Investing in a die cut machine is just one of the ways you can start making your own scrapbook supplies at home. Granted, more sophisticated machines will put a dent in your bank account, but there are a number of outstanding smaller versions that are affordable and still do a decent job creating die cuts.
If you are really tight on funds, you could opt to purchase an even cheaper scrapbook tool. The paper punch is an incredibly useful tool to have on hand. The downside to paper punches is that they only allow you to make one shape at a time. With a die cut machine you can create a variety of different designs with a single machine. Also consider that the shapes created by paper punches are typically much smaller than a die cut.
Regardless of whether you purchase a die cut machine or you opt for less expensive paper punches, you can kick your designs up a notch by embellishing them with simple craft materials. For example, you can add shading to your die cuts with a little chalk or a few markers. If you have more time, you could sew on your die cut or use rub-on stitches on paper punches to give them a more homemade look. Likewise, glitter, sequins, ribbons, and buttons all add appealing touches to either larger die cuts or smaller paper punches.
Die cuts and paper punches also make great displays for quotes. In fact, you can design an entire page around quotes and use different shape die cuts and paper punches to hold the words you love so much. My daughter loves to read, so I wrote a quote about reading on a die-cut of a book. You could employ the same technique if your son loves football. Make a die cut or paper punch shape of a football and write a meaningful sports quote on it. Perhaps, something from legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. You might even consider embellishing your quote with simple techniques like sanding or embossing. Either one will add drama to the words, and make for a memorable layout.