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Die-cut shapes and letters

Quickly create custom page accents and titles with a die-cutting tool. Group Editor Melissa Inman shows how in this quick demo.

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Hi! I'm Melissa Inman, group editor for Scrapbooks Etc. Magazine, and I'm gonna tell you about how you can die cut custom shapes for any scrapbook page or other paper project. Die cutting is a really easy way to get a perfectly custom look for your scrapbook page. You can cut from any card stock, pattern paper, and you could even cut from foam, fabric, chip board, or other textiles. So, let's get started. The first thing I'm gonna tell you about is the die cut machine. There are a lot of different die cut machines on the market. I'm using one by Ellison because it accepts a lot of different die types. But you can use just about any die cut machine out there. They all operate with the same basic principle. The other thing that you'll need is a die. This is one of the larger dies. It's a steel roll die, which means that it makes a very deep impression. So if you do plan on cutting through a chip board or foam, you'll want a die like this. You can get them in a variety of different sizes. You can see, this one is just a smaller hand shape. And then they also make these little chemically etched dies. This is a much thinner die. As you can see, it doesn't leave us deep with impression, but it also tends to have finer details so you can get much more detailed cuts from it. So, for the thing that we're gonna do today, I'm gonna use the larger die. So, the first thing I'm gonna do is grab my die, and then I need a sheet of card stock that's sized to fit on the die. So, I've just cut this one down to make sure that it works. I'm gonna place the card stock on the die with the foam facing up and the card stock right on top of it. If you are using a pattern paper, and you have a shape other circles where you won't be able to tell which side is front or back, make sure that you have the pattern facing front when you look at your die cut. And then, most machines will come with something like this. It's like a little plastic sheet that you use to sandwich either side of the die. And I'm just gonna put the sheets so they kind of encase it. And then, I lay it on the machine in the back here. And then, I just simply use this hand crank to push it through. It glides through really easily. My 6-year-old loves to help with this part of the process. He calls it mommy's magic machine. So I'm just holding the machine to keep it in place, but as you can see, it just moves right through when it gets to the other side that releases. Then we can go ahead and peel that off, and I have perfectly cut circle shapes. If you're doing a project where you need a lot of the same shape, this is an awesome way to get it done quickly. Now, if I had wanted just 1 circle, and I didn't wanna waste the whole sheet of card stock, I go ahead and just cut a piece that fit right over one of the circles and then run that through. You don't have to cut all of the shapes on your die at once. So that's it. Now you know all about die cutting, and you can see how easy it is to create custom looks for your scrapbook pages. I'm Melissa and thanks for watching.