….and i made it to purchasing my very own Sizzix Big Shot Plus Die Cutter. Today I will be giving you some insight into some die cutting tips.
But what now…. I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming urge or anxiety. I had spent all of this money on a die cutting machine and i didn’t know what to do with and i didn’t even know where to start. Was i just being impractical, could i really do this, could i pull it off. Did i really have what it takes to craft things that people might actually want to buy. All these uncertainties.
Or was it just going to be another one of those crafting one minute wonders, where i spend all this money, use it once or twice and then it sits in the loft gathering dust.
No… Stop thinking like that i told myself. I had brought this for a reason and i owed it to myself and my family to give it the very best shot that i could. So i decided there and then to push those doubts out of my mind and just get on with it.
Luckily when i brought it i brought a package deal. It was the Big Shot Plus Starter Kit My Life Handmade #2 and with it came with a whole range of items;-
- The Machine itself + Pads and plates
- Sizzix Bigz Die
- Decorative thinlit dies
- 10 x doublesided sheets of designer paper 5.5×6
- 4 x double sided sheets of paper A4
- 1 x sheet of cotton fabric
This week i had set aside my normal Friday day off to do some crafting. I got up extra specially early, packaged the kids off to school, by this point i was too excited to even sit down and eat my breakfast. This was my day today, from 9am to 2:45pm was crafting time. A massive nearly 6 hours that i had set aside just for me and my crafting.
So there i was… i had my big box and sat down on the dining room table ready to unpack. I pulled out all of my items and looked at it all thinking what next!!
Right first to assemble it… So the instructions were fairly self explanatory. Add the handle to the machine and make sure it is the right way round 🙂
Next i had 2 clear pads and 3 other platforms/pads with writing and pictures on (Adapter A,Adapter B, and a standard platform), now it took me a while to get to grips with this although to be fair it did state it all quite clearly on the mats. So now for some die cutting tips…the first thing you always need to learn when using a manual die cutter is…. duh duh duuh! You always need a sandwich.
There are 2 clear cutting plates. Your dies and your paper/fabric should always be between these 2 cutting sheets. So you have 1 cutting sheet on the bottom, Then you have your die cutter whether it is a thinlit, an embosser, a big die (don’t be too phased by this at this stage we will cover this all later) but this must be facing up so the sharp end is pointing up towards you, then you have your card/fabric/paper or whatever material you are using on top of this and then your final cutting plate.
It is very important that the sharp end of your die cutter whatever type it is is facing into your material. If you have it the other way round, it will still cut your material however it will also cut into your cutting plate leaving a mark engraved into it which on later projects could then embed itself into your material when you do not wish it to.
Once you have your Sandwich, you then need to think do i need an extra pad. If you are using any of the Bigz dies you do not need anything extra. This sandwich as it is is enough to go through the die cutter. However if you are using any of the other die cutters you will need to use these additional platforms otherwise there will not be enough pressure when rolling the machine to make it work.
So as a rule i use the following;
No platform-Bigz Dies
Standard Platform plus Adapter A – Framelits, Thinlits, Triplet
Standard Platform plus Adapter B – Sizzlets, Embossing folders, Textured Impressions
Right. So now we have our Die Cutter, and we have all that we need to know about the platforms needed to make this a success. Join me on my next blog where we make our first die cut flower with step by step instructions and see how it turns out.
Thanks for listening to my first die cutting tips and we will speak soon.
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