Home Wedding Planning DIY Toolbox DIY Bride L Letterpress Review

Though I haven’t had much of a chance to really play with my newly acquired L Letterpress Kit, I wanted to give my first impressions since a lot of you have been asking about it.

Plate Quality Issues First off, I can attest that there is a problem with breaking plates. The first plate I used snapped on the very first run. This pretty much made that plate unusable. Not good.

You can see where the plate snapped - on the first run - rendering it unusable.

You can see where the plate snapped – on the first run – rendering it unusable.

Die Machine Compatibility There have been mixed reports about whether the L Let can be used in other die cutting machines. Yes, it can. I report that it works in my Cuttlebug (Provo Craft) and others have reported it works great in the Big Shot (Sizzix). There’s absolutely no wiggle room, width-wise, in the Cuttlebug but it ran right through.

Inks

L Letterpress Gold & Silver Inks

L Letterpress Gold & Silver Inks

  • The gold and silver inks are really pretty.
  • Clean up of the plates, lid, and packing mats is really easy. I used baby wipes (having a 10 month old is paying off!) and the ink came up with minimal scrubbing. FWIW: Pampers Natural Aloe Unscented wipes were used. Please thank Zion for his contribution to this experiment.
  • The inks are oil-based. Work in a well-ventilated area. The odor can be overpowering in confined spaces.

Ease of Use  The machine is very, very easy to use.

  • The grid system on the lid and mat is tremendously helpful for accurate placement.
  • If you’ve ever used a die cutting machine before, this will be super intuitive. If you haven’t, don’t worry! It’ll likely take newbies just a few minutes to get up and running.

Notes

  • Definitely check out the L Letterpress tips over at Boxcar Press. As Harold mentions, get a better brayer (the roller that applies ink). I happened to have a soft roller from Speedball (around $13.00) and it’s much better than the one supplied by Lifestyle Crafts. A good roller will make a world of difference in ink application.
  • Paper is also important. Regular cardstock won’t take an impression – or a very good one. Get proper uncoated cotton paper. See my list here of paper resources.
  • An unexpected use of the L Letterpress kit: use it with unmounted acrylic or rubber stamps for perfect stamping placement each time. Stick the stamp to the lid and the paper on the base like you would for a letterpress run, ink your stamp, press the top plate onto the paper (manually or through the machine). Stamps won’t deboss but they will leave a perfectly placed image behind.

 

3 replies to this post
  1. I got this to make my wedding invitations and the machine broke! the handle fell off!

    Clearly this machine is not sturdy enough to make a large load. (Which made me very upset because I had to scramble how in the heck am i going to make 150 invitations?!)

    I emailed the company to return the item and they told me I had to pay for shipping back! arg. I had to go back and forth with customer service because they said they didn’t receive one of the plates. Very frustrating and terrible…

    Beware buying this product. Neat idea but I think that it’s a waste of money.

    • The handle can come off (I think for storage purposes) but it slides right back on. Not a big deal.

      I used this machine to do about 700 impressions for my wedding, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results. The Boxcar press tips are great (google it, well worth it). It also takes quite a bit of trial and error to figure out the nuances of the machine. Once you get going, it’s really fun.

      I ordered my custom-made plates fro Boxcar press (including wording for the invitation, the design, RSVP card, thank yous, etc.) and they never broke. The plates that come with the machine are kind of junky — plus better to get custom plates anyway.

      I also used Crane Lettra (600 gsm) paper, and the ink that you can buy with the L-letterpress. You can mix colors using a toothpick. Definitely buy a new brayer too.

      Pictures of my invitations are on finchfineart dot com.

  2. I got this to make my wedding invitations and the machine broke! the handle fell off!

    Clearly this machine is not sturdy enough to make a large load. (Which made me very upset because I had to scramble how in the heck am i going to make 150 invitations?!)

    I emailed the company to return the item and they told me I had to pay for shipping back! arg. I had to go back and forth with customer service because they said they didn’t receive one of the plates. Very frustrating and terrible…

    Beware buying this product. Neat idea but I think that it’s a waste of money.

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