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Paper Piercing Tips

Copyright©2009 by Gem’s Cottage

The three basic things one needs for paper piercing are:  a piercing tool, a pricking mat and a pattern. The piercing tool may be a push pin, a safety pin, a sewing needle, or a special paper pricking tool. The pricking mat may be a mouse pad (use the soft or rubbery side),  a foam sheet, several layers of paper towel (3 to 5 layers, depending on your preference),  layers of fabric, or again, a special paper pricking mat. As for patterns, these are the images  included in the download. The patterns are used to make holes on the paper, creating a design.  The front side of a paper piercing piece is actually the back side of the paper - the side with the  little “bumps”.

  1. Make a hole on the paper by holding the piercing tool and pushing it straight down through the paper - never hold it at an angle. This ensures that the holes made are even.
  2. Before starting with a paper piercing project, check how sharp your piercing tool is. It should easily pierce the paper and make a neat hole. It takes more force (from your hand) to push a dull tool through the paper, and at the same time, it does not make a neat hole.
  3. If you decide to use a push pin (which is what I did), note that, even though they may come from the same box, they are not created equal! Here are examples:

Push Pins       

Paper Piercing Tip 1

Note that the green push pin is longer and sharper than the blue one. Consequently, the holes they make differ: the green push pin makes small neat holes (left side of the scallop design), while the blue push pin makes larger and   kind of uneven holes (right side of the scallop design).

  1. The size of holes made on the paper depends on three things: the diameter of the pin’s shaft - a sewing needle will naturally make smaller holes than a push pin; the kind of paper used - a regular printing paper will show bigger holes as contrasted to thick cardstock; and the kind of pricking mat used -  “squishier” and thicker mats make bigger holes. Using the  same push pin but different pricking mats, note the hole sizes below (the pricking mat used  is indicated on the same side as the holes): 

Paper Piercing Tip 2

Paper Piercing Tip 3

  1. Note that although you can buy the special tools for paper piercing, you can be resourceful and use whatever you have right now at home. Have fun experimenting! Paper piercing  is an enjoyable paper craft that creates beautiful results - and what’s more, it”s therapeutic, too - it’s like popping bubble wrap!

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