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When a product bills itself as “The Ultimate Tool,” it grabs my attention! I was very curious to try out the many different paper crafting functions of the Crafter’s Companion Ultimate Tool
, including scoring, trimming, envelope making, card making, box making, and embossing. However, when I received the purple plastic “suitcase” that is the Ultimate Crafter’s Companion, I was overwhelmed by all of the grooves, compartments and tools. Thank goodness it came with a full-color instructional booklet and DVD!
In addition to the booklet and DVD, the Crafter’s Companion Ultimate Tool comes with the carrying case, which is also the card and envelope scoring surface, an inner plastic “page” used for box folding and embossing, an inner plastic “page” used for shape embossing, two scoring and folding styluses, a cutting blade, a paper trimming ruler and three plastic pins used for the bow making function. All of the accessories are made from the same thick, sturdy, purple plastic and can be stored within the carrying case.
The instructional booklet taught me how to quickly create folded cards and envelopes, but without it I am not sure if I would have been able to figure out all of the functions and folds. There is basically no measuring involved for creating bifold and trifold cards if you start with a standard size sheet of paper or card stock. You simply line your card stock up to the top edge of the Ultimate Tool and then choose a scoring line depending on what size card you intend to create. It is very easy once you have folded a few and figured out the different lines!
Creating envelopes is nearly as simple as folding cards. I made envelopes of all different sizes using the envelope scoring lines on the Ultimate Tool and the handy chart in the booklet, which tells you how large your starting paper sheet needs to be for each envelope size. All of the envelopes and liners seen in the photo above were created within a matter of minutes once I figured out the simple process (I especially like the smallest size envelope because it is the perfect size for an Artist Trading Card and I enjoy making and trading those). Even though I have store-bought and handcrafted envelope templates that I have used in the past to make my own envelopes, I much prefer using the Ultimate Tool. It is a much quicker process with almost no measuring or intricate cutting. I think that the envelope function alone is reason enough to love the Crafter’s Companion Ultimate Tool… but it does much more!
Before attempting one of the more complicated projects on the instructional DVD, I tried embossing a few raised patterns on a few envelopes and cards. You have to be careful not to press too hard and rip the paper and you may have to make quite a few passes, but other than that, embossing is incredibly simple and produces a very pretty and unique result.
I also tried out the bow making function. At first, I was a bit skeptical about the little pegs that you can use to make bows on the Ultimate Tool. I mean, how hard is it to tie a little bow, right? Well, I was really surprised by how easily you can make PERFECT bows using those pegs and the technique described in the booklet. I sound like I am over-hyping it, but really the bows are so simple it almost seems like magic… and I didn’t even think I needed a new bow-making technique!
After trying out all of the simple Crafter’s Companion functions, I decided to try out one of the more complex projects on the DVD. I chose the “Pop-Up Card with Box.” It is a house-shaped box with a card that springs out when opened. Following along with the tutorial on the DVD was fun and easy (although, I did watch the tutorial twice just to make sure I knew what to do). The host walked me through how to make the inner pop-up card, then the box base and box top.
Constructing the elements was the easiest part of the project — decorating the card and box took a bit longer!
The end result is a really fun and uncommon birthday card – and this was just my first try! I am eager to make more of these three-dimensional cards. I really like how the Ultimate Tool has different scoring lines for the box top and the box bottom. It ensures that the top will always slip easily on the box. I also really loved the simple “magic ruler” technique that is taught on the DVD. It allows you create perfectly sized boxes without measuring. It is a time-saver!
The Ultimate Tool DVD is very helpful. It not only has twelve very original and complex project tutorials, but it also has tutorials for all of the more simple functions (card and envelope folding, bow making, etc.), as well as a great “Top Ten Tips” section with helpful info. I definitely would not be able to get the full use out of the Ultimate Tool without the DVD. In fact, there are many more projects I want to try, including pop-up cards, accordion books and envelope boxes.
The Crafter’s Companion Ultimate Tool has so many uses, I feel that I have barely scratched the surface. I am really impressed that so many different functions could be incorporated into one tool — it is a feat of engineering! Plus, there are additional plastic “pages” that you can purchase to augment its selection of embossing shapes. You can learn more about the products at CraftersCompanion.com
- Numerous and extremely versatile paper crafting functions: folding, scoring, cutting, embossing, etc.
- Reduces the amount of measuring required to make cards, boxes, and envelopes.
- The booklet and DVD teach ingenious techniques for making very quick envelopes, bows, and boxes.
- Everything you need for paper crafting can be stored and transported in the sturdy Crafter’s Companion carrying case.
- Learning curve – it takes some time to get comfortable with all of the different functions.
- I prefer to use my table top paper cutter over the trimming ruler and cutting blade included with the Crafter’s Companion.
- You need a fairly large surface on which to use the Crafter’s Companion. It is nearly two feet wide when fully open!
Have you ever used an all-in-one tool like the Crafter’s Companion Ultimate tool before? Do you like the idea of having all of your paper crafting tools in one portable box?