Reported by Taylor Usry
Have you heard about the Martha Stewart Stamps and Punch sets? I literally squealed out loud when I was offered the chance to review this super fun new product from Martha Stewart Crafts! The Stamp and Punch sets are an all-in-one crafty must-have; they are designed to stamp an image and save some time by not having to fussy-cut it out. The punch will take care of that for you! I know, I know … right about now you are saying the same thing I was, “Hello, genius, where have you been all my life?!” Those folks over at Martha Stewart Crafts are always coming up with the best ideas to make my crafty life better!
The Stamp and Punch sets are very similar in size to a regular punch from Martha Stewart Crafts. You can see above that the main difference is the raised circular area on the top of the punch; the stamps are stored in there.
In profile you can further see the similarities in size between the two types of punch. The handles on the stamp and punch set are slightly more contoured than on a regular punch.
Looking at the punch from the top, you will see the raised area which is actually the stamp block. Note the flat sides, which are the finger grooves to make the round shape easier to hold. They also serve as a guide for replacing the piece after using it – you have to line them up to get the block back on the punch.
Looking directly at the front of the punch, you’ll see a small groove. This will to help line up the stamp housing, and is an indicator of the direction and placement of the stamp (more on this in a bit).
When the cap is removed, you’ll see several acrylic stamps (slightly larger around than a quarter) nestled down in the punch. Each of the four different sets I received contained three stamps, making this a very versatile product. You get up to three layerable images and a punch shape. Not bad!
Placement of the stamp on the block itself is important. Before using the stamps for the first time, you’ll have to remove the thick plastic piece separating them (put a little elbow grease in it – they won’t tear!). Simply press the flat (smooth) side of the acrylic stamp onto the block, taking care to put the semi-circular tab where the opening is for it. In the picture above, you can see the tab at the bottom of the stamp.
This is the butterfly set. It contains three different butterfly images.
I inked up my first butterfly, and stamped it on the edge of my paper, as recommended in the instructions. I paid absolutely no attention to that little groove I mentioned earlier (see it at the bottom of the block?).
That lead to my very first mistake with this butterfly! I stamped a beautiful image, but it was upside down (although I stamped it in what seemed to be the right-side up manner). As you can see in the picture above, when stamped this way you can’t line up the punch, because it’s upside down. Had I heeded the groove, I would have realized that the butterfly needed to be in the other direction in order to punch properly. The little grooves that are on the block are also on the punch base itself (scroll back up to that first picture, and you’ll see it). They always need to go in the same direction – so you have to stamp the butterflies upside down. What a “Eureka!” moment!
Once I got that all figured out, I stamped another butterfly and lined up my punch properly. It easily punched through a thick weight white card stock and left me with a super cute butterfly.
The cupcake set I received included a full cupcake image, a bottom/liner image, and a top/frosting image. You could layer, use separately, or stamp one solid image.
The flower set had two flowers of different sizes and a flower center.
Above you can see some of the things I stamped and then punched out. Beware: it’s pretty addictive. It is so darn fabby that the whole stamp/cut/use image process has been shortened so much! No more sharp scissors, no more fussy cutting, no more guesswork.
I made myself a bookmark, because they seem to always be disappearing around my house. See that woodgrain paper? It’s my newest obsession, from Martha Stewart’s In Nature collection. And the yellow background paper is from the Tonals paper pad.
Further illustrating how quickly this whole process comes together, I decided to time a Clean and Simple birthday card, using the cupcake set and more Tonals paper. I also used an edge punch along the bottom border. Total time? Eleven minutes, and some of that was waiting for the ink to dry. Not bad, huh?
Overall I really love these Stamp and Punch sets. I’m not the savviest with properly lining up images to layer them, so I had to switch to a clear block a couple of time (for example, the veins that should accompany the leaves – I just could not master lining them up with the solid block).
These punches sell for about $12.99 and are available online and in retail stores.
- Easy to store – the whole unit is self contained
- Cuts down on total project time!
- Images are all complimentary to one another, or can be used alone.
- Punched images work well as stand alone accents/embellishments (so, you don’t have to use the stamps to still be getting good use from the product)
- Excellent deal for the price – it’s three stamps AND a punch!
- Solid block makes it difficult to line up images
- Instructions weren’t clear about proper stamp positioning, making for a fun bloopers segment during the testing process!
- I’d like to see larger shapes, or maybe some labels with borders.
Have you tried the Martha Stewart Stamp and Punch sets yet? What do you think?