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Review | Close To My Heart Inks and Muslin Bags

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Cassandra has been scrapbooking and stamping for more than 15 years. Paper is her passion, and she says that she grew up wanting to own a stationery shop. She describes herself as "crafty" and enjoys projects ranging from card making and photography to quilting and crafts for kids. She was previously in corporate marketing but now spends her days at home with her young daughter. You can read more about Cassandra's adventures in crafting at the fresh crafts blog.

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I had never used any Close To My Heart products before I received this package of dye and pigment inks, My Acrylix stamps and a clear block, and muslin drawstring bags – perfect for making gift bags and tags. I couldn’t wait to get started!Close To My Heart stamping projectIn the past I have used muslin bags for gifts, but was always hesitant to stamp on them. I was worried about stamped images that might not look clear or ink that would smudge if it wasn’t heat set. But after watching this video about the Close To My Heart gift bags, it seemed too good to be true. Could it really be that easy?Close To My Heart muslin gift bags and pigment inks

It really was that easy! I used the pigment ink pads as instructed in the video and got a great result on my first try.Close To My Heart drawstring gift bagBefore starting I slipped a strip of cardstock in the bag to prevent ink from bleeding to the backside of the bag. Close To My Heart muslin gift bagI hardly had to use any pressure before the ink transferred to the muslin bag. I think that the extra weight from the large clear block helped as well.

Close To My Heart pigment inkAnd since the first one was so easy, I decided to try to use two ink colors on the second attempt. It was more challenging to ink up the stamp with two colors, so I was glad that the pigment inks were in the small one inch cubes.Close To My Heart stamping on muslin bagsYou can see (below) that there was a bit of a blue smudge in the green stamped area, but overall I got a very polished result from two minutes of effort. The Close To My Heart project video stated that you can either air dry or heat set the ink, so I just set my stamped bags aside for two hours and they were completely dry when I came back to them.Close To My Heart stamping detailThe first problem I ran into was cleaning up the stamps after using the pigment inks.  It has a very sticky consistency (much thicker than I have experienced with other brands) and pretty much refused to come off of the clear acrylic stamps. I started with stamp cleaning solution and a scrubber pad without success, and then ran cool water over them in the sink.Close To My Heart "My Acrylix" stamp setAbove, you see that the first stamp I used was still pretty inky after all that scrubbing. I gave up after they were mostly clean because I still wanted to make some gift tags using the dye ink pads.Close To My Heart gift bag and tag

These inks were much easier to clean up and still left a nice, crisp impression on my cardstock tags. I am happy to have new gift packaging for all of the upcoming birthdays on my calendar!

PROS:

  • Close To My Heart products work together for a really quick and easy set of gift packaging
  • I loved the storage case that came with the clear stamps
  • Drawstring gift bags were easy to stamp and did not require heat setting

CONS:

  • Pigment ink was unusually difficult to clean off of the clear stamps
  • Drawstring gift bags come in a set of 3, but I could probably use 5-10 at one time

I am happy that I got to try Close To My Heart products and was very pleased with the final projects. You can locate a local consultant to try them out for yourself. The products used in this project include:

  • “For A Friend” My Acrylix Stamp Set $17.95
  • 4″x5″ My Acrylix Clear Block $15.95
  • My Creations Muslin Drawstring Bags (set of 3) $3.95
  • Exclusive Inks Dye Ink Pad $5.25
  • Exclusive Ink Mini Pigment Pads (set of 10) $19.95
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8 Responses to Review | Close To My Heart Inks and Muslin Bags

  1. Melinda Everitt September 18, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Cassandra, thank you so much for reviewing our Close to My Heart products. I am sorry that you were not given our wonderful My Acrylix Stamp Scrubber to clean your stamps. You can see it here: http://melindaeveritt.ctmh.com/Retail/Product.aspx?ItemID=6776&CatalogID=167

    This stamp scrubber is so good and easy to use that all of the pigment ink would have easily been removed and there would have been very little staining as well. Thanks again!

  2. Janet McCormick September 18, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Hi Cassandra. I love what you did with the bags! They are awsome! To clean the stamps after using them with the pigment inks, use a soft toothbrush with some plain old dish soap and warm water (not too hot) and give them a good scrub. It takes some perseverence, but I have stamps that look like they were never used when I cleaned them this way. For the regular dye inks, the stamp scrubber works fine, but some of the inks do stain the stamps (red and black especially). Don’t give up! Our inks really are fantastic!

  3. Kristine September 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    great review. Very helpful with all pictures.

  4. Linda September 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    The inks clean up great with our stamp scrubber, but in the meantime you could use and old toothbrush and water! Glad you liked the products!

  5. Wendy K. September 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Pigment inks in general are more difficult to clean but the My Acrylix Stamp Scubber along with your favorite cleaner is a great tool and cleans the stamps well.

  6. Penny H. (Kindred Hearts) September 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    I am a Close To My Heart rep and I love the pigment pads. The ink is thick but works very well. A hint I found online was to use Automotive Degreaser (available in wipes or in a spray) to clean the stamps and block after using pigment inks. Consultants also found success using a designated CTMH scrubber and stamp cleaner but it does take a little work. One other note, the “stain” on the stamps does NOT affect how they work. I have many well loved stamps that are no longer crystal clear but still produce as clear and crisp stamped images as when I opened the package the first time. Thanks for the great review! :)

    • Nancy Nally September 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      I agree Penny about the stains on stamps – it bothers some people more than others. I just accept it as a hazard of working with certain kinds of inks with acrylic stamps. You can tell which stamps are my favorite by how stained they are! LOL

      I myself totally love the CTMH pigments and use them for everything lately, but I do go through a lot of cleaner when I’m done!

  7. C.darwin September 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Thanks for all the cleaning tips! I should have mentioned that the staining doesn’t affect the future stamp-ability of the stamps. I forget that new stampers wouldn’t know that already. :)

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