In one of my previous posts (which you can see – here) I told you I’d been asked to test the special Crafty Bobs A4 Premium Gloss Craft Photo Paper in my new toy, the Silhouette Cameo digital cutting machine, and write a review. I also said that, rather than writing about carrying out a test and saying it was Great, or cutting out something else and saying it was Good, I’d actually show you what I did, and the results of each test, so that you can decide for yourself whether the paper is good or not.
It’s now time for me to write up and show you the photos of the rest of my tests, and also photos of the finished cards I’ve made with the cut out pieces I’ve created. Please look towards the bottom of this post if you just want to look at the finished cards.
I took the flowers that can be seen on this sheet, created as you saw in the previous post, and got out my trusty Crafty Bob Bone Folder. I dragged this over the back of some flowers and over the front of some flowers to give them some shaping.
This was quite easy to do on the back, but didn’t run quite as smoothly on the front, but had great results both ways. Didn’t have any problems doing this – no ripping of paper, no crinkling, no pulling of ink off the paper, and it wasn’t even bad for showing up fingerprints considering how much handling the pieces had while shaping and then sticking together. It’s not as if I left it dry for ages on the cutting mat before I started handling the flower pieces (or anything else in my testing), I put things straight on my scanner from the printer, and straight to cut from there, and again into the scanner before taking all the pieces off the cutting mat.
As the finished flowers are dimensional I can’t actually put them on the scanner to scan an image to show you here. But you will see the resulting flowers displayed on a card in the last section of this post.
Information: The files Ive used to put together this test were: Nesting Flowers by Claire Norman and Backgrounds: Navy Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Gorgeous Jewels by Emma Winnell and Ivory Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Marvelous Metallics by Emma Winnell.
Dark silhouettes and cutting out photographic decoupage
- This is a screen dump of the file I’d created. I put three copies of my own photograph on the page in Silhouette Studio and put cutting lines in for the whole flower, for some of the petals, and for just the stamens. I took two of the silhouettes and also put in cutting lines. This was made as a Print & Cut file.
- This is a scan of the A4 page after I’d printed it out and put it through the Cameo and cut it.
- This is a scan of the pieces after removing them from the cutting mat.
- A closeup of two of the layers of the flower cut out.
- A closeup of the silhouette tree. First time I’d noticed the dusty look of a cut layer. Not sure whether this could be to do with the material in the core of the paper (if it’s a very chalky core it could ware the blade of the cutting machine out quicker, but for this quality end cuts it would probably be worth using this paper even if it did have a chalky core). Not absolutely perfect perhaps, but you would need to look pretty closely at the finished article to see anything other than a clean cut.
Information: The files Ive used to put together this test were: The amaryllis photo is one of my own photographs; African silhouettes by Debra Jenkinson.
Writing with Silhouette Pens and then cutting.
- I set up a page of banners and corners in the Silhouette Studio software for this test, putting the greeting “Penblwydd Hapus” (Welsh for Happy Birthday) in the banners. The banner shapes and the flourish corners were all from Silhouette. I then selected different lines and put different colours and types of Silhouette pens into the blade holder until I’d written everything I wanted, before finally putting the cutting blade in and setting the Cameo to cut around each shape. I wasn’t totally happy with how the pens had written on the Craft Photo Paper, though I think one type of pen worked better than the other.
- On this greeting you can see the purple pen from the Silhouette Sketch Pens pack has worked much better than the gold pen from the Silhouette Sketch Pens – Metallics.
- The swirl corners were “written” only using the gold metallic pen and isn’t as good as I’d have liked.
- The blue text and purple outline on this are better.
Information: The files Ive used to put together this test were: Flourishes and banner outlines – designs from Silhouette site; Greetings wording – just typed up myself using fonts on my laptop.
While the results of this test were not all bad, using the pens on the Craft Photo Paper has certainly been the worse result I’ve had in everything I’ve thrown at the paper during my series of tests. But there again, a “photo paper” isn’t exactly the type of surface you’d usually use pens on in the first place, so I won’t hold this little blip against a paper that has performed excellently in other tests.
Crafty Bobs A4 Premium Gloss Craft Photo Paper has performed well in the tests I’ve thrown at it, producing excelent quality prints without having to resort to ink hungry “best” settings, and has worked well in my Cameo and cut cleanly. As it works well at the standard Heavyweight Card setting in my Cameo it should also cut out with no problems in a CraftROBO. At 200gsm weight, in my opinion, it isn’t heavy enough to make a base card out of (as a base card needs to be more substantial to support the weight of toppers and added embellishment), but it is a great weight for things like pyramage layers where you don’t want your layers to sag. It may well be OK for a print, trim, fold, type quick card that you don’t intend to use further embellishment on – you’ll have to try that out for yourself.
I would certainly be more than happy to use this paper again in my crafting when I wanted printable glossy paper/lightweight card, whether for just printing out and then cutting by hand or for cutting out stuff in my Cameo.
Having had a look at the results I’ve had – What do you think? Do you think it would be suitable for using in your crafting? Why not give it a try for yourselves. At only £2.49 + P & P for a pack of 20 it is reasonably priced, and if I’ve understood things correctly they post to locations beyond the UK, so if you live further afield you can also have it delivered to your door.
It would be nice if it was available in larger packs, or had a special deal for buying multi packs.
Also – a request to Crafty Bob – as I’m one who doesn’t like to have the same finish on all my cards, I think it’s now time to think about producing some mat printable card-stock of the same high quality, and possibly also one with a light sheen, and a printable iridescent card-stock, all of the same weight. And I’d also like the same quality card at 250gsm or even 300gsm for projects where the base card is to printed off with a design and then toppers and embellishments put on top.
Here are the cards I made using the bits I’ve cut out while testing Crafty Bob’s Paper.
- Topper from Test 1 – Circular Mother of Pearl Frames by June Young; Tea in the shade Original Watercolour painting by Pamela West.
- Mats from Test 2 and silhouettes from test 6 – Champagne Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Marvelous Metallics by Emma Winnell; Purple Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Gorgeous Jewels by Emma Winnell; Studio Oval Double Circle Mats by Angela Burk; African silhouettes by Debra Jenkinson.
- Aperture cut in background from Test 3 – One of the backgrounds from Someplace Backing Paper 2 by Carol Lepard; Cow Iris Folding Pattern by Margaret Jones
- Flowers from Test 4 and corners and greeting from Test 7 – FLOWERS 01 by Clive Couter.
- Closeup of flower showing dimension and corner piece.
- Greetings and mat from Test 2 and flowers from Test 5 – Champagne Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Marvelous Metallics by Emma Winnell; Purple Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Gorgeous Jewels by Emma Winnell; Scalloped Oval Layers Studio by Tina Fitch; Nesting Flowers by Claire Norman; Navy Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Gorgeous Jewels by Emma Winnell; Ivory Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Marvelous Metallics by Emma Winnell.
- Closup showing how the flowers have not been damaged by shaping either forwards or backwards using a bone folder, and they hold their shape nicely because of the weight of the paper.
- Mat from Test 2 and flower from Test 6 – Purple Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Gorgeous Jewels by Emma Winnell; Scalloped Oval Layers Studio by Tina Fitch; Flower is my own copyright as I grew and took the picture of this flower.
- Closeup that once again shows how well a cut piece has responded to being worked with a bone folder for dimension, and is holding that dimension well.
Hope you like my creations!
Merchandise – Other than the Craft Photo Paper CUP have a small number of other items in their Merchandise section. Have a look – here – to see what they’ve got at the moment.
CUP TV – There are now well over 100 episodes of CUP TV up on the Internet. CUP TV is where designers have the chance to demonstrate how to make up their cards, and give hints and tips. You can have a look at the list of the – here.
You can see the cards Ive made using design sheets from CUP in my Crafter Showcase Area on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)
You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.