Very sad news that Centagraph has closed and also earlier in the year, Finishing Touches of Totnes.
When I first started perforating parchment I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing. I didn’t understand where to put the parchment! under or over the grid and where did the mat go? It was a while before I found that a good instruction DVD, a great ‘daylight’ craft light and a magnifying glass made everything a lot easier!
Christine Coleman’s Grid and Lace Work DVD is a great starter guide to using PCA Flexi-Duo Grids and PCA tools to create beautiful patterns with both perforating and embossing. Christine shows you how to cut crosses and oct shapes and line up your parchment when perforating and embossing, while working throught several projects starting with bookmarks and then moving on to more complex projects.
She shows you how and where to start a project, how to correct mistakes and also encourages you to use your own ideas to create individual projects. Excellent DVD!
Scissors or Snips
There are several different parchment craft scissors available. They vary greatly in price from about £4.00 to about £40.00 but it is important to have snips or scissors with fine points; decoupage scissors are not fine enough to cut the accurate, neat points required. Parchment craft scissors and snips usually have slightly curved points, the curve should be held downwards when you cut.
Snips or cutters are fairly easy to use, you just squeeze them, there are some cutters that have an adjustable wheel that can be set to the width you are cutting. Some people prefer snips if they have arthritis or strain in the hand / arm muscles.
Scissors are held with the right index finger and the right middle finger (if you are right-handed) and braced with the thumb. The aim is to snip between the perforations you have prepared to leave a neat V shape. It is a good idea to practise this technique, there are several ‘YOU TUBE’ demonstrations to help. Some people have told me that they get a better finish with scissors but in the end use whatever suits you best.
Edges can be made quickly with the stamp edge tools (PCA), and the equivalent Pergamano 2 Split and 4 Split. These tools will punch holes really closely so that the parchment falls away as you perforate. The edging however, is not as neat as that produced by the longer method of perforating and cutting.
Crosses can be cut with the Cross Knife /Easy Cross and a cutting mat, I have not tried this method, you still have to perforate the holes with a four needle tool and then position the cutter and press down. If anyone has tried the cross knife let me know if they cut crosses neatly.