Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Die Cut Scrapbooking Tips

Die Cut Machines: Which One is Right for You?

There are several scrapbook die cutting machines on the market that you can use right at home. They range in price from $70 to $500. Different types of die cut machines have different functions. In order to choose a machine that is right for your needs you will need to know the functions of the machines. Some of the most popular scrapbook die cutting machines used by avid scrappers are:

The Sizzix die cutting system easily cuts a variety of materials like paper, rubber and fabrics, using the Sizzix originals die cuts. The Sizzix machine has a handle you push down to cut your scrapbooking die cut shapes and letters. This die cutting machine is a great starter machine for beginning scrappers.

This computerize personal cutting system is a revolutionary die cutting machine that can cut almost any shape you can load on to your PC. It is portable and easy to use. The Xyron cuts shapes, fonts and images in 3 sizes.

Xyron Wishblade
The Wishblade, an upgrade of the original Xyron personal cutting system, is a computerized die cut machine that hooks to your personal home computer and uses computer software to electronically create different scrapbook die cuts. The Wishblade will cut any font you can find on your computer. Although this scrapbook die cutting machine costs approximately $450, most die cut enthusiasts say it is worth the investment.


The Cricut die cutting machine is an electric machine that uses cartridges for the die cuts and doesn’t require a computer. The cartridges fit between two pads and the die cuts are cut out clean and easy. There are a variety of cartridges available and most scrappers agree this is a versatile, portable machine.


The Cuttlebug is one of the newest die cutting machines. This little scrapbook die cutter easily grips to your surface so you can cut your dies with ease. It will also emboss your dies with the click of a switch. The Cuttlebug is compatible with cartridges from most of the major brand scrapbook die cutters on the market. You can conveniently take the Cuttlebug die cut machine anywhere without bulk. The Cuttlebug will cut paper, chipboard, thin metal, mesh and more. This scrapbook die cutter has earned “rave” reviews from scrappers everywhere.

Personal cutting systems are a great addition to your scrapbook supplies. When you decide what system is best for your scrapbooking needs, you will be able to create many adorable die cuts for scrapbooking.

Cropping Corner Tip: Embellish Your Die Cuts with Scrapbook Microbeads

Scrapbooking die cuts come in a variety of shapes, colors and styles. Why not make your scrapbooking die cut shapes dazzle with scrapbook microbeads? Microbeads are available in various sizes and rainbow of colors. These tiny beads can add depth and dimension to your die cuts without too much bulk. Using microbeads on a flower shape or on letters will make them “jump off” the page. Clear microbeads can even make colored images have a “stained glass” look.

In order to adhere the microbeads to your scrapbooking die cuts, you should completely cover the area with a strong adhesive and either generously sprinkle the beads onto the die cut or pour the beads into a container and turn over the die cut to press firmly into the beads. Then, flip your die cut back to the front and press again firmly or go over it with a brayer to make sure they are securely embedded. Liquid glue will work best if you are only covering a small area.

Add Dimension with Die Cuts

You can use various die cuts on your scrapbook layouts to add dimension to your pages. Use the die cuts for shadowing; these work particularly well with letters. You can use one color of paper for the letter and another accent color in the background to create a shadow. You can layer different parts of the die cut image, such as flowers. The middle of the flower can be a separate piece from the main part of the flower. Another suggestion is to have a person with clothes layered on top of the body.

Decorating and coloring your die cuts can add appeal, too. Using markers, chalks and glitter will add some pizzazz to your die cut shapes. You can change the look of the die cuts just by adding something new.

There are so many variations for die cuts. Just use your imagination and the possibilities are endless.

Cropping Corner Tip: Cricut Die Cutting Machine -- Paper Tips

Die cuts are shapes used to decorate your scrapbook layouts. They can be letters, pictures, frames, etc. Die cuts are an easy way to make your pages standout and look fabulous. It used to be that die cuts were only available to purchase in stores because the machines used to make these embellishments were so expensive. Now, there are many die cutting machines on the market that are priced low enough for individuals to make die cuts at home. Like most die cut machines, the Cricut machine has cartridges that must be purchased separately. The die cut machine costs about $300 and the cartridges range from $39.99 to $99.99.

The Cricut machine is designed to cut paper and cardstock. Other paper or materials may work, but they are not guaranteed. In order to avoid wasting paper, it is a good idea to know the dimensions of the shapes you are cutting. If you are not sure, you can use the “air cut” on the machine to get an idea of how big your die cut will be. The paper size setting is automatically set at 6 x 12. If your paper is smaller than 6 x 12, make sure you line it up with the bottom left corner of the mat. Then, set your cutting blade to the upper right corner of the paper and before you cut, push the “select paper size” button to change the paper dimensions.

Newsprint Die Cuts

If you are looking for a unique type of die cut to embellish your scrapbook layouts then newsprint die cuts could be the answer. Although newspapers and magazines are not printed on acid-free paper and are not recommended for scrapbook pages, you can use the newsprint words and rare bold-face fonts. Just copy the words and phrases you want to use on to an acid-free paper and then adorn your scrapbook creations. Finding new die cuts for scrapbooking layouts makes your pages even more appealing

Cropping Corner Tip: The Cuttlebug: Endless Possibilities

The Cuttlebug die cutting machine from Provo Craft is one of the newest die cut machines on the market. It can cut and emboss shapes to give you a variety of uses. This wonder machine will fit cartridges from other machines, like the Sizzix. The Cuttlebug will cut all types of materials including chipboard, thin metals, foam, plastic and mesh.

The Cuttlebug distinguishes itself by offering the embossing and chipboard cutting features. In order to create a unique chipboard design, you can use the Cuttlebug by placing your die shape face-up on the mat. With your cardstock adhered to your chipboard, place it on top of the die and cut as usual. This will create an attractive chipboard die cut that can be used to accent your scrapbook pages or other craft projects. Embossing folders are also available and can be used to emboss your Cuttlebug die cuts.

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