How to Get Punchy

Of all the different shaped paper punches in the world, what would you consider as the most popular?

My immediate guess was circle.

After all, think of all the wonderful additions you can make to a scrapbook layout with the help of a round paper punch: frames, bubbles, wheels, faces, polka dots… the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately, for me (and my pride) circle paper punches are not even close to being at the top of the most popular list. According to Martha Stewart, the most common type of paper punch is the alphabet punch. Typically, it is sold as a set of 26 individual punches each featuring a single letter. You can find the sets at local scrapbook supply shops and online at Scrapbook Supply House. Martha Stewart also sells a version of the alphabet paper punch; however, hers features all 26 letters on two jumbo punches.

There are pros and cons to both sets. With the traditional set of 26 individual letter punches, you can create as many As, Bs and Cs as you need per layout. Conversely, Martha Stewart’s jumbo punch leaves you with half of the alphabet each time you use the tool. Meaning if you only needed one “H” or one “E” for your title, you’d be getting 11 additional letters each time you employ the punch. On the flipside Martha Stewart’s dual set takes up significantly less storage space and you can keep the extra letters you don’t immediately need and use them for future layouts.

Size is also a factor. The individual alphabet punches are usually quite small with each letter measuring about 1/2-inch tall. Of course, you can use a number of tricks to make the little letters pop on a page. For example, adding a border of glitter or creating shadows with a fine-tip marker can make your title a bit more visually interesting. Another idea is to embellish the letters with beads, stickers or sequins.

What are your favorite paper punches?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.