March 12, 2011
A Few Tips
Often I receive a letter asking for tips on how to improve
printie assembly skills. Let me assure you that as long as
you have the correct tools and environment you should become
a pro with a minimum of practice. That is one reason I give
you complimentary projects on a regular basis. These give
you lots of practice before you cut into a real Paper Minis.
will find my advice on tools in the on-line Paper Minis
tutorial library, just select the "Need to Know" category on
the menu. In a nut shell, however, there are four absolutes:
1) use a sharp X-acto blade tool – DON'T OVERUSE A BLADE; 2)
use a true cutting mat, NOT CARDBOARD; 3) press folds
against a thin metal ruler, at this tiny scale precision
folds count especially with book pages! Paper has a grain to
it, which means it can have a mind of its own – tame it with
the ruler's edge.
As for your work environment, there are two things you can
do. 1) if your eyesight has diminished with age and overuse
like mine, you can purchase a pair of good magnifying
glasses to help you see the lines very clearly. I purchased
a great pair at our local drug store for about $11 – and my
eye surgeon approved. They
make all the difference in the world for me. 2) get a bright
desk light. We always called these lights tensor lights—they
are like little spot lights. You will be amazed at how much
better your items will look when you can see every detail.
I assure you these tips will be
beneficial to you the next time you make a mini.
~Ann at Paper Minis
Selecting paper for your printies is an important
step, if you are looking for the best effect for
your assembled miniature. Are you using an inkjet
printer? Then I suggest using special clay-coated
papers offered by your manufacturer. Set your
printer ink settings for the best possible. Skimping
on ink while using clay-coated paper is being penny
wise and pound foolish.
If you cannot make that paper investment, try to get good
opaque and bright white paper made for inkjet or laser
depending on your type of printer. Copy paper will not give
you very good results, but if you use it at least make sure
that your printer is giving good ink coverage. If there are
lines running through your printout then chances are you
need to clean the print heads. No, do not take them out and
scrub them. This is an automatic function your printer
should offer. Look in the manual for the steps. With a laser
printer you may have fading spots. Check to see if there is
a cleaning sheet or shake up the cartridges. Don't always
assume you need new cartridges for either type of printer!
That is what the manufacturers are banking on. Instead do
some auto-cleaning as mentioned. Yes this may take extra
ink, but avoiding the situation will not make it better...it
will only get worse.
As far as making paper weight choices, use common
sense. Cover stock paper for 1:3 scale projects will give
these larger accessories more strength and body. However,
using cover stock on a 1:12 project will make folding
difficult and parts will not fit, as an example. Printed
color ink typically rests on the surface of many gloss and some
semi-gloss papers. This means that when you go to fold these
papers your color will crack off. In these cases it makes
more sense to just use a matte paper where color ink is absorbed
into the paper.
will find more tips at the on-line Paper Minis
tutorial library. See the menu to the left after you have
finished this newsletter.
~Ann at Paper Minis