Hello crafters! Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram will have seen the ginormous box of supplies that Tonic Studios has kindly sent me to play with. After several long evenings I had swatched out all the different drops, embossing powders, glitters, and pastes and I could play a bit with them so I could give you my honest feedback based on my experience. I want to start with my review of the different Nuvo Drops (and will talk about the pastes, glitter, etc. in subsequent posts – it’s too much to have in one review). I am pairing the Nuvo Drops with stamps by CAS-ual Fridays and I’ll show you how you can elevate your clean designs easily.
Nuvo Drops: Regular, Gloss, and Glitter
I was curious about the Nuvo Drops from the moment I first saw them mentioned online by other crafters since I love enamel embellishments but I find them rathe expensive to buy. In the past, I have used different methods and products (some of which I mention in the video) to create my own drops, but the results have always been poor and left me rather frustrated and disappointed. That’s why I held off ordering any Nuvo Drops, fully expecting that they couldn’t be any different. I eventually caved, and ordered one from Simon Says Stamp but in the meantime the largest goodie box ever arrived at my doorstep.
Since this isn’t a suspense thriller, let me lead with my conclusion: The Nuvo Drops have far surpassed my expectations and I think I have finally found a product that I can use and recommend wholeheartedly. Here’s why:
- The Gloss and Glitter drops dry with a dome shape. They don’t flatten out like a pancake but retain the original rounded shape. You don’t have to tap them from underneath to make sure the little tip at the top smoothes back, it just does that by itself.
- The Drops dry hard. By that I mean that once they have completely air dried (time may vary on your climate), you won’t be able to tear or knead them. This is a huge difference from previous products I used.
- They don’t stick! You would not believe how much frustration I had in the past with product that, even after it had dried, remained sticky. That meant when I stored my cards together in a box, the cheap enamel replacement got attached to some other paper and potentially tore another card. Let’s not even speak about storing pre-made dots! With the Nuvo Drops, there’s no stickiness! (I heard in Nina-Marie’s review that she had some issue with that, but I could not notice that on my end) The Drops do not harm my cards when storing them in a box, and I can store the pre-made drops in a plastic bag and after two weeks, they still don’t stick together, so I’m sold on this stuff!
Now, eagle-eyed readers might have discovered that I didn’t mention the regular Nuvo Drops in my first point up there. There are three different kinds: Nuvo Drops Gloss, which are like beautiful mini plastic domes; Nuvo Glitter Drops which are just gorgeously sparkly; and lastly just Nuvo Drops.
This last kind has a metallic shimmer and sheen, very pretty. In my experience, this particular kind didn’t perform quite as perfect as the other two, meaning that I couldn’t get them to dry with quite a high a dome shape and I couldn’t get the tip, where the fluid separates from the bottle, to smooth back into the drop on my project. I had that issue with two colors out of all the regular colors, so it’s by far not something epidemic! I still think the regular Nuvo Drops far outperform anything I’ve ever used, so this is not a reason to not consider them when looking for embellishment alternatives! Also, the regular drops come with my favorite color, Mountain Dew, which dries totally clear. <3
Seeing is believing
Now you’ve endured me waffling on and on for long enough: here’s the video you have been waiting for:
As you saw, applying the Drops is super simple – and I used all three kinds on these cards to show off their different properties. I like to hold the bottle absolutely vertical (not tilted) and apply the Drops with a small circular motion to make sure I get a nice round shape. To finish the drop, I stop applying pressure on the bottle so I won’t squeeze out more of the fluid and gently lift it up so the bottle separates from what’s on my project. After a few seconds, you will see how the drop smoothes out into the dome shape and now you need to set it aside to dry for a few hours. I let mine dry for at least 3 hours on small drops, 6 on larger ones. To be totally safe, let it dry overnight for 12 hours or so.
I know what some of you might say: ‘What? I have to wait for so long?!’ Valid point. If you need to mail a card right away, the drops might not be the best solution for you. Here’s how I look at this:
- You get a ton of fluid in one bottle and you can make many more drops with this than you would get for the same amount of money if you buy them ready-made.
- You can make any size you want! That means you always have the right-sized embellishment for your card because you can decide in that moment what you need, and are not limited by pre-made drops (which is why I personally don’t like to pre-make them).
- You are not limited to drops! I know, the name says Nuvo Drops, but hey: what about writing out a name? Or filling in shapes like hearts, trees, stars… If you are good at drawing, you could even draw basic shapes with the fluid!
Considering the additional options that these Drops give me, I think they are a better investment than ready-made drops, but that’s just my personal point of view.
I just have to admit that I fully expected to be stuck between a rock and a hard place: Tonic had sent met all this stuff, and I was worried sick that I might not like the Drops because of my experience with comparable products in the past. I am so relieved that I was wrong and that I can recommend the Nuvo Drops to you without a moment’s hesitation. Their quality is far beyond anything I’ve tried in the past and I can see myself using this extensively on future projects (so get ready, the ones I have in the can have lots of Tonic stuff on them!).
Oh, while we’re on the subject: the Tonic goody box also included tons of dies (you should have heard the poor DHL guy who lifted it out of the elevator for me). On these cards here I used the Square Layering set, where you get many square dies in various sizes. I used them to create layered mats to draw the attention to the gorgeous CAS-ual Fridays snowflakes and Nuvo Drops.
A word about buying the Tonic Products: Obviously, if you are in the US, you can grab them from Simon Says Stamp and or Tonic Studios directly. In Europe, I can recommend Seven Hills Crafts in the UK (will be in store within the next 7 days), Tonic Studios UK, and from Stempelmeer in Germany. I’m so happy that these products are available to us in the EU now without having to order overseas – remember: if you live in a EU country, you can order from other EU countries WITHOUT having to worry about customs!
If my project inspires you and you go shopping for some stamps and dies at CAS-ual Fridays, don’t forget to use my exclusive code Julia2016 on checkout. That will save you a whopping 15% off your purchase!
I’m sending this card off to the following challenges: Simon Says Stamp “Anything Goes”.
As promised in the video, I have color samples for you to download. I used Jennifer McGuire’s ink swatch template and adapted it to the Tonic Products. Since I didn’t want to waste paper, I sometimes have several products on one sheet, so don’t be surprised by that. I scanned these with my scanner instead of photographing them to ensure that I wouldn’t distort the colors with camera settings or my ambient light. Still, it’s possible that the colors on the display of your screen are different from real life due to display settings.
The sheets will remain available for download also via a Download link in the left sidebar so you won’t have to track down this particular post in the future.