This lovely punch around the page set is the mystery item that arrived at my house on Monday. I use a lot of punches even though my Cricuts can make wonderful borders. Sometimes I just want to put something together quickly without taking the time to fire up the Cricut and the computer (I nearly always adapt the designs a bit with Design Studio to make them fit my cards).
The Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page sets are some of my favorite punches. I have posted many projects using them (here is a LINK where you can find prior posts) and I am pleased to able to review this new "Laurel" set for you today.
These punches come in a set that will create a continuous border by combining an edge punch with a corner punch. The punches are heavy duty with a thumb lever that I find easy to use. They store compactly with the guide wings on the corner punch and the "wings" on the border punch folded up. These folding wings are a big improvement over the older border punches which can be difficult to store.
Here you can see the punches opened to their working positions.
The corner punch has two extensions that make it easy to align the corner of your paper to punch. The border punch has silver guides for punching the section between the corners and for continuous edge punching.
In order to get a perfectly punched edge you must start with an accurately cut square or rectangle. Here are three typical sizes for card making a 3 1/4 (3.25) inch square, a 5 inch square and a 3 1/4 (3.25) x 5 inch rectangle).
Each set comes packaged with this handy instruction sheet which tells you the dimensions you need to use to have the punches work continuously. You can punch the edges of a full 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock to make a fancy background page quickly and easily. The minimum dimension you need is 3 1/4 (3.25) inches square and then you can add increments of 1 3/4 (1.75) inches to either side to make additional shapes.
You should start by punching all four corners with the corner punch. Let the sides of your paper rest against the guide pieces and make sure that you don't push the paper over the raised edge of the guide.
Here is the 3 1/4 inch square with all four corners punched. You could use this as it appears now without moving on to the next step. For some of the punch sets the design is very attractive at this stage. I think that this one looks a little unfinished because of the curve to the area where the punch ends.
To add the section of leaves along the side of the square, you simply align the punched corner on top of the silver image of the leaves on the border punch base.
If you cut your beginning square accurately (this is very important) the right side and the left will both cover the silver guide images perfectly.
Here is the square with the first side finished. You simply repeat the process to punch the other three sides.
This is the completely punched small square. This delicate leaf border is very versatile and will work for all sorts of cards. There are many punch around the page sets - some are very occasion or holiday specific and are fun but if you are on a budget, the more general sets will serve you well.
Here is the 3 1/4 x 5 inch rectangle with just the corners punched.
To make the first punch on the rectangle you align the corner with the guide images just like you do for the square.
Then you slide the paper over to continue along the edge. For the small rectangle you will now have a corner image to align (right side) and the first border punch which will line up with the guide images on the left wing of the border punch.
Here is the finished small rectangle. The continuous border is complicated looking but, as you can see, it is easy to create with these tools.
This is the five inch square completely punched. After you do a few repetitions the punching is quick and easy to do. You do have to be sure to make your original cut accurately and to pay attention to the positioning of the edges as you move around the shape. A little shift in placement can keep the edge from meeting up perfectly.
Once you have punched several shapes in different colors you can start combining the punched shapes to create some pretty layers.
This medallion combination is very pretty for cards. Here the card base is 5 1/2 x 11 inches folded for a 5 1/2 inch square card.
Of course you can always use the border punch by itself to create borders for trimming a card or to use along a scrapbook page. You can get even more interesting effects by punching both sides of a strip of paper.
The look will vary depending on the width of the strip you use.
This is a full twelve inch strip of paper that started at 1 1/4 inches wide - for this punch you can't go much thinner or the borders will overlap in an unattractive way.
I happened to already have this clear stamp set from Martha Stewart. It also features a laurel design and will coordinate beautifully with the punches.
Do you like this punch set? Can you think of ways you'd love to use it?
Well...here is the exciting thing I have been hinting at for the past few days! I have not one, not two or even three but TEN - that's right TEN (!10!) of these punches sets to give away to my blog readers. Thanks to Martha Stewart Crafts for providing this wonderful gift and a chance for so many of you to receive this set for your own crafting.
So, how can you win one of these Martha Stewart Laurel Punch Around the Page sets? As always, it's simple. You will need to leave a comment on THIS POST and, just for fun, tell me if you have any other Martha Stewart Punch around the Page sets and which of the many sets available is your favorite (you can see most of the sets HERE). Please be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you are a winner through your blogger profile, a message board name or your email address (but separate the words and write out "at" and "dot" to help protect yourself somewhat against spam). The punches will be sent out directly from Martha Stewart Crafts and I will contact you to get your full mailing address if your name is chosen. (For your own safety, do not leave all of your personal details here)
I never require readers to follow or subscribe to be included in a chance for a blog prize but if you do follow or subscribe please tell me in the comment and I'll add your name twice. It seems that if I have more followers and subscribers I will be more likely to be able to host giveaways like this from time to time.
I will have limited internet access for the next week and my comments are moderated which means I have to approve them before they appear on the blog. If your comment does not appear right away please do not leave multiple comments - I will approve them when I can access the internet. Edited to add - I realized that I should just go back to the word verification format and not moderate comments to avoid confusion since I won't be able to approve comments as quickly as I normally do. Sorry for the extra step and for any spam that slips through.
You must leave your comment by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on
For the next six days I will share some simple cards that I made using this set. I have lots more ideas - these are just the start (remember - I only got the punches yesterday!). I may be able to post a few other projects as well so there could be a day with multiple posts (for those of you who get the emails be sure to scroll down to see if there is another post).
Here is a sneak peek at the first card...
It's going to be a fun week!
I am getting closer to my goal of selling 40 Creative Memories cartridges to be included in the contest to win a Cricut Cruise - thanks again to everyone who has purchased through me. Here is the LINK to the cartridge page on my Creative Memories website if you are interested and don't have a local consultant.
As I mentioned above, I will not be able to be on the internet regularly for the next week. I am still catching up from last weekend so if you are waiting to hear from me about a question please be patient a little longer.
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