Punchello: Craft & Embellish with Sequin Waste

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I’ve heard the term “punchello” and also seen it spelled punchellu. What is it?

Punchello is one of the funny sounding words associated with sewing, but very simply it’s just sequin waste. Also referred to as Punchinello, Punchinella, Punchella or Punchelli, it’s the thin metal sheets left after sequins or pailettes (larger embellishments than a sequin) are punched out by a die press. Punchello comes in all colors, as well as the metallic shades, and is used for a number of crafty things. It’s often threaded with yarns, ribbons or fibers and then used as an embellishment for scrapbooking and other mixed media projects, or for jewelry. When cut into strips, it can be used like gift-wrapping ribbon, as it’s soft and flexible. Sewers often use it for embellishments on soft sculptures and also on garments, for just a bit of metallic sheen. You can trim it with ordinary craft scissors (not the good dressmaker ones!) and stitch through it with a small size machine needle or by hand, either in the holes or in the areas between.