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Review | Xyron Mini Sticker Maker

Reported by Chel Micheline

Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission when a purchase is made after a click.

I’m a big fan of Xyron products – my husband bought me the Xyron 510 (now known as the 5″ Creative Station) about eight years ago as a surprise gift for Christmas and I’ve pretty much worn it out. I use it to make stickers out of everything– from die cuts to vintage postage stamps to mailing labels.

One caveat to the 5″ machine is that if you are just making a few smaller stickers, you waste a whole lot of adhesive in the process.

That’s where the smaller Xyron sticker makers come in. The one I used for this project is the blue Mini Sticker Maker, which retails for $4.99.

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The package includes just one thing: an “X” shaped adhesive dispenser that you feed your paper shapes into.

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As far as ease of use, the Mini Sticker Maker is completely simple and intuitive. Just choose an item you’d like to make into a sticker, feed it face-side-up into the top of the Xyron machine, and pull on the paper adhesive strip on the side of the machine, and the sticker is made for you. The machine “pulls” the soon-to-be sticker inside of it and sandwiches it in between an adhesive strip and a clear cellophane top layers. Simply tear off the completed sticker, peel off the cellophane, and voila!, instant sticker.

First things first – let’s talk about the size. While it’s lovely to have a smaller Xyron to make smaller stickers with, the one issue with the “Mini Sticker Maker” is that it’s almost a bit *too* small. Most punch-outs, die-cut shapes, and letters are about 1″ wide/long at the smallest, and the adhesive tape in the Mini Sticker maker is only 1″ wide.

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However, sequins, enamels dots, and smaller letters/die cuts are all  very trendy at the moment, and this Mini Sticker Maker is perfect for those applications. Pocket scrapbooking is not going away anytime soon, and new, smaller embellishments specifically designed for that style of memory keeping are being released constantly. The Xyron Mini Sticker Maker allows you to turn a handful of sequins, dots, or tiny die cuts into ready-to-apply stickers. (If you have slightly larger items, the Xyron 250 or the new 3″ Disposable Sticker Maker by Xyron might be more your style.)

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I decided to go ahead and make some tiny embellishments for a pocket page I am working on for my scrapbook. I grabbed a punch that I love, but that doesn’t get much use because of it’s small size – the Martha Stewart 3-in-1 Butterfly punch- and see how the Xyron did with that. I also grabbed a pad of 6×6 patterned paper (MME Indie Chic in Citron), which is the perfect size for punching things out of.

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After punching out a bunch of tiny butterflies, I fed them into the top of the Xyron.

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And then I gently pulled on the adhesive tape at the bottom of the machine to reveal the sticker.

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I tore off the paper with the attached cutting strip, and peeled away the cellophane coating, and the sticker was ready to go.

Within literally seconds, I created a bunch of perfect tiny embellishments for my Project Life-sized projects, and they were all ready to be attached to the page without the muss and fuss of liquid adhesives. Plus, the “dry adhesive” nature of the Xyron means that once the sticker is applied to the page it doesn’t shift, which makes it perfect for being slid instantly into a snug page protector.

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All in all, I love this little gadget and I know it will get a ton of use. It’s easy to use, and it allows me to make use of some of the supplies I love to purchase but rarely get to use because of the “fuss factor”. The Xyron Mini Sticker Maker makes it easy to create custom stickers from any flat item up to 1″ wide (and it’s also good for those Thickers that have lost their stickiness – simply feed the letter into the machine and you have a fresh, sticky letter that will not fall off your page!)

Pros:
– very easy to use
– perfect for adhering smaller embellishments
– enables you to create custom embellishments for smaller size projects with supplies you already have on hand (scraps of paper, punches, etc.)

Cons:
– adhesive is non-refillable
– the machine does not come apart (some Xyron uses prefer to use the adhesive rolls *without* the machine because you can save on adhesive that way, but this machine comes pre-loaded and there’s no way to get the adhesive tape out of it.)
– very, very small.

The Xyron Mini Sticker Maker retails for $4.99 at major crafts retailers.

Review | Scrapbooking and Papercrafting Adhesives

Reported by Susan Reidy

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

During a recent scrapbook room reorganization, I was alarmed to find my adhesive storage had overflowed. I clearly needed to purge what wasn’t being used.

But as I emptied my basket, I realized I used nearly every item in it, depending on the project. Some adhesives were meant for paper, some for ribbon, some for fabric, others to provide dimension, and still others that would act as a sealer, either glossy or matte. I needed them all.

So while I searched for a bigger storage basket, I thought it would be the perfect time for an article on some adhesive basics for scrapbookers, and papercrafters in general.

Tape

Tape for me is by far the go-to adhesive. If I was trapped on a desert island with my scrapbook supplies, I would want a never ending supply of permanent Tombow Mono Adhesive at my side. It took a little trial and error, but I finally found the perfect tape runner in this little blue package.

In all my years of using it, I’ve only had one refill break on me before the tape ran out. The runner is easy to use, the adhesive comes out smoothly, it holds well (kind of important in an adhesive), it’s easy to refill, and it’s relatively inexpensive, especially in larger packs and with a coupon. It’s also readily available at big box craft stores.  I use it for basic scrapbooking, like adhering paper, photos, some embellishments, and occasionally ribbon.

My only issue is the little boogers of adhesive that build up in the corners. They can impact the smoothness of application, if you don’t do a little pickin’. You can see them here.

Annoying, and a little sticky, but no big deal.

A new love of mine also comes from the Tombow people — the Stamp Runner Dot Pattern Adhesive. This is a tape runner, but you can also apply just a stamp of adhesive, kind of like those old-school adhesive tabs that used to annoy me with their tiny little paper tabs.

When you turn it on end and push down on the pink part, it makes a little square of adhesive in a dot pattern. The blue version makes a solid square, no dots. Awesome.

I did find that after using it as a tape runner for awhile, it took a few pushes to get a nice even adhesive square. On a side note, this type of dispenser was  indispensable when crafting after breaking my shoulder blade. I couldn’t seem to master the pulling motion of a tape runner (without denting my photos), but I could easily use the stamp function.

Like the Mono, it is easy to use and refill, and readily available. It’s also good for basic scrapbooking uses, paper, photos, etc.

When I really want things to stick, whether in scrapbooking or on an altered project, my go-to adhesive is Scor-Tape. You can read a review comparing it to redline adhesive here.

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It comes in several different widths as well as sheets, but I use the 1/4 inch the most often. It’s super simple to use, and I love that you can tear it instead of having to use scissors. I use it most often when covering chipboard sheets with patterned paper, or creating a mini book or other 3-D project from scratch. I know everything is going to stay stuck.

I love how it works with glitter, and that I can also pour on embossing powder and heat it up. It even works great on ribbon.

Foam adhesive

Through the years, I’ve used several different brands of foam adhesives to add some dimension to my projects. A few years ago, I finally settled on my favorite, Stampin’ Up’s dimensionals. What I like most about them is the lack of waste; there’s only a tiny border around the edge of the backing sheet, which you can cut up and use.

With other types, like pop dots, there’s all that extra foam. Now, I know you can cut that up and use it, but it still annoyed me that one sheet contained so few actual dots.

The down side of Stampin’ Up is that you have to order from a demonstrator or online; they’re not available in a store.

I recently bought my first box of American Crafts This To That Foam Adhesive. These little guys have no waste at all. They’re also more readily available, and come in circle and squares.

Wet glue

Wet glue is a category that I could write six articles about. But I’m only going to highlight my top three, go-to, must have at least two bottles of, in this category.

The first, I think is safe to say, is a favorite of many crafters:  Glossy Accents. It is super sticky, has a fine tip applicator, and dries to a nice, shiny clear finish. I like that I can use it as a glue, but also use it to add shiny dimension to stamped images, die cuts and more.

One drawback, and one that frustrates me constantly, is the clogging of the tip. I have one bottle that drove me so batty, I cut off that fine point tip. I use that one when I want to fill in a large area. I’ve since learned that keeping a pin in the top will help eliminate the clogging issue.

You should also avoid shaking the bottle because that will create bubbles, and bubbles on your project are bad, unless that’s the look you’re going for.

Another liquid glue that I always keep nearby is the Tombow Mono Aqua Liquid Glue. I use this as my multipurpose glue when papercrafting. It works great with paper, ribbon, buttons, paper flowers, chipboard and more.

I love that it has a precision tip (which I use the most) and a round tip, if you need to apply glue to a larger area. It dries clear, and has a super strong hold. I’ve heard that the Aqua is just like the Mono Multi Liquid Glue, except the Multi Liquid can also be used as a repositionable adhesive.

I’ve used both, and tend to favor the Aqua. I don’t need a lot of temporary adhesive, and I’ve found that when the Multi gets low, it’s hard to squeeze out the last few bits. I’ve not had that packaging problem with the Aqua.

My last, but not least, in my top three liquid glues is the Inkssentials Glue N’ Seal in matte. I started using this several months ago, instead of Mod Podge, and I have to admit that I like the Glue N’ Seal. It’s not that I don’t like Mod Podge, because I do, but I’ve just had better success with the Glue N’ Seal.

For one, it has a thicker texture, which makes it easy for me to apply an even coat. The 1 oz. size has a built in brush, which means less mess. In fact, I now fill my smaller one from the larger 4 oz. size so I can keep using that brush. It comes in matte or glossy.

I like to use it for adhering patterned paper to chipboard. I find I have much fewer air bubbles using the Glue N’ Seal then when I use Mod Podge, and better adhesion overall. It’s also great for attaching doilies, which seem to be all the rage now.

One more often-used adhesive for me, that isn’t really a tape, a wet glue or dimensional (although it can be) is Glue Dots. These little gooey drops of goodness are great for bulky stuff, like buttons or metal, and they stick right away, no need to wait for glue to dry. I’ve seen some people use them for photos on layouts, but that’s too rich for my blood.

They come in a range of sizes from micro to mini, some are dimensional, some are removable — there’s tons of choices. You can get them on a roll, on a sheet or even in a dispenser. I’ve used both the roll and sheet varieties, and find I prefer the sheet method. Somehow, my rolls always seem to come undone, and I have a hard time seeing the adhesive dot. Plus, with the sheets, you can tear them into individual dots, say if you’re doing a craft project with your Girl Scout troop.

After assessing my stash, I feel confident I have the right adhesive for just about any job. But I still have a storage problem.

What are your go-to adhesives for papercrafting? What can’t you go without?

Sticky Thumb Adhesives

Reported by Wendy Jordan
Just like most of you, adhesive is a large part of my crafting, and what makes it so important is how sticky it is.
While at CHA in January, I stumbled upon The Sticky Thumb, a new adhesive company. They sell three products, an permanent adhesive roller, roller refills and adhesive dimensionals. Today, I am going to review the adhesive roller and the adhesive dimensionals.
Each roller comes equipped with 24 feet of double sided adhesive. The refill packages have two refills for a total of 48 feet. A package of dimensionals have 442 sticky dimensionals in it. I was impressed by that. That is by far the largest quantity package I have heard of.
Right away I liked how the roller fit in my hand. It has a contour shape that fit right into my fingers. The roller required little to no pressure while applying the adhesive to the paper.

You can see that is glided on very smoothly without any resistance or adhesive clumping in one area.

On a scratch piece of paper, I place a strip of adhesive down and stuck my finger to it. The paper stuck to my finger while I lifted the paper off of the table top. Once I lifted the paper, it stuck to my finger until I pulled the paper off of my finger.

Once I removed my finger from the paper, I folded the paper over the strip of adhesive to see if the adhesive was still sticky enough to hold paper. It adhered together and stayed adhered.
In a package of The Sticky Thumb dimensionals, there are three sheets, and to my surprise, each package is a variety pack. There are six different sizes, in squares and circles in one package.

The first sheet has two sizes of squares, 1/2″ x 1/2″ (12mm x 12mm) and 1/2″ x 1/4″ (6mm x 12xx).

The second sheet has 1/2″ circles and 1/4″ circles.

The third sheet has 1/4″ x 1/4″ (5mm x 5mm) squares and 3/8 x 3/8″(10mm x 10mm) squares.

The dimensional peeled off their backing without any hesitation. .

Once the dimensional was adhered, I was able to easily lift the protective backing off of dimensional with my fingernail.

Next I wanted to test how easy it is to refill the roller. The roller has a small “notch” at the very top of the roller that when you push, the roller opens up in half.

There weren’t any directions on the package of the roller or the refill, but it was clear to me that the empty roller just snapped out and the new refill popped right back in. Very simple to change the refill.
This project was made with colored aluminum and adhered to the metal box with The Sticky Thumb adhesive.
All of the small Easter eggs where adhered with The Sticky Thumb dimensionals.
All of the paper and embellishments were adhered with The Sticky Thumb roller and dimensionals.
The Sticky Thumb has a lot of the same great qualities that some of the other adhesives on the market have, but where The Sticky Thumb stands out above the rest, is the price. The retail price for The Sticky Thumb adhesive roller is $2.50, the refill package is $3.00 and the dimensional variety pack is $3.00.
A few of you may have been turned off when you read that the roller only had 24 feet of tape, but for $2.50 and a refill package has 48 feet of tape for $3.00, I think that makes The Sticky Thumb a good DEAL!! Some of the other 50 foot refills are near $5 or $6 for a refill. The dimensionals? When was the last time you paid $3.00 for 442 dimensionals? I never have.
Pros:
  • A contour roller that fits nicely in your hand
  • Little to no pressure while applying adhesive to your project
  • Strong enough to adhere metal to metal.
  • A variety of sizes of dimensional stickers for projects of any size
  • The price point is fantastic
  • The adhesive is acid free and photo safe

Cons:
  • You can order online, but not available in very many local stores
  • Having to change the roller more often due to the smaller roll
Overall, I am happy with The Sticky Thumb roller and dimensionals. I did change the roller twice as much, but it was nice that I wasn’t paying as much.
Do you think you will give The Sticky Thumb a try? Will you try it because of it’s fantastic price or because you also want to try its quality? Leave a comment and let us know!
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