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Review | Spellbinder’s Imperial Gold Die Templates and M-Bossabilities

Reported by Jennifer Ingle

Hello, Craft Critque-rs!  This is Jennifer here with you today sharing a review on two products I recently received, the Spellbinders Imperial Gold Die Templates and the M-Bossabilities 3 Dimensional Embossing Folders.  Let’s start with the die templates.

First of all, the designs on these dies are just gorgeous!  They are full of detail and have lots of intricate cuts.  They do require the Spellbinders Grand Calibur Junior Magnetic Placement Mat when using them with the Grand Calibur.  If you have the Artisan X-plorer Machine, these are not in your sandwich.  I used the Grand Calibur for my review, so therefore, the magnetic mats were necessary.  Below, you see the dies placed on the magnetic mat.  I like that they are held exactly in place with the magnetic mat.

CC Dies On Magnetic Mat

After placing the dies on the magnetic mat, I placed my paper over them with the side I wanted to show on the finished cut facing the dies.  I placed the stack on my base plate and then placed the cutting plate on top of the pile.  This is how it will run through your Grand Calibur machine:

CC Dies Sandwich

As you can see, those intricate details cut beautifully!  I did need a paper piercer to punch several of them out, and I will admit that I had to be VERY gentle while removing the cuts from the dies.  They can (and do) tear easily, so work slowly and carefully.  Cutting with the dies all together, I ended up with three cut and embossed shapes.

CC Dies Paper cut with dies
CC Dies 3 shapes

The intricate details stand very well on their own.  I created a simple card design with them to allow the dies to shine.

CC Dies Swell

I spritzed one of the die cuts with a bit of ink using an air blower and a Momento Marker from Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko.  I also added a few sequins and some Liquid Pearls to the design.

CC Dies Sweel Detail

Next, I tried out the “Delightful Daisies” M-Bossabilities 3 Dimensional embossing folder.  The first thing I noticed is – it’s huge! It is made for a much larger piece than I normally create.  To use the entire image, I would have to create a 5×7 card.  Since that isn’t my norm, I found a way to stick with my usual size.

This is what the folder looks like.  Again, just like with the dies, there is lots of details on here!  I love that!

CC Dies Embossing Folder

I cut a small piece of kraft cardstock and placed it inside the folder over the portion I wanted embossed.

CC Dies Place CS over partial image

This folder made such beautiful, deep impressions.  The next step was to cut out the pieces I planned to use, so I was happy to see such a great impression.  I cut them out and then used pigment to add gold to the butterfly.

CC Dies Embossed CS
CC Dies Trim Images

I then used these beautifully embossed images as embellishments on my card.

CC Dies Thinking of You

Here is my overall impressions of the two products:

Imperial Gold Die Templates

Pros:

  1. Beautiful, intricate designs.
  2. Multiple options for creating unique designs.
  3. The designs are strong enough to serve as a focal point or can be used as a background.

Cons:

  1. Difficult to remove paper from die.
  2. There is a learning curve on these dies.  They take a bit of practice.
  3. They require the additional magnetic mat when using the Grand Calibur.

M-Bossabilities

Pros:

  1. Large size allows for flexibility in their use.
  2. Easy to use.
  3. Creates deep, detailed impressions.

Cons:

  1. Large size is difficult for smaller cards. (Yes, this is both a pro and a con.)
  2. The plate did warp a bit when I used it the first time.  (I can warp it back by running it through again.)
  3. The currently available design options are a bit limited.

Have you tried these products? What did you think?

CHA Winter 2012: Spellbinders

Reported by Sarah Moore, Founding Editor

When Spellbinders has a new release, everybody stands at attention.  This season’s release does not disappoint. It’s innovative and simple to use!

The new “Cut, Fold, Tuck Dies” are lovely, and create beautiful results!

Like the other dies they are embossable.

Just fold and tuck and voila!

Check out these amazing designs!

Even prettier in foils!

And double sided embossable folders!

Just flip over to emboss a different design!  Two designs in each folder!

And amazing samples in this booth!

Check out the website to see more new designs by Becky Fleck, Julianna Hudgins, Donna Salazar, Samantha Walker, and Nina Brackett.

What do you think of the new Cut, Fold, Tuck dies?  Will you be adding these to your collection?

Vendor Spotlight | Spellbinders Presto Punch

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The Presto Punch is one of many interesting innovative products for scrapbookers and crafters from Spellbinders. I saw coverage on this machine on blogs and YouTube. The reviews have been pretty great. It retails around $69.00 depending on where you purchase it. I have found some pretty good deals at local scrapbooking shows and online.

The Spellbinders Presto Punch is about 7” x 5″ x 4½”. The size makes it super portable because you can easily fit the machine in your average insulated lunch bag along with some templates be ready to craft on-the-go.

The great news on this product is that the company took into consideration that some of us face the challenge of using various punches due to arthritis, hand injuries, carpal tunnel, hand strength issues, and other similar problems. You now have a choice between the familiar push down type of punches and a punch that works with the push of a button. 

The Spellbinders Presto Punch is an automatic punching and embossing machine, that works with the simple touch of a button. 

Additionally, the Presto Punch works on either batteries, or you can purchase a power adapter that is sold separately.

To use the adapter, you have to remove the battery case and then plug the adapter into the back of the machine.

The Presto Punch comes with the machine itself, an assortment of templates, and two folders (one for punching and one for embossing) to get you started.

The size of the templates is significant compared to traditional punches, when you consider the challenges of storing a large collection of punches. 

In the picture above you can see that the four traditional-sized punches take up significantly more space than the four Spellbinders Presto Punch templates do.

The Presto Punch templates can be used to punch, emboss, and stencil. They vary in size and are thinner than chipboard which means they do not take up a lot of space to store, unlike traditional punches.  The Presto Punch templates take less space than a credit card to store (once out of their retail packaging). So if you are challenged for storage space the Presto Punch may offer you a solution with their vast line of templates.  

Below is a small sampling of some of the other templates for the Presto Punch that you can purchase from their website or your local craft/scrapbooking store.  The prices varies from $9.99 and up depending on the template set you decide on.

This is what the template looks like face up. Note the cutting ridge on the outside edge of the template.  

The Spellbinders Presto Punch templates are really simple to use. To punch out a die cut, you need to place the template face down onto the card stock and then place it into the cutting file.

Once you  have placed the folder into the Presto Punch, just press the down button which is on the left.

The machine will made some funky noises that let you know to stop. That is the signal that you are done. Then you need to remember to press the up (on the right) button to be able to remove the folder.

If you want to see a demonstration of how the machine works and some cool ideas of things you can do with the punched pieces, I recommend going onto “YouTube” to watch one the Spellbinders technique videos that demonstrates how to use the templates and/or the machine.  The video below shows how easy the Spellbinders Presto Punch machine is to use. 

So once you have removed the folder from the machine, you will then remove the die cut from the machine and put into the white embossing folder.

Run it through the machine like you did with the cutting folder. 

If you look closely, you can see how well the machine embosses these little templates.

Then if you want to stencil, just leave the die cut piece in the template and paint.

I used a marker but you can use ink pads, chalks, etc. I like that these templates are multi-functional.

I tested the machine’s ability to cut fun foam, sparkle foam, handmade paper, watercolor paper (cold press), parchment paper, and glossy card stock. The fun foam worked great which I was a little surprised about. The sparkle foam did cut but you can see that it did not cut as cleanly as it did the other materials. I am assuming that this is because the sparkle foam is a little denser than the other materials I tested. It also worked on craft foil, sticker paper, thin clear plastic crafting sheets and various handmade papers.

My favorite was the parchment paper die cut because the embossing really shows up on this paper.

The real surprise was that it cut through aluminum.  I had an empty can of my favorite energy drink and decided to cut it up to see if it would work. I cut a piece to fit and it did a perfect punch. Even the embossing function did not have any trouble embossing the leaf marks onto the recycled tin can materials.

As for what did not work, well I tried a piece of heavy card stock. It did cut but not completely. I ended up tearing the paper trying to remove it from the template. On the other hand, regular card stock works just fine in the Presto Punch machine. You just need to cut it to fit within the folder. 

I have to say this little machine survived my experimentation fairly well. I really enjoyed cutting a variety of materials with the different punches. One of my favorites is the heart mini punch. I used it to make a gift tag.

There is no waste with these templates because I was able to use both the punched out heart and the paper I punched it from.

I also really liked the leaf template. I used the recycled aluminum tin can punched pieces to make a pair of earrings. I sanded off the sharp edges so they would not nick or catch on hair.

I also decided to punch out the little red bull animal images on the can and use them to make a pendant.

The templates make it easy to target specific items on paper and other materials.  These are just too much fun.   

(Note:  The template folders will get all funky looking after a bunch of uses, especially if you try to cut metal with it. You may want to keep it in mind if you decided to run a few tests on your own machine. You will have to replace the folder faster testing it on the non-traditional materials than if just stick to punching with traditional materials.)

I did have some issues. First of all, the machine opening is small . So take that into consideration when it comes to what materials you choose to put into the folders to cut or emboss.

Second, I want to take a moment to address the sound that the machine makes during use. Some folks may find it a little annoying. Since I have a hand injury at the moment, I think the ease of use (just a press of a button) more than makes up for the sound that the Presto Punch makes when cutting and embossing. I was still able to craft even though my hand movements are pretty limited (which why the jewelry designs are simple so my daughter could help me by working the jewelry making tools). I also found that I could use my other Spellbinders die templates as long as they fit inside the folders.

Overall, I think this is a pretty cool machine and look forward to making more fun things with the punched out pieces.

Pros:

  • Offers the crafter portability by using either batteries or a power adapter (sold separately).
  • The templates are multi functional. They cut, embosses and can be used as stencils.
  • The Presto Punch and the Presto Punch templates are easy to use and store.

Cons:

  • Works on batteries which can lead to waste. Consider using rechargeable batteries or purchase the adapter (sold separately).
  • Only comes with one set of folders which will get trashed with consistent use. However, they do sell replacements on their site for $5.99 for three (which isn’t a bad price).
  • Sorry, it was hard to come up with any when I am having so much fun with the machine!

We would love to hear from you and find out what your favorite punches are and how do you use them in your crafting?