Hi crafty friends!
Welcome back! Apart of what I'd like to do here on my blog & YouTube channel isn't just to show you different card techniques, it's also to provide beginner friendly video tutorials into using different crafty tools. This is something I think a lot of people may take for granted, thinking everyone just knows how to use a die cutting machine (or other products/techniques), but when I first started out, I didn't know very much and it made me anxious to even begin. I want to take the anxiety away from any other crafter like me, starting with this post regarding how to use the Sizzix Big Shot.
Below is a short video showing you the basics & how to use the Sizzix Big Shot.
Sizzix is a brand, and the Big Shot is one of the many die cutting machines they have. So what is a die cutting machine anyway? A die cutting machine is a manual machine you can use to cut out shapes of paper (and even other materials). What's great about it is you can get die cuts (metal pieces) that are in words, or coordinating with stamps so you don't have to cut out individual shapes anymore! That's my favorite part about my Sizzix machine, having nice clean lines, especially for cardmaking.
Here you will see a perfectly cut out pumpkin, which I first stamped in black in, and then used the coordinating die to cut out with my Sizzix Big Shot. Emily Moore Designs now has our very own Card Sentiment Dies, which are versatile dies, perfect for coordinating with those stamps that don't have die cuts to match!
With a die cutting machine, the possibilities are endless. Think of all the inks you could use to create your own colors, and then cut out a word perfectly for your card or project! The Sizzix Big Shot is nice because, it is definitely beginner friendly, but it's also a machine that's built for all sorts of crafters, whether you are a scrapbooker, card maker, or DIY enthusiast, this is for you.
Another thing I appreciate about the Big Shot machine, is that it has a manual crank. For me, I really enjoy the process of using my hands and still feeling as though I'm apart of the creative process, but with that being said, Sizzix also has Die Cutting machines where you can press a button, and it does the work for you! If that's more your speed, then the Sizzix Big Shot Switch Plus is the machine for you. I have what is called the extended multi-purpose platform, which is great for die cutting, embossing & impressions! It's also longer, so you can cut even more in one crank. You can get the extended cutting pads for this as well.
What's good to note is that the opening of the Big Shot is 6 inches, which works perfectly for me as a card maker since my cards I do are typically A2 size, which just means they are 5.5 inches wide. I now currently have a line of my own die cuts, which is a dream for me! Our Card Sentiment Dies includes an A2 liner, that cuts a perfect base for the outside, or inside of your card. What's great about the Big Shot is the opening is wide enough so you can die cut on your card base if needed (or emboss with a folder as shown in the video) and shown in the picture below!
You can check out my Peep Hole blog post to see how I used my die cuts on the actual base of my card. There are other machines out there though that have a wider opening, if that is something you are looking for. But I've never seemed to need anything wider than 6 inches. Below you'll find a card I made using 2 different die cuts that's for sale now on my Etsy!
I know this is a lot of information, and I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed when I first got my Sizzix Big Shot, but the more you practice, the better you get. I hope this post & video helps you to create with less anxiety! Don't fear making a mistake! That's the fun of it, you may even discover something new :)
Disclosure: Compensated affiliate links may be used above at no cost to you. I only show you products from companies that I believe in and purchase from personally. Thank you for supporting me so that I can continue to bring you lots of fun crafting content!