Craft Product Review: Perfect Layers

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Perfect Layers is a craft tool that has been around since the early days of scrapbooking- a set of clear acrylic rulers that have “bumpers” on the underside that make it possible to cut mats (or layers) without measuring. But do they work, and are they still a handy tool to have on your craft table? Time to find out!

The website describes Perfect Layers thus:

Perfect Layers is a MUST if you want to create perfect borders, frames and layered effects on your scrapbook pages, cards, or any paper crafting project.  Using Perfect Layers, you can cut from 1/16 of an inch (very thin borders), up to 1 inch (very bold borders), WITH NO MEASURING REQUIRED!!

For over a decade, Perfect Layers has been an essential tool for paper crafters.  You may have seen it on QVC as a Customer Top-Rated Item presented by Scrapbooking Guru, Lisa Bearnson.  Lisa loved this item, and was quoted as saying, “This is one of my favorite tools we sell for scrapbooking!”

Perfect Layers is designed with a patented “catch lip” that simply “bumps” up along the picture.  The tool hooks onto the edge of the image, giving the precise border measurement you want!

Using a standard craft knife blade, just cut along the outside of the Perfect Layers tool.  Each tool has stainless-steel edging for durability and smoothness of cutting.  Simply follow the tool edge along all sides of your picture or project, and you have a perfectly matted or framed result!

Well this sounds right up my alley! To tell the truth, I don’t measure mats, anyway- I’m an “eyeball it” kinda gal. Let’s take a closer look at the tools before we get started.

Each ruler has 2 sizes per side, or 4 total. Markings are nice and clear, and are in US measurements (inches.)

Here you can see the "lip" or bumper that abuts your photo or layered item.

 

First, I used it to create some mats on a photo. It was super easy. I glued down the photo to my paper, then lined up the little bumper underneath with the edge of the photo. Really, you can easily feel it “catch.” A few cuts later, I had this:

I did find that if I used large mat sizes, and more than 2, it became more difficult to feel where the lip was.

Next I tried a tag- it’s an unusual shape, but it’s all straight lines.

Glue the tag to the mat material. (This is cardstock.)

Slide the ruler over until it catches on the "lip" of the item, then cut.

 

All done! Perfect, and SUPER fast.

Nice!

Now, because you glue the photo or image down on your paper first, and then cut it away, there is a little more waste than what I’m used to. But really, if your goal is to get your mats done quickly, it’s worth wasting some scraps of paper.

Lastly, I used it on a stenciled image that was done on text-weight paper.

It turned out OK, but between the bumpy texture of the image and the thinness of the paper, it was hard to feel the “lip.” I had to line it up more by sight than feel.

I remember back in the day when I was matting text- it was always a little irregular, and I always cut a mat to go with it. Perfect Layers would have been (ahem) perfect for that job!

So, it’s a great tool if you do a lot of matting. I’m not a heavy-duty scrapbooker, and I’m not really partial to cutting square or rectangular mats for every photo and text block. But if you are working on a big project or multiple albums and want to make fast work of your matting,   it’s easy enough to use and  justifies the $29.95 price tag for the set of three. (Remember, each ruler gives you 4 widths, so that’s 12 border sizes in all.)

You can also purchase them separately on the website.

PROS:

  • No measuring
  • Easy to use
  • FAST

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Only works on things with straight edges

I thing I’ll be using them to speed up the production of my daughter’s baby book- maybe I’ll even get it done in time for her 7th birthday!

Disclosure: Sample provided for review.

If you are considering purchasing Paper Layers, I hope you’ll use my affiliate link:

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

View all posts by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

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10 Responses to “Craft Product Review: Perfect Layers”

  1. Kat Says:

    These look like wonderful tools, making matting simple and clean. Your review, as always, is right on time and very much appreciated! Thank you for all your hard work!

  2. txgrandma Says:

    I have had this tool for many years and it’s one of the few that I would say is worth every penny. I have used it many times over the years and am now considering replacing it as the edges are getting ragged from use. Once you get the hang of it, you will love it!

    One suggestion is to use a glass mat if possible. The cuts will be smoother than using a plastic mat.

  3. txgrandma Says:

    One more comment is that I see the newer version has stainless steel edges. The older version did not and this is a big improvement in an already pretty remarkable product!

  4. Jenny Says:

    I was sent the current set- no metal edges, all acrylic- within the last 4 months. I also saw no mention of metal edges on the website… So I’m wondering if you are thinking of another brand, perhaps?

  5. LinhC Says:

    I’ve never heard of this tool! Looks neat.

  6. Linda Says:

    I have been reading about these lately and they sure seem like a help to me!

  7. Theresa Magladry Says:

    I bought these a few years back when Stampin’ up sold them. I LOVE these rulers. I use a clean and simple style for my cards, so I often use mats. You can make mats with varied sizes (i.e. 1/8 inch on sides and 1/16 on top and bottom). Also, if I’m not sure about the size I want, I start with the largest, because it’s so easy to cut down! I think the Stampin’ up version had the metal edges, but I must admit that at times I still manage to nick mine. These rulers helped my cards look more finished with their precise measurements. They are an essential in my card making tool kit!!!

  8. Jenny Says:

    Theresa- you are right- they are GREAT for making “mats on the fly!” I will have to dig them out to use in my Operation Write Home cards. Thanks for the idea!

  9. CC Says:

    Just one note. One of the rulers only has 2 measurements so that’s a total of 10 border sizes for all three rulers and not 12 as you stated.

  10. Iain @ The Crafty Imp Says:

    Hi

    Great review, we recently got a supply of these in and they sold out within 24 hours – couldn’t believe how popular they are!

    regards

    Iain

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