Sunday, July 15, 2012

EZ3D PopUps Level 2 Materials and Techniques

EZ3D PopUps  Level 2  Materials and Techniques

In Level 1,  we explored Origamic Architecture basic cuts, using a pair of scissors.  Our projects always started with the paper folded in half to create the first fold. Because we used scissors and made parallel cuts into the folds, the depth and height of the objects were always equal.  To create the creases, we simply folded the flaps back and forth.

Now it's time to explore more complex patterns.  In most cases, the cuts will still be parallel, but not always exactly symmetrical and the depth and height may not be equal. We shall learn to score by indenting and "kiss cutting" the paper or card stock and executing more complex folds.

Tools needed: Template, cutting mat, ruler, scoring tool (bone folder, embossing tool, butter knife, or steel crochet hook,) and craft knife.

My favorite new scoring tool is a steel crochet hook.  I found a
pack of vintage crochet hooks at a thrift store for $1.  

A cutting mat of some kind is absolutely essential in all papercrafts involving craft knives.  However, if you can't afford to buy one, just make sure you have something under your paper when you cut, so you don't damage your table or desk.

A scoring tool can be anything that is narrow and can impress the paper or cardstock without cutting it.
My favorite new scoring tool is a steel crochet hook.

A ruler is important for scoring and for cutting long straight lines. When using a ruler for either scoring or cutting, place the ruler on the edge of the line, put the tool tip in the middle of the line and nudge the ruler up against the tool.  Move the tool to the other end of the line and nudge the ruler to it there too. Keep doing that until you have the ruler exactly where it needs to be and then use your tool.

A craft knife is essential!  Scissors are good for cutting away outside borders and making symmetrical cuts in folds, but once you get into asymmetrical cutting,  using scissors will more than likely result in inexact cuts.  My favorite craft knife of the moment is the Fiskar's Fingertip knife, pictured above. It's the one with the funny orange handle. It took some getting used to, but now I love it.

Paper and card stock.  Because cardstock is more expensive than printer paper, I always recommend practicing your cuts and folds on heavy printer paper. 24 or 28 lb paper is ideal for this, however 20 lb can work too.  It just a little flimsy and may not stand up by itself.

When scoring on paper, you can just use the indenting method (pressing on the dotted lines) and fold the paper in the direction it's supposed to go.  The paper is flexible enough to do that. You can't really kiss cut paper because it doesn't have the layers that card stock has.

When using card stock, you can use the indenting method too, but you may have to flip the card stock  over and indent from behind.  The obvious drawback to this is that you usually can't see where the lines are.  Some people mark the lines with tiny pinholes.  Another way is to indent all the ridge lines first, turn the paper over and indent them again on the back. When that is done, go back to the valley fold lines and score those.  The valley scores will want to go only forward and the ridge lines will be able to fold both ways.  If you are using 65 lb cardstock, you may be able to use a light box and be able to see the lines but I haven't tried that myself, so I don't know if that will work.

Kiss cutting is cutting the top layer of the card stock so it fold in a forward direction. It takes some practice to do it correctly.  Practice on a plain piece of card stock.  Use a ruler.  Use very little or no pressure and run the craft knife alongside the ruler. Then feel the paper - there should be a very light cut there.  Bend the paper so the cut opens slightly and lets the paper bend. Some people like to flip the craft knife upside down and use a little pressure.  Whatever works for you.

You may want to use a combination of indenting and kiss cutting. Indent for the long lines and kiss cut for the short ones. What ever works for you.

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  1. A rubber pickup and a kneaded eraser? I haven't heard either of those terms before. Everything else is readily at hand! Thanks!

  2. Hi, Suzi! The rubber pickup is helpful when you are using adhesive (like a tape runner) and it gets somewhere it shouldn't be. You just rub it with the pick up and it picks it up. Works on any gummy type of adhesive. Won't work on white glue. The kneaded eraser is for the times you are using a pencil for markings and for erasing smudges. It's very gentle and won't harm the paper. Very handy to pick up specks of things too.

  3. What a clever scoring tool! I'm a big believer in scoring - makes the card look more professional.

  4. Thanks for visiting, Pamela! The crochet hooks are doing a great job and allow me to score in a variety of widths. I imagine plastic crochet hooks would work too. I will have to try those next. The only caveat is to make sure they aren't tarnished or rusty. I imagine one could use a nut pick as well.


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