Die cuts are original, sophisticated decorative elements for scrapbooking. Here is a simple outline of the necessary materials and die-cutting hacks, which are useful for all scrapbookers.
What is die-cutting
Die cuts are a decorative element made with a special machine or by hand. They are made of different materials, can get the shape of various objects, intricate patterns and different textures. Die cuts are used to decorate crafts of any style: albums, postcards, photo frames. With special knowledge, you can even make exquisite cuttings resembling lace.
Die-cuttings are often used as the main decoration of craft projects: they add airiness and volume, using both an independent element in the composition and a border element, that is, located on the edge. It is not difficult to make these beautiful, interesting elements if you have the necessary tools and knowledge of special techniques.
Required materials for die-cutting
Cuttings for scrapbooking are made of various materials: fabric, paper, leather, thin metal. Beautiful, varied die-cuts are usually made with special die-cutting machines. There are a number of choices in this category, so it’s really just a matter of personal preference. The main thing is to provide for the following components: knives (it is better if the knife is universal since it works with any material), plates (they hold the material so that the knives cut in the right places). Some devices have additional templates, designed for novice craftswomen. Templates are a free way to master the tool since some materials can be very expensive.
Die cuttings for scrapbooking can also be made by hand. You will need scissors, a special mat, a paper cutter or breadboard knife, a marker, acrylic-based paints, stencils. You can print a stencil out by a printer or draw it yourself.
How to make die cuts
Machine-made decorations are the most varied, but not every needlewoman has a special die-cutting machine. With an irresistible desire to create and some tools, the craft pieces will be looking no worse than the ones made by the machine. Let’s take a look at both creative processes:
- The working process of the scrap machine. A material is placed on top of the cutting plate, a knife is laid on top of it with cutting elements down, covered with another plate on top. This sandwich needs to be pushed through rollers inside of cutting machine to create a shape with neat and precise outlines.
- Manual workflow. For manual die cutting, you need to print, maybe even draw a stencil yourself, then attach it to the worksheet. You start by cutting out the necessary parts: if openwork elements are needed, then you should start cutting from the internal elements, and after that, you can cut along the contour.
When working with simple die-cutting without openwork elements, it is possible to use scissors with curly blades. You can find everything you need in craft stores, for example, check out a large selection of scissors at CraftOnline. You can also find special templates for die-cutting there.
Useful die-cutting hacks
In order for the result of the work to always meet your expectations, you need to know a few tricks, that experienced scrap lovers use all the time to easily avoid difficulties. Here are 10 die-cutting hacks:
- If the cut around the edges is not smooth enough, you can get rid of this problem with sticky tape. All small untreated particles will disappear.
- To make good cuts from a fabric, first iron it.
- Thin fabrics should be laid in several layers.
- Adding an extra layer of thicker paper to thin paper will make the cutting more precise.
- If the shape is not completely cut through, it is possible to insert a cutting punch, finding the right place for it inside the die-cutting machine.
- While using the cutting plates, invert them periodically to align them.
- Sometimes, leftovers from a cutting can be used for decoration too. Take a closer look, your imagination will save you some money.
- In the absence of a die-machine, die-cuts can be made with a curly hole punch and scissors with curly blades. Such tools will help make flowers, butterflies, twigs, snowflakes, as well as many other interesting figures.
- If there are no special devices for removing the die cut, it is possible to use a large needle, awl.
- Clean the knife thoroughly of the cloth leftovers to ensure it makes good cuts.
Not a single fan of scrapbooking techniques can do without various kinds of die cuts. They complement the overall look of the product. With the help of such elements, you can quickly and easily decorate your craft projects. Try the tips above to optimize your craftwork process and enjoy scrapbooking!