How to Sharpen a Punch

By Noreen Doll.

Do you need to sharpen a punch? Any kind of punch can be sharpened this way.


I was punching holes around the edges of a Christmas card to make it into a sewing card for preschoolers.

After punching a few holes, I noticed the punch was not punching cleanly, and it was leaving raggedy looking holes.


You can punch aluminum foil to sharpen punches. I took a piece of aluminum foil 6 or 8 inches wide and folded it up fairly small – so it was several thicknesses.


Then I punched as many holes in it as I could.


When I was finished, my punch cut cleanly again.

And I had a pile of shiny circles to use on a project.  Now if I can only figure out a good way to use them!


Punching folded wax paper after punching the aluminum foil is supposed to lubricate the punch edges.  However, I found it difficult to punch the wax paper, so you may want to try this for yourself and see how it goes.

Punching soda cans sharpens punches very well, too.

Here I’ve used a soda can to sharpen a snowflake punch.


I didn’t punch it as many times as I did the hole punch, but the can sharpened the punch nicely.


And look at the colorful aluminum snowflake I got while sharpening the punch!


How to Fix a Rusted Paper Punch.

Sharpen Decorative Edge Scissors.

Use an aluminum can to make a dimensional star.

Aluminum Can Dimensional Star - Crafty Journal

Use an aluminum can to make a dimensional star.


© Noreen Doll

Crafty Journal

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  1. I have heard you can sharpen scissors this way, too. I wonder what it is about the aluminum that sharpens? This is good information to have. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Margaret says:

    Very useful! Now…….can you tell me how to punch wool felt, the way the doll makers did in the early 1900s to the 50s? Remember the little felt bootie kits that had punched flower shapes>

    If we can send a man to the moon, think of what a woman would have discovered!

  3. I’m afraid I don’t know how they punched wool felt. But my guess is they used heavy duty machinery. Noreen

  4. Hello, Noreen!

    Thank you for the most valuable tip!
    I’ve seen your crafts a lot from I Share Crafts and I love how you always use those available in-house materials to make your crafts. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. I didn’t know this. Thanks, Noreen!

  6. I didn’t know this and it’s good info to have since I have two very dull punches from punching hundreds and hundreds of plastic ziplocks for a project we did when my son and his Marine Corps buddies were stationed in Iraq. I love the idea of punching out a coke can and other metal as well. I’d have never thought the punches could cut through. Thanks for the info. I’ll be pinning it so I don’t forget.

  7. Thanks!!!!! Great to know!!!!

  8. Great tip, Noreen! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh, wow! that is great! I really need to sharpen my hole punch! Thanks for sharing!
    Found you at This Gal Cooks.

  10. Who knew! Great idea! Visiting from “Mix it up Monday”! Blessings to you!

  11. Thats really useful, thanks for sharing :)

  12. Cool! I didn’t know that tip. Thank you for sharing. I have punches that need sharpening.

    Consider yourself hugged.

  13. Thanks for passing on the tip. I have used this with scissors. Like Lynda above I have wondered why it works!

  14. I’ve tried this with scissors and it worked okay; not a huge difference. I’m glad it worked for you. Stopping by from I Should be Mopping.

  15. I love this! I am pinning it for sure! Thanks so much!!

  16. I never even thought of this. What a great idea. I have a few punches I should sharpen. Thanks.

  17. Great tip! Thanks for sharing!

    Linda at The French Hens Nest

  18. This is a great tip, I’ll be punching tonight. :)

  19. Saw this at In & Out of the kitchen. Awesome tip! Thanks!

  20. Thank you Noreen for this fabulous tip. This was something I did not know.

  21. What a great idea! I have a number of punches that I was going to throw away because they are dull but now I will have to try your remedy and see if I can save them. One is a favorite corner punch they no longer make so this is a great tip . Thanks a million

  22. Thanks for the great tip. I had no idea! I was wondering the other day what to do about my dull punches. You have great timing! Pinning.

  23. awesome tip! I first saw someone do this on that show craft wars :o) thanks

  24. Found you at “Adventures of a DIY Mom’s party today! This is a great tip! Pinning it to my “Wow, That’s Smart” board on Pinterest! thanks!

  25. Great tip. Thanks for sharing at The Gathering Spot this week.

  26. We used foil for my wedding… But I hadn’t thought of a soda can! Great tip! Found you at Our Delightful Home’s party… Hope you have a great Tuesday!


  27. This is an Awesome tip, Wow Thanks for sharing this!!!

    Hope you are having a lovely day!


  28. How cool is that? I’m going to have to go sharpen my punches. Thanks for sharing at Time To Sparkle!

  29. Wow, I just never thought about my punchers getting dull. I will definitely have to try this. Thanks for sharing such a cool idea.

  30. Excellent! I never thought you could do this! I just figured if it became dull, it was just dull! I can’t wait to try this:) Thanks so much for the great tip!

  31. I would have never thought about this, what a great tip! Thanks for sharing, pinning for future use!

  32. That is a great tip. It is nice to have a sharp hole punch to make things (such as the lacing cards you made). Thank you for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday.

  33. Great tip! I need to sharpen my 1 & 3-hole punches. I sharpen my scissors on the edge of my great-grandmother’s butter churn! Thanks so much for sharing. Hope to see you again soon! Blessings, D

  34. A fun way to use your great-grandmother’s butter churn! I love using vintage family things. We use old aluminum knitting needles to make jump rings for jewelry.


  35. What a great tip! You not only get sharp paper punches, but great little dots!
    Thank you!


  36. This is an AMAZING tip. I have never heard of this before!! Thank you so much for sharing it!!

  37. I found you on the Wednesday Chronicles, I LOVE your blog. Anything D.I.Y. I’m all about.

  38. I’ve always wondered how to do that! And a soda can that is just brilliant! Thanks for the tip!

    Stopping by from Adorned from Above.


  39. This is such a great tip….I have a 3-hole punch that’s acting up. I will try your method :o)
    Stopping by from The Best Blog Recipes.

  40. Hi! Visiting from Diana’s party. Thank you for this great info. I love punches and have built up quite a collection. Hated the thoght of just throwing them out once they become dull. I will use your ideas. Thanks!

  41. I had heard of punching aluminum foil to sharpen punches, but on detailed punches it would just get stuck – I will try folding it a few times and see if that works better – or I’ll try punching soda cans, love the metal snowflake you made that way.

  42. Some of the intricate edges do get stuck, but I just carefully work the snowflake out.


  43. Brilliant!!

  44. What a great tip!

  45. Great tip!

  46. Great tip, thanks. We are thinking of starting a tips and techniques section soon, and would love to share this post! xxxx

  47. Aluminum foil … who knew??

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  48. This is such a great idea! I’ve pinned it.

  49. I have used aluminum foil before to sharpen punches, it works like a charm!


  50. Wow, this is great information! I have some dull punches and thought I should just chuck them! Now I won’t have to. I’ll be featuring this on my party highlights post this week!

  51. This is such a genius idea!! Thanks!

  52. This is a great tip and I’m pinning it to share!

  53. Never tried this before, but my hole punches really need sharpening. Thanks for the great tip!

  54. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, thanks for sharing!


  55. You have been featured at Craftionary. :)

  56. Nice!! This is a great tip. Thanks. I’m now following you.

  57. Hi Noreen, Such an awesome tip! I’m giving your post a shout out!

  58. fabulous tip, thanks for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

  59. How super cool… I learned something new! Thanks so much for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell last week… I hope you’ll come back to party with me again tomorrow! Have a great night! xoxo~ Ruthie

  60. Hey, thats a realy great idea! I must test it, my puncher seemed to be “dead”, so maybe he will be reanimated. :) (Sorry if it sounds funny, my english is schoolenglish and school was… okay too long ago).


  61. Wow didn’t think hole punchers needed sharpening!

  62. Wow! I knew cutting through aluminum would sharpen scissors but never thought about using a punch! Awesome tip!


  63. This is a neat idea to remember! Thank you for sharing!

  64. Great idea and I like how the punches look when created from the coke can. Thanks for sharing.

  65. Saw your link at Livin the Mom Life. I’ve heard of using foil to sharpen a punch but never thought to use a soda can! I bet that is the most effective way to do it!

  66. You share the BEST IDEAS!

  67. Wow I am so glad you posted this because both my hole punch and tag punches are getting dull! I certainly never would of thought of it myself. Thanks again for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best!

  68. I have used the aluminum foil and it does work but the coke tin might work better. I will remember that next time I get my punches out! Great idea!

  69. Jennifer Partridge says:

    Hi Noreen!

    I am so happy to have discovered your website (just in time to make some cool graduation gifts like the money wallet!)!!! :)

    This is a GREAT tip (I’m a paper crafter and have an extensive punch collection)!!!!!! I do have a question though: how do you cut the soda can into sheets in order to punch?

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Crafty hugs,


  70. I’ll post a tutorial on how to cut a soda can into a sheet.

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