Border Punches and Getting It Square
Measuring to correctly position border punches can be a long drawn out and frustrating process. Here is a way to position those punches perfectly, and as a bonus, how to use a quilt ruler to square up a stamped image or phrase.
- Using a scrap of vellum that has a straight edges, punch with your various border punches all around the edges as shown in the #1 photo. Store this precious little scrap of vellum with your border punches to be used over and over. I have used a my bar border punches for this tutorial, you can also use this method with all types of border punches.
- To get your stamped or computer generated phrase square, try a quilting ruler. Determine how much space is desired between the bottom of the phrase and line up a line on the ruler under the letters. (shown on the right side of the picture) Now lightly make the first cut with your cutting tool, then cut again to finish. I have discovered that pressing hard to get it all done in one cut often results in the ruler shifting. (Grrrrr!!!!)
- Now to cut the opposing side. Place the edge of the ruler at the top of the phrase and allow the same spacing between the stamping and the edge as on the bottom. Then line up the edge of the paper with a line on the ruler and cut.
- You can see through the vellum to position exactly where the punch should be. Now mark lightly where to place the edge of your ruler for the next cut. Flip the vellum to the opposite side of the phrase and mark the other side.
- Here is the phrase with both sides marked with a lightly drawn line.
- To be sure that it is square, again place the quilt ruler over the phrase, lining up the edge of the ruler to the previously drawn line or mark. Make sure that the line on the ruler is parallel to or on the bottom of the phrase. Cut, then reposition the phrase, line up the ruler and cut the opposite side. Because I am right-handed I cut on the right.
- I like to use my punches upsidedown to better postion the paper in the punch. Standing when punching will also give better leverage, especially with thicker papers. When the paper is exactly where I want it, I press lightly to hold it in place, check the positioning again and then punch.
Here is the finished product. The punch used in this tutorial is a product of Punch Bunch.