Martha Stewart CraftStudio: Mess-Free Crafting

Crafting can be a messy affair, what with all that glue and glitter threatening to cover every inch of every available surface. Not to mention the cleaning up involved afterwards! Ugh. Never fear, Martha Stewart is here to help — or an app which bears the domestic goddess’ name is, anyway.

Developed under the not so snappy name of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc, Martha Stewart CraftStudio will allow you to create digital greeting cards, invitations, announcements and more that can be printed out and shared without having to tidy up afterwards. Find out more after the jump.

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Getting Started

Martha Stewart CraftStudio launches with a short video tutorial, narrated by the Queen of Crafts herself, briefly outlining the basic features within the app, and how best to utilize them. You are then presented with a choice of three project sizes: Horizontal and Vertical, which can be printed up to 5 x 7 inches, or Square, with a maximum print size of 5 x 5 inches.

The Art Board on which you'll create your craft.

The Art Board on which you’ll create your craft.

Once you have chosen your desired measurements, you’re then transported to what Martha refers to as an Art Board, the area in which you create your design. Whilst crafting on the Art Board, the app will periodically autosave your work, ensuring no progress is lost — a digital crafter’s biggest worry.

Choosing a Theme

Next up, theme selection. There are currently 13 individual themes to choose from, four of which are free — Everyday, Birthday Party, Doily Lace and Natural, with the remainder costing an additional $1.99 each via in-app purchase.

Purchasing a theme.

Purchasing a theme.

Each theme comprises an assortment of patterned paper corresponding with the theme topic, along with color co-ordinated tubes of glitter and a plethora of other goodies, which I’ll expand upon in just a second.

It is possible to switch between themes, rather than committing to a single one, taking various elements from one theme and mixing them with another.

Tools of the Trade

As I mentioned above, Martha Stewart CraftStudio contains a whole host of crafting goodies, with the contents varying slightly from theme to theme.

Camera

Add a photograph to your design by tapping on the Camera icon, which can be found in the tool draw on the left-hand side of the screen. You are given a choice of uploading a photo from your Camera Roll, Snapfish account, or to simply take a new one.

Once selected, the photograph itself can be resized, rotated, repositioned and cropped.

Glitter

In my opinion, there is no such thing as too much glitter! To make your craft sparklier than a Twilight vampire, simply tap the tube of glitter, select a color, apply the glue and then tilt your iPad – et voilà!

Adding glitter to your design.

Adding glitter to your design.

Stamp

To use the stamp tool, tap the Stamp icon in the tool draw. Choose a color from the ink pad, and then select the stamp you wish to use. The stamp will automatically appear in the center of the Art Board, and can be resized, and rotated, or repositioned by placing a finger on the stamp and dragging to the desired position.

Pen

For those wishing to draw freehand, the app also includes a pen. Select a color and pen size, then sketch away, turning your craft into a truly unique piece of work.

Stickers

Who doesn’t love stickers?! Comprising approximately 80 per theme, there are certainly plenty to choose from. To select a sticker, tap the Sticker icon in the tool drawer. Like the Stamp tool, your chosen sticker will appear in the center of the Art Board, ready to be resized, rotated or repositioned.

Stickers galore.

Stickers galore.

Paper

Martha Stewart CraftStudio has a lot of pretty paper swatches, in every conceivable pattern and color. Choosing one is a full-time job in itself! Once you have made your selection, the paper can be resized to fill your canvas, or layered on top of other swatches.

Type Tool

To add customised text to your craft, tap the Type Tool icon. This will bring up a text box to enter your message, along with a handful of different fonts, and a choice of color and alignment.

Punches

No craft is complete without a decorative punch. Punches can be applied to the border of your work or just the corner, if you’d prefer.

Gaining Inspiration

Tapping the Inspiration tab on the My Gallery screen will gain you access to three pages of digital inspiration, ranging from invitations and greeting cards, to stationary and more. These examples can be used as a template for your work, and may be fully edited and personalised according to taste.

The Inspiration tab contains templates which you can edit.

The Inspiration tab contains templates which you can edit.

Printing and Sharing Your Work

Martha Stewart CraftStudio is sponsored by Snapfish, a photo printing service integrated within the app that will upload your design to the companies website, ready to be professionally printed. This is a simple process, and merely requires creating a Snapfish account before uploading.

In addition to printing your work, you can also share your creation with friends and family via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Upload your work to Snapfish and have it printed professionally.

Upload your work to Snapfish and have it printed professionally.

The Verdict

While no app could be fairly expected to replace the hands-on intuitivness and sense of satisfaction that comes from traditional crafting, Martha Stewart CraftStudio shows that a digital counterpart definitely has a place.

Though the inclusion of in-app purchases can grate a little, when compared with the often prohibitively expensive endeavor that is real life crafting, Martha Stewart CraftStudio seems like a relative bargain.


Summary

Digital crafting without the cleanup.

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