160GSM Ivory Linen – Paper Story

When I first started cutting I used 160gsm paper, I thought that it would be easier. The last time I tried to cut Rosie on 160 I gave up because it had become hard work to get through the thickness of the paper. I had also thought 160 was not the best option for small details. Thinner linen papers I have tried have felt horrible to cut and barely had any texture to them, this one does have a gorgeous texture.

Printing

Ivory Linen 160Printing it will hold even pure black without showing through, light colours are easily visible though so save the ink and print light. Being a thicker paper it had no difficulties going through the printer so no worries there if you have a printer that doesn’t like heavier weight paper.

Drawing

No sheen so just like drawing on normal drawing paper for pencil choice. Don’t go too hard though or you could end up adding more texture to the page.

Cutting

For a heavy weight paper it doesn’t “feel” as thick as some of the others I have tried. Cutting the detail was more difficult than lighter weight paper, but it was workable, the larger sections in the tail though were lovely to cut and I barely noticed at that point that it was a thicker paper.

The texture doesn’t get in the way at all, so no worries with snagging on the curves but take your time with large curves to make sure you get it right with the extra pressure involved.

Somewhere I did slice through a line while cutting, it took me a while of poking to figure out where it was so the paper is very forgiving on slight mishaps making it good for newer cutters.

Blades

Blades, when working on detail blade use is going to be high but on larger areas it’s surprisingly good on blade usage quite unlike what you would expect for this weight of paper.

Price

£1.95 for 10 sheets so works out as around 19p/sheet.

Conclusion

Once you turn it over any small areas you may have had issues with become very worth it. If you are doing wedding invite cuts use this paper. Anything that suits texture will look fantastic on this. Paper story themselves recommend it for typographical cuts and I can see why. If you are working on lots of details this probably isn’t the best choice but for the finish it can be worth persevering with the challenge just to have the amazing texture.

You can buy this paper on Paper Story’s website here.

110GSM White – Paper Story

Another from Paper Story. I normally cut on 100gsm so this is the closest to what I am used to. The paper is flat with a pearlescent sheen to it and is also available in ivory.

White 110

Printing

When printing very light grey is best, no trouble seeing even the lightest colours, of course you can go a little darker if you are printing flat but for floating go as light as you can see.

Drawing

As like other pearlescent papers, don’t go to soft with your pencil choice or it will smudge though this will take up to a 4B before going smudgy. 2H max if you prefer harder pencils.

Cutting

Very easy going on the details and larger areas. It handles curves beautifully and glides over the mat as you move the paper around. Very few fluffy bits, even if you go for too long with a blade but you will see a difference.

Blades

Blade use is good, totally what you would expect from this weight of paper. 15-20 minutes.

Price

10 sheets for £1

Conclusion

A lovely light weight paper. Due to the weight probably not one for new cutters as if you do go a little further into a corner on a cut it will be visible. Highly recommended to those that prefer lighter papers. It has a good structure if you are more used to heavier weights though so don’t let that put you off.

You can buy this paper here

 

120GSM Bersan – Paper Story

This paper feels lovely, Available in White or Cream. Paper Story teamed up with PayperBox to offer this paper and it’s worth noting that the Bersan is a range of charitable products which Payper Box donate 5% of their sales to cancer charities.
I think this paper would be perfect for wedding cuts, there is an opalescent shine to it rather than being “in your face” shiny.

Printing

Bersan 120Printing in pure black will result in some of the ink showing through even when flat, medium greys are fine if you are flat mounting but go light if you plan to float.

Drawing

HB or at the softest 2B, anything softer is likely to smudge harder and you will have the drawing showing through.

Cutting

When cutting it does feel heavier than it is, I would say it feels more like 140gsm to the blade though to the touch it is clearly 120gsm. It does mean that it isn’t as good at handling small detail as you would expect but it does still perform well if you plan which section to cut first properly.

The layers in this paper can separate if you are not careful, check you have cut all the way through, though it is easy to see where you have cut. Because of this the paper can be prone to the occasional fluffy bit, they are easy to remove though with a fresh blade.

As an advantage though once the details are cut and the paper removed everything still holds well.

Blades

Reasonable blade usage, especially considering it feels thicker to the blade. 20-25 minutes on regular cutting but 15 on the details because I was changing just before the drag to avoid the paper fluffing. I may have been able to have got slightly longer though.

Price

10 Sheets are £1.50 making it 15p per sheet. Reasonably priced for the finish and remember some of that cost also goes to charity so even more worth it.

Conclusion

On the flip, it’s worth it. A clean finish on a beautiful looking paper.

I wouldn’t recommend this paper to a new cutter, because of how the paper can behave if you don’t change the blade at the right time. Though for those with more experience at knowing when you feel the drag you can easily handle the paper. If you’re after a paper that behaves like a heavy weight but less work and easier on the blade usage then this is what you should be using.

Buy the paper here.

Safe Disposal of Blades

I really can’t stress enough that when you are done with your blades they must be disposed of safely, in most places blades are destroyed by incineration as this is the safest way to ensure they don’t damage anyone or anything in the environment.

Safe Disposal

Mostly the type of blades used are surgical so logically you should dispose of them just like any other surgical type of equipment. Here in the UK we have Sharps Boxes which are available from doctors or pharmacies at a very low cost. (The smallest box would last you years.) Once full the box is designed to be impossible to open once sealed.
When ready for disposal the box should be labelled as craft blades – non medical waste so it is known that your box does not contain any sort of contamination. Then usually it can be returned to your doctor or pharmacy and they will ensure it is disposed of correctly.

However in some areas they state they cannot take the box (and will not allow you to have one) unless it is for medical waste only so please be clear when you request one.

Some councils will allow you to seal your blades in a container that can not be broken label it as craft blades and be collected with your normal domestic waste, if you are a business this will go with your business waste and not household.

Please always check with your local council or environmental agency how you should be disposing of your blades. If neither the pharmacy, your doctor or the council will take your used blades contact a waste contractor, they will charge you a fee but it is imperative that blades are disposed of correctly.

Be Safe at Home

Whatever method you need to use when it comes to disposal you also need to make sure all these used blades don’t end up all over your house. They may not be any good for paper cutting but they are still very sharp.

As a sharps box cannot be closed properly without permanently sealing it, it is possible for it to be knocked over and blades can spill. Make sure you keep it in a safe place where it is unlikely to be at risk of being knocked, either from children, pets or clumsy spouses.

Money tins that require a tin opener to access are also a favourite as the blades cannot “escape.” Jars can be used but aren’t ideal as glass can be broken if dropped or especially when placed in with domestic waste if you have that option.

It is best to assess the personal risk in your home, if you are the only one in the house there is far less chance of any problems arising from how you store your used blades, for those of you with children remember that some places that may seem inaccessible actually are when you have a toddler with enough determination.  For really inquisitive children perhaps a lockable unit (key not a child lock) or tool box is the best option.

However you store your used blades it may be best to test the method before filling it with blades.

Be safe and enjoy your craft.

130GSM Pearlescent – Paper Story

This paper is from paper story. Mid-weight for paper cutting so ideal for beginners  This paper is double sided (other than the latte, which is single sided) and comes in all sorts of gorgeous colours, The golds and silvers are divine and for some reason I adore the tropical orange (not a colour that would usually take my fancy.
I selected the Bearly Pink for the test.

Pearlescent 130Printing

Since I am used to printing on white or single sided paper my template lines are quite light to prevent them showing through. While I can still see the template printing slightly darker would have been an advantage (necessary on some of the darker colours.) Pure black doesn’t show through to the opposite side if it is flat, but if you plan to float don’t print too dark.

Drawing

If you draw your templates don’t go for a soft pencil HB to 2H is ideal for drawing on this type of paper, white pencil for the darker shades.

Cutting

When I first started cutting I did wonder if I was going to like this paper, only because I am used to a lower gsm. Once I had got a little more into it I began to just enjoy the greater control and structure of a higher weight.

Fluffy bits, barely any with this paper, you can see where you have cut easily so you know where the danger zones are. If by any chance a fluffy bit does appear they come away easily with a fresh blade and are even removable with a slightly used one.

Blades

This surprised me blade usage was quite low, I got closer to half an hour out of a single blade working on the detail, 40 minutes on larger areas (which is why you can see more cut in this photo.)

Price

A pack of 10 sheets in a single colour is just £1.50 so at just 15p/sheet it’s a good price for an excellent paper. Or if you like to buy in bulk there is an option for 100 sheets at 12p/sheet where you can request the colours you would like.

Conclusion

Over all, a brilliant all round paper it looks lovely once it is flipped over and because it is double sided there are no white bits. However that is also the only disadvantage as the darker colours are harder to work with if you print a template rather than draw.

Here is the link to the white, the colours are all listed separately.

First Experience: Promarkers

promarkers2One of the things on my Christmas list was a set of Promarkers, Santa, of course delivered. (well I do buy most of the presents.) I had wanted them because of some rather nifty effects it’s possible to get with them and I thought they would make an interesting addition to the paper for cuts or backgrounds.

Supplies

  • Promarkers or any other alcohol based marker
  • Marker pad

Of course when I started looking for how to do some of these great effects I also ran into tutorials on colouring as alcohol markers are very popular with manga artists.
I had had experience with colouring pages before as I had ran into one that I simply had to cut.

victorian ladyWell that sent me off on a tangent, I found a lovely image that looked fairly simple and went ahead and coloured it in.
All the colour was flat, I used layers of colour to get different depths in areas obviously in the shade but it still looked flat, so I hunted out a few other tutorials and learnt that you should blend different colours together. So I had a go at that, but it looked horribly wrong.

Then someone said, dark to light never light to dark. Completely backwards from what I had first seen.

Back to the tutorials and I ended up on YouTube watching Kimberly Brown I became enthralled by the process, I was really far way from what I originally wanted to do with these pens, but it didn’t matter I was having fun.
Artist - coloursTime to find another picture to colour, this is where I discovered Yampuff a manga artist specialising on chibis (This leads to another tangent but that’s another story.) I fell in love with her style and tried colouring following the new tutorials I had found.

It worked, some of my colour choices weren’t perfect but the next stage is to learn more about blending combinations and what works best.

Colouring is addictive. I might eventually get round to trying what I want to with these fantastic pens.

Making a Craft Show Display

How do I display my products at a show?

This is probably one of the most asked questions. It’s one I have been asking myself plenty of times.
While there are plenty of displays out there if you make a more “traditional” product (finished jewellery, cards.) the options are more limited for other types of arts and crafts.
For years I have sworn by my really useful box trays. I still do, they are, as the name suggests, really useful. But on a stall they can look a little bland, or your item can get lost in them.

Custom shelf displays

Craft shelf displayThese are one of my better ideas. So I thought I would share with you the process for making them.
1. You will need
– A3 Card (210gsm)
– 9×12″ Stretched Canvas
– Pine Decorative profile moulding
– Scissors
– PVA Glue
– Ruler
– A3 Printer (optional)
I mention that the printer is optional because if it isn’t possible for you to print on A3 card or you just want an un-branded display you may want to skip parts 2 and 3.
2,3. Designing your backing and faceplate
I use Photoshop but any image editor will do the job. I’m using a landscape A3 format. Depending on your canvas the measurements will be slightly different so I will omit them but measure the inside of the back of the canvas to determine how large you need the backing section. Align this to the middle of the document and add in any branding you wish. Make sure you add lines in for cut and fold guides that extend to the edge of the document and around the edge of the backing section. It’s best to do these in colours that match your branding.
Next measure the width of the wooden frame on your canvas and on a new layer in the same document add guides from the edge of your backing lines to the width of the frame. This section will become the face plate. Again add in any branding you desire and add cut lines.
You will need to print the two layers separately.
If you aren’t printing grab a ruler and a pencil and mark out your cut lines manually.
4. Cut out the printed sections
Fairly self-explanatory cut the four corners out of the backing card and cut the centre and the edges off the faceplate.
5. Fold the backing card
Use the ruler and make a slight fold along each of the lines around the backing card.
6. Insert the backing card
Line the backing card inside the canvas, use the edge of the ruler to press in the edges and make the final creases so the folded edges stand upright. Then fold the excess over the wooden frame. Trim so there is an overlap on the frame and secure down.
To secure the flaps I originally used the PVA though I found opening up a stapler and stapling it down a much faster approach as you don’t have to wait for this section to dry. The choice is yours. Though I don’t recommend double-sided sticky tape, it doesn’t seem to be strong enough.
7. Glue on the face plate
Spread PVA over the wooden frame of the canvas, take your faceplate and line it up over the frame. Turn it upside down and apply some weight until the glue is fully set.
8. Add the bottom shelf
Cut a length of the moulding to fit inside the frame of the canvas. Use PVA to glue it to the card that is against the wooden frame, allow to dry.
9. Add other shelves
Cut additional lengths of moulding for the number of shelves you require (I have 2 further shelves) and two 0.75cm lengths of moulding per shelf. Fix the smaller sections of moulding as supports for the shelves into the sides at the distance you need (6cm gives three shelves equal distance apart.)allow the supports to dry before securing the lengths of moulding for the shelves to them.

Other options

These really work for me because I mount my products on 5x5cm cards. The moulding provides a groove for the card to rest in.
You can get deeper framed canvases and wider moulding if you want a deeper shelf and there are plenty of options for shape of the moulding. Larger canvases mean you can fit in more shelves, or have more clearance between shelves.
I am currently making another variation for charm beads where instead of a shelf there is a plastic rod that the beads can be slotted onto.
If you go larger, you will need larger card and unless you happen to own a print shop you may want to look into a stencil or ordering decals for any branding.
Have fun with it, experiment, try other variations to best suit your product type.