Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Craft 'n Chat - Using Cuttlebug Die Cuts

Welcome to this week’s edition of Thursday Craft 'n Chat. Every Thursday will feature a different crafty tip/technique from one of the Made Especially For You design team members. Click here to view last week's paper piecing tutorial. 

Hi there!
So, for fear of sounding too basic, this is a Cuttlebug. It is a hand-cranked die cutting and embossing tool created by the same company as the Cricut.  I do not feel that these tools necessarily do away with one another as they both have their merits and benefits. Though, I personally do run to my Cuttlebug more often than my Cricut.
You'll notice I glammed mine up a little with some gliterry laptop stickers.
Both the front and back flaps fold down flat to create your 'runway' for using the tool.

These are the 'plates.' The Cuttlebug comes with an A plate, a C plate, and two B plates.  You will use them in a variety of combinations depending on the dies/folders you choose to work with.
First let's talk about embossing.  There are a variety of dry embossing folders on the market made by Cuttlebug and other companies and almost all are compatible with this tool.
This is why they are called folders, they open up to accept your paper to be sandwiched in the middle.  One side is embossed and the other debossed to imprint the design into your paper.
I am using a scrap piece of paper for this example, these folders generally accept A4 sized papers (4.25 x 5.5) or smaller.
Now you will place your A plate, a B plate and your folder onto your Cuttlebug 'runway' and then top it off with another B plate.
And roll the whole thing through the machine (it rolls easily enough), I like to go once forward and then once backward towards me.
And this is what you would end up with, a beautifully embossed piece of cardstock to do with what you will!
Now let's talk about die cutting.  There are an enormous amount of die manufacturers on the market, and again almost all work with the Cuttlebug.  Some are thin metal dies and others are chunky like Tim Holtz dies.  Some create flowers, other create shapes and others create borders.  Your options are as endless as your pocketbook!
To die cut, you will start with the A plate, add a C plate, then add your paper, die and top it off with a B plate. (note - this is the formula for the most common thin metal dies.) And again roll it through the machine and back again.
You will end up with a nice clean die cut.
While this tool is not as flexible as the Cricut for size, it is much more flexible in terms of what it can cut.  I love working with chipboard, cork, fabric, denim, burlap, felt and vellum and this tool can accommodate it all, you may have to roll thicker materials through the machine a few times but it is worth it for the variety of textures you can add to your projects.
Thank you for reading!



  1. Thank you! I've been thinking of getting a cuttlebug and was wondering how it worked and the pros/cons versus the Cricut. Perfect timing!

    Love the glass of wine in the background btw =)


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