* Prices may differ from that shown
I am into my card making and have been doing cards for many years on and off, and just lately I have been really getting myself into again. It wasn't until I cleared out my cupboard upstairs that I found this shapeboss, and to be honest I forgot I had it as I did buy this year's ago. I was quite excited when I found this and couldn't wait to start using it again. This was my first embossing machine that I bought and at the time I was very new to crafting but I did use it quite a lot, and now I can had beautiful embossing to my cards that I make, and I have even used it on the envelopes and gives it a lovely embossed texture, and changes the envelope completely.
The packaging is just a standard cardboard box that the embossing machine comes in. The machine itself comes in a clear plastic bag. Although the machine didn't have any more packaging in the box the machine was very snug and didn't move around, which is always a good thing.
The shapeboss is square in shape, at the top of the machine is a compartment made of clear hard plastic which is where you can keep your embossing tools/pens. It has a clip which you can push away from you to open up the compartment, it is not hard to open or shut. At each side of the machine you will find 5 holes and because I haven't used these I am not sure what they are for but I am guessing that they are for your embossing pens for when you're using the machine instead of keep opening the compartment when needing to use a pen.
The board itself comes in the colour blue then you will have 2 stencils a grey colour one and clear one both exactly the same, I know you might be wondering why you have them both exactly the same, well the grey sits flush onto the board then you place your card, paper, envelope or whatever your using over the top, then you put the clear one over the top, which then you can see what you are embossing or stencilling. The stencils are secured with orange pegs which are scattered around the edge of the board; this keeps your stencils in place when you're using them.
The stencils are made from hard clear but flexible plastic, so they are hard wearing and will not tear so easily. Both stencils actually come with the board so you can get to work straight away. The shapeboss board is approx. 36cm which isn't too big or to small and very compact so it will easily store away. The board is not heavy either so easily portable.
SHAPEBOSS WHAT IS IT FOR?
Shapeboss is used as a stencil or an embossing board, I have to be honest I don't use it has a stencil, I tend to use it as a embossing board simply because the effect it gives you is beautiful when done on your handmade cards or like I mentioned before on your envelopes to give them dimension and another look rather than the plain old envelopes. I bought this when I was back in Nottingham a few years ago now, I was a newbie at card making and didn't really understand the machine when I bought I only knew what it could do, and that was good enough for me as I knew I could make some beautiful cards with it.
I did play about with it for a while but can never remember making such beautiful cards with it. It then got put into a box when I move and then put into a cupboard and forgot it was there, until the other day. I have used it since I got it out of the cupboard and still has exciting to use it as it was back then when I first bought it.
If you have never embossed anything before it is easy to do, you are supplied with a embossing pen which is balled on both ends (meaning no pointy ends it looks like a ball is stuck to it) you can get them in different sizes. Once you have the stencils all the right way and the card or paper is between the stencils, pen in hand you're ready to go, the difference between embossing and stencilling is simple, if your just stencilling you get no effect and no pressure is applied to the material you're using. Depending on the material your using will determine how much pressure is needed to emboss successfully.
Embossing however is different completely, you do have to use the pen supplied otherwise it won't work, you have to apply a little pressure for the embossing to show, once you have done this you will see that one side will give you a raised imaged of what you have stencilled and the other side of the material will give you a deboss effect, which simply means it is dinted into the material, both sides are great to use in your projects.
You can honestly say this is your own embossing/stencilling work desk, it's not bulky, it's too big or small, and it is light to carry around with you. Anyone can use it, my 5 year old son loves using this for stencilling and even had a go at the embossing, it is not hard to use at all. It is very sturdy and does not move when you're using it, it does have 4 rubber balls on the bottom of the machine, you can use it on any surface and most importantly you don't need to plug this into mains or put in batteries, which is always a good thing.
AVAILABILITY AND PRICE.
I bought mine from a little crafting shop in Nottingham years ago and to be honest I can't remember how much I paid for it but I can tell you can buy this embossing machine from amazon at £20 which is great value for money. I am also thinking you can buy from places like hobby craft but I would expect you will be paying more, also always check ebay too, as sometimes they will sell them and pretty cheap too.
MY FINAL OPINION.
I am glad I have found this machine again as it gives your projects a beautiful finish no matter how you use it, I have also tried embossing then colouring the embossed pieces with colouring pencils or putting gems on it, looks great. I like the fact you can change the blank, boring look of an envelope into something that looks professionally done and has took a lot of time to do. I did buy this for my card creations, but like I say children can use it as well for simply stencilling. You can buy other stencils for this board which I was happy about as I haven't bought any stencils for this board yet and now I have a wish list, they do not cost much and is worth every penny. Always make sure both stencils are facing the right way and together before starting to use it otherwise it won't work and won't give you the pattern you set out to do.
The stencils can be use in many different ways, they can be used with paints or inks, use your embossing powders, chalks anything you want to use you can use, as the stencils are so easy to clean, just a damp cloth straight after using paints or whatever your using cleans it straight away.
I borught the shapeboss in one of my many ebay craft buying frenzys. This particular time I was having a Fiskars buying session and i ahvd never seen one of these before seeing it on Ebay.
I had never even tried dry embossing before and i dont really know why now i have discovered it.
The Fiskars shapeboss is a fun easy and dare i say it mess free way to emboss your crafting projects.
This steardy work desk is small and compact but at about 50cm x 50 cm will still fit all of your crafting papers on it. It comes with pegs to hold your papers down so there will be no mistakes which happen to easily when embossing and the paper moves.
It comes with a few stencils to work from with an alphabet and various borders and shapes but these are very basic and when you go online or into the shopes there are so many avaliabke so you can dry emboss pretty much and shape of design you like.
This is not a mechanical or battery operated device, purely man power and works by placing your paper or card between two stencils and rubbing over it giving you an embossed effect. The embossing tool is provided and is basically just a metal pen .
All the stencils come with handy makred out centremeter squares so you can line up your paper correctly. The top stencil is also clear so you can see exactly where you are embossing.
I have used various other crafting stencils not made by fiskars on this device and although they cannot be pegged down into place like the fiskars ones which are specially deisgned can theyu still work as well if you have the patience to hold them in place. The metal ones work very well on here.
I also use the shapeboss when I am doing crafting on the go because it is a great work bench which is highly portable.
I have since dscovered that the shapeboss is quite widely avaliable when you know what you are looking for and they sell it online evrywhere including amazon. They also sell it in hobbycraft. It retails at about £9.99 - £14.99 and this includes the blue work station the embossing tool and some stencils. As previously mentioed there are many stencils avaliable and the packs designed specifically to fit on this are about £9.99 each but you get a few in them. the alphabet sets are well worth it as you can sopell out all your quotes in scrapbooking projects.
I would say this is a worthy investment for any crafter. I am going to be selling all my ink embossing sets as I will not be doing any more ink embossing after buying this.
A little background first, I make cards and like to personalise them. I also know a lot of people with names you wouldn't normally find stickers or products for.
I got the Fiskars Shapeboss for Christmas not really knowing much about it. With it you receive a starter stencil, which has various designs (the one shown in the photo above), a dual-tipped embossing stylus with a large ball and small ball and the pegs to hold the stencil in place.
What is different about this dry embossing system is that you do not need a light box. You have two stencils, one goes at the bottom, the other on top (this is clearly marked) and the paper or card (A4 fits easily) slides between. The stencils have grids on them so you can line up your design perfectly. This style of embossing means you are less like to make mistakes and also makes the whole task simpler (no need for rubbing wax on the back of your card so it doesn't tear).
Further stencils are easily obtained, I also received an alphabet one (perfect for those tricky names) which has upper and lower case and the floral stencil which includes a lot of border patterns.
The embossing you can do with this system adds an extra dimension to your cards, but can be used for so much more for example embellishing envelopes, making menus and gift tags.
The only criticism I can make is the pegs used to hold the stencil in place can not be bought separately, which would make things rather tricky if you were to lose any, so keep a tight grip on those little orange fellas.
I have already made several cards using the stencils and I am enjoying it a great deal. It's great fun to use and very useful for making a quick card or adding a little extra on to one you have already made (such as a birthday greeting, name or age for those children's cards). I have also started planning what stencil to buy next as I can see myself getting a lot of usage from this unexpected but very useful present.