The Texture Boutique by Sizzix is a portable, stand-alone embossing machine which embosses assorted materials. Weighing in at around three pounds, the 8″ x 5″ x 9″ machine doesn’t require electricity, batteries or a computer. With a suggested retail price of $30, this machine is marketed for a new crafter who may not want to invest in a more expensive machine. Sizzix recently shipped me a blue Texture Boutique machine and Textured Impressions- Elegant Vine and Flair embossing folders.
When the machine arrives, the only assembly required it to attach the black crank with the included hex wrench. It took me under a minute to attach the handle. The machine comes with 2 black plastic plates and a thin mylar shim (which is labeled with a bright red label: DO NOT DISCARD!) Like other embossing machines such as the Cuddlebug and Big Shot, the paper or cardstock to be texturized is inserted into an embossing folder and layered according to the product directions.
It was convenient to have the “embossing sandwich” instructions printed on one of the plates. Because I already own the Big Shot machine (also by Sizzix), I had a good understanding of how to create a basic “embossing sandwich” with the embossing surface, paper and plates.
Once the embossing sandwich is ready it is loaded on the platform in front of the purse and as the handle is cranked, the sandwich is forced through the opening, coming out the other side. When the embossing folder is opened, the paper or cardstock has an embossed pattern. Due to the design of the machine, it is necessary to stabilize the machine by holding the purse handle while cranking.
Materials tested from upper corner left to right: kraft sticker paper, glitter cardstock, vellum, Bazzill cardstock, Stardream text weight paper, glossy black marble cardstock, 130# cardstock
I felt the embossing folders that were sent to me had limited solid areas so I tested multiple surfaces with Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing Folders Thank You Set #2. This set was better for testing because it had more solid areas and included text. I used Bazzill texturized cardstock, kraft weight sticker paper, Stardream text weight paper, 65# cardstock, 130# cardstock, vellum, glossy cardstock and glitter cardstock from a mat pack. Each surface embossed cleanly and smoothly. However, the 130# cardstock did not have as deep indentations because it is so thick. I was most surprised (but most delighted) with how well both the vellum and Stardream embossed; the resulting embossing was very smooth and elegant looking.
Designer paper from Making Memories
As I mentioned earlier, I own a Big Shot. I love my Big Shot and use it often for embossing and die cutting. I own several sets of Sizzix Texturz Texture Plates which measure 5 5/8″ x 7 1/4″ which work well in the Big Shot for embossing. Unfortunately, the opening for the Texture Boutique will only accommodate 5 3/4″ x 4 1/2″ embossing folders (Cuddlebug folders are compatible with the machine) so Texturz Plates cannot be used with the Texture Boutique. I was very disappointed and was surprised Sizzix would design a product with such limited capabilities.
because it seemed like a good idea at the time (Wonder if my editor Dana reads my captions?) [Editor’s note: I do]
My original thought was that with a price point of $30, the Texture Boutique would be a good “starter” machine for a new papercrafter. A way to add sophistication to projects without a large financial investment. But because of the limited compatibility with embossing plates, I recommend the Sizzix Big Shot. For the additional money, you’ll have a machine that is compatible with all but the super size embossing plates AND you’ll be able to use it for die cutting.
- Lightweight (under 3 pounds) and portable
- Does not require batteries or electricity
- Two-handed operation
- Can only be used with embossing folders (A2 size)
- Cannot be used for die cutting
What machine do you use for embossing- a Cuddlebug, Big Shot, Texture Boutique or something else? What types of materials do you emboss?