Tutorial + How-to

Published on March 3rd, 2009 | by Julie Finn

7

Punch out a Comic Book Gift Tag: Another Quickie Tutorial

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Comic Book Scrapbook EmbellishmentYou have to love a two-step tutorial. I wrote a while back about how I made gift tags from greeting cards–all vintage, all from people we only hung out with, um, pre-divorce, all awesome, and it took all of about five minutes.

My other big obsession (as if I have only two!) is comic books–not just the big players, but also the less popular ones. Lately I’ve been getting really into scrapbooking, while also being completely turned off by the insane amount of consumerism embedded in this one craft (a subject of another loooooong post to come, I’m sure), and I’ve been looking for ways to both recycle and incorporate some of my less mainstream fangeek loves, like comic books, into my scrapbooking and card-making. Crafting a green scrapbook, indeed.

If you’re also into utilizing some cool paper in your work–comic books, magazines, wrapping paper, foreign language newspapers, vintage books–check out this quick and easy way (not two steps, but still quick and easy) I make sturdy gift tags and scrapbook embellishments out of flimsy comic books:

You will need: cool paper (I’m using comic books), large-format craft punch (at least 1.5″-2″) in a decorative or tag shape, adhesive-backed acid-free cardstock OR archival mat board or cardstock AND spray adhesive, small-diameter hole punch (if you’re making a gift tag)

There are a couple of ways to go about this project:

Cardstock back of tag1. If you’re using a comic book or other paper in which you want to fussy cut out a particular character, piece of dialogue, or awesome scene (I like to pick and choose specific images from both sides of my comic page, which is why I can’t just stick the whole page to cardstock first), you’ll want to first punch out your images with your decorative punch.

If you’re using a patterned paper and you’re not fussy about which exact specific image you’re punching, go ahead and first adhere your paper to your archival cardstock or mat board–do this using adhesive cardstock, or by following the instructions on your spray adhesive.

2. If you’ve punched out some images without first adhering them to cardstock, adhere these images now, either by using adhesive cardstock, or by following the instructions on your spray adhesive.

If you’ve already adhered a piece of patterned paper to your cardstock, now is the time to go crazy with your decorative punch.

3. If you adhered your individual punched images to your cardstock, punch them out again to get your cardstock punched, too, being very careful to align your decorative punch up exactly with your already-punched image–this can get pretty fiddly if you chose a punch with lots of little frills, like I did. Sigh.

4. If you did a lousy job aligning your punch that second time, neaten it up with some small, sharp scissors.

5. If you’re making gift tags, use your small-diameter hole punch to make a hole for hanging.

Lots of comic book scrapbook embellishmentsThe beauty of the archival cardstock or mat board, and the reason I suggest that you don’t skip that part, even if it does make your project a little more complicated, is that especially if you’re using something ephemeral like comic books or newspaper, and especially if you’re creating your punched images to embellish your scrapbook pages, the cardstock or mat board, if it’s archival, serves as an acid-free barrier between your paper and your scrapbook page. You can also spray your paper with some sort of acid-free spray, but I kind of like the idea that my work will eventually disintegrate (that, too, is the subject of another post).

And also? Cardstock makes things sturdy. And sturdy things look nicer and do their jobs better, in my humble opinion.

Do you craft with ephemera?

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



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