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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scoring Lines Tutorial

Looking for previous tutorials?  Search “tutorial” on the left side.

Scoring your lines is a very important step in assembling your hybrid project.  Card stock and other heavy weight paper does not fold cleanly like copy weight or notebook paper.  Scoring your lines creates an indentation that breaks down the fibers of the paper to give it a guideline to fold.

Scoring your lines is the difference between this:


And this:


There are a range of tools you can use to score your folds and today I’m going to take you through some of them - including what you already have at home!

I’m going to start with my favorite - the Martha Stewart Scoring Board.  It retails for 19.99 but if you buy it at a chain craft store like Michaels or JoAnn, make sure you use a 40% or 50% off coupon!


It comes with a small bone folder and an envelope guide that slides into a compartment underneath.  There is also a storage compartment at the top for the bone folder.


I added the red line using a Super Fine Point Sharpie.  This is a huge help when you’re scoring lines that aren’t perpendicular or parallel to a straight edge.

There are comparable scoring boards on the market, like the Scor-Pal and the Scor-it-All, but the Martha Stewart is the lowest priced and is also the only one with grooves every 1/8 inch.  You also won’t find the others at most chain stores.


The bone folder that comes with this scoring board does the job, but it’s pretty thin and the edges are a bit sharp.  It’s not very comfortable in my hand and if you use too much pressure it can break through the paper.  This is a risk with most scoring tools though, so I recommend practicing on scrap paper no matter what method you’re using.

Because I wasn’t completely satisfied with it, I upgraded to the Martha Stewart Bone Folder. (Use a coupon!)


It is a much heavier weight and rounded so it is much more comfortable to use.  Because it is wider, it also doesn’t fit all the way down in the groove like the thin one so it won’t break through the paper.


The bone folder is also a great tool for creasing your folds.  This helps give them that sharp crease.


If you don’t have a scoring board, you can also use the bone folder on it’s own.  If you have a steady hand, you can freehand it or else use it with a ruler.


You’ll have best results if you have something underneath your paper that has a bit of give to it, such as a self healing mat, a mouse pad or magazine. 

If you have a paper trimmer (I have this Cricut one), you can use a scoring blade instead of a cutting blade.


This is one you definitely want to practice with.  It’s very easy to break through the paper - I usually do 3 or 4 very light passes.

If you don’t have any special paper crafting tools, don’t worry, you can still get great results!  Grab a butter knife and 2 magazines (or a ruler and a magazine…or a mouse pad and a magazine - something to use as a straight edge and something to pad underneath).  Use the back side of the butter knife - not the side the the little serrations. 


Final tip: When you’re scoring your folds, the ridge that is created on the underneath should be the inside of the fold. 

Are you ready to find a new project to practice on?  Use coupon code Scoring311 to get 25% off your purchase from my store before 4/3/11

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