Collecting adorable die cuts is a huge reason I got into scrapbooking. Sure, I love showcasing my photos in creative layouts, but if it were not for my undeniable desire to utilize all the super cute die cuts available to scrappers, I’m not sure I would be as passionate about the hobby as I am.
For you non-scrappers, die cuts are pieces of paper that have been sliced, diced and trimmed into unique designs using a special tool. These days you can find die cuts in every shape imaginable, from letters to flowers, snowflakes to pumpkins, Christmas trees to sand castles. Some die cuts are sold in sets while others can be bought individually. If you are making a seasonal layout, then it might be more frugal to purchase a set of Christmas die cuts than buying them individually, but it all depends on what your layout looks like and how many embellishments you want to include.
If you are really creative and want to get fancy with die cuts, you could opt to make your own. Investing in a die cut machine is something I have considered doing, but I’ve always managed to talk myself out of it mainly because of the price. Still, the advantages of owning your own die cut machine are practically endless. For starters, a die cut machine allows you to make designs to match any type of layout. What’s more, you are not limited to the types of materials you can use. With a die cut machine you can use chipboard, foam, metal, fabric, or cork to create a variety of designs that meet specific scrapbook needs.
Some of the most popular die cut machines include:
Cricut: When you think of home die cut machines, Cricut is typically at the top of the list. It resembles a small computer printer; however, you use a keyboard to design the die cuts.
Sizzix Sidekick: Unlike the Cricut machine, Sizzix Sidekick requires you to place the die and paper in between two clear cutting mats before using the rotating handle to make the cut.
QuickKutz Squeeze: This handheld die cut tool uses magnets to hold individual dies in place. It’s a breeze to use (simply squeeze the handles together to cut), but because of its size the resulting die cuts are smaller than most traditional versions.