Top

Tag Archives | martha stewart punches

Review | The Card Album

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
I enjoy finding new and interesting storage products for my finished projects.  It is even better when the
product has problem solving applications like the Card Album.  At first glance, it is not very impressive looking.  However, Stefanie Girard (designer & patent holder), who is a friend of mine, is pretty patient, so she took the time to explain how the Card Album works and the reasoning behind the design.
The Card Album
The Card Album was created for people like me who like to make their own cards.  In the past when I made a card I would stick in a file or in a drawer.  More often than not, the handmade card would get squished, bent, or even misplaced.  To avoid this type of disappointment, Stefanie Girard (author of Sweater Surgery ) created a special elastibind construction on the Card Album to hold greeting cards and other projects for crafters and artists alike.
She wanted to create an organized solution for folks to be able to store their handmade greeting cards without having them become damaged or misplaced.   She also recycles envelopes and uses them in these binders to hold an assortment of different items.
View of how the Card Album holds cards.
The Card Album holds up to 24 of 5″x7″ cards even if you have a variety of different sized handmade cards. I like how easily this systems allows me to keep my cards organized and accessible. 
View of back pocket and banding on the Card Album
You insert the finished or even unfinished card through the band and its stays in place until you need it again.
Showing the album holding 5×7 cards
The fun did not stop there! I attended a “Card Album” decorating class at the winter CHA show, and we decorated the outside of these cool card albums with die cuts, stickers, buttons and other ephemera. Since the decorative craft class was offered at the CHA show, there was an amazing assortment of items (both cool tools, fun decorative embellishments, and other tidbits) available to use.

Stefanie showed us how we can uses our altered art suppliesscrapbooking supplies, etc. to decorate the outside of the Card Album  to reflect our own artistic style.  If you can not attend one her classes, she does have a blog (The Card Album Blog) where she often posts card making ideas.
Rubber stamps work great on these.  The stamped image, on the above Card Album is done using StazOn ink which works great on so many surfaces.
The next album I decorated I wanted to have a Halloween theme.  I found some cool templates on the Martha Stewart crafting site to use.  I printed out the witch silhouette and used it as a template.  The templates have some really convenient measurements so you can adjust the print to the size you need (on your computer).
Witch Silhouette from Martha Stewart crafts
Then I used a glue stick to attach the witch to the book cover.  It stayed on really well, which surprised me since glue stick glue does not always hold well on plastic.  I also used my Martha Stewart punch around the page crackle punch to outline the cover.  I love her punches and will use them in any craft I can.
It was a simple craft project that did not take a lot of time or supplies.  I only used items that I had on hand and I was pleased that it came out just the way I wanted it to.  Now I can store my Halloween-themed cards in this book.

I have a tendency to save the special cards that friends have made me over the years.  Each one holds a special memory for me, and I  treasure these mementos. So I also made one that is just for those cards, out of leftover bits and pieces.

The Card Album decorated to hold my treasured cards.

The card album offers me a great way to store these cards, yet have easy access to them when I want to look through my collections.

All in all, I really like this Card Album. Stefanie was happy to sell me a few to hold my favorite treasures.  At a price of $9.95, it is an affordable way to display and hold both my own handmade cards and those given to me.
Pros:
  • Holds up to 24 cards of different sizes
  • The designs of the books makes it easy to access my cards
  • Great way to show off handmade cards at Gift Shows
  • Very affordable at $9.95
Cons:
  • Only comes in two colors
  • I wish it came in a larger size to hold some of my larger projects
  • Only available online
Do you make handmade cards? What are some of your favorite cards that you have received?  How do you store these treasures?
horizontal-line


Vendor Spotlight: Martha Stewart Stamp and Punch Sets (2 of 2)

Reported by Taylor Usry

Have you heard about the Martha Stewart Stamps and Punch sets? I literally squealed out loud when I was offered the chance to review this super fun new product from Martha Stewart Crafts! The Stamp and Punch sets are an all-in-one crafty must-have; they are designed to stamp an image and save some time by not having to fussy-cut it out. The punch will take care of that for you! I know, I know … right about now you are saying the same thing I was, “Hello, genius, where have you been all my life?!” Those folks over at Martha Stewart Crafts are always coming up with the best ideas to make my crafty life better!

The Stamp and Punch sets are very similar in size to a regular punch from Martha Stewart Crafts. You can see above that the main difference is the raised circular area on the top of the punch; the stamps are stored in there.

In profile you can further see the similarities in size between the two types of punch. The handles on the stamp and punch set are slightly more contoured than on a regular punch.



Looking at the punch from the top, you will see the raised area which is actually the stamp block. Note the flat sides, which are the finger grooves to make the round shape easier to hold. They also serve as a guide for replacing the piece after using it – you have to line them up to get the block back on the punch.

Looking directly at the front of the punch, you’ll see a small groove. This will to help line up the stamp housing, and is an indicator of the direction and placement of the stamp (more on this in a bit).

When the cap is removed, you’ll see several acrylic stamps (slightly larger around than a quarter) nestled down in the punch. Each of the four different sets I received contained three stamps, making this a very versatile product. You get up to three layerable images and a punch shape. Not bad!

Placement of the stamp on the block itself is important. Before using the stamps for the first time, you’ll have to remove the thick plastic piece separating them (put a little elbow grease in it – they won’t tear!). Simply press the flat (smooth) side of the acrylic stamp onto the block, taking care to put the semi-circular tab where the opening is for it. In the picture above, you can see the tab at the bottom of the stamp.

This is the butterfly set. It contains three different butterfly images.

I inked up my first butterfly, and stamped it on the edge of my paper, as recommended in the instructions. I paid absolutely no attention to that little groove I mentioned earlier (see it at the bottom of the block?).
 

That lead to my very first mistake with this butterfly! I stamped a beautiful image, but it was upside down (although I stamped it in what seemed to be the right-side up manner). As you can see in the picture above, when stamped this way you can’t line up the punch, because it’s upside down. Had I heeded the groove, I would have realized that the butterfly needed to be in the other direction in order to punch properly. The little grooves that are on the block are also on the punch base itself (scroll back up to that first picture, and you’ll see it). They always need to go in the same direction – so you have to stamp the butterflies upside down. What a “Eureka!” moment!

Once I got that all figured out, I stamped another butterfly and lined up my punch properly. It easily punched through a thick weight white card stock and left me with a super cute butterfly.

The cupcake set I received included a full cupcake image, a bottom/liner image, and a top/frosting image. You could layer, use separately, or stamp one solid image.

The flower set had two flowers of different sizes and a flower center.

The leaf set had a gorgeous leaf, the veins for it (which I think would be great serving double duty as brown branches), and a cute little ladybug. 



Above you can see some of the things I stamped and then punched out. Beware: it’s pretty addictive. It is so darn fabby that the whole stamp/cut/use image process has been shortened so much! No more sharp scissors, no more fussy cutting, no more guesswork.

I made myself a bookmark, because they seem to always be disappearing around my house. See that woodgrain paper? It’s my newest obsession, from Martha Stewart’s In Nature collection. And the yellow background paper is from the Tonals paper pad.

Further illustrating how quickly this whole process comes together, I decided to time a Clean and Simple birthday card, using the cupcake set and more Tonals paper. I also used an edge punch along the bottom border. Total time? Eleven minutes, and some of that was waiting for the ink to dry. Not bad, huh?

Overall I really love these Stamp and Punch sets. I’m not the savviest with properly lining up images to layer them, so I had to switch to a clear block a couple of time (for example, the veins that should accompany the leaves – I just could not master lining them up with the solid block).

These punches sell for about $12.99 and are available online and in retail stores. 

Pros:

  • Easy to store – the whole unit is self contained
  • Cuts down on total project time!
  • Images are all complimentary to one another, or can be used alone.
  • Punched images work well as stand alone accents/embellishments (so, you don’t have to use the stamps to still be getting good use from the product)
  • Excellent deal for the price – it’s three stamps AND a punch!

Cons:

  •  Solid block makes it difficult to line up images
  • Instructions weren’t clear about proper stamp positioning, making for a fun bloopers segment during the testing process!
  • I’d like to see larger shapes, or maybe some labels with borders.

Have you tried the Martha Stewart Stamp and Punch sets yet? What do you think?

Disclosure

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

Vendor Spotlight: Martha Stewart Double Edge Punch

Reported by Taylor Usry

I received a Martha Stewart Double Edge Punch (along with some wonderful paper) from Martha Stewart Crafts recently, and jumped at the chance to test this new product out. The punch I’m sharing with you today is called the Bangle Chain Deep Double Edge punch; there are several other styles available in stores and online.

I started by comparing the overall size of the double edge punch to several of the other Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page edge punches I currently own. Wow – this new double edge punch is much bigger! You can see above how much taller it is.

Here are the punches viewed from the front. The beefier one on the left is the Double Edge Punch.

Looking down at the punches it is easy to see the difference in length as well. For this shot I unfolded the sides of both punches. The Double Edge Punch also has a heavier weight than a regular edge punch, and a larger handle.

The Double Edge Punch is very simple to use. When viewed from underneath, you should see the wrong side of your paper – so you put the paper in the punch right side up (the side you want to see on your project).

It take a bit more force to squeeze this punch, but that is attributable to its considerable heft. I often hold my regular punches upside down to punch them, and that made this one a bit harder for me to squeeze (Note: I have nerve damage in one arm, which is why I do it this way. They are designed to just press down on). It still punches through card stocks and patterned papers just as well as the regular Martha Stewart edge punches. To line up the design and punch correctly, you want to make sure to place the punched-out image directly above the guidelines. In the picture above, you can see some of the cream-colored punch base. That is the incorrect placement for your paper.

Always line up your punched paper as shown above, precisely over top of the cream-colored outline. This will ensure a perfect punch!

The finished piece is about an inch and a half thick, as you can see when it’s placed on my Martha Stewart Scoring Board. Isn’t that wood grain paper gorgeous? It’s from the In Nature collection, and I was lucky enough to receive it in my goodie box from the kind folks at Martha Stewart Crafts!

Here’s another close up shot of the intricate design of this punch. You can see how cleanly the punch operates. There are no jagged or frayed edges, and every segment lines up really well, thanks to those guides on either side of the punch.

I made a few quick projects using this punch. The first were little paper cone treat holders for party favor treats (my son’s first birthday party was this weekend, and this seemed like a great idea for kids of different ages!). Doesn’t this Double Edge Punch make a gorgeous handle? And I love the yellow paper (also from the In Nature collection).

I also made a simple, botanical-themed card. I used the punched piece in lieu of ribbon, and set it with jumbo eyelets to create a raised ripple effect.

On the edge I placed a little butterfly, created using a Martha Stewart Stamp and Punch set. I love that Martha’s products work well together.

I am absolutely enamored with this Deep Double Edge Punch from Martha Stewart Crafts! It punches a variety of card stocks and patterned papers quickly and cleanly, and the possibilities are endless with it. I’ll be able to easily make borders for scrapbook pages, cards, altered and 3D items….my head is positively swimming with ideas!

Pros:

  • able to create quick borders and accents
  • easy to use guides make proper punching a breeze
  • available in a variety of designs
Cons:
  • larger size doesn’t fit in the same drawer as my other punches (I’m being nitpicky, I know!)
  • due to the heavier weight of this, it may be a bit harder to squeeze the handle together
  • I’d like to see this offered in matching patterns to existing edge punches, so people (ok, ME!) can create sets of coordinating items
The Deep Double Edge Punch is available online and in retail stores, and will jump right into your shopping cart with a budget-friendly MSRP of $17.99. 
Do you have one of these punches, or have you tried one before? Tell me all about it! What amazing projects have you made with it?
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!