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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.
Spellbinders Presto Machine Box Contents
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. 
Spellbinder Presto Punch Battery Case
Additionally, the Presto Punch works on either batteries, or you can purchase a power adapter that is sold separately.
Presto Punch Power Adapter
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.
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.
Holiday Punch & Embossing Stencil Templates
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.  
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, then press the down button which is on the left.
To cut press down button 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.
Parchment Paper Die Cut Sample
The real surprise was that it cut through aluminum.  I had a 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.
Recycled Aluminum Can Die Cut Sample
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.
Spellbinders Presto Punch Heart Template Card 
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.
Spellbinders Presto Punch Heart Template Card Inside View
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.
Recycled Aluminum Can Earrings
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.
Presto Punch Template Cutting folder does get funky looking.
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?
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CHA Summer 2011: Clover Needlecraft, Inc.

Clover Needlecraft was debuting a few new exciting products for the fabric crafters out there. The Trace ‘n Create Quilt Templates by Nancy Zieman help you cut your fabric strips and make a quilt in no time at all.  The Grandmother’s One Patch Collection has two template designs with 4 sizes each.  You can create tumblers and Faux hexagons with fast piecing and no Y-Seams.
IMG_0055 And once you have that quilt top sewn, you’ll need to quilt and bind it…  Clover is introducing the Wonder Clips to help you secure that binding for sewing.  The clips are great alternatives to pins if you’re working with materials you don’t want holes in (vinyl, silks etc).
IMG_0053The clips are flat on the back,so you can feed them right up to your presser foot, and they have 1/4” and 1/2” seam allowance marking right on the base of the clips.   IMG_0054
The Wonder Clips will come in sets of 10 for about $7 and boxes of 50 for about $32.

The newest product Clover was debuting was the Kanzashi Flower Makers.  If you’re not familiar: Kanzashi is the traditional Japanese art form of folding and sewing fabric together to creature beautiful and life-like flowers.

A simple square of fabric is folded and clamped in the template, a couple of stitches later and you’ve got a petal ready to go.  Group a few together and your flower is done!
IMG_0051The templates come in 3 forms:  round petals, pointed petals and gathered petals.  There are also two sizes of each available, creating either 2” or 3” finished flowers.  Retail will be close to $5 each.
IMG_0052

What was your favorite new product by Clover?  What do you want to try the most?  What would you make with it?

Vendor Spotlight: No Bow No Go Top Notch Templates and Bow Instructions

Reported by Beth Silaika

I have always been jealous of those moms who are able to 1. get their children to comb their hair and 2. get their children to accessorize with adorable little bows and ribbons. If only I could make those adorable little hair decorations. When the opportunity to review the No Bow No Go Instructions and TNT Top Notch Templates product, I was so excited to be able to create something for the two children who still let me get them dressed!


This 131 page spiral bound instruction book and top notch templates set (of twelve) was very nicely put together. The pages are easy to read and the photographs are clear and they are labeled very well. There are even safety tips for people creating bows, since some of the tools which you need to use to create the bows are quite dangerous if they are not set up properly or if they are touched by little hands.

The templates are made of clear plastic and are made to last a long time. They are clearly marked in the corners to let you know which template is which. There are instructions in the manual to let you know the finished bow size (which correlates with the template number) how much ribbon length is required to create one bow, and which size ribbon looks best with each template.


After skimming through the book a few times, I decided to create a few bows for my youngest two daughters. I gathered my supplies (hot glue gun, alligator or french barrette clips, scissors, needle and thread, ribbon)


First, you attach the ribbon to your clip. Here I used a French Barrette Clip.
The next step is to wrap ribbon around your template. There is a nice slit in the template which allows you to sew the center of your bow. Here you can see that I am sewing the center with a few stitches.
I used some clips on each end to hold the ribbon tight to the template while I sewed it in the center.
I slid the ribbon off the template and started to fluff the ribbon. I followed the instructions which told me to create a “center” of the bow. I used a straight center, wrapping the ribbon around and hot gluing the back. I trimmed the ribbon ends in a V-cut.
I attached the finished ribbon to the barrette clip.
Tah-da! It looks great! Genevieve tolerated it for about 1 minute. She loved the color, and I love the fact that I can create them to look just like any outfit she might have in her closet.
Sophie stumbled into the room and requested a purple one for her hair. It was so simple to create, I was able to whip one up for her in about 5 minutes. She wore her bow for the rest of the day!

Pros:

  • There are several book options available, including digital downloads of the instruction book.
  • Templates come in 4, 9 and 12 template sets to fit in your budget
  • Additional instructions are available for a nominal fee
  • Great asset for you if you are starting a small craft business
  • Simple, easy to follow instructions
  • Clear photographs
  • wide variety of bows (including stacked, twisted, pinwheel and split tail to name a few) with ribbon color and width options = endless possibilities
  • heavy duty template, will not easily break or crack

Cons:

  • Really cannot find any cons…this is a great resource for someone who is interested in creating their own hair bows!

The No Bow No Go Instruction booklet and TNT Top Notch Templates can be purchased online at their website {NoBowNoGo.com}.

How cute are these bows?! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Disclosure

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