Friday, March 13, 2015

DIY & Tool Review: The Crop-A-Dile

Today I wanted to take some time to share one of my newest favorite crafting tools! I got the We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile this past Christmas from my good friend Ben, and I have to say that when I unwrapped it I was pretty freaking impressed. It's incredibly useful for card-making, scrap-booking, and all sorts of embellishment projects that I never would have even attempted before, so I thought it only appropriate to share a bit about it on the blog and give you a quick tutorial on this handy little guy!

Although quite easy to use, the Crop-A-Dile has a bit of an intimidating appearance in addition to three usable heads, which is why I like to call it the hydra of the crafting universe. Of these three mouths, the outer two maws are for punching holes of different sizes at various depths, while the middle opening can be used to insert a variety of embellishments, eyelets, or snaps.

First, let's address how to use the hole-punchers. The Crop-A-Dile is capable of punching two different hole sizes, either 1/8" or 3/16" in diameter. Once you've identified which of the two outer hole punches is the correct size, decide exactly how far into your material you'd like to place your hole, and adjust the slider accordingly.

Then, go ahead and punch a hole as you normally would.

Great! Now we can cover how to set an embellishment! First, determine the size of your embellishment, and punch a hole of the same size in the position in which you'd like to place your embellishment.

Before application, you'll need to ensure that your Crop-A-Dile is set to the proper specifications for the embellishment you're using. You can use the guide that came in your tool's instruction sheet to determine the correct top and base cube placement for your particular project. I'm using a common 3/16" eyelet, which requires the base cube to be set at side 1 and the top cube at side A. When placed correctly, sides 1 and A should be facing one another. If the correct sides are not accessible, you can unlock the plastic guards surrounding each cube to release and correctly replace them.

Once you've replaced the cubes according to the settings in your guide, it's time to attach your eyelet! Before setting, first place the eyelet within the hole you punched. The larger side will be the face of the eyelet, so be sure that this side is on the visible side of your project.

When setting, be sure the the top of your eyelet (the wide end) fits snugly around the nub sticking out of the top cube. If you're not sure, you should be able to see a tiny diagram on the top side of your Crop-A-Dile that looks like an eyelet, demonstrating the correct position. I found it easier to set my eyelet while holding my Crop-A-Dile upside-down. This keeps the eyelet from falling out. You know. Gravity and all.

Finally, just squeeze the handles on your Crop-A-Dile and you're done! How easy was that?! I used mine to create this simple bookmark out of scrapbook paper, but the Crop-A-Dile is also capable of punching holes and setting eyelets in a variety of materials including denim, chipboard, and thin sheets of tin, so the amount of embellishment and eyelet projects is practically endless!

If you've enjoyed this tutorial and also love beading and jewelry-making, be sure to check out my DIY & Tool Review: Bead Crimper post! Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Great review! I have a Crop-a-Dile that I use all the time, and now I am dying to get the new one (new to me anyway) with a longer reach so that I can have more freedom in where place eyelets. Thanks for linking up with us at The Creative Circle! Please join us again this week!

    1. Hey Angela! I'm glad I was able to join you guys - thanks so much for having me and for stopping by! :)