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Monday, December 31, 2012

Kill Your Monday Blues with Hils Hints: Cutting up! - Seeing Double

Part 6: Seeing Double

One of the many great things about die-cutting is that you can use either the positive cut or the negative cut to get the result you want.

The positive cut is the actual shape that you have cut – eg a heart or a butterfly.  

The negative is the bit that is left behind – card with a shaped hole in it.

With just a little forward thinking, you can even use both, making your scrappy stash go even further.

These cards were very simple to make, and because I only needed to do one die-cut for both, they were fairly quick to do too.

My first step was to colour some card, using distress inks, to get a gradient effect.  Ideally I would have used distress stains for all three colours, as colouring with the stains is so quick.  But I only had one of the colours in the stains, so I used distress ink pads as well.  The colours used were Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, and Victorian Velvet.

I used my Silhouette Cameo electronic die-cutting machine to cut the flowers out.  This machine comes with computer software, which, among many other things, enables you to cut exactly the right size in exactly the right place.  As you can see from the die-cut, it also gives very clean and detailed cuts.

Once the flowers were cut, the rest was a matter of simple matting and layering, and in no time at all I had two co-ordinating cards.

Of course, you can use this technique with any die cutting machine, you just need to position the card in the right place.  If you are not confident that you can cut with precision, then just colour a slightly larger piece of card, and then you can cut the edges down after you have done the die cut.  Any small coloured strips left over could be used as an accent on other cards.

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HINTS!!! {hot tips}
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If you use an electronic cutting machine, make sure you use the right setting for both the material you are using and your cut.  You will need a greater blade depth for thick card than for patterned paper.  If you are cutting a detailed cut, you will need a slower cutting speed.  Also make sure that your mat is in good condition – a mat that has been used too often can eventually start spoiling your cuts.  I often find it is the mat that is to blame for ragged edges, not the blade.

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