Friday, February 20, 2015

Functional Friday: BEST TIP EVER for DELICATE DIE CUTS!


Eeek! I'm SO EXCITED to share this amazing die cutting tip with you, I can hardly stand it!! First I'll share my card for another Functional Friday installment. In case you missed this post, I'm featuring one die from Top Dog Dies each month, and each Friday I'm sharing a different way to use the die. My hope is that even if you don't own that exact die, the ideas will translate to similar dies you do own.



This technique uses the tiny dies cuts as embellishments. Think of them like sequins or enamel dots. They make great filler, and in this case bridge the gap between the upper and lower sentiment. Let's take a look ...


I cut the Heart Border Die from some matte gold cardstock.


I dislike using tweezers for fear of bending or marking the paper, so I instead use the Silhouette Pick Me Up tool (note: the best tip ever is still to come, it's not this!) The Pick Me Up tool is wonderful for this type of job. The end has a sticky, gum-like substance that picks up the dies for you. While the tiny die is on the tool, I apply the adhesive and press it onto the card base.


The white Heart Border Die is used as a base for stitching. It goes so quickly since the stitches are as large as can be. 

   
I think it would also be fun to spell out someone's name, make a design, or even just place random stitches across the strip. So many possibilities. In this example, the die is the same color as the background to make the stitched letters more readable, but if you're stitching designs you could also use a different colored die for greater contrast.

OK, now for the BEST TIP EVER for DELICATE DIE CUTS.

If you've heard the one about dryer sheets, you can move on. But if not, you've gotta see what I learned from my crafty friends Helen & Brenda (thanks guys!!)



To start out with, it's crucial to use a Metal Adapter Plate with any intricate die, otherwise you run the risk of the cuts not being made. Here you can see the sandwich is the same as usual, except for the metal adapter plate being under the paper.
 

I'm guessing you've run into this scene before. The die comes out of the machine with all the paper still stuck inside the die. Ugh. When I remove the paper from the die (usually pull it out with a piece of tape) it's all in one piece and I need to run my fingers up and down the strip 7-8 times before all the tiny hearts fall out. Not the worst thing in the world, but it still takes a minute or so, and that can add up if you're making more than one card.


Here's where the dryer sheets come in. You want to layer 4 of them right on top of each other. These have already been used so you see the cuts on them. Yours, of course, will look like new dryer sheets. 


Now run the die (with the paper still in it) through the die cutter again, placing the stack of dryer sheets under the die and on top of the metal adapter plate. In other words, the dryer sheets will go where your paper normally goes.

Then prepare to be amazed. 

Seriously.

When you lift the die from the dryer sheets ...



 Did you just lose your mind?!?


 
I know I did the first time! It is so satisfying to look at all those pieces trapped on the dryer sheet that don't need to be coaxed out of the die.


I don't know how it does that, or who the mastermind is that figured this out, but it's a life-changer for anyone who uses delicate die cuts!



If you're only using the strip part of the die, it's also nice that all the pieces are trapped on the dryer sheets, and not invading all the nooks and crannies of your work space. Clean-up is a breeze!

Anyway, thanks so much for looking! I hope you get a chance to try this out soon if you haven't already. You may be monkey clapping in your craft space all weekend : )

-Kelly

35 comments:

  1. Thanks for this fabulous tip Kelly!

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  2. OH MY GOSH!!! Mind completely blown!!!!! I've got a die that I hate because I can't get all the little pieces out nice...I'll be working with it today and some dryer sheets...Thanks!!! Sweet card, btw...it's so happy and fun, full of bright colors! Have a great weekend. Bev

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  3. Such a fun card...I just learned about the dryer sheet thing last weekend...amazing, eh?

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  4. Cute card Kelly, but the dryer sheet tip is fantastic!!

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  5. Oh, my goodness - I NEED to buy dryer sheets right now - I always have problems with those delicate die cuts.....I have some dies that I don't use because of that problem! Thanks Kelly, you are the greatest!

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  6. I saw the dryer sheet thing before but it's such a great idea to keep sharing. I can't wait to see what die you use next month. ;)

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  7. This is amazing. Seriously amazing!
    Thanks so much for the hint!

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  8. Thanks Kelly, I'll have to track these down, Cathy x

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  9. SO SMART! I'm off to the dollar store for dryer sheets!

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  10. Ok Kelly, I've said it before but this solidifies that YOU ARE A GENIUS! I steer away from intricate dies for that very reason...now I'm totally going to need a bigger budget! TFS

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  11. I'm so grateful to learn about the dryer sheets! There are many dies that I spend too much time trying to pick pieces out. Your card is wonderful! I love the idea of stitching with the holes of the die!

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  12. Super awesome card! And a mind blowing tip, indeed! ;) I've used wax paper (and even parchment paper) on some of my more detailed dies, but this would have never crossed my mind! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Love that stitching, and what a great trick!

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  14. Thank you for this awesome tip Kelly!! Beautiful & lovely card! Thanks for the inspiration...Blessings!

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  15. Interesting! Love this idea... now I just have to figure out what a "dryer sheet" is, lol! I was taught to use wax paper between the die and the paper, and that works okay, but not like this! (Great card, by the way).

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  16. WOW...off to Target to buy a box of dryer sheets. This is just so clever and amazing too. And your card is so sweet...love your stitching, another amazing idea.

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  17. Unbelievable! I'll definitely get a box of dryer sheets to keep on my desk. You may have just saved me from saying more ugly, ugly words while crafting!

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  18. You are full of great ideas! Love your card and thank you for the tip!

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  19. This is an awesome tip! GREAT card!!!

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  20. Thank you Kelly! I will try this out :)
    Great card!

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  21. Love this idea, and also the wonderful things you have been doing with this die. Need to get some dryer sheets. I knew there was some reason for them.

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  22. I've been doing this after watching a youtube video. You didn't mention if you use new or used sheets? I save all of my dryer sheets as I'm folding laundry and use the "USED" ones for die cutting. What is everyone finding is better? Used or new ones?

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    1. Hi Kim! Great question! I use the new dryer sheets, before they go in the laundry. They still have the waxy coating on them, and I'm guessing that's what sticks the die pieces to the sheets. I've never tried it with used dryer sheets before. Good luck!!
      -Kelly

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    2. I haven't tried used sheets but I think, as Kelly said, that it's the waxy coating that really does the trick. I have pine cone dies that are a real pain...or were until I began using the dryer sheets. Dollarama products work great for this.

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  23. Wonderful! I had heard it was good but never realized it was THIS good. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. And here's a little tip for you also...see the little indents from the whole in the die? Well if you take your sheet and put it in a folded paper and run it through your die cut machine again that should flatten those out! (the paper helps you not to get scratches from your plates embossd into your die cuts
    :D

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  25. Oh and you need not use expensive dryer sheets either...make a run to the dollar store! (I would get the no scent if you have the option...I got the scented and I have to store them in a ziploc bag they are so strong...how ever my craft area smells fresh and lovely! LOL (even through the bag)

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    1. Both great tips!! Thanks so much for taking the time to share them!

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  26. One question I have about the instructions, as I have had about the other videos and tutorials using this method. I'm not sure why we run the die and card stock through the Big Shot/Cuttlebug and then AGAIN with a dryer sheet. I do it all at once and it works well. I HAVE learned to put something...you suggested the metal shim...like a piece of printer paper under the dryer sheet or you get the waxy substance on the cutting plates which is difficult to remove. So I layer from the bottom up, printer paper, dryer sheet (just one, folded as it comes from the box) card stock, and die, plus the appropriate plates and/or shim.

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    1. Hi Freda! You know, that just occurred to me this week, actually ... why does it have to go through two times? I will be trying it next time with the dryer sheets right away and I'm sure that's all it needs. Thanks so much for pointing that out! I'll have to update my post : )
      - Kelly

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    2. That's a good idea! If you don't have to, why do it twice! We can all learn from each other, and I love it!

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    3. That's a good idea! If you don't have to, why do it twice! We can all learn from each other, and I love it!

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  27. Great. Tip!! Also, if you are like me, you could put a tiny drop of glue on each heart, flip it over onto a love of cardstock, and boom! A million hearts all in the perfect spot on your card!

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I absolutely love reading comments. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave one! - Kelly