As you probably know by now unless you live under a 12×12 patterned paper rock, Martha Stewart is introducing a line of scrapbooking and paper crafting products. It will be exclusive to Michaels Craft Stores for 1 year and is in partnership with EK Success. This has caused quite the uproar in the scrapbooking world, at least the one I live in. On every message board, at every crop, every scrapper, even the Michael’s employees are talking about it. But I guess that’s no surprise since they’ve been working like dogs reorganizing their stores to make room for Martha. Although Martha’s products won’t be officially introduced until later this month, many of the Mike’s stores have already started putting out the products. This is according to reports from scrapbookers on message boards I read, who are giving their early reviews.

And so far they are not great. I’m going to generalize here (and I know there are exceptions), but most comments I’ve heard are along these lines:
An 18×18 scrapbook is too big. You wouldn’t be able to lift it, hold it, or even open it on the coffee table. At $80 for the scrapbook and $2-3 per sheet of paper, who can afford it anyway? Maybe for an extra special wedding album…
Her decorating items are nice but her scrapbooking is too simple for my taste. Color reviews have been mixed: some likey, some don’t likey.
Her line is getting one or two separate aisles at Mike’s which takes space away from other products that are more beloved.
The word is that no coupons will be allowed EVER on Martha Stewart scrapbooking items. That irks many devoted Mike’s shoppers and leads them to wonder, “Why is she so special?” and “Ok, her stuff is going to be way more expensive”. (The only other items Michaels has refused coupons on were the expensive die cutting machines/accessories, the Sizzix and the Cricut). I also heard a rumor that Michaels employees can’t even use their discounts on her products.
Martha Stewart items have special aisle tags that are different from the entire store. I believe Martha’s tags are a tasteful creme color. Again, “what makes her so special?”
If she wants to be part of the scrapbooking world, why didn’t she introduce anything at CHA? (and why can’t I, an investigative blogger, find ANYTHING online that show pictures or gives price points of her products??).
Many still appear resentful of Martha Stewart over making us feel so imperfect during the 90s; her general condescending attitude; and her jail time.

I’m not saying I agree with any of these comments, I’m just reporting. I’ve also heard some positive things like:
Her scrapbooking products are beautiful and classy, and no more expensive than products at the local scrapbook stores.
Martha can do no wrong and is loved and respected by many.
She is a pro at organization so, if she has any scrapbooking organizational products, they will undoubtedly be good.

So, as you can see, this is quite the controversial issue in Scrap World! I for one am enjoying the ride. If nothing else, I like the attention it’s bringing to scrapbooking even if it’s fleeting. I’m sure there will be more to come as Michaels stores officially release her products, her contest winner is announced, and she does the week of scrapbooking on her tv show. And I will continue to enjoy hearing what everyone thinks, and sharing my own review when I finally get to see the Martha Stewart line for myself!

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  1. avatar

    Hi there!
    Just stumbled upon your blog doing a google search for images of the Martha producs! How come you can’t find ’em anywhere online?? That just seems so weird to me. I’m thinking maybe these producs are going to be marketed towards more of the casual crafter….someone who might be doing a one-time thing? Rather than an obsessed scrapbooker. Just a guess. I’m also guessing that people who have been scrapping for years might not go for it.
    You’ve got some good stuff here, I enjoyed reading.

  2. avatar

    18×18- that is crazy!!!

    Back in my college days, I worked at Joann’s and it was the same thing there. Her stuff never went on sale and you couldn’t use a coupon. I have boycotter her stuff since then, on sheer principle.

  3. avatar
    Sara s says:

    I have never, and will never buy any of her items. If Michaels gets exclusively her scrapbook stuff, I will discontinue shopping there for those kinds of materials. I will continue boycotting ANY of her stuff. Don’t even go to K-Mart thank you very much, because of her.

  4. avatar
    victoria says:

    Her glitter is great — I like the texture and the sophisticated colors…but I will be returning the clear letter stamps — they are poor quality, too hard to separate, and won’t stick on existing acrylic blocks

  5. avatar
    bonnieN says:

    Marths certainly did unveil her line at the CHA, she was a keynote speaker and showed it on her tV show! Michael’s near me can’t keep her stuff instock, for what that’s worth.

  6. avatar

    Hi Bonnie! Martha’s line has sure been the object of controversy. It doesn’t seem to be selling well at my Michaels but that probably varies everywhere. Did you attend CHA and/or hear Martha speak? I’d love to hear about it! Thanks for commenting.

  7. avatar
    shopbev says:

    I really like the Martha’s line. But with scrapbooking being such
    an expensive hobby, I never buy anything unless it is on sell.
    Even 25 % off would get them some of my business.

  8. avatar
    Barbara Cain says:

    I love Martha’s new items. They are very tasteful and simple. Her hallowen decorations and crafting supplies are so clever. I can t wait to see Michael’s next holiday display!

  9. avatar
    Sharon says:

    The MS albums are poorly made. I worked for months creating albums for my kids. When the time came to put them together, the album screws disintegrated. They are made of a soft metal and the threads stripped just getting the screws apart. Plus, the sleeves are made such that you HAVE to use two pieces of paper for every back to back page. Makes for a bulky album which is a moot point since the screws will not go back together.

  10. avatar
    scrappysuzz says:

    I too bought a MS album. I was very disappointed, my screws stripped out, and on top of that, the album was covered in a rust colored linen fabric. After removing the shrink wrap, I found spots that were faded, making the album two-toned!!! This should not happen in the normal lighting of the store. Very disappointed and very leery of buying any more of her over priced products.

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