Friday, August 01, 2008

Using Sizzix XL dies in Cuttlebug

Cindy asked me about the scalloped card that I posted the other day. I'm answering here because I want to give Cuttlebug users some hints about using the Sizzix XL dies. I know that I said before that these could probably be used with the Cuttlebug, but I don't think I went into detail. [Please note that since I first wrote this post, I've added at least two other workarounds, the simplest and cleanest of which would be using two plates for Sizzix border dies.]

Yes, the scalloped card was made using that Sizzix XL die. I didn't use it in the Cuttlebug. I used it with my Big Shot and those XL clear cutting plates. Those XL plates are just a bit too wide to fit through the opening of the Cuttlebug, however, so CB users have to improvise. You can use your clear B plates as substitutes, but you'll have to make two passes to cut the full length of the die.

So, here's the scoop on using these XL dies in the Cuttlebug. I'll use the scalloped die as my example. [Let me add here that this is described on the Sizzix site as being 6" wide, but it actually isn't--it's a fraction less and it fits easily into the Cuttlebug. Need proof? See my Catch-all post where I debunk the rumor that Bigz dies won't fit either. :-) ]

You'll need 12" long paper or cardstock cut to a width of about 4 1/2" to cover the cutting surface of the die.

This card die, as well as the other XL card dies, has a metal ridge that scores the card as it cuts it out. I'm pointing this out for a reason! :-) I'm so subtle.

If you place plate B on the die's surface, you'll see that if you align the top edge with the scoring gizmo, the bottom edge comes to the top of that label on the plate. Convenient, eh? Keep this in mind. It'll help you position the plate later.

Here's the stack that I'll run through the machine. From bottom to top: plate B, XL die with cutting side up, paper or cardstock facedown, plate B.

I picked up the stack and aimed it through the slot as you can see above. Those two free ends of the plates made it easier to feed the stack through.

After one pass, you can see that I was just a little off in my placement of the top plate. But this is why I wanted to point out where that score mark would be--if you can align the crease made by the edge of the plate and that score line, then you won't have any stray creases. And actually, as long as you're close you're in pretty good shape. You just don't want it much farther off that I had it here.

So now it's time to make a second pass and cut out the rest of the card. Slide your clear plates to the other end of the die, keeping the paper in place. You can see where the score line should be now and it'll be easier to line up that edge of the plate where it needs to be. If I didn't have the XL plates, I'd probably mark my die at the outside edges so that I could line it up more accurately every time.

There. I was much closer that time, eh?

And here's the die cut folded into a scalloped card.

So, Cuttlebug users, that gives you an idea of what would be involved in using these XL Sizzix dies in your machine. I thought I read a rumor a while back that someone would be coming out with long clear plates that would fit through the Cuttlebug opening, but I haven't heard anything recently. If anyone knows more about this, please feel free to chime in.

Edited to add: I've posted an addendum after receiving a suggestion in the comments. Here's the post: Addendum. I think you'll find that it makes using this die in a Cuttlebug much easier.


  1. Oh, Jay, thank you so much for sharing this! I'll be heading out to Michaels in the very near future - hope they have this beautiful die :)

    I just had a thought - perhaps I could even fold the cardstock in half first and run it through the Cuttlebug and thus I could avoid having to line it up a second time. Unless of course it would be too thick already folded to go through the *bug*.

    Again, thanks so much for all your testing and sharing!!!

  2. Cindy, that's brilliant! I'm going to make an addendum post because your idea makes this so much easier.

  3. Could you go buy two more B plates and run it through all at the same time?

  4. I need to dig out my spare B plates. I have some somewhere. I think they'd be fine on the bottom, but what I'm guessing is that the edge would still press into the cardstock and make a crease on the cutting surface. Again, not a problem so much with the card dies, but with boxes, bags, or the onesie XL die, you could still end up with a crease where you don't want one.

  5. Hi so the sandwich for using a sizzix (original/bigz) would be B plate +die +material+ B plate. Will tis work for adhesive backed felt? I have tonne of them at home so hoping to make full use of it. By the way, the dies all have the cutting sides facing up yes?

  6. Has anyone tried(successfully) to cut the acrylic plates to fit the width of the Cuttlebug?

  7. Yes, if you have the right tools, I've heard of folks cutting down the acrylic plates to a size compatible with the C'bug. A band saw could trim off the 1/4" or so that made these too wide to fit. I've also heard of folks taking a grinder to them and essentially grinding off that 1/4". Just depends on how handy you are and what resources you have available. Here I try to stick to what crafters might have on hand already, but there are definitely other ways to work around the problem.

  8. You can also use the 2 decorative strip cutting plates side by side on the base and run through half way with one B plate on the top. Stop just before the B plate is under the roller, and then place your 2nd B plate so that it butts up against the 1st and push it through the rest of the way.

  9. Thanks for stopping by, Anon. Nice to see that folks are still finding their way to some of these older posts. It did occur to me to use two decorative strip cutting plates. I prefer to use the two strip plates on top of the die (on the cutting side) to keep from having the edge of the B plate leave a crease in my card stock or paper as it passes between the rollers. Sometimes it doesn't matter, but I find it less frustrating to do it that way than to find out afterward that I should have done it that way the first time to avoid an unsightly crease. That post can be found here: Cuttlebug workaround for XL dies. Strip plates side by side on top don't leave a crease.

  10. Actually they do make an extra long plate now for the cuttlebug i just saw it on the cricut website today !!! Just incase anyone wanted to know. There twice the size of the original ones.


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