How To Look After Your Craft Punches

Who doesn’t like using their craft punches in their projects?  In this article, we will learn how to look after your craft punches and much more.

Using a paper punch can bring any project alive giving it an amazing look.  With so much choice on the designs, you will surely find a few that are perfect for your projects.

You can find paper punches for almost every occasion such as birthdays, weddings and Christmas, etc.

The great thing about these creative tools is that they don’t cost much to buy and often you can find them on sale, which is why I have so many, actually not enough. lol

If you are starting in the art of crafting then consider buying a few of them, you will be surprised how often you will end up using them.

I use them for many of my projects such as:

  • Cardmaking
  • Scrapbooking
  • DIY labels, etc.

Paper punches are easy to use to create all kinds of cut-out shapes from detailed patterns to simple shapes.  They bring elegance and fun to any paper project.

Looking after your craft punches doesn’t take much work, with a little TLC they will keep working like new for years to come.

How Do Craft Punches Work?

Very easily in fact, you place the paper between the 2 metal plates, take a sip of coffee and press down.  It’s amazing how simple it is.  While being pressed down the top plate will cut through the paper giving you the perfect cutout each time.

Some paper punches require you to squeeze together the handles and others to be pressed down.  Either way, with a little pressure you will get the results you need.

Different Types Of Paper Punches For Crafts

There are many different types of paper punches available on the market.  When I first discovered what was out there, my creative ideas went in overdrive. 

So, let’s look at the different types.

Corner Paper Punches

As the name suggests these punches are used for punching corners.  So, if you want a rounded corner or a patterned corner then these are perfect for you.

With many designs available, these craft punches are a must-have for your papercraft toolkit.

Border Paper Punches

Border punches are used for giving your paper projects amazing borders.  You can find very detailed designs for these craft punches.  I think out of all my craft punches these are my favorite.

This type of craft punch is perfect for those of you who love scrapbooking.

Shaped Paper Punches

These punches have an individual cut out shapes such as:

  • Circles
  • Love hearts
  • Butterflies, etc.

These punches are great for adding extra detail to your paper projects.

These tools are so versatile that they can be used in most papercraft projects that you may come across.

You can even get paper punches that make gift tags which are great for Christmas and birthdays.  The possibilities are endless.

So, if you are into card making or scrapbooking then paper punches for crafting are going to be one of the essential tools you will need to have in your papercraft toolkit.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using Paper Punches

Here are some mistakes to avoid while using any type of crafting paper punch.  Avoiding these mistakes will not only prevent damage from being done to your punches but will also help them to continue to give you clean crisp cuts every time.

Using The Wrong Paper Weight For Your Paper Punch

Be aware of the maximum paper weight your paper punch can handle.  If your paper punch can only handle 220gsm cardstock but you are trying to use it on a 300gsm cardstock then it is highly likely you will damage your paper punch.

In the beginning, I broke a few of my paper punches because I was trying to cut cardstock that was 300gsm and the max thickness of the paper punch was 220gsm.

Paper punches will break because of the extra pressure needed for heavier cardstock.

Not Emptying Trash Compartment In Your Paper Punch

Some paper punches have small compartments that hold all the leftover cut-out material.  Remember to empty this often, otherwise, it will build up pressure against the cutting mechanism of the paper punch and cause it to break.

Paper Too Thin For Your Paper Punch

Using paper that is too thin can also be bad news for your paper punches.  This mistake is made by most newbies to paper crafting. 

If you use paper that is too thin the chances of it getting stuck in the cutting area is highly likely.  It might not damage your craft punch, but it will cost you time to clean it out. 

Applying Uneven Pressure On Your Paper Punch

I remember this mistake a little too well.  When I first started crafting this was one mistake I made many times.  When applying pressure make sure you apply pressure evenly. 

For example, border punches have a larger area to press down on, the pressure needs to be applied down the center, but if you make the mistake I made and only apply pressure on one side then the handle will break a lot easier.

How To Clean Your Paper Punches Correctly

Keeping your paper punches clean is very important.  This will help them to remain in good working condition and help them last longer.  So, what are some of the ways on how to clean your paper punches?

I use 3 methods to clean my paper punches, although I am sure that there are other ways.

Compressed Air Can

If you are like me you will have a compressed air can, also known as a gas duster in your office for cleaning your computer keyboard and removing the dust from your computer.

This very same compressed air can be used for cleaning your paper punches by blowing the debris out from those hard-to-reach places. 

This is also an inexpensive way to help clean your paper punches because one can of compressed air will last a long time.

Handheld Vacuum

Having a handheld vacuum cleaner around to clean your paper punches is a time saver.  It does a great job sucking up the cut-outs instead of blowing the cut-outs around your workspace.  it is the perfect tool to keep your workspace clean and tidy. 

A handheld vacuum is not only good for cleaning your paper punches but also a time saver for the times when you spill the glitter everywhere.

A Toothbrush

If purchasing a can of compressed air or a handheld vacuum isn’t an option for you right now, another very cheap way to clean your paper punches is by simply using a toothbrush. 

Toothbrushes are great for cleaning many things, and your paper punches are no exception.

Using a small toothbrush can help clean your paper punches from all the small paper debris left inside your paper punches cutting blades. 

It is also small enough to store easily away with your other smaller craft tools.

Having a spare toothbrush around it provides you an inexpensive and very convenient tool to clean your paper punches.

How Do You Sharpen A Craft Paper Punch?

Paper punches will get blunt after time.  Just because they get blunt, it doesn’t mean you should replace them or throw them out.  Paper punches can be resharpened if they get blunt.

The two items I use, you probably have at home already. These 2 items will sharpen your paper punches again and get them working like new. 

Aluminum Foil

One piece of aluminum foil can make a huge difference when it comes time to sharpen your paper punches. 

Simply fold some aluminum foil a few times and then cut it with your blunt paper punch around 5 times, then test your paper punch on some cardstock, if still blunt repeat the process until your paper punch is giving you clean crisp cuts again. 

You can even get creative and create an aluminum foil masterpiece.  But seriously, aluminum foil is great for sharpening your blunt paper punches.

Empty Soda Can

Besides recycling, there is another useful purpose for those empty soda cans.  Keep in mind a soda can should only be used for heavy paper punches.

If you carefully cut off the ends of the can and unfold the metal, you can use it to sharpen your paper punches. 

But please take note that if it is not a heavy-duty paper punch it may struggle to cut the can and could potentially break your paper punch instead. 

If you use this method to sharpen your paper punches, take extra care as the debris can be quite sharp.

So, although this is a great tool for you to sharpen your paper punches there are risks involved that are not there with simply using a piece of aluminum foil.

Tips For Storing Your Paper Punches To Save Time

If you do paper crafting as a business or a hobby, storing them correctly can save you so much time and money.

If you are like me and have many different types of paper punches, it’s a good idea to store them in a way that saves you time when looking for that one.

I have a few useful tips to share that I have learned over the years.

Storing  Your Paper Punches By Their Type

I find that separating your paper punches will help you be more organized when it comes to finding a particular paper punch.  I usually separate them by:

  • Corner paper punches
  • Edge paper punches  
  • Border paper punches
  • Shape paper punches 

By storing them by their type, it will save you so much time looking for the paper punch that you are looking for.

In the beginning, when you only have a handful of paper punches it is not too bad, but after your collection of paper punches grows over time this method will be helpful.

Store Frequently Used Paper Punches Separate

Storing all of your frequently used paper punches in one place will save you so much time having to look through your storage each time you start a papercraft project.

It is a good idea to have these all in one place so that when working on a project you can just go and grab one box. 

Not only is it more organized but it is easier to just take out one box instead of having to look through many.

Keep Spares Of Your Frequently Used Paper Punches

This tip is helpful if you sell your crafts or you do a lot of papercrafts involving paper punches.  

Not only can it be frustrating not being able to quickly find what you are looking for, but it is equally just as frustrating to find out that your most frequently used paper punch has broken.

I have a separate storage container where I keep the extra sets of my frequently used paper punches.

Anytime I see something on sale I try to purchase a couple of extras.  This way I can be assured that I will always have a backup in case one of my frequently used paper punches breaks.

Label Your Storage Containers

Another time-saver is to label your storage containers.  This will save you so much time having to look through your storage.

Final Thoughts

Paper punches are one of those tools that you will build up a collection of overtime.  Storing them correctly and maintaining them will not only save you money but will keep your creativity flowing.

As we learned earlier don’t throw away your blunt paper punches, they can be resharpened using aluminum Foil and even a can of soda.   

We hope this article on how to look after your craft punches has given you new ideas when it comes to looking after your paper punches.

If you have any tips or advice when it comes to paper punches please share them in the comments.

Let’s share and learn together

Happy Crafting!

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