So I decided to try it. The first decision was what kind of punch to get. I decided I needed at LEAST five different punches. Then I narrowed it down to my favorite, because who knows if I'm even going to do this? I always use to/from stickers, and I have a lot of fun choosing/using them, too, so maybe I'll have a lot of fun punching out shapes but then won't want to fuss with threading them on a ribbon and/or won't want to give up my cute to/from stickers. So I chose just ONE for starters: the "real estate sign" shape (in our area, real estate signs are rectangular, but the punch is not):
|(photo from Amazon.com)|
It seems about gift-tag-sized. Maybe a BIT skimpy. I won't really know until I have to write on them next year. (I also considered the 2.25-inch scallop-edged circle, the wavy-edged circle (but someone on Amazon needs to review it and say how big it is), the gorgeous but expensive 3-inch lacy oval (the one negative review doesn't scare me off---of COURSE hers is defective, of COURSE it's not DESIGNED to chew up one side of it every time), and the merchandise tag (but it might be a little small).
I took some of the cards I got this year and made a first batch:
|Here's all the first batch, punched and freehanded alike|
|Closer-up of some of them|
|Closer-up of some more of them|
I found that my favorites were the ones I DIDN'T use the punch for: the two red doors, the cats (I didn't freehand those: the shapes were layered for dimension on a fancy card), the plump mouse, the Christmas tree. But I also like a lot of the punched ones. And my scissor skills are insufficient for most cutting-out tasks (like if a straight line is involved), but the blade on my paper trimmer was bent or something (had I let the children use it? yes, I had, like some kind of ROOKIE), so I didn't feel like doing much without the punch. What I'd kind of like is a straight-edged punch (like this rectangle), but it's hard to spend the money on something so plain.
I think what made this project so fun was that I'm not good at visualizing things, so each card/punch was a fresh surprise. The punch I was using let me see what I was going to get before I punched, and so it was fun to budge the card around and see how it would change the results. I was also surprised at how some cards yielded GREAT RICHES, and others NOTHING---and they weren't always the way I'd have guessed. Also, sometimes the BACK of the card had the best thing: a small picture that looked very nice surrounded by lots of white.
I've put all the tags in an envelope and tucked them in with the box of wrapping paper, so they're going to be fun to discover next Christmas!