Paper-Punch Techniques for Scrapbooking

Learn new ways to use basic paper punches for not-so-basic results on scrapbook pages. From simple shapes to intricate border punches, these versatile tools can make scrapbooking easier and help you express your creativity.

Punch Folded Cardstock to Create Scrapbook Page Backgrounds

Design by Susan Weinroth

Susan accordion-folded paper to create a paper-chain effect on this scrapbook page. After folding her paper, she punched slightly outside the folded edge to keep the hearts and circles connected. To avoid damaging your tools, keep paper thickness in mind. Susan found that three folds (four layers) was the maximum her punch could cut.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Fibermark (orange), Canson (green, brown), Bazzill Basics Paper (all other). Fonts: Slab Tall-X ("he," "laugh") off the Internet, Century Gothic (all other). Stickers: Making Memories. Brad: American Crafts. Buttons: Autumn Leaves. Punches: EK Success (heart), Marvy Uchida (circle).

Mat Accents with Scalloped Circle Punches

Design by Valerie Salmon

Valerie used scalloped circles punched from patterned paper to sweeten her delicious cupcake design. She mounted her cupcakes onto cardstock circles and matted both onto her scalloped punches to turn the shapes cut from patterned paper into standout accents.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Prism Papers (light blue, yellow), Bazzill Basics Paper (all other). Patterned paper: Heidi Grace Designs (cupcake row, light pink), Imaginisce (all other). Rub-ons, brads: Imaginisce. Chipboard accents: K&Company ("8"), Imaginisce (all other). Gems: K&Company. Felt trim: Creative Imaginations. Punches: EK Success, Fiskars, Marvy Uchida. Decorative scissors: Fiskars.

Create a Punched Polka-Dot Background

Design by Michelle Rubin

On this scrapbook page, Michelle created an original polka-dot background with multi-colored punched circles. She helped her color scheme stand out by grouping the circles into blocks of color and placing them in a pattern around the page before adding her grouped-together photos, journaling, and title.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Prism Papers. Stickers: SEI (large letters), Cloud 9 Design (small letters). Punch: Emagination.

Use Punches to Create Paper-Piecings

Design by Shannon Brouwer

Inspired by the frog costume in her photos, Shannon used punches for the body and spots of her frog paper-piecing. To unify the spaces on her scrapbook page, she punched circles in two shades of green to use as the background for her text.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Font: Quirky by Two Peas in a Bucket. Chipboard letters: Scenic Route Paper Co. Ink: ColorBox by Clearsnap. Punch: EK Success.

Use Punches to Highlight Special Photos

Design by Erin Clarkson

Erin added interest to this vacation-theme scrapbook page by circle-punching her two favorite photos and adding them to a more linear photo collage. She attached the punched images with adhesive foam to make them stand out from the rest of her page.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Making Memories (turquoise), Bazzill Basics Paper (orange). Font: Bebas (title) off the Internet, Trebuchet (journaling). Stickers, ribbon: Making Memories. Rub-on: K&Company. Chipboard accent: Imagination Project.

Use Punch Negatives as Original Borders

Design by Shannon Zickel

Shannon punched and pierced a scalloped pattern along two edges of her scrapbook page, then used the holes left to create a negative-space border for her photo. She backed the design with patterned paper to give it a bit of color and filled other punched spaces with tiny dimensional embellishments. Bought scalloped cardstock served as a guide for Shannon's design, but you could create your own template with decorative edge scissors or die-cut shapes.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: BasicGrey. Letter stickers, pen, felt flowers, brads: American Crafts. Rub-ons: Hambly Studios. Epoxy stickers: Cloud 9 Design. Hole punch, paper piercer: Making Memories.

Add Punched Decorative Edges to a Page

Design by Leah Fung

Leah used multiple border punch designs to add fun decorative edges to her page. For an extra-special detail, she placed different cardstock colors side-by-side and punched the same border through each of them, unifying the design.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Font: Century Gothic. Die cuts: Cricut by Provo Craft. Paint pen: Sharpie. Thread: Coats & Clark. Punches: Fiskars (borders), EK Success (small flower).

Use Punches to Hide Adhesive Foam

Design by Irma Gabbard

Irma used circles punched from pretty patterned paper to hide the adhesive foam propping up her clear die-cut flowers. For added interest, she cut two of the circles with a scalloped-edge punch.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: KI Memories (blue dot). My Mind?s Eye (red dot), Autumn Leaves (beige text). Transparencies: Creative Imaginations. Sticker: 7Gypsies. Ink: Tsukineko. Brads: Making Memories (black). Button: Autumn Leaves (black). Metal accents: K&Company. Floss: DMC. Punches: EK Success. Die-cutting tool: Cricut by Provo Craft.

Punch Uniform Shapes from Printed Tags

Design by Angie Hagist

Punches can turn nearly any scrapbook supply into the perfect page accent. Angie loved the printed pattern on a set of die-cut tags, but wanted the shapes more uniform. A simple square punch enabled her to turn the tags into nine perfect squares, which Angie used to frame a single photo of her daughter.


SOURCES: Patterned paper, tags: 3 Bugs in a Rug. Pen: Sakura of America. Chipboard hearts: Heidi Swapp. Label holder: Queen & Co. Punch: EK Success.

Spice up Pages with Punched Shaker Boxes

Design by Rhonda Bonifay

Rhonda used punches to create super-sweet flower shaker boxes on her scrapbook page. She circle punched see-through holes in chipboard flowers, then filled the shakers with tiny punched hearts and flowers.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: KI Memories. Font: Notebook by Two Peas in a Bucket. Chipboard accents: KI Memories (flowers, letters), Heidi Swap ("&"). Rub-on word: Scrapbooks. Photo corners, decorative tape: Heidi Swapp. Punches: EK Success.

Mimic Motion Using Swirl-Shape Punch Designs

Design by Nic Howard

To match the motion in her photo, Nic punched holes in a swirl shape and attached patterned paper beneath for a whimsical pop of color. Punching holes through the paper and the photo tied Nic's scrapbook design together.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper, die cuts, acrylic accent: KI Memories. Font: Century Gothic. Rubber stamps: PSX. Ink: StazOn.

Layer Border Punches in the Middle of the Page

Design by Erica Hernandez

For a new take on traditional border placement, Erica ran simple border punches through the middle of her scrapbook page. Her layered borders add a pop of color and command more attention than a single strip.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Carolee's Creations (blue), Autumn Leaves (purple). Font: Goethe Gothic off the Internet. Stickers, lace trim, photo corners: Making Memories. Rhinestones: K&Company. Rub-ons: Autumn Leaves (purple flourishes). BasicGrey (branch). Punches: Fiskars.

Hole Punch Scrapbook Page Text

Design by Susan Weinroth

Text can be much more creative than simple type. Susan created part of her text with hole punches. To keep the letters cohesive and the rows straight, Susan traced her letters before she started punching.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: BasicGrey. Font: Nilland off the Internet. Chipboard letters: Heidi Swapp (orange), Making Memories (template). Ink: Tsukineko. Brads: American Crafts. Hole punch: Karen Foster Design.

Punch and Bake Shrink Plastic for Custom Accents

Design by Erica Hernandez

For custom accents made easy, Erica punched circles and flowers from shrink plastic and tossed them in the oven. Remember, when shrink film is baked, it will lose about 50 percent of its original size. Use larger punches for this type of accent.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Carolee's Creations. Fonts: Seeing Futura (journaling), Blackjack (title) off the Internet. Shrink plastic: K&B Innovations. Digital element: Two Peas in a Bucket (brush). Punches: EK Success (flower), Marvy Uchida (circle).

Print Text onto a Punched Collage

Design by Lisa Storms

Lisa created a collage background for her title and journaling by punching hearts from three different papers. She securely adhered the hearts to a sheet of paper, then printed her text directly onto her shapes. To prevent paper jams, Lisa made sure her collage was completely flat before running them through her printer.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper Me and My Big Ideas. Fonts: Digital Readout ("1124"), Calisto Bold ("miles away...") off the Internet. Century Gothic (journaling). Punch: QuicKutz. Brads: Making Memories. Embroidery floss: DMC Corp.

Decorate Chipboard Piees with Punch Designs

Design by Erica Hernandez

To add her own touch to unfinished chipboard pieces, Erica punched holes around the edges and popped in a few brads for a boost of color. Consider chipboard width before punching to avoid damaging a tool.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: 7Gypsies. Fonts: Shoebop (name, date), Uncle Charles (journaling) by Autumn Leaves. Chipboard accents: Fancy Pants Designs. Punch: We R Memory Keepers. Digital overlay: Rhonna Farrer for Two Peas in a Bucket.

Use Punched Paper Flowers to Fill Out a Border

Design by Katie Thornton

After hand-cutting a few floral shapes traced from a cookie cutter, Katie filled in the rest of her blossoming border with punched paper flowers. Layering different textiles into a border added texture to Katie's page.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Hobby Lobby. Patterned paper, large eyelet: American Crafts. Rub-ons: Art Warehouse. Stamp: Heidi Swapp. Ink: Ranger Industries. Pen: EK Success. Brad: Making Memories. Buttons: Dill. Floss: DMC. Felt: Crafts, Etc. Punches: EK Success. Cookie cutter: Wilton.

Create a Structured Corner Punched Design

Design by Lisa Storms

Although corner punches have traditionally been used on photo edges, Lisa played them up as an architectural-looking page element. She started her scrapbook page by setting up a grid of squares, then punched the interior corners to make room for tiny leaf punches in between squares.


SOURCES: Cardstock, patterned paper: Bazzill Basics Paper. Font: Times New Roman. Tags: Deja Views for The C-Thru Ruler Company. Stickers: SEI. Rub-ons letters: KI Memories. Brads: Doodlebug Design. Embroidery floss: DMC Corp. Punch: Fiskars (corners), EK Success (leaf).

Repurpose Punch Shapes

Design by Susan Weinroth

Don't feel limited by punch labels. Susan got creative using teardrop and paisley punch shapes as flames for her candles. She added small gems to the punches to further embellish her flames.


SOURCES: Cardstock: American Crafts. Patterned paper: Heidi Grace Designs. Cloud 9 Design. Font: Century Gothic. Stickers: Cloud 9 Design ("Our Gift"). Rub-ons: American Crafts (letters), Cloud 9 Design (stitches). Gems: Queen & Co. Punches, circle cutter: Fiskars.

Use Beads to make Punches Stand Out

Design by Jennifer Perks

Jennifer punched different flower sizes and scattered them around her all-about-me page. She made her floral embellishments burst from the page by adding beads to the petals. For added interest, some flower petals have a beaded border while others are completely filled.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: We R Memory Keepers. Font: Copperplate by Apple. Beads, brads: Queen & Co. Punches: EK Success. Foam stamps: Making Memories.

Enhance a Page Using Decorative-Edge Punches

Design by Amy Licht

Border punches make it easy to add flair to scrapbook page edges. Amy enhanced her layout's theme by punching a design of waves and bursts around her photo. She made her decorative edges pop by backing them with white -- but any contrasting color will do.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: American Crafts (stripe), Anna Griffin (floral), Provo Craft (blue check). Fonts: Dartangnon ("splash") by ITC, Renaissance (journaling) by Two Peas in a Bucket. Cotton art tape: Imagination Project. Patch: EK Success. Brads: Happy Hammer (pink, green), Making Memories (dark, light blue). Border punch: Fiskars.

Create a Scalloped Border from Circle Punches

Design by Valerie Salmon

Valerie turned punched circles into a scalloped border by securing them beneath patterned paper. She further embellished her border by layering circle-punched pieces of floral patterned paper matted with orange paper on top of two scallops.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Ribbon: Offray. Punches: Fiskars, EK Success. Scallop-edge scissors: Fiskars. Cloud 9 Design Page Kit ("Sorbet Villa").

Layer Punches in Contrasting Colors

Design by Michelle Rubin

Michelle layered star and circle punches in contrasting colors to make them stand out from the rest of the page. The tone-on-tone layers add texture to her scrapbook page.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Prism Papers (green, aqua), Bazzill Basics Paper (orange). Patterned paper, ribbon: Love, Elsie. Stickers: American Crafts. Gems: KI Memories. Clip: Making Memories. Punches: Fiskars. Software: Picasa.

Use Foam Stamps to Create a Template for Punches

Design by Rhonda Bonifay

Rhonda created a template for her swirls by pressing a foam stamp on the back of her layout and punching the pattern using different-size hole punches. She backed her flourishes with different cardstocks for a splash of color.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: FontWerks. Font: 1942 Report off the Internet. Rub-on phrase: Fancy Pants Designs. Ribbon: May Arts. Hole punch: Making Memories.

Add Texture to Punches with Embossing Templates

Design by Lee Anne Russell

Lee Anne added texture to her punched cardstock circles with embossing templates. She added extra interest to her page by using two different-textured templates to emboss her circles.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Die Cuts With A View. Patterned paper: KI Memories. Font: Tahoma off the Internet. Die cuts: KI Memories. Die-cutting tool, dies, embossing templates: QuicKutz. Punches: EK Success.

Fill a Background with Punches

Design by Erin Roe

Erin used a large heart punch to create her pieced tone-on-tone background. By turning every other heart the opposite direction, Erin filled more of her background. To add interest, she let the design flow off the edges and trimmed the hearts as necessary.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Fonts: Constitution (script) by Autumn Leaves, Typewriter by P22 (all other). Brads, metal alphabet, rub-ons, label holders: Making Memories. Punches: Marvy Uchida.

Use Punches to Round Photo Corners

Design by Melissa Inman

To give her page a sleek look, Melissa used a corner rounder punch to round the edges of her photos. To add interest, Melissa added blocks of polka dot patterned paper between her photos and rounded the edges of those as well.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Urban Lily. Rub-ons: Autumn Leaves (burst), Gin-X for Imagination Project (script letters). Chipboard letters: Li'l Davis Designs. Corner rounder punch: EK Success.

Make Flowers from Punched Circles

Design by Polly Maly

Keeping other embellishments to a minimum, Polly created flowers by spiraling punched circles of patterned paper. She dressed up her shapes by machine-stitching the edges of the circles and adding a button in the center of each flower.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper, letter stickers: Doodlebug Design. Font: Kathleen off the Internet. Circle punch: EK Success. Acrylic paint: Plaid.

Frame Punches in Punched Circles

Design by Miley Johnson

A clear transparency backs a hole-punched sheet of paper in Miley's design. She machine-stitched circles on the transparency to frame various punches centered in the holes. To add shadow, Miley mounted the design to cardstock with adhesive foam.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Paper Fever (stripe, gingham), Chatterbox (blue, diamond). Font: After Hours off the Internet. Rubber stamp: PSX. Tags: Avery Dennison. Brads: The C-Thru Ruler Company. Wood accents: Michaels. Punches: Family Treasures.

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