Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Me and My Frugal Crafting Purchases.. Revisted

Original Post: I've been promising a new review for a while now and I think it's about time I post one.  This next "tool" is really quite multi-functional and VERY economic.  So, a little test first, are you game? here goes...
Take a look at these two pictures...

are they different? or are they the same?
I'll let you think about it for a minute, and no I'm not trying to trick you..:)..

Ready?  Ok..they're both. Yup..Both are teflon sheets..same material..same size.  But they are different in the fact that you will pay double the cost of the first one for the second.  

The first item is a teflon sheet from a very successful ebay seller who sells them for heat transfer presses for T-shirts and the like. A 15"x15" sheet usually sells for around $5.  The second is Ranger's Utee Non-Stick Crafting sheet, which Tim Holtz and the like have been praising the daylights out of em in the past year or so.  The Ranger sheet retails for around $16.

I felt that Ranger's price was way too high and wanted an alternative source.  That's when I scoured ebay and the web for a similar product, because I was pretty darn sure that Ranger wasn't  solely manufacturing the item.  I found a generic one listed by 3447joseph  on eBay which was VERY cheap and right in my price range. It didn't take him long at all to ship it to me and I was ready to go and test it out when it arrived.

This Teflon sheet was just as thick as Ranger's and held up to the same abuse that they claim their item can handle. It is still holding up very well after months of use. The generic sheet is very heat resistant and will not burn under a heat gun. It also makes a wonderful paint pallet, just gob on the paint directly from the bottle or tubes. Once you are done, just let it harden and you can easily peel off the dried paint. This also works well for glues and acrylic mediums. If you had thinned down your paint just simply rinse the sheet off under some warm water and wipe dry. This sheet is also flexible enough to use as a mat for embossing powders or glitter. Once you are done sprinkling the powders just fold up the sheet to pour the excess back into the bottle. As far as sharp objects are concerned, I would still use a cutting mat, but for oopses it holds up well under an exacto knife or claying blades.

So folks, I hope you can see that just because an item is too expensive doesn't mean we have go without. With a little research there are viable alternatives to crafting tools...just gotta find em and not expect the "Name Brand" to be the only source for us.

All the best!

Update:  After revisiting my post some years later..I find the information I originally wrote about to still hold true.  Unfortunately the eBay vendor to which I linked to is no longer selling.  Therefore I have researched a similar vendor  "Turnone-Graphics " and found their prices to be very reasonable. Yes, prices have increased..but still it is quite a bit cheaper than the heavily advertised versions.  Something else I never mentioned as well is that you have a variety of sizes to choose from when purchasing these sheets off of eBay.  You could customize your sheet size to match the exact working surface of your worktable area, something you cannot do with the Ranger sheets.

Happy Crafting~ Cindy

1 comment:

Kerin said...

Awesome review! I have spent so much on those sheets as they take a beating in my studio. Thanks for the great ebay source!!!

Oh and welcome to the Mixed Media Art ning group also. : )