Monday, August 04, 2008

Cuttlebug workaround for those XL Sizzix dies

Okay, it seems like I've spent quite a bit of time talking about Cuttlebug folders and Sizzix dies lately. I thought I'd make some cards this afternoon. It's wicked hot today and a good day to stay inside in air-conditioned comfort. Well, I was cleaning up some of the mess I'd made and had a new idea occur to me. *AHA! moment*

Now, the problem with using those XL Sizzix dies in the Cuttlebug is that the Cuttlebug cutting plates are only about half the length that you need, and the Sizzix cutting plates are long enough but too wide to fit through the machine. You can use the short plates, but because of the way they hit the rollers as the trailing edge passes through, you get a crease in your cardstock. That's the dilemma.

Here's the workaround....

Up above you can see the Cuttlebug, a mostly hidden B plate at the bottom, the Sizzix XL scalloped card die, a piece of cardstock, and.... two of the Sizzix long narrow plates side by side. Together they cover the cutting blades of the die--not the entire die surface, but enough to cut out the entire shape. Because of the way that these roll through, perpendicular to the rollers, the edges don't get pushed down and into the cardstock die cut, leaving an unsightly crease.

See? I wanted to show you that this stack did cut out the full shape of the die and left no creases other than the faint line left by the scoring bar (that's supposed to be there).

Now I'll just let you know about the one other thing that I learned the hard way. You can cut in one pass, but you'll need to use the two B plates end to end at the bottom of the stack. Once you get the stack rolling through and start feeding that second B plate into the machine, keep steady forward pressure on it as you crank! It will tend to want to slip back out. Guess how I know. ;-) Or if you happen to have two pairs of those long Sizzix plates you could use one pair on the bottom and save yourself having to worry about that.

So, I think that's a pretty decent workaround for the Sizzix XL die issue. It's probably the best of the alternatives. Cuttlebug users may have to invest in a pair of these longer narrow cutting plates if they don't have them already, but until there are long cutting plates available for the Cuttlebug, this sandwich combo will at least give decent results.


  1. very cool thanks for the pics!

  2. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  3. Gee, Jay, you are amazing! What a great idea! I just got back from AC Moore's and I was able to get the scallop die at 50% off - yippee! So now with your new tests I can even purchase the other the box, the purse, etc. Thanks again for all your tutorials, it's been really helpful. It would be nice if Provocraft came out with a long cutting plate:) As always, thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow!! I was at Joann's today and wondered about those long plates! 40% off this week, too! Thanks!!!!!

  5. Another alternative: How about buying the XL plates (get 2 in pack) and either have husband, or for those handy with tools, grind off 1/4" off both plates (they are plastic not glass) then have one for bottom and one for top.

  6. Yes, Cheryl, I think that would be another reasonable alternative. I usually try to stick to methods that don't get too complicated, but if someone has the means and the know-how, then cutting or grinding the plates down would certainly work. I'd mentioned cutting them down in a later post--these can be cut using a band saw--and then saving and possibly using the scraps instead of the craft sticks for embossing those border folders without leaving lines.

    But yes, this is exactly the type of idea that will allow Cuttlebug owners to use the XL dies in their machines, at least until someone actually makes plates that will fit. Thanks for sharing it! :-)

  7. OMG! You ROCK!!!
    I want to see Big Shots, I do, but I just can't afford one right now... but if I can showcase the GORGEOUS things we can make with our EXCLUSIVE dies (using my wee cb in the privacy of my own home ;o) ), then no one's the wiser and I still have great projects to showcase!
    Thank you so much!

  8. A-M, there's no question that I still prefer using the Big Shot over the Cuttlebug, but for the most part if someone already owns a C'bug, they can do most of the things with that machine that Big Shot owners can do. Sometimes it just takes a little tweaking. :-) Enjoy using those new exclusive dies! I've seen some of them in the holiday mini-catalog and they look like a lot of fun!

  9. I only just saw the extra large sizzix dies in the shops yesterday and thought the cutting plate looked too wide for the CB. I knew that I would find the answer on your blog. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful resource to paople all over the worls.
    Martina in Sydney Australia

  10. Glad that you were able to find the information that you were looking for, Martina. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment! :-)

  11. I've also used cheap dollar store cutting boards They are thin flexible don't crack and cut them down with a utility knife and my husband has cut some luann plywood(the thinner plywood) scraps for plates to use with sizixx that were a little to thick for CB. What about using packing tape to attach plates together end to end side to side? would that help with the seams while holding CB plates and border plates together without any noticeable thickness. the plates are often 40% off and easily available.

  12. Oh! I've just found your blog and you have made me sooooo happy giving this tutorial on the Sizzix XL dies.
    Thank you


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