Scoring boards (tools designed to assist with making scored lines on paper) are fairly new on the crafting scene- it’s a specialized tool for die-hard paper crafters. Even within that group, scoring boards are primarily helpful to folks to make cards, envelopes, and boxes. But for those who do, scoring boards like the Scor-Pal are indispensable.
Today I’ll be reviewing both the Scor-Pal and the Scor Mat, which are sold separately but are designed to work together. First, let’s take a look at the Scor-Pal. It’s a plastic tray with scoring grids, a built-in magnet, and a scoring tool that has it’s own on-board clip.
The Scor-Pal measures 12 3/4 inches by 14/ 1/4 inches, so it takes up a fair amount of real estate on your worktable. However, the large size makes it idea of scoring large pieces of paper/cardstock, such as you would need for envelopes and boxes.
How the Scor-Pal sets itself apart from other scoring tools is by the virtue of it’s unusual measuring system. While most have a consistent parallel lines every 1/8 inch, the Scor Pal has mostly lines that are 1/4 inch apart…..except when they’re not. There are special markings that designate common folds, like the triangles that will make perfect brochure folks when the paper is place horizontally across the top.
As I mentioned, there is a nice little storage area for the included scoring tool. (It’s actually spring-loaded so that it “pops” out of the holder!) The tool itself is a little thin and flimsy in the hand, but it’s perfectly sized for the size of the grooves on the board- (which I have to say are bigger than say, the Martha Stewart Scoring Board) and there is a lot less of a chance you’ll “skip” the groove and make a mistake.
So I dug right into making a box, using the directions included in the package. I was a little disappointed with those, by the way. While it gave the measurements for cards & envelopes, there were no photos included to help you out. There are directions for something called “Envelosatchel” but I don’t know for the life of me what that is!
I made the the envelosatchel in 5″ size…but I’m not sure if I got it right. There was an instruction to cut out notches, but without an illustration, I felt frustrated. However, the scoring part was pretty clear. I also had to score this on the point- and I really missed having the tool included with the MS scoring board to help you score accurately on the diagonal. But for a first try, it was OK.
Nest was a gate fold card. I followed the symbols along the top edge (which they call the “fence”) and went to town. Easy-peasy.
Then, to embellish the card, I used the tool to make 1/4 inch scored lines to accordion fold a rosette. I got a little distracted by the extra lines and biffed it up a bit.
So next it was time to make an envelope to match. Sadly, I tried it not ONCE but TWICE and the directions just didn’t work for me! There is something about moving the piece of paper over 3/8 of an inch…maybe I just don’t get it. But I got two misses on this one.
I tried a non-traditional size last, and that one came out better. It’s actually a great size for tags.
Now would be a good time to tell you about the Score Mat.
Description from the website:
The translucent Scor-Mat fits exactly in the recessed area of your Scor-Pal. It is almost 12″ x 12″. On one side is a self-healing cutting mat with 1/8th increments in white and inch markings in black. We recommend the use of a sharp craft knife rather than a rotary cutter. The other side is a shiny work surface. Zip-Dry Glue and Scor-Tape can easily be removed from this surface. This is NOT a silicon backing. Do not apply direct heat from any source, such as a hot embossing gun or hot glue gun. After scoring, no need to put your Scor-Pal away, simply insert the Scor-Mat and work away.
As mentioned, it’s sold separately, but really if you get the Scor-Pal I’d certainly recommend springing for the Mat, too- just because it extends functionality so much. To use it, you slide it into the groove of the Scor-Pal, and the Mat stays nice and secure. The gridded side was perfect for using with a metal-edged ruler and a craft knife for cutting out those pesky notches when making envelopes. Then I flipped it over to use the other surface for some inking and spray-misting.
The product beaded up well on the surface, and wiped clean with a damp cloth. The only thing you should watch out for is the STRONG vinyl smell when you first open it. If you are sensitive to odors, like I am (it actually gave me a headache) I’d suggest you open the package and let it air for a day before using it in a closed room. By the second day, the smell had dissipated and didn’t bother me any longer.
OH- and remember how I told you that the Scor-Pal had a magnet in it? Perfect for “parking” your metal edged ruler so you don’t lose it:
- Grooves are nice and wide
- Markings are easy to see
- Nice on-board storage for the scoring tool
- Extended functionality with the Scor Mat
- Pricey- $29.99 USD for the Scor-Pal, $15.00 USD for the Scor Mat
- Groove spacing was disorienting to me
- Poor directions in the package- no pictures
- Lack of a corner tool for on-point cutting
I’m eager to play some more with this tool and see if I can’t find some better directions- maybe on YouTube? And I know that folks who have the Sc0r-Pal are ardent fans- so that has to be worth something. Personally, for me, the jury is still out.
Sample provided for review.
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