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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.