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Punch Art Tips Tricks and Tutorials

Updated on March 2, 2013

Make amazing artwork and scrapbook pages with scrapbook punches

Almost every crafter has at least one or two shaped paper punches. We've picked them up on sale, or because there was a design we just couldn't resist, or we simply had to have that one inch circle punch for a certain project. If you've never explored the many amazing possibilities to these brilliant cutting gadgets, hold on to your hat, you're in for quite a ride because I'm here to share with you everything I know about Punch Art.

Even if you've made punch art before, you're sure to find some great new ideas as we explore how to trim and layer with punches, how to roll and fold with punches for 3D embellishments, how to color in punched paper pieces, how to work with the negative "waste" pieces from punching projects, how to make stencils using your paper punches, and even how to use your paper punches with clay!

The image shown here is an ATC (artist trading card) I made using ONLY punches. Everything you see, from the moose to the moon, from the ferns and flowers on the ground to the cloud in the sky - even the hills in the background are made using vase punch trimmed and aligned to give a hilly look.

Punch Art is about thinking outside the box

There are dozens - probably hundreds - of punches on the market today. But who can afford them all?

No matter how many punches you have, whether it's 3 or 300, Punch Art expands the possibilities.

Punch Art Tip: How To Trim and Layer With Punches

One of the most basic steps to creating Punch Art is layering. From the artful arrangement of leaves and flowers to evoke a garden in the ATC above to the starburst punch behind the slightly smaller circle punch to create a silvery moon, layering punches can create depth and turn a few simple shapes into a complex character or scene.

Trimming in another cornerstone of Punch Art; with a judicious snip of a pair of scissors, you can turn a heart into two teardrop shapes, a flower shape into a crown, or a moon into devil horns.

The Best Book About Punch Art

Punch Your Art Out: Creative Paper Punch Ideas for Scrapbooks With Techniques in Color, Pattern & Dimension
Punch Your Art Out: Creative Paper Punch Ideas for Scrapbooks With Techniques in Color, Pattern & Dimension

This book is the third in a series of three punch art books called Punch Your Art Out, and it's my favorite of the trilogy. They are all very useful and helpful guides to punch art, but Punch Your Art Out 3 is by far the most inspirational to me, and the illustrations and ideas always get me excited to start making creative punch art projects.


Layering and Trimming Your Punches To Make These Craft Ideas

Punch Art Tip: How to Roll and Fold with Punches to Create Dimensional Embellishments

Rolling and folding your paper punches is essentially Punch Art Meets Quilling and Origami. You can create dazzling 3D embellishments this way, and it's much easier than it looks. While flowers are one of the most common themes you see using these techniques, the only limit is your imagination as you apply these paper sculpting tricks to punch art.

The Best Book About Punch Art Using Folding and Rolling

Paper Bouquet: Using Paper Punches to Create Beautiful Flowers
Paper Bouquet: Using Paper Punches to Create Beautiful Flowers

In this amazing book you'll learn how to create perfect replicas of all your favorite flowers using paper punches, markers, and some simple rolling and folding punch art techniques.


Fold and Roll tor Punch Paper Pieces To Make These Amazing Projects

Punch Art Tip: How To Color In Punched Paper Pieces

Another way to get more from your punching projects is to color your punches. You can use colored pencils, markers, ink pads, or chalks - or any other art supply you can think of, really. Shading and layering your colors really brings punch art projects from simplistic folk art shapes to sophisticated artistic crafts.

Get Started Coloring In Your Punches

Color Your Scrapbook Punch Art: Fun and Easy Ways to Add Realistic Detail! (Memory Makers)
Color Your Scrapbook Punch Art: Fun and Easy Ways to Add Realistic Detail! (Memory Makers)

The only real guide to gaining depth and richness through coloring your punch art, I can't recommend this book enough if you're ready to bring your punch art to the next level.


Punch Art Tip: Don't Forget Those Negative Space Punches

Some punches are intended to create a paper shape, others to created a shaped window in your paper projects. No matter the intention, you can flip the idea around. You can use the little cut away bits when you punch a lattice border to add eyes to a punch art character. Or take that large heart punch and punch out a nice heart shaped window in your next greeting card or scrapbook page to frame something on the other side.

Punch Art Tip: How to Make Stencils Using Your Paper Punches

Here's an exciting tip - punch a shape out of cardstock and use that "window" left behind as a stencil. Just use a dauber and an inkpad to brush color in any shape you desire. If you want to create a more durable, permanent stencil, simply punch your shape out of overhead projector sheets. The thin clear plastic punches easily for all but the most intricate punches, and you'll have a nice slick surface to glide the dauber and get clean lines. Plus, the clear plastic allows you to see exactly where on your paper crafting project you're stenciling.

Tools You'll Need To Stencil With Punches

Punch Art Tip: You Can Use Paper punches With Clay To Creat Amazing Jewelry And Embellishments

Polymer clays like Fimo or Sculpey can be rolled very flat and thin with a rolling pin or pasta machine and slipped into paper punches to create amazing clay projects! Here is a step-by-step tutorial on punching clay which is where I first learned of the technique.

How To Make Punch Art Projects With Clay

Please let me know you stopped by - I'd love to hear what you think about this page. Did it help you? Did you find the info you were looking for?

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    • Mellithorpe profile image


      5 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens very much. Your photo at the first of the lens is beautiful and very artistic. Love it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love it, love it, love it!!! Thanks so much, bless you. Jeanine;o)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      wonderful craft and ideas. ~blessed~

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 

      7 years ago

      I have the punch art book but have never really taken the time to do it. This inspires me!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These are some great craft projects and ideas. Great lens.

    • noobeegin profile image


      7 years ago

      Love your instruction and ideas. I have many punches but would not have thought about some of the idas you have introduced here.

    • seashell2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great ideas... I do have a couple of these punches but had tucked them away and forgotten about them. I'll have to pull them out... they would make nice embellishments to holiday gift tags! Thanks!


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