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Vendor Spotlight : C&T Publishing

Reported by Sara McKenzie
I had the pleasure of testing two different products and a book from C&T Publishing, a company that, in its own words, provides “innovative books, gifts and products to the quilting, papercraft, and fiber art markets that educate and inspire creativity.”
Right off the bat, I am going to agree with their promotional statement!
In this article, I am going to report on two of their “Blank Board Products”, which are part of the “Create and Treasure” collection from C&T Publishing. In a separate post, you can find a review of the “Fast2Fuse” product for fabric crafting, as well as a review of the book “Dimensional Delights” which gives some great ideas for using the Fast2Fuse product.
Blank Board Products
The “Blank Board” line of products is made out of a relatively lightweight, white chipboard. They are cut to shape, scored, and supplied flat, ready for you to decorate and assemble. The line includes three-dimensional shapes as well as books in either traditional rectangles and squares or fun shapes such as cowboy boots, dog bones and stars, just to name a few. There is no surface prep required: they are “ready to cut, stamp, paint, glue, draw, journal, emboss, and embellish” as desired.
I tried my hand with the “Petal Pots” as well as with their “Mini Shadow Box.” First, the shadow box. It is 3-3/8″ square, and 1-1/4″ deep, and comes already assembled, with an acetate window in the lid. You can purchase a package of four for $9.95.

Front view: Mini Shadow Box, covered with decorative paper and further embellished.

I covered the shadow box easily with Designer Paper from Stampin’ Up!, using my preferred method of white glue lightly diluted with liquid methyl cellulose. (It’s a trick I learned in a book-making class. The methyl cellulose gives the white glue more “open time”, so you have more ability to adjust your paper placement. At the same time, it also has adhesive qualitites, so it is better than using plain water to dilute your PVA glue.)

The image is one of the Aviary Postcards from Meyer Imports, which I mounted on three layers of Stampin Dimensionals (foam adhesive squares) so that it was not all the way at the back of the box.

I also added a small rub-on to the acetate window on the lid of the box. The acetate took the-rub-on nicely.

Side view: Mini Shadow Box covered with paper and further embellished.

If you’d like all of the details on how I made this little treasure, you can check out my blog post, here.

Petal Pots

The “Petal Pots” are sold two ways: a package of three mini pots (3-1/2″ tall) for $5.95, or an assortment of three sizes, ranging from the mini to the largest at 6-3/4″ tall, for $8.95.

The photo on the left shows the assortment, package. You can see how they arrive: they are in one piece, but flat. This not only makes shipping easier, but it also facilitates decorating.

I decided to try a different method of decorating on each pot: painting, stamping, and covering with paper. I’ll start with the smallest and work my way up.

The smallest pot was painted using a crackle medium to give it an aged look. The first step was to paint the undercoat; I chose a deep green, and used Delta acrylic craft paint.

Small petal pot, painted with one coat of green acrylic craft paint.

You can see that the one coat covered very nicely, and the surface took the paint well. If I were to leave it solid green I probably would have given a second coat. But since I was moving along with a decorative finish, I left it at one coat of green. I also chose to assemble the pot before painting, to make sure that every corner and every groove between the individual side panels was covered.
I finished the pot by applying crackle medium, and then gold metallic acrylic paint, inside and out. Finally, I stamped images on each side.
Smallest petal pot, finished with crackle paint and stamping.

If you would like more details on how I decorated this pot, you can check out my blog post, here.

The medium-sized Petal Pot (5-1/4″ tall) was finished by stamping directly on the surface of the pot. In this instance I chose to leave the pot flat to facilitate the stamping process.

Medium Petal Pot, left flat to facilitate decoration with rubber stamps.

I stamped the main images, and then filled in the background with a stippling technique using dye ink. The chipboard took the stamped images beautifully- there was no bleeding, and the colors stayed true. I was really pleased with the quality of the surface for receiving stamped images. If you’d like all the details, click here.

Medium-sized petal pot, finished with stamping and stippling.

Finally, the largest Petal Pot (6-3/4″ tall) was covered with decorative paper (from Stampin’ Up!). Because of the 3-dimensional nature of the pot, you have to cover each panel individually. I traced a panel, and cut it out six times before gluing the paper to each side, while the pot was flat. This was probably my least favorite technique, as it was a bit of a hassle to trim the edges of the paper for each panel to make them perfectly straight. The final product came out okay, but I probably won’t choose this technique again in the future. For finishing, I added layers of Prima flowers, using E6000 glue.

Largest Petal Pot, finished by covering with decorative paper.

Overall, what did I think of the Blank Board Products that I used?
Pros:
  • Great white surface, that takes paint, ink, rubber stamps, and glue very well. This was my biggest question, and the products passed with flying colors!
  • The products are all pre-cut, the edges are clean, and no sanding is required.
  • Great assortment of 3-dimensional products in addition to a wide range of book shapes.
  • Good price point.
  • Lots of project ideas on the internet, both their site, and elsewhere. They also have a Flickr gallery.

Cons:

I hate it when it is hard to come up with cons…. But that is true for this line of products.

  • One complaint is that there are absolutely NO instructions of any sort included. This is not a huge deal for something like the shadow box, but I had to ponder the best way to glue the bottom of my Petal Pots, so they would hold their 3-D shape. I finally settled on using white tacky glue, and inserting the application tip right at the junction of the bottom panel with the side panels, from the inside of the pot. Then, I laid a moderate weight across the top of the pot (it was a balancing act!) until it dried. The process was a little awkward…. If anyone has come up with a better way, I’d love to know!!
  • The shadow box does not stand straight up and down, because the lid makes it tilt a little to the back. I guess I could add something along the bottom to make it level, but I’d like to see the manufacturer come up with something.

You can purchase all of the C&T Products directly from their website. You can also find select Blank Board Products online at Buy.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateForLess, and Scrapbook Heaven, to name a few. They also sell to bricks and mortar stores, although I have not yet seen them.

Have you tried any of the Blank Board products? Have you figured out an easy way to glue the bottom of the Petal Pots? Let us know, we’d love to hear!!

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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24 Responses to Vendor Spotlight : C&T Publishing

  1. Avatar
    Btrflywmn May 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    Love this idea, thanks for sharing. I would love to win 3 ebooks.

  2. Avatar
    Amy May 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    What a cute gift this would make! Thanks for the great review!

  3. Avatar
    Carole RB May 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    Thanks for the critiques.

  4. Avatar
    Lois aka katesmum May 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Wow… I love this product and will have to try some myself… I really like the crackle one you did. As for books, I love all kinds of different crafts but especially any that are for making something out of paper, paint… scrapbooking books and card making too!

  5. Avatar
    Tamikko May 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    This is very interesting with tonnes of possibilities. Would be great for gift giving. Thanks for the critique 🙂

  6. Avatar
    Margaret May 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    Thanks for sharing – your projects look great. I love the crackled paint pot.

  7. Avatar
    Anita May 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    Great idea for fun products! My favorite books is digital scrapbooking!

  8. Avatar
    Margie May 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    What fab and wonderful creations! Thank you for the great review and inspiration – adding it to my list of new things to try 😉

  9. Avatar
    rlo May 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    Thanks for your C&T Publishing review.
    I love any yarn crafting books — crochet, knitting and the sorts.

  10. Avatar
    Nancy S May 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    My favorite books have 2 components: lots of color photos and detailed instructions. My pet peeve is when a book has a great project on the cover, but doesn’t have the instructions in the book!

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    Cassi May 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    i love to alter stuff, and create with paper!

  12. Avatar
    jules p May 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    i love any idea book. they are great sources for ideas and a great way to teach me new things!

  13. Avatar
    Pat May 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    Sounds great! I would love to win!

    Pat U pupton58 at gmail dot com

  14. Avatar
    Ayelet May 21, 2009 at 5:49 am #

    I loved the altered piece, it’s wonderful.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. Avatar
    Janet L. May 21, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    Great critiques! I love books about card making, knitting, and painting! Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. Avatar
    Cat Darling May 21, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    What gorgeous projects! They are absolutely beautiful! I would love to win a paper crafting book. Thanks for a chance to win!

  17. Avatar
    isabel scrap May 21, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    What a good idea, beautiful !!!
    I love the 3 books so I want to win the 3 of them !!!!

  18. Avatar
    alexandra May 21, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    love the scrap books … thanks for the chance

  19. Avatar
    zaza May 21, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    I like to crochet and to sew !! Hope I’ll win a book

  20. Avatar
    mustik May 21, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    I love this kind of books, perfect to have a lot of inspiration and ideas
    thanks to share

  21. Avatar
    Melinda AKA medialady May 21, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    Most of my crafts involve sometype of scrapbooking or using these products to make cards, etc. Thanks for the opportunity to possible win an ebook.

  22. Avatar
    BeeCee May 21, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    Those Petal Pots are really pretty!
    (Right now, I like knitting books.)

  23. Avatar
    Christine May 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    Great products. I really like the shadow box. I love how you decorated and embellished each one. Wonderful review!

  24. Avatar
    StampinCathy May 22, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    This is beautiful and would be great for gifts. Thanks