This project came about because I wanted to recycle a dead pen. I recycled the clip to add to my my tools & hold them on things, but then I was thinkin': how I could recycle the whole pen? I had seen a write up about scoring with a stylus, so I thought why not with a pen? (and dug in my trash container!) Here's what you can do with a pen that runs out of ink:
- Squishy surface (mouse pad, fun foam...)
- Dead pen (inkless) or a small end of a stylus
- Ruler (I like Tim Holtz's design ruler)
1) Mark a grid (If you want to use the raised grid side as your finished look) You can mark a grid on the back of your cardstock for ease (either pen or pencil is ok.) I find a cutting mat perfect for marking the grid.
If you want to use the sunken grid side as your finished look: You could use a glaze, glitter, or gel pen that will stay in your sunken grid and look nice, or you could go without drawing grid marks your paper. You can eyeball your lines instead (just a little trickier.)
2) Next, you'll need a squishy surface. I made my own with fun foam (by dividing two pieces of fun foam in half and stacking all four pieces on each other, adhering them so I ended up with a sturdy 12" x 4.5" fun foam board.)
3) Lay your cardstock onto the squishy surface & score with the pen. I found two passes with the pen was perfect; it'll depend on your pressure, of course...& that's it. You'll end up with a raised grid (or a sunken one...) that looks something like this:
These are the penclips that I recycled to hold my tools. They fit on the edge of things nicely now
To get pieces with no pen or pencil (or other medium) marked onto them, you could make a full sized fun foam pad (layering 3/4 whole fun foam pieces for instance) and you could mark a grid on it with pen (pen writes so easily on the fun foam.) :0)
You can use the same fun foam pad for a great paper piercing pad. I'm always doing crooked faux stitch lines, so I like to anchor the design ruler (which has holes for paper piercing) with two straight pins. (You still need to hold the ruler of course and I still like to check the guide lines to make sure it's staying straight...) but it really helps a lot.
Here's a little storage solution. It's got one of those ring-thingies holding: the fun foam pad, the ruler, a ziplock with the pins and then I can clip my tools on with those recycled pen clips that I dug out of the garbage. (I moved the ring-thingy to the center after taking this photo, 'cause it's easier to handle in the middle.)
A little trick that you can do with a fun foam paper piercing pad:
To make holes in the center for brads accurately, you can draw a little (or big) grid on the fun foam to use as a placement guide. I have a heck of a time gettings things centered. This guide helps. It has four equal squares.
To use a grid like this: If you focus not on the shape you're piercing (in this case the white shapes) but focus instead on the negative space, (the four sections around the shape--within the grid) you can make it all equal visually...and then it should be easier to pierce in the exact center of the object. I usually eyeball it, but I find that shapes with random patterns make eyeballing the center difficult. (Whew that was a mouthful, huh?)
Hope this is useful to someone, :0)
P.S. more details on the card above to come...
ETA: My new fun foam piercing mat is 12x12 since you can get very large pieces of fun foam from most craft stores. It's the best!