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paper punch help

Today I bought a nice little butterfly punch at Michael's. It's a Martha Stewart punch by EK Success. http://www.joann.com/martha-stewart-crafts-large-punch-monarch-butterfly/10078681.html

I've never used this brand of punch before and am more familiar with the type that have a little plastic cover over the bottom that you can open so the punched bit can drop out. The only directions say to put the punch on a hard surface for more leverage. So, I tried it out. Nothing came out. Tried again. And again... all the paper stays totally inside the punch and I've been trying to get the tiny bits out with tweezers for the last hour. I only got half of one butterfly and the rest was just a mess. I've searched the internets to no avail. It seems to punch cleanly. If I just wanted to create butterfly stencils, that would be fine but I want butterflies and not a punch filled with stuck paper and a paper with butterfly shaped holes in it.

Any suggestions? I am probably just going to take this thing back to the store tomorrow. I don 't see much point in keeping it if it's not going to work.

ETA: Thanks for all the suggestions. I was going to take the punch back today but didn't make it out there. My Sizzix die cut machine arrived and I got out some 65 lb. cardstock to try out my few dies I got for it. Finally, I started playing with the butterfly punch again and tried a piece of the cardstock and -- the punched butterfly actually did come out! I looked in the punch and could see more bits from the earlier attempts sticking up so back to work with my tweezers I went, also employing a finger nail file to poke into one of the filigree holes where I could see some metal from the can and low and behold, that dislodged it so I could finally yank the rest out with the tweezers. I got it all cleaned out and tried the thin cardstock a few more times and it's working. I think most of the problem was due to the intricate detail of the punch. It's not going to work for the original use I got it for but it is usable.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 5th, 2014 08:51 am (UTC)
Maybe try thinner paper? Sad to say, if you want to use thicker paper die cuts would be the way to go.

Edited at 2014-02-05 08:53 am (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks, but considering that I tried thin newspaper, I don't think I can get paper that's any thinner. I got it to cut aluminum cans to make earrings with -- and that is pretty thin. As I said, it cuts cleanly, it just doesn't come out of the punch. I don't see how I can keep using it with both bits of newspaper and aluminum stuck up there now. Most of the online help suggested how to make the punch "unstuck" when it's stuck down or something, and doesn't say how to get the paper out. I have other punches and though sometimes a piece will slightly stick, they usually just fall out or you can get them out with a tug. The pieces in this case aren't even visible and only when I used tweezers could I even find any of the bits.

I've ordered a die cut machine which will be here today!! But this punch is a nice size for earrings and there's a large butterfly die cut punch I want that would go well with it for a pin or pendant.

Thanks, though.
Feb. 6th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
Hope you can find nice earrings sizes even with the die cut machine. :-bd
Feb. 6th, 2014 06:11 am (UTC)
Thanks. I actually did find the perfect thing tonight while browsing the Sizzix site here.

It's one of their Vintaj designs and it actuall!y cuts the buttefly and embosses it at the same time! So, perfect. I got my Sizzix machine from Amazon today and had such fun playing with my few dies tonight! You're right, it's certainly easy with a die cutter.

I tried a piece of thin cardstock tonight and it helped to push up the junk that had gotten stuck in the butterfly punch so I think I may be able to get some use out of it after all.
Feb. 6th, 2014 08:44 am (UTC)
Yay! :)
Feb. 5th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
I found this on YouTube... Hope it helps!

Feb. 5th, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I watched that and she's right about how hard it is to punch and that it is supposed to fall out the sides. Sadly, mine just don't fall out at all.

Guess it's going back today. :/

BTW, love your opossum icon! There are a number of them in my neighborhood from time to time and last winter, one tried to come into my house when I called my dogs in! It was around 11:30 and I let the pups out when I got home from work. I called them in and I think the little guy thought he was invited too! He was right behind one of my dogs. I saw the fluffy gray fur and flinched and let go of the door. I could see the fur in the crack at the bottom of the door! He played possum of course. I got a broom, opened the door and slid him over, then stepped over him to go get the last dog that was shying away from him out in the back yard, picked her up and stepped back over the little guy to go into the house. In the morning, he was gone but the dogs sure sniffed around the spot where he'd been lying! Funny -- don't know what I'd done if he'd managed to get all the way in the door.

ETA: I tried a piece of thin cardstock tonight and it helped to push up the junk that had gotten stuck in the butterfly punch so I think I may be able to get some use out of it after all.

Edited at 2014-02-06 06:13 am (UTC)
Feb. 6th, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
Re icon: Thanks! I find opossum fascinating... but I prefer to not have one in my house, lol! (I understand why a dog might be intimidated, when an opossum hisses and shows all it's teeth, it's scary!)

I'm so glad the cardstock worked and helped clean out the punch for you! I haven't looked into them but the Sissix sounds neat. I really like the possibilities.

Here's to happy no-hassle, crafting!
Feb. 6th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
I did some online searching when the opossum incident happened and found that even the babies try to do the intimidating teeth thing, but it doesn't work so well when they're toothless, lol. My research told me they don't actually attack because they seem to know the showing of the teeth is usually sufficient to make something or someone back off, but they will bite if cornered. I had one living under my porch at one point. I got home around 11 p.m. one night, just in time to see him waddling past my steps and into his hidey-hole. The porch needs to have the holes blocked up, but I always worry about one being inside so I can't do it.

Re the punch: nothing a couple of hours work with tweezers couldn't solve, apparently. The butterflies aren't falling out now because there are one or two little bits that don't get cut as well, but they seem to pull apart all right with no damage. Not sure if I messed anything up in there or not, but at least it's working at last. Oh, the Sizzix is wonderful! I've been punching everything in sight since last night!
Feb. 5th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
try punching tin foil a few times to sharpen the punch?
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:53 pm (UTC)
It's sharp enough. It cuts fine. I tried an aluminum can because that's what I got it for. Cuts nice and sharply. Thanks -- yeah, I read those tips online, but were mainly for sharpening punches that have been used and are getting dull.

But nothing comes out.

Thanks though. I appreciate the idea.

ETA: I tried a piece of thin cardstock tonight and it helped to push up the junk that had gotten stuck in the butterfly punch so I think I may be able to get some use out of it after all.

Edited at 2014-02-06 06:14 am (UTC)
Feb. 6th, 2014 12:11 am (UTC)
Sometimes you have to cut wax paper a couple of times.
Feb. 6th, 2014 02:28 am (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. Will that help the bits of paper clogged inside come out?

ETA: I tried a piece of thin cardstock tonight and it helped to push up the junk that had gotten stuck in the butterfly punch so I think I may be able to get some use out of it after all.

Edited at 2014-02-06 06:15 am (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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