Sunday, June 07, 2009

EK Success Paper Shapers Punch & Stamp set

As you might be able to tell from my weird posting schedule, it was a busy April and an even busier May around here. Now that most of the rush is over, I've been able to get back into some crafting and some blogging. Ahhhh!!! Sadly for the bank account, I also got back into some shopping for craft supplies. I do have to admit that being busy kept me out of trouble as far as that goes. But shop I did, and so I have a bit of a product review.

One of my late night internet stops was Joann's online. These days I mainly look. They did away with the Free Shipping Club so no more double-dipping with coupons. The danger with looking is that sometimes you find something that you need to try. Especially when it's on sale for 40% off. And especially if you do a quick search and find a code for free shipping on top of that!

What arrived the other day in my box of goodies was the Paper Shapers Punch and Stamp set by EK Success. I haven't bought shape punches in ages. I do find myself drawn to their edger punches or to various border punches, but not to shapes so much. I like Nesties for that--more variety, easier to store, take up less space, can emboss with them.... But this set was intriguing! It claimed to stamp an image AND punch it out, too! No having to flip the punch over and line up the design to punch it out. No trying to eyeball a stamp so that it ends up centered on a small punched out shape. Okay, you only get one shape and one size, but it has multiple stamps made to fit inside that shape, and they make sets of other stamps that are compatible. This had potential, especially since there are alphabet sets made to fit. These were new, so no reviews yet on the Joann site. The few I saw online were good. I had to try one.

Here's the scoop....

This is how it looks once it's been liberated from the plastic shell. This happens to be the medium Black-Eyed Susan set.

The handle lifts up and away to reveal the couple of things that make this punch unique.

This is the storage compartment for the extra stamps that go with this punch.

This set comes with 4 clear flower stamps, so these are the three that were in that storage area.

This piece lifts straight up and out. Notice the handy arrows that let you know how to re-seat this part when it's time to put it back.

Pulling the whole thing out, you can see where that 4th stamp was lurking. You can also see why it's important to realign this piece properly--it has to sit in that opening in the metal just so.

Time to see how this works. I pulled out a small inkpad. I happened to have the Memento dew drops close by. These are great for inking up small stamps like this. They wash off of clear stamps nicely, too. Most of the time I just stamp off what little ink is left on the stamp.

I lined up the arrows and replaced that part with the inked stamp attached. Not difficult to do at all.

I moved the handle back into its original position, placed a piece of Georgia Pacific white card stock into the slot of the punch and pressed down on the handle, simultaneously stamping and punching out the design. At least that's what I hoped was happening.

HA! It worked. You'll notice, as I did, that the shape was still attached to the card stock at a couple of points. As I understand it, you can leave it this way to pop out a bit and give a 3D effect.

It was easy to pop it loose though. And you could certainly use a nice sharp pair of scissors if you wanted to. I'll probably just give that rough edge a quick swipe with a sanding block.

So there the stamped and punched out image. I kinda like that. Easy to see using all sorts of colors of inks or card stocks or maybe designer papers.... Lots of potential.

Then I remembered that sunflower stamp that came with the set. Oooo, I had to see how that one would look! As I inked it up, I wondered if I could make the center a different color. Well, I mean, of course I could, but could the set up of this punch help to line up the design? That was the question. And the answer was yes! I inked in Cantaloupe first, then punched/stamped as before. But this time I didn't remove my card stock to see how it turned out. I left it, and instead I lifted the handle and removed that piece with the stamp, and inked just the center with Potter's Clay. I put it back into its spot, and I gave the handle a gentle press--not enough to punch again, hopefully just enough to apply the new ink.

And here is how that experiment turned out. Not bad, eh?

All in all, I found that this was a slick way of stamping an image and having that image be nicely centered in the middle of a cut-out shape. Clear stamps are great and I can get fairly accurate placement just by looking, but it's not a foolproof process for me by any stretch; and though I like my Stamp-a-ma-jig for more accurately placing images, I don't tend to pull it out for smaller stuff like this. I know that I'll use this flower shape and the images fairly often, and I may now have to give serious consideration to getting either the square or circle punch and stamp set. I understand that there are a couple of alpha sets that will fit in both and I think these sets punch out shapes that are a great size for card making.

Gotta like it--a tool that works as billed, and I got it for a good price. Woo hoo! :-)


  1. That's COOL! Thanks much for sharing (I think)...let's hope I don't start collecting all of these now too. I'd never seen or even heard of them before today! :)

  2. How clever! Thanks for the enabler!! I really enjoy your blog and creativity. TFS.


  3. Thanks for the post and your inquiring mind. You've helped me make more than one decision recently.

  4. My crystal ball says 'I see more shopping'. Thanks for the review and will have to investigate some more and maybe add to my endless shopping list.

  5. Always happy to have company in helping to stimulate the economy! LOL! Thanks for stopping by, all!

  6. This new generation of punches is very exciting - combining the punch with a ready made rubber stamp is a great idea.
    This is a lovely punch set.
    Your instructions and photographs are extremely well done.

  7. I love that manufacturers keep coming up with new ways to use stamps with other tools. Thank you for your comment, Susan!


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