Friday, April 16, 2010

Punch Sharp! DIY...

While on the subject of punches this week, I figured I'd share this gem of advice...  Last Christmas I pulled out the festive holiday punches and went nuts on stacks of green and red cardstock.

Sadly after only using my tag punch to make 200 tags, it had began to become dull.  And when a punch becomes dull it no longer cuts the design out but begins to miss sections leaving a ripped paper halo.  Then as an good crafter that you are, you come back with your scissors and trip the overhangs.  Eventually you find yourself trimming so much that it seems more sensible to have cut the tags out by hand in the first place.  Epic Fail!  *super huge frownie face*  =(

My first thought was to have the hubs sharpen the punch.  He's excellent with sharpening knives so why not my punch.  Then I realized, a punch sharpened by him would be as sharp as a butcher's knife in chef Ramsey's kitchen...I would surely loose a finger while making tags!  So I sulked for a bit in thinking I would have to purchase a new punch.  That was until I happened upon a Martha Stewart gem of wisdom.  From

Tip: Tool can be sharpened by punching through aluminum foil or lubricated by punching through wax paper.

So I set out to sharpen and lubricate my punch.

Objective one:  Sharpen!
     But what type of foil to use?  The cheapest store brands are as thin as tissue paper while the highest quality name brands are as thick as the cardstock I had been punching through.  hmmm...  Too thin and it might get stuck in the punch but too thick and I won't be able to get the punch through it.  I chose a medium weight recycled aluminum made by Reynolds Wrap.

And as Martha said I punched through the aluminum.  I went with 5 times to be safe.  =)

Objective two:  Lubricate!
     For this I just used any old wax paper lying around the house.  As wax papers tend to be relatively similar in thickness, I didn't think that I had to worry about choosing the right type.  Sadly my paper was thinner than copy paper which led to messy punches and a wax paper nightmare.  So using a sturdy wax paper is also key.  (On a side note, did you know you can use wax paper to lubricate wood knitting needles?  You just take and rub the wood needles in the wax to keep them nice and moisturized)  OCD nature made me punch this 5 times as well.  =)

Now to test the punch...

Good as New!

Anybody else find any quirky little tips from Martha that you would have never thought to do on your own?

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