In The craftroom 7th June 2014 – A lesson in perfect layers

After watching “Perfect Layers rulers being demonstrated on C & C along with “Perfect Squares”  I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of them – thinking that the ladies in my craft group would be very interested in them, as they struggle to get their mats and layers even and don’t like using my guillotine (can’t think why its only an A3, I keep telling them that they just have to show it who’s boss).

This did mean that I had to get a set and have a go with them to see if they were as straight forward to use as they showed in the demonstration.

I showed them to the group and demonstrated how to use them and they all thought that they were a brilliant idea too. Diane had actually bought a set a while ago, butthey were still in the bag they came in as she was unsure what to do with them.

Margery  asked if I could get her a set the next time they were on C & C and both Jackie and Lisa both bought themselves a set of the rulers too.

When they were being demonstrated on C & C again, the lady demonstrating them also showed a little layering tutorial that she does at workshops ( I am really sorry but I cannot remember the Lady’s name ) which I thought was also really good and would be perfect for my ladies to have a go at.  It would also give them a bit of practice with their rulers which apart from Jackie’s were still in their packaging.

Hence this weeks craft session on how to use “Perfect Layers Rulers”

So, what are Perfect Layers rulers?




The “deluxe” set is a set of three double sided rulers with which you can cut borders from 1/16th ” to 1inch wide. 2 of the rulers (which I numbered ruler 1 and ruler 2) have four measurements each on them and the 3rd ruler has the 3/4″ and 1″ borders. As you can see in the photograph above, I also made a rough guide to show what the different borders look like (the white areas are the borders) I think it is sometimes easier to see how wide the border you want is instead of trying to visualise it.

(Just a word of warning, the deluxe set is approx £19.99 from Joanna Sheen. Lisa bought a set at a craft fair for what she thought was a very good price of about £18. but it only had 2 rulers in the set not 2, so just check before you buy)

Each side of the ruler has a metal edge and there is a lip like groove running the length of the ruler for  the width of each border. It might be better to try and show you.


Here I have stuck a topper onto a piece of black card ( and yes I purposely stuck it on wonky for the demo, honest)

Now take one of your rulers, I wanted an 1/8″ border around my picture so


Taking the ruler that has the 1/8″ marked on it  (on the top right of the ruler) place the ruler along one of the sides and slide it up to the edge of the topper until the “lip” catches. Can you see the the edge of the ruler is slightly to the right of the topper. Now take a craft knife (and making sure you are using a cutting mat or glass mat) cut down the edge of the ruler.


then continue to do the same around all four sides


and you get a perfectly layered topper. That is the basics of it, lets see how the ladies got on.

IMAG0915 IMAG0914

studious concentration while they are busy,

The layering tutorial goes as follows

Take 4 pictures, they can be a photo or topper, you just need 4 the same. Leave one as it is and layer the other three onto a thin black  mat (either 1/16″ or 1/8″ )

Leave one as it is and layer the other two onto a wide white mat (either 1/2″ or 5/16″)

Leave one as it is and mat the other one onto a thin black mat the same as before


What a difference a mat makes lol. This little exercise not only gave them practice using the rulers but also showed how different layers can change the look of an image  too.

It took some of the group a little longer to get the hang of it than others, but I think it was more a case of leaning how to use a craft knife than the actual ruler. the rulers themselves are quite straight forward and as long as you have the measurement you want to use readable in the top right (if you are right handed) and yes the top left if you are left handed. This did impress me, the fact that they can be used by both left and right handed. Irene is left handed  and the problem she had was having to learn to use a craft knife, as she had never used one before,.

The main problem with the rulers to start with was getting “the catch” on the lip and keeping it there while they cut. The ruler tended to slip but was mainly due, i think, to them putting to much pressure on the knife ( I think they thought you had to cut thought the glass mat as well lol)

By the time they had done their little exercise, had a cup of tea and a cake , they were ready to take it to the next level.

I suggested that they have a look through their stash of previous unfinished work and see if there was anything they could cut and layer up to make cards.  gelli print backgrounds, stamped scenes etc can all look good cut up and matted onto layers.

To help make sure that the pieces they were going to cut up would be “square”, straight edged and the same size I showed them how to use the “Perfect Square”


This is basically a right angled set  square (the holes are to help hold the card in place) with measurements and a lip down one edge and metal edged again for use with a craft knife. Easier to get the hang of and again can be used by both left and right handed.


Butt  the lip on the bottom edge of the square to the bottom edge of the card and line the other edge with where you want to cut. cut down the edge with a craft knife


Turn the card and but the bottom edge of the ruler along the edge you have just cut. Now you can either just line up again where you want to cut or you can measure how wide you want your topper using the ruler and just cut down again. Keep going around all four sides


To give you a perfectly squared topper. This is great if you don’t have room for a trimmer or guillotine or handy if on the move.


This was a gelli print which I cut up into four squares with the “Perfect Square” and then matted them onto mirri card using the 1/16″ Perfect layer ruler. I find trying to get an equal narrow border all the way round the most difficult and these rulers are really good for that.


Narrow borders again , they do make it so easy to get perfect layering.  Like most things they just take a little practice that’s all.

Just be careful with the craft knife when you have it in your hand. Remember they are sharp and we don’t want you  stabbing your self  because you are not watching what you are doing, do we Jackie?

If any one reading has tried the perfect layers and square, I would be very interested in how you have got on with them too, so please leave a comment.

Anyone wanting to try them can get them from Joanna Sheen’s online shop (free p&p ) Also the  lovely baby elephant and cub images used in the examples above are from her Jane Netley Mayhew CD 2


Finally there is no Craft Afty next week as I am going to watch my daughter compete at the Northern Athletic championships in Manchester. She has competed  in this competition (in various events)  every year but one since she was 11. She is now 30  and still loving it.






1 Comment

  1. Your ‘students’ are concentrating like mad there! I obviously need these rulers and squares to straighten my layers and mats. I am the champion of wonkiness 🙂 Many thanks for all the very useful information on how to use these rulers.

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