PAPERCRAFT BASICS: Step-by-Step #01 Using a die-cutting machine

Join Ann-marie Vaux as she introduces die-cutting, using the Sizzix Big Shot (Video at the end of the gallery).

die cutting step-by-step

Add any platforms you may need to your cutting machine, ie) adapter plates to add the height for thin dies

die cutting step-by-step

You will need both of the cutting plates

die cutting step-by-step

Add your chosen die to one of the plates, face up I often find is better, but it is personal preference.

die cutting step-by-step

Add card/paper over the die

die cutting step-by-step

Add the second cutting plate over the top of the card/paper layer to create a sandwich

die cutting step-by-step

Run the cutting sandwich through the die-cutting machine by turning the handle if it is a manual machine, or if electric, press the button

die cutting step-by-step

Remove the cutting sandwich from the machine and remove the plates

die cutting step-by-step

Gently press the die cut out of the card/paper and you have a finished die-cut.

Items Used In This Tutorial:
Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting Machine
Creative Scallop Heart Dies
Sizzix Foam Pad & Roller set
Cardstock

Video Transcript

Hello, welcome to the latest CraftStash Paper Crafting Basics guide.

Our CraftStash guides are designed to show you common techniques alongside tips and tricks within the world of paper crafting. In this video we are going to be looking at basic die cutting. So what I want to show you is how to use a die cutting machine. This is a Big Shot from a company called Sizzix. There are so many different die cutting machines available on the market it will depend on budget, size, where you are going to put it, whether you want a manual machine with a handle or whether you want an electronic machine. Now for personal reasons I’ve got a handle turning machine, only because I’ve had to think about the power that’s needed for machines and sometimes where I live we get quite a few power cuts so I would be unable to craft and that would be the end of my world. 

So I’ve gone for a manual machine, now when you get your machine, you get a platform which is a raised bed area and it gets, you’ve got different levels with it, a one and a two. Sizzix have been brilliant to actually put instructions on the actual adapter plates. If in doubt you’ll be able to look at those. You also get two acrylic plates, these are used to build your sandwich. So in this we will put our die and our card or paper and this is what goes through the mouth of the machine. Now also you’ll be able to use it for your texture plates and embossing folders. We can look at those later on as we go through the guides, so check out the CraftStash website to see if there is anything like that available. Dies come in all shapes and sizes. You have floral dies, matte dies, intricate dies and shaped dies. What we’re going to do today is we’re going to just put a shaped die through the machine and then we can see how you cut it and how it looks. The die I’ve chosen is a heart die. It has got a fancy edge so it will show you a nice shape. So what you do is you will take your plates, now a bit of a trick here is keep one plate as new, as they say. By doing that what I mean is when you put your die in the machine its going to cut through your card and paper and it’s going to start scratching the actual opposite plate as it goes through so you will find one of the plates will wear. If you try and keep one as the one you cut into and it wears and the other one nice and smooth, which will keep your paper and card smooth.

So I’ve placed my die on top of one of my plates and I’ve put it face upwards, so it’s cutting edge upwards. Just to point out the cutting edge is not sharp as it is on a die and it’s only sharp to cut through the paper as it goes through the machine so there is nothing that is going to catch or cut. I’m simply placing a piece of card on top of my die. The card that I’ve placed has covered the area where the die is. Next I place the second acrylic plate over the top, hold them firmly together and then I’m going to place it on my adapter plate, then I’m going to feed it through the machine so it’s going to go all the way through as I turn the handle like that. Then I can take my plates out. I can remove the top plate and you can see how it starts getting marked so I will keep that for my top plate.

This has cut through the paper and all I have to do is gently lift it out. Sometimes they pop straight out, others times you just want to pop it out like that. It’s given a good cut edge and it’s a perfect die cut. That’s how we run our dies through our die cutting machine to create your perfect die cut. If for any reason you get a die that is stuck, the actual die as you bring it out of the machine Sizzix have created a foam pad and roller. This is a great help and I’m sure in one of the next videos for intricate dies we’ll be looking at how to use that. I had that on standby just in case. So I just wanted to point that out. But it’s very simple to die cut and I’m sure as you go along you’ll get more advanced and you’ll be die cutting everything and trying everything out.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this little guide to how to die cut and how to use your die cutting machine.

Thank you so much for watching. Please check out the CraftStash website for more videos, more tips & more tricks.

See you next time!

 

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