How to Personalize Scrapbook Die Cuts

Scrapbook die cuts are a popular way to embellish layouts and handmade cards.  You can buy pre-made cutouts, or make your own, using one of the die cutting machines on the market today.


If you have been staring at the pages of craft magazines, wondering why your layouts and cards look boring in comparison, don't despair- it may be those die cuts you are using.  If you are using your scrapbook die cuts without embellishing them, they may need a little makeover.  It's time to get creative, and once you do, you may find that your scrapbook layouts and handmade cards rival the ones you see in magazines and books.

Here are five simple ways you can embellish your cutouts and take them from ordinary to extraordinary:

1.  Try an embossing technique.  Embossing is simple, especially with all the different embossing tools your can buy.  If you don't have an embossing machine, check out either the Cuttlebug or the Sizzix Texture Boutique.  Both of these machines are not very expensive and very easy to operate.  To emboss your die cuts, all you have to do is place them in an embossing folder, add the embossing plates, and run them through the machine.  The machine applies pressure, which transfers the pattern on the folder and through to the paper cutout.

2.  Add buttons, beads, brads, or other baubles.  Another way to easily transform die cuts and add more dimension is to add everyday items, such as buttons and beads for example, to your cutouts.  One way to personalize scrapbook die cuts, for example is to mimic accessories that are found in life.  Everyone recognizes coal on a snowman's face, or buttons for his clothes.  If you have a die cut snowman, try adding tiny black buttons down the front of him, and perhaps add a fabric scrap around his neck as a scarf as well.


3.  Use stitching on your cutouts.  Often when people get bit by the paper crafting bug, their sewing machine ends up in the corner, gathering dust.  This can be especially true for the scrapbooker.  Don't be one of these crafters!  Sewing machines can be used on paper too!  Stitching is a great way to add detail to die cuts and is a creative way to affix the die cuts to the scrapbook page itself.

4.  Apply ink to the edges of your cutouts.  One way to help die cuts stand out is to apply a contrasting ink to their edges.  Inking helps cutouts to stand out, and is a great way to add a distressed or grungy appearance to your paper piecings.  Complementary ink colors will help with adding dimension, while contrasting colors really make the image pop.

5.  Don't forget to layer.  If you create your own diecuts using a die cut machine, take advantage of all the creative features.  For example, many of the Cricut cartridges have features which allow you to create additional accents for layering.  Paper piecing is an easy way to jazz up your cutouts.

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These are just a few ideas to get you started embellishing your scrapbook die cuts.  Another way to come up with even more ideas of your own is to find projects you like and scraplift them.  Many talented paper crafters have learned this way.  Once they become comfortable with the different techniques, they easily come up with original ideas of their own.

Before you know it you will become an expert at creating your own cutouts and then you can teach others how to personalize scrapbook die cuts.

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