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Xyron 500 Create-A-Sticker Machine and Adhesive Refill Cartridges

This machine claims to be a sticker-maker, but let’s face it, people: what it really is, is a fancy way of applying adhesive to one side of something that you want to be able to stick down. You could think of the whole process as making stickers if you like, but to my way of thinking, that’s actually sort of limiting, in a way.

Why?

Because it does more than just make stickers. You can run pieces of fabric and / or ribbon through the thing. You can even put dried flowers, faux flowers or small pieces of chipboard through it. I wouldn’t necessarily think of those things as being “stickers,” you know what I mean?

You can “make a sticker” out of (AKA add adhesive to the back of) anything that’s flexible and flat enough to roll through the Xyron 500 machine. This machine is great for making personalized labels and tags too.

Where this machine really shines: if you like to cut out intricate die-cuts using a die-cutting machine, the Xyron 500 gives you a totally hassle-free way to stick them to your project.

Crafts and DIY Projects That Are Xyron-500 Compatible:

Scrapbooking and Paper Crafts:

You can use this adhesive machine for a wide variety of different possible craft and DIY projects. It’s great for scrapbooking, card making, collage, altered art, art trading cards / ATCs, and mixed media art.

If you do a lot of die-cutting for any of your arts and crafts projects, I highly recommend this system to you. Having said that, there is one downside: if you make die-cuts that have open spaces or holes in them (for example, letters A, B, D, O, P, Q, etc) the Xyron might leave a little bit of a mess in the open / holey spot. In that case, I’d recommend cleaning it out carefully with a q-tip to get the leftover gooey junk out of the hole.

Kids’ Crafts:

If you’re a teacher (or home-schooler), you can use the Xyron machine to make unique stickers for rewarding your students with. Not only that, if the kids are older than 5 years of age, and they’re responsible enough to be trusted with scissors and glue, they can have bunches of fun using this machine to make their own stickers and class projects. This isn’t just for grownups! It’s great for a wide variety of different kids’ crafts. Think of all the interesting ways the kids will be able to embellish their coloring books, handmade Christmas / Valentine / Birthday cards, etc.

(Please note: while the adhesive is marketed as being non-toxic, it really should not be used in edible projects and should not be eaten.)

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Home Office DIY:

If your business or office has any need of a small amount of unique labels, this is one possibility for getting that sort of job done.

Gift-Wrapping:

I’ve also used my Xyron sticker machine for giftwrapping. I like running small pieces of giftwrapping ribbon through the machine to make them sticky, and then I can stick them to my giftwrapped boxes in interesting shapes and patterns. You can also use your punches or die-cutter to cut out fun shapes using wrapping paper, and stick those all over your gift bags and gift boxes too. Fun times! Isn’t it great when you can enjoy wrapping your packages maybe even more than the recipients will enjoy unwrapping them?

Quality and Value

In my opinion, Xyron 500 is a high-quality product. So are the refill cartridges. I suppose I should add, the thing is made of plastic; it’s not platinum or copper or anything truly valuable, and I wouldn’t call it an object of beauty either. But really, it doesn’t have to be. It serves its purpose — which is sticking tacky substance all over the back of your embellies.

The adhesive itself is acid-free.

It’s a decent value for the money you spend on it, but there are cheaper adhesives out there. On the other hand, time is money, and I’ve found this adhesive to be infinitely faster than using wet adhesive and a sponge brush to stick down oddly-shaped bits and pieces.

It’s also a reasonably mess-free adhesive, so if you’re going to factor in the time saved in cleanup, that alone could be substantial. (Have you ever spent hours washing liquid adhesive out of your paintbrushes or sponge brushes, and scrubbing it off of your clothes, shoes, arms, pets, children, and / or work surfaces?)

Ease of Use; Time Needed; the (Lack of) Mess Factor

Say goodbye to the lumpy, bumpy messes you might be familiar with if you have used glue sticks or wet adhesives. This adhesive goes on really smooth and flat. It gives lovely results!

This sticker-maker is really easy to use, and, aside from some planning time, there’s very little time required to get good results. Also, there is no drying time required, so this is a great choice for quick projects that you need to get finished in a hurry.

OK, about that planning time. The biggest downside that I’ve found for this adhesive: if your embellishment is narrower than the full width of the sticker machine, you’ll want to save adhesive by running several embellishments through the machine at the same time.

That can be a little bit of a creativity-killer when you’re working on one project and you don’t want to stop what you’re doing to find, or create, a bunch more things to stickerize at the same time. But, that wasn’t a deal breaker for me, and I doubt it will be for you either.

Refilling the Xyron 500

Another thing that makes this “machine” a great value: you can refill it. Refill cartridges are available and easy to use. You can buy refills for both the Xyron repositionable adhesive and the usual permanent adhesive.
The first time I ran out of adhesive for my Xyron 500, I dreaded refilling it and procrastinated on doing that task as long as I possibly could. I even had the cartridges for it, and I still put it off — I suppose because it’s always been a hassle to change things like printer cartridges, and I made the flawed assumption that I’d have a similar experience here.

I felt silly when I finally did get around to changing the cartridge, and it was totally easy to do. I didn’t even have to ask my husband for help!

It’s Portable! Is It Really a “Machine”? And Thoughts on Scrapping Off-Grid

I’ve mused, on and off, about whether this machine is really a machine, since it doesn’t require any power and doesn’t need to be plugged in. (You don’t even have the option of doing so.)

There are plenty of great things about that. If you’re an American or Canadian, you can take this machine with you to Europe or the Middle East if you want to — no hassles with it having the wrong power. If you live in Europe or the Middle East, you can buy one of these without having to worry about the thing not working due to power differences. Yay!

And if you feel like scrapping in the middle of a snowstorm when your power is out, you can use this handy little gadget, even if every plug-in device you own is not responding. You can also take the Xyron machines boating, RVing, or simply to your local scrapbook store without having to look for a space to plug them in. You can, but on the other hand, you might not want to; the Xyron 500 machine isn’t huge, but it’s big enough that it might just be easier to take along a package of glue dots or a couple of glue sticks instead.

No batteries are required, plus there are no computerized components in this baby. The operational requirements here are low-tech all the way.

Overall, this is a product worth owning and using. I recommend it, and hope you’ll give it a try.

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