Papercrafting: Tuesday’s Tips – Creating Cut-Outs with the Tim Holtz Design Ruler
We’re sharing quick tips to help you do more creating…more quickly!
Image Source: Peecheey
As you may know if you saw our last Tuesday’s Tips post, we’ve started sharing “quick-creating” ideas that we’ve put to use and are now referring to as our Tuesday’s Tips.
We’re sharing them with you so you can make use of them, as is, or with tweaks so they suit your needs.
These posts will be short and sweet, designed solely to share a helpful, quick tip…or two!
Got a related tip?
Please share it in the comments!
The Tim Holtz Design Ruler
Today’s tips center around the Design Ruler by Tim Holtz and Idea-ology.
This is one my favorite tools, a must-have for my crafting tool arsenal!
What I love about this tool:
- It’s sturdy and has a hole in one end to enable hanging (easily store it on a pegboard)
- It has a metal edge on one side (great for cutting supplies with a craft knife – you’re much less likely to cut into your ruler and wreck it!)
- The measurements go all the way to the end, rather than there being that annoying little gap at each end before the measurements start (how many of us have screwed up a project because of that little gap?!)
- It measures from 0-12″ along one edge, and it’s a “centering ruler” on the other edge, allowing you to easily find the center of projects (I use this for alpha sticker placement and it’s awesome!)
- It’s clear and has a multi-measurement grid laid out on it (if you’re also a quilter, you’re probably familiar with this type of grid)
- It has small holes in it (along a straight line) so you can easily use it for placing starter holes in your papers (for tear-free stitching with twine or floss) or for creating faux stitching holes with a fine-point pen
- And my newest discovery? It makes quick, easy and accurate work of creating a cut-out (or mat)!
Well lookie there, we haven’t even started with today’s intended tip and you already have several reasons to grab this tool for your supply caddy!
O.K., now on with what we came here to chat about…
Creating a Cut-Out
If you’re like me, you like your papercrafted projects to be neat and tidy.
And trying to cut a section out of a sheet of cardstock or patterned paper has been an issue for me in the past.
Seriously, how the heck do you cut out an inside section of your paper and end up with neat and even edges, and the cut-out portion exactly where you want it, especially if your cut-out requires odd measurements?
Well, I think I have a solution – it sure worked for me!
I started by figuring out where I wanted the bottom of the cut-out to be positioned and I placed the top edge of my ruler there (the edge of the ruler with all 12 one-inch marks).
I then made sure the ruler was centered (horizontally) in the middle of my 12″ x 12″ paper and drew a line, starting at the 1″ mark and finishing at the 11″ mark (leaving one inch at each end of the line so there would be a 1″ border on the sides of my cut-out).
Once that first line was drawn, I moved on to positioning my ruler for drawing the second line, the line that would be parallel to the first line.
This would be the top of the cut-out.
Again, I centered my ruler (horizontally) in the middle of my 12″ x 12″ paper and drew a line from the 1″ mark to the 11″ mark.
Now I know that the outer points of these two lines will match up. Yay!
Then I moved on to drawing the lines which would create the sides of the cut-out, the lines that would connect the previously drawn lines.
You’ll notice (in the image above) that the bottom of my ruler is not flush with the edge of the side of my 12″ x 12″ paper.
Because I wanted the sides of the cut-out to be more narrow than the border at the top of the cut-out, I slid my ruler in from the sides a bit and aligned the outer edge of the paper with a set of lines within the ruler – this is where that grid comes in really handy!
I still got a straight line, but I could draw it anywhere by using an internal grid line rather than the edge of the ruler.
Above you can see where the first three lines were drawn, and you can see the alignment of the outer edge of the paper with a grid line rather than the ruler’s edge.
Once all four lines were drawn, I grabbed a craft knife for cutting the lines (and yes, that IS a Making Memories craft knife and yes, it has been in my stash for a very long time!!!).
Using the metal edge of my ruler, and a self-healing mat (it’s very important to have one of these and one with a nice grid pattern is quite handy!), I cut along all four lines, making sure to stop my knife at each corner intersection.
And this is what I was left with – a neat and tidy cut-out, something I could use in scrapbooking, cardmaking or a variety of other papercraft projects.
This technique (and the wonderful Tim Holtz Design Ruler) would really come in handy in situations where you have only one sheet of a particular beloved base paper or cardstock and you’ll be covering up a good portion of it with photos or another piece of paper or cardstock or other materials.
Simply cut out the section that’ll be covered up (but make sure your cut-out is a tad bit smaller than what will be covering it so you have something to attach the photos or other papers to!) and you now have more of that beloved base paper or cardstock to play with!
Once I finished with creating my cut-out, I decided to try this technique again, this time with a smaller cut-out that I wanted centered under the first.
I wanted to see how simple (or difficult!) it would be to arrange the second cut-out in relationship to the first in exactly the way I wanted them to relate.
I used the centering markings on the ruler to position my next cut-out under the first cut-out’s bottom edge, and the grid lines on the ruler for drawing each side of the smaller cut-out.
I then grabbed my craft knife and cut these new lines, making sure to stop where the lines intersected.
As you can see in the final image above, the lines are all straight and the two cut-outs are centered to each other, vertically.
Most importantly for me, the larger and smaller cut-outs are exactly where I wanted them and it was super easy to achieve this positioning using this ruler!
Keep in mind that you could create most any straight-edge shape using this method and position your cut-outs anywhere on your project – the possibilities are endless!
And this would make quick work of creating mats for framed photos when you aren’t going the custom framing route or want to use a special paper rather than a store-bought mat!
I’m seeing a lot more window cards in my future!
Ooh, and fun papers peeking out from behind small cut-outs on my scrapbook layouts!
And, a lot less wasted paper!
How about you –
how would you use this technique in your papercrafting?
Please share your thoughts in the comments –
we’d love to hear your thoughts on this technique
(and any related tips!).
Thanks for joining us today and happy papercrafting,
Steph & The PCC Team
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