Monday, January 18, 2010
Martha stamp/punch pack: how-to
I'd been browsing stamping forums and had seen the question of how to use the new Martha Stewart Stamp & Punch come up a few times. From what I'd gathered, they did come with instructions, apparently vague instructions. Hm, sounds like those corner/border punch combos. I also wondered if they were perhaps like the EK Success Punch & Stamps sets. I like these. They're fun in that they stamp and punch at the same time. I've described how they work here on this blog before. I thought that maybe these new punches worked the same way. I hadn't seen one to check it out.
Well, after dropping the younger daughter at a friend's house the other night, I popped into Michael's to see if they had any of these punches in stock. I had a coupon for the week that I hadn't used yet. They had some! They were also on sale and my coupon would have gotten me a better deal, but I did what any good stamper would do and bought a set then found something else that I "needed" to use my coupon on. The bottom line? These do not work the same way as the EK Success punches. These should be called Stamp Then Punch packs. When you buy a set, you get the shaped punch and three small clear stamps that you use to decorate your punched shape; you do ink and stamp before punching it out though.
Here's how it works:
Above you can see the bird Stamp & Punch pack as it's meant to be stored once it's out of the packaging.
It has a removable cover over the storage space for the clear stamps that coordinate with the punch shape. I found two stamps separate, in a compartment with the cover in the original packaging. The other stamp was inside this storage space. So, you should find three clear stamps. If you don't, check that storage area, and also take a good look at the clear stamps that were separate--they may be stuck back to back.
These are the three stamps that came with my bird set. They're round, clear stamps with a smooth flat side and a tab that sticks out at one edge.
The cover of the storage compartment doubles as the stamp mount. If you look at the flip side, there's a smooth area at the center and a raised rim around the edge. This is where the stamp is seated. My curved red double headed arrow is showing a gap in the rim--this is where the tab should go. This orients the stamp image properly when you go to stamp it--it'll match up with the image on the flip side.
This photo shows the three images that I stamped using the three stamps. I used Memento ink because I like it and because I have all of the colors in that nice small dewdrop shape that makes it easy to ink up small stamps in tight spaces. Notice that I stamped along the top edge of my card stock. Regardless of what shape punch you buy, if you're using a large piece of paper or card stock you'll want to take care to punch along the top edge so that once you stamp the image you'll be able to insert it into the punch in the right direction.
See? This is what I mean. If I'd punched along the side or bottom edge, I'd have had to cut my card stock so that it could be oriented properly. Of course if you're using a small piece of paper or card stock it might not matter that much. Just leave yourself enough extra room to maneuver it into the right position. You can see that I lined up my first image with the punch opening. Yes, you're now looking at the bottom of the punch. You flip it over to use it.
This is how it looks once it's punched out.
Here are the other images once I punched them out.
And here's one last closer view so that you can see how the different stamps give different looks--same punch, same ink, same card stock, just used the different stamped images.
For those of you who've been having trouble using these, I hope these instructions and images help a bit. I agree that the instructions that came with this Martha punch set could have been more descriptive and more useful, but that seems to be the way of things with a number of her items. This isn't a difficult set to use, and it's fun to have a punch that exactly matches the stamped images. I think I still would have preferred something similar to the EK Success set up of stamping and punching simultaneously though--more efficient and more foolproof.