Basic Die-Cut Techniques for Scrapbook Pages

Learn quick and easy ways to enhance scrapbook pages with die cuts. From simple accents to pretty titles, die cuts are perfect for making creative pages in a snap.

Border-Punched Background

Design by Barb Prendergast

Get the look of dry embossing by using border punches to punch strips from the same color cardstock and arranging them on the background. Barb used many different punches in her design for added interest. Center the photo on your page and add circle accents in the corners to draw the eyes in.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: American Crafts (brown stripe), BasicGrey (paisley), Jenni Bowlin Studio (houndstooth, black dot), Making Memories (red dot). Font: Arial. Stickers: Making Memories. Plastic accent: Bazzill Basics Paper. Ribbon: Offray (red satin, black gingham), Making Memories (red-and-white). Punches: Fiskars (scalloped dot, rope), EK Success (small dotted scallop, swirl), Martha Stewart Crafts (loop, zigzag). Dies, die-cutting tool: Spellbinders. Circle cutter: EK Success. Paper crimper: Fiskars. Edge distresser: Tonic Studios. Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. Sketch:

Matching Title

Design by Robyn Werlich

Be prepared to capture the wonder and excitement of siblings meeting a new family member for the first time. Black-and-white photos in a colorful layout help the pictures stand out. Brad embellishments, tone-on-tone accents, and simple typed journaling make a beautiful background. Die-cut your title to match letters to your paper.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (white), Stampin' Up! (blue, green). Patterned paper: Jillibean Soup (blue dots), Pebbles, Inc. (yellow hearts), Stampin' Up! (green dots, blue grid). Font: Uncle Charles by Autumn Leaves. Rub-ons: Creative Cafe by Creative Imaginations. Die-cutting tool: Silhouette. Brads: American Crafts (white, green), Making Memories (flower). Ribbon: Stampin? Up!. Buttons: American Crafts (silver), Stampin' Up! (yellow, green). Punches: EK Success.

Clear Die Cuts

Design by Sande Krieiger

Document transitions in your family's life with family portraits and heartfelt journaling detailing your emotions about the change. Separate similar-looking photos with stitching or a border sticker. Add subtle embellishments, such as clear die-cut stars and simple stamped arrows, to add accents but still keep the focus on the pictures.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Provo Craft. Patterned paper: My Mind's Eye. Stickers: 7Gypsies ("we are so much less," "crazy about you"), BasicGrey (letters, "always"). Rub-ons: 7Gypsies. Die cuts: 7Gypsies. Die-cutting tool, die: Sizzix. Stamps: 7Gypsies (finger, "fragile"), BasicGrey ("Note to Self," "the end"), Sassafras (arrow), Technique Tuesday ("the facts"), Hero Arts (letters). Ink: Memories (red), Ranger Industries (black, orange). Adhesive: Therm O Web.

Stylish Title

Design by Sheri Reguly

Not all Halloween pages have to be designed in traditional holiday colors. Pull inspiration for your pages from the colors and costumes in your photos. A non-Halloween color scheme of pink, gray, orange, and yellow gives a distinct '50s look. Die-cut letters for a throwback title and spooky sticker accents decorate this layout.


SOURCES: Cardstock, brads: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: BoBunny Press (pink dots, green), Echo Park Paper Co. (stripes, journaling block), KI Memories (calendar page). Font: Courier New. Stickers: American Crafts (letters), Hero Arts (pumpkin), My Mind's Eye (spider border). Gems: Kaisercraft. Punches: EK Success (border), Fiskars (stars). Die-cutting tool: Silhouette. Adhesive: EK Success.

Summer Shapes

Design by Kim Holmes

Borrow your title from a song, as Kim did on this page. Help your title stand out by accenting it with theme-appropriate die cuts, such as the butterfly and sun on this page, that are popped up with adhesive foam. Line up small strips of patterned paper and machine-stitch straight lines across your page for a quilted look.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: BasicGrey (white notebook), October Afternoon (all other). Font: Dream Orphan off the Internet. Stickers: October Afternoon. Flower accents: K&Company. Die-cutting tool: Silhouette. Pen: Uni-ball Signo. Thread: Coats & Clark.

Simple Letters

Design by Lisa Storms

Lisa tied in the background pattern to her title by die-cutting letters from the same paper. Mounting her photo, title, and journaling on just a portion of the shaped paper brings attention to her most important elements.


SOURCES: Cardstock: KI Memories, WorldWin Papers. Patterned paper: KI Memories (calendar), My Mind's Eye (polka dots). Font: Typo Slab Serif off the Internet. Stickers: My Mind's Eye. Buttons: Doodlebug Design. Baker's twine: Martha Stewart Crafts. Die-cutting tool: Silhouette.

Die-Cut Waves

Design by Laina Lamb

Laina crafted cool waves for her pool layout using a die-cutting tool. She added bling with small gems on the wave crests and used digital accents to enhance the layout, such as the small fish that are swimming inside the title.


SOURCES: Cardstock: American Crafts. Patterned paper: BoBunny Press (green), Heidi Grace Designs (blue). Font: Bonveno off the Internet. Chipboard accent: Martha Stewart Crafts. Gems: EK Success (blue, green), Making Memories (clear). Die-cutting tool: Wishblade. Software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator. Digital elements: Phaunt Magic Action.

Dingbat Die Cut

Design by Nichol Magouirk

Create custom patterned paper by repeating a dingbat pattern on a color background. Nichol repeated the skull shape by using a die-cutting tool to cut a skill shape and a pirate title for fun accents.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: BasicGrey (white), Lily Bee Designs (brown, green, red, stripe, yellow). Photo paper: Epson. Fonts: Pirates PW (dingbats), Pieces of Eight (title), Typenoksidi (journaling) off the Internet. Die cuts: Creative Imaginations ("remember"), Jillibean Soup ("date," "photography"). Rub-on: October Afternoon. Brads: Close To My Heart (small metal), Making Memories (yellow stripe), Stampin' Up! (corduroy). Die-cutting tool: Silhouette. Digital elements: More Than Words Soliday Paper Pack by Michelle Underwood. Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Die-Cut Clouds

Design by Sheri Reguly

Replicate an element shown in your photos, as Sheri did with the candy heart on this page. To get the look, she used a combination of cardstock, punches, thread, and chalk. An unused lollipop stick completes the embellishment. Pretty die-cut clouds float at the top of the layout and a pink ribbon gives movement to the heart.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: KI Memories. Fonts: Honey Script (journaling), Kunstler Script (title) off the Internet. Rub-ons: Die Cuts With A View. Die-cut: Papertrey Ink. Brads: Bazzill Basics Paper (pink), Doodlebug Design (aqua), KI Memories (metal-rim). Lollipop stick: Wilton. Chalk: Pebbles, Inc. Punches: EK Success (flower), Martha Stewart Crafts (border), Stampin' Up! (border). Die-cutting tool: Cuttlebug by Provo Craft. Digital elements: Aster Kit by Katie Pertiet. Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0.

DIY Snowflakes

Design by Michele Parbury

Don't have a snowflake die or punch? Be creative. In this layout, eight die-cut fleur-de-lis shapes arranged in a circle form the base of these intricate and delicate large snowflakes. Layer the fleurs-de-lis and a lacy circle, and presto -- you've got snow. If you're showcasing a lot of photos on your layout, stick to two main colors to keep the pages simple.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics (blue), Doodlebug Design (snowflakes), Paper Accents (white). Dies, die-cutting tool: Spellbinders (fleur-de-lis pendant, lacy circles). Ink, color pencils, brads: Stampin' Up!.

Die-Cut Butterflies

Design by Valerie Salmon

Create butterflies that appear ready to flutter off the page using die cuts, templates, or punches. Layer shapes cut from different patterns and add gems for instant sparkle. Score each butterfly shape vertically in the center to lift the wings. Give the wings dimension by placing adhesive foam between layers.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Creative Imaginations (blue words), BasicGrey (multicolor stripe, multicolor floral), Scenic Route Paper Co. (yellow dot, pink dot, turquoise floral). Chipboard accent: American Crafts. Die cuts: My Mind?s Eye. Gems: Heidi Swapp (white, pink), Prima Marketing, Inc. (purple). Stamps, cutting templates, punches, adhesive: Fiskars. Ink: Ancient Page by Clearsnap.

Die-Cut a Script Title for a Scrapbook Page

Design by Robyn Werlich

To give her title added interest, Robyn used red script die cuts. The letters pop off the light blue background. The die cuts are easy to use but give the page an intricate look.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Doodlebug Design. Patterned paper: Lasting Impressions for Paper (green dot), Scenic Route Paper Co. (white notepaper). Font: American Typewriter Condensed off the Internet. Chipboard accents: Heidi Swapp (hearts), Stampin' Up! (hearts), KI Memories ("love"). Die cuts: QuicKutz. Stamp: Autumn Leaves. Paint: DecoArt by Delta. Gems: Hero Arts. Plastic accents: Heidi Swapp. Mesh: Making Memories. Photo corner: American Crafts.

Be Thrifty by Using Positive and Negative Die-Cut Shapes

Design by Leah Fung

To get the most mileage out of her die cuts, Leah used both the positive (the cutout design) and negative (the holes left after the die-cut design was removed) heart shapes on this scrapbook page. For a homemade touch, Leah stitched along the edges of her die-cut shapes.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (blue, green, orange), The Paper Co. (white). Fonts: Rockwell (title) off the Internet, Arial (journaling). Buttons: Making Memories. Paper clip: Staples. Thread: Coats & Clark.

Emboss Die Cuts to Add Texture to a Scrapbook Page

Design by Lee Anne Russell

Lee Anne added texture to punched cardstock circles using die-cut embossing templates. She varied the circle size and template pattern to add subtle interest to her page without detracting from the action photo. As a finishing touch, Lee Anne also used die-cut letters for part of her title ("unbridled").


SOURCES: Cardstock: Die Cuts With A View. Patterned paper: KI Memories. Font: Tahoma off the Internet. Die cuts: KI Memories. Die-cutting tool, dies, embossing templates: QuicKutz. Punches: EK Success.

Dress Up Die Cuts with Faux Gems

Design by Sheri Reguly

Sheri added sparkle to plain die cuts by embellishing them with faux gems and pearls. Symmetrical gem swirls, rub-ons, and sequins add bling to the cardstock butterfly, while similar embellishments fill the negative space of the die-cut flowers.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: BasicGrey, October Afternoon. Fonts: Fling, Susie's Hand off the Internet. Rub-ons: BasicGrey. Dies: Cuttlebug by Provo Craft (flower), Sizzix (butterfly). Die-cutting tool: Cuttlebug by Provo Craft. Envelope: Hero Arts. Paper trim: Bazzill Basics Paper. Flower: Making Memories. Buttons: My Mind's Eye. Gems: Hero Arts, Me & My Big Ideas, My Mind's Eye. Pearls: Kaisercraft.

Match Die Cuts to a Scrapbook Page Color Scheme

Design by Tracy Kyle

A die-cutting tool is great for making a large number of chipboard embellishments that perfectly match page elements. Tracy cut small flower die cuts and mounted them on matching cardstock blocks for a tone-on-tone look.


SOURCES: Fonts: Ditzy (subtitle) by Two Peas in a Bucket, Century Gothic (title). Die-cutting tool, die: Sizzix. Chipboard: Die Cuts With A View.

Arrange Die Cuts to Create Original Patterned-Paper Designs

Design by Lee Anne Russell

Simple letter and gear-shape dies grouped on monochromatic blocks mimic patterned paper on Lee Anne's scrapbook page. She continued the theme by using die-cut letters for her title, giving the look of a hand-cut title in a fraction of the time.


SOURCES: Font: Avant Garde off the Internet. Die-cutting tool, dies: QuicKutz.

Die-Cut and Embellish Double-Sided Adhesive for a Unique Title

Design by Tracy Kyle

Tracy created a sparkling title by die-cutting letters from a sheet of double-sided adhesive and covering them in mini beads. On the page background, Tracy arranged die-cut flowers and adhered beads to the centers.


SOURCES: Note cards: Paper Source.Sticker: Heidi Swapp. Die-cutting tool, dies: QuicKutz. Pen: American Crafts. Beads: Provo Craft. Jewels: Westrim Crafts. Adhesive: Therm O Web.

Dry-Emboss and Die-Cut Papers for Easy Accents

Design by Jennifer Perks

For subtle texture and pattern, Jennifer dry-embossed her die cuts. To make it easier to dry-emboss and keep the pattern consistent, emboss before die-cutting the shapes.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: Chatterbox. Font: Calisto MT off the Internet. Stickers: Making Memories. Die-cutting tools, dies: Cricut by Provo Craft (title), Cuttlebug by Provo Craft (hearts, dog, circles). Pen: American Crafts. Pearls: Queen & Co., Thread: Coats & Clark. Embossing folders: Cuttlebug by Provo Craft. Decorative-edge scissors: Fiskars. Adhesive: Stampin' Up!.

Size Electronic Die cuts for a Custom Fit

Design by Jen Lessinger

Jen used an electronic die-cutting machine to make the large car accent on her scrapbook page. Electronic die-cutting systems allow scrapbookers to adjust the embellishment size to suit a page design. Jen also die-cut and layered 3s for the title.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Scenic Route Paper Co. (red), SEI (checkerboard). Font: American Typewriter. Stickers: American Crafts. Chipboard: KI Memories (frame), Maya Road (star). Die cut: Autumn Leaves (car). Die-cutting tool: Cricut by Provo Craft ("3"s, quotation marks).

Layer Die Cuts to Crate Three-Dimensional Page Accents

Design by Amy Licht

Amy die-cut multiple flowers and butterflies, then layered like pieces to create dimensional embellishments. She kept the colors monochromatic, letting pattern and texture add flair to her creations.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Chatterbox (yellow), Collage Press (pink stripe), KI Memories (pink floral), Making Memories (green check), One Heart?One Mind (blue stripe), SEI (blue dot). Font: Renaissance by Two Peas in a Bucket. Stickers: American Crafts. Rub-ons: Making Memories. Die-cutting tool, dies: AccuCut. Ribbon: American Crafts (gingham), KI Memories (black-and-white). Punch: EK Success.

Use Die Cuts to Make Faux-Embossed Backgrounds

Design by Lisa Storms

To create an embossed look on her light blue page background, Lisa adhered letters die-cut from the same light blue cardstock. She made her title pop by using letters die-cut from a darker blue cardstock.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Die Cuts With A View. Patterned paper, stickers: Chatterbox. Font: TypoSlab off the Internet. Chipboard letter: Making Memories. Sequins: Hero Arts. Stamp: Magenta. Die-cutting tool, dies: QuicKutz. Texture template: Fiskars.

Embellish Simple Die Cuts to Make a Quick Accent

Design by Nicole Samuels

Nicole made quick dimensional embellishments by die-cutting simple egg shapes and covering them with an assortment of coordinating buttons.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: BasicGrey. Stickers: BasicGrey ("egg"), Making Memories ("08"). Chipboard accent: Scenic Route Paper Co. Die-cutting tool, dies: Cricut. Tag: Making Memories. Buttons: Autumn Leaves, BasicGrey. Stamps: Creative Imaginations. Ink: StazOn by Tsukineko. Pen: American Crafts.

Use Die Cuts to make Quick Scrapbook Page Embellishments

Design by Candi Gershon

Candi embellished her scrapbook page with a die-cut script title and used die-cut circles to frame a trio of button accents.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: Autumn Leaves (yellow circles). Font: Century Gothic by Agfa Monotype. Die cuts: QuicKutz (title), Sizzix (circle frames). Buttons: SEI (green), Autumn Leaves (yellow, orange). Rub-on: Carolee's Creations (date).

Create Texture by Layering Die Cuts of the Same Hue

Design by Rhonda Bonifay

A variety of patterned papers gives an updated, whimsical look to Rhonda's layered die-cut flower. She brought depth and texture to the flower by choosing cardstock petals cut from shades of the same hue.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper, button, stickers: Making Memories. Fonts: Uncle Charles (quote) by Autumn Leaves, Black Jack (script) off the Internet. Die-cutting tool, die: Sizzix.

Match Die-Cut Letters to Photo Colors

Design by Polly Maly

To match the colors of the rubber band bracelets in her photo, Polly die-cut her title from coordinating shades of cardstock. She placed the letters on a black cardstock background to make them pop.


SOURCES: Cardstock: WorldWin Papers (color), Bazzill Basics Paper (black, white). Font: American Typewriter off the Internet. Die-cutting tool, dies: QuicKutz.

Use Die-Cut Negatives as Decorative Accents

Design by Nikki Krueger

Leftover negative images from two die-cut flowers transformed into decorative accents on Nikki's scrapbook page. She outlined the edges of the flowers and created a stem using a pen, then finished the blooms by stitching a contrasting button to the center of each one.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: Carolee's Creations (pink check), Doodlebug Design (floral), Deluxe Designs (green gingham), KI Memories (dot). Fonts: Times New Roman (journaling), Arial (definition). Stamps: Hero Arts ("planting"), Purple Onion Designs (definition). Ink: Tsukineko (orange), Nick Bantock for Ranger Industries (brown). Die cuts: KI Memories (tab), Sizzix (flowers). Buttons: Making Memories. Floss: DMC.

Die-Cut Shapes from Photos

Design by Vivian Smith

To create a floral accent for her flower-theme layout, Vivian die-cut a floral border from coordinating flower photos. The colors of the flowers combined with the colored cardstock and main photos add subtle contrast to the scrapbook page. For extra impact, Vivian matted each flower die cut and adhered two cardstock circles to each center.


SOURCES: Font: Sandra O off the Internet. Daisy die cuts: Sizzix. Stickers, flower photos: Art Warehouse for Creative Imaginations.

Use Die Cuts to Create an Original Background Design

Design by Nikki Krueger

Nikki turned basic ovals into a graphic element for her scrapbook page by using both the negative and positive die-cut shapes. After cutting a set of oval label holders, she trimmed the paper into two pieces, then flipped one section before piecing it back together. The negative space provided a clever frame for her title.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Stickers: Doodlebug Design (journaling), Memories Complete ("a," "s," "e"), American Crafts ("2004"). Rub-ons: Doodlebug Design. Chipboard accents: Heidi Swapp, Die-cutting tool, die: Sizzix.

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