Sharpen Your Pinking Shears With Aluminum Foil





Introduction: Sharpen Your Pinking Shears With Aluminum Foil

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

This sewing tip is highly contested, but it has worked for me many times!

Cutting through aluminum foil (or sandpaper!) isn't a replacement for a good professional sharpening, but a quick fix for when your pinking shears decide they don't feel like cooperating in the middle of a project. It also won't save pinking shears that are beyond dull.

But it's absolutely perfect for when you're trying to use your pinking shears on an edge and they just aren't having it. If your pinked edges are coming out a little round and crushed instead of pointy, this is a good solution. :)

Step 1: What You'll Need:

You can also use very fine grit sandpaper for this, but I always use aluminum foil since I have loads of it and it's cheaper

Step 2: Fold the Foil and Cut

If you're using heavy duty foil, just fold it over and cut. I'm using really flimsy foil, so I folded it a few times. Don't go overboard with the folding - cutting through too many layers of foil can mess up the alignment on your shears.

Make a few cuts (making sure to include all the shear's teeth in your cuts!) through the foil and the test the pinking shears on some fabric.

Step 3: Celebrate!!

Or, if it didn't work, have your shears professionally sharpened.

Craft stores like Hancock Fabrics, Jo-Ann's, and Michael's offer sharpening for fair prices - ask around next time you're in and they can let you know the next day they'll have a professional on site to do it.

If you've got a nicer pair of scissors (like Gingher) sometimes you can even send your scissors back to the manufacturer and get them sharpened that way.

I hope this works for you or I at least pointed you in the right direction.

May your crafting scissors be forever sharp! :D



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    13 Discussions

    So I tried to sharpen these cheap pinking shears I had with sandpaper then aluminum foil as well and now they actually gotten worse and they don't cut fabric at all! The scissors were junk to begin with but they did cut lol but I don't understand what happened? It definitely shouldn't have gotten worse right?

    Thank you for this really useful tip- it rescued a fancy dress outfit I'd made for a little girl!

    Just did a bit of research and what happens is cutting with foil rounds the blades and throws it out of balance. I'll sharpen them on a grinding wheel, at the correct angle, this weekend.

    I have just the pair of scissors for this method. Thanks for sharing and do have a great week!


    I might try that on the "Made in China" shears, but never my good Ginghers!

    This works with the little paper punches that are used for card making and scrapbooking too - just punch a few shapes out of foil, and then punch a few out of waxed paper (eg the backing paper for address labels) to provide a little lubrication.

    I love this tip for getting sharper scissors. George Dyson, in his book Baidarka: The Kayak, mentions that surgeons used to strop their scalpels on a block of aluminum before surgery. He claimed that fragments of aluminum would fill the small valleys that exist on a blade, and would refine the bevel. I wonder if cutting through an aluminum can would do the same thing?

    We have a drawer full of horribly-abused "bumpy-edged scissors," which apparently are actually pinking shears. We are totally going to have a foil cutting party! Also, I need to learn the names of things, because I would've been SOL if I tried to Google "bumpy-edged scissors." Thank you!


    3 years ago

    I've heard of this. (sandpaper). It really makes you wonder how something like cloth can dull, and foil can sharpen. My guess is that you are not sharpening, but rather honing the blades.

    2 replies

    Yup - honing is definitely a better way to describe what's happening. Just a quick fix. :)

    I just knew no one would be searching for that, ha!

    Yeah, like I said, I've heard of using sandpaper before, but was always afraid to try it. (sounds too abrasive). But I think I'll try aluminum foil. It seems that would work better honing the blades.