Tips and Tricks

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.

 You 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

March 25, 2011

Printing Tips
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 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.

You 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


Paper Minis Miniatures
On-Line Since 2002

Front Royal, Virginia

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held by Ann Vanture, 2003-2012
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