Monday, September 2, 2013

Letterpress Madness...

I recently purchased the Lifestyle Crafts Letterpress Starter Kit on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  I have always been a fan of letterpress cards, but had never tried to craft my own.  When I saw this kit on clearance, I decided to give it a go.

The kit comes with black letterpress ink and a few letterpress plates so it does contain everything needed to get started.  While I know I will use the black ink that comes in the kit, I did want to expand my color choices.  One look at the price per tube - $6 on - had me rethinking that desire.

Before I had even opened the starter kit box, I was back to Hobby Lobby to find some letterpress ink at a more affordable price.  I found some Speedball Block Printing Ink.  This is a thick, sticky ink that is very much like the ink used in letterpress. The price per tube is $6.99 but you get 2.5 ounces compared to One ounce of the Lifestyle Crafts Letterpress ink.  You get a lot more for your money buying the Speedball ink and I used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby that brought the price to just a little over $4 per tube. Much better.  Then, I happened to be at Michael's picking up some resin and I browsed the clearance aisle and found 12 different colors of the Speedball ink for $2.48 each. But wait- it gets better - clearance items were an ADDITIONAL 50% off so I was able to buy each tube of ink for $1.24!!!  Score!!!!!!

Okay - so I also ran to Joann's this weekend and found seven of the Lifestyle Crafts Letterpress Plate kits for $2.97 each (one of the kits was $5.97). The cheapest I have been able to find them online was $15.  I was so excited to find the plate kits at such a great price that I was almost jumping for joy in the store aisle.

Now, onto the paper needed to letterpress.  The kit came with several sheets of the letterpress paper which is a thick, soft paper.  It is really a nice quality, but again, not cheap.  I wanted to experiment with other papers I had on hand to see if they would letterpress well.   I used a Canson Watercolor paper, the Lifestyle Crafts letterpress paper that came in the kit and a piece of Pure Poppy card stock by Papertrey Ink.

The best impression was achieved with the Lifestyle Crafts Letterpress paper (no surprise here). The Canson Watercolor Paper (purchased at Hobby Lobby some time ago) was a close second.  I misted the Canson paper with water and let it dry a bit before letterpressing to soften it up a bit.  I did like the results with this paper.  The Papertrey Ink card stock did not letterpress as well.  It looks nice but there is not very much de-bossing on this paper.   I may need to add another shim and see how that works.

The photo of the silver Christmas tree is letterpress with the Lifestyle crafts paper.

The damask design at left is letterpress with the Canson watercolor paper.

I also included a photo of the Canson watercolor paper  (on the left) and Lifestyle Crafts letterpress paper (on the right) side-by-side so you can compare.  It is hard to get a sense of the quality in photos and I am planning to do a video on this soon.

And lastly, below is a photo of letterpress on the Pure Poppy card stock from Papertrey Ink.

Using the kit is a lot of fun and I am planning to make some letterpress holiday cards.  This craft can be a little messy so make sure you have plenty of wet wipes on hand for clean up.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


  1. Lucky you! You will have fun playing with it! Letterpress always adds such elegance~Love the tree!!

    1. Hi Ellen - I was so fortunate to find the plates AND the inks at such great prices and am having a lot of fun creating with them. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. Very cool, Colleen! I'm so glad you linked your blog up to the Moxie Fab World Blogroll. It will be great to stop by and say "hello" from time to time! :)

    1. Hi Cath - I am thrilled that you visited my blog! Thanks so much for dropping in. I hope to post more often than I have been and will be happy to have you drop in and say hello from time to time.