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Frustration with Punches

So... I'm trying a new way of jewellery making (inspired by Annemarie Ridderhoff on YouTube), by making acrylic pours (aka fluid art) onto transparency sheet (because I couldn't acquire any Yupo paper, and I already had the transparency sheet -- overhead transparency sheet, thin transparent plastic sheets in A4 size) and cutting out the pretty bits and gluing them into pre-purchased pendant settings (and then gluing a transparent cabochon on top). I didn't want to cut them out by hand, because it wouldn't be neat and tidy, so I thought I would use papercrafting punches. I already have a number of them, but only a few of the round ones match the pendant settings I was able to purchase. Yeah, the pendant settings all come in their own "standard" sizes, and the punches all come in completely different "standard" sizes, at least the ones I can get from my local craft store (Lincraft -- I'm in Australia). I think the only ones that match are the 25mm circles and the 38mm circles.

So I needed to find punches to match the settings. So I looked on the internet, and finally found & bought some punches -- which were "Punch Bunch" brand -- which were 30x40mm oval, 18x25mm oval, and 16mm circle. I tried using them today for the first time. The smallest one bruised my hand, it was just so difficult to press down. The middle-sized one jammed after nine punches, and I haven't been able to un-jam it. The large one hasn't played up... yet. But that's because I've stopped doing the punching for today. Those punches are a huge disappointment.

Now, I know that punching transparency sheet is likely to be more difficult than punching thin cardstock, but it surely isn't impossible? I used my 25mm circle punch ("Sullivans" brand) without any problems at all. So with a better-designed punch, it actually is feasible to do. But it isn't feasible with the punches I bought.

So... any ideas how to solve this problem, people? I need to punch out precise shapes, so that they will fit into the pendant settings. But I need something which is better-made and easier to use than those "Punch Bunch" punches. But it was hard enough finding those punches in the first place! Do any of you know a source for better punches that are exactly the right size? Annemarie Ridderhof uses a Brother Cut'n'Scan, but I can't afford to pay $499 for that! (That's with my Lincraft discount, the normal price is $599!). Maybe I could get a cheaper diecut machine, but it would be pointless if I couldn't get a die which cut out the correct sizes of ovals and circles. (sigh)

Very frustrated. Help?!

Edited To Add: So, after weighing up the pros and cons, I have decided to buy a Sizzix Big Shot. And some matching dies. Because some dies do actually match what I need. And the Big Shot has a good reputation for robustness. Yes, a bigger investment than more punches, but also a whole lot more versatile than punches or even a Cut'n'Scan, since the latter can't do embossing.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
lookslikerain
Nov. 13th, 2017 03:26 am (UTC)
I've cut out stencils using transparency sheets and it was a bit of a bitch, (slippery as all get out) but it worked okay. I think the key for me was using a sharp blade, and a lot of tape to hold it all down. I guess it depends on how steady your hands are. Mine aren't that steady, haha, so I really hated it! :P

Also, I don't know if it would work with what you are describing with the transparency sheet, but I've made fridge magnets before out of clear glass cabochons with paper on glued onto the back and then a magnet. Sort of sounds similar? I, like you, didn't have any punches that fit with the size of cabochons, so I cut out rough squares, glued them onto the cabochons and then once they had dried, cut around them with an exacto knife. The glass was good enough to act as the solid guide to cut against, and as long as I went slowly enough, it made a nice neat cut. I then went over them again to seal off any edges (not that they really needed it) before sticking on the magnet back. It is a lot more fiddly than diecuts, but it was a damn sight cheaper! Once I'd done a few I got the hang of it and it went quicker. I was giving them away as workplace gifts, (so I don't have any pics, sorry!) so it had to be kind of economical for me to make a few sets.

Good luck!
kerravonsen
Nov. 13th, 2017 03:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't want to be messing with stencils and craft knives, that would be a nightmare.

Hmmm, gluing it onto the cabochon first? Not something I thought of! Thanks.

Though I decided, after much toing and froing, to bite the bullet and buy a manual die-cut machine, a Sizzix Big Shot (since that seems to be one of the most reliable ones). Still an investment, but not as expensive as an electronic one, and you get the advantage of being able to emboss as well as cut! Not that I would be putting embossed things under a cabochon, but it could be useful for other things like decorating cuff bracelets. So, two for the price of one. Because I don't want to end up injuring myself with sub-standard punches!
calzephyr77
Dec. 30th, 2017 06:09 pm (UTC)
Huh, I wish I had seen your post earlier, I totally would have recommended a Big Shot. I have had mine for years now and it is still quite dependable, plus the amount of wafer thin dies you can get now is amazing! If you go the wafer thin die route, you may want to invest in a magnetic platform for the machine. It holds the dies in place. It is such a game changer, especially if you are cutting out sets of parts.

I haven't heard of Annemarie Ridderhoff before - now I'm mesmerized!
kerravonsen
Dec. 31st, 2017 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you. I love my Big Shot, I am having a lot of fun with it. And yeah, Annemarie Ridderhoff is really something; very prolific.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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