How to Use a Craft Punch on Tissue Paper
Just file this craft punch post under things I am posting on the blog so maybe someone doesn’t have to spend as long as I did trying to figure out a good way to make it work. I didn’t google how to use a craft punch on tissue paper before I started so if five million tutorials already exist, well then, I guess I should have googled.
I’m not sure if you have ever tried using a made for paper craft punch on anything but printer weight paper, card stock or construction paper, but it doesn’t always go so well. There can be lots of tearing and materials can get stuck in the punch, especially with tissue paper.
I had sort of given up on the idea and then Spencer’s teacher asked me if it would be possible to punch her a few hundred tissue paper stars for the kids for a decoupage project at the school. I decided it must be possible after all. I already had the punch (I stock up at Michael’s random 40% all punches sales. I am building an arsenal), she loaded me up with tissue paper and I got to work.
My first attempt was a single layer of tissue paper layered between two pieces of construction paper. It worked with a bit of slippage but the star came out with clean edges and no tearing. Done and done, but a few hundred would take forever and I would be left with double the amount of unneeded construction paper stars. (She said she would take any paper stars and figure out a project so I was too concerned but that seemed like a lot of extra supplies to use.)
Doubling up the tissue paper in to two layers between the paper also worked but led to some wrinkles, then I had a realization. I needed a third hand or a better way to hold the paper. Enter the magic of the elbow! I put everything on the table, pinned it down with my elbow, held the paper upright with my hand (of the same arm) and was able to punch the length of the paper with minimal slippage. It also eliminates the need for the backing paper. I had the tissue folded so it was longer than the top paper, so I would just punch the length of the printer/construction paper and then trim the punched edge off and slide up to punch the remainder of the tissue sheet(s).
It’s like magic! After some trial and error, I got up to cutting through 10 layers of tissue (5 folded pieces) with the top paper. Since you get 11-12 stars per side, that isn’t too bad, over 100 per row.
The stacks of punched stars easily slide apart. I only tried this with two shapes, so I know it works with a heart and a star, but I think it would work with any simple shape. Also, my punch was on the new side. I imagine this would get tougher with a dull punch. I have so many ideas for what to do with a million tissue paper shapes – and what a fun way to make table confetti for a party!