A die-cutting machine can be quite daunting if you're new to the process, and it's hard to know quite where to start. Intricate dies present even more of a challenge, and may need a little more tweaking to get the desired results. Remember to always read the manufacturer's instructions to ensure optimum performance from your machine.

Follow our guide for flawless intricate die-cutting

Here, we take a look at intricate die-cutting using the Big Shot die-cutting machine and the gorgeous free butterfly die available in Die-cutting Essentials issue 20.

die-cutting machine step-by-step 1. Create your sandwich following the manufacturer’s instructions. It may also help to use low-tack tape or Washi tape to keep the die in place. 2. Run the sandwich through your die-cutting machine.
butterfly die 3. Take out and rotate the die to ensure that it cuts through the cardstock completely. 4. If you can see that the die still hasn’t cut all the way through, run it through your machine again. You may need to add a shim (a piece of cardstock) or two. Alternatively, you can buy a metal adapter plate for some machines that helps to get the right pressure.
die cutting 5. When your die is cut out it will look like this. 6. Carefully remove the die-cut shape from the die using a pokey tool. If you don’t have one you can make one by carefully pushing the eye end of a fine needle into a cork and securing it with glue.
how to die cut 7. Remove the negative space from the die-cut using a pokey tool. 8. After following all these steps your die-cut will look like this.

Sticking these intricate die-cuts to your projects can be tricky, but you can use a fine glue pen, spray adhesive or white glue, or even glue taken from a glue stick and applied using a cocktail stick. If you have a Xyron sticker machine, these work well. You could also try adding double-sided tape or adhesive sheets to your cardstock before cutting.