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Tag Archives | embossing

Vendor Spotlight | Spellbinders Presto Punch

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
The Presto Punch is one of many interesting innovative products for scrapbookers and crafters from Spellbinders.   I saw coverage on this machine on blogs and YouTube.  The reviews have been pretty great. It retails around $69.00 depending on where you purchase it.  I have found some pretty good deals at local scrapbooking shows and online.  The Spellbinders Presto Punch is about 7” x 5″ x 4½”.  The size makes it super portable because you can easily fit the machine in your average insulated lunch bag along with some templates be ready to craft on-the-go.
Spellbinders Presto Machine Box Contents
The great news on this product is that the company took into consideration that some of us face the challenge of using various punches due to arthritis, hand injuries, carpal tunnel, hand strength issues, and other similar problems.  You now have a choice between the familiar push down type of punches and a punch that works with the push of a button. The Spellbinders Presto Punch is an automatic punching and embossing machine, that works with the simple touch of a button. 
Spellbinder Presto Punch Battery Case
Additionally, the Presto Punch works on either batteries, or you can purchase a power adapter that is sold separately.
Presto Punch Power Adapter
To use the adapter, you have to remove the battery case and then plug the adapter into the back of the machine.
The Presto Punch comes with the machine itself, an assortment of templates, and two folders (one for punching and one for embossing) to get you started.
The size of the templates is significant compared to traditional punches, when you consider the challenges of storing a large collection of punches. 
In the picture above you can see that the four traditional-sized punches take up significantly more space than the four Spellbinders Presto Punch templates do.
Below is a small sampling of some of the other templates for the presto punch that you can purchase from their website or  your local craft/scrapbooking store.  The prices varies from $9.99 and up depending on the template set you decide on.
Holiday Punch & Embossing Stencil Templates
The Presto Punch templates can be used to punch, emboss, and stencil.  They vary in size and are thinner than chipboard which means they do not take up a lot of space to store, unlike traditional punches.  The Presto Punch templates take less space than a credit card to store (once out of their retail packaging).  So if you are challenged for storage space the Presto Punch may offer you a solution with their vast line of templates.  
This is what the template looks like face up, note the cutting ridge on the outside edge of the template.  
The Spellbinders Presto Punch templates are really simple to use.  To punch out a die cut, you need to place the template face down onto the card stock and then place it into the cutting file.
Once you  have placed the folder into the Presto Punch, then press the down button which is on the left.
To cut press down button on the left.
The machine will made some funky noises that let you know to stop.  That is the signal that you are done.  Then you need to remember to press the up (on the right)  button to be able to remove the folder.
If you want to see a demonstration of how the machine works and some cool ideas of things you can do with the punched pieces, I recommend going onto “YouTube” to watch one the Spellbinders technique videos that demonstrates how to use the templates and/or the machine.  The video below shows how easy the Spellbinders Presto Punch machine is to use. 
So once you have removed the folder from the machine, you will then remove the die cut from the machine and put into the white embossing folder.
Run it through the machine like you did with the cutting folder. 

If you look closely, you can see how well the machine embosses these little templates.

Then if you want to stencil, just leave the die cut piece in the template and paint.

I used a marker but you can use ink pads, chalks, etc.  I like that these templates are multi-functional.
I tested the machine’s ability to cut fun foam, sparkle foam, handmade paper, watercolor paper (cold press), parchment paper, and glossy card stock.  The fun foam worked great which I was a little surprised about.  The sparkle foam did cut but you can see that it did not cut as cleanly as it did the other materials.  I am assuming that this is because the sparkle foam is a little denser than the other materials I tested. It also worked on craft foil, sticker paper, thin clear plastic crafting sheets and various handmade papers.
My favorite was the parchment paper die cut because the embossing really shows up on this paper.
Parchment Paper Die Cut Sample
The real surprise was that it cut through aluminum.  I had a empty can of my favorite energy drink and decided to cut it up to see if it would work.  I cut a piece to fit and it did a perfect punch.  Even the embossing function did not have any trouble embossing the leaf marks onto the recycled tin can materials.
Recycled Aluminum Can Die Cut Sample
As for what did not work, well I tried a piece of heavy card stock.  It did cut but not completely.  I ended up tearing the paper trying to remove it from the template.  On the other hand, regular card stock works just fine in the Presto Punch machine, you just need to cut it to fit within the folder. 
I have to say this little machine survived my experimentation fairly well.  I really enjoyed cutting a variety of materials with the different punches.  One of my favorites is the heart mini punch.  I used it to make a gift tag.
Spellbinders Presto Punch Heart Template Card 
There is no waste with these templates because I was able to use both the punched out heart and the paper I punched it from.
Spellbinders Presto Punch Heart Template Card Inside View
I also really liked the leaf template.  I used the recycled aluminum tin can punched pieces to make a pair of earrings.  I sanded off the sharp edges so they would not nick or catch on hair.
Recycled Aluminum Can Earrings
I also decided to punch out the little red bull animal images on the can and use them to make a pendant.
The templates make it easy to target specific items on paper and other materials.  These are just too much fun.   Note:  The template folders will get all funky looking after a bunch of uses, especially if you try to cut metal with it.  You may want to keep it in mind if you decided to run a few tests on your own machine.  You will have to replace the folder faster testing it on the non-traditional materials than if just stick to punching with traditional materials.
Presto Punch Template Cutting folder does get funky looking.
I did have some issues.  First of all, the machine opening is small .  So take that into consideration when it comes to what materials you choose to put into the folders to cut or emboss.

Second, I want to take a moment to address the sound that the machine makes during use.  Some folks may find it a little annoying.   Since I have a hand injury at the moment, I think the ease of use (just a press of a button) more than makes up for the sound that the Presto Punch makes when cutting and embossing.  I was still able to craft even though my hand movements are pretty limited (which why the jewelry designs are simple so my daughter could help me by working the jewelry making tools).  I also found that I could use my other Spellbinders die templates as long as they fit inside the folders.  Overall, I think this is a pretty cool machine and look forward to making more fun things with the punched out pieces.

Pros:
  • Offers the crafter portability by using either batteries or a power adapter (sold separately).
  • The templates are multi functional.  They cut, embosses and can be used as stencils.
  • The Presto Punch and the Presto Punch templates are easy to use and store.
Cons:
  • Works on batteries which can lead to waste.  Consider using rechargeable batteries or purchase the adapter (sold separately).
  • Only comes with one set of folders which will get trashed with consistent use.  However, they do sell replacements on their site for $5.99 for three (which isn’t a bad price).
  • Sorry, it was hard to come up with any when I am having so much fun with the machine.
We would love to hear from you and find out what your favorite punches are and how do you use them in your crafting?
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Vendor Spotlight: Stampendous Embossing Enamels & Tinsels

Reported by Marti Wills

Stampendous has an exciting new line of embossing powders as part of their Frantage line.  I received a selection of the aged metals embossing enamels, shabby enamel embossing powders, embossing tinsels and vintage glitters, plus a few stamps to use to try it all out.

I’ll start by saying I am a huge fan of heat embossing.  It is one of the first stamping techniques I learned, and it fascinates me to this day.  These embossing enamels were not like any of the powders I have seen, so I was intrigued right away.  I decided to start things off with the Vintage Crowns stamp sets and some Aged Silver Embossing Enamel:

The first thing I noticed was the unusual texture and grains.  They were larger and not all one color.

Which is exactly what gives you this unique aged metal look.  Next I used the Jumbo Rosehips stamp set with the Shabby Pink embossing enamel.  Again the powder itself was very unusual.

It contained large grains of white, smaller grains of pink as well as a bit of silver glitter – it made me wonder how well it would stick to the details of the stamped image.

As you can see it was no problem at all.

Next I wanted to add some detail to my corners with the Shabby Pink Embossing Enamel and a couple of the vintage glitters from the Treasures Glitter Kit.  I started by dumping the embossing enamel on to the corner.  then I sprinkled some of the glitters in as well.

It made quite a pretty little pile.  I heated from BENEATH the paper since I did not have anything holding the pile onto the paper.  The results were amazing.

As you can see above, the white grains truly become a slick enamel.  The whole melty mess holds the vintage glitters wonderfully.

In addition to the embossing enamels there are also three embossing tinsels.  Here I used another stamp and the Jumbo Rosehips and the Plum and Olive Embossing Tinsels.  These are colored powder with some glitter mixed in.  I also added some Aged Copper Embossing Enamel around the outer edges of my image.

Again once I tapped off the excess I heated from BENEATH the paper in case any of the grains blew around.

I finished up the second image similar to the first with powders and glitter in the corners and made these two gift bags.

Pros:

  • Unique mixture gives beautiful results
  • Colors and metallics are gorgeous
  • Sticks well to detailed images

Cons:

  • Very limited color selection – especially in the Embossing Tinsels
  • I couldn’t come up with any others!

Let us know what you think.  Have you tried any of the products in the Stampendous Frantage line?  What did you think?  Do you like heat embossing?

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Vendor Spotlight: American Crafts – Zap Heat Tool

Reported by Marti Wills

I recently had the opportunity to test out the Zap Heat Tool by American Crafts.

It is a super cute bright pink color, which I liked right away. It also comes with the little black metal piece to use as a tabletop stand.

I began with a stamp set by American Crafts called Terrace Small. I stamped with American Crafts Chestnut Pigment Ink and used Zing embossing powders in Opaque Black, Opaque Red & Silver Metallic. As you can see here the powder did not stick well to the pigment ink:
I went ahead and heated it but I was not happy with the splotchy results:


So I tried again, this time using Versamark to stamp with. I got better coverage with the powder:


My results were better this time.

Next I stamped some stars from the same stamps set using Versamark Ink and covered them with Zing Gold Glitter & Blue Metallic embossing powders.


I paired these glittering stars with American Crafts Margarita paper and some fun Iguana Varnish Thickers all on a slightly textured piece of blue American Crafts cardstock.

Here is a closer look at the Thickers – they have tiny clear raised dots on them – I thought they were really neat.
Overall the Heat Tool performed as expected – it easily melted the embossing powders with very little wait time.

Pros:

  • Did not take long to heat up or to melt the embossing powder 
  • Cute pink color 
  • Tabletop stand
  • Pink plastic safety guard around the heat nozzle

    Cons:

    • Airflow was too strong and blew quite a bit of the powder off before it could melt it 
    • Very noisy, which would be a problem if filming a tutorial 
    • I would prefer a tool with a smaller size

    edited to add:
    GIVEAWAY!

    Our friends at American Crafts have provided a prize pack for one of our lucky readers! Just leave a comment on this post answering the following questions to be entered:
     
    Have you tried the Zap Heat Tool? What did you think? If not, what are you looking for in a heat tool?

    One comment per person, per American Crafts’ article, please. Contest will end on Saturday August 13, 2011.