Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DIY Die Cut Shapes for Your Stamps

I feel like I am about to give away a big secret here. If you are not a fan of "fussy cutting" or you are making something with "fussy cutting" en masse, this technique may be for you.

If you are a stamper, you probably know that a hot trend right now is to purchase matching dies for your stamps. This may be the thin metal dies for your manual die cutter, such as Big Shot or Cuttlebug, or could be a Cricut cartridge, or a file for your Silhouette Cameo or Portrait.

Well, what do you do when you have a shape where you really want a die to cut it, and they don't make one? If you have a Silhouette, a little graphic design skill, and a flatbed scanner you can make one yourself!

The complexity of the shape you can execute is going to depend on your design skills, but you can get better with practice.

First, place your stamp on the scanner. I recommend putting a colored sheet of paper behind so the scanner can more easily "see" the stamp outline. After scanning, crop .jpg photo close to the stamp, like so:

Now, how to create your shape? The first thing you can try is the auto-trace feature. I believe you need the Designer Edition software for this. If you like the shape it creates, voila! You are done. If you don't, then use the "edit points" tool to adjust the lines until they fit the outline of the stamp edge.

If the auto-trace feature is not available, or you don't like the image it produces, you can use the "draw a polygon" or "draw a curve shape" tools to trace the edge of the shape, and then use the "edit points" tool to fine-tune. I prefer the "draw a polygon" tool myself, and then use "edit points" to create curves and extra points where needed. 

I love the versatility of this one single die cut. In minutes I was able to cut a bunch of hearts to create a quick treat box and card. The A Muse Studio stamp set "Sending My Love" combined with this die cut to make awesome conversation hearts!

So many hearts!!!

Because I, er, have a heart...I am offering this heart shape to you FREE (licensed for personal use only)!

Conversation Heart Freebie (STUDIO file format)

The card and treat box are available in my Etsy store. 

Supply List for Treat Box (Shop HERE):

  • Cherry Cardstock PAPS204
  • Blush Cardstock PAPS200
  • Mermaid Petite Pinstripe Cardstock PASR509 
  • Crystal Clear Cardstock PAVCDST
  • Cherry Pigment (25% OFF) IAPF204
  • Sending My Love stamp set SHMM036
  • Valentine Washi Assortment (25% OFF) ESWVA01
  • 1/4" Silver Organdy Ribbon RAOR004
  • Clear Dots Twinkle Stickers EATW000
  • Candy Box Die Set TAD0037
  • 3D Foam Adhesive ASFA001
 Supply List for Card (Shop HERE):

  • Grapefruit Cardstock PAPS208
  • Blush Cardstock PAPS200
  • Sky Cardstock PAPS600
  • Pistachio Cardstock PAPS508
  • Lemon Whip Cardstock PAPS400
  • Seattle Petite Pinstripe Cardstock PASR103
  • Cherry Pigment (25% OFF) IAPF204
  • Sending My Love stamp set SHMM036
  • Cherry Satin Ribbon RASA204
  • Clear Dots Twinkle Stickers EATW000
  • 3D Foam Adhesive ASFA001

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