Die cutting is a wonderful way to add professional-looking, beautiful elements to your papercrafting projects. With the release of our new die cutting and embossing machine, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain this technique at the beginner level. What is die cutting? And how do you die cut paper? Let’s talk about it!
What Is It?
Die cutting is a process that involves using pre-formed metal dies to cut those same shapes out of paper. The results are far more precise than cutting shapes by hand ever could be.
What Is A Die?
A die is a piece of metal that has been formed in a particular shape. They are very thin and lay flat. While the top surface is competely smooth (shown at bottom), the underside has a small lip, or rough edge, that is the area that cuts the paper (shown at top).
Uses On Projects
Die cutting can be used on any papercraft project such as cards, scrapbook pages, treat holders, banners, and more.
You can even cut other materials such as fabric, foam, or vinyl. Because the range of dies available is so wide, the sky is the limit when it comes to how to use them!
To get started cutting, you’ll need a machine, dies, and paper. That’s it!
Keep in mind there are some other tools that are nice to have on hand. These includ a magnetic base plate which helps hold your dies in place, a die brush to help remove small pieces from dies, and a Take Your Pick Tool to poke out any pieces that get stuck.
Using The Stampin Cut And Emboss Machine
I detail a lot of information about this amazing machine in this post, including how to use it. I’ll explain the basics below.
First, you’ll need to ‘build the sandwich’ of materials to pass through the machine. Base plate 1 has a diagram showing what pieces to include depending on whether you’re die cutting or embossing, which makes it easy to choose the correct ones. For die cutting, we need:
- Base plate 1
- Die cutting plate 2
- Clear cutting plate 3 OR Magnetic plate
- Die, laying with the cutting edge down
- Clear cutting plate 3
Next, line up the plates so they are stacked directly on top of one another, and set on the platform of the machine.
Press the stack into the machine until the hand crank begins to move. Crank the handle to feed the plates through. Next, remove your paper and dies and admire the results!
After doing this a few times, choosing the correct plates will become second nature and you won’t need to think about it.
Would you like to watch along and see exactly how to do this? Join in for this video as I explain the basics!
Thanks for joining in today! I hope you now know enough about die cutting to try it yourself. You’re going to love it!
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