Until the last year or so, I’ll be the first to admit, I never was a big fan of paper punches. Â I’m not entirely sure why…I suppose I never quite understood the need for them, I never really used them in my paper crafting…and to be honest, they’ve always been a bit difficult to use for me. Â I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that I have neuropathy, which affects the strength in my hands. Â I’ve also recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis…adding even more pain and difficulties with using my hands in my crafting. Â BUT, in the last year, I have really come to love using punches, especially edge punches and fun shapes for making Poly-Shrink doo-dads.
So I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to review these Fiskars punches – particularly so because the big squeeze punches are the the only punches on the market to be awarded the “Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation!” Â That HAS to be a good thing for someone like me, right?!
I actually was SO excited that I even went beyond the two punches given to me to review, and purchased a 1″ circle squeeze punch (because I needed one anyway), and started using it several weeks ago to see how I would do with it. Â (Let me preface this by telling you some of the things I CAN’T do an a regular basis – I often can’t open my kids’ sippy cups to refill them, I can’t open jars, I can’t fasten buttons, I have difficulty with zippers…you get the picture.) Â I want to show you some pictures of the punch in my hand, pointing out the problem points with my hands and how the punch works for me.
I have been using this punch frequently over the past several weeks, and not once have I had any difficulty squeezing it, even when my hands were tired from long days of crafting. Â Here is a tag I made a few weeks ago (you may remember it) for my Bottle Cap, Inc. review – the 1″ punch is the perfect size for punching out the images to fit inside the regular-sized bottle caps.
I also tried using the 1″ circle punch on a piece of glossy-coated packaging cardstock from a stamp I recently bought. Â I wanted to make my own template for using with ink sprays. Â Even though the packaging was much thicker than regular paper or cardstock, the punch cut cleanly through the material. Â I was able to create a nice piece of background paper which I can now use as a base for an art journal page, or cut up to use on cards or mixed media projects.
You can see from the photos above (with the 1″ circle punch) that the big squeeze punches are open on the back so that you can see exactly where you are punching – I love this. Â The smaller, lever punches have a little trap door on the bottom that opens. Â You can open it to see where you are punching, or you can keep it closed to make multiple punches and have all the pieces stay in one place until you are ready to empty the little storage space. Â It also would make a great place to store extra punched pieces until your next project!
I thought a fun little beach-y looking necklace would be adorable using these punches (and I love any excuse to play with PolyShrink!).
Both punches punched right through the PolyShrink (by Grafix) with ease. Â I colored the shapes using alcohol inks and then heated them with my heat gun (easier for me than heating up the toaster oven). Â They are SO DARN CUTE all shrunk down! Â I decoupaged some tissue onto a PolyShrink tag charm, and punched another seahorse out of some brown, pebble-textured 100% cotton paper to add to it. Â I glued the shrunk charms onto a burlap star. Â I created a necklace from jute string and colored twines, and finally, used jump rings to attach both the star and the tag to the necklace. Â I think it will be perfect for summer trips to the beach!
From the Fiskars’ website…the crab will fit inside a 1.5″ circle punch (it doesn’t say, but I think the seahorse will too as it is 1″ in size itself). Â Their punches have a lifetime warranty. Â They are designed to be used on 65-lb cardstock or lower. Â The website has live online chat customer service. Â Fiskars has an active blog kept up by the well-know “Fiskateers,” where you can always find fun ideas and contests.
As for prices, I found the Medium Circle squeeze punch for $10.50, and it is readily available at most craft stores and online. Â The Horsin’ Around (seahorse) punch is $9.99, and the A Little Crabby (crab) punch is $14.49…though they have *just* been released, so you may have a little difficulty finding them just yet. Â But keep on the look-out – they will be available any day now!!
I definitely recommend these punches – not just for anyone with hand problems, but they are all around a great punch. Â But especially if you (or someone you love who loves paper crafts!) have any kind of weakness or pain in your wrists or hands, I can’t speak highly enough about these wonderful punches! Â You just HAVE to try them!!
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