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Kokuyo Dot’n’Roller

Reported by Lexi Daly

As noted earlier this week by my fellow reporter Heather, double-sided dry adhesive tape rollers are how most paper crafters stick their precious pieces together. Like Heather, I’ve also been a long time Tombow Mono Adhesive user. Until recently, that is. First, the refills became increasingly more difficult to find locally, and then, I started to hear more about Kokuyo Dot’n’Roller. So when I spotted it in my local scrap store, I decided it was time to try something new.

Here’s what the packaging has to say:

Acid Free, Micro-Dot Dry Adhesive with Roller Cartridge

Features

  • Strong Permanent Hold
  • Easy Drop In refill Cartridge
  • Effortless, smooth lay down, even around curves
  • Precision application of adhesive – easy start, clean cut
  • Will not wrinkle paper, leaves no bumps
  • Instant hold – No Drying Time
  • Protective Retractable Cap
  • No mess, no waste, no peel off backing

Uses

  • At home: Scrapbooks, Paper Crafts, Card making, Gift Wrapping
  • At School: Artwork, Crafts, Posters, Charts
  • At Work: Presentations, Charts, sealing envelopes, photo mounting

Like Tombow and many other dry adhesive tape rollers, the Kokuyo Dot’n’Roller adhesive is encased in a compact, easy-to-roll dispenser, and is refillable. The Dot’n’Roller is available in both permanent and repositionable, but I’ve only used the permanent. Each roll is three tenths of an inch wide and has 43 ft of adhesive. Unlike the Tombow or Scotch adhesive runners, it is made of many sticky micro dots rather than a solid strip of adhesive. These dots seem to make it easier to turn on curves while applying, and easier to rub off excess when necessary.

Most important is that the Dot’n’Roller adhesive is super sticky, and so far, seems to be holding its own quite well in my humid New Orleans climate. Since my first few purchases, my local scrap store has closed and now I can’t find the refills as easily. Also, a few of my recent refills have jammed and not rolled tightly, two of them to the point of not being able to finish the roll.

So here’s my basic run down:

Pros:

  • Familiar dispenser
  • Compact size
  • Micro dot design
  • Sticky & strong
  • Refillable
  • Length per roll

Cons:

  • Harder to find
  • Doesn’t always wind tightly

The Kokuyo Dot’n’Roller permanent adhesive retails for $5.99 for the dispenser and $4.49 for the refill. I also found one online retailer selling it for $4.50 and $3.50 respectively, with the refills even cheaper per unit if you buy a case of 100. A quick google search turned up a good price at Ritz Camera, of all places, as well as our friends at eclectic Paperie, who carry the repositionable as well.

Despite the two cons, I am determined to keep finding and using the Dot’n’Roller. Do you use it too? I’d love to hear your opinions!

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

Martha Stewart vs. Fiskars: A Trim Off

Reported by Lexi Daly


One of the first tools every paper crafter needs is a paper trimmer. And so begins the endless search for the perfect one. For years, I’ve used the Fiskars Deluxe Portable Trimmer, but little bugs along the way have often made me wish for something more. Until recently, nothing caught my eye. Then I heard about the Martha Stewart Crafts Paper Trimmer, and decided to give it a try.

My relationship with my Fiskars trimmer has been very much a love/hate one. I love the portability. I hate that I can’t get perfectly straight cuts every time. I love the swing out arm. I hate that it swings out at 5+ inches, precisely where I cut most often. I love the grid and reference marks. I hate that they rub off with use. For the most part, the loves outweigh the hates, but the biggest hate, the cutting straight one, bothers me most. The advent of the triple track blade made this a lot better, but still the blade sometimes wavers, especially at the end of a cut. It also has a tendency to cut into the plastic track below sometimes, which also causes it to cut unevenly. Even so, I’ve purchased one after another several times over my years of paper crafting.

When I read about the Martha’s paper trimmer, I was really excited. I needed a change and I trusted the products in the Martha Stewart Crafts line. The trimmer is white and compact, with a track blade and a pull out ruler for cutting larger sizes. While the trimmer cuts nicely, with clean, straight lines, there are a couple of quirks that prevent it from being perfect. First of all, the paper guide/blade track lifts up from the left for the paper to go underneath. After using the Fiskars trimmer for so long, it just feels backwards. Second, the pull out ruler is oriented to measure a little differently. At first glance, it seems that the numbers are backwards, but they are done that way so that you can pull it out to the measurement needed and fit the paper into the space it creates. While I understand and appreciate the design, it’s just different from what I’m used to. Here’s the run down.

Fiskars Deluxe Portable Trimmer

Pros:

  • compact design
  • swing our arm for larger cuts
  • measurement grid
  • triple track blade

Cons:

  • inconsistent cuts
  • inconvenient swing arm location
  • blade cuts into track

Martha Stewart Crafts Paper Trimmer

Pros:

  • clean, straight cuts
  • attractive design
  • grid lines

Cons:

  • awkward track/paper guide
  • a different way of measuring–could be a pro!

The Fiskars Trimmer lists for $28.60 on the Fiskars website, and is also available at Michael’s as well as most scrapbook and stamp stores. The Martha Stewart Paper Trimmer is $19.95, available at Michael’s. Because both are available at Michael’s, coupons can make them cheaper. Overall, I think the Martha Stewart trimmer is really good. I just need to use it more. Unfortunately, the Fiskars is a no-brainer, so I still tend to reach for it first! Have you used them both? What do you think?

Get Rollin’ Memory Essentials

reported by Lexi Daly

Clearsnap recently introduced a new line of wheel tools in their Memory Essentials line. The Get Rollin’ wheels are adhesive covered clear wheels, designed to use with anything you can stick to the adhesive and roll through ink, creating a wheel stamp of your own design.

Although you can stick anything on the adhesive–lace, rubber bands, or anything that will leave an impression–the main reason this new type of wheel caught my eye is that they are also billed as a great tool to use with clear stamps, which I have a lot of. Just stick them all over the wheel and get rollin’!

The wheel comes in two sizes, standard and jumbo and includes five layers of adhesive on the wheel. Refills are also available. The standard wheel is listed at $6.50, the jumbo for $8.00 and the refills for $4.00 and $5.00 respectively. You can buy inking handles and cartridges for use with wheels as well. For this article, I started off with the basic handles, using my own ink pads. But I also discovered that I could use the inking handles and cartridges I already have from Stampin’ Up! Here is an overview of my supplies and the wheeled elements I made.

As with any new tool, my first play was just to try different images on scratch paper. Since my main interest in this new tool was a new way to use my clear stamps, that is what I chose to focus on. I thought letters and numbers could make great backgrounds, so that’s what I tried first. I used the numbers on the standard wheel, lined up straight and in order (pictured on the wheel at the top right), and I used the letters placed randomly on the jumbo wheel (sample in center). I also wanted to see how a longer image would fit, like the fence above. It actually wasn’t long enough to go all the way around, but having it mounted on the wheel did allow for more fluid curving, as though I were stamping the fence on a hill. For most of these samples, I simply inked up my wheel on an ink pad and rolled away. Then I had the idea to make a sheet of wrapping paper with the numbers and tried my Stampin’ Up! inking handle and cartridge as I mentioned above–easy peasy and yet another use for something I already had!

After stamping and cleaning the fence, I noticed that the exposed portion of my sticky strip was not so sticky, so I decided to peel off a layer. It works basically like a sticky lint roller–peel off the top layer to expose another–but I did have trouble finding the end. It didn’t tear automatically, so I had to be careful not to take off too much and then cut off where I thought it should be with scissors. It’s not that big of a deal, but definitely something to be aware of.

Of course, I couldn’t just stop with simple scratch paper stamping, so I used each element on a project…

baby mouse {the saltbox studio}, clear flower alpha, note card & ribbon {a muse}

all stamps {the saltbox studio}, note card & star twinkle stickers {a muse}

balloon mouse {the saltbox studio}, clear numbers, note card & ribbon {a muse}


So, to sum it all up…

Pros:

  • easy to use
  • a new twist on wheel stamping
  • works with things you might already have

Cons:

  • the sticky strip didn’t seem to be perforated for easy peeling

The new Get Rollin’ Adhesive Wheels can be found at various stamping and scrapping stores and online directly from Clearsnap. Do you have one already? We’d love to hear what you think and see what you’ve created with it!