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Review: Martha Stewart Craft Station

4 December 2011 5,583 views 6 Comments

by heather

martha stewart craft station

One of the perks of my job is getting to try out cool new craft toys. This week, I got my hands on the new Martha Stewart Craft Station by EK Success. The Craft Station is a multi-use tool that can be used as a cutter, an embossing table, a light table (for tracing), and the cutting arm has a guide that can help with lining up stamps or other media. It currently retails for $164.99.

martha stewart craft station

The kit includes the table, which is the main tool, and also several tracing templates with scrollwork, letters/numbers and sentiments (such as "Just Married"), a small embossing template, tools for embossing and cutting. One thing I appreciate about Martha Stewart's craft lines is that instead of creating single-purpose tools, she and her team develop products that have multiple uses and can be used in many different ways.

This tool does several different things, but I was most excited to find out that it is a light table (which means, the surface lights up, which helps when you want to trace something). There are also many crafty uses for light tables (check some out at Filth Wizardry: light table crafts -- although... you might not want to get too rough with the Martha Stewart light table!)

martha stewart craft station tracing template

I am a complete newbie to light tables (beside my stint as a high school journalist - we actually pasted up our newspapers manually back in the early 90s), and have never used a light table for crafting at all. In fact, I am pretty green to fancy craft supplies, and have never used an embossing tool either. I have used a paper trimmer quite a bit, though!

Tracing with the Templates

martha stewart craft station tracing

As you can see, the light table makes it really easy to see through a piece of scrapbook paper. I traced a variety of the items on the templates, including some of the scrollwork, and a couple of phrases. The templates have small calibration lines next to every template to help you keep everything lined up perfectly.

I decided to test out the tracing templates with a regular piece of scrapbook paper and the only pens I could find -- Sharpies. I imagine you will get a slicker result if you use calligraphy pens. (Anyone a paper and pen nerd? What pen would you use for this project?) I was just testing out the process of tracing, so I wasn't as concerned with the pen choice. It was easy to see the scrolls through the paper on the light table, and fairly easy to follow along even though some of the scrollwork is really elaborate. The final result looks pretty good. The station would definitely make a cinch of creating fancy-looking hand-drawn cards.

fancy card craftfail

I tried layering several of the scrolls (yes, it's a bit much), and I got so intent on following one of the scrolls that I forgot to adjust the template and oops, I scrolled right through the "Just Married." You can read a little more about that over at my CraftFail post: The Scrolls are Out of Controls.

Embossing With the Craft Station

embossed baby boy card

I didn't stop with too many drawn scrolls! I also added some embossing to this "Baby Boy" design. I found that the embossing template was very easy to use with the included embossing tool. As you can see, I lined it up with the drawn scrollwork. The light table made this easy. This is my first try with embossing ever, and it looks like I knew what I was doing.

To emboss, you turn the paper over (so the front is face down), on top of the embossing template. Line it up, and gently use the embossing stylus to impress the paper through the embossing template. When you are done, turn the paper over so you can see the right side, and you will see a raised area where you embossed.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • One tool that does multiple things
  • Replaces several other tools
  • Well-made and well-designed
  • Includes tools and templates so you can use it as soon as you open the box

Cons:

  • It does a lot of different things, so there is a learning curve
  • Has a higher price tag

The Verdict

The Martha Stewart Craft Station is a cool tool, especially if you are an avid paper crafter. You can use the Craft Station in place of many different tools, and if you buy it instead of all the various tools it replaces, you will probably save some money. Additionally, the Craft Station seems to be made with extreme care and up to exacting standards. It is a tool you will keep around for years to come.

Because I am not a hard-core paper crafter, I don't know if I would splash out on this particular item, but that is just a personal preference. You already know if you are interested in a tool that does all these things! If so, this is a worthy addition to your crafty toolshed.

If you'd like to buy it, consider clicking on my Amazon Affiliate link to help us bring you more reviews and quality posts: Buy Martha Stewart Craft Station at Amazon

Disclosure: EK Success sent me this product to try out, with no other obligation or compensation. Final link is an Amazon Affiliate Link.

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6 Comments »

  • Dawnll said:

    Would love to get one of these in my hands-have so many ideas to make using it.
    Thanks for sharing

  • April said:

    I bought this product but have not opened it yet because of the warning on the back of the box. It states: “Warning: This product contains D-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and Di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP) chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.” I’m not pregnant but hope to have another child some day. Can anyone tell me if this is something I should be concerned about? Is it that serious where I shouldn’t use the product? Where exactly are these chemicals found? Is it in the light box? If so, does the light box emit this chemical? This product is fairly new so I’m sure there have not been any reports of it actually causing the cancer and birth defects or other reproductive issue is states but I’d rather be sure than take my chances.

  • heather (author) said:

    @April, I have no idea, but I would guess that it is enclosed with the light bulb and/or light table part. My guess is that you will be safe with regular use, but of course, you should do what you feel comfortable with. If you want to contact the manufacturer of the product, you can send your question to them here: http://www.eksuccessbrands.com/aboutus/contactus.htm

  • Abby Wolf said:

    I just bought this martha Stewart Crafts station and was so happy to use it, not now. I only played with this for 45 minutes that’s all the time it took to fall apart. The first problem was the back plate where the cord plugged in poped off. Second problem was plastic sheet didn’t really didn’t want to go in. The third problem was I couldn’ t see anything AT ALL!! So I put the plastic sheet under my paper and on top of the glass. The forth problem was when I pulled a sheet out from under the glass it pulled out a piece paper that makes the glass look frosted. So I thought it was packaging and pulled it the rest of the way out. It’s not packaging and had to get it back in there. Then the fifth thing to happen was there were tiny metal bb’s that came out from under the alignment guide. When I went to cut paper there was no arrow or line where the blade cuts. I don’t like that there is only one lip and the light hurts your eyes. Love the extras but wish there was something to put everything in or some were to sit stuff. I am so so disappointed. I am taking it back first thing in the morning. I have got a few different things from Martha Stewarts product line and was disappointed every time. I don’t think I will buy another Martha Stewart product ever again. Sorry so long.

  • heather (author) said:

    @Abby, I would take it back to the store where you purchased it, or look for a customer service number in the manual. Sounds like you got a lemon!

  • Vio said:

    I had the craft station for almost a year now, but I started to actually use it a month ago when I wanted to make some invitations for a friend. I really loved it at first, even though it takes a little bit to get used with it. But, after like 50 cuts, the first blade starts to rip off the paper, not cut it. I changed it. Same thing happened. Then, I had a thinner paper to cut, it just ripped the wedge, could not cut it. I was looking for replacement blades, couldn’t find them anywhere. I wrote to EK telling them my concern. They were nice enough to send me a replacement blade and told me they will be available at Michaels soon. Today I wanted to make some Christmas cards, and the little piece that you cut with, it just broke. The top part broke and the spring just got out. I looked at it, thinking to glue it down, but if I’ll glue it, there’s no way I will be able to push down the blade. If you want to use it more than just 2 times a year, think twice before buying it, because it’s not going to last.

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