Paper Crafting Techniques
Die Cutting Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Die cutting can be an excellent way to add a new element to your paper crafting techniques. It allows you to create custom paper pieces that you can use for scrapbooking, making birthday or Christmas cards, or anything else that you can think of. The possibilities are practically endless to what you can do with a few pieces of paper and a die cutting machine.
But, to a beginner, using a die cutting machine might seem a little bit complicated, which is why I’ve put together the following list of tips and tricks to get you started. Below, we’re going to go over a few simple tips and tricks to help beginners get accustomed to the wonderful world of die cutting.
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Extend your cutting mat’s life
Over time, your die cut machine’s cutting mat can get quite dirty with adhesive buildup and start to lose some of its stickiness. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to get them back to their original tackiness.
- Spray a cleaning solution on your cutting mat and let sit for a few minutes
- Use a plastic scraper to remove any leftover adhesive residue and wipe off any remaining cleaner.
- Use a two-way glue pen to cover the entire cutting mat and let dry.
Just make sure to use a glue that will still be sticky once it’s dried. It’s also a good idea to consult your machine’s owner’s manual to make sure that the glue you use is safe to use with your machine.
Easily pick up small pieces
Sometimes, it can be almost impossible to pick up some of the tiny pieces made by your cutting machine. So, save yourself the hassle and get yourself a tool to do it for you. One popular tool is known as a QuickStik and has a sticky, gum-like adhesive on one end.
These tools can be extremely useful when it comes to dealing with tiny pieces that are hard to pick up or position with your hands.
Make cleaner precision cuts
When using an electronic die cutting machine, making clean, precise cuts can sometimes be a challenge, especially when you’re working with images that have a lot of intricate details or when you’re using thicker paper. If you’d like to know more about different die cutting machines, you can check here.
So, for better results, you might want to enable your machine’s “double cut” option before making your cuts. This causes the machine to pass over the image a second time, which ensures a precise, clean cut through thicker materials such as fabrics or card stock.
Try adding some shine
An excellent way to make your die cut pieces more interesting is to add a bit of shine to them. Simply cover its entire surface area evenly with a gloss or semi-gloss product and then, lay the piece flat for about 30 minutes to let it dry. Once dried, your die cut piece will have a gorgeous glossy finish that will make it look like something bought from a store. You can check other cutting tips online as well.
How to ensure accurate die cutting
Using dies in combination with stamps is another excellent way to create amazing results. The problem is that lining up the dies with the stamps tends to be a bit tricky. Fortunately, you can solve this problem by using a simple post-it note to save yourself a lot of frustration.
Start by lining up your dies with your stamped images on your machine’s cutting mat. Then, take a post-it note and press the sticky part down over your die, which will act to hold the die in place on your stamped image. Cover the dies and your image with the rest of the cutting place and run it through the cutting machine.
Finally, you can gently peel the post-it note from the die. The image should be released easily since the post-it note’s adhesive isn’t strong enough to tear or damage the paper, but just strong enough to hold everything in place while you pass the piece through your machine. The final results will be a stamped image, die-cut with a perfectly accurate border edge.
Start creating your own unique works of art and give die cutting a go,