I have to admit that I am not an artistic kind of guy. Crafting is a remote concept for me; the only things I produce by hand are programming codes and blog posts.
Lately, though, I have taken an interest in scrapbooking. As I love writing journals, scrapbooking can also be viewed as a decorated journaling activity and as a fun way to preserve personal and family history.
Today, I will be sharing about Martha Stewart CraftStudio, a digital scrapbooking app that have sparked off my interest in scrapbooking. This app is so good that I spent hours trying it out the first time.
Time for Crafting
Martha Stewart CraftStudio is an easy-to-use, digital paper crafting app designed by Martha Stewart, a widely recognized home decorating guru. Using various themes, the app encourages you to unleash your creativity in designing your own personalized greeting cards, invitations, scrapbook pages and more.
The app starts with a video tutorial narrated by Martha Stewart herself. In this video, you can find almost all of the features explained. To start a new project, simply tap on the New button located on the top right corner of the thumbnails screen. After selecting the paper size that you want to work with, you will be immediately redirected to the default art board that uses default theme. On the bottom of the screen, you can find up to three built-in themes and many additional ones that you can unlock via in-app purchases.
On the left hand side of the screen, you can find a tool drawer. From the drawer, you can swap the base paper; stack additional papers; add photos, stamps, stickers, and text; punch the papers; and even draw using the provided colored pen. Each of these items are treated as independent objects; you can manipulate them by dragging, zooming, rotating, and change their orders in a stack-layered approach similar to Adobe Photoshop's layering techniques.
Once you are satisfied with your creation, you can e-mail it, save it to your Camera Roll, create a PDF from it, share it to your Facebook or Twitter account, print it yourself via AirPrint, or send it to Snapfish to have it printed as a physical card.
What Parents Need to Know
CraftStudio is a great app that will appeal to a wide range of audience. It has plenty of themes and contents for the more experienced crafters, but it is easy enough to use even for newbies like me. It is so simple that even juniors will be able to play by themselves, albeit it would be better if you could accompany them.
Using the app, you can teach them the joy of scrapbooking and crafting your own cards to send to the people you love. For example, you can encourage them to create Christmas greeting cards to faraway relatives or friends.
A great feature of the app is the availability of step-by-step guides in its tool drawer. For example, when you want to add glitters to your card, you will be asked to apply the glue first. I personally enjoy how you need to tilt your iPad to have the glitter stamped on to the glues.
Also, even though the assets that you can play with are categorized into themes, you don't need to limit yourself in using one theme at the same time. You can combine objects from different themes, apply different punches and bring unique textured papers from one theme to be edited in another. This opens up the possibilities of what you can do with the app.
Before I wrote this review, I shared CraftStudio with several friends to see what they can do with the app. I didn't give them any clue or tutorial of what they can do with the app. Each time they explored the app on their own, I always heard them shouting, "Wow! I didn't know I could do that!"
Here are some handy usage tips that you can refer to when you're using the app:
- Utilize the Undo feature sparingly because even though it is a helpful feature, there are always limitations to how far it can go.
- Explore all the themes that you have to know what kind of stamps, stickers, punches and textures that you have access to. Remember that you can combine assets from multiple themes.
- The app includes two free-form drawing tools in the form of pen and glitter. Try writing using glitter for a unique effect.
- To make changes to the objects that you have placed, simply tap on them. A contextual menu will pop up and you can then choose to lock the object, clone, crop, mirror, change its order in the layer stack or delete it. Locking the object would prevent it from being moved or resized by accident.
- When you are applying punched borders, just remember that you can also apply it to photos and other objects. These are not limited to the outer card frame only.
- Each time you punch a shape from the cards, you can move the cut paper to any position you like. You can also clone it as many times as you like. This is an easy way to create your own custom pattern, for example using an image that you imported from the Camera Roll or Photo Stream.
- You can also punch a shape to make a big hole and fill it with a smaller stamp or sticker of the same shape. This can create a pretty decoration for your cards.
- Each time you make a change to an object's color, you might want to adhere to the theme's palette. I found that the colors in the palette are perfectly designed to match the current theme that you are using.
- In addition to the gallery of cards that you have created, the app also includes a set of pre-designed cards that you can use as your inspiration. Simply tap the one you like to start using it as your template.
Martha Stewart CraftStudio is a beautiful and easy-to-use scrapbooking app that packs a lot of features allowing unlimited possibility as you design your personalized cards. The app also makes a perfect tool for introducing basic scrapbooking activities to your juniors.