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Vendor Spotlight : C&T Publishing

Reported by Melissa Norris


Part of C&T Publishing’s line of products is the Create & Treasure line of alterable blank board products. And that is where I chose my review items from. I chose the 6 x 6″ black board book and the blank board box shadowbox.
Blank Board Box Shadowbox

The shadowbox is similar to the one that Sara chose, but mine was a hinged box and did not have any type of acetate window. The box is quite sturdy and made of white paperboard that is ready to accept any type of media, from paint, to stamping, to paper and Mod Podge. The hardest part for me was figuring out what I was going to do with it because there are many options.

I chose to make a little shadowbox featuring some photobooth style picture strips my family had gotten on a recent museum trip. In each window there is a little bottom and top “ledge” in which to place keepsakes for the full 3D shadowbox effect. Those pieces slipped right out so that they could be covered easily and so you could easily cover the back of the box. Other than those pieces, nothing else can be moved or unassembled.

my finished shadowbox

The box took Mod Podge and paper well, but it may have not been my best decision. Because it is an assembled paper product, the corners weren’t always flush, which didn’t make a good area for paper piecing. And sanding didn’t really help my cause, but it was a poor decision on my part, there is nothing the company could change based on the type of product it is.

The seams don’t meet flush making it hard to paper piece

Overall, I’m happy with my little shadow box and found the product to be easy to use. It might be better to paint or stamp it due to the tricky seams, but it’s a great sturdy product and makes a sweet little shadow box.

Pros:
  • White paperboard is easy to alter
  • Affordable prices as compared to wood alternatives
  • Pre-assembled, nothing for you to do but decorate
  • Sturdy and stands up well
Cons:
  • Pre-assembled, which makes it difficult to decorate at times
  • Seams don’t always match up to even corners
The shadowbox retails for $8.95 and can be purchased directly from C&T, Create for Less, California Paper Goods and local craft stores.
6×6 Black Board Book
The black board book is a 6×6 mini book with a spine. The pages are made of the same white paperboard as the shadowbox with a black coating, so the core is still white. I chose to whip up a little mini book of our ski trip this past December.
my finished mini book

I started out with the cover and coated the book with Mod Podge and a sheet of cardstock. I thought everything was fine and started adding my embellishments. However, after starting to turn the page, I heard that distinctive crack sound. The sound of the cardstock popping off of the cover. The problem is that the black coating is slick and shiny and has very little texture. This makes it difficult to cover in paper. So when moving on to my first set of inside pages, I had to sand the entire page before applying my Mod Podge and cardstock. This time it stuck a lot better.

The cardstock did not stick well to the book with Mod Podge
The pages have a white core

I really like the size of the book, but due to having to sand before applying paper, you really have to coat every page, losing the point of the black book, you might as well just order white. Also, this book is not really made for embellishments. Because of the spine, there is no room to add thick embellishments like chipboard or buttons. However, I plan on remedying that by removing the spine and using my Crop-a-Dile to punch holes and add binder rings on the side of the book.

the black coating is shiny and smooth

Pros:

  • Good 6 x 6 size
  • Sturdy paperboard, not as thick as some chipboard albums
  • A nice spine and black pages, would be great for a simple photo book
Cons:
  • White core, not a solid black book
  • Black coating is smooth, making it hard to alter without sanding or other prep
  • Spine inhibits the use of thick embellishments
Overall, despite the cons, I’m still happy with this little book. I have found was to easily overcome the cons, so it’s not a big waste for me. And I can see this book being a very nice presentation for small photos; a simple, beautiful photobook.
The 6×6 black blank board book retails for $6.95 and can be purchased from C&T, California Paper Goods, and Scrapbook Heaven.
The Ready to Go blank board products from C&T Publishing are great products. They are made of sturdy materials, are ready to use, and make a great surface for altered art. Have you tried any of these products? Let us know what you think!

And how about a giveaway!! C&T is donating eBooks to 3 winners! So leave us a comment with the type of crafting book you enjoy most. You can enter on any of the C&T Publishing posts and have until Friday at Midnight! Email subscribers click here to leave a comment and enter!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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12 Responses to Vendor Spotlight : C&T Publishing

  1. Sharon May 22, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    I like a craft book that is really a craft book that shows very well how to do the project step by step with great pictures to help cause sometimes words just don’t do it.

  2. BeeCee May 22, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    Thanks for introducing me to C&T!
    I like knitting books at the moment.

  3. Gina Wrona May 22, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Awesome. Love those books!

    My favorite crafting is card making and altered projects.

    Thanks!
    Gina

  4. StampinCathy May 22, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    I love craft book that show step by step instructions and of course pictures. I love to try all kinds of crafts. Right now I’m into stamping and trying different ways to use them on everything. Thanks for a chance.

  5. os May 22, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Wonderful! I just ordered a few book from Amazon this morning!
    I like scrapbooking and sewing beatiful bags and nice things.

    Thank you!
    Osnat

  6. dclouser May 22, 2009 at 11:47 am #

    Love papercraft books for ideas and inspiration! Although that quilting book sure looked attractive…

  7. ange May 22, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    My favorite type of crafting booking is scrapbooking. I love the books that include step by step instructions and give the materials used.

  8. sandyh50 May 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    I love card making and scrapbooking at the moment!

  9. rush8888 May 22, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    in addition to paper crafts and altering arts, i enjoy quilt books. it takes me a long time to finish a quilt, but i rather enjoy the process. also, those curves ARE easy!

  10. Marie-Hélène à Madrid May 22, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    I like craft book for the ideas that give me. Card making and altered books are now my favorites books

    Lot of kiss

  11. MsAP143 May 26, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    This is such a GREAT Project idea!!!
    And it would make an excellent gift to a friend or loved one.
    Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    I thought, since like crafts… you might enjoy this website, in order to store all your craft supplies and keep your stuff organized.

    It’s: TheOriginalScrapbox.com

    You should check it out!
    They have amazing stuff! 🙂

  12. MsAP143 May 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    By the way…. here’s the actual link to the site I mentioned yesterday…

    TheOriginalScrapboxI really think you’ll enjoy it! 🙂