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Vendor Spotlight: Sakura

Reported by Rachel Johnson

I am dedicated to writing honest craft product reviews, so I must tell you the truth… I was already a huge fan of Sakura pens before I was assigned to review their products for Craft Critique. I have been using their Metallic and Stardust pens for nearly ten years and always have a pink or green one in my bag for crafty emergencies. I was very excited for this opportunity to review more of Sakura’s products.

Based in Japan, Sakura has been making quality “marking tools” since 1921. They invented gel ink in 1984, and in 2002 they invented the 3-D ink used in their Glaze and Souffle pens. Many of Sakura’s inks have been patented, and the company makes both mainstream pens and professional artist tools. In my opinion, Sakura Gelly Roll gel pens are the highest quality pens you can buy. Even the design and packaging of the pens is superb!


I received a wide variety of Sakura’s pen products to review, some of which I had never used before. My first step in trying out the products was to create a “glossary” of pen types on both white and black paper so that I would have a resource which could help me determine which type of pen I should use in different situations. I used thick, smooth card stock for my tests seen below.

Following are my observations of each type of pen.

Glaze: These pens create a thick 3-D line and their ink is slightly transparent. They create vibrant color on white, but most colors do not show up well on black. You can use the Glaze pens alone or with Sakura Stick-lers to create 3-D decorations on any surface (like cell phones, mirrors, etc.), and they create a cool stained glass effect when used on clear surfaces, like vellum paper. In my opinion, Glaze pens are not very good for letter or note writing. They take a while to dry, and can be a bit tacky once they do dry, so I suggest not stacking paper with Glaze ink on top of each other. You also sometimes need to wipe off the tip of the Glaze pens to remove excess ink.

Stardust: These are my favorite pens to use on white paper. They are super-sparkly, with glitter included in the ink (I mean, who doesn’t like a glitter gel pen?!). They are slightly transparent, but much more opaque than the Glaze. You can use them on black for decorative elements, or just to add a little sparkle, but they are not the best writing pen for use on black. Stardust’s gel ink is not 3-D, so it dries much more quickly than the Glaze ink. I like to use these pens to write letters and notes, but the ink is not archival, so you may not want to use them in memory books. Sakura also makes a clear version of the Stardust pen which you can use to add a touch of glitter anywhere!

Metallic: I think these gel pens are best for conventional letter writing – although they are much more than a conventional pen! The ink is silvery and shiny, but not glittery. They need practically no drying time, and leave a thin line. I personally like the sepia brown color as an alternative to a boring black pen. The Metallic pens show up silvery-opaque on black. They are also archival, waterproof, and fade-resistant – perfect for use in scrapbooks. All that, and they come with adorable glittery caps! Perfect!


Moonlight: I received the fluorescent Dawn Color Moonlight gel pens to review. They are opaque, luminous, neon colors that will glow under black light. The Moonlight pens are super smooth and fun to use! They look great on white, but are amazingly bright on black. They write almost like paint pens on many types of surfaces, even photos.

Souffle: These pens are a very unique product. They have a 3-D opaque ink that dries to a completely matte finish that almost looks chalky. I love the baby pink, teal, and charcoal black colors! For the best results, write slowly and allow a considerable amount of time (at least 5 minutes) for the ink to dry. The colors become more opaque as the ink dries, especially on black paper. Souffle pens work on nearly any surface, but they are most striking on dark colors. In fact, they are my favorite pens to use on black paper. They leave a cool raised line, but be careful; you can scratch the finish of the Souffle ink even when dry.

Pen-touch Silver Metallic Marker: This is a very smooth, very opaque, silver paint pen. It is even completely opaque and shiny on black. Impressive!

Permapaque: These are opaque paint markers that are two-sided, with a fine tip and a chisel tip. They write on any surface and are archival, non-toxic, odorless, and waterproof. They work like permanent Sharpie markers, but are more opaque and write on black! They would make fantastic poster markers.

Quickie Glue Pen: This product is revolutionary! It is my favorite new product. It produces a smooth thin glue line, great for use with glitter. You can write out words or doodles and then coat with fine glitter for a detailed effect. I highly recommended this product if you like adding glitter to your designs! It is great for precision work and delicate or detailed paper craft projects, but it is not the most tacky or strong glue – it is not for gluing down large elements. Also, write slowly with the Quickie Glue Pen for the best results.


Once I had tried out all of the different pens, I went to work on a few craft projects using the pens as my main craft tool. Just as an example of how you can use many of the Sakura pens on black paper, I made a tag for a small gift using the pink Moonlight pen for the writing and the clear Stardust pen for the hearts and stars. The tag is simple, but I think it makes a strong impression because of the bright pink color.


Next, I created an 8″x 8″ inch scrapbook page. I was determined to create all of the embellishments and patterns from scratch using only Sakura pens. The only supplies I used for the page were plain white, purple, pink, and black paper and the range of Sakura pens seen above. I added a few sparkly embellishments to the page at the end, but everything else was drawn by hand by me.


I created the background ripple pattern using the pink Glaze pen on white paper. I made the long photo border using black paper and the purple Souffle pen, layered with the pink Stardust pen, pink Moonlight pen, and white Souffle pen. I drew the square photo frame using the black Glaze pen on purple paper with pink & purple Souffle accents. For the journaling element, I used the purple Metallic pen and the black Souffle pen. The word “family” was created using the Quickie Glue Pen and my own charcoal grey glitter. It was very simple to write with the glue pen and add glitter after I had written out the full word. The flower embellishments on the page were made using a combination of many different pens on different colors of card stock. It was fun to experiment with the different colors and textures!


Even though I sometimes frown at my own handwriting, it was was cool to create a memory page using only my creativity and doodling skills instead of simply buying patterned papers and factory-made embellishments. The variety of pen styles pushed me to expand on my decorative style and try out new techniques. I am happy with the result!


I continued my foray into making my own decorative elements by creating a Halloween card. I used only the handful Glaze and Souffle pens seen below to create all of the elements on the paper card. I like how slick and shiny the Glaze colors became, but it was a little bit difficult to fill in the large area of the pumpkin – some parts would start to dry while I was still filling in adjacent areas. The resulting finish is not as consistent as I would like. It also took quite a while for the different elements to dry, so I had to wait longer than usual to assemble the final card. Despite the slight frustration with the drying time, I am impressed with how vivid all of the colors on the card turned out, and am pleased to have created something unique.


I have always been impressed with Sakura’s pen quality, but their dedication to innovation is what really sets their products apart. After exploring the many varieties of Sakura pens, I know that there is a pen out there for any type of project I can imagine. I would highly recommend all of the Sakura products I have tried. However, it is important to read the pen descriptions and match the correct pen to your project in order to get the desired effect.

Pros:

  • There is an amazing variety of Sakura pen types and colors.
  • Many of the pens can write on almost any surface, including dark surfaces, glass, and metal.
  • High quality, “ice cream smooth” gel ink that stay viable for years (some of my Sakura pens are nearly ten years old!).
  • Permanent, water-proof, archival, and fade-resistant options.
  • Innovative 3-D inks (in the Glaze and Souffle pens) that add texture to your designs.
  • Fun and distinctive pen design – I love those colored caps!

Cons:

  • Some pens, such as the 3-D Glaze and Souffle, take a long time to dry.
  • Glaze pens don’t show up well on dark surfaces.
  • Not all Sakura inks are archival – check the packaging for details.

Have you used these or other Sakura products? Which are you favorites?

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Quickie Glue Pen by Sakura

Reported by Katie Renz

Glue. Just a simple four letter word that is an absolute must have in the crafter’s repertoire. It’s something that we all groan and moan about… “which one, how many, is it permanent, will it stick, is it acid-free, is it available, is it expensive,” and the list goes on and on and on. I’m not going to address the general issue of glues and adhesives, but what I am going to do is tell you why I LOVE this particular product. This product is Sakura’s Quickie Glue Pen. No punches pulled here and no guessing as to whether I like it or not. I love it and here’s why.

First and foremost is that it literally glides on. This glue pen is just that, like a pen. There are no clumps, there is no pushing the glue out, and thus far in my experience I haven’t had any issues with it clogging. It has a fine tip that will fill in the finest details and thus far it has worked like a charm every single time I’ve used it.

Here is a very simple and easy way to use it. Just like its name, you can use it as a pen. Doodle yourself a little bit of glitter fun.


Personalize just about anything.

So, let me show you how I’ve put this oh so little power house to use. I wouldn’t consider myself a super huge glitter use, but I do enjoy a sparkle here and there. The Quickie Glue Pen allows for some intricate detail that you wouldn’t be able to create otherwise.

The glue is blue when it is applied and will dry clear. If left alone, the blue glue turns clear and becomes repositional – cool huh?

I worked each small section at a time with the glitter color I wanted and when I was done with a particular color of glitter, I would move on to the next color. You don’t have to wait too long, but make sure that each colored section is dry before moving onto your next color.


And here is my finished card. I don’t have any black glitter so I ended up using some Black Stickles.


And how about fun flock. I thought the pen worked wonders with this too.


And my finished card using the Quickie Glue Pen and the Fun Flock.

(images used are from Clear Dollar Stamps, Martha Stewart glitter, Stampendous Fun Flock)

Another perfect use for the Quickie Glue Pen is for adhering small pieces of cardstock to whatever project you are working. Any of you who use die cuts by Quickutz or any of the fonts out there by various other die cut systems will find the pen perfect.

The only thing I would say is that if you plan to use this glue for repositional purposes especially larger items, I would suggest using a different type of glue. I really like this pen for detail work, not that it wouldn’t work, but I feel like something with a larger glue surface would suit better for larger projects repositional or not.

As you probably figured, I am a huge fan of the Quickie Glue Pen.

Pros:

  • Fits and feels like a pen which provides extra control
  • Glides super smoothly
  • Doesn’t clog or clump
  • Affordable

Cons: (grasping here)

  • It would be nice if Sakura offered the exact same positive qualities in a slightly larger surface

This pen is widely accessible both at craft and office supply stores, but here are several online stores that carry the Quickie Glue Pen.

Retail cost for the Quickie Glue Pen is $2.79 and is worth every penny. I’m sad it took me this long to find it… don’t ask me why, other than the fact that I had other glue pens and that’s just what I used. The pen is super easy to use and I would rate this product a 10 out of 10.

Seriously, I love it! So, I showcased a couple of uses, and we at Craft Critique would love to hear of any other uses that you may have found. If you don’t own this pen, try it out and then let us know what you think.

Sakura Quickie Glue Pen

Reported by Julie Campbell

Sometimes the simplest tools can pack a big punch! Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite products – the Quickie Glue Pen by Sakura. I love this pen because it allows me to place adhesive with precision in even the tiniest of spaces. The glue glides on smoothly with it’s 0.7 mm tip. It’s the perfect tool to apply small amounts of glitter or flocking, and works great with tiny paper pieced projects. I also love using this product to adhere small gemstones and embellishments to my cards or scrapbook pages.

The Quickie Glue pen can be used for permanent or temporary adhesion. When the glue is first applied, it is tinted light blue. While the glue is this color, it will produce a permanent bond. If you just want a temporary bond, wait a few moments and the glue will turn clear. This will give your projects a light tack and will allow you to reposition your pieces repeatedly.

In the project below, I cut tiny blades of grass that I wanted to adhere to my card front. The glue pen was just the right tool for the job!


I also used the pen to adhere the tiny pink flowers in my tree branch. I love using this tool when paper piecing small areas! To add dimension to the skirt, I applied adhesive with the glue pen to the top of the skirt and added a couple of foam dots to the bottom edge.

Stamps by: Sugar Nellie


I wanted to show you how easy it is to add glitter to tiny spaces using the Glue Pen!


As you can see below, I traced over the stripes of my bird image using the Glue Pen.


While the glue was still wet, I applied glitter over the entire area.



I tapped off the excess glitter and my project was finished!

Stamps by: Hero Arts


Pros:

  • Tip is small (0.7 mm) and is the perfect tool to use in small spaces.
  • Glue glides on smoothly and evenly. No need to squeeze or tap pen.
  • Glue can be used for a permanent or temporary bond.
  • Product is inexpensive and lasts a long time.
  • This is a perfect tool to add glitter, flocking, or even small gemstones to projects.

Cons:

  • Does not work as well for large projects.
  • For permanent bond, you must work quickly before glue turns clear.


The Sakura Quickie Glue pen is a great tool that you’ll find yourself reaching for time and time again. The pen retails for around $2.50 and will last a long time. You can find these pens at your local craft store or on any of these online retailers: Eclectic Paperie, All That Scraps, & Gina K Designs (just to name a few).

Have you tried the Quickie Glue pen yet? If so, I’d love to hear about the clever ways you’ve used this product!