Monday, 2 July 2012

Getting more out of your Dies...

Hi everyone. How you doing? Today I'm going to share with you another technique used in our recent demo day.. The day itself was designed to encourage you to get the most out of your die cutting machines and the dies themselves.. Basically "to use a product in a way other than it's intended use"... I think I am going to have this phrase etched onto my head stone one day as I seem to use it so often! So, here’s the first sample using this technique. It is using a die as a Mask, a template and an additional embossing shape..
So, shall we get on with it?! To start off with you just need to get prepared.. So, using 4 pieces of 290gsm card stock cut to the same size I cut out my shape. In this case I have used the Second Largest Die from the Spellbinders set, Classic Ovals Large (S4-110).
Once you have done this four times through your machine you will end up with 3 negative images, which will become your template, 3 positive images which will become your additional embossing template and 2 masks, one a positive image and one a negative image.
To complete the set up of your template, take 3 of your negative images and stick them together. This will form quite a thick template.
The remaining negative image will become your mask. As you can see, I have labelled them up so I know what I am working with.
Stick 3 of your positive images together and this will become your additional embossing shape.. The last single positive image again could be used as a separate mask shape.. Now you are all prepared it's time to play.. The above procedure will work for most of your dies.. So, it really is a great way to get the most out of them. And once you have put the work into getting the templates and mask made, you won't have to do it again unless or until they start to deteriorate... Which shouldn't be for quite a while I imaging!? So, how do we use them? For this particular project I used the Cuttlebug, but you will be able to use this technique in the Grand Calibur and Big Shot machines and in future posts I will share with you the plate combinations you will need to pass them through your machines...
So, for the Cuttlebug, insert your card stock into your Embossing Folder as normal.. Now, this is where the sandwich changes slightly from what you are used to. Place the Embossing Folder directly onto your A Plate,
followed by your template over the top of the outside of the Folder.
Finish the sandwich off with your C plate.. Now, your's doesn't have to be as scratched as mine, but if you use it as much as I do then it most probably will be scratched to the hilt!
Once you have passed it through your machine, hopefully you will notice that the embossing has occurred around the edges of the card and not in the middle..
A little bit of Ink really shows this up.. This was one of the very first times I had attempted this technique and although very happy with the results I wanted more!! So, using the positive images I had stuck together I wanted to create a deeper embossed shape in the middle...
To do this, lay your Tan Mat onto your Cuttlebug A plate
add your embossed card stock with the positive image positioned back into the Oval area created when we first embossed the Folder
and complete the sandwich with your C plate. You may be wondering why I have put the sandwich together in this order? I.E, why is the Tan Mat down first, shouldn't it be nearer the top of the sandwich? Good call!! The reason is a simple one.. If the Tan Mat is nearer the top of the sandwich then I cannot see to make sure that my Oval template is in the correct position and hasn't moved.. Doing it the other way round I can see what I am doing.. Remember, as long as the filling for the sandwich is in the correct order, it doesn't make any difference which way round you do it.. For this technique anyway.. I hope that makes sense? Obviously I could always tape the die down too...
So, once embossed the inner oval is now slightly deeper..
And with a little more ink it makes it really stand out eh!
With your mask, which we created earlier and is simply a piece of card with an Oval cut out of it, place it over the Oval area
and stamp your image..
The mask keeps the image within the Oval area. Cool eh?!
Then mount your image onto your base card and viola!!! Love using this technique and it really has added value to my dies.. Go give it a go and see what you can create.. Have a great day and thanks for checking us out... See you soon.. Andy.


  1. Oooh, love this effect. Will have to try this one for myself. Thanks Andy x

  2. I love this card Andy - it looks super in real life and that stamp is fab.

    Toni xx

  3. This is absolutely fabulous, Congratulations on your demo day, looked like I missed a treat, well done for thinking about the camera.

  4. What a great tutorial!!!! I gave it ago at the weekend and was pleased with the results - I now have one set (with a circle) and plan on making more. Once again many thanks :)