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12.14.2009

Tool Review: Letterpress by QuicKutz








{Reported by Susan Keuter}


From Lifestyle Crafts, which is part of the QuicKutz Inc. family, comes the Letterpress.

Also known simply as "L"...



The Letterpress tool is actually an add-on component to be used with the QuicKutz Epic Six...



{I would like to note, however, that the Letterpress tool works fabulously with the Sizzix Big Shot and the Provo Craft Cuttlebug.}

I admit it, I'm a manufacturer's favorite kind of customer. I will purchase things sight unseen from certain manufacturers because I "just know" I'm going to love anything that company produces. QuicKutz is just such a company in my book.

They produce it - I buy it. Enough said. Whether it was the Improved Squeeze, the Revolution or the Epic Six...they all had my name on them before they arrived at my local scrapbook stores. I knew they'd be mine, because I love anything QuicKutz makes.

When The Letterpress was introduced at CHA last summer - I couldn't get enough of it. I did their make-n-takes {multiple times...I'm being honest here!}, I stalked the "L" website for shipping info and ideas. I scoured the internet looking for leaks and images. I was smitten from the start.

So when my Letterpress arrived at approximately 4:30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon, let's just say the family ate frozen pizza that night. I dove right in - anxious to start producing gorgeous letterpressed images immediately.

Well...I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I was slightly disappointed on that Tuesday afternoon. And while that disappointment lasted only a few days, I feel like I should let my lessons over those couple of days help you on your way to "L" love!

What I liked:
1. The included "plates" offer a great variety for getting started letterpressing.
2. Everything you need to make a handful of samples is included in the box - plates, adhesive, paper, placement guides, etc.
3. The "L" website has lots of great images and pictures, real creative inspiration. And an awesome blog - full of ideas {and hurry, they are doing an awesome giveaway this week!}

What I disliked:
1. My Letterpress did not come with any instructions. The box listed the basic steps, but I didn't feel like that really counted as an instructional aide.
2. Clean-up without the "L" Cleaning Cloths is almost impossible, {don't even bother with Magic Eraser or Comet} so a few of the cloths in the starter kit would have made me oh-so-happy.
3. There is a definite learning curve associated with letterpressing in general, so a larger stack of included Letterpress paper would have been really nice.

What I made:


I have played A LOT. I have inked and cleaned and brayered and pressed. I have goofed, I have nailed it, I have flip-flopped and I have finally come to terms with the fact that a $69.99 tool trying to reproduce the ancient craft of letterpressing is rarely going to be perfect.

But I think THAT is what makes this fun. THAT is what shows a project is homemade. THAT is what proves I made it. THAT is how my family will know I like them better than my neighbors {family got the practically perfect Christmas cards, neighbors got the less-than-perfect Christmas cards!}.

The following two card projects were made using the same "L" plate. One with ink, one without.


supplies: Letterpress Printing Plate "Wedding Set 2", QuicKutz Oatmeal font, Letterpress No. 10 sized paper, Basic Grey patterned paper, Bazzill cardstock, buttons and ribbon



Trying to photograph the gorgeous "de-bossed" images is tricky. But the "L" paper is essential for achieving these deeply pressed images in which to lay down a layer of ink.


Same plate, different look...


supplies: Letterpress Priting Plate "Wedding Set 2", QuicKutz Cookie Cutter Labels die, Letterpress Paper No. 10 Flat, Want 2 Scrap Adhesive Backed Gems, ribbon.




One of the techniques I really am enjoying is printing directly on the Letterpress paper with your printer, and then adding in the embellishments with the "L"...


supplies: Letterpress Printing Plate "Wedding Set 2" and "Celebration Set 1", Letterpress Paper A7 flat, Basic Grey patterned paper, Stickles



I love the great looks you can get by layering other scrapbook embellishments over top of the Letterpress images - brads, eyelets, bling, Stickles, etc.

I think the Letterpress is going to make creating "sets" of cards a snap. Mass production is a no-brainer...


supplies: Letterpress Printing Plates "Wedding Set 1" and "Everyday Set 4", Letterpress Paper A2 Flat, Basic Grey patterned paper, ribbon.




I didn't try any two-color letterpressing, but one color-multiple image pieces are a breeze. For this card I printed the all over dots first, then went back and added in the green sprig...


supplies: Letterpress Printing Plate "Holiday Set 4" and "the Starter Set", Letterpress Paper Square Flat, QuicKutz Supermarket font, Want 2 Scrap Adhesive Backed Pearls, Doodlebug Designs patterned paper, Bazzill cardstock.


Today, I love this tool. It took a little bit of time, but now I can see myself using it more and more as time goes on. I have almost all of the Printing Plates and lots of the Letterpress Inks {the silver is luscious!}. I will continue to play, and hopefully continue to learn new tricks. Don't be afraid to buy a set of A2 Card Flats just to play with - a lot! Quantity of ink, amount of adhesive and loading up of the Letterpress tool itself are all things that need to be practiced, but can easily be achieved!

I think you will likely see more and more Letterpress ideas in the very near future. QuicKutz/Letterpress has even started doing custom printing plates, available on their web site.

Where and How Much:
Product Name: Letterpress by Lifestyle Crafts
Manufacturer: QuicKutz, Inc
MSRP: $6.99 - $69.99


What do you think?
Do you have a Letterpress tool yet? Have you had time to play with it? Is this on your Christmas list? Would you be interested in a technique video showing you some tips and tricks? Let us know - we love hearing from our readers!

29 comments:

Wendy said...

I would definetly like a tutorial, I am definetly going to have to check out the web site and get more info. I think this is something I might like to add to my collection.

Espbfdl said...

I would love to have one of these---I am always looking for new ways for my creativity to come out--and ever since I saw this product in a magazine ad....I have wanted it!!! TFS what you thought of it!

BabyBokChoy said...

I look at it every time I go to Archiver's. I would love love love to have one, just don't have that kind of money yet...

marla said...

I would LOVE to see videos on this and this is awesome that it works in the Cuttlebug machine!!! I think it looks elegant!!

Karen W said...

I am still on the fence about this tool. The projects that you have produced are STUNNING!and that is what may sway me to ask Santa for this (I know he still accepts letters up until the 23rd!)

I need to find a shop where I can try a hands on demo

Karen

Cassi said...

i would love to be gifted one of these beauties. I'm concerned that I'd make a big mess though.

LollyChops said...

What a fantastic and honest review! I think my favorite look is actually done without any ink at all! I love the simplicity and elegance of that look!

Courtney ;-) said...

I've looked at this several times but just didn't understand it ... that's why i love this site! Not only do I understand now, but I NEED one! :)

kgscrapper said...

I haven't taken the time to learn much about the "L". After reading this review I am going to do more research. I love the projects you made! Also it is great to learn that it can be used with the Cuttlebug. Thanks for the great review!!

Scrapamum said...

I would love a Letterpress however there are a few other tools that are a bit more of a priority for me. It's good to know that it works well with other tools. Nice when you can do that.
Thanks for the review!

Vicki said...

I saw this demo'd, it produces beautiful results. The debossing is gorgeous. I love your projects Susan. I think a video would be great for those on the fence or are interested in knowing more about it. They'll be hooked in no time. A great, great tool!

Allison said...

Oh! THanks for doing a review of this product! I saw it at A.C. Moore and was drooling over it - I really want to try now that I saw all the cool things you made.

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jodee said...

I would love to see a tutorial. That would be helpful to me to decide if I would like this product. Thanks for your review!

Karen said...

I am much more interested now that I know the letterpress will work in my Cuttlebug. I simply don't have room for another die cutting machine (nor do I need one.) A video tutorial would be great. I have seen a couple very short ones, but I'd like to see on being used by a "regular" customer, not a salesperson. Thanks for all the details. I'm sure I'll own one someday and it's good to know about the learning curve.

Stephanie said...

I appreciate your honest review. Your projects are stunning and if I was more of a card maker than a scrapper, I might consider it. But I'm not sure I see a "need" when it comes to my sb pages. Time will tell. :)

RbeforeE said...

Oooh! Very cool! I do not yet have this goodie, but I can see it will be a necessary addition. The cards you made for your review are gorgeous.

I look forward to seeing more details about how it works. (hoping)

Yaritza said...

I have not seen this in action in person but have seen videos from CHA. Thought the results were beautiful. Was debating it mainly because I was hoping that it worked with the die cut machines I already have. Glad to hear that it does work with the cuttlebug and big shot. Reading this review I'll be waiting till the price drops dramatically. Don't want to spend $70 for something that requires alot of practice to make it work.

Mary F said...

THANK YOU for doing a review on this. I've been intrigued ever since it's release but you are the first place that I've been able to even catch a glimse at what it can do. More tutitorials would be GREAT-I can't justify spending that kind of money on something that sounds like I'd have great fun using but no one or no where to be able to find the help I would need with it! Thank you!;-)

*Paula* said...

I had a friend who bought it and was bitterly disappointed. I'm going to forward this article to her so she can get some insights into the learning curve! thanks Susan!

*charygirl said...

I love the whole IDEA of the Letterpress, but I haven't been able to try one yet. And I'm a hands on while watching someone else go through the motions kind of girl, so I don't think I would be as bold as you and have one sent in the mail with directions.....;)

Aly D said...

beautiful cards susan! looks like a fun product!

xine said...

I'm relieved to see that you had the same difficult start and same issues as I did- I thought maybe I was just being particularly dim. (The other problems I have is that I can't seem to get those placement spongy rectangles OFF the big, flat letterpress tool, and I can't get the adhesive to stay ON the letterpress plate/shapes!)

Theresa said...

Oh my gosh - thanks so much for the information and the awesome pictures of your projects!!! They are amazing! I have seen this product on all the sites I stalk for the latest in supplies, and I just couldn't imagine what I would do with it. NOW I get the picture - loving that plain debossed look - just makes my mouth water!

Jacquie Hart said...

Now this is something I would defiantly buy and try. Thanks for the review

Jacquie
creations4uandme@yahoo.com

Bethany Kartchner said...

Gorgeous projects! I so want one of these! :)

kimaloo said...

Just an F.Y.I. to anyone interested in buying one of these... I purchased mine last week at A.C. Moore and used my 50% off a regularly priced item coupon so it only cost me $35. :o)

And amen on the cleaning clothes. I tried cleaning my tools without them and it just didn't happen, no matter what kind of soap I used, NOTHING would work.

Zarna said...

I'm looking at these but I have a big hesitation:

How easily available is letterpress cardstock/ink? I'm really nervous about a product that is used with limited consumables... I want to know that in 5 years time if quickutz stop selling these that I will still be able to get the necessary consumables

Thanks for the review, I saw these in the cha chatter and really liked the look of them and this has answered most of my questions!

Zarna said...

forgot to subscribe to the comments