Friday, March 24, 2017

GoPress and Foil Machine review

I have never done a product review before, although I have no problem telling people what I think of various products....especially art/craft products. lol

I received my Couture Creations GoPress and Foil machine yesterday and after much searching online the only information I could find was from Couture Creations. This product is REALLY new to the market so I thought I would share my first impressions.

Let me start with this, I purchased the Anna Griffin version from HSN on the March 8th all day craft day. (I told you in my last post that everything had not arrived yet lol)



It came with the machine itself, a heat proof silicone mat, the pick n' lift 3 in 1 magic tool (super cool tweezers) and 5 sample rolls of foil. 
According to all the sites I saw, the normal version only comes with silver and gold foil samples.

Also, because it was Anna Griffin and an HSN deal, mine came with 3 hot foil stamps as well. 




These are all Anna Griffin labeled metal stamps. A vintage rose, Happy Birthday and a frame. I ordered the additional stamps as well but they are still on back order.

So what makes this machine different from my Minc machine (which I still love BTW)?

For this machine you do not need printer toner images. It uses heat activated foil so you heat up the metal foil stamps then lay the foil and paper (or whatever you want the foil image on) on top and then run the whole thing through your Cuttlebug or other similar embossing machine.

You can watch the Couture Creations video here

I wanted to share with you a few of the things I have tried.

I started with the basic hot foil stamp on card stock.



I used the Happy Birthday stamp and pink foil.
My first impression? It applied the image beautifully! The pink and blue foils are not as shiny as I expected (Minc foil is super shiny) but it has a very nice sheen. I am really pleased with how this turned out.

I then tried the frame stamp.



Again the silver is not super shiny but does have enough sheen to be reflective and is a nice effect.

I encountered a couple issues while using the frame. 
Because you lay down the stamp first to heat it up and then lay down the foil and lastly the card stock it is difficult to line it all up and get it centered on the card stock. So far that has meant cutting the card stock a lot larger than needed and cutting it down after foiling. This leads to wasted card stock so I need to figure out a way to line stuff up.

I also found that, on this image, I did not get even pressure so the foil was not applied evenly.



As you can see, in the center of the image (on both ends even though that is not visible on the top image due to reflection) the foil is not even.
I'm not sure why. I had large shims that covered the entire plate, I don't have the problem when embossing with my Cuttlebug so I don't think that is the issue. I cannot see any visible 'dip' in the center of GoPress surface so I will need to just watch and see how often this happens.

My next experiment was with an embossing folder. Now this was something that really sold me on this machine. I have hundreds of embossing folders and to be able to use them in a new way is exciting.



You lay down a metal shim on the heat plate (I have one from Cottage Cutz called a Universal Shim plate and cost around $10)
You then put down your foil, then your card stock and finally your embossing folder (opened up and the 'bumpy' side down against the card stock). You top this with your Cuttlebug B plate and run it through your Cuttlebug.

It is a very interesting effect. But again, the center did not get even coverage. The center if fairly light  yet the edges are much darker. It is a background so most of the center will be covered with something else but still...



Again, I am not sure if it is a defect in the GoPress or something with  my Cuttlebug. I will need to play around more. Possibly see about using a thin rubber shim under the B Plate to help with pressure.

So, moving right along, thin metal cutting dies. I have TONS of them! How about you?
They work in this machine as well.....just like the foil stamps! Or so they say.



This is a rose cutting die from Anna Griffin. I think it was in one of her seasonal die sets from last year.
If you watch the videos from Couture Creations they say you can use these just like the hot foil stamps but they will add foil and not cut.
Well.....it definitely added foil but it also cut. It cut clean through the outer edge of the entire die. It cut partially through the inner pieces. Is this a bad thing? No, it actually is really cool! But not exactly what I was expecting. I think by reducing the shim thickness when running through the Cuttlebug I should be able to stop this from happening. But then again. I like that I have this really cool rose foiled die cut to play with now. :-)

And lastly, leather....yep Leather!

Online they say it can foil leather. The examples I saw were faux leather textured paper/card stock. You tell me leather I think LEATHER!



I have a bag of leather tags (and other scraps) I picked them up for a song at an estate sale years ago thinking that some day I would find a use for them. It is really high quality stuff. I have used a few over the years. They all have paper labels on the back from some upholstery place. Very cool.

So, I grabbed a butterfly die (probably not my best choice) and ran it through the machine. Voila! foil on leather. And this stuff does not scratch or scrape off!!!

Now here is my issue (and I think it has to do with the fact that these tags are super soft leather and a little over 1/16" thick) the foil applied to areas I didn't want.



Can you see it deeply embossed into the leather (which is so cool!) but at the top around the antennae it applied foil everywhere. I think because the entire die got pressed into the soft leather.

I tried cutting the foil down so it conformed more to the shape of the die.



It was better but still has issues. Due to the problem I listed earlier about not being able to see to line things up exactly, I can't cut the foil down much more. So I think if I want to foil more leather tags (and I think I do lol) I will need to stick to dies that do not have indented areas like this one so I can cut the foil down much closer to the actual shape.

So, would I recommend the GoPress and Foil machine?

Yes!

Do I think it has a learning curve? Sort of. I think it will take a few tries to get the shim pressure correct. But even my 'mistakes' are still usable (well maybe not those butterflies until I can figure out how to scrape off some of that excess foil lol)

This is a small, lightweight machine which makes it easy to move around and store.

It works with their hot foil stamps and my embossing folders and cutting dies which gives me hundreds! of images and patterns that can be foiled onto different media.

They say it even works with my Minc foil so I will have to test that out as well.

I think this machine is a great addition to my craft room. It is another way to add that little extra umpf to my projects and I am looking forward to experimenting with it even more.


UPDATE:

Last night while hubby was talking with a guy about putting a new roof on our house  I was playing (hiding) in the craft room.

I really wanted to see if I could remove the excess foil from the leather tags.

I tried using a stiff stenciling brush which did take off a bit of the shine but didn't really make a dent in the foil.

I then wondered if an eraser would work. No! Not my brightest idea but I had to try. lol

I then thought, I just want to scrape this stuff off.....bingo! I grabbed a craft knife and lightly scraped the surface. Ha! The foil began to disappear. I have no idea where it went because it wasn't on the knife or my desk but I don't care. It is no longer on my tags.



Was I able to remove every bit? No. Did I remove enough that you don't notice it any more. Yes!



I think these are really cool and would be great attached to luggage or dangling from the strap of your purse.  I am seeing more leather foiled tags in my future.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!


Update: May 12, 2017

I have written a new blog post about the Go Press and Foil Machine with some helpful tips to get even foiling. 
You can read it here

Thanks for stopping by!

11 comments:

nanapuddin said...

Thank you for this review! May have saved me some time! Just got mine yesterday and playing today I hope!

fairycake said...

Cheers! X

mari said...

Hello- I have a question. Does the clear protector cover get marked up like the cutting pads do ( on my Sizzix Big Shot)? I haven't used my Go Press and Foil yet and this crossed my mind, as the plates face up.
Thank you so much! I enjoy your blog!
Mari

Cheryl said...

Hi Mari, yes, there is some marking on the clear top plate. It sometimes leaves a hazy image of your die. But since you are foiling, not cutting, it doesn't damage the plate and I only notice it when I have nothing in the machine.

Maria Olmos said...

Thank you for sharing your opionion on both machines. I'm very new to crafting and would like to know which of these two would you recommend for someone new like me who doesn't want to spend a lot of money? Thank you in advance ��

Crafty_ma_am said...

I'm trying to find out if you "have" to use GoPress heat-activated foil "only". Can you use other manufacturer's foil that uses "heat" (i.e., laminator) to bind to cardstock.

The reason I ask, is that I have another "brand". I guess I could try it; but just wondered if you have and what were your results. Thanks for sharing. Just got my machine yesterday (bought from SMS).

Cheryl said...

Hi Maria Olmos, If you are asking which I would recommend - the Minc or the GoPress. If price is your biggest concern I would go with the Minc. Lots of stores sell the foil (Michael's, JoAnn's...) The machine itself has dropped in price quite a bit. I have seen it as low as $80. And as far as what you can apply foil to, you are only limited by your imagination. As long as you are applying the foil to a toner printed sheet (which you can print your own or have a copy store print them for you) then you are good to go. The GoPress is fabulous but I have far more invested in it money-wise and the stamps and foils are much more difficult to find here in the US.

Cheryl said...

Hi Crafty_ma_am, I have only used the Couture Creations (and the other brand they make which I cannot remember the name of but SMS sells both) and TODO brand. The TODO machine is almost identical to the GoPress and has been out at least a year longer. The foils seem to be identical too other than different color choices. I have purchased the TODO foils from CreatandCraft.com. They sell TODO embossing stamps too. I would say, just try out the foil you have on some small scrap. The worse that can happen is it doesn't work. I have read that some industrial foils need a much higher temperature than the GoPress heats up to so if your foil doesn't work that might be why. Good luck! :-)

Crafty_ma_am said...

thank you ... I have some foil I've used with my laminator (I have a 'regular' laminator and a WRM one in which these foils do very well).

Will try in the GP.

Barbara said...

I have just bought a GoPress and Foil Machine, but cannot use it with my Cut'n Boss.
The Create and Craft demonstrators and the instruction booklet with the machine state that the GoPress and Foil Machine will work with all major die cutting machines.
Can anyone confirm that they have been successful with a Cut 'n Boss and the GoPress?
I would be so grateful to hear from anyone who has tried and had success - or not!!

Barbara.

Ladylake said...

My Go Press and foil arrived today....so excited. Just tried it out with the Cut 'n Boss and was successful with a piece of card, about 160 gsm, on top of the card I was foiling as a shim. Then I had the Go Press & Foil platform with the B plate on top and that went through the Cut 'n Boss ok. However, I did notice that it left a few specks of foil where I didn't want it and am thinking it would have been better without the shim. Will try that next. Anyway, have a go as I have done and just experiment....good luck x