I had 2 thank you notes and 2 birthday cards to send so I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to put the L Letterpress into action. My experience in one word, encouraged.
I tried out all the suggestions that Harold from Boxcar Press made in his post. Very helpful. I had only his advice and my high school art class printing unit under my belt and I have to say the results weren't that bad (I can't believe I didn't take pictures!).
So without the benefit of pics, I'll run through my afternoon as best I can.
I spread everything out on my kitchen island. I bought a cheap vinyl table cloth to avoid messing up my granite (I highly suggest doing the same).
To keep it simple, I chose the silver paint for my project. I chose to use the happy birthday, thank you, and petal shape plates that came with the combo kit for my cards (shown below).
Decisions made, I got down to business. I cut out the plates, added the sticky background and positioned it on the press plate. As Harold suggested, I tossed the brayer that came with the kit and used a softer one to roll out the ink. I heard my HS art teacher's voice in my head telling me to look, listen and feel for the correct amount of tacky while rolling. When I thought I was good, I began rolling. I'll be honest, free handing this part was tough. I kept getting the ink on the tiny plastic surround of the plate. I tried using baby wipes to clean off the excess ink from the plates before running it through the press but I couldn't prevent it on every run. We'll see if practice makes perfect or if this is a flaw of the machine.
I made 8 single color runs and didn't experience the cracking of the plates that others did. That said, my impression on the actual paper wasn't that deep.
I used my trusty paper guillotine and corner rounder to cut and shape to size and then used double sided tape to affix my creations to a blank decorative card. I was disappointed to realize that they only included blank sheets of paper in the kit. From the description, I thought they were flat cards that came with envelopes. Oh well.
All in all, the result wasn't anywhere close to professional, but the cards were going to family who knew about my brand new toy so I figured it would be fine for the first run.
Clean up in one word, disaster. I got the plates clean enough with the baby wipes but the brayer and the ink plate where I did my rolling have yet to recover. Neither the baby wipes or goo gone have done the trick. I'm going to try another color next time to see if there is transfer. If there is, not sure where I'll go from here. Next time, I'll also take pictures!
Hope this was helpful!