While I was familiar with Spellbinders, I had never used any of the company's products. Usually if I use die-cuts on a scrapbook layout, I buy them already cut. And I've never really experimented with embossing paper. So I was eager to give the Spellbinders Grand Calibur a try and see what it could do.
Along with the Grand Calibur, I also received several die-cuts and an embossing folder. What's cool about the die-cuts is that they are three-in-one. You can use them to cut cardstock into a specific shape, emboss detail into the die-cut shape, or stencil through the die template. The die-cuts come in all different shapes from scalloped circles to butterflies to borders. And they are really easy to use with the Grand Calibur. Just follow the directions to layer all the appropriate items (called "sandwiching"), depending on whether or not you are just cutting, or cutting and embossing, or just embossing. What's also cool is that the die-cuts work with other Spellbinders machines as well as those from other companies.
Below you can see the results of my die-cut circle (with a bit of a textured edge) and my scallop circle embossed cardstock.
The embossing folder Spellbinders sent me was called Delightful Daisies, but they come in other themes. These folders are great if you're making a card and want the card to have a textured look. Or maybe you just want a smaller piece of cardstock embossed to add detail to a scrapbook layout. (I say smaller because the embossing folder is only 7.5 inches by just over 5 inches.) Again, it's pretty easy to use the embossing folders in the Grand Calibur as long as you follow the layering instructions: embossing plate, folder with cardstock inside, and the adapter plate. (The adapter plate you'll have to purchase separately. It doesn't come with the embossing folders.) You can see what I did below.
I did have a bit of trouble getting my embossing "sandwich" to move through the Grand Calibur. But I didn't really have to force it, just help it out a little to get it started. The embossing folders can also be used with other Spellbinders machines and machines from other companies.
What I liked about the Grand Calibur was that it was easy to set up and it requires no batteries or electricity. You just turn the hand crank to move your "sandwiches" through the machine. And then when the "sandwiches" come out on the other side, you've got textured cardstock and/or cut-out shapes.
Plus, there's a nice carry handle on top, so that you can easily tote this to a crop or from room to room if, like me, you like to scrap in front of the TV. (Although, it is a bit heavy.)
The Grand Calibur itself costs $140. The die-cuts range in price from $24.99-$39.99. And the embossing folders range in price from $7.99-$17.99.
Any scrappers out there use Spellbinders products? What do you guys think? This can definitely add a TON of great accent and detail to scrapbook pages and cards. DEFINITELY cards. I don't know why I didn't try this sooner!