Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tutorial: Die-cutting stamped images

Anyone who has used Nestabilities or other open-format dies to cut their stamped images knows that it’s pretty easy to align the die around the image. But what about the solid dies that are available now? I don’t know about you, but even with clear stamps, I have a hard time stamping the image correctly on the die-cut shape – it’s always just a little wonky, even if I’m standing right above it to line it up.

So I came up with an easy way to stamp first, then cut perfectly – every time. Now, I don’t know if anyone else has come up with this idea already, but it’s new to me, so I wanted to share it with you. Here we go…

First, take a piece of cardstock and die-cut the shape. You are creating a mask. I’ve used PTI’s Enjoy the Ride die (and stamp) for this.cut-mask

Now stamp your image.

Start creating your die-cutting “sandwich”. I’m using my Big Shot. Lay the stamped image (face up) on your cutting mat and align the mask over the image exactly the way you want it. You can use a little tape to hold it down if you want. (I could have aligned this a little better…) 

Now take your die (cutting side down) and place it into the mask – you’ll feel when it’s sitting properly in there. Take a little tape and hold it down to make sure it doesn’t shift.

Cover it with your top plate and run it through your die-cutting machine. That’s it -- a perfectly aligned image!

And you can keep your mask to use over and over again. I like to cut one in a light color and one in a dark color, depending on what I’m stamping on. And I store them right behind the dies in my binder so they’re always there when I need them. I store my dies – all of them – in a photo album binder loaded with different size pocket pages. Each pocket has either a square of black cardstock with some magnetic strips attached, or a square of of magnetic sheeting (I think they sell them as vent covers). In the back of the album, I have a couple of sheets of 8x11 magnetic sheeting, hole punched for the binder, for my border dies. Here’s a pic of one page:

Hope this has been useful and takes some stress out of your crafting time!



Lori said...

Great idea! I always find that I can never get them lined up as perfectly as I would like.

Kim H. said...

Thank you for this great idea! I always cut it out and then stamp it... and it is never lined up! thanks so much!!!

LindaChad said...

Thank goodness I found this tutorial. I've been struggling with the dies and stamps aligning!

gaijinjoy said...

This is very useful--clear and to the point. Thanks so much!