Die cutting can lend a very professional-looking finish to your craft projects. For example, you can bevel the edges of greetings cards, create a broderie Anglaise effect on invitations, or personalise gift tags with cut-outs. When it comes to die cutting there are several tips and tricks that can help and some things you should avoid.
- Use good quality paper, because it will be more likely to cut cleanly, rather than tearing.
- Check whether the cuts are complete before removing the paper. If some parts remain uncut, simply turn the die so the pressure is distributed differently and run it through the machine again.
- Trim any rough or ‘feathered’ edges with a pair of sharp, pointed scissors.
- Clean the cutting edges by blowing or brushing with a dry paintbrush to remove small fibres, which could ruin your cuts.
- Test new designs using paper offcuts to see if you like them before you use them on an important project.
- Try to clean the blades with your fingers or anything that might damage the edges. Don’t, for example. try to scrape fibres from the blades with a pair of scissors.
- Set the pressure too high to make sure the cut is clean. If you constantly cut at too high a pressure, you will wear out the blade sooner than necessary and you will probably damage the cutting mat. Consult the manual for guidance on what pressure to use.
Paper and card crafts are a lot of fun and you can make beautiful gifts for friends or family or even earn some extra money. If you find a way to share the machine amongst friends, you can cut the cost of buying additional dies and have a great time crafting together.
Written in association with Hobbycraft