“ Brand: Fiskars / Type: Craft Supplies „
As I have made mention of before in some of my reviews, I like all things crafty and enjoy card making and scrapbooking, so when I saw this product from Fiskars (a company I am a fan of, since all previous products of theirs that I have tried have been very reliable) I was immediately interested.
Before picking up this photo matting kit in Tk Maxx for £9.99, I was not aware that Fiskars even produced such an item, but I took a chance because of the brand/make. There were several kit options using various shapes. I opted for the 'ovals', but TK Maxx also has a 'circle' kit and a 'rectangle' kit.
This 'photo matting kit' as Fiskars label it, claims to make photo mats easy. Now, I have still no idea what exactly a photo mat is, but my main reason for buying this product, was to have a cutter to cut out oval shapes from suitable templates. Although I make scrapbooks and thus, obviously do cut photo's, I felt that this product would be of great use in cardmaking as well.
The kit includes several key items:
12" x 12" self healing cutting mat (that is also reversible and can be used as a work surface)
Shape Templates (in my case all oval shapes)
ShapeXpress (this is the shape cutter)
The shapeXpress, according to the packaging, claims to cut cardstock, vellum, photo's and paper, and I can verify that it does do all this extremely well. I have not however tried it out on fabrics, so I cannot be sure if it would cut as well using such materials. As I have already noted, the product comes with 2 blades (one is a spare). You must firstly insert the small blade into the cutter. I found the instructions that were on the reverse of this product to be very simple to follow, and I inserted the blade without any difficulty. For safety, once the blade has been inserted into the cutter, you can turn the orange knob to lock it in place. The shapeXpress cutter is quite a peculiar shape when you first look at it, and without the instructions on the reverse, I probably would have struggled to work out how to use it correctly. However, as with the blade, the instructions were easy to follow, and there are also a few pictures showing the user how to hold and position the cutter correctly.
Within my pack there was 4 large oval stencils, all of different sizes which can thus be easily used to layer pictures, as they easily overlap. The other 7 templates are slightly smaller and come together on a stencil board.
The sizes of the larger ovals are as follows:
outer dimensions 7.25 X 8.25" - inner 5" X 6"
outer dimensions 6.75" x 7.75" - inner 4.5" x 5.5"
outer dimensions 6.25" x 7.25" - inner 4" x 5"
outer dimensions 5.75" x 6.75" - inner 3.5" x 4.5"
The smaller ovals range from dimensions of 1.25" x 1.5" to 3" x 4")
The 12" x 12" self healing cutting mat, has been of great use thus far, and has proved to be a good additional work surface when turned over. It can also be used to measure since the mat is demarkated into inches.
I have had this product for about a fortnight now, and so far I have been very impressed with it, and feel that it was worth the money that I paid. I have already used most of the templates and have found the cutter to be sharp if used and held correctly. As the product claimed, because of the different sizes of ovals, this can prove very useful when overlapping and mounting photos. However, I will be interested to see how long the blade does last in this cutter, as it is extremely small, though at the same time very sharp, and maybe I am being rather negative, but I am dubious about the durability of the cutter, since Fiskars automatically include a second blade. Time will tell, but for now, I am very happy with my purchase, and I am only sorry that I didn't purchase some of the other shape kits when they were available in TK Maxx, as they are a great tool for any cardmaker or scrapbooker.
This kit contains everything you need to make perfect photo mats. The ShapeXpress cuts cardstock photos, paper and more and the templates have a complete incremental sixe range from approx. 1" to 9.25" for easy layered matting.