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Martha Stewart Punches

Reported by Megan Lock

The woman we love to hate: Martha Stewart. Regardless of how you feel about her, she has some fantastic people creating beautiful products with her name on them. One of the most popular products these people have designed are, of course, the punches. She may not know how to use them, but as a papercrafter, we love them!

There was the goo border punch at Halloween that was sighted on ebay for upwards of $100. There was the illusive twig and snowflake punch at Christmas that only a few were able to nab. There was the Valentine border punch that was (and are currently) ungrabbable, except by the lucky few who stalk the shelves each day. There will soon be a wonderful new design where some projects will boastfully laugh at our projects because they didn’t get to taste the new MS punch.

All of that to say that their unavailability is the greatest con for these punches. Don’t worry, though… I have fourteen other cons to share with you. I scoured the internet to find the problems papercrafters have been having:
  1. handle fell off
  2. sticks in locked position, won’t open
  3. can’t get them at Hobby Lobby
  4. some Archivers quit selling them
  5. MS website is not helpful in ordering or showing product options
  6. they are made by EK Success, a reputable punch producer, and the decreased quality with a comparatively substantial price tag leaves consumers wondering
  7. it should be of higher quality with Martha’s name on it, a continuation of #6
  8. not available in the UK
  9. the cupcake punch is difficult to place after punching, the parts don’t fit well together
  10. works on thinner paper, but not with card stock
  11. embossing punches are very faint
  12. quality control problem, some punches work well, while others do not
  13. need seasoning, a few hundred run throughs with card stock to get them working
  14. Walmart’s selection is pitiful

Before you Martha lovers come after me with a hot glue gun, there seems to be an equal number of users who either don’t have, or don’t report problems with their punches. They say they haven’t had any problems cutting through thick cardstock and they would gladly purchase more. I fall in this category! I have three MS punches. I have cut through Stampin’ Up! cardstock and I have always had beautiful results. My only beef is that I can’t get my hands on them!

Here are a few tips I’ve found useful:
1. Center your cardstock in the punch. Here, I used SU’s Mellow Moss cardstock.

2. Push down with the palm of your hand, hold the paper with your other hand, all while the punch remains on the table.

3. Line up the image with the image on the punch. I’ve found that some punches require you to turn it over to line up the image, but the engineers got it right on these. You can trust the image on these borders.

4. Create your project:

(Turtle Tots, Stamping Bella; Designer Paper, The Paper Studio, heart brads, Spare Parts)
Pros:
  • wonderful and popular designs
  • the good ones punch well
  • the single punches (not borders) are box-shaped, for easier storage

Cons:
  • listed above

You can (hopefully) find these punches at Michaels, AC Moore (they don’t have them on their website, but I’ve seen them in the store), and Wal*Mart, ranging in price from $9.99 to $14.99.

Overall, I think these can be good punches if you can get one and if you get a good one. Would you risk it? Do you dislike Martha so much you refuse to buy her products? Do you get frustrated that you can’t find the punch you want? Is there a punch you think is a “must have?” If so, let us know!! We want to hear from YOU!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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64 Responses to Martha Stewart Punches

  1. Craft Critique March 11, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    I have never had any problems either… I love the punches! Also, I would encourage any readers who HAVE had problems to call EK success and tell them! In my experience they are a great company that stands behind their products.

  2. Francie Horton March 11, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    i have only purchased one MS punch so i can’t vouch for others. i have been pleased with it so far. the reason i love this punch, tho, is its shape. it’s the 1″ scalloped circle. sometimes gummed labels can be expensive or you can’t find them just the right colors so this makes perfect ones.

  3. AmyR March 11, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    I own like 20 MS punches – LOVE them. I haven’t had a problem with any of them – altho I’ve never tried any of the ones that are supposed to emboss and punch at the same time. I’m thinking those ones would be more tricky and more prone to defects than regular punches…

  4. Lizzette March 11, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    No problems here either, ditto on notifying EK Success. I love all of mine, buy a few a time every chance I get.My only gripe is that they have become collectors items, especially the ones only available at the Martha crafts site, and then they are sold on Ebay for 4 times the amount. My 2 cents.

  5. Jenn March 11, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    I don’t own any punches, so I’m not very helpful, but I have heard a lot of complaint about the quality.

  6. Catherine March 11, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    I,too, have only purchased one MS punch…a smallish butterfly and I love it. I use it for so many projects, first saw it on Ali Edward’s blog. MS now has another triple butterfly punch which I want and cannot find, oh such are the trials of my life.
    I vote thumbs up on her punches.

    Catherine

  7. Shemaine March 11, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    I just picked up the newest punch Lace Doily at Michaels and used my 40 percent off coupon! That’s what I LOOOVE about collecting my MS punches there.Plus my particualr store always has a nice supply of them in stock. Compared to the Fiskers punches I have purchased they punch like butter and I have NEVER had any issues. The Fiskers ones I own I have to push SO hard to even get them to do the job. I love MS’s stuff and will continue to stock my scrappy space with them.

  8. Tracey March 11, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    I purchased one of the MS border punches at Walmart and was not pleased. The punch was defective (a piece of it was missing). I took it back and was going to get another one but it also was defective. I sent an email to their customer service department letting them know my issue and they offered to send me one in the mail. It hasn’t arrived yet (should be soon). So, while I was not pleased with their product I am happy with the customer service I received.

  9. PattiM March 11, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    I have a few of her border punches and have had no problems with them yet. Cuts pp & cs perfectly. Now her journaling pens are another thing. Those quit writing after 1 week.

    Hugs,

    PattiM
    (Pattie’s passion)

    I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!!

  10. irasema March 11, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    i own one MS border punch and love it. I have even punched transparencies with it!

  11. Anonymous March 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    I agree with you on the love/hate Martha but I have to say I love the punches. Have had an occassional sticky one but if you punch it through wax paper it will loosen up. My personal vote would be a thumbs up for the variety.

    Elise

  12. Chookarooni March 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    Have several MS border punches and one smaller one (embossed heart)- they all work well even on thick cardstock – just wish I could find the two that I really want!
    on a side note – had Fiskar’s border punch break – contacted Fiskars and replacement sent immediately (from US to Canada – I was most impressed!)

  13. Julia Stainton March 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    My chief complaint is the outrageous cost of these punches in Canada. I’d try them but….I just can’t afford them!

  14. Scrapycandy March 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    I scored with a goo punch and had a ball playing with it! So, I’m now trying to decide on my next one. Fiskar border punches seem to need thinner paper but not the goo punch. So, I’m considering buying some more border punches..at least now there are many more to choose from.

  15. Vicki March 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    I love the border punches that I have from MS. My only complaint to date is making some of them as Limited Editions. A friend of mine finally found the Valentine Lace punch for me and used a coupon to get it. Making them as a limited edition only drives the prices to an outrageous amount on eBay. EK Success and MS aren’t getting the profits…..only those who are buying them up and scalping them to others who really want one. Wouldn’t the manufacturer benefit more if they made more of them?

  16. Rebecca Ednie March 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    I have the MS scallop border punch with all the tiny holes, I think it is the lace doily punch. It will NOT go through cardstock but works beautifully with thinner paper. My intricate snowflake works perfectly. I also have a butterfly with shapes cut out from wings. They call it a 2 step punch. For some reason, the shape punches almost away from the paper leaving two small points still attached. This would make sense if they were at either end of the body so the wings could be bent upward leaving the butterfly attached to the background paper. Cool border idea for a scrapbook page. But the paper attachment points are at the tips of the larger wings! So then why on earth doesn’t the butterfly punch completely free of the surrounding paper? No idea. I don’t have too much problem with the price but always use a 40% off coupon. Then it is definitely worth it. I agree MS is a person I love to hate but her team creates such beautiful stuff. I agree Wal-Mart’s selection is pitiful but ditto can be said for their selection of cuttlebug and cricut products as well as stamps and ink.

  17. Sharron March 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    I have a few of her smaller punches & have had no problems with them.

    Thanks for showing the correct way to punch with the larger one.

  18. ~kelly marie~ March 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    I have never had a problem with the Martha punches. I was actually surprised at how well they work. The designs are so fun too!

    Now, the new EK Success flat punches have NOT been working for me. I’ve had to return them :(. I am hoping my Michael’s got a bad shipment, and I am going to try and buy another one today.

  19. java diva March 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    Um, I hate MS enough to only purchase a MS item if it’s on clearance! The only thing I’ve caved for were rhinestones and oddly shaped ivory pearls. I must have pearls. They were clearanced, so I didn’t feel so bad! 😛 Oh, and I did buy some clearanced tissue paper of hers. It’s actually good quality. The colors matched SU’s perfectly.

  20. Abbey97 March 11, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    I have a few of her punches and they seem to work fine. Got most at Wal-Mart and maybe one or two at Michael’s.
    I watched part of the link for her show LOLOLOLOLOL!! Maybe she should have practiced that segment first so she wouldn’t have looked like such a dink.

  21. Manhattan Mandie March 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    I have one MS border punch that I bought last summer at Michael’s when they have the special 25%off MS coupon. I am disappointed in the quality as the blades don’t cut deep enough to get through cardstock and I bought it to make borders on.. CARDS. Also the design doesn’t line up very well so you have to mess with it a bit. Was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a better quality punch but also relieved that I won’t waste any more money on her stuff 🙂

  22. Betty Townsend March 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    I have three MS punches and they all work very well for me. I’ve looked at her border punches and want to get one or two.

  23. Rosie March 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    I love her punches. I do agree with PPs that it sucks they make them limited editions. I hope they rethink this. I thought that with the gooey goo and I see it keeps happening, so I stopped buying.

  24. Deanna Kroll March 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    Wow, I didn’t realize the cons of this product. I myself don’t own any, but really have been eyeing them up at my walmart…hmm…great review, still want to try them out. 🙂

  25. Marti - Pez-A-Doodle Design Studios March 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    i too LOVE these punches – i have quite a few though none of the *elusive* ones.

    great article!!

  26. Krissi March 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    I purchased the skull and crossbones punch (DANG it was expensive!) and it has never worked properly no matter what type of paper I’m using. I figured since I had long lost the receipt by the time I finally used it, I was stuck with it, but I may contact EK Success. I don’t want my money back – I want a cool skull/bones punch that works!

  27. kathy e March 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    I love my MS punches! I have 6 border punches and they all work perfectly, even with cardstock. I recently bought the “limited” Valentine border punch at Michaels on CLEARANCE (can you believe that?).

  28. Pinkaboo6691 March 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    I have 2 MS punches and wont be rushing out to buy another. I have the same results from both….they felt flimsy and cheap compared to other punches that I have. Its so difficult to work the punches (and Im a strong gal) that I was sure I would break the punch just trying to use it on paper! Then they both get stuck in the down position and I have to pry them up to release the paper. The punched image isnt punched all the way thru, and OR its stuck on the punch and I have to literally tear the paper out of the punch to get it loose.

  29. Cheryl March 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    I have a whole bunch of these – regular, borders and embossing and have only had a problem with one (and I corrected that with a couple of punches thru aluminum foil and wax paper). I don’t think I’ll be able to rest until I possess them all.

    Regarding the double punches (like the butterfly with the interior holes, and I think the skull & crossbones also) – those are meant to stay attached to the paper and you just pop them out the rest of the way. It might seem like a punch malfunction, but I have a couple of the double punches from EK Success that don’t stay attached to the paper, and when you use one, you’d better have your piercing tool handy to try and fish the punched piece back out.

    Also, franticstamper.com is now selling Martha Stewart punches online – some of the limited releases are available now and some have later expected dates, but it saves you from the evilbay.

  30. Laurel S March 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    I’ve had good luck finding MS punches – even on sale, by checking out the MS Crafts website: http://www.marthastewartcrafts.com/index.php?v=msc_prod_tool_punches
    Currently there is only one spider punch on sale at 50% off. However, I was able to snag several different types, including border punches for 50% off, last January. Just keep checking her craft website, as the punch inventory changes frequently.

  31. Okispice March 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Oh this is a fun read! I have never bought any of Martha’s things at Micheals. Nothing personal, just don’t like the price. But now your article has me wondering if I should give a punch a try, just because …

  32. Jeanne March 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    I have returned many of her punches and each time I swear I won’t buy another. I got to use the lacey heart border and loved it until it broke! Didn’t get to make any cards with it. I wish she would make her border punches so they punch right side up on the bottom of a card. Her new Bunnies border stamp, used on the bottom of a card, will have the bunnies walking upside down.

  33. Michelle Adams March 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    I have oodles of MS punches – singles and borders – and love them all! The only problem I’ve had has been punching with glitter paper from DCWV, which is very thick. It still punched, the punch just jammed in one position and I had to play with it for a bit to get it unjammed. But then it worked perfectly again. Love ’em!

  34. Maureen F. March 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    I was so an anti-Martha fan, but I caved and really like some of her products. SHe has great Halloween stuff and WHAT the goo punch went for 100 on ebay. I have one and have only used it once, maybe I will sell it. I think she has some really cool designs for her punches. I think she should make larger sized ones. I have about 10 of them and have had no problems with them and they cut really well.

  35. Sarah Moore March 11, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    I purchased the skull and crossbones punch (DANG it was expensive!) and it has never worked properly no matter what type of paper I’m using. I figured since I had long lost the receipt by the time I finally used it, I was stuck with it, but I may contact EK Success. I don’t want my money back – I want a cool skull/bones punch that works!

    ——————

    I purchased the same punch and thought the SAME thing… I think it’s just a weird punch… the shapes stay connected to the paper otherwise they would be too small to punch cleanly. I just use my paper snips to clip them out… easy peasy!

  36. Erika M. March 11, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    I only own two MS punches and never have had a problem.

  37. jessica nole March 11, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    I have purchased three MS punches at Walmart. One being the butterfly which is the only one I have had trouble with. It seems that it has to be set perfectly level in order to punch through and you have to punch really hard to get through cardstock (bazzill). Though I have forced it through Hambly Transparency, and it hasn’t broken yet. It’s been give and take with that punch. For what it’s worth- I would buy more.

  38. Etha March 12, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    Except for the price, I love my MS punches 🙂 Curiously, when I compare them to my Fiskars punches, the quality of the MS ones that I have is way better! The images always line up perfectly and the punch mechanism works well, cuts clean, embosses evenly.
    If you have a troublesome punch that doesn’t want to work on heavier items, just punch down several times to get a clean cut, without moving the paper of course. I’ve never had to do that with Ms punches. I do wonder if there are extreme quality differences among the same brand.

  39. jules p March 12, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    I agree with you on many of the cons. You can’t find them. Her site does not help you at all! And they don’t seem to make enough. Looks like her company along with the ones she stocks them in, would know to keep a healthy supply in the stores!

  40. Debbie March 12, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    I have a few of her punches and they are ok. What I do not like is seeing one of the border punches on a sample somewhere and I never can find that punch.

    debbie p

  41. Mimmers49 March 12, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    I only own 1 of her punches, a scalloped circle and I have not had any issues at all. After reading all these posts, out of curiosity I tried punching it through a piece of cardboard (which barely fit in the punch it was so thick) and it punched just fine. I also punched a piece of chipboard with no problem.

    Our local Wal-Mart does not stock a ton of her punches either…but it doesn’t really keep good stock of pretty much anything there are always blank spots on shelfs.

  42. barbd March 12, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    I have few MS punches.. Basically I like the designs alot. I have noticed some of the intricate patterns do not punch thru the heavier card stock…

  43. Linda Bandow March 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    I don’t hate Martha….I have gotten great results with the few I have….I think her trial was a joke…good ole boys wanted to show uppity woman that she was a patsy. I too wish that her punches were easier to find and her website doesn’t help

  44. ~kelly marie~ March 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    I posted about having trouble with the new EK Success punches, and now I have to take it back! I just went and bought some again and they work so well. I think the original shipment to my Michael’s was a bad one. So I love both the MS punches and the new EK Success. Also, if you have a problem with one, try returning it for another. Sometimes I think individual punches can just be off.

  45. Anonymous March 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    I’m sorry, but after her telling America to ‘suck it up’ when asked about our taxes being raised, I have no respect for her since she obviously doesn’t care about us little people. She will never get another penny from me.

  46. Anonymous March 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Does anyone know why some are green and some are white?

  47. Lynne Phelps March 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    Ellen Hutson is carrying MS punches in her online store! Yippee, now you can order them online from Ellen and take advantage of her wonderful customer service. I am not affiliated in any way, other than being a customer of her store. I do not have easy access to a Michaels and Walmart’s selection is indeed pitiful, so this is wonderful news!

  48. Sarah March 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    Cheers to what Julia Stainton said! Too bloody expensive in Canada! And I live an hour from the border!

  49. Anonymous March 13, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    I have one MS punch, which works well. I most likely will not buy any more punches, because I like to be able to use my products to sell cards. (I need to support my habit!) EK Success has what I consider a very restrictive Angel Policy & it’s not worth the hassle to me, so I just don’t purchase their products.

    Penny G

  50. Stephanie March 13, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    I have quite a few MS punches and they have all worked wonderful, that said, I went with my SIL to Mikes and she found one she liked, and went home to use it and it had the WRONG die encased in the punch handle. Beware, always check the front image and make sure it matches the die on the back ladies!

  51. scoopy (Emily) March 15, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    I talked with EK Success at CHA about how some of their images don’t always release from the paper completely. The ones that are embossing punches (called DOUBLE punch on the packaging) are designed this way. They PURPOSELY don’t release all the way – so that the image can be embossed. You need to remove them completely with your fingers or craft knife after punching. Both EK and Martha double punches were designed this way. HTH!

  52. Redparrot53 April 1, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    I have ALL the Martha punches, some I purchased at Michael’s, some online and some at Wal Mart.
    I have NEVER had a problem with any of them or any of her crafting products. Her glitters equal Art Institute and are gorgeous.
    I have always liked Martha Stewart and have a lot of her first rare cookbooks also, you have to give her credit for a lot of knowledge and a hands on approach.
    I would love to meet her someday.

  53. kelly.dee April 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Found your site after searching what to do when the punch gets stuck in the locked position.

    I have 6 punches and today is the first day I’ve really used them. I punched out maybe 100 punches and then the punch got stuck in the ‘down’ position and I can’t get it open.

  54. Martha G April 22, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    All I know is that I use Cutter Glide on all my punches and they all work great. These guys at Inspired Crafts got the real fix for punches.

  55. Anonymous April 29, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    I love all craft punches they are so versatile. I really love being able to do the ribbon weaving with the punches. This is a link to a site that has projects that has the ribbon weaving with craft punches. http://www.ourcreativeplace.com/projects.php?project_id=69

  56. Anonymous December 9, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    The MS edge punch works well as you are able to punch out continuous patterns. However I recently bought a one and i broke the lever after i used it awhile, was hoping to get a replacement lever but cant seem to get any help on that. Quite a waste to throw the whole thing away 🙁

  57. Kelli January 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    HI MEGAN!!! 🙂

    I used my big snowflake punch on some acetate trying to make my own Heidi Swapp ghosts… umm, had to get DH to squeeze that hard and squeeze on the WHOLE punch not just the handle, it DID cut it and he did 12 of them only to find out, it wasn’t working out! LOL It did NOT punch through frosted acetate though….

    PS Your fingers are SUPER Skinny! LOL Hugs! kj

  58. UberArt and Emerson Bindery January 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    I have a bunch of MS punches and have trouble with at least half of the punches not going thru cardstock. I’ve had two break now. The lace doily punch got stuck and then the handle broke, and now the scallop handle has broken after only a few uses.

    Michaels refuses to take the latter back because it’s been a few weeks past their 60 day return policy. I hadn’t thought of calling EK Success, thanks for the suggestion.

  59. Katherine March 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    I decided to use the MS punch for a project that I’m working on. During the course of my project I have broken 2 punches (so far). I am punching water color paper, which is not that thick. I am also not that strong and both times the metal interior parts have shattered. The first time a piece of metal flew out and cut my hand. I will get a third punch to finish my project but will NEVER again purchase one. If you choose to purchase I recommend safety goggles!

  60. Anonymous March 28, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    I also have the doily edge one, and it worked somewhat the first 5ish times….it’s horrible with stamping up cardstock!!!!

  61. Anonymous September 1, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    I have approximately 20 MS punches. What I’ve learned about them is the larger they are, and the more the punch is doing, the more likely you are going to have problems with them. For example, the large spiderweb punch. I’ve had to work and work with that thing to get it to punch correctly. I’ve had to WD-40 it, run a ton of wax paper through it, and then a ton of foil through it to get it to work. And I also have to actually use it on a flat surface (with the box side up) and put my weight on the box side while pressing down on the handle to get them to punch correctly. (Kinda like performing CPR). I’ve also had problems with the large jack o’ lantern punch that embosses. I have to do the same thing to get a clean punch and embossing. I also have problems with the skull and bones punch. The skull comes out perfect however, I always have to pull the bones punches out of the paper. Meanwhile, I have absolutely no issues with the bat punch, or the pumpkin punch.

  62. Anonymous May 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    I have an around the page combo called Deco Shells. I love the pattern. Unfortunately, after less than six months use, the handle has broken even though I have only ever used it with scrapping paper and card stock. The two claws inside the handle that grip the metal have broken off and there is no way to repair it. It is my favorite border stamp and now it is useless! VERY UNHAPPY!

  63. JoanPipp February 12, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. JoanPipp February 12, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    I have just used my very first MS Punch- the doily lace trim.
    I know -very stupid of me to try and use it on tissuepaper- so the punch got jammed!! The metal plates got stuck togetether with the tissuepaper in between.
    Then my husband (a physicist) advised me to use heat on the metal (avoid the plastic).
    I did that with my heatgun-soon enough the metal plates separated with a clack- and I could clean the paper away.
    A great tip I’d like to share! Succes!!
    and I love this MS punch 🙂