Reported by Taylor Usry
I recently had the chance to review the Punch All Over the Page from Martha Stewart Crafts. With such a great concept, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on one of these. I received the Flourish Square, and also in my box was a surprise inclusion of the 12″ x 12″ Nature paper collection, as well as an 8″ x 8″ Tonals paper collection. How fun!
The punch has a very hefty weight to it, due to the magnets inside that hold it together. The concept is simple – the paper (or cardstock, cork, etc.) goes between the top punch and the bottom raised platform, allowing you to punch your shape out anywhere on your paper. No more reach constraints!
As you can see from this view of the underside of the top piece, there are four magnets on the top that are designed to align with the ones on the bottom.
The top and bottom pieces each have a flat surface on one corner (note this on the bottom piece pictured above), and other three corners are rounded. This is how the punch “tells” you if it is lined up correctly. If you put a round edge above the flat edge, it won’t line up right: the punch will skew itself due to the polarity in the magnets (as pictured above).
The punching mechanism, housed in the top portion of the punch, is fairly heavy-duty, and it looked to me like it would give very clean, crisp cuts.
After a few trials on random scrap paper to see how much pressure was needed to push the punch down, I tried it on some Stampin’ Up card stock. As you can see from the front view pictured above, the edges of the flourished square were a bit jagged.
I turned it over to see what it looked like from the backside of the card stock, and was disappointed to see all the “fuzz”. However, the problem was easily corrected with a bit of sanding.
See the difference when I punch on the thinner Martha Stewart paper? It is not cardstock weight, and the punch went through it more easily. The darker shape on the left is the top of the paper, and I turned it over to show the backside in the lighter color. You can, however, still see that raised lip left by the punch.
Before I moved on to other types of paper, I punched several squares using the old “sharpen with aluminum foil” trick. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and maybe that would help with my troublesome corner. I then tested out foam (above, in white – I’m showing the punched out shape and the window in the foam), more of Martha Stewart’s wonderful solid paper (love the not-too-thick-not-too-thin weight of this paper!), and some cork. All of the samples are resting on some wood-grain paper from the 12″x 12″ collection they sent me – I cannot get enough of it! Not pictured, but also tested, was acetate. I could not get that to punch cleanly through despite numerous attempts. I also tried out some Papertrey Ink super-thick, 110 lb. cardstock. It also seemed too thick to get a clean punch.
By this point in my testing, I had figured out a few things. It’s best to stand up to punch down on this tool – you get a more even punch that way, and fewer jagged edges. It requires a decent amount of pressure, and standing just gives better leverage. Also, the speed with which you press down is important – not too fast, not too slow. It’s best to practice a few times on the paper you want to cut in order to get a feel for it. Each weight has a different “sweet spot.”
Once you get your paper cinched between the magnets, you have just a smidgeon of wiggle room. Those magnets hold on tightly. To help myself out and position the paper right where I wanted it, I realized after a few off-center results that I should draw gridlines on the underside of my paper. Lightbulb! It is much easier to get the punch exactly where you want it that way.
I whipped up a few quick cards using the punch. Above, I paired the Martha Stewart paper with some Stampendous stamps, and used the window cut out by the Flourish Square to frame my sentiment.
For this card, I used the cutouts from my cork tests to make a border behind the bird I cut out from some of the In Nature paper. I adore these flourished cork “medallions”.
I really liked the Punch All Over the Page, and can see adding a few more to my collection. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of the correct pressure and speed, but the results are worth the wait! The versatility they allow is wonderful. Like most of Martha Stewart’s products, she has once again thought of a super useful tool! Have you tried these yet? What did you think?
- Design allows user to put punch anywhere on a design
- Will punch through a variety of materials
- These will stack, which makes for simpler storage
- There is a bit of a learning curve
- Precise placement of the punch can be difficult (I recommend those gridlines!)
- I wish they had nesting shapes, so you could make mats and frames for your windows/cutouts
The punches have an MSRP of $17.99, and are available online and in retail stores.
Our friends at Martha Stewart have given us a Punch All Over the Page to give away to two of our lucky readers. Leave a comment answering the question below to be in the running:
What would you punch if you did not have any punch-reach restrictions? What would you make?
Leave us a comment and let us know. One comment per person per Punch All Over the Page article (this is the second of two). Winner will be selected on Monday, May 9, 2011.