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Die cutting is popular in the crafting community. It is fun, easy and fast! In this series we will be discussing how die cutting works, the types of machines, and how it can be used in your crafting projects.

What is a die cutting machine? Machines can cut or emboss paper. They cut exact duplicates of the same shape quickly and accurately. Machines can also cut intricate, complicated shapes and patterns. Fancy die cutting machines have the ability to add hot foiled embellishments to your projects.

There are two types of die cutting machines, manual and digital. Manual die cutting machines work by creating a “sandwich”. It consisted of cutting plates, the metal die and the material the shape will be cut out of. Die cutting machines can cut materials like paper, craft foam, cork, fabric, leather, and chipboard. The sandwich is hand cranked under compression rollers that will cut or emboss a design into the material. Popular brands of manual die cutting machines are Sizzix and Spellbinders. Each brand has a different size machine to fit your workspace. Many of these machines come with an electric motor instead of a hand crank. Manual Die cutting machines tend to be less expensive than digital machines. However, costs can add up with the purchase of metal dies. The cutting plates must be replaced as they warp overtime.

Instead of metal dies, the digital die machine uses software to cut the shapes. The material is placed on a sticky mat that the machine feeds under the free moving cutting blade. Digital files can be purchased inexpensively from a variety of market places around the web. Digital machines such as Cricut, Silhouette, and Brother Scan n Cut come with free software. The initial cost of a digital machine is much more than a manual machine. Blades and cutting mats must be replaced over time. However, digital die cutters are not restricted by the physical size and availability of metal dies. Shapes can be resized and even modified. The creative possibilities are endless! Country Craft creations has a variety of metal dies to get you started on your die cutting journey.

October 12, 2022 — Tamra Merrill

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