Monday, June 25, 2012

Product Review: Xyron Creatopia Shapez

I've become a bit of a die-cutting fiend lately. I love cutting my own letters, borders, and journaling shapes out of any paper I choose. I currently have a Big Shot die cutting machine and a Quickutz Revolution. Both machines are great. But it was a bit of a pain to have 2 machines, storage- and space-wise. Plus I like to add adhesive to my paper before cutting it, so I had a third large machine in play - the Xyron Creatopia. I LOVE my Creatopia for putting an even layer of adhesive on my die cut projects. But having to get out all three machines while I was scrapping made me not want to get any of them out.

So one day I was browsing around the web and discovered that I could get a die cut machine that fits inside my Creatopia - the Creatopia Shapez. And I realized that all my prayers were answered. (Okay, I can get a little overly excited about little things.) And we had a garage sale coming up, so if I could sell my Revolution and my Big Shot, I'd have a single machine to do all my die cutting and adhesive-ing (a word I made up). That got me really excited.

I ordered the Shapez set from Create For Less (it's out of stock right now, but you can still get it from I had to try it out as soon as it arrived.

Xyron Creatopia Shapez cartridge and cutting plates

The process of taking the adhesive cartridge and rolling wheel out of the Creatopia is easy once you get the hang of it. And the die press fits right inside the Creatopia - the platform then folds down to make a nice surface to roll the plates through. Cutting-wise, it works just great, the same as the Big Shot but a bit wider at 6.5" instead of just 6".

You can cut with every kind of die - thick or thin. You can emboss too (in fact, an embossing mat is included, which I had to buy separately for the Big Shot). I was even able to cut with a long Sizzix border die and the long border cutting plate I had for the Big Shot. I had to shim it up a bit to get it thick enough to go through the Shapez cutter, but it worked just great too.

If you want to learn how to really use your die cutting machines, you need to take the A Cut Above class from Online Card Classes.

I know it says it's a card-making class but it's so much more than that. The class covers traditional die-cutting machines and Silhouette/Cameo die-cutting. There are so many moments of "Oh - so that's how you do that..." I can't even begin to tell you how much I learned from this class. It definitely gave me the confidence to get out my die-cutting machines - traditional and electronic - with every layout I've been creating.

Cork letters cut with the Quickutz 4x8 Chocolate alpha die
Cork letters cut with the Quickutz 4x8 Chocolate alpha die
Overall, I am so very happy with the Shapez die cutting machine. It does everything I did with my Big Shot machine but integrates with my Creatopia so that I have just a single machine to do everything. If you already have a Creatopia and you like to die cut, the Shapez machine is a great solution. If you don't have a Creatopia, you should get one. I'm just sayin'...

On a related note, I was able to sell my Big Shot and my Revolution in my garage sale - so I was able to pay for the Shapez as a break-even deal. Which was a big deal to me since I'm trying to keep to a budget for my scrapping habits. Yay me!

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