“ Brand: Hobbycraft / Type: Stationery „
Although I work in an office, I am a crafter at heart. I love nothing better than creating things, whether it's baking, sewing or my most recent discovery which is papercutting. I decided to try making my own greetings cards for friends and family, and had seen some lovely ideas online where you simply (I say "simply" in a slightly ironic tone!) cut out an image and place coloured paper behind it to allow it to show up. To do this, I needed a craft knife and cutting mat, so found myself buying this from Hobbycraft.
The mat is A4, and costs £6.99. I thought this was a reasonable price considering I wasn't sure how long my new interest would last. It is black in colour, which threw me at first because most of the ones I'd seen online were green, but as the colour made no difference to me I opted for this one because it was the cheapest they had in store. It has a cut-out for a handle, which I presume is to make it easier to carry but as I don't go very far with mine I can't say I've found this particularly useful!
The mat has lots of pre-printed measurements and angles on it, which is ideal if you are doing intricate work where precise measurements are essential. Personally, as I'm a novice, and only making for friends and family, I tend to use my own judgement rather than the lines on the mat, but they're not distracting so I just ignore them.
The idea behind most cutting mats is that they are self-healing, which means that once you've used your craft knife on them, you won't end up with lots of grooves and scratches which may affect the surface. This one is no different, and despite me using it repeatedly, the surface still looks as good as it did when I bought it, and allows for a clean cut. It is made from a dense plastic surface, which is designed to give additional grip. I don't really notice the mat sliding or moving as I'm using it, so I can only presume that this material works. It's very thin which makes it easy to use because your hand isn't knocking into it all the time, and it also makes it easy to store which is great when you have an excessive collection of crafting products.
I would recommend this mat for anyone who needs a basic cutting mat, although there are measurements on there if you're looking for something a bit more specialised. It has done the job for me, and for basic card making I find the A4 size large enough for my purposes.
(Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)