Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cutting and Punching Holes in Mica

Several people have posted or e-mailed about how to punch holes in the mica.  Several were worried it would crack or break like glass.
Even though it's fairly brittle and is see through like glass it's VERY tough stuff.  Yes, you can break it if you try really hard but I've never had any trouble with punching holes in mica or even cutting it for that matter.

mica 004
Now many times you'll want to separate the pieces because for most projects you only need a few sheets instead of a really thick piece.  This is super for making charms because you can make two exact halves to sandwich your images between!
You can use your fingernail or like here a pick or paper piercing tool.
mica 007
You can punch the mica with a hole punch - I'm using a Crop-o-Dile because it's what I have.  As long as your punch is sharp it will cut like butter.  As far as cutting mica thinner sheets can be cut with regular shears while thicker pieces can be cut with heavier duty scissors like Tim Holtz type.  I say this only because lighter weight scissors may dull after cutting much mica.  I have a pair of heavier duty Mundial scissors that I use all the time and they cut the mica just fine.
mica 008
As you can see here the mica doesn't crack, break or peel where I made the hole...
(Note, this is a thicker piece of mica)
mica 009
And to show you that you can punch a hole on thinner mica this piece has only 2-3 layers (which is pretty thin as you can tell since it's very transparent). 
mica 010
Now on thinner pieces the piece of mica that you punched out may not come away clean as you can sort of see in this photo.  All you do to remove it is run your finger nail across it and the excess flakes right off.  No damage what so ever done to the mica.
mica 011
Now, no matter if you're cutting thick or thin sheets of mica you'll end up with waste from the holes...don't throw it away!!!  You can use this just as you would glitter...  it's beautiful and so very pretty as an embellishment.
mica 012
Now, where can you get it??? 
Well, I've been referring people to Altered Pages - Mica or USArtQuest - the two places I've been getting my mica.  BUT, I've been thinking about adding mica to my Etsy shop. 
Lots of people shy away from mica because of the price but I would offer it at lower prices than I've seen elsewhere.   I just need to figure out if there would be enough interest in it.  The initial investment would be substantial and I need to make sure I would be able to at least make enough to cover the costs.
Anyway, I hope this helps answer at least some of the questions you've had about mica.  If you have any more, please feel free to post...I'm always happy to help when I can.


  1. Thanks for explaining Roni. Great tips and tutorial as always

  2. Chica, thanks for clearing that up for me. :)

  3. Chica, thanks for clearing that up for me. :)

  4. I found good answers!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!