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  •  Perforation options... for artistamps
    by Aisling D'Art

    One of the first questions people have, is how to make perforated edges so artistamps look like "real" postage.

    Many of us simply use the Fiskars scissors that create small, wavy edges similar to perforated stamps.  

    Others put black or grey dots, similar to the appearance of perforations, on the stamps themselves.  Then they cut right next to the dots, with a normal papercutter or scissors.

    And some don't fret about this aspect of the process, and simply leave the stamps straight-edged, or unperforated.

    Perforating

    You can buy pre-perforated paper, which usually comes as paper with a gummed back. One source is Anna Banana, whose pages include helpful info for artistampers, and lots of treats.

    Another solution to the perforation problem is to create your own holes.

    So far, the results with wheels intended for other purposes has been disappointing. The best reviews are from people who use a dressmakers' marking wheel (on a soft surface so the wheel actually perforates the paper).

    Another suggestion is to use a sewing machine without thread in the needle, to punch the holes. These won't exactly fool anyone into thinking they're real perforations, but they're a pretty good substitute.

    Use the largest possible needle, intended for sewing through leather or denim. Use masking tape to mark the arm of your sewing machine as a guide, for each line of perforations, so you'll know how to keep the paper straight as you feed it under the needle.

    However, the only real perforations--so far--are made by a perforating machine.

    Perforating machines

    I've heard that there is a small, portable perforator that works... if anyone can tell me more, email me: contact @ aisling .net (minus the spaces in the address, of course).

    But anyway...

    Ideally, you'll find someone who owns one of those wonderful antique perforators.   These are massive, heavy beasts that will punch teensy, professional-looking holes in sheets of your stamps.

    Frankly, the only way to buy one--except through sheer luck at eBay or a local auction--is to network with printers and other artistampers, so you hear about the infrequent but available perforator when someone is willing to part with one.

    The next best thing to having your own perforating machine, is to know someone else who owns one.  Some artists who've paid the $300+ to buy one of these machines, either offer to perforate sheets of stamps for others, for a fee, or in trade for sheets of artistamps, or some combination of the two.

     



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