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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Martha Stewart Punch All Over the Page (day 2 of 2)

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?

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

GIVEAWAY!
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.
Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Martha Stewart Punch All Over The Page (day 1 of 2)

Reported by Morgan Novak

If you’re like me, you use your punches often and are always on the look out for cool new edges and shapes, as well as new and improved versions of the basics. When I first caught sight of the Martha Stewart Punch All Over The Page Punches from EK Success I was intrigued. They instantly set my gears spinning, thinking about what I would punch if I really could punch anywhere on a project. It was a, “how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood” kind of scenario! So, when my “Flourish Square” Punch All Over The Page Punch showed up at my door, I was ready to get chucking!


This is what the punch looks like out of the box. The size and shape make it very comfortable in your hand and I was very pleased that it feels really sturdy, but isn’t too heavy.

The Punch All Over The Page Punch has two parts, the top punching mechanism and the bottom, window/guide.
Once I got a feel for the punch, by punching it through scrap paper a couple of times, I decided to get creating! Often, when I’m making cards I find myself wishing that I could punch a little lower on a card than my lever punches allow so that I could create windows. So, I decided that I should dive right in by making a card first.

I attached a piece of patterned paper to a pre-made card base, opened the card up and then sandwiched it between the top and bottom pieces of the punch. I was really impressed with how awesome the magnets are! Although they are able to easily keep their hold through multiple layers of cardstock and paper, they still allow you to shimmy the paper around a little bit to get the punch exactly where you want it on your project.
When punching, I found that it was easiest to get a nice punch if I stood up while punching so that I was sure that I was pushing straight down for a clean punch, rather than kind of wiggling it around while pressing down, which causes the punch to only punch in stages.

As you can see, I did have a little bit of gunk on the inside of my card after I removed the punch, but I’m sure that this is just a matter of cleaning the manufacturing oil/dirt off of the punch when you first get it.

After, I punched my card front, I also punched a double layered square and added foam tape to the back for a little extra dimension before matching up my windows and adhering it to my card.

The punch easily helped me create a cute framed out window that gives you a little peek into the stamped inside of my card.

It was super quick & easy, and already has visions of many different windowed cards dancing around in my head! It also started me thinking about what else you can glimpse into, like a window, and I immediately thought about the many times I’ve wished that I could glimpse into someone’s thoughts, which in turn gave me an idea for a scrapbook layout!

I decided to use some found upholstery swatches that I’ve had lying around on my craft table as little lift-a-flaps to cover up my journaling on this page all about the simple little things that make me happy, even when I’m stressed out or grumpy.

Just like with my windowed card, I added foam tape behind the base of my windows for a little extra depth. I really loved being able to box my journaling in so that it seemed a little more contained and together. And, the punch worked perfectly, even through this super thick patterned paper.

For my last little project I wanted to make a quick treat box to put a stamp and some ink in to give to a friend who is just starting to craft. I bought this cardboard box at a little local shop and was able to easily punch through the top with the Punch All Over The Page Punch, even though the box was pretty sturdy! Then I just added some transparency behind the windows, made a quick little tag, tied on some bakers twine and I was good to go!
Pros:
  • The magnets on the punch have great hold, but are still forgiving.
  • Now you can punch anywhere on a project and not be held back by how far your punch will reach.
  • Easily punches through multiple layers as well as heavier papers & cardstocks.
  • Because of it’s size and shape, the punches will be super easy to stack and store.
Cons:
  • You do have to punch a few times to get a hang of the even, from-above pressure needed with this new type of punch, but it’s worth it!

I really enjoyed the Punch All Over The Page Punch. I’m planning on keeping an eye out for them so that I can add a few more to my punch arsenal! I’m also excited to see what new shapes they come out with. Wouldn’t a cloud shape be cool! Or how about a couple more sizes and some additional basic shapes for nesting? Only time will tell!

GIVEAWAY!

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 kinds of shapes would you like to see in a Punch All Over the Page punch?

Leave us a comment and let us know. One comment per person per Punch All Over the Page article (this is the first of two). Winners will be selected on Monday, May 9, 2011.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA: Punch Bunch.

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
This eye catching floral display was at “The Punch Bunch” booth.  
You may have heard of the Punch Bunch company, since it has been around since 1998 and is well known in the craft industry.
They still have their mini punches, small to large punches, silhouette punches, and other art punches.  They did have a list posted at to which punches were retired.
They also offer Books and videos on creating the “Paper Florals” using their tools.
The Punch Bunch paper flower tool kit has the special tools you need to reproduce the flowers from the punches.

Some folks have found that pressing punches can make their hand sore.  The Punch Bunch company decided to do something to help by offering the “Magnum Power Punch”.  This is a cool tool.  For those who already have some punches from this company they also offer upgrade kits, a personal power punch (for the smaller punches) and the “Punch Doctor” to lubricate your punch.

 Their new floral punches are easy to use, just punch, paint, decorate, use the “floral tools”to  shape, and then glue the flower together.

Here is an inspiring selection of projects that were made with the various punches.

Accent Photo Frames
Home Decor
Decorate Journals

The Punch Bunch does offer some idea pages on their website.

With all the fun paper punch project ideas, the potential is great!   Don’t you just want to give this craft a try?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!