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Creative Metal™ by Walnut Hollow

Creative Metal™ is a selection of tools and texture plates for embossing or debossing soft metal sheets. You can adhere the decorative metal designs you create on to frames, boxes, vases, etc. My first thought when I saw this product at Winter CHA 2010 was to create my own metal embellishments for greeting cards and artist trading cards.

The beginner kit comes with a TON of stuff, including 2 pen-sized handles,18 different interchangeable tips, metal scissors, a ruler, a paper stump tool, a texture plate, and a foam work pad. It came with only one 3.5” square piece of practice metal…I definitely could have used another sheet or two to practice on, before opening up my pack of “good” sheets (sold separately).

I spent about 30 minutes with the instructions and the piece of practice metal, trying out all the different tools and parts to see what they did. I was surprised at how heavy my hand was; I tore the metal several times. After a little while, I got the hang of using a lighter touch. I found the paper stump tool to be easier to play with first, then I graduated to the metal tool.

I also played with two additional packs of texture plates. I found these to be a bit challenging to keep the sheet in place and feel my way around the pattern as I pushed the metal into the crevices. Could just be that I lack patience and I was trying to move too fast…you definitely want to work slowly to prevent the tool from slipping and denting the metal in the wrong places. I found if I pressed the metal sheet all around the texture plate with my fingers first, I could see a trace of the pattern, making it easier to start using the tools. Once you have debossed the pattern, then you can turn the metal over so the design is now embossed. Either way looks nice!

Using different tips, you can make the edges of the design nice and crisp, or smooth the metal around the edges to “erase” stray dents. My boo-boo’s were still noticable…but with some practice, my skills improved! I actually liked the smaller patterns best; it was easier to control the debossing.

I really liked the “ball and cup” tip sets that came in two sizes. First you dent the metal with the ball on the foam pad, then you turn the sheet over onto a hard surface and seal it into a cute little raised dot.

All the different border wheels were fun and super easy to use too, with or without a ruler.

My favorite tip of all was the one for writing and drawing…I love the look of freehand lettering and doodling in the metal. The metal is soft enough that your normal handwriting comes across nicely as a debossed image. If you can write backwards, the letters look even better embossed.

Tinting the metal with alcohol inks was really fun, too! I doodled an embellishment for an ATC…I used one of the rollers to add texture to the petals of a punched flower for a greeting card…then I went all crazy, cutting and debossing petals that I painted first with red and gold alcohol inks to make a big flower for a holiday wreath. And I’m saving all my metal scraps to make a cool mosaic one of these days!


Pros

  • The instructions for each piece in the kit are informative and free projects are included
  • Metal sheets come in a variety of sizes and colors—small squares, strips or larger pieces on a roll…in aluminum, brass or copper
  • Lots of cute project ideas on the Walnut Hollow site
  • Metal is soft enough so that the edges are not sharp
  • Plenty of accessories in the line, including different project kits
  • Reasonably priced – the beginner kit I used is $30, but you can get started with a tool, a few tips, a pad and some metal sheets for under $20

Cons

  • The paper texture tool (aka “stump”) came unglued after a few minutes of use and started to unravel…but a little gaffer tape fixed it right up
  • The soft metal sheets are fairly fragile…hard to handle without denting them
  • The smoothing tools don’t completely restore the surface
  • Working with the texture plates takes quite a bit of practice (and patience) to get a nice design without the metal slipping around, or tearing, or getting dented in the wrong places


Have you used the Creative Metal™ set by Walnut Hollow? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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4 Responses to Creative Metal™ by Walnut Hollow

  1. Avatar
    TxScrapAddict May 29, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    I have the tool set by Ten Seconds Studios. Excellent tools, awesome plates, wonderful tutorials, great metal!

  2. Avatar
    Becky May 29, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Never heard of this 🙂 but it looks like it could be fun

  3. Avatar
    janine May 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    I have this set and some other tools from Ten Seconds Studios. I really like the Ten Seconds website—they have awesome/excellent videos on projects and how-to’s with metal embossing. The videos go into great detail without being boring and really take the beginner by the hand and explain things really well.

    As for this Walnut Hollow set, I do like it and found it very easy to use but, I agree with you on the metal being a bit flimsy. I like the Ten Seconds Studios metal much better. I would buy this set again if I had to do it over—it’s a great starter set and allows for you to do many different things to get you hooked, as opposed to most other kinds of tools and stater sets on the market (not just metal embossing but starter sets of any tool, in general).

    Paper Wishes also has (or maybe had?) a decent Ten Seconds Studios starter set (tools only). I picked this one up too when they had it on sale a while back. I like both sets equally but appreciate Ten Seconds Studios for their outstanding educational videos. Worth looking into!

  4. Avatar
    Deb May 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I know the 10 seconds studios impression plates can be used with a sizzix machine – maybe these can, too?