Sunday, May 10, 2009

Distressing & my favorite border punch!

The more distressing I do on layouts the more I love it. I have been expanding the colors of ink I use and recently add the Weathered Wood to my growing collection. In my "Partners for Life" layout I used 3 different colors of distress ink to achieve the look I was after.
The ink colors are Antique Linen, Walnut Stain and Weathered Wood. I use distress inks often alone, but sometimes in combination. Most of the time I use a simple sponge dauber tool to apply the distress ink. On this layout I used the Antique Linen on the very outside edge of my background paper. I then used the Weathered Wood distress ink on the edge of my blue paper on top of the punched border to make it stand out more against the background paper. Last I wanted a mat for the photo that had an uneven edge, but I didn't want to tear it because I wanted a jagged edge that was small. So I hunted around and dug out my old Fiskars deckle edge sizzors which I have had for years. I then experimented with a sample piece of paper before cutting and inking my photo mat. After cutting the deckle edge, I sanded the edge so that I would have a completely white edge on the paper to work with. The close up photo left is how my paper looked before I began inking. With the photo mat I wanted some depth to the look, so first I inked the edge with Antique Linen. I brought the color approximately 1/2 inch into the paper. I left that dry just a bit and then went back and used the Walnut Stain distress ink to add a darker color to the outside edge. On the corners of my mat I pulled the dark Walnet stain a little farther in. The photo mat was about 5/8 of an inch wide so I had some room to vary the distressing. Last I distressed the striped piece of paper with just the Walnut Stain ink adding color only the the very edge to give it depth. I did the same process to my title on the word "Life". For the title this better defined the letters and let them stand out better from the background.

Because I love border punches and the Martha Stweard Doily punch is one of my favorites I wanted to share how I did the corners. The steps I am going to share are what I do with any border punch I buy, so you can apply these steps to your favorite punch.

When I get any new punch and experiment with it for a while I will decide what "look" I prefer for a corner. With the Doily punch I liked how the corner turned out when I let two scallops meet at the corner which gave the corner a more rounded look. Once I figure out what I am after, I just need to give myself two things, first a consistent way of lining up the two edges of paper and second an easy way to measure and trim my paper so I have a result I can reliably repeat. I always start figuring out what I need to do with plain old computer scrap paper. So I am going to show you an example using just that. I have here two pieces of computer paper. On one piece I punched a one side. the other piece I took my punch and cut a single image a short distance from a corner. I did this on purpose because I want to know exactly how far in from the edge of the paper the punch creates its design. I decide how I want to line up the corner design. Here you see red circles that I have drawn around a hole that sits in the design at the lowest point in the scallop. I am going to use this part of the punch design to line up my corner. I take the piece of paper with the single punched design and set it on top of the piece of paper with the punched edge. I make my second piece of paper turn the corner and I line up those two red dots. In the photo at left they are sitting on top of each other. Next I take a pen and draw a line on my bottom piece of paper exactly where the paper edge ends on the top piece of paper. It may be a little had to see in this photo but when I remove the top piece of paper you'll see exactly what I did.

The line I drew is clearly visible here. I will trim my paper exactly where I put this line so that when I put the paper in my punch and turn the corner I can line up the small punched hole in the design with the same hole in the punch itself for a clean corner. To punch the corner you will need to turn the punch upside down when holding it in your hand. I make a note, or keep this scrap piece of paper so I can trim each of my four corners to the exact same distance.


Karen May 11, 2009 at 12:39 AM  

WOW! Thank you so much for the play-by-play instructions! I love border punches also, but never had a clue had to make the corners looks decent. You're giving me something new and fun to try. So sweet of you to share your great expertise and techniques with us, Dolores!

Peggy May 11, 2009 at 4:00 AM  

Oh Dolores, look at the two of you!!!! Great picture, great LO!!! I don't have any border punches yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to visit your blog, you're the master when it comes to perfect rounded corners!
xxx Peggy

Hannah May 11, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

big fan of the Distress Inks!

Wonderful blog too!

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