A scrapbook crimper adds texture and dimension to your pages. If you really want to make your design "pop", try this tool no serious cropper should be without.
What's a Scrapbook Crimper?
Experienced croppers may already be well versed in the use of crimping tools, but for the sake of those new to scrapbooking, let's take a moment to explain what a paper crimper is.
A scrapbook crimper is a handy tool you can use to add texture to paper, cardstock and many other materials. Every crimper has an outer casing that has two functions:
- To hold and rotate the crimping roller
- To align and guide the material through the tool
Styles can include:
- Swiss dots
- Holiday shapes
Crimpers also come in various sizes, from mini crimpers that are more suitable for texturing individual elements on your page to large crimpers that are wide enough to run a full sheet of paper through.
How Does It Work?
A scrapbook crimper is actually quite easy to use. You simply place a piece of your chosen material into the guide on the casing, and then slowly turn the knobs on the outside of the case to feed the material through the roller. The result is paper with the texture a particular roller is designed to give.
What Can You Crimp?
Most of the materials and many of the embellishments used in scrapbooking are flexible, so you can experiment quite a bit and have a lot of fun doing it. Materials that can be crimped include:
- Fine gauge wires
- Paper gift bags
- Post cards
- Pieces of gift wrap
- Wall paper
However, stiff materials are not good candidates for a crimper. Either they will not feed through the tool or the results will be less than pleasing to the eye.
You should never attempt to force a material through your crimper that does not feed through easily on its own or you risk damaging your tool.
Crimping ideas are really only limited by your own imagination. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Crimp paper to layer on smooth surfaces.
- Stamp a tag, then crimp it.
- Paper punch a border, crimp it, and slightly smooth it back out.
- Crimp die-cuts.
- Crimp letters for page titles.
- Crimp thin strips of paper or card stock to create confetti.
- Use a large crimper on a section of cardstock before you fold it to create a mini gift box.
- Use a wave crimper on blue paper or cardstock to create water for scrapbook pages.
- Use a heart crimper on a heart die cut or the card base to create fabulous Valentines or wedding cards.
- Layer crimped pieces and feathers; they look great together.
- Crimp your paper, then carefully tear off the edges for a rustic look.
- Using a simple crimper like a wave or corrugated roller, feed your paper through in one direction, then turn it sideways and roll it through again.
- Recycle bent or otherwise ruined paper by sending it through the crimper.
Care and Maintenance
Crimpers require virtually no maintenance, unlike some other scrapbooking tools. Rubber stamps must be thoroughly cleaned after each use; punches and scissors need periodic sharpening.The most likely maintenance issues you'll encounter with a crimper are:
- Sometimes certain types of paper will leave a little haze of color on the roller. A damp tissue or an alcohol wipe should easily remove any residue. Just be sure to let the roller dry thoroughly before you use it again.
- Occasionally, a particular material may jam in the roller. The easiest way to solve this problem is to roll back in the opposite direction to remove the item.
- Forcing a less than flexible product through the roller may actually cause the tool to break. If this happens, just by a new one and consider it a lesson learned.
Are You Hooked?
Hopefully you've just gained a lot of fresh inspiration for future scrapbook designs. Use your leftover materials to experiment with your scrapbook crimper and see just how many new ideas you can come up with on your own, then feel free to add them to this page!
Find scrapbook crimpers and other cropping supplies at: