Thursday, June 13, 2013

we r memory keepers envelope punch board review {tools for stashbusting}

I know I'm not the only scrapper around who has at least a small stack of papers that will never make it onto layouts. Sheets that either came from paper stacks and weren't my favorite prints of the bunch, older papers that I bought before I knew what my style really was, and even a few papers that I ended up with many multiples of can be found here and there around my space. Sometimes I pass them on to others, but when I spotted the Envelope Punch Board by We R Memory Keepers at CHA Winter 2013, I knew that this tool would help me make the most of my under-used supplies!

Apparently lots of other scrappers and cardmakers had the same idea, because the first run of Envelope Punch Boards sold out almost immediately, and it looks like the second batch disappeared almost as quickly! Luckily I was able to score one from a recent shipment, and I thought I'd take it for a test drive and write a little review of my newest stashbusting tool.


We R Memory Keepers' Envelope Punch Board has a small footprint- less than half the size of my Martha Stewart scoring board- making it easy to store. It comes pre-printed with both complete directions for using the tool to make an envelope and a chart with paper sizes and score line placements for a variety of envelope sizes (a similar sticker with metric measurements is also included in the package). Note: Early shipments of the Punch Boards contained incorrect measurements in some cases. If you received one of those boards, you can download the correct size chart here and also write to We R Memory Keepers for a corrected chart sticker to place on you board.


I've already posted a video showing how this handy tool works- you'll find it on my post from the We R Memory Keepers booth at CHA- but I know that I don't always have time to sit and watch a video and sometimes a photo walkthrough is helpful, too. So if a video is more your speed, then click through the link above, or keep scrolling and reading here for step-by-step pictures.

The Paper Size guide on the Envelope Punch Board gives dimensions for trimming your paper based on the size of card you have. In my case I wanted to make an envelope for an A2 card and cut my paper to 8 1/8" x 8 1/8" as indicated.


The Score Line column on the measurement chart indicates where to line up the left side of the paper for the first score line, and for an A2 card the chart specifies a distance of 3 3/4".


After lining up the paper on the correct measurement, I used the scoring groove on the right side of the board to make the first score line. Note that the scoring tool fits into a nifty slot on the side of the board when not in use!


After scoring (or before, if that's your preference), press down on the punch button to cut a notch in the side of the paper.


With the first scoring line properly placed, the other three lines are easy! There's no need to use the board's ruler any more- just rotate the paper counter-clockwise, line the previously scored line up with the Score Guide on the board, punch, and score. Repeat for the remaining sides of the card until all sides are punched and scored.


The punch also rounds when used from the reverse side, so after scoring I used it to round off all the corners on my envelope.


And then it's just a matter of folding along the lines and adhering to create a perfect envelope!


You can use any type of adhesive you like to assemble your envelopes including ATG or a glue stick, but my absolute favorite is 1/8" Scor Tape. It's heavy-duty and oh-so-easy to apply precisely to the edges.



I did note one small problem as I was using the punch board- the A2 envelope size was just a bit too small for an A2 card when using the measurements on the board. The tool worked perfectly aside from this, but I think that there's still some tweaking that needs to be done to the measurement table for a few of the card sizes. Several users who comments on Craft Test Dummies' reviews of the board reported the same issue, and one commenter said that a paper size of 8x8 with a score line of 3 5/8" worked for her A2 cards. I normally make my envelopes a size or two larger than my card anyway since I tend to have pieces hanging off the edges of my cards, but it's something to keep in mind if you want your envelopes to have a snug fit.


A few clever crafters have found some other ingenious uses for this board including Kathy Orta's YouTube videos (here and here) showing how to use it to make mini file folders and a post at Mad Sky Designs showing how to use it to make tabbed Project Life cards. I love seeing people getting creative and finding new uses for their tools!

I've tried several different envelope tools in the past, and none is as easy to use or as straightforward (aside from the measurement table issues) as this one. If you're looking for a way to put some un-loved papers in your stash to use making custom envelopes, I definitely recommend picking one up!