There are different stamping tools to get us the perfect stamped image in exactly the right spot. I have, for example, heard of and seen in YouTube-videos Inkadinkado's Stamp-A-Ma-Jig but I have never tried this one myself since I don’t have wood mounted stamps. I guess that it would come in handy for some EZ-mounted stamps as well.
And of course there are the regular see through acrylic blocks that you can put your clear stamps on and see through them (hover your head straight above the stamp) to get it in the right spot.
This worked well for me for a while.
But then the whole layering-stamp-hype took off (I don’t like it when they are not perfectly aligned) AND it annoyed me that some of my sentiments were not as crisp and black as I would want them AND I was thinking of doing a project with watercolour paper and heat embossing (see picture below: using the "Persian Motifs" stamp set from Altenew) and I just knew that this paper would not take the Versamark well in one go and before you know it I was thinking about a tool like the MISTI (stands for Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented : https://www.mysweetpetunia.com/articles.asp?id=253 In the video you see the old version of the MISTI tool : the newer version comes with a laser etched grid on the see through lid, no sticker on the front, which is a good thing).
I figured maybe my father could make one for me or I could make one myself (there are many YouTube-video’s on this subject) but somehow time passed and I didn’t get to it and my father was busy as well. At that moment (over one and a half year ago) it was not possible to buy a MISTI in my country. A couple of months ago things changed and we, here in the Netherlands, can now also buy them through different retailers.
As I was preparing for a crafting show hosted in the nearest city early September (meaning: trying to figure out a way to make the most of my time there and still see everything and everyone I wanted to see) I found a good deal for a MISTI and after long and hard thinking I bought one (they normally go for around 60 euro’s / dollars and that is a lot of money for something if you don’t like it). Since I have used it for over three months now I think I have tried it out enough to be able to write a good review about this tool.
When you’re interested in buying this kind of stamping tool then be aware that there are, since I bought mine, some other brands that came out with a similar device : there is, for example, the “Precision Press” from We R Memory Keepers, the “Stampaholic” from Die Cuts and More and the “Stamp Perfect Tool” from Hampton Art. Not all of these tools might be widely available in your country.
That I’m reviewing the MISTI does not mean that I have tried out all of the other devices as well, it just means that I either did not know of the other brands having a similar device or that these alternatives were/are not available in my country.
What I can deduct from the information on the internet is that the We R Memory Keepers Precision Press has a different design and that the Stamp Perfect Tool from Hampton Art is only available in one size.
The Stamp Perfect Tool is not available in my country and if you want more information about this devise and the Precision Press then there is much to find on Google or on YouTube (there you can also find a comparison video between the MISTI and the Precision Press). This post is not about these tools and I can’t compare these tools with the MISTI for you because I have never tried them.
What I like about the design of the MISTI is that it is sturdy, it comes with magnets (unlike the We R Memory Keepers Precision Press) and it is available in three different sizes (as far as I have been able to find information on the internet only the Stampaholic from Die Cuts and More also comes in three different sizes so I guess that this brand’s stamping tool compares best to the MISTI. The Stampaholic is not available in my country and if you want more information about this device you unfortunately have to look someplace else).
I have bought the regular size MISTI, which is the middle size (there also is a mini-version and a scrapbook-version, which is a lot larger). You read often that for card makers the mini-version would be best, I disagree on that one.
Why? Because for the square card size we have here in the Netherlands the size of the mini-MISTI is too small, it simply can’t accommodate the dimensions of this size card. And besides that, I find that when I stamp something of the edge of the cardstock I need the additional space around the cardstock to “hang” the stamps of so they don’t get caught between the lid and the (pink) edge of the MISTI. In that case I don’t place the card in the corner but in the middle of the MISTI. With a pencil I make a mark so I know where the corners of my card are, put my magnets on and stamp (this way I can still do multiple cards with the same design). This is how I made the following card with the Hero Arts “Scattering Leaves” stamp set.
I would advise you trying to figure out what your needs are in stamping and decide for yourself if a MISTI or a similar device is something that fits your needs: what card sizes do you make, do you use stamps on your scrapbook pages, what sort of cardstock do you use (rougher paper often needs more than one go for a crisp inked image), do you want to be able to use magnets to hold your card stock down or don’t you need them for your stamping, do you like crisp lines or does it not really bother you if they are not perfect (I’m a little OCD at this point I guess), and of course which of these tools are available to you and are you willing to invest in this tool (or would you like to make one yourself, as a DIY-stamp tool can serve you as well).
Do I use my MISTI as often as I thought I would prior to buying one?
Yes, I use my MISTI on every card that I make: I like my black ink real dark, I like my sentiments all there, I like not having to throw away a stamped image because I didn’t ink up well enough or did not stamp good enough, I like that I can get a good inked image on water colour cardstock and I like the ability to put my stamp down first in EXACTLY the right spot, pick it up with the lid and then ink it up, all of this I can achieve with the MISTI. As said before, for the card size we carry here in the Netherlands I would recommend the middle size (or bigger if you scrapbook) of the MISTI or a similar tool. If you are a little OCD like me for everything on your card being as straight as possible then the MISTI comes in handy.
Also: if you find that your stamped images are not as crisp as you would like them to be because you tend to shake a little or if you don’t have a very steady hand when placing your stamp on the cardstock then the MISTI can solve this problem for you.
What comes with the MISTI?
The MISTI comes with 2 magnets (I bought extra ones for back-up because I knew they could damage and I thought maybe I would need more to hold the card stock down (I find you don’t need more than two though)). It also comes with a couple of sheets of grid paper: you tear of one piece and store the others until the first one is to dirty for your liking (you can buy back-ups of these though if you want a clean one for every card, personally it doesn’t bother me). The edges of the grid-paper for the middle-size MISTI that I have measure 21,5 x 16,5 cm (this also is the size of your stamp area). And finally the MISTI comes with a piece of black foam. Where do you need that for? Not only your clear stamps adhere to the lid of the MISTI, also your EZ-mounted stamps adhere to it (if they don’t any more, clean the inside of the lid and they will adhere again). Because the EZ-mounted stamps are thicker compared to the regular clear stamps you better take out the grid paper and the black foam, place your grid paper back in the MISTI and also your card stock and the magnets. Do you have to do this: no, I sometimes forget (because I don’t have that many EZ-mounted stamps), but it puts extra pressure on the hinges of the lid (which makes them more prone to breakage) so I can’t recommend it.
About the magnets:
I like that I can secure my cardstock in place with the magnets: sometimes you use these inks or stamps that your card stock keeps attached to (if you have the We R Memory Keepers version than you could try a piece of washi tape for keeping your card stock in place but not everybody seems to like that) or you shift the card stock accidentally when you close the lid. The magnets come in handy for securing the cardstock in the place you want it;
Are these magnets strong enough? YES, THEY ARE : in fact sometimes they are hard to get off, but not in an annoying way, I like it that they are strong. I put a little tape around them with a flap on one side so I don’t damage my card when I have nail polish on, the flap also comes in handy if you have brittle nails so you don’t have to dig under the magnet to get it of;
Can these magnets hurt you? YES, THEY CAN : if the magnets are too close to each other and your finger is between them when they clash together (they are magnets after all) then it seems to hurt a lot. I have not tried this yet!;
Can these magnets get damaged / break? YES, THEY CAN : it did not happen to me the first time they clashed together (within an hour after opening the box that carried my MISTI when I got home after the crafting show where I bought it, fortunately without my finger in between), but I shipped them during my first or second card using the MISTI. I still use the damaged magnets, they work the same, but I have learned fast not to put them to close together mindlessly, on or of my card/MISTI/desk! When you have this happen they are really difficult to get apart, do not pull but slide sideways, that is the easiest way I find.
Other things that can be convenient:
Storage: I store my MISTI flat on top of a mobile storage cart that fits under my desk. This way it is in hands reach when I’m working.
Cleaning: This is the official video on how to clean your MISTI or any other acrylic surface for that means: http://blog.mysweetpetunia.com/2016/10/cleaning-permanent-stains-from-misti.html (not all of these products are easy available in every country).
DON’T USE alcohol or cleaner for your windows or Staz-On cleaner on your MISTI or acrylic blocs! Right away or in time it will damage the acrylic surface.
I do not use Staz-On ink and for the rest of the inks I do use I clean up directly after I’m done with stamping. I clean up with a baby wipe or a little water and a soft cloth. This worked for me in the past 3 months. Since I don’t have my MISTI that long and I clean up after using my MISTI it is in fairly good shape (a little spot of ink here and there doesn’t bother me), but still I can notice that the surface is getting a little sticky and it’s not as clean as it was when I bought it. I plan on buying the NOVUS 1 cleaner (on Ebay) and test out how that works (I feel that I don’t need NOVUS 2 right now, I will see if I will buy that additionally in the future).
That’s it for today! I realise that this was a long post but I tried to be as complete as possible.
I would love to hear what stamping tools you like to use!