Chapter 3: Paper Lace With Punches

Most of my favorite handmade paper laces are created using punches. You can use border punches, hand punches, long reach punches, and probably just about any other paper punch you can think of to create paper lace. The punches can be used for a few different things:

  • To create the “lace holes” in the paper lace
  • To create openings for weaving ribbon through
  • For punching border designs with scalloped edges or other fancy edges that resemble lace.

  • Most of my paper lace designs combine some or all of the above elements. Punches and Decorative Scissors / paper edgers are the tools I usually reach for first when I want to make paper lace.

If you are interested in using border punches to make paper lace, please check out the following pages of the web site:

This chapter of the book will focus primarily on using Fiskars hand punches to create fancy lacy effects. We will be using the hand punches, together with Fiskars paper edgers / decorative scissors to create a variety of different single-layered lace effects. (Later we will take this idea to the next level with layered paper laces.)

Fancy Paper Lace Using 4 Fiskars Hand Punches:

How To Make Paper Lace Using Fiskars Punches and Fiskars Decorative Edge Scissors

To make this paper lace, you will need to build upon the techniques used in Chapter 2: Making Basic Paper Lace.


Fiskars Hand Punches:

  • Fiskars Hand Punch 1/16″ Circle
  • Fiskars Teardrop Hand Punch 5/16″
  • Fiskars Hand Punch 1/4″ Flower
  • Fiskars Hand Punch 3/16″ Square

Fiskars Paper Edgers / Decorative Edge Scissors:

  • Fiskars Mini Scallop Paper Edgers Scissors
  • Fiskars Sunflower Paper Edgers Scissors

You will also need cardstock or patterned paper, adhesive, and graph paper. The graph paper shown has 1/4″ grid lines, and this is what I recommend that you use to create this particular paper lace pattern.

How To Make The Paper Lace:

Cutting Out the Paper Lace Border:

  • Use the photo above for reference. At the top of the photo, you will see what the back (graph paper side) of my paper lace looks like after it has been cut and punched. The middle and bottom show the paper lace from the front in a couple of different colors.
  • Attach your graph paper to the back of your cardstock or paper as described in chapter 2. Let it dry.
  • Next you will cut out the border using Fiskars Paper Edgers. Cut with the graph paper facing you so that you can use it as a guideline for cutting. Using the Fiskars Mini Scallop Paper Edgers, cut all the way across the paper.
  • Count 3 grid blocks down and underneath the third grid block, cut across the paper using your Sunflower paper edgers.

Punching Out the Paper Lace Design With Hand Punches:

  • Next you are going to start punching the lace holes. It really doesn’t matter where you start punching, but personally, I like to work from top to bottom. The top of this particular paper lace has alternating squares and dots. Punch all the squares in alternating grids of the graph paper. Then punch all the dots.
  • The next row down is alternating tear drops and dots. You will want to make sure that your dots form a checkerboard pattern with the dots in the row above it and punch accordingly. (Please view the photo again before punching to make sure you punch the design correctly.) When you punch this row, keep in mind that the tear drop punch creates a hole that is taller than the 1/4″ square grid of your graph paper. It will extend slightly into the grid below it, and that is just fine.
  • Punch the bottom row with alternating flowers and dots. Again, keep in mind that the dots will form a checkerboard pattern with the dots you already punched in previous rows.

  • You now have a fancy paper lace border that is ready to be used in the project of your choice! Please see Project Ideas For Chapter 3 if you need some ideas for things to do with this lovely paper lace border.

    Click here to see project ideas for chapter 3 / making paper lace with punches.