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Review | Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Disclosure: This site is a member of the Amazon.com affiliate program and some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.

Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips

The Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips have proven to be the essential tool for many of my crafting needs. These nifty little clips can be used for so many different crafting, sewing, knitting, and jewelry making activities. I am over the moon with them! When I first was sent the package by our editor Nancy, I thought at first “what the heck do I use these for?” Needless to say, once I started playing with them, I realized their potential!

Clover Jumbo Wonderclips

Let’s start with some details about the clips:

  • The clips open to hold layers (about 3/4 of an inch) of material.
  • There is a texture on the clip end to grip material better.
  • Clips are light weight, made from plastic with a metal insert clip.
  • One side is flat – great when you have to set the project down on a flat surface to work, and for keeping a project flat while feeding into your sewing machine.
  • Flat side has 1/4″ markings, perfect for sewing.
  • Clips are easy to both attach and remove, unlike sharp pins.
  • For people with grip or motor issues, Wonder Clips are an easy to grasp alternative to pins.

All those facts are great, but seeing them in action is the best way to understand their possibilities. I used them while working on my Clover Basket Frame project.

Clover Wonderclips on Paper Basket Frame project.

They are perfect for Kumihimo projects.  I used to use a metal ring to add weight to the bottom of my braid but I found that these clips worked so much better.

Weight Metal

I started with one clip then just added more clips to increase the tension on the braid.

Clover Wonderclip to create tension for Kumihimo projects.

I also used Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips as a weight while knitting a scarf project. They came in handy for my watercolor painting class when the clip on my board broke – I just used these instead!

One thing to keep in mind when using them is that the clips will indent fabric or material from the pressure of the metal hinge of the clip, so remember that when putting aside a project for a few hours. Remove them if you are using fragile material before you put the project aside if possible. Otherwise, these are great for use in holding material during the construction of garments, multi-media projects, and more.

Pros:

  • Great for sewing, the flat clear back will not catch as you feed the fabric while sewing.
  • Affordable
  • Great for quilting and other sewing projects.
  • Plastic is easy to clean, so you can use it for any craft.
  • Easy to clean
  • Works with paper, fabric, etc. as long as the thickness is less than 3/4″

Cons:

  • If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or anything similar then these might be a bit challenging to use.
  • You will be hooked and be tempted to buy the other sizes available.
  • These are plastic so they will break if stepped on or run over by a car (don’t ask).

Have you tried Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips? What did you use them for?

Review | Crystal Katana by Crystal Ninja

Reported by Beth Watson

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

The Crystal Katana by Crystal Ninja has been making a big splash in the craft world since it was a “Hot 20” award winner at the Craft & Hobby Association’s 2013 winter show. [Disclosure: Craft Critique’s owner/editor Nancy Nally was a judge for the Hot 20 awards.] When I first looked at it myself I have to admit that I was not impressed despite all of the hype. I thought, how could this little tool change my crafting world? Well, was I completely wrong!

The Crystal Katana has a wax tip that allows you to pick up crystals, beads, buttons, pearls and even small pieces of paper! After trying it, I am in love! The other end has a needle tip that allows you to adjust placement once a small item (like a rhinestone) has been attached to a larger object. There is also a foam pad that is perfect for holding your embellishments and picking them up off from.

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I wanted to test it out on an actual project, so I looked through my craft stash and found some flat backed rhinestones to attach to a letter M. I worked with Ranger Glue n’ Seal (because it has a brush built in to the lid) and in small sections.

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I picked up the rhinestones and placed them on the letter M in rows, reapplying glue as needed. Using the pin point end helped to keep the rows straight.

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Crystal Ninja has a partnership with Swarovski, and the tool is great for adhering crystals, but I tried the Crystal Katana out on a variety of embellishments including some fairly large buttons, lace, ribbon, chipboard letters and pieces of paper. I have discovered so many uses for the Crystal Katana, it has become one of  my “go to” tools that I cannot live without!

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The Crystal Katana is available on Amazon.com for less than $25.

Review | Fiskars Amplify 10″ Mixed Media Shears

Reported by Deena Ziegler

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

fiskars scissors

I was so excited to try out these shears. I’ve long been a fan of Fiskars scissors for all my crafting and was looking forward to giving these a trial run in my mixed media projects.

The Amplify shears are designed with a large handle and long blades which makes cutting a variety of materials pretty easy.

Here’s a few highlights of the outstanding qualities of these shears:

Multiple layers. I was able to cut several layers of canvas at once for stretching over frames, and the shears cut it with ease. Additionally I’ll add that the shears cut evenly and with very clean edged cuts.

Large Handle Loops. I don’t have the smallest hands, and I found the handle loops to be the perfect angle and comfortable while in my hand.

Blades. While I was cutting leather for a recent project, the stainless steel blades cut all the way to the tip of the blade. Unlike other shorter blade scissors the 10” blade made for fewer cuts. Overall the cuts were smooth and precise.

Safety Sheath. I can appreciate the plastic sheath that is included with the Amplify shears. While I do have to be disciplined to place the shears in it at the end of a work session I know that using it will keep my shears in good shape protecting the $39.99 (MSRP)  investment – and also any kids that may be around.

I will say that these shears are slightly on the heavy side but, that comes with the territory of using a good pair of scissors. Without the weight and construction of these shears, they couldn’t get the job done nearly as well.

In closing, I would recommend these scissors to any mixed media artist. In fact I could find a use for these shears in many different crafting arenas. If you’re looking for a heavy duty cutting workhorse for your craft room you’ll be pleased with the addition of the Fiskars Amplify Shears.

Pros:

  • Ability to cut thick materials
  • Clean cuts from base to tip of blade
  • Comfort

Cons:

  • Weight

Fiskars Amplify 10″ Mixed Media Shears are available now and have an MSRP of $39.99, but currently can be purchased for $23.21 on Amazon.com.