Today I'm talking about punches and I'm starting at the beginning. Most people when they start paper crafting buy a few items - some ink pad, some card stock and a punch or two. My personal recommendation if you're looking to invest in puches is to start with some shapes you can use to frame stamped sentiments or images. It's the easiest way of creating a statement, almost an embellishment to add to the dimension and interest on your card. For my project this week I took a card I made way back in my first #techniquethursday post to show you what I mean.
The first thing you want to do if you're going to add a punched sentiment to a card is work out what punch to use & pick an appropriate sentiment stamp. As this card is bright pink and makes me happy just to look at it I chose the Happiness stamp from Loving Thoughts stamp set. I love this set because I love words that evoke emotion which is what I hope my cards to when I give them to the recipient. I then chose my punch. Choosing a sentiment first really helps because then in narrows down your punch selection to ones that fit. I picked the Decorative Label punch which is my go to for sentiment punching. It has just enough swirling edges to give it a softer look than say a square or rectangle, but without being to girly.
After you've picked your sentiment stamp and punch it's time to put the two together. Always, always, always stamp first. So many times I see people punch the shape and then try and stamp the sentiment evenly in the middle. Now you might be amazingly patient and be able to do that, but I'm neither patient or amazing at lining things up by sight. The easiest way to get perfect results every time is to stamp you image first. Then turning your punch upside down (yep it's the best way to use punches), align the image to the punched shape and punch away. It's funny how sometimes when we are starting out we don't think of little things like turning our tools upside down. I remember one class where I showed a lady this and it revolutionized her world. Such a simple trick, and seemingly obvious when someone has shown you. (Don't worry I used to do the same thing too.)
After you've punched your sentiment you could decide to add another layer, or to raise it up using dimensionals. Really the choice is yours on how and where to place it on your card to give it that extra touch.
Of course this isn't the only way you can use punches so stay tuned for some more #techniquethursday posts showing you tips and tricks on how to get the most out of them. If you don't currently have any punches or would like to add to your collection you can check out my online store and place an order today. To make it easy for you I've added the product codes to the products I used in my ingredients list below.
Stamps: Loving Thoughts stamp set (125845); Button Buddies stamp set (122737)
Punch: Decorative Label punch (120907)
Ink: Melon Mambo (126948); Early Espresso (126974)
Card: Melon Mambo (119980); Whisper White (106549)Other: dimensionals (104430); Snail (104332)