you can exert the weight of your body and not strain your hands] 
    Punching
  • If you have a lever punch you can hold it in your hand and punch but if at all it gives you trouble go back to punching on the floor or a table exerting pressure using your hand from above!
Paper to Use for Punches
  • A mistake most beginners make while using punches is assuming all papers will work with punches
  • The thickness and texture of the paper are important considerations for using punches - Some punches work only with thin paper while some work better with thick paper like card-stock.
  • Punchcraft paper and Punch Bunch punches
  • Some punches will work best only with punch-craft paper. Most Punch Bunch , Jef Punches will not punch Card stock.
    MS versus other punch on Card stock
  • Martha Stewart Border , Corner and Punch around the Page Punches work beautifully with card stock and in fact don't work so well with thin or cheap quality paper
    MS Beaded ruffle Border punch on Card stock
MS Border punch on Card stock
Papers to avoid with Punches
  • Handmade Paper - The fibers in most handmade papers don't cut well with punches.And not only punches many dies too dont cut well with handmade paper
  • Glitter Paper
  • Adhesive Backed Paper- you can use them with punches but adhesive can jam your punches so it is best to avoid.
  • Specialty papers like Thai paper , Metallic foil covered paper
  • Corrugated Paper
    Papers to avoid
  • Fabric lined paper
  • Ivory Card stock- even Martha Stewart Punches dont punch ivory card stock though normal card stock punches easily with Martha Stewart Punches
  • Foam - to punch foam only use punches specially designed for foam otherwise your punch can jam hopelessly!
Storage of Punches
  • Store your punches in a dry place not subject to lots of humidity to prevent them from rusting
  • Store your punches neatly arranged in a draw or box and not in a bag--well if you are wondering what is the problem with bags or throwing all your punches together...I once damaged a particularly loved punch by putting it in a bag along with some other punches and I was dismayed to find some plastic parts of  the punch broke due to all the jiggling around it was subject to and it stopped working!
  • Store your punches away from dust - I have seen many crafters from foreign countries proudly displaying their punches in the open. This is not a very good option for Indian crafters as most of us stay in places with a dust problem! Store in small / large plastic style cupboards or plastic boxes or cupboards.
    Plastic cupboard Drawer set
I am lucky to have a hubby who not only tolerates but appreciates my crafting hobby and last year he designed cupboards for my craft supplies.
Craft Supply Storage
 He actually measured the height of my largest Martha Stewart Punch to design  perfect sized cupboard draws  to store my punches!
Punches
Care  of Punches and How to keep your Punches in good condition
If you are a seasoned crafter you must have read about the Aluminium foil tip to sharpen a punch ...well I had heard of it but was frankly speaking apprehensive to try kitchen aluminium foil on any of my beloved punches!
I was thrilled to try out the Punch Revitaliser Kit by EK Sucess which Shalini stocks at Crafters Corner
The kit is quite small and handy and has

  1. several sheets of Wax paper 
  2. Aluminum foil sheets
  3. A silicone Lubricant

How to sharpen your punches?
Just like we can sharpen our kitchen knifes when they blunt with use we can sharpen our favorite punches too.
Al foil to sharpen punch
          I tried out the Aluminium foil sheets in the EK Sucess Punch revitalizer kit and I dont know if I am biased but I think after I punched the aluminium sheets with the punch and then tried it on paper it did create a more sharp edge to  the punch out. My only gripe is that the Aluminium foil sheets are actually not very large so you need to be rather nimble in holding it while punching through the sheet.
How to smoothen the  action of a Punch?
Now the wax paper in the kit was something I loved and did notice a marked difference in action of the punch.
I am demoing the wax paper with a Punch Bunch punch. [My MS punches all punch smoothly as long as I use quality paper with them!].
Wax Paper Punching
This particularly old leaf punch of mine has been vigorously used and doesnt punch smoothly.
Punch wax paper several times
I punched a single sheet of wax paper several times with it and I was pleasantly surprised to notice a marked difference in the ease and smoothness of the punching action!
Smoother acting Punch after wax paper punching
You can also apply a few drops of the lubricant on the under-surface of the punch and let it rest for some time [ works in the same mechanism as oiling metal  parts of machinery!]
Punch Lubricant
Special tip from Shalini on solving Punch Problems : Humidity can play spoilsport while using punches. If you have any difficulty in punching a paper you could previously punch the fault may not be with your punch but the paper which had become damp while stored in our climate. You can iron / air dry the paper and try again!
What to do if you jam up a punch ?
Anyone who has used punches for some time would have had a jammed punch at some time or the other.
Why does a punch jam?

  • A punch will jam if you dont exert enough pressure while punching and the partially punched paper catches in the punch mechanism [ hence the importance of using the punch on a hard, even surface and exerting adequate pressure with your palms!]
  • It will also jam if you try to punch through a thickness of paper too thick for the punch [ best solution to this is prevention!]
  • It may have more tendency to jam if it has not been used for some time [ punch parts are metal and just like any other machinery which has not been used for some time a punch needs a bit of lubrication to spruce it back to life!]
  • Ironically if you use a particular punch continuously too it has a tendency to jam [ solution to this is a bit of lubrication in between  batches of extensive punching projects!]

How to release a jammed punch?
If your punch jams up and the top punching mechanism does not bounce back to its normal position here are a few things to try

  • Place the punch on a table/ floor and try punching through the jammed paper exerting enough pressure through your palms with arms extended at the elbows [ so that your body weight exerts its force too]- you can try this several times
  • Give a gentle bang on the side of the punch - please exert due caution and dont be too rough and do try this as one of your last resorts only! I have actually had success in releasing a few naughty punches using the good old hit!

  • Use a pencil with eraser on top / any rounded thin but strong object to push back the plunger of the punch back up from the under surface of the punch.Be especially careful about your fingers while doing this as punch metal parts are sharp and you can cut your fingers!
  • Try prising the jammed paper bits using a forceps /fingers /anything else !
  • I read on the net many crafters advising to put the jammed punch in the freezer to contract the metal and help release the jam but I think this is best kept as a last resort as the freezer is a damp area and the metal mechanism of your punch can rust if you subject it to such a moist environment!
  • If nothing else works and you lose all hope try opening it up - but a word of caution the spring mechanism inside many punches are dicey and tricky to reassemble and some punches are not easy to open up!

Now summing up - How to keep your Punches in good condition
  • Dont punch thick/specialty papers with it
  • Lubricate it to keep it punching smoothly
  • If you are going to carry around your punches, take care that they dont bang around and damage each other![pack well]
        If you have a good quality punch it will be so easy to quickly make some "wow" projects!I used the MS Daisy fan deep edge border punch to make huge paper rosettes as part of the party decorations for my daughter's Frozen themed birthday celebration recently.
Huge Paper Rosettes made with MS punches
            In a celebratory mood Shalini very generously is allowing me to offer crafters a wonderful 10 % discount on Martha Stewart Punches , EK success , Punch Bunch punches and punch aids this month (upto 14th june 2015 only)...just add the discount code SONIAMAR10 during checkout while shopping at Crafters Corner!
I hope you find this post useful and will enjoy shopping for punches this month using the special discount offer!

49 comments:

  1. I use only WD40 on my punches, it really helps. You are so right about dust, my punches have been stored in the plastic drawers you shared above but sadly they are not dust proof :/ my punches are always covered in dust if I dont use it for a couple of weeks.

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    1. Erum yes the plastic drawers are not dust proof but my new cupboard drawers are! I always used to wonder how crafters store the punches in the open!

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  2. Very helpful post. Thank u Dr. Sonia

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    1. Am so glad you found it helpful Dharmishtha
      Cheers
      Dr Sonia
      Cards Crafts Kids Projects

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  3. Very informative post doc! Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you Anchal...your album workshop photos are rocking wish I could meet you some day!

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  4. Today i m speechless after looking at this......amazing post ....
    I cant say more ...it says all ....

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    1. Thank you so much for the morale boost Shalini I really needed it!

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  5. wowww....truly an informative and an amazing post...loved it..TFS...xx

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  6. wow!! so much information about punches Sonia!! thanks for sharing them!! I have faced many problems with my punches... after that I've avoided using them.. Now I know how to repair those.. thanks to you :)

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    1. Berina Jef punches are notoriously troublesome but I do love Martha Stewart ones!

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  7. Much needed information .. Thank you ! :)

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    1. Thank you for the support Rashmi glad you liked the post

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  9. What an amazing collection doc! Thank you so much for the wonderful informative post :)

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  10. Very informative post. Love your craft room. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Neha.Yes my hubby designed cupboards for each and every item I asked including space for my huge Deli guilottine cutter!

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  11. Thanks so much for sharing Sonia, I find Martha Stewart around the page the toughest to work and have managed to break a few too. Will surely try these out.
    PS: your punch storage is drool worthy

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    1. Thank you Juhi I have 3 Martha Punch around the page ...they require a bit of patience to work with you are right but so far not managed to damage any of my MArtha Punches...I would be heart broken if that happened!

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  12. Thanks for the tips and care instructions Sonia.

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  13. Wow! What an amazing, expansive and encyclopedic post about punches and how to take care of them! I so agree with you on the point that one of the most prominent tendencies we crafters have is of buying, hoarding and collecting crafting supplies! :-D I have loads of crafting stuff even though I might not have had chance to use them yet, but still I am tempted to buy more and more. And Shalini is for sure is "Crafter's Enchantress" or more aptly (this is all from me) a "Seductress". I always drool whenever I visit Crafter's Corner !
    Thank you so much Dr. Sonia. I always learn so much from you!

    Cheers!

    -Priyanka Srivastava

    (oh btw I don't know if you remember this or not, but you asked for my crafting blog sometime ago. I am so happy to tell you that it's online now and I would love it if you may visit it once! :-) )

    http://priyazcreations.blogspot.in/

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    1. Priya in my case not only paper crafting I am tempted by all kinds of crafts....I even buy and hoard jewelry making supplies though I hardly make any jewelry! My recent craze is clay ...spending crazy amounts on clay moulds and veiners but fortunately my little girl is putting them to good use! I will drop by your blog! And Thank you so much for the support and kind words

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    3. I, too, am involved with all sorts of crafts ranging from all sorts of embroidery, rangoli making to glass painting, emboss painting and what not! Paper craft, especially Quilling is recent (but for forever) love of mine. :-D

      Oh regarding jwellery making supplies that you have mentioned, I position is exactly same as yours! I too have hundreds of jumprings, findings and stuff but I hardly make any!

      It's crazy!

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  14. Wow Dr. Sonia ....this post is very informative n helpful ...wishing ur daughter belated birthday wishes ...!! Love the rossetts you created for party ..:)
    I have a question - I hv a MS page around punch set whose corner punch is not working properly....it is not struckingstrucking/ jamming but not taking the pressure in appropriately means wen I apply pressure it does not take that pressure n come back without punching the paper....I opened that punch n reversed the springs position but no help ...same issue ...punch out is not crisp n complete ...spring mechanism is not working alright so any option to get the springs for the same ...because there is nothing else in that punch to change ...pls help me out otherwise I have to dump it for no use !! TIA :)

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    1. Oh that is so sad to hear Shalu...did the corner punch behave the same way from the beginning? Do try it with different papers. When I first got my MS punch...I was so disappointed it did cut perfectly as you can see in this post : MS Heart Punch Border Frame but later the same punch worked perfectly when I used card stock or a better quality paper like in the DCWV stacks

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  15. This is an absolutely wonderful informative and most needed post ....too good and thanks for sharing

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    1. Arjita honestly speaking I had to put it together in 2 days as was busy with my daughter's birthday but punches have always been dear to me so I guess the homework had already been done earlier!

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  16. Wow! Dr. Sonia, once again you have amazed all papercrafters with this fabulous and informative post. :) I have had no problems with my Martha punches so far, but I keep having problems with ones by other brands, so this was a big help! Thank you so very much for writing this. :)

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    1. Yes Halak Jef tiny ones are the most tedious ones to use and I no longer buy Jef punches for that reason!

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  17. Wow! This post is so informative! I hardly own any punches! An MS punch is my dream :P
    Also, maintianing so many punches is so important I can see that! Thanks for sharing Sonia! :)
    Cheers!
    Suchi xx

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    1. Suchi if you get one good punch you will be hooked into getting more. MS punches are a class apart ...so smooth and with such beautiful designs too!

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  18. As always, super helpful information from Soniaji...Thank you so much for the info!!!
    The rosettes and decoration look fabulous...

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    1. Thank you so much Purvi. We made 14 huge rosettes and inumerous smaller ones!

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  19. Awesome post Sonia !! I think every crafter starts with quilling and some punches and paper..to a state of always wanting to buy more and more. after one goes in for any die cutting machine, it is more and more dies to be bought !! It was a great idea by you and Shalini to do this post as it is helpful to the new crafter as well as to the experienced ones to have a re-look at all the hoarded stuff and give it some TLC !! As usual, you have covered almost all there is to know and care about Punches !! I just want to include a word of caution about the horrible Jef punches esp the supposedly border punches which are such a waste of money and quite frustrating which almost all of us bought when we stared crafting !! and as Sonia says lever punches are anytime a better idea as they are gentle on your hands esp if you craft with your kids. Cheers!!

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    1. Suman I hate the Jef border punches...I have 2 with me...they still punch but are so difficult to use still as you said in our early years of crafting we are attracted more by cheaper stuff and Jef punches were available at local stationary shops and so more easy to pick up. Now I no longer buy Jef punches!

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  20. What a wonderful post, Dr.Sonia. Thank you so much for all these tips and storage idea. Absolutely loved yours. Incidently, one of the most frequently asked questions by all crafters is how to repair and take care of the punches and i have been asked this so many times. I will be sure to direct any queries towards your post now :) Thank you so much for taking time out and creating such a helpful post.

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    1. Hussena the most number of mails I get is about Punches and Sospeso Trasparente !!

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  21. Awesome tips and punch care instructions, Doc. Thanks so much :)

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  22. This is exactly what I needed ,Thanks a lot for such informative post Dr.SOnia !I Any paper cannot be punched and I learned this very hard way :( I got jef punch locally and tried it on handmade paper (very thin one)still it was stuck ,the shopkeeper was no help .I opened it and removed the stuck paper and then assembled it its ok now but I was disappointed as I got the punch specially for making flowers with handmade paper.Had I read about it before :( would have saved my money !

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    1. Pooja even many dies dont cut hand made paper so we cant expect a punch to do so! A word of caution when buying Jef punches ...always test them out when you buy.If the shop keeper wont allow you to test...dont buy! I once had to return 10 Jef punches and after that have been very careful and these days dont even buy them!

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  23. A very informative post. I am also having a cupboard made for storing my craft supplies. About the opening up the punch part, I was wondering, can we actually do that? I have a beautiful doily Recollections punch whose handle(lever) has snapped. Any idea how to go about fixing it? Thanks :)

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    1. Thank you Sharooq. Some punches are easy to open up. But if the lever has broken...I dont know if you can repair it..

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  24. First of all health felt thanks to Dr. Sonia for such an informative tutorial which m sure all crafters need it.after using martha Stewartpunches I have stopped working with jef punches. Meeting crafterscorner was a blessing where you can get all Craft Supplies Under One Roof along with beautifully organised workshops and informative tutorials including giving away gifts thru conducting contests. Once again thanks Shalini. I am Luking forward to attend your next work shop. Happy crafting.

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  25. Such a nice thing you had provided here. Thank you very much for this one. And i hope this will be useful for many people.

    Home Spa Services in Mumbai

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