Spellbinders Nestabilities

Review by Sharon Harnist

They are everywhere you look — in scrapbooking, cardmaking, rubberstamping, papercrafting of all types . . . scallops! At first, Marvy Uchida couldn’t keep up with the demand we papercrafters placed on their scalloped punches and were backordered for months.

Last spring (2006) when Ellen Hutson of Simple Dreams had a hard time keeping the punches in stock at her online store, she began brainstorming on a solution with Spellbinders Paper Arts Company owners, Jeff and Stacey Caron, whom she had met at the Winter CHA show a few months earlier.

Together, they’ve developed revolutionary plates that will emboss as well as die cut solid (straight) circles, ovals, squares and rectangles as well as scalloped versions of all those shapes!

And here’s the outcome they produced . . . (they say a picture is worth a thousand words! Photo courtesy of Ellen Hutson):

Look at that pile of punches that equals all the shapes you get from that small grouping of beautiful circle copper plates at the bottom center of the photo –- amazing, isn’t it?!! Consequently, you won’t have the storage issues with these dies that you do with regular punches . . . and what papercrafter doesn’t need more storage space?!! Here’s how I’m storing mine, in a CD case with strips of magnetic sheet (I got mine at Michael’s for $2.99 for a huge roll) adhered to each side of the case. Many thanks to Debbie Olson for this idea! One CD case holds two sets of shapes . . . that’s the equivalent to 10-14 punches per case!

Here are 16 sets of dies stored in the CD cases . . . they take up roughly the same space of two punches!

Here’s an example of the beautiful cutting and embossing these dies produce (sets of both large and small classic and scalloped circles):

The bonus is that the dies will work in most any die-cut machine you may already own. If you don’t already have a machine, Spellbinders has their own machine (also carried by Ellen), the Wizard universal embossing and die-cutting system. You can view a video at the Spellbinders site HERE on how their Wizard universal embossing and die-cutting system works with the dies. If you’ll be using a different machine, you will also need the Spellbinder Wizzard tan embossing mat, which can be purchased HERE thru Ellen’s online store.

Each set of dies come in either large or small, classic or scallop and range in size up to 4 inches — larger than any other punch currently produced. They are called Nestabilities, just for that reason . . . they nest in size, and each die in a given set is exactly 1/4″ larger then the previous die. Therefore, if you prefer a 1/8” later or mat, then both sets (large and small) will accommodate your needs. All of the individual “humps” of the scallops are spaced to align with one another when nesting one or more scalloped shapes together. Not only do the Nestabilities cut, they feature embossing capabilities as well!

Here’s a photo of a full set of both large and small sizes (photo courtesy of Ellen Hutson):

Each set (4 shown above) is also sold on its own — you save money when purchasing in sets. As shown in the photo above, the circles are the only current shape to also be offered in a tinier scallop (not smaller in overall cutting size, but rather the Petite Scallop Circle has a total of 37 humps on it whereas the Classic Scallop Circle only has 22 humps), for when you’d like a more “delicate” look for your project. If you make a comparison to other scalloped punches you may already own, you can determine which will better suit your style. Count the humps on your current scallops and then make your decision accordingly.

How do these dies work in a system you may already own? The Cuttlebug is the only die cutting machine I currently own, so I used the recipe shown below (written by Ellen Hutson) for my machine. Ellen compiled a list of many popular machines that she’s tested and the appropriate sandwich recipes HERE.

(Recipes are layered from the bottom, up):

Cuttlebug™ CUTTING Sandwich
1. A plate
2. C plate
3. Spellbinders™ die, blade side up
4. Paper or cardstock
5. B plate
6. Roll through Cuttlebug™

CUTTING Sandwich with Spellbinders™ Magnetic Placement Mat
1. A plate
2. B plate
3. Spellbinders™ White Spacer plate
4. Spellbinders™ Magnetic Placement Mat
5. Spellbinders™ die, blade side up
6. Paper or cardstock
7. B plate
8. Roll through Cuttlebug™

Cuttlebug™ EMBOSSING Sandwich
1. A plate
2. 2 sheets cardstock to act as shim. Add extra pieces if needed.
2. B plate
3. Spellbinders™ die, blade side up
4. Paper or cardstock
5. Spellbinders™ Tan Emboss Mat
6. B plate
7. Roll through Cuttlebug™

EMBOSSING Sandwich with Spellbinders™ Magnetic Placement Mat
1. A plate
2. B plate
3. Spellbinders™ Magnetic Placement Mat
4. Spellbinders™ die, blade side up
5. Paper or cardstock
6. Spellbinders™ Tan Emboss Pad
7. B plate
8. Roll through Cuttlebug™
*Shim with extra pieces of cardstock if needed.

I haven’t had any issues yet with my metal dies shifting when moving thru my machine, but if you experience this, Spellbinders has already solved the problem with a magnetic pad!

Some tips I’ve discovered: When working with rubber stamped images, I find it easier to first stamp the image on cardstock and then place the appropriate die size I need on top of it:

Then, I gently press the die (not so hard as to cut your finger!) into the paper/cardstock, to help “hold” it in place. Then flip the two over so the die is facing up when it runs thru the machine. Sometimes I’ve experienced static cling with my B plate when placing it over the die/cardstock but a sweep of the Embossing Buddy on the B plate usually solves this issue.

The complete set of 24 dies (that’s large and small, classic and scalloped) shown above is priced at $79.99 retail — that is just $3.33 for each die! Individual sets are priced at $24.99 retail — still a very affordable $4.17 per die.

Retailers selling the Nestabilities:
Ellen Hutson, LLC
PaperTrey Ink

Here’s a recent project I completed using the Nestabilities:

I couldn’t wait to try out these fantastic new dies and definitely was NOT disappointed! They give such a professional look to your projects and I found them very easy to use. Ellen tells us that Spellbinders will be using their patented technology to continue to bring you more of the shapes that you desire and I can’t wait to try them!

Have you tried the Nestabilities dies yet? Make sure and leave us a comment telling us what you thought of this new die cutting system.

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12 Responses to Spellbinders Nestabilities

  1. Avatar
    Jen October 12, 2007 at 12:10 pm #

    oh wow – more dies to buy!!! these look fun, and I’m happy to hear that you can use them through the CB or the BS….. I’m heading down to the store for some. I have not yet given in and purchased a scallop punch just yet – as I already have the Cricut that will cut in sooo many sizes. But being that this baby can also emboss – that’s something different…. tee hee…. thanks for this info!!!!


  2. Avatar
    Colleen October 13, 2007 at 12:53 pm #

    What an amazing write up!!! I was so NOT going to even be interested in these…didn’t care to know much about them…and then YOU had to share THIS! WOW…now I am needing the whole set…every shape and every size! Oh Man…maybe for chritmas!

    Thanks for the great info.

  3. Avatar
    Cheryl October 13, 2007 at 5:45 pm #

    I pre-ordered theae from Ellen months ago and have been happily playing with them for the last few weeks. They are so easy to use and make everything look so professional. I purchased a large magnetic mat from Joanns and cut it to size to use with my Sizzix machine. It helps keep the dies in place as that was a problem. I highly recommend the dies and Ellen H is a great person to buy from.

  4. Avatar
    Heidi October 14, 2007 at 7:30 am #

    Wow! This is such a detailed and helpful review! I didn’t know what they were compatable with or what accessories you needed to use them with. I definitely think these will be on my Christmas list!

  5. Avatar
    Tammy October 17, 2007 at 5:14 am #

    Thanks for all this great information! I want them even more now! I am having trouble, as any of the wholesale companies I usually deal with are not carrying these yet, and I really want to get a few for the store I manage. I think they’ll be a hit, especially if I create some samples! Thanks again for the wonderful pictures and information!

  6. Avatar
    Lyn S October 17, 2007 at 10:59 pm #

    What a great review, I pre-ordered mine from Fran and have had them for a few weeks now and I couldn’t be happier with them – I use mine in the Cuttlebug. I agonised over which shapes to get and ended up with the ovals and squares …..but I think that I will be also getting the circles and rectangles when the budget permits!

  7. Avatar
    snowgirl January 17, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    I love the nestabilities and being able to use them with my cuttlebug. I was wondering if there is any way to prevent the imprint of the die from being left on the spacer board. This happens with the cuttle bug dies as well as the nestabilities. I forgot to order the tan pad and am not sure if that will make a difference or not. Any ideas?

  8. Avatar
    Crafter ~UK January 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    I bought these dies yesterday to use with my Cuttlebug.I went back to Craft show and bought more. Big tip to stop the dies from sticking to plate, layer up with additional old copy paper. The tan pad is fantastic and it certainly works with embossing using Friskars background plates as well – great product.

  9. Avatar
    Radiogirl January 25, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    Just curious if you know how large the largest circle is w/the Nestabilities circles…?

  10. Avatar
    Debbie March 1, 2008 at 1:57 pm #

    I had heard a lot of talk about the Nestabilities, and so far thought, oh heck, I already have so many Marvy punches, why buy these?, but I must tell you, your review has changed my mind. The storage factor alone is worth buying these dies. Thanks for a well-written review.

  11. Avatar
    Liz October 3, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    Have you ever thought about this recipe for cutting? A plate, B plate, die & cardstock, then C plate? I say this because you will never have to cut into your C plate. I know that where I live, I have never seen a C plate in my local craft store that I frequent. I see that the A & B plates are easier to find. It was just a thought. Love all your projects. Keep up the good work!!!

  12. Avatar
    Anonymous February 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    Love your review. I purchase one set yesterday. I made a cut and oh man now I have to have more!
    I love them.