My favorite punches

I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing this post for a while – I often get questions about the size of my punches, and I think in general it’s hard to know which ones to buy and how they nest together. For those of you looking to beef up your punch collection, this post is for you!

Circle Punches:

I own (and use quite frequently) the following circle punches:

3/4″ – Stampin Up

1″ – EK Success

1 1/4″ – Stampin Up

Here is what these punches look like when punched out:

1 3/8″ – EK Success

1 1/2″ – EK Success

1 3/4″ – Stampin Up

2″ – Marvy Uchida

Here is what these punches look liked punched out (sorry, I forgot the 2″ one – but you get the idea)

Here is what all of these circles look like when nested together, starting with the 3/4″ going all the way up to the 2″ circle. (I don’t ever really do this many nested circles together, but I wanted to illustrate for you the sizes so you can see how well they all work together)

Regarding brands that I own: some of these punches are from Stampin Up (they are all the older forms of the punch – not the new compact design). That’s mostly because at the time I bought them, it was the best availability and/or price. Once I knew I liked circle punches & wanted to have a collection that I use interchangeably, I tried to find better bargains. So, I simply purchased them directly from EK Success (they are called “EK Success Paper Shaper Punches”)- either in a store like AC Moore – or online when they had sales going on. (FYI: Stampin Up punches are actually made by EK Success – so they are exactly the same. It’s just that there are some punches EK Success makes & sells exclusively through Stampin Up – mostly the shaped punches. But circles are just circles – so who cares where they are from, right?)

Quite possibly the most used punch that I own:

Stampin Up 1 3/4″ Scallop Circle Punch:

It nests wonderfully with several of the circle sizes:

Here is the Scallop punch with a 1 1/4″ white circle, on top of a 1 3/8″ green circle:

Here is the Scallop punch with a 1 1/4″ white circle, on top of a 1 1/2″ blue circle:

And lastly, one of my favorites: here is the scallop nested on top of a white 1 1/4″ circle, nested on top of a green 1 3/8″ circle, nested on top of a blue 1 1/2″ Circle:

Note: I have NOT tried or used the newest Stampin Up Scallop Punch which is much larger – so I can’t tell you much about that.

I don’t really do much with square punches (isn’t that odd? LOL!) I do own a 1 3/8″ square punch. But I hardly use it.

Other favorite shaped punches:

Stampin Up Word Window Punch:

there’s lots you can do with this one. It’s great for stamping or punching out printed greetings onto a small strip…

or even to create an opening to slide a gift card or small treat into (in this photo, the Kit Kat bars slide into the holder via a window that was punched using this punch)

Stampin Up Round Tab Punch:

this is great for adding greetings & also in scrapbooking you can add captions to photos. You can also use it for other things like the topper of a Christmas Tree Ornament, or to join 2 circles together to make a circle card: (NOTE: in this pic below, you can see that I nested a 1 1/4″ circle onto a 1 3/8″ circle onto the SU! Scallop Punch. The Reindeer stamp is from “Deer Friends” stamp set from SU! and fits *perfectly* into a 1 1/4″ circle punch)

Oval Punches:

I own a few Oval Punches through Stampin Up which I also think are great to have. They don’t really nest that nicely, but they are still fun to use together:

Here is what they look like punched out & nested on top of each other just to give you an idea:

They are the 2″ x 1 3/8″ Oval Punch and 1 3/4″ x 7/8″ Oval Punch. I used them in this project to create these mittens (I stole this mitten idea from my SU! Demo Michelle. If you are looking for a SU! Demo to order through I highly recommend her! She does long distance clubs I believe too!)

Border Punches:

I love me some border punches. They are such fun. I suppose I have a slight obsession with ones that are scallop-like in shape, no?

The ones pictured above are from (left to right):

Fiskars Apron Lace Punch

Stampin Up Scallop Edge Punch

Stampin Up Scallop Trim Border Punch

Fiskars Threading Water Border Punch

I own many more border punches. Mostly all EK Success, Fiskars, Martha Stewart. They are all great brands.

My recommendation for most stampers would be to build your circle punch collection. I can honestly say that I consistently use most all of my circles. (there are many stamps designed to fit inside circles – so it helps to have various sizes on hand so that you can make it work to whatever stamp you’re using) Look for bargains ( usually has great sales & I believe they carry the EK Success Paper Shapers).

As for larger circles – I don’t have any punches larger than 2″. Once you get up over 2″ the punch becomes somewhat cumbersome to use. At that point I will either use a circle cutter or my Cricut/Silhouette to cut the size out that I want.

I hope this post answers some of your questions. If I have let anything out, please leave me a comment & I will try to get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks!

My favorite links & videos

SO much of what I share here on my blog has been inspired by something I’ve seen on someone else’s blog, or better yet, on YouTube. I love the blogging community – I think it’s an amazing resource with SO much out there to read about. So I wanted to share some of my favorite resources for inspiration. Most importantly, this is where I learn a LOT. If you are ever stuck and can’t figure something out, I encourage you to watch videos & see how other people do it. I’ve learned a ton this way.

My Favorite Videos: I watch YouTube more than I watch TV. (No lie – I’m not a big TV person). I subscribe to a LOT of channels & I just love seeing what people come up with for projects. If you don’t already, you must check out the following people on YouTube – I promise you won’t be disapointed:

  • Kristina Werner – I don’t think this one needs an explanation 😉 We all know who she is! Her creativity blows me away every week. You can catch weekly card videos plus other instructional videos & card series on her blog. I don’t know how she does it all!
  • Jennifer McGuire – probably one of the best Teachers I’ve stumbled upon. Great videos, great blog, lots of ideas here.
  • Nichol McGourik – if you are into scrapbooking, you must check her out. She knows more about the Silhouette & scrapbooking than I could ever dream of! Love her work & her ideas are endless.
  • TwoPeasinABucket – they have YouTube channel with weekly videos from Kristina, Nichol, sometimes Jennifer McGuire too. From stamping to cardmaking to scrapbooking – it’s all there. Love it.
  • Hero Arts – they upload weekly videos to their Blog and all of their artists have great ideas to share. Lots of stamping techniques to learn from this channel.
  • Basic Grey – this is a newer one on my list, but it’s great. Kristina Werner has started doing videos for BG that include digital scrapbooking & cardmaking, plus regular scrapbooking. Definitely worth checking out.
  • ChicNScratch – if you’re into making fun Craft Fair items, or things other than just greeting cards, this channel is a must see. Angie is a great teacher & she is also a big Stampin Up Demo. She uses lots of SU product and makes really cute things. I use a lot of her ideas & tutorials for my craft fair items.

Other Videos: I don’t watch these ones quite as frequently, but they are still a great resource if you have a specific craft that you’re looking for more information on.

Cricut Videos – try MyPinkStamper (her blog is HERE) or Creations with Christina (her blog is HERE). They both do TONS of videos on the Cricut & share lots of ideas. I have to admit I’ve been getting away from using my Cricut so I have not watched as much recently.

Here is a specific video from Christina on how to use all types of dies in your Cuttlebug.

Here is a great video series on Die Cutting in general, put on by TwoPeas and Nichol McGourik. The videos from January focus on the Silhouette in particular, but all the videos are good as they cover a variety of machines and dies.

Stamp TV – Gina from Gina K Designs shares lots of great techniques on stamping & cardmaking.

Follow the Paper Trail – Oh my. Laura is SO talented. Her mini albums & designs are so intricate and she seems to make everything look so professional. She sells kits too – so if you like mini albums, she’s your gal.

This video series by Jennifer McGuire is awesome! If there is anything you want to know about Ranger Products, Tim Holtz, Distress Inks & other “inking” techniques, these are the videos for you. There are 27 videos, be sure to watch them ALL!!

There was another Thinking Inking class done by Jennifer just a few weeks ago – this time with a Holiday twist. You can find that one HERE.

OK I think that’s it for now. I might do another post soon with other random links that include sewing, decorating, etc. But for now I think this post is long enough…! LOL!

Craft Fair Resources: Sharing some links

I get a lot of questions on where I get my supplies, etc. I thought I would put it all in one post for you all to reference. Some of these stores might be local to my area (Mass) so they might not be available in your area, but you might be able to find something similar. I hope this helps some of you! I might add to this list as I think of more and/or get more questions 🙂

Clear Envelopes/Cellophane Bags: (ALL proceeds support her project of sending cards to troops. Her prices are great & her shipping is SUPER quick. Please buy from her. She is wonderful.)

Red Sticky Tape/Sticky Strip: You can get a HUGE roll of it here: Confessions of a Ribbon Addict. – it’s MUCH cheaper than buying it through Stampin Up, Michaels or AC Moore. I buy the 1/4″ roll, 36 yards. It’s literally the exact same stuff you get elsewhere.

ATG Refills: Tape Depot – I’ve had good luck w/ them & prices are great. (NOTE: I use the 1/2″ ATG adhesive (I have the yellow gun – I believe most people with the 1/4″ adhesive have a red gun. I prefer the 1/2″ – just a personal preference)

Acryllic Frames for Post-It Stands: I get mine (3.5″ x 5″ frames) at the Christmas Tree Shops. They are 69 cents each. Even better when you can find them on sale. I know these stores are local to New England.

Test Tubes: I get mine from this website – thanks to a tip from a Blog Reader. Great site! See this post for more specifics on exact size of Test Tubes, etc.

Nugget Tins: In the past I’ve used Specialty Bottle. However, their shipping is high. Recently, I’ve found this website – where shipping seemed to be better, and prices are good. You will want to get the “Rectangle Hinged Window Steel Can.” Item #6517060P. The product is the exact same. I recommend them.

Tombow Adhesive Refills: here is a place you can get them for a great price.

White wire display racks: (you can see what I am talking about in these pics of my craft fair display) – I bought these at Lowe’s (local hardware store) in the closet organization section. They are simply those wire shelves that you install inside a closet. I bought just the shelves & stand them on end. I use tie straps to keep them all secured together, and some bungee cords to secure them to the underside of my table. (it’s a pretty sophisticated setup, HA!)

Greeting Card display rack: this was a $20 find on Craigslist.

Wooden purses, jumbo clothespins, alterables: I get most of these in the unfinished Wood section at AC Moore. You can also try Michael’s or Joann’s. Joann’s website does sell a lot of alterables on their website.

Pens/Jumbo Paperclips/Post-It’s: Staples and/or Walmart.

sharing some finds & things I like.

Hi guys. Just wanted to post some things I’ve come across that are too good to pass up, and also share what I am totally diggin’ right now.

Red Sticky Strip & Dimensional Adhesive:
I LOVE Red Sticky Strip. I use a lot of it on my 3D projects, therefore I go through it like water. I need a lot. And I’m not really down with ordering it through SU! or going to Michael’s to get it – the prices just aren’t that great. Thanks to the awesome ladies on SCS, I stumbled across this site where you can get both Sticky Strip & TONS of dimensional adhesive for really great prices. I just ordered some of both. I will have to let you know how I like them. I’m really eager to try the dimensionals – I’m not sure, but I think you get more per pack than you do with SU.We shall see!

ATG Adhesive:
I use the 1/2″ ATG adhesive (I have the yellow gun – I believe most people with the 1/4″ adhesive have a red gun?) Anyway, I get mine HERE. They have a great price for a bulk package of 12 rolls. Plus if you spend over $50 you get free shipping. Seriously you can’t beat that. I LOVE it when I get free shipping. It pretty much influences my choice to buy at a store online or not.

ATG Information/Video:
If you are thinking of getting one, try going to this site HERE and clicking on the photo of the ATG gun. It will download a video for you to watch. This teaches you how load your ATG gun. I used it a lot when I first got mine. (Now I do it so often that I think I could do it in my sleep, ha!)

Mono Adhesive Refills:
Even though I am an ATG lover, there are still times when I grab for my Mono Adhesive. Let’s face it, it’s small & convenient. I hate to pay the $3+ for it in the stores. A “little birdie” sent me this link where you can get it super cheap.

Unfinished Wood Products/Alterables:
I get most of these at AC Moore, Michael’s & Joann’s. I am bummed that they are not available in all parts of the US. (Then again, we have NO Hobby Lobby’s anywhere in New England, which I am bummed about!) But I get asked this question a lot for my Wooden Purses, Jumbo Clothespins, Door Hangers, etc.

Things I am really into right now:

My friend is coming over tonight to have wine & scrapbook/stamp/be crafty with me. I’m looking forward to it. I hope to get a lot done this weekend. Have a great weekend everyone!