There are a few tutorials out there on how to make the Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page (PATP) punches work on any size paper and not just those few sizes that come in the instructions, but I have found that one important step is left out of all of these instructions. They do NOT show you how to punch the corners (not the typical way to use the corner punch) once you get started. After glancing through my instructions, you will see what I mean.
Ultimately, what we want to be able to do is use the corner and edge punch that come in the PATP sets on any size paper and not be limited to just a few sizes. This can be done very easily if you just know how to do it.
First off, I would start with one of the PATP sets that have very few swirls or intricate patterns. It's easiest to also use a punch set that has a very clear and defined number of punch areas in the edge punch. For example, compare the Swirling Lace edge punch to the Deco Fans edge punch:
Swirling Lace punch set Deco Fans punch set
Notice the pattern to the edge punches above. The Swirling Lace edge punch does not have the exact same design repeated three times like the Deco Fans one does. The Swirling Lace PATP set is a beautiful set and is great for punching around the page, but is not the easiest to start with for this tutorial if you are a beginner trying this for the first time. So for this tutorial I am going to use the Deco Fans punch set. To see all the Martha Stewart PATP sets at Frantic Stamper and which ones are on sale, you can click here: http://www.franticstamper.com/PATP-Punch-Around-the-Page-punches-Border-Corner-sets_c_1143.html
Start off with an 8.5 x 11 piece of cardstock. Using the corner punch from the Deco Fans set, open the wings and put any corner of the paper into the punch at the right angle it was meant to punch at, and punch once.
Now take the edge punch that comes in the Deco Fans PATP set, pull down the flaps on the sides, slide the paper into the punch lining up the corner punch you just did with the design printed on the right edge of the punch. Go ahead and punch once. This will give you a set of 3 tiny fans that line up just to the left of the corner punch. We want to have this side of the paper punched a little further so line up the paper into the edge punch and punch one more time, giving you 6 tiny fans now. If you have trouble lining up what you have already punched, you can always turn the punch over and look into it. You should not see any blank open spaces if the paper is lined up correctly. All you should see is blank paper but if you move the paper over slightly, you will see your last punch.
Looking at the paper without any punches in it, we can see that we probably won't be able to fit 3 more of the tiny fans AND a corner punch along this side of the paper, but we could fit one more tiny fan and a corner. If you aren't sure how many more you can fit, punch a "cheater test punch" strip on a separate piece of paper as shown below and line it up with the paper you are working on. This will let you see how many fans will fit based on how long you want the end paper to be.
In our case, I wanted just one more tiny fan but not an entire full punch from the edge punch or I'd end up with 3 more tiny fans. To get just one fan punched out of the three, line the paper back in the edge punch and turn the punch over so you are looking into it from the back side. This is where we want to punch over two of the last tiny fans we just punched in order to get just one new tiny fan of the three punched. Make sure the last two fans you punched are lined up perfectly with the punch itself so you can't see any paper around the design of the fans other than paper that is going to be punched at the spot of the third fan. This is where you want to see two blank spots and one spot where the paper is showing. Go ahead and punch once.
This next part is the step that all the other tutorials (that I have found anyways) leave out -- how to get that corner punch to fit into the paper. If you have the flaps open on the corner punch, you will see that you can't possibly fit the paper into it to line it up. So close both flaps, turn the punch over so you looking into the back side, line the straight edge of your paper (the edge with all the fans on it) in the punch so that you can not see any of the previously punched fans. Move the punch around to get a feel of where you need to punch, constantly looking down inside it. It's not difficult to find where to punch after lining it up with the straight edge of the paper and having the punch at a 90 degree angle. Go ahead and punch once.
This is what your paper should look like: (it's okay to have an extra bit of paper after your corner punch).
Take a ruler and line it up on the paper so you can cut a straight edge off the end of the paper, or you can put the paper into your paper trimmer and cut off the edge. The photo below shows where to cut the edge off even though it is a little further ahead in punching:
Below is what your paper should look like with the edge piece removed:
The rest of the process is just a repeat of what you just learned. Line your paper into your edge punch so the corner design is lined up with the corner punch you just did, and punch once, giving you 3 tiny fans. We can fit one more so line it up looking into the edge punch from the bottom side, making sure you have the previous two fans lined up exactly to be punched over again and paper showing on the third spot only, then punch. You now have 4 tiny fans and one corner punch.
We're ready for another corner punch, so put the corner punch with the flaps closed into the paper looking from the back side of the punch lining up the straight edge again, and punch once. Remove the excess paper as we previously did.
Punch another 7 tiny fans along this third side of your paper like you did previously, making 6 normal fans and one where you have to line it up from looking into the back side of the edge punch:
Line up your corner punch with the flaps closed and punch once. The last side of the paper needs four of the tiny punches, so punch once using the edge punch to get 3 tiny fans. You have one blank spot left to do your last tiny fan from the edge punch:
Line the paper into the edge punch looking down into it from the back side, repunch over the last two tiny fans and punch, giving you one last tiny fan. Your paper is now done. You can do this to any size paper using as many tiny punches as you want, repunching as needed. I hope this tutorial helped you; if so, please leave a comment below or let me know how I can improve it.
The next picture shows you how the newly punched white paper fits perfectly on the blue punched paper. The blue paper was punched using 9 tiny fans (3 complete punches using the edge punch) and 6 tiny fans (your normal 2 edge punches) which is your typical 6.75" x 5" sheet of paper which is what the directions in the punch set tell you to use.
Above shows how the two papers layer without a big gap around all edges because we made the punches work for us on the white paper. The next photo shows how the two layer together with a larger gap in between them. The last two papers were made using the sizes that are given in the directions with the punches and not modifying them at all:
Here's the card again using the Deco Fans and Thanks die:
My next post will show you how to use any one of the Martha Stewart corner punches to punch around a circle to get this effect:
Products used in making the first card on this post:
- Large Thanks die (FRA-DIE-09196)
- Martha Stewart PATP Deco Fans
- Cottage Cutz Petites Die Flowering Vine