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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Imaginisce I-Top Tool

Reported by Taylor Usry

I was lucky enough to receive a HUGE box of goodness from Imaginisce recently – and it was full of amazing products that coordinated with their amazing I-Top tool. If you’ve never heard about the I-Top tool, brace yourself. You are going to love it. You need it, I promise. It’s a must have for every crafter! The I-Top retails for around $20, and is widely available on the internet and in stores. It makes custom brads, magnets, hair doo-dads, snaps, buttons, rings, and pretty much anything you can think of.

There are endless accessories that you can purchase to complement the tool. When you purchase the I-Top itself, you get the tool and two “heads” (which make the brads, etc). Oh, and a demo DVD hat shows you how to use it. There are also excellent step-by-step written instructions (with photos) included.  The two it comes with are for the small (16mm) and medium (22mm) accessories. The large (28mm) and extra large (34mm) are available to purchase separately. The ergonomic pink handles are designed to be “easy-grip”.

Imaginisce makes it very easy to shop for all of the items. Each “group” of products comes in color coded packages – so all of the screw-top accessories are in purple packaging, the snap-top ones are in pink packaging, the buttons are in another color, the brads in yet another color, and so on. Each accessory that can be customized is in two pieces – a “topper” and a “base”. You can’t go wrong with color coding! It takes the guess work out of making projects.

To get started with the tool, you’ll need either the punches (available in various sizes, to coordinate with the sizes of the brads), which make short work out of getting prepared to make brads, or the templates, which do the same thing with an added step. You’d just have to cut them out yourself. You can see in the photo above the size difference from each punch. They are, from left to right,  the large (28mm), medium (22mm) and small (16mm). An added bonus? They make cute layered flowers for cards and scrapbook pages!

Once you’ve punched or cut out your shape, you are a few short steps from your finished product. You
choose the correct brad size for the shape you’ve cut or punched out, and then need to match up the appropriate heads. To change them out, the heads pulls outward (the entire piece – the pink part as well as the silver above it will pull away from the tool) and then rotates. If you need to remove one of them to add a larger or smaller head, they simply unscrew. Next you place your brad (or whatever doo-dad you are making) onto the metal head and center the topper part of it on the metal head (remember, the “topper” is the silver piece that will be the top of your brad). Then you add your cut/punched piece in the center of that metal topper. See the picture above for details.

You squeeze the handles together and the metal topper, along with the cutout piece, will be squeezed into the pink rubber head. Rotate the rubber head so you can see the topper, and then take your finger and flatten down the tabs, until you get something that looks like this:

Now that you’ve gotten the top of your brad completed, you turn the tool over and insert the base into the metal head. If it’s a brad, there is a small hole that will accommodate the “legs” (what’s the correct term for those little things? anyone know?) You align the heads and squeeze the tool together. Rotate out and peel back the rubber head and POOF! You’ve just made a custom brad!

The brad (or any other doo-dad) will have neatly pleated edges. If you’d prefer flatter edges, watch this video for a great tip.

My darling daughter was only too happy to help me choose from the wonderful Enchanted line of products to make hair clips and headbands, all of which are pictured below. The neat thing about these is that it doesn’t have to be just the topper- you can layer on fabric or paper flowers. And because the toppers snap or screw on to the clips, bobby pins, headbands, etc, it makes them all interchangeable!

We made alligator clips, layered with several paper Prima flowers. The clips come already covered in grosgrain (in a neutral silver-ish color). Two of them are pictured above. And below is one of the bobby pins we made, layered with another paper Prima.

Headbands come in packs of three: silver, pink, and black. We chose to use the large brad toppers paired with fabric flowers for these:

And then we got to the good stuff…jewelry! We made rings in various sizes, and what’s fun about the rings is that they are adjustable. Absolutely adorable paired with flowers!

I also used some 12″x12″ paper from the Enchanted line to make a quick and impel scrapbook page. See the wheels on the carriage? They are small brads I made using the I-Top tool and more paper from the Enchanted line.  I also added some bling from the same line – it’s so perfect for princesses!

I cannot figure out how I’ve functioned so long as a crafter without this tool, honestly. I love everything about it. It’s wonderful to be able to create personalized jewelry and hair things for myself and my daughter, and it’s even more wonderful to always be able to match a brad to whatever project I’m making! Thanks again to Imaginisce, for giving me the opportunity to review this wonderful tool!

Pros:

  • easy to use
  • wide range of accessories available
  • tons of videos from the company to get tips and tricks from

Cons:

  • it might be a bit overwhelming to choose which accessories you want!
  • it’s very, very addictive – I haven’t NOT used it on a project since it got here

The Imaginisce I-Top ToolDaddies BradsI-Top Topper Templates ,i-top BadgesImaginisce I-Top PunchHeadbandsBobby Pins , and Rings  are available from Amazon.com.

GIVEAWAY!
Want to win this great product? Our friends at Imaginisce are giving away an iTop Tool to one lucky reader. To win, just leave a comment on this blog answering any or all of these questions, we love to hear your opinions!



What do you think of the i-Top? Have you tried it yet? What other ways can you think of to top your brad? 


You have until Friday, February 18th at 6pm CST to comment.

Disclosure

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

Studio Sticky-Back Canvas

Reported by Erin Bassett
As someone who dabbles in mixed media projects, I was thrilled when I first found out about Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky-Back Canvas. Using the Sticky-Back Canvas allows crafters the ability to add the nice texture of canvas to projects that they wouldn’t easily be able to create with bolts of canvas fabric or stretched canvas art boards.
One of the first things I tested was how well gesso, ink, and Glimmer Mist took to it. -They all did so wonderfully. I tested them out by making a bookmark. I cut out a 1 1/2” x 4 3/4” piece of Sticky-Back Canvas and with my finger applied Studio Gesso on top of it. I then allowed it to dry for a few minutes, and then stamped on it with black Stazon ink.
After the ink was dry I sprayed it with two colors of Glimmer Mist. I love how the gesso resits the mist, but the canvas soaked it right up.
Next, I removed the paper liner on the back of the Sticky-Back Canvas and stuck it on a coordinating scrap of seersucker fabric I had.
The Sticky-Back Canvas adhered to the fabric really well, but I still added some decorative stitches with my sewing machine. Lastly, I frayed the edges of my fabric.
For my next project I wanted to see how well my Cricut Expression would do cutting out a design so I decided to make a flower pin.
The Sticky-Back Canvas cut very well using the standard Cricut blade. There was one little corner that I had to snip with my scissors, but other than that, my Cricut Expression cut through it like butter.
Once I had my flowers cut out I used Studio Acrylic paint to paint them and then I let them dry.
After they were dry I decided to run them through my Cuttlebug to see if it would emboss like paper would. Guess what? It does! On my first test one I just ran a piece of Sticky-Back Canvas (with the backing on it) through the Cuttlebug…it worked! For another test I cut out a flower out of Bazzill cardstock with my Cricut and adhered the Sticky-Back Canvas directly to the cardstock flower to give it some support. I then ran it through the Cuttlebug and it worked just as well. After embossing the flowers I rubbed brown ink over the top of them to further enhance the embossing.
You can see a video of how to make a flower pin like the one I made above.
Also, check out this video on how Tim Holtz uses Sticky-Back Canvas to create a brad with an Imaginisce i-Top brad maker.
Pros:
  • Acid-free, non-toxic adhesive
  • Heat gun can be used on it
  • Many, many media can be used on in to decorate it
  • Can be cut with electronic & manual die-cut machines
  • Easy to sew through
Cons:
  • The canvas is lightweight, so you may need to adhere it to something stiffer to support it.
  • Only comes in 8 1/2” x 11” and 12” x 12” sheets, so people who do larger projects will have to attach multiple pieces together to get the size they need.
Have you had a chance to play with Sticky-Back Canvas yet? Show us the link to your project…we’d love to take a look!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!