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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to be Awesome at Punch Needle

I know what you're thinking.  What the heck is a punch needle??  I didn't know either until I happened to find these little punch needle kits in the craft store one day.  It's another of those "easy fun happy joy" kits that by now you know I'm a sucker for.  Look, it even says so on the box.

"Fun and relaxing. A quick way to a smile!"

Now usually when I think of the word "relaxing," I think of a massage, or lying my hammock, or a bubble bath or something like that, but whatever.  This craft is not only going to be fun, it is going to actively take stress away from me as I do it!  That's quite an improvement on my usual hand craft of choice, cross stitch, which I love, but which usually at some point requires me to throw my craft hoop across the room and swear that I'm going to finish the rest with Sharpie x's.

Ok, so punch needle uses different tools than most sewing-type crafts (i.e. different than a needle).  There's this hollow tube with a point on the end, almost like a fountain pen, and you have to thread it a certain way with this little threader thingy.  It looks like this:

And once you get it threaded, you look at your little paper that tells you where to put the different colors, and then you look at your fabric and find that area.  Oh, and the printed stuff that shows you the shapes you're going to make--it's printed on the back of the fabric, backwards.  Weird.

And it's not like cross stitch, which is like, "Put an X here, in this exact spot,  or the entire project is ruined forever!"  It's more like, "Well, this area needs to be green, so however you feel like going about that is fine."  You like lots of loops close together?  Great.  You like a few spread out?  Great too.  Whatevs.  It's like, the laid-back, beach bum cousin of the uptight cross stitching family.

So then you just start stabbing it.  I'm not kidding, this is like, a voodoo hand craft.  You take your pointy punch needle and you stab it repeatedly in the fabric.  Each time you pull, it makes a little loop in the other side, and when you do it a lot, it fills in the shapes and it ends up being this kind of three dimensional, soft picture.  It's got a neat texture to it.  I finally finished mine.

Somebody's getting this as a gift.  Just sayin'.

I still have to find a frame for it, but yeah, finished.  I worked on it off and on for several weeks, but if I had been serious about finishing it, I think it could be done in a weekend.  Now I will grade it.

Time:  A-
Difficulty:  A
Expense:  A+
Fun:  B+
Relaxing:  C-

It was pretty good overall.  It was cheap, and not hard.  I don't think I would call it relaxing, any more than I would call most crafts relaxing.  It was pretty fun, but after the novelty wore off, it got a little repetitive.  I don't think I've found my new life's passion or anything, but it was interesting and different.  Definitely therapeutic though, stabbing with a sharp object over and over again.  Maybe that's what they mean by relaxing.  Hmm...


  1. Next thing you know, you'll be taking up the art of tattoo. Basically the same thing, except probably more relaxing because the pen does the stabbing for you.