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Scrapbooking Tool School - The Paper Crimper

Make Corrugated Cardstock for Scrapbooking and Card Making

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Tools allow your scrapbooking, card making, and paper crafting to be faster, easier, and even more creative. Knowing what tools are available and how to use them are what Scrapbooking Tool School articles are all about. The paper crimper is one of those basic tools that you may have missed. This fun tool adds texture and dimension to your cardstock. The simple steps to using a paper crimper correctly can be found below. Remember that you can click on any photo to see it larger in more detail.

1. Fiskars Paper Crimper

Rebecca Ludens
A basic paper crimper is essentially a hand-held press with rollers. As you turn the handle, the paper goes through and is pressed into the shape or texture of the rollers. There are a few different companies that make a basic paper crimper. Some of them have interchangeable rollers so that you can insert different textures into your crimper. Look for crimpers from companies like Uchida, Darice, and of course, the one shown here, Fiskars.

2. Trim the Cardstock

Rebecca Ludens
The Fiskars Paper Crimper accomodates paper that is 6 1/2 inches wide. Step one in using the crimper is to trim your paper or cardstock to less than 6 1/2 inches wide.

3. Run Cardstock Through the Crimper

Rebecca Ludens
To run the cardstock through the crimper, you insert it in the direction of the arrows. Squeeze the handle firmly and then turn the crank on the right side of the crimper. The rollers with the textured pattern will turn and pull the paper through the tool. Smaller widths of paper tend to crimp more evenly and show more of the texture than larger pieces.

4. Check the Texture

Rebecca Ludens
When the paper has gone all the way through, you can examine your sheet and determine if there were any issues with the texturing. When I did a full 6 1/2 inch piece the texture was spotty in places. When I did a 2 1/2 inch wide strip, however, the crimping came out perfectly.

5. Punching or Die-Cutting Crimped Cardstock

Rebecca Ludens
Once the paper has been crimped, you can now put the sheet in a die-cut machine or punch it with a regular paper punch. Turning the punch upside down will allow you to view exactly where you will be punching so that you can line up the design with the texture lines on the paper as desired.

6. Crimped Paper Show-Through Window

Rebecca Ludens
Another way to use crimped paper is to make it a background that you see through a die-cut shape or punched "window" in smooth cardstock or patterned paper. This technique is used on the scrapbook page layout from Jillibean Soup below.

7. Jillibean Soup Scrapbook Page Idea with Corrugated Paper

Jillibean Soup
On this scrapbook page from Jillibean Soup called "Water Wars" the page designer used corrugated paper behind the die-cut letters to give a lot of interest to the scrapbook page. You can visit Jillibean Soup's blog for more page ideas and complete list of their products.

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