Reported by Christina Hammond
Ever since this winter’s CHA, the scrapbooking world has been buzzing about the debut of the Sizzix eClips Electronic Shape Cutting Machine. I can tell you: I was waiting for it to be released, too. Even though I am anything BUT a scrapbooker.
Then why would I want it?
Well, the eClips cuts fabric and materials other than your standard scrapbooking fare. Craft foils (different thicknesses even) and chipboard? Yep. Vinyl? Yep!
The starter kit comes with one machine, 2 blades, the handheld unit, cradle for the handheld unit, starter cartridge with booklet, software update, 12×12 cutting mat and user manual. Note the small purple cable – it’s a mini-USB cable that you’ll need to do the software update; it’s not included.
The eClips boasts 700 grams of pressure and adjustable blade speeds/pressures so you can power through most anything. I was able to stump it, but I had to really try! 🙂 In fact, the only things I could not get it to cut are craft foam (though it scored it nicely!), thick felt, and corrugated cardboard.
One of the best features of the eClips is the Handheld Remote Control. It slides open to reveal a full keyboard, adding to the ability to completely customize your designs. The display is large and easy to read. There is a very slight delay once you select a design, but it is minimal and you get used to it quickly. You also input into the unit what kind of material you are cutting and it sets everything automatically for you. All you have to do is adjust the blade thickness right on the blade cartridge. Easy peasy!
It really is to use. Right out of the box. To show how really easy it is to use: here is a video I’ve put together while drinking my morning coffee showing how to use the eClips from start to finish (and let me just say that crafts before coffee is usually not a good idea around here!)
First I cut a little sign from vinyl for my front door sidelights. Admittedly, I hate how this came out. The font is just too silly for something so serious. A more neutral font would have been great to include in the “Starter” cartridge versus the Rockin’ Janey font. It’s just hard to read when cut this small.
Here is a screenshot of the designs on the “Starter” cartridge included with the eClips. Cute, right?
Next, I put the eClips to my “REAL” test. Fabric is always on my mind, so naturally this was the MAIN reason why I wanted to use this machine. It works! I suggest slowing the machine down one more notch than the “preset” to prevent any tearing at sharp inside corners.
To cut fabric, press it really well with the addition of spray starch, and apply your favorite fusible web. I tried a few different brands, all with the same level of success. The key is to starch it, and slow it down a bit more.
Here I cut out a Birthday Cupcake and a pair of ties. Note that I cut the cupcake pieces from different scrap fabrics. It was really easy to do, so don’t worry! The ties are actually an “embellishment” for the sweet teddy bear, but since you can cut anything within the design card at any size, it doesn’t matter!
My daughter decided I had made a “Flying Cupcake” no matter what I told her!
I fused the shapes onto cheap $1Store cotton tshirts, zigzagged around the edges and my kids had cute customized shirts within about 30 minutes total. From initial eClips cutting to snipping the threads. That’s awesome, right?!
That same afternoon, I whipped out a receiving blanket and coordinating burpcloths for an unexpected early arrival. Of course, I was in such a rush to deliver them that I didn’t get a picture of them!
Lastly, a birthday surprise for my darling husband! I don’t normally decorate for birthdays around here – but I just knew once I found that the eClips did so well with fabric that I had to make a bunting of some kind. The Mister had been having lots of late night meetings the week of his birthday, so while he was out one night, I whipped this CELEBRATE bunting up with scraps and it took about 2 hours total. He really loved it and said it made his day!
- IT WORKS!
- Handheld remote design center
- Cuts a wide variety of materials
- Laser Cut Preview
- Speed control, pressure control, depth control – all to ensure you can cut just about anything!
- It will also draw with a pen (holder required) and score certain designs.
- Cost of cartridges ($39 – $89 each)
- No option to connect eClips to the computer so you can design/cut from there if desired (there are rumors something is coming soon, but nothing concrete as of today)
- I’d like the computer connection so I could download only the designs I need immediately and to be able to use my fonts.
- Some of the designs have details that are cut before outlines are cut. If the extra details are not desired and are cut afterward, you can cancel the cut at the desired place and be done.