Reported by Dana Vitek
I’ve been a Spellbinders customer since the beginning of time. I have one of the original Wizards; it says “Patent Pending” on it. I’ve been collecting the Spellbinders dies since before the Nestibilities came out. As such, I have amassed quite the collection:
|I may or may not have a problem.|
So when the time came to test out the Spellbinders Grand Calibur, I was the obvious choice. Kandi did such a great job yesterday describing the contents of the box and such, I’ll just get right down to the business of showing off.
The first thing I wanted to cut and emboss has been hanging out in my craft room for years:
This is Craft-a-Board, developed by Ellen Hutson for use with the Spellbinder Nestabilities. It’s a sturdy board, like chipboard, but nicer. I could never get the Nestabilities to cut cleanly through it with the original Wizard, so I was excited to try it with the Grand Calibur.
I laid out all the dies I wanted to cut. The largest scalloped square there is the very biggest of the Grand Scalloped Squares. I also threw some scalloped paisleys on there because I had SO MUCH ROOM on the cutting platform.
Here they are after one pass through the Grand Calibur:
One piece didn’t cut cleanly all the way through, but a quick pass of the craft knife, and it was ready to go.
Compared to the trouble I had with this stuff using the original Wizard, I was thrilled!
While I had the Craft-a-Board out, I decided to make a puzzle for my daughter, using the Spellbinders Jigsaw Puzzle Die. I traced out the size of the die in pencil, and then went to town stamping and coloring the Craft-a-Board:
I centered the die over the design, and ran it through the Grand Calibur:
One pass through…
and here it is in pieces:
Most of the pieces came apart with a little back and forth wiggling; I think I had to cut 2 or 3 pieces with the craft knife, and it literally only took seconds to do that. A quick, personalized 20-piece puzzle for my kid. These would be great as birthday party favors!
Now then, I have letterpress on the brain because I just finished up a some letterpress projects, and the packaging of the Spellbinders Impressibilities caught my eye. It says it can be used for letterpressing. Don’t mind if I do!
I pulled out my letterpress paper and ink, and inked up the Paisley Impressibility:
I laid it on top of the paper on the ‘A’ plate. I ran it through the machine using the “embossing sandwich” but there wasn’t enough pressure, and I didn’t get a good deboss.
So I tried it again with the regular cutting sandwich (‘A’ plate, paper, Impressibility, ‘C’ plate), and voila! It looks fabulous!
|I was really impressed! Pun intended!|
Moving on to one of my favorite media: shrink plastic! I love making little charms for cards and jewelry, and I wanted to see if the Grand Calibur generated enough pressure to cut plastic with the low-profile Nestibilities.
I ran it through the Grand Calibur, and the plastic cut with no trouble at all! I set my old-school Old Milwaukee heat-gun to work, and came up with this cute little dragonfly:
Here’s a fun little card for a coworker’s new baby girl, using the letterpressed paper, the dragonfly charm, and some cut paisleys:
I figured that since it could cut shrink plastic, it could probably cut thicker plastic too, like the ubiquitous clamshell packaging. I swear, I have saved every plastic package since the late ’90s. Really. I refuse to let it go to a landfill, but I’ve never really figured out what to do with it. Well, now I know!
|This is actually the packaging from the Grand Scalloped Square Nestabilities|
|again, one pass through, no problem…|
|all sanded up and ready to go!|
I’ll bet you’re wondering what I made with all this stuff… okay, I’ll show you.
While I was cutting paisleys, I cut a bunch of them, and made a scrapbook layout featuring my kid wearing a dinosaur hat:
|this was a happy little accident… 2 paisleys=a heart!|
|this kid knows what’s up.|
I decided my layout needed some rub-ons, but didn’t have the energy to use that Popsicle stick doohicky, so I placed the rub-on where I wanted it, and ran it through the Grand Calibur, just to see if the pressure would transfer the rub-on.
It totally did! What a time-saver!
And here’s the finished layout. This uses the largest (8″) Scalloped Square that I cut from the Craft-a-Board; the smaller scalloped square, also from the Craft-a-Board; that sanded plastic piece that I cut from the packaging, and the Paisley heart:
|Please be gentle… I am not a scrapbooker!|
I put the Grand Calibur through its paces, and am happy to report that I never found anything it couldn’t do. EXCEPT. Except it is just not quite big enough to use the regular Sizzix dies. I was so hoping that I could whittle down my die-cutting machine collection to just the Grand Calibur, but I have way too much $$$ invested in regular Sizzix dies, so the Big Shot stays.
- Wide-format opening allows for 8″ dies to be used.
- Grand Nestabilities match the smaller Nestabilities, and allow for layering.
- Easy-to-turn handle, no shooting the sandwich stack across the room like with the original Wizard.
- Can cut lots of media, not just cardstock.
- It’s pink. Ish. Kind of a raspberry, really, but I’m down with that.
- Opening is not quite big enough to allow a regular Sizzix die through.
- The crank handle takes many revolutions; seems like the gear ratio should be reset.
- That’s all I’ve got. Really.
Our friends at Spellbinders have given us a set of Grand Scalloped Squares AND a set of Grand Squares (which coordinate) to give to one lucky reader (that’s a $100 value!). Just leave a comment on this blog post answering this question:
Knowing now what different media you can cut with the Grand Calibur and the Nestabilities, what would you try to cut?
One comment per person, please. Winner will be selected on Friday, April 29, 2011.