Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 16, 2008

Three Things : For the Love of Punches


Regular readers know about my affinity for the Marvy Giga square punch. It is probably my most used tool (next to the crop-a-dile). Punches tend to be a bigger ticket item but are in it for the long haul especially if you use them often. They are a tool that can be used over and over (and over) again – making it really worth the initial cost. Here's a look at two of my favorites and one new one.

Marvy Uchida Giga Square Punch : This is my all time favorite, most recommended punch. It is often advertised as a 3-inch punch (they measure it on the diagnol), but it is actually just about 2 1/4 inches across and down. I use this one all the time for photos and patterned paper squares. See examples below.

Paper Shapers Small Corner Rounder : Another classic. Another tool I reach for often that adds just a little touch of softness to the corners. I often use these on the four corners of a gathering (see the second layout below) to bring the whole thing together.

McGill Bracket Punch : This is a fun new punch that I imagine would get a lot of use around here as well. Love that they can be mixed and matched and would be fun to play around with some patterned paper.

Here's one of my all-time favorites from 2005 using the Marvy Giga punch (I think it's time to do a new one of these):


And another one that uses both the Giga punch and the corner rounder:


[ from Life Artist: Notes from Today stamp from Catslife Press.]


[ Three Things is a weekly product series : check out the archives here. ]


  • 1.
    Courtney Newton said…

    I totally agree with you on the Marvy Uchida Giga Square Punch…I bought one a few weeks ago at Michaels and it has made my life so much easier!

  • 2.
    Amy said…

    I haven’t seen those parenthesis punches before, very cool!
    Question: Have you had to replace your Marvy square punch after a while of using it a lot? I noticed that mine was getting very dull, and it was starting to rip the photos a bit. Is there a way to sharpen them? I have tried the tin foil and it didn’t work too well. I just recently bought a new one.

  • 3.
    Erin said…

    I love punches as well…SOOO worth the initial cost-they last forever and can be used so much.

  • 4.
    Kelley said…

    I’ve had the square punch for ages, but don’t use it as much as I would like. I’ve just never gotten a clean cut with it…and I’ve tried all the tricks I know…punching through foil, punching through wax paper, punching through sandpaper. Is there something I’ve missed?

  • 5.
    Linn said…

    Wonderful three things, Ali. I didn’t know about that bracket punch! Nice.

  • 6.
    Val in Ohio said…

    I love the square punched collages…and that bracket punch is dreamy looking (gonna have to get that one). I loved the layout w/the PECs…my son is starting to work with those and your layout is a great take-away for me. As always, thanks for sharing!

  • 7.
    jenny said…

    Love the bracket punch. Just ordered it! Thanks for the recommendations!

  • 8.
    Suzanne said…

    I have a collection of punches, but find I only use some of them. There is a nice new once out that punches the corner and you continue the punch along the side as a border. I love using this one.

  • 9.
    Lesley said…

    Hi Ali,
    By the way, really excited to hear you are having a girl! I scraplifted the AM routine and did a bedtime routine for my kids for March 2007. I loved the geometric shape of the layout. I am amazed at how we have changed since that time (no more diapers to change!) I need to do another one too. Thanks for the post!

  • 10.
    Linda said…

    That’s one of my favorites of yours too.

  • 11.
    Joy Buss said…

    I too have a love for square punches, Ali! My newest square punch that I love is the ginormous square punch from EK. It also has a scalloped punch that it can nest inside of. Makes for an easy layout for lots of pictures. I love your am routine layout. It is one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing!!

  • 12.
    Bree said…

    Do you only use the crop-a-dile for hole punching? I don’t see a lot of eyelets and snaps on your layouts. Also thanks for the info on the square punch measurement — I had no idea they were sized on the diagonal.

  • 13.
    Ali said…

    I have ended up buying a new square punch (tried the foil thing as well). All the ones I have had have not been perfect – they leave little bits off the edge, etc. I figure that is part of the “imperfection” of the craft.
    I mainly use the crop-a-dile for hole punches :) . Nope, not a lot of eyelets on my pages. The crop-a-dile is so great for going through chipboard.

  • 14.
    Sonja Chandler said…

    I actually just bought the Marvy punch in the 3′ circle yesterday and LOVE it!!! And I love that am routine layout too Ali.So, so cute.
    Grateful for all your info and tips and love. Appreciate it much.

  • 15.
    Christina said…

    Love the am routine page. I’m looking forward to making a similiar one… as soon as we’ve hit our am stride.
    That bracket punch ROCKS! Oh I really love that and would love to see it in my stocking! I’ll make a note of it!

  • 16.
    Alexa said…

    Hi Ali,
    Just wondering if you still have you Cafe Press shop? I’ve been wanting one of your life artisit t-shirts forever and now i’ve finally got round to ordering one, i can’t find the link! Please don’t tell me you closed the shop!!

  • 17.
    Maggie said…

    How you line up these photo collages. With a paper cutter, I end up not trimming one exactly square and it throws of the whole thing, especially if I’m butting them all together. We all know I need my straight lines.
    I only have the nesting ones from CM. I may have to invest in a mega punch. My largest is 1.5″ up and down. First, I may try some geometics since I have four squares and four circles already, and a coluzzle. I need to get busy!

  • 18.
    Lisa said…

    Oh yeah, you have inspired me to get my punches out and use them. I need to get the big square one. I just bought the one that looks like a spiral notebook.
    Love your a.m. LO and the one where you used the corner punch too.

  • 19.
    Mary Beth Shaw said…

    Hey Ali, we met briefly at Artfest last year. Anyhoo, I snagged a quote from the NY Times article that mentioned you (on Sunday) and thought I should give you the heads up. Hope that’s ok….
    if you are interested.
    Mary Beth

  • 20.
    Giulia said…

    I love punches too! Thanks to share your tip and tricks! I would have the mega square punch … it’s very nice and useful to make scrapbooking with more photos!
    Bye from your fan from Italy!

  • 21.
    kathy said…

    I’m new to digital scrapbooking and I have to say – I Love your Pages! I’m looking for inspiration and groups to join. I’m new to the area where we are living and hoping to find a group of women who enjoy scrapping as well. I posted a new page today to my blog using my PSE program. I had fun with it and would love to find time to create more, more, more. Love your blog!

  • 22.
    kathy said…

    I’m new to digital scrapbooking and I have to say – I Love your Pages! I’m looking for inspiration and groups to join. I’m new to the area where we are living and hoping to find a group of women who enjoy scrapping as well. I posted a new page today to my blog using my PSE program. I had fun with it and would love to find time to create more, more, more. Love your blog!

  • 23.
    Sandee Allen said…

    As soon as I can afford to buy things again ( i.e. as soon as I am employed again! lol ) I am buying all 3 of those punches!

  • 24.
    Sue B>.. said…

    I agree I have the Marvy Giga Square & like it. My hubby & kids bought it for me for mom’s day one year on their annual trip to scrap store for me. At first I was like oh can I use this but now I see the light. I also like the punch that makes paper like ripped notebook paper from EK. I got it from Stampin Up but it’s EK. Take care of yourselves.

  • 25.
    katharina said…

    Oh, yes – I can understand your love for punches!
    I just bought a (long wanted) corner-round-puncher – and I’m so glad i did it finally!

  • 26.
    alison said…

    Hi Ali,
    I’ve actually had the bracket punch for about a year now, and I was really excited to find it… the only thing is it sometimes gets lighter weight paper caught in it… If you put scrap cardstock underneath the lighter weight paper it helps.
    The design of the other punches (with a lever) seems to work better, and I noticed EK came out with a similar brackets punch that may be worth a try.
    - A

  • 27.
    Barb said…

    How do you do the circle within your square punches? I’ve tried and it doesn’t look nearly as neat and perfect as yours. Thanks.

  • 28.
    Pattie Knox said…

    “A.M. Routine” is one of my all time favorites from you Ali … enjoyed seeing it again SO much. :)

  • 29.
    Tamara said…

    I will have to look out for one of those as well….I have other square punches!
    How and where did you get ahold of the visual cues that help SImon? I would like to find a source for those images as well because they would be great for me to incorporate into the Kindergarten classroom.
    If you can help please let me know…thanks

  • 30.
    Andrea said…

    I use Boardmaker to do the picture schedules all the time (I’m a school psychologist). I thought it was fun to see them on a scrapbook page!

  • 31.
    Scrap Evangel said…

    I love the design, but I’m most impressed by the sentences that your son has formulated with his PECS symbols. You see I’m not only a scrapper, but I’m a speech and language therapist! LOL!

  • 32.
    Ashley said…

    Great post! I love the bracket punch! I haven’t seen it before!

  • 33.
    heather Emans said…

    love your scrapping of the picture symbols.

  • 34.
    alexandra said…

    You got me hooked on punches years ago – they are fabulous!!
    Thanks, Ali!!
    (The tab punch is also a cool one!)

  • 35.
    Rebecca F. said…

    Where did you get the little squares with the pictures? I care for a 3 year old on Fridays who has no expressive language (she physically cannot speak) and I would love to begin to work with some of those with her. I’ve looked at some online but they aren’t as good as yours.
    Rebecca F.

  • 36.
    sue said…

    I don’t have one of these giga punches but was thinking about it because I use my other two square punches pretty often. A square punch is a ‘must’ in the scrap/stamp kit!

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