Wednesday, 9 May 2012

It's hip to be Square!

With a constant flow of irresistible new stash  and tools continually arriving in the shop (and our craft spaces) it's easy to forget about some of the long standing basics we have all had in our stash since the dawn of scrapbooking time.

It's my aim in this post is to help you rediscover one such item and use it with your latest pretty paper purchases to create some of the current popular trends in scrapbooking.

May I reintroduce you to your very humble, long neglected.......

Square Punch!!

I'm going to show you how you can use a square punch to create quick and easy banners, bunting and chevrons to adorn your pages.

First up, banners.....

Simply take a strip of patterned paper, and slip it into your punch so that a triangle shape of the paper is visible on one corner of the square-punching area, as in the picture below. For obvious reasons, I find it easiest to work with the punch upside down for this so you can see the actual punching mechanism and line your paper up easily.
Give the paper a punch, and on removing it you should be left with a nice "tail" shape to your new banner strip! I've turned mine here in this photo to help you visualise how exactly the square punch has chopped the shape into the strip.
You could create a tail in one end of your banner, or in both ends. For this page, using the gorgeous SEI Vanilla Sunshine line, you can see I layered a few banners together as a mount for my title, helping to draw attention to it:
Here's the completed page (click on it to see it more closely):
I wanted to create the effect of a shower trickling down the page in the top left corner, so began by spritzing the area with some Mister huey in Clay. I also swiped some along the top edge of the paper with a brush to create a cloud effect. I then cut a cluster of circles from the Raindrop Corner paper and added them to the top,
before adding some hand cut umbrellas from the Sunny Showers paper below: I further added to the raindrop theme by cutting glittery circles from the same sheet and popping them onto the page, interspersed with adhesive rhinestones and shimmery dots of silver liquid pearls
A little embellishment cluster was made using the cloud flag from the October Afternoon Little Flyers (which again I added some of the hand cut glittery circles to), some twine a My Minds Eye pin and a button.
For my journalling, I spritzed some grey cardstock with the Clay Mister Huey to give it a mottled, water-marked showery effect, before running it through my printer and cutting it into strips. A bit of white acrylic paint swiped across the page not only created the perfect background to allow my journalling to shine, but also resembled a cloud!!

Next up, bunting. This trend has been around for quite some time now, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Manufacturers are still releasing bunting-themed papers, chipboard elements, stamps and papers - but there's nothing more satisfying than creating your own from pretty papers in patterns of your choice - and it's a great way of making a dent in your scraps pile!

Each square that you punch will give you two little bunting flags, and it's as easy as this....

Start by turning your punched square 45 degrees so that it looks like a diamond:
Cut it in half (from the top point of the diamond to the bottom point).

Move your two halves apart, rotating the bottoms outwards slightly so that each has a long point facing downwards, as pictured here:
Now, by snipping across the tops of your shapes, you will be left with two little bunting triangles. The red lines in this photo indicate where you should be cutting across:
 Hey presto - cute little bunting flags:

The final technique using your square punch that I want to show you is creating a mosaic chevron effect.

You need two punched squares for every "v shape" you want to create along your chevron.
Begin by cutting one of your pair of squares in half diagonally:
 Take the bottom half of your square, and place it above the top one, as pictured below:
 Repeat for your second square - cutting it in half diagonally,
 and then placing the bottom half above the top one:
 Here you can see how the shapes make the "V" wave of the chevron pattern when assembled together:
Rather than adding them straight to my pages, I prefer to create my chevron pattern on a piece of scrap card. This makes it easier to rearrange on my page when I'm designing it - I'm an indecisive scrapper and spend ages moving my elements around until I'm happy!
 Continue building your chevrons until your pattern/panel is at your desired size:
 I cut away the excess card between the chevrons with a scissors, and trim the sides with my trimmer to give a neat finish, and my chevron pattern is then ready to add to my page:
Here's how both of these techniques look in action on a page:
I "mounted" my bunting on to a couple of tags I made using some of the Vanilla Sunshine paper to create a little embellishment cluster at the top of my page:
I wanted to include the pretty diamante "30" pin that was on my birthday cake as a memento of the occasion, and the chevron mosaic provided a perfect background for it. I teamed it with some of the little flags from the Little Flyers to make a trio of stick embellishments:
Thank you as always for popping by the Sarah's Cards blog - I hope you feel inspired to dust off your old square punch and use it in new ways.

Pop back over the next few days to find out the details of this month's challenge!

My supplies for these projects included:

9 comments:

Lesley G said...

Very clever, nat! Thanks for the tips, love the LO too.
Hmm, now I need a square punch!

Trina said...

Fab layouts Nat, I really love your rainy day one.

Off to dust off my old square punch!

xx

Jenga said...

I don't have a square punch!!!!!! Humph now I neeeeeeeeeed one! Great ideas hun x

PurpleJet said...

Wondered why I'd bought a square punch, thanks for making me feel it was a good investment!

Ifa said...

Gorgeous pages Nat. I especially love, love, love your cluster of cloud, brollies and rain! Absolutely gorgeous rainy day LO.

Tracie said...

gorgeous layouts Nat, I really love the rainy day one! Must look out my square punch!! xx

Helen said...

Lovely ideas Nat. Thanks for stepping in and posting early. Really appreciate it xxx

Cathy C said...

Gorgeous layouts Nat, love your ideas with the punch, must give them a try now x x

Cathy C said...

Gorgeous layouts Nat, love your ideas with the punch, must give them a try now x x