Fabrication

cutting

As I was cutting up paper for some wedding invitations I’m going to print tomorrow, it occured to me many of you may not know about some of my favorite tools. For small orders I cut my own paper (for large quantities, I take it to a commercial printer who cuts it with a guillotine — call around, many smaller printers are happy to do it, and charge much less than you think).

By far my most useful Christmas gifts, my mom (a quilter) introduced me to using a rotary cutter for graphic design projects in college. It’s superior to your average blade because it doesn’t tug at the paper while you’re cutting, creating a smoother edge and eliminating any possibility of tearing. To use a rotary cutter, you’ll need a self-healing mat (the green gridded thing in the picture) and guide — both by Omnigrid in this case. This system also eliminates any need to mark the paper.

Other very useful tools: a corner-rounding punch and bone folder. I know, gross, bone — but any other scoring tool I’ve ever used crushes the fibers of the paper and leaves a shiny line (and doesn’t do as good of a job). All these tools should be able to be found at a good fabric/craft store — with the quilting and scrapbooking supplies, respectively.

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