Review: 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.
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!)
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
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.
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
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
- 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
- It does a lot of different things, so there is a learning curve
- Has a higher price tag
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.Full disclosure policy.