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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.

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. 

Additionally, the Presto Punch works on either batteries, or you can purchase a power adapter that is sold separately.

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.

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.  

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.

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, just press the down button which is 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.

The real surprise was that it cut through aluminum.  I had an 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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?

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:

Stampendous Silver Embossing Enamel

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

Stampendous frantage

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.

Stampendous shabby pink embossing enamel

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?

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY!: Sizzix Texture Boutique

Reported by Kristine Fowler

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

Since I’m a huge fan of embossing folders, I was pretty excited when I was selected to review the Texture Boutique by Sizzix.  If you haven’t already heard of it, the Texture Boutique is the smallest member of the Sizzix family of embossing and texturing machines.  Using the machine in conjunction with a Sizzix Textured Impressions, Texture Fades, Texture Trades or Simple Impressions Embossing Folder you can quickly and easily transform ordinary cardstock into an elegant card suitable for any occasion.  Not only that…..this is likely the cutest scrapbooking/cardmaking tool you’ll ever own!  Don’t you agree?

When I got my package from Sizzix, I did a little happy dance when I saw that I had received the ‘blue’ model of the Texture Boutique.  You see, my hobby space is painted blue – so it’s the perfect complement!  Here’s a couple of quick pics I snapped before I got down to the business of testing.

What’s Inside?

You’ll see from the picture above that when you first remove the machine from the box it requires a wee bit of assembly — the crank handle isn’t attached and needs to be screwed on. Luckily, Sizzix has you covered, and they include a screw driver, saving you what could be countless minutes (maybe even hours, in my case) locating the right tool to do the job.  Once you’re done that, you’re all set and ready to go.  Included in the box are Instructions, Two (2) Embossing Pads (the black sheets in the picture above) and One (1) Shim (the thinner White, slightly transparent Mylar sheet).  You’ll use these pads and shim to make your embossing ‘Sandwich’.

In addition to the machine, Sizzix sent me item 657088 Elegant Vine & Flair Set of Textured Impressions folders which are designs for A2 size cards (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″). The folders themselves measure 4 1/2″ x 5 3/4″. Like other embossing folders, you can use these folders a couple of different ways; to emboss a folded card, or to emboss a single sheet of cardstock (card front).  The directions for each are included both on the instruction sheet and are permanently affixed to one of the black embossing pads (which is just brilliant by the way!). The main thing that you have to remember is that when embossing a folded card your embossing sandwich will not include the white Shim.

Once you have your Embossing Folder, paper, Embossing Pads (and shim if required) all stacked up, you’re ready to send it through.  Just stick it in the slot on the machine body and start turning the crank handle. It doesn’t matter whether you are left- or right-handed; you can simply turn the machine around and work whatever way is most comfortable, it rolls both ways.  You turn the crank until the sandwich comes completely out the other side of the machine. For me, that was about 16 revolutions.

Here’s a sample of what I did with the ‘Say It With Flair’ folder that Sizzix sent me.

Because I really wanted to emphasize the embossed design, and I was using a white core cardstock, I lightly sanded the raised image.

And here, after stamping and heat embossing a sentiment, outlining the card with a silver paint pen, and adding flowers and a small pearl, is my finished card – a simple, yet elegant design that I can use for perhaps a graduation or retirement greeting.  Actually, this card was so quick to put together thanks to the Texture Boutique that I made 6 of them in less than 15 minutes!

Stamp Credit: Stampendous (M222 Confident Grad)

For a second project, since the Texture Boutique accommodates any embossing folder, by any company up to the 4 1/2″ x 5 3/4″ size, I used the Daisy folder by Crafts-Too (just to prove to you that I could).  And…since I’m on a mission lately to use up stuff that’s been lying around, I dug out a single sheet of light tan cardstock (origins unknown), which as it turned out coordinated great with this CTMH ribbon I’ve had kicking around for a while.  I teamed it up with a sheet of Creme Brule by CTMH, a sentiment by Gina K Designs, a couple of SU! punches, and I’ve got a simple, elegant,  monochromatic birthday greeting.  Again, I made some duplicates of this one – just so I have some on hand when the need arises – and to use up that stray single sheet of cardstock!

As you can see, because embossing folders add so much depth and interest to an art project all by themselves, I have a tendency to keep my final card designs fairly simple when I use them.

The Sizzix Texture Boutique machine measures 11″ x 7 3/4″ x 5 1/4″ including both the crank and beaded handle and weighs in at a mere 3 pounds (approximate).  Its compact size and light weight makes it super portable and an easy ‘add’ to the crop bag if you’re crafting on the go.

Now none of this functional information should come as a surprise to you if you’re already familiar with embossing folders and/or the Sizzix Big Kick, Big Shot or other competing brand embossing machine.  What you should know however is that the Sizzix Texture Boutique is, unlike the others, NOT capable of cutting.  It is an embossing machine only.  The Embossing Pads are solid indeed, but are not intended as cutting surfaces.  Further, the slot in the machine body will not accommodate dies.  This makes the Texture Boutique a single function machine.  One further caution is that while it can house embossing folders up to 4 3/4″ wide, it cannot house Sizzix Texture Plates which are closer to 5 1/2″ wide.  If you’re looking for a machine to support these, you’ll have to get one of the larger models.

The machine comes with a one (1) year manufacturer’s warranty which is less than Sizzix offers on the larger machines, but quite frankly, there isn’t a lot that can go wrong here.  Provided you don’t ‘overstuff’ the machine and try to force more through than it is designed to handle, it should be fine.  And…given that the machine MSRP is only $29.99 US, a one-year warranty seems reasonable.

Overall, I found the Texture Boutique simple to set up and even simpler to use.  The crank turns freely – and doesn’t seem extraordinarily stiff.  I do however think that maybe the inside rollers aren’t near as large as in other machines, since 16 revolutions for one card front seemed quite a bit more than I was used to.  This is however I suppose the price you pay for portability.  The machine would certainly need to be larger to accommodate larger rollers and would thus be heavier.  My only other issue, albeit minor is that you definitely need to hold the machine down with your free hand as you turn the crank handle.  The way the machine is built, it has a very narrow bottom end (contributing to its ‘cuteness’ of course).  As a result if you don’t push down, and instead push a bit forward, the machine has a tendency to tip.  The rubber feet help keep it somewhat in place, but there is no suction to hold it down to the table.

In summary:

Pros:

  • It’s Darn Cute!
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Suitable for both right- and left-handed crafters
  • Instructions right on the Embossing Plates (so I can’t lose them!)
  • Mylar Shim – my other machine recommends using cardstock shims when necessary
  • Price

Cons:

  • Narrow bottom – need to hold machine down with free hand to prevent tipping
  • Smaller rollers means more handle revolutions
  • Folders width restricted to 4 3/4″ or less
  • Embosses only, no die-cutting

**Giveaway is now closed! Thanks for entering!**