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Papercraft Hints & Tips

Our finest papercraft hints and tips, set to take your crafting to the top of the class.

Découpage Tips

You can keep all decoupage pieces in a zip-up food bag to keep them all in one place until needed. Caron Aspinall

Machine Tips

When using your die cutting machine: if you are using flower dies and thinner card or paper (such as parchment, tissue or even fine paper), your die cutting machine is robust enough to be able to cut three or four layers at once. This makes building roses and carnations etc. so much more speedy. Jill Corfield

Put your eBosser on a television turntable - it makes life a lot easier! Julie Lees

To stop your Grand Calibur moving around while cutting, keep it steady using car dashboard anti-slip mats, they really do help! Diane Lycett

Stamping Tips

Always store your ink pads upside down. That way they are always nice and juicy when you come to use them. Amanda Rose

Use your watercolours, Promarkers, or even normal felt tip pens and scribble them onto a glass cutting mat or tile. Then, use a water brush to pick up the colour for colouring in stamped images. It gives a lovely water coloured effect. Lisa Dormon

Cardmaking Tips

Look for bright, striped wallpaper in reds, silver, greens and gold. It is ideal for all your envelopes at Christmas, to send out your home made cards to family and friends - and so economical too! Audrey Moult, LLanfechain Powys

When using Candy, stick your pad down first. Then, instead of trying to pick one use a - place it on top of pad and you will find there is more than one Candy stuck together, but only the bottom one will stick. Joan Wilman, Mirfield

Trying to get peel off words straight is hard as when you release them from the backing they often curl. Try placing some low tack tape to the peel off, press down (burnish) and lift the word from the backing. Alternatively, move the backing from the peel off away slightly and lift. Your words are then secure to the low tack tape and you can then place them directly on to your project. Again burnish down and the tape normally comes away cleanly. This same technique can be used when lifting individual letters from your scan and cut to move to your projects. Loraine Long, Wakefield

When your holiday is over, use left-over foreign coins for penny sliders. Caron Aspinall

Buy a roll of 1200 grade wallpaper lining paper; it's the thickest and strongest. Use this to make larger envelopes, as it is 22" wide. Edna Jeffries

Try looking at good quality wrapping paper for backgrounds when cardmaking. Irene Hall

Use talc (especially baby talc) to scent cards for just a hint of a scent. This does not stain card like spritzing with perfume does. Caron Aspinall

I save calendars that have great small pictures on them and cut them out and keep for when I want to give a card to a friend or family member. I wouldn't sell them because of copyright, but it's so handy when you spot something just right for a friend. Sue Butler - Radstock, Somerset

Embellishment Tips

Use clear nail varnish on the ends of ribbons - it stops them fraying. Kerry Porter

Cover your little mistakes with a flower, butterfly or a ribbon bow. Jackie Morris

Think outside the box - use flower dies to cut flowers from metallic or brown kraft card - it adds a whole new look to your cards! Jackie Hadley

For some of my cards, I can't find the right embellishments so I look for suitable images on the Internet, download and resize into word, and then glitz up with glitter in the colour to go with the rest of the card. Craftycath

Use leftover pieces of card to make tiny die-cuts eg: flowers or butterflies and keep them in a plastic box. They come in handy to cover little smears on your card. Mary Irvine, Lincoln

Drop nail varnish onto wax paper, let it dry , then use them as embellishments. They resemble, pearl/ crystal drops, or you can use them as gems. Sue Hughes, Croydon

I always cut the ribbon out of jumpers, tops skirts etc as they make great embellishments for my cards and they are free. Hazel Franklin, Nottingham

Die-Cutting Tips

Use clean 'take-away' containers to store odd bits of die-cuts to use at a later date. You can separate them into flourishes, dots etc or by colour. Easy to find when you need something small and quick. Janet Pell, Corby

Every time I get a new die I cut one in any scrap of card I have lying around. I then glue it onto card, put in Polly Pockets and into a folder. Depending on size, you can get quite a few on a page. When I am making a card I just have to flip through my file to see exactly what each die looks like. Great for time-saving! Irene Hall

When you receive your new dies, use scrap or photocopy paper when cutting out; spread them out and play around for different ways to use them. Don't forget to cut out extra shapes so you can cut into them. You'll be surprised with how many ideas you'll get and your creative juices will start to flow. Helen Kindleyside, Darlington, Co Durham

When you have positioned your die-cut, use a used tumble dry sheet to spread over the top. This allows you to smooth over everything with as much pressure as you need to stick every little piece down and any surplus glue is picked up on the tumble dry sheet, leaving your image in a perfect condition. Patricia Anderson

My crafty tip is for sticking die-cut words to card cleanly. Select card for your word, then stick double-sided tape to the back of it. Using the die on right side of the card, cut out the word. Remove it from die, take off the backing and stick to card. No wet glue, no mess, neat finish! Valerie Higgins, Paisley, Renfrewshire

I use all of the packaging from Tonic dies in my card making. Also, I save cardboard tags (and ribbons) from clothing as templates for my card making. Jill Bender - Tiptree, Essex

Glues & Adhesives Tips

My tip is to use a stick glue on top of DST to give you that little bit of time and movement to your layering. Yvonne Attridge

To clean craft boards, scissors and any other items that get sticky from cutting sticky tapes/craft glue a bottle of surgical spirit and clean by dabbing some onto kitchen towel and rubbing over the item. Then, lightly buff with the dry area of the paper towel. I use this because I have birds and 2 dogs sharing my home so do not like to use the sprays. Elizabeth Beal

Paper & Card Tips

Try printing your toppers onto photo paper - I have had some wonderful results. Sandra Cartwright

To remove fingerprints from mirror board without scratching, rub over with a piece of the silk material you get inside spectacle cases. Pat Flatters, Manchester

Scrapbooking Tips

Do not be afraid to make new cards from old. Birthday and Christmas cards can be reused to make scrapbook pages, unique toppers or tags. Be a magpie, never throw anything away that you can reuse. Mary Ord, Stratford-upon-Avon

Bookfolding Tips

To create your own Book Folding patterns you do not need specialised software. All you need is a word programme and graph paper. Write your word or download your graphic in silhouette and then print it onto A4 1mm square graph paper. Make sure you have made the font or picture large enough (min 250 font size). Each vertical line on your graph paper is a page. No measuring, no chart making! Just line up your graph paper to the edge of your book and start marking and folding. Agnes Walmsley