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.


  1. Thank you, Jay!!! This was the set I was using. With the help of others, I decided this was the method. I had hoped they were be like the EK Success ones, but aren't. Your photos are good as always. Velda

  2. Great tutorial, very clear very easy. All instruction should be done by a crafter, not an engineer!! laurie w

  3. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I was having a heck of a time figuring this out since the stamps were stuck together and the instructions so poor.

  4. You are a life saver. I was ready to take the punch back because I could not figure out how to use it. My stamps were stuck together back to back as you said they might be. No one at the store could help me.

    Thanks again

  5. Thanks very much for the instructions - just bought this thing and couln't figure it out either!!
    Funny thing - on Martha's show she is so extremely detailed oriented, but with her craft items, she certainly is not.

  6. This is one of the best set of directions I have come upon in a long time. I like that you showed them step by step. I purchased the butterfly & I love it!! Thank you for the good job.

  7. Hi's people like you who add so much to the online experience of people like me!!! I googled Martha Stewart Punch and Stamp pack and there you were! Your instructions are marvelous.

    Anyway...I had arrived at the exact same conclusions you had. The reason I was looking for someone else's input was because I found that when I saddled the stamp in the mount and inked it up the profile of the stamp just barely cleared the mount so I wound up inking up the rim around the edge of the mount. Did you have this problem or am I still doing something wrong?

    TIA for any answers you might provide

  8. I get the impression that Martha is a perfectionist but she seems to be screwing up on the instructions with her products. You would think she would want to be sure the people buying her products understood how to use them.

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. It sure beats the instructions on the package. I was lost.

  10. Thanks so much. I bought the cupcake and I was so frustrated with the vague directions! I would never have guessed that two of the images were stuck together back to back - I wondered why I couldn't get it to stick to the stamp mount. The directions on the package are lacking and it would be nice if the package would indicate how many pieces are inside! I really appreciate your help.

  11. Thank you so much for the tutorial. If I hadn't read this I certainly wouldn't have known there were 3 stamps as two were stuck together back-to-back. This was very helpful. The directions with the punch didn't help at all.

  12. Thanks found your tutorial was of great help!! Now I am looking forward to using the Bird Stamp Punch :)

  13. Thank you. What a great help. I was lucky to get two of the punch sets on sale, and I was happy. Then I read your instructions and found out there was a third rubber stamp that I hadn't noticed, it was even better.

  14. Your instructions are awesome!! I wasn't sure if I needed to remove the clear plastic on both sides of the clear stamps, one of them was really hard to remove but I could not figure out how to use the stamp with it left on. Thanks again :) Like some of the other readers, I cannot believe Martha doesn't have better explicit instructions with her products.


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