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Tag Archives | Stephanie Wheeler

Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper

Reported by Stephanie Wheeler

How many times have you reached for your roll of sticky dots only to rip one off on your finger, rendering it unusable after it touches your skin? Sure, the instructions tell you not to touch the dot, but that’s easier said than done.

Sticky dots are notorious for sticking to anything and everything, and sometimes sticking to nothing. That’s what makes Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper such a great crafting find! This dispenser takes the guesswork and annoyance out of a simple and necessary part of crafting.

I really try to limit my “gadget intake” when it comes to scrapbooking – I really want something that is really going to be useful, not just take up space on my desk. After getting this dispenser for around $6 (I used a coupon), I figured it was time to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised with how useful and convenient it turned out to be.


This sticky dot dispenser is perfect for all kinds of crafts – card making, scrapbooking and mixed media projects. Every time you need a new sticky dot, you simply place the mouth of the dispenser where you need to add adhesive, pull down on the shuttle, and it sticks a dot exactly where you need it, and viola! No more wasted dots!



The sticky dots are also great for giving some dimension to your projects when layered on top of each other, and because they are permanent and very tacky, they are really good for adhering larger, heavier objects such as buttons or chipboard.

The Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper itself costs around $10, but is readily available in retail and craft stores, so it can be purchased with coupons for much less.

Refills are surprisingly cost-effective. A roll of 500 will set you back around $5, which is much cheaper than most sticky dot rolls. Also, refills come in three sizes – 3/8″, 5/8″ and 7/16″, so there’s a sticky dot for every project.

Pros:

  • New dispenser comes equipped with a whole roll of 500 dots.
  • Applies dots easily, quickly and accurately.
  • Keeps sticky dots inside the dispensing mechanism, preventing them from sticking to anything and everything.
  • Easily available online and in retail stores.
  • Each refill contains 500 dots.
  • Dots come in three sizes – 3/8″, 5/8″ and 7/16″, and are acid-free and photo safe.


Cons:

  • Stamper is a bit bulky, and let’s face it, another gadget.
  • Takes a few tries to get the hang of where the stamp will actually be placed.
  • Takes specific refills.

So what do you think? Would Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper make your crafting a bit easier? We’d love to know!


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

Choosing a Paper Trimmer

Reported by Stephanie Wheeler

Through my almost 13 years of scrapbooking, I’ve streamlined enough to know what tools work the best for me. Like most scrapbookers and crafters, I started out with a $6 slide trimmer (brand name withheld to protect the guilty), and while it worked for a bit, I started getting annoyed with the consistent paper-tearing and having to replace blades twice a year.


After getting fed up with being frustrated, I thought to myself – a paper trimmer is probably THE MOST important tool in my arsenal. I will use it every time I craft…so I should probably make an investment in something that will perform – and last.

In my opinion, a crafter should have at least three trimmers: a guillotine/bypass trimmer, a travel trimmer and a mini trimmer.

Guillotine/Bypass – Named for it’s resemblance to French guillotine, this is the most important – and most frequently used – trimmer I own. It is exactly 12″ wide, making it perfect for trimming off paper tabs at the bottom of 12″ x 12″ sheets, as well as being able to cut just about any size sheet I need.

Made by X-Acto, this trimmer comes with a 10-year warranty, and because it isn’t distributed by a “scrapbooking company,” can be found at just about any office supply store. A basic model like this will cost around $50. I have had this model for around five years and it still works as well as the day it came out of the box.

One thing to think about when you’re purchasing a guillotine trimmer is where the trimmer will be stored. A trimmer like this could be dangerous if left to tempt small children with wandering eyes – and fingers.


X-Acto 12″ Guillotine Trimmer, MSRP $50

Pros:

  • Cuts 12″ x 12″ sheets
  • Easy to use
  • 10-year warranty
  • Easy to find
  • “Locking” handle

Cons:

  • Could be dangerous – and tempting – for small children
  • With basic model, difficult to cut more than one sheet with consistent results
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Not ideal for traveling

Although I don’t have any personal experience with them, I have heard good things about two other guillotine/bypass trimmers – Tonic Studios 12″ Trimmer and the Fiskars 12″ Bypass Trimmer. Both retail at $40-50.



Travel Trimmer – When I first started scrapbooking, you couldn’t pay me to pack up my stuff and get crafty out of my comfort zone. Several years and many scrappy friends later, I simply can’t wait to spend a whole day with the girls, cropping until my fingers are sore. Because I do go to at least 10 crops a year, it’s really important that I have a travel trimmer that will cut a full 12″ sheet, while being light and portable.

My favorite portable trimmer is the Fiskars Portable Rotary Trimmer. It’s the perfect size to slip into your bag for an afternoon of hassle-free trimming.

Aside from it’s nice, clean cut, one of my favorite things about this trimmer is its interchangeable blades, which come in several styles, including straight, deckle, pinking, scoring, perforating, wave, and scallop. I also love this trimmer because of the built-in swinging arm that measures up to 12″. It makes trimming full-sized sheets easy and convenient.


Fiskars 12″ Portable Rotary Trimmer, MSRP $35

Pros:

  • Swinging arm measures up to 12″ x 12″
  • Thin, lightweight
  • Can be used with interchangeable decorative blades
  • Produces clean cuts, even after years of use
  • Includes a locking mechanism for safety when traveling
  • Boasts ability to cut up to 10 sheets of paper at a time

Cons:

  • Harder to measure accuracy of cut
  • Not ideal for trimming small pieces of paper

Mini Trimmer – In my opinion, having a mini trimmer is essential. Small trimmers are perfect for precision with cropping photos, cutting tags and trimming small pieces of paper for projects like ATCs and greeting cards. I do a lot of tedious tag trimming, and without my favorite mini trimmer, I’d be lost.

My absolute favorite small trimmer is the Fiskars 9″ Bypass Trimmer. This trimmer was a complete impulse buy, but it’s one of the best crafting purchases I’ve made. The guillotine/bypass style is my favorite for getting a really clean cut on my projects, and is the perfect size for keeping around on my desk. It’s portable, so it can come with me to crops and on trips, and to be honest, this trimmer cuts like a champ. I have personally cut over 10,000 tags with one of these and it shows no signs of stopping.


Fiskars 9″ Bypass Trimmer, MSRP $20

Pros:

  • Perfect for cutting small pieces of paper and photos
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Produces clean cuts, even after lots of use
  • Boasts ability to cut up to 10 sheets of paper at a time

Cons:

  • Replacement blades are hard (if possible) to find
  • No swinging arm – only measures up to 5.5″ horizontally
  • Does not lock
  • Tricky to use if you’ve never had experience with guillotine/bypass trimmers

So there you have it! A quick run-through of MY favorite kinds of trimmers. What do you think? What trimmer do you love the most? I’d love to hear your trimmer pros and cons!

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

Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher by Idea-ology

Reported by Stephanie Wheeler


I love, love, LOVE office products. There’s just something about legal pads, envelopes, fine-tipped pens and self-adhesive labels that just makes me want to lock myself in my room and craft for hours. And as much as I love office products, they excite me even more when they are designed with crafting in mind.

Enter the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. A handy, compact, and surprisingly powerful hand-held mini stapler. The staples measure a mere .25″ – smaller than even the standard “mini” stapler, which makes them perfect for sliding into hard-to-reach places, chomping through layers of cardstock and paper flowers, and tacking bits of ribbon.
The stapler itself is quite the tool. Just from picking it up, I could tell that it was made of quality metal that would not easily bend or break. The grip is one of my favorite aspects. Because it is a grip stapler as opposed to a common stapler, it’s perfect for securing embellishments, etc., that might otherwise slip out.

The Tiny Attacher is strong enough to staple through ribbon and cardstock…


chipboard….



and is perfect for securing layered embellishments like paper flowers.


I have been anticipating a specialty mini craft stapler for quite a while, and I must say Tim Holtz hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s the best of both worlds – a strong, sturdy stapler that is also very practical for many types of crafting. It’s extremely easy to use and refill, and will be a “staple” in my paper crafting arsenal for years to come.

Pros:

  • Can staple through several layers – including paper, chipboard and fabric.
  • Becoming readily available in retail craft stores.
  • Because of its design, stapler does not slide while positioning.
  • Perfect for securing ribbon and small bits to pages and projects.

Cons:

  • Because of its custom size, refill staples are only available through the Tim Holtz line.
  • Stapler tends to jam, especially if using partial refills, also because the staples are fairly thin and are prone to bend.
  • I’m a big fan of the long-reach stapler, so sometimes I wish the Tiny Attacher could reach a little further.
  • The stapler is tightly spring-loaded, and when opened, can sometimes shoot any loose staples out of the cartridge.


The Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher retails for around $15.99 which includes one box of 100 staples; refill boxes of 1,550 staples retail for $2.99. It may seem like a steep price for a scrapbooking tool, but I find myself using it over and over again, and you’ve got to admit, it’s cheaper than adhesive!

Have you been waiting for the perfect craft stapler? What do you think of the Tiny Attacher?

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