Saturday, September 15, 2012

10 scrapbook product snafus that burn my biscuits

A few weeks ago I posted an article entitled; "5 scrapbook complications that chap my hide" and I got a lot of fabulous tips from readers so I thought I'd write another list - this time about those "Product Snafus that Burn My Biscuits."  These are merchandise foul-ups that are not of my own making.  Irritating defects that can cause my oh-so-favorite activity to become a crafty crisis.

1. Defect: Binder rings that snag - you know the scenario.  You've just finished the most darling mini album for your BFF.  You present it to her at her birthday party and while she is looking at it with an audience of party guests, the page snags on a imperfection on the metal ring and she has to struggle to turn the page. Then the background paper starts to fray around the hole and detach from the chipboard. All you can do is jump in and turn the page for her, apologetically promising to fix it later.  Solution: If you are like me, you buy your binder rings from Office Max rather than dishing out the money for quality rings from your LSS.  If you are not able to fork over the extra cash for the good hardware, you can try filing your binder rings and using a bigger hole punch.
2. Defect: Binder rings that don't close all the way - Oh mama - this one is such a stinker that I hate to even think about it.  You open up your gorgeous scrapbook binder and it is a mess. The darn binder ring on the top doesn't close all the way so the pages have dismounted. Your beautiful scrapbook pages have bends and the cembellishments have detached because they were not stored flat. Booooo!  Solution: For one, make sure you check your binders out carefully before you buy them.  If they are wrapped in cellophane, open them before you leave the store so you can immediately make an exchange.  And second, don't open and close the binder mechanism more than you have to.

3. Defect: Cute album, cheap page protectors - Have you had this happen to you before?  You pick up a darling album that appears to be high quality but once you take off the cellophane and open it up, you find those crappy page protectors that get creases just from inserting a completed page.  You want to replace them but to add insult to injury, the holes are not standardized so you have to take time out of your busy schedule to find page protectors with the right hole configuration. Solution: Stick with the brand names that you recognize.  But if you find something you just have to have at Big Lots or Marshalls, you should anticipate that there may be "scrapbook blow back."

4. Defect: Gel pens that skip - I feel like the companies that make gel pens that do not write fluidly should have to pay a fine.  I find it infuriating when I start to write on a darling little journaling card and the ink doesn't flow continuously.  It will write a little something; then it slams on the brakes and I get a skip mark; then, as abruptly as it stopped, it writes again.  And when I go back to fill in that spot, the ink refuses to come out, but only in that place.  It feels like a conspiracy!  Now the journaling card is a mess and I don't have another one that matches.  Basically, the pen has ruined my life. Solution: I personally have scars from a recent pen skipping incident, so currently I am printing all my journaling on the computer.  I hope to get back on the horse with a new set of gel pens - possibly Martha Stewart because it seems like she wouldn't tolerate defective writing instruments.  I am open to your suggestions.

5. Defect: When rub-ons are so close together you can't cut them out nor completely keep them from touching the page - OK, I have to ask...what are the manufacturers thinking?  Do they use rub-ons?  Don't they know that rub-ons will stick to air if you aren't seriously careful in your application.   Solution: Because I have tarnished so many pages and  ruined so much cute rub-on artwork, I have made a rule that no matter what, I cut them free from the sheet.  Even with my micro-tip scissors, I still manage to nick a flower or cut the tail of a "y," but that is better than ruining a page because a rub-on attached itself onto the center of a photo. If you have your cutting mat handy, you can also use an exacto knife to cut the rub on free. 

6. Defect: There are not enough letters in a pack to spell mommy - think about your target market people!  If you don't include enough "m"s in your alphabet pack to spell the word mommy than you are not in touch with your consumer.  Solution: ALWAYS take an inventory of your letters when buying alphabets.  Always.  Even some of the big companies have been known to skimp on a vowel or two.

7.  Defect: Glue stick build up - is it just me or do you encounter little wakes of glue on the sides of your glue stick when you apply longer continuous stripes?  Either these glue stick goobers end up on your fingers (which has its own set of problems) or they leave bumps under your paper. Solution: Keep a Popsicle stick handy to smash down those bumps and baby wipes for the sticky fingers.

8. Defect: Trimmers that don't go all the way up to 12 inches - I don't want to name any names, but I have a trimmer (rhymes with whiskers) that only goes up to 8.25 inches.  This would not bother me if there was a pull out arm to take me to 12 inches but for some reason they felt that 8.25 inchs was adequate. Go figure... Well its my bad for not noticing the trimmer layout before I bought it. Solution: I have a Cutterpillar on the way!  I'll be sure to let you know if it is the solution I have been looking for!

9. Defect: Adhesive backed chipboard letters that aren't sticky. - It is false advertising and it burns my biscuits. Solution: glue dots

10. Defect: I don't even know how to describe this but it happens to me way too often! It is when the tape runner stops splitting the adhesive tape and the non stick paper so that the nonstick paper doesn't roll up inside like it is supposed to, but rather comes through the rollers, still attached to the sticky strip. Do you know what I'm talking about? OMG - this is a big fat bummer and I have no solution.  When this happens with disposable tape runners I have just thrown them away. It is an expensive and indiscriminate product flaw. I hope you can help me with this maddening problem along with any of the others I've mentioned.  As you know, it takes a village to complete an album.


  1. I hear you sister, especially on the tape runner thing. I'm currently using a Xryon Megarunner that doesn't feed the used tape back in,and I'm opening it up and manually tightening it for each and every line of sticky I put down. AND I DON'T LIKE IT. That refill was $10 bucks!


  2. I'm right with you!!!
    Enough to make you want to scream.

  3. i get where you are coming from and agreed with those issues.

  4. What a hoot of an article! I hate when cool paper like Domestic Goddess G45 paper gets discontinued...ugh.

  5. Love it! I agree with it all, esp the last one with the adhesive tape. Oh my gosh that is such a pain. And when you are rolling the adhesive but the tape doesn't stay tight-ARGH!

  6. The rub on issue drives me nuts!

  7. I get so irritated with the rub ons! :p