Die Cutting is one of my most favorite things to do. There is just something about putting a piece of paper down with a metal die, running it through a machine and having it come out as piece of what I like to call “paper art”. It’s fun and relaxing and well, if you saw my die collection, you would see just how much I enjoy it. So let’s get down to it so I can show you some of my favorite die cutting products this year.
My Ultimate Favorite product (of all!) this year has to be the Gemini Junior Die Cutting Machine! I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much I love this product. This is an electronic die cutting machine with a platform of 6″ x 9″ and it cuts even the MOST intricate dies with no problem at all. It has more pressure than other die cutting machines and to be honest, I’ve never seen a die cutting machine that worked as well and as easily as this one.
I started out with the full size Gemini but felt like it took up too much room on my desk and I don’t use big dies, so I didn’t need the big platform. (The platform is 9″ x 12.5″) I sold my full size Gemini to a friend (who loves it!) and bought the Gemini Junior.
The Gemini Junior has so many neat features that I love, it’s quiet, it goes forwards and backwards with the touch of a button and you can pause it in the middle of cutting if you want. It is compatible most embossing folders but I haven’t taken the time to learn the sandwich for that yet because, I will admit….I’m lazy LOL I still have my Sizzix Big Shot which I just use for embossing folders and the thick steel rule dies by Sizzix. You can’t use the steel rule dies in the Gemini Junior, as it is made to be used with thin metal dies, but that’s what I use 99% of the time anyway. The Gemini Junior works with many different materials such as heavyweight cardstock, vinyl, foil, leather, multiple layers of fabric and more.
The ScanNCut2 is still on my favorites list this year. If you are not familiar with this machine, it is an electronic scanner and die cutting machine. You simply scan your stamped images into the machine and it will cut them out! it works like a charm. The only thing I don’t like about it are the mats. They are too sticky when you first get them but lose their stickiness very quickly and I have to tape down my stamped images. Other than that, it’s easy to use and pretty straightforward.
I have a couple of getting started tutorials on my blog for new ScanNCut2 owners if you are interested. Here is a link. The biggest reason I have this machine is that I save a TON of money on dies. I still buy shape dies but I no longer have to buy the coordinating dies that go with stamps. This saves me a lot of money that can be used on other fun and crafty products 🙂
*Note: One thing to be aware of is that you cannot scan in an image and cut it out f the drawing lines aren’t finished. So if it’s a sketchy image and it’s got an opening in the drawing, it won’t scan correctly unless you take a pen and “close” the gaps.
New to my list this year is Purple Tape by iCraft! This stuff is fantastic! I use it for die cutting, taping my paper down to my work surface to watercolor, or paint, taping stencils down and even to scan and cut stamped images with my ScanNCut2.
Purple Tape is removable and doesn’t leave any residue on your paper, and it also does not tear your paper! I highly recommend this after having tried everything from post its to micropore tape!
This little tool that costs just $2.99 has been on my favorites list for several years now. One end is pointy and the other end has a spatula shape. It’s great for poking out the little pieces of your die cuts as well as pulling them out of the die with the other end. I also use it for other things (even removing staples LOL), it gets used daily in my craft room.
This nifty little magnetic tray so handy! It holds my dies while I’m die cutting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve misplaced dies while die cutting or working on a project. But no more! Now I put the dies in the tray until I’m ready to clean up and I never lose them. Inexpensive and handy!
Honestly, you can use any cutters/pliers you want to cut apart your dies, but I use the Eurotool XTL-0048 XS Flush Side Cutter Pliers. I like them because they are tiny and they fit in between the narrowest dies to disconnect one from the other. They are also inexpensive and I’ve had mine since 2015. (I only know that because Amazon tells me when I bought them LOL)
All of the (available) products mentioned in this post are listed and linked below for your convenience.
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