Including LOADS of links to top die-cutting tips, techniques and tutorials from craft experts at the end of this post

Find out exactly what you need to start your die-cutting journey and master this beautiful cardmaking technique. We will explain all the different kinds of die-cutting machines, types of dies and give advice on other essentials you will need to begin die-cutting!

What Is Die-Cutting?

With regards to cardmaking, Die-cutting is using metal shapes known as dies in an array of shapes and designs to cut out paper, card or in some cases other materials such as fabric. One side of the die is sharp and with pressure it will efficiently cut through the material creating a perfect die-cut shape, sentiment or design over and over again!

A freshly cut die-cut ready to be glued to a card

Dies were first used in making shoes, they were created for cutting out the leather more efficiently and accurately than by hand. The process has since evolved and die-cutting is used by many industries. It has also become a favourite technique for cardmakers and crafters as it enables us to very simply cut out shapes and designs for use on cards.

There is probably not a shape or design you can think of where there isn't a die available giving you so much more scope for creativity than using punches. Join for free and explore CraftWorld for a huge archive of die-cutting projects and tutorials to try - Die-cutting inspiration

What are die-cutting machines?

In order to create the pressure needed for the metal dies to cut you need a die-cutting machine. You can buy machines in many different shapes and sizes and from lots of crafting brands. There are machines aimed at beginners right the way through to industrial machines that will cost thousands.

Die-cutting machines are also used for embossing, where an impression is made rather than a cut - find out all about embossing in our complete guide to embossing techniques article.

Manual die-cutting machines

The simplest form of die-cutting machine is essentially like a mangle. You create a simple sandwich between plates and put the die in with the sharp edge face down on the material. Then you wind the handle and the pressure is applied across the whole die, cutting through the card or paper as it passes through.

Electronic die-cutting machines

You can also buy die-cutting machines which don't have a handle, the process of cutting is automated. You still need to create the sandwich but these machines can be great for people who find manual die-cutting hard work on their arms and wrists.

Cricut machines are cutting machines designed for crafters, DIY enthusiasts, and small businesses to create intricate designs and shapes from various materials such as paper, vinyl, fabric, and more. The machines work by using blades and tools to cut, score, and draw according to the designs loaded into their software. Users can create designs either through the software provided by Cricut or by uploading their own designs. Cricut machines have gained popularity for their versatility and ease of use in creating custom projects like greeting cards, scrapbooking elements, home decor items, personalized gifts, and even apparel embellishments.

Computerised die-cutting machines

Computerised die-cutting machines are not in reality die-cutting machines at all! They do not use a die to cut, instead they have a blade which works more like a printer as it moves around the card, paper or fabric cutting out the design.

Die-cutting basics for manual machines

What other tools and essentials do I need for die-cutting?

  • Pokey tool / Craft Pick
  • Metal Shim
  • Masking Tape or Washi Tape
  • Magnetic sheets for storing dies

Different types of dies - check before you buy!

When buying dies you need to make sure they are compatible with your machine, all machines have different sized 'mouths' so you'll need to double check, especially if buying online when it can be tricky to quickly assess the size of the die.

A big list of links to expert die-cutting techniques and tutorials

Die-cutting Techniques: How to Make Dies Stand Out More




Sizzix Infinite Doodles - Unleash Your Imagination

DIY Shaker Gift Tag Card Tutorial

DIY Halloween Gift Bag that Lights Up!

Partial Die-cutting Tutorial with Animal Antics from My Creative Life

DIY Barbie Box Tutorial - Fun Gift Box Idea

Card Making Ideas - Kinetic Scene Builder

Christmas Card Idea: Two Easy Die-cut Festive Card Ideas

What to do with cardstock scraps!

Cricut Project Idea: Floral Water Bottle with Baby Pink and Coral Vinyl

Cricut Project Idea: Floral Cosmetic Bag

Cricut Project Idea: Personalised Kids T-shirt with HTV

Folding Techniques - Z Fold Card Tutorial

Cricut Project Idea: Bride Gift

Cricut Project Ideas: DIY Care Bear Cup

Die-Cutting Tips and Tricks

Top Tips for Making Handmade Gift Boxes That Look Professional

How to Use Sizzix Bigz Dies (Project Ideas)

Loaf Tin Giftbox Die Tutorial

Paperpiecing Quickly with Tape

Partial Die-Cut Aperture Technique

Cricut Explore Air 2 - 3 step by step tutorials for DIY wedding or party makes.

Cricut Projects for Beginners - Easy Christmas Gifts with your Cricut

Custom Christmas Cricut Gift Tags with FREE Template

Champagne Shaker Card Tutorial

Cricut Halloween Pumpkin with FREE SVG

Festive Cricut Snowflake Cutlery Place Setting with FREE Template

Framed Monogram Box Tutorial with FREE TEMPLATE

Personalised Bauble in a Gift Bag Tutorial with FREE TEMPLATE

Cricut T-Shirt Box - FREE SVG Template

Easy Cricut Christmas Ideas: Personalised Decor, Gift Tags, and Ornaments

3 Quick and Easy Cricut Christmas Cards - no SVGs needed!

How to crop in Cricut Design Space

How to make stickers with Cricut

Posts on our sister site

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