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Beginner’s Guide to Die-Cutting

From the tools and materials you need to how to use them, this beginner’s guide covers everything you need to know about die-cutting.

Introduced in the 1800s as a solution to cobblers having to cut leather soles for shoes by hand, die-cutting machines are now staples in craft rooms across the world. They are efficient, multifunctional machines that work with dies to produce cut-out designs for crafts. Just as the first industrial die-cutting machines did, today’s die-cutting craft machines allow you to cut repeat designs with precision and speed, making them an integral part of the crafting world.

Die-Cutting Essentials

A shim can be included in your die sandwich to create added pressure when die-cutting, producing a more defined cut-out. It is particularly useful when cutting an especially tricky material or a detailed design.

A pokey tool is also useful to have when using dies. Sometimes loose paper pieces can become stuck in your cut-outs. This wooden-handled tool has a fine metal point to quite literally poke out these stray pieces of material.

There’s a whole host of optional, machine-specific accessories available for computerised machines. These can include cutting blades, pens, project books, mats, and tutorial DVDs. Some computerised machines come with accessories included, so it’s worth checking what you need before purchasing.

Die Storage

From cases and storage folders to magnetic sheets and binders, there are many storage options available for dies, each designed to preserve and protect your dies whilst keeping them all in one place.