What ever happened to rub-ons?

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Posted 6/19/2013 by imPEAria in General Scrappin'
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Carolyn Peeler

PeaNut 53,177
October 2002
Posts: 2,835
Layouts: 179
Loc: Vancouver area, B.C. Canada

Posted: 6/21/2013 12:07:48 AM
Speaking from a manufacturer's point of view, we at Melissa Frances had AWESOME rub-ons, they went on so smoothly. For a time they were one of our hottest products.

But over the years, many store owners just stopped buying that category of product. When we would ask why, they would tell us that it was because they could not get their customers to buy them. (And not 'them' as in the Melissa Frances rub ons, but 'them' as in the entire product category of rub ons.) They would further explain that given that there was a wide range of rub on quality, once a customer got burned from purchasing bad rub-ons, it was like pulling teeth to get them to buy another package - even if from a different brand. Understandably if a customer couldn't know for sure that the $4 package of rub-ons would work, they just wouldn't put it in their shopping basket. Customers would say similar comments to what we are seeing on this thread where so many have already commented about the differences between good and bad ones, and how it turned them off wanting the product because they were never sure if the ones they wanted to buy would work well or not.

So, many stores, decided that rather than try to convince customers to buy a product category that they were leery of, they would instead invest their money in product where they didn't have to convince the customer that the product was good quality.

That's my perspective from talking to stores over the years at CHA. It may not be true for every manufacturer, but it what I was hearing from our wholesale accounts.


Cut 'n Paste

Amber Girl

PeaNut 197,200
March 2005
Posts: 3,172
Layouts: 211
Loc: Sate of Random Scrap

Posted: 6/21/2013 8:22:01 AM
I love rub-ons and still have a big stash, but...some of the older ones (early Hambly mainly) would not rub off to any paper surface no matter the amount of rubbing it clings to the sheet. Other KI Memories alphas and some 7gypsies started to release onto the backing sheet. They're fragile that way and it seems they have a shelf life KWIM?

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 160,610
August 2004
Posts: 6,482
Layouts: 90

Posted: 6/21/2013 8:26:02 AM
I still use them, but some just dry out so easily that they can be a waste of money. It's funny I have some that are 10 yrs old and they still work ( Love you Karen Foster) and then I have some a year old and they fall of the sheet. But, when they work I love them. I still have a ton and use them all the time they can in handy for spelling out words.


Michelle Mostert

PeaNut 219,221
August 2005
Posts: 2,458
Layouts: 126
Loc: Cape Town, South Africa

Posted: 6/22/2013 2:59:06 AM
It is interesting to hear that the manufacturers reacted to us scrappers not buying as many rub-ons anymore, due to inconsistency in quality.

We always say the manufacturers should listen to us and they did!

That said, I miss them too! I still have a considerable stash but would love some new designs. Wilna's project certainly made me look at them with new eyes and I'm playing with them more now. Rub-ons on vellum also sounds gorgeous. Great idea.

You Wanna Peas of Me?

PeaNut 413,587
February 2009
Posts: 5,966
Layouts: 51
Loc: Western NY

Posted: 6/22/2013 7:22:04 AM
I love them but did forget that I have them. I did use several in the layouts I did for LOAD in May. I took them out and have them within reach now so I hope to start using them more often!

Chocolate......who needs a reason?!

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Zin 01

PeaNut 59,716
December 2002
Posts: 6,514
Layouts: 843

Posted: 6/24/2013 7:44:18 AM
Was wondering why I hadn't been able to find many Rub ons anywhere. I personally think that is a BAD decision for them to take Rub Ons away especially to go more "dimensional" instead, if that's really what theyre replacing them with or tending more towards because "dimensional" doesn't much like Scrapbooks !

I tend to think that the dimensional stickers are much more "cutesy" and altho I do adore "Cutesy" I find few times I want to use it in scrapping ! I'd personally rather see "stickers" go away than Rub Ons ! Rub ons are so classy !(I didn't mean anything against "stickers" on layouts either) cause I use Mainly stickers) but I only use the ones that do NOT have the white borders !!!! Anyway....


PEA-who-shall-not-be-named! ™

PeaNut 150,826
June 2004
Posts: 11,196
Layouts: 240
Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted: 6/24/2013 7:49:26 AM
Wow, thanks for all your responses. It has been interesting reading everyone's perspectives. I do think stamping has taken off in a bigger way and that has had an impact, as well as varying quality. Hopefully, we will see a return of them at least in some lines.


PeaNut 360,824
February 2008
Posts: 1,398
Layouts: 38
Loc: San Diego, CA

Posted: 6/24/2013 1:38:02 PM
I could never understand why they went out of fashion. I think with the messy, layered, paint splattered look that's popular now and with the popularity of art journaling and multi-media they will make a come-back!

Here's hoping. Of course I already have a lifetime supply. I have an entire (full) clip-it-up devoted to them

Also, Tim Holtz has some out now. He calls them remnant rubs.


...the D in paperkraftD

...or, the Pea formerly known as Kisngombe

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Sherry C

PeaNut 286,156
December 2006
Posts: 1,575
Layouts: 79
Loc: TN

Posted: 6/24/2013 2:44:33 PM
I just used these Basic Grey flocked ones the other day on a layout - LOVE them! You can get them in the store!

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