There are so many tools, machines and other gadgets for making homemade cards that most novice paper crafters don't know which ones to purchase first. If you don't want to invest in an expensive computerized machine, you can start with just a hand craft punch. You'll get your money's worth because you can use it over and over again.
One of my first card making tools was a circle punch. As I was perusing the punch aisle of my local craft store, I was looking for a shape that would serve as my focal point for many of my homemade greeting cards and one that I could use year round. There were so many shapes and sizes. There were squares, hearts, seasonal shapes like bunnies and much more. Making decent squares or rectangles by hand was doable but making handmade circles was much more difficult so I decided my first craft punch purchase was going to be a circle. I opted for the largest circle I could find at the time, about 2" wide, because I knew it needed to be big enough so that I could add my sentiment or stamped image inside the shape yet small enough to use on smaller, homemade greeting cards.
DIFFERENT IDEAS ON HOW TO USE A CIRCLE PUNCH:
Tip #1 - Use a circle punch to feature your sentiment.
- Using your drawing tool on your computer, select a circle shape and create circle. You can create a thin, thick or dotted line but I prefer to use a thin line. This line will serve as the border of the sentiment. The size of the circle should be a little bit smaller than the size of your craft punch. You'll need a graphics program but you can use Microsoft Word or PowerPoint like I do for my homemade greeting cards. You'll need to experiment a bit to get the right size but when you do, you'll have the correct size already saved when you're ready to make cards at a later date.
- Type your sentiment inside the circle border. Experiment with different fonts that match your card theme. I like to use scripted fonts for feminine cards and simple, classic fonts for masculine card.
- Print out your sentiment on printable cardstock paper and then use your circle punch to cut it out. Refer to your printer manual for the correct cardstock weight so you don't jam up your printer. You'll need a steady hand to center the sentiment inside the craft punch.
TIP #2 - Use a circle punch to feature a sticker, stamped image or charm.
- Once your sentiment is punched out, tape it directly onto your card. To give the circle sentiment some dimension, add foam tape onto the back before adhering it to the card.
- Follow the instructions from Tip #1 and create a thin or dotted circle on your computer for the border of the sentiment. Print out the circle border and then use your craft circle punch to cut it out.
TIP #3 - Use a large circle punch to create a frame or border around a smaller circle or scalloped circle.
- Position and then adhere the circle onto your card. Select a sticker, charm, or any other embellishment that is smaller than the circle. The size of the embellishment should be one that will create a little bit of white space in between the border and embellishment. If you are stamping an image onto the circle, make sure the stamp is small enough to fit inside your circle. You can color the stamped image before or after you punch it out. If you are using glitter, punch out the circle before you add glitter.
Another type of circle punch I like to use is the scallop circle punch. You can use it alone or combine it with a larger circle. I chose one from the same manufacturer as my large circle punch. The scallop circle punch is just a smidgen smaller than the large circle punch so it fits nicely inside the larger circle punch. Sometimes you'll find the opposite scenario where the scallop circle is larger than the regular circle but either way, you can still apply the same techniques.
- Apply the same tips as mentioned above for your scallop circle punch. Adhere a sticker, stamp an image or type your sentiment inside the scallop circle. Just make sure whatever you add will be smaller than the scallop circle punch.
- After you add your sentiment or embellishment, carefully center and tape the scallop circle onto the large circle so that the larger circle frames the scallop circle and use contrasting colors for the different sized circles. Often times, manufacturers will offer different punch sizes so that you can layer them and create different effects.
Circle punches are great for making custom greeting cards because you can customize the sentiment for whatever type of handmade card you need and it's not seasonal so you can use it all year long. If you are in search of a versatile tool to use for your handmade cards, start with a circle craft punch.
My name is Chloe, a card making enthusiast, and I love to share my ideas with those of you that have the same passion for card making.
You can find examples of handmade cards and more ideas how to use your circle punch at http://www.card-making-corner.com/hand-made-card-ideas-2.html
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Happy Card Making!