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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!

Crafty Holiday Gift Wrap

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and once you are finished with all your holiday purchases, it’s time to get wrapping. Gift wrapping can be such a creative outlet, so go ahead and put those crafty items to use and jazz up those boxes this year!

Sure, I like traditional wrapping paper just like the next guy, but newspaper can work too—and can cost nothing.

Start with a plain wrapped box. I like to use the property sales section of the paper since it is all words and no pictures.

Next, simply add some bakers twine and some punched snowflakes. Here, I used the Martha Stewart Alpine and Himalayan snowflake craft punches, as well as her red and white bakers twine.

Another option would be to use those snowflakes directly on the newsprint and write the recipients name with marker.

Or jazz up this idea with some of the Martha Stewart glitter glue. Here I added the garnet, onyx and carrara marble.

Look at all that sparkly glitter, with none of the mess!

Don’t like or have newspaper? Try some plain tissue paper. I like to double wrap my gifts in tissue so that none of the print from the box shows through.
You can decorate simply by adding a piece of your favorite patterned paper like I did here with a strip of last year’s holiday paper from Cosmo Cricket.
Or you can create a cool paper snowflake for the top that will wow anyone on your list. First, you will need six pieces of white copy paper cut 2″ x 2″.

Fold each piece on the diagonal.

Then you are going to use a ruler and mark one of the pieces like below, so that you will be making even cuts on each piece but not all the way through the top. Cut each piece using this first as a guide.

Next, open the pieces and begin gluing the centers together. I used Scotch Quick Dry Tacky Adhesive because, well, it’s quick. If you are using patterned paper or cardstock you will need stronger glue but for this light copy paper, I just held each in place for a few moments and they were set. The first piece with look something like this.

Then, flip it over and glue the next. You will alternate with each section.

When you are finished, your piece will look like this. Glue each of your six pieces—it may take a little time, this part took the longest at 15 minutes.

Finally, glue the petals together. I used a button in the center, adhered with my hot glue gun, to hold the whole thing together. You can tie it on your package, and the recipient can use it as an ornament next year. I know this may seem slightly tedious but the entire process took me about 30 minutes. And don’t the very special people in your life deserve a paper snowflake?

There are other really great crafty gift wrap ideas online. Here are just a few to inspire you:

Got a great gift wrapping idea of your own? Is there a tutorial on your blog you’d like to share? Using your crafty products in a cool way this holiday season? Share your ideas in the Comments Section—we would love to hear about it!

Vendor Spotlight & Giveaway: Martha Stewart Holidays Gift Boxes and Bags

Reported by Julie Tiu


Who doesn’t love receiving homemade goods? Especially when they’re wrapped with love and a little help from Martha Stewart Holidays. As I reported at this summer’s CHA Show, Scandinavian design has made its mark on the 2010 Martha Stewart Holidays line, but “buyer beware”, no cookies or candy. I love their disclaimer.

I received these food packaging goodies to check out: Treat Bags, Compartment Treat Boxes and Banded Boxes. You can find these at your local Michaels craft store or directly at the Martha Stewart shop website. Either way, check quickly because these are hot sellers and quantities are already diminishing.

Technical Details

Each kit comes complete with accessories to finish your wrapping or packaging needs. A thank you note is also included from the people at Martha Stewart Holidays. Would you expect anything less? All paper items are pre-scored and pre-assembled flat. You just have to “pop” them open and into place.

Treat Bags come eight in a kit (incidentally also a cello bag) with ribbon, tags and adhesive strips. Dimensions are as follows.
Paper trays: approximately 3” x 3” x 1-3/4”, Cello Bags: 3” x 3” x 10”

The bag size is quite generous!

Compartment Treat Boxes come six in a project kit. Dimensions are:
Lidded Box is 6-1/4”x 6-1/4”x 2” to accommodate (4) 3” x 3” x 1-3/4” compartment boxes.


Lastly, the Banded Box also comes six in a package and is 5-7/8” x 8-7/8” x 2-5/8” with scalloped edging on the band (or sleeve) and on the box.


In Practice

The boxes are made from sturdy, quality materials, but I had a couple of mishaps with assembling the paper trays. They just popped apart, oops. If you’re patient, some clear tape will do the trick.


I can’t wait to share my baked goods in these packages with neighbors and friends, but who says you have to use these with only food? Wouldn’t this be a cute idea for a teacher, an office coworker, or a babysitter? The trays can come out and be used at the desk, too.


The cello bags lend themselves for lots of other treats. A sewing enthusiast might enjoy some new notions and specialty scissors! The banded boxes are large enough for a number of different ideas, too.


Pros:

  • As a big supporter for multi-use, these can be used for gifts other than food.
  • Well-made, gives your gift a professional presentation.
  • No fussy wrapping, just ribbon, tissue paper and tags.
  • Cost is comparable or less than some holiday gift packaging (especially if you can use coupons).

Cons (not too many):

  • I’d use the Cello Bags again for Valentine’s Day if it weren’t for the snow print on the bags.
  • Some of the compartment boxes broke during assembly.

Costs

  • $13.22-$16.99 for 6 treat boxes or 6 compartment boxes
  • $13.99 for the (8) Cello bags kit

GIVEAWAY
The kind folks at EK Success Brands will be giving one lucky winner their very own collection of Martha Stewart Holiday Gift Boxes and Bags. To enter, just leave a comment on one of today’s articles. Answer any one of these questions in the Comments Section right below this article on our website.

Have you used the Martha Stewart Gift Boxes and Bags? Did your recipient love them?

One comment per person, per article, please. You have until Sunday, November 21st 6pm CST to enter.

Disclosure

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