Tips & Techniques: Paper Crimpers
Often we purchase tools, use them a few times, and then they get put on a shelf and forgotten about. One of those tools in my craft room is my paper crimper. It seems like I forget about it, and then when I find it again, it is like I have a new tool to play with. Just recently I came across mine and started playing with it to add texture and interest to some fabulous fall-themed cards.
First, what is a paper crimper? A paper crimper is a tool that has two textured rollers and a lever that is squeezed to hold the paper, as well as a knob or crank on the side. There are a couple different brands of paper crimpers. I have both Fiskars and Marvy Uchida paper crimpers. They are very similar and work primarily the same way.
To use the crimper, start by inserting the paper into the edge of the rollers just enough so the paper is grabbed and held in place. When you squeeze the lever, the rollers close and engage the start of the crimping process. Next, while still squeezing the pressure lever, you turn the crank on the side to advance the paper through the texture rollers, thus crimping the paper. Continue until the entire piece of paper has been texturized. The traditional paper crimper will create a corrugated cardboard look. Different brands of crimpers will work slightly differently. Refer to the instructions that come with your tool or visit the manufacturer’s website. Overall, the paper crimper is a fairly easy tool to use. The biggest obstacle for most is making
sure the paper is inserted straight in the beginning. I have found that if you squeeze the pressure lever just a little bit, to almost engage the rollers before you place the paper into the opening, it helps. Once you have the paper against the rollers, squeeze the lever the rest of the way to grab the paper. Another tip is to place your paper against one of the sides of the opening, versus placing it free floating in the middle of the opening. The side will help guide the paper in straight. This works best if the paper is a larger piece or has a straight edge. If you try this technique, you will need to trim the edge of the paper that was against the side of the tool due to the fact that that part of the paper will not be texturized.
If all else fails, embrace the slightly crooked lines. The corrugated texture that the paper crimper creates can work whether the lines are straight or on an angle. You can also use those “mistakes” with your dies and punches to create custom embellishments that can be added to your cards or scrapbook pages. Something to keep in mind: Crimp the paper before you punch or die-cut the shapes. If you run a precut shape through the crimper, the shape will be distorted.
Now that you have a few tips on how to use your paper crimper, what can you do with the texturized paper pieces? Add strips of crimped paper to any card for texture and interest. It can be used as a large background piece or in place of ribbon. Consider using the pieces as the base of a cupcake for the wrapper or to re-create the look of
for the top of a house on a “new home” card.
Dig out that paper crimper that you bought when you first started crafting, brush off the dust, and have some fun with it. You may also want to check out the different paper crimpers that are on the market now. I have discovered that you can create more than just the traditional corrugated cardboard look. Marvy Uchida has paper crimpers that create circles, waves and diamond patterns. I challenge you to use your paper crimper on your next papercrafting project!
1. Form a 51/2 x 41/4-inch card from kraft cardstock.
2. Cut a 51/4 x 4-inch piece from patterned paper; adhere to card front.
3. Referring to photo, use hole punch to create a half-circle notch in top and bottom edges of die-cut card. Wrap twine around die cut, positioned within notches. Tie a bow; attach to card front using foam squares.
4. Cut a 5 x 6-inch piece from white cardstock; crimp using paper crimper.
5. Punch four flowers from crimped paper; layer together and attach to card front as shown, using foam squares beneath each layer.
6. Attach sentiment sticker to card front. Embellish card front using pearls as shown. •