Monday, September 01, 2008

decorative strip dies in Cuttlebug

A couple of days ago, Marie in BC, Canada, wrote to ask me the following:

I was wondering if you've ever used the sizzlit decorative strips in your c'bug? Do you need to run it through with the sizzlit strip plates or can you use double the c'bug plates like for the bigz xl dies?

My first thought was that these strips could be treated like regular Sizzlits, but then the problem of the potential crease from the edge of the plate occurred to me and I thought I'd better actually test one. Here's what I found.

I used the usual sandwich for Sizzlit dies: A plate, B plate, die with cutting side up, cardstock, B plate.

Running the stack through as you normally would, you'd get a crease from the edge of the plate. That's what I figured. Now for me, this crease hit at a spot where it probably wouldn't have mattered much. It caught the very tip of that blade of grass and wouldn't have been too noticeable. You might be able to find a spot on the strip where you could place that edge and it wouldn't matter if it made a crease. But what if you had a long, continuous design where it could make a difference?

Here's what I tried in order to minimize the possibility of creasing the cardstock. I left that trailing edge of the B plates, die and cardstock hanging off the edge of the A plate.

By doing that, I avoided making that crease. No pressure applied to the edge means no creasing. Sorry that the pic isn't focused as well as it could have been. Trust me though. There's no crease.

The next step was to cut out the rest of the design. This means sliding the uncut portion of the die and cardstock between the B plates and running it through again. You still want to avoid putting a crease in your cardstock. Essentially, you repeat what you did before. Here I show putting the front end of the plates through, hanging off the edge of the A plate. All I'd done was slide the die and cardstock forward in between the B plates. This worked. You could also flip this combo around and have this be the trailing edge going through the machine rather than the first part through. It's whatever is easier for you.

So, to use these decorative dies in the Cuttlebug, you'll just have to run your sandwich through the machine twice. You can't double up the B plates like you do with the XL dies because you have the short A plate to contend with, too, but you also don't need to have the long strip plates to use them--you can use the regular B plates. The long plates would make it easier in that you wouldn't have to worry about the potential crease--you'd just run the die through between the plates twice to cut the full length--but you can use what you've got already with your machine to make these work.

Hope that answers your questions, Marie. :-)


  1. As always, thanks so much for showing us more ways to use our Cuttlebugs!

  2. Thank you for a great site. I own a Cuttlebug & have found the plates are beginning to bend in the centre? I'm scared of them cracking whilse running them through the cuttlebug. Am i doing something wrong?

  3. OMG!!! Jay you are fantabulous!!

    Thank you so much for testing this out and answering my question so quickly - with photos!

    Having you as a resource is to-DIE for! (pun intended :) )

  4. Hi Jay,
    Just wanted you to know that I gave your blog an " I love your blog" award. I really love all that you share about the Cuttlebug and Big Shot. I learn alot from your blog.
    Check out my blog for the details.

  5. Happy to help, Marie! I thought it was a great question to address. Oooo, and that pun was very BAD! LOL!

    Trish, my Big Shot plates have had a bend for quite a while. That came after a lot of use! You're not doing anything wrong. It happens. I think you'll get the most mileage from them by flipping and turning your plates so that the cuts aren't always made in the same place or on the same side of the plate. I haven't found that the bending in any way causes any negative effects on the die cuts or embossing or on the machine itself.

    Robin, thanks so much for the award! I'll try to get some links up when I can so that I can pass on the love. :-)

    And thanks to all of you for stopping by! :-)

  6. What about using the Extended Spacer Platform and Decorative Strip Cutting pads?

  7. Hi Alicia, the extended spacer platform and the decorative strip cutting pads will work in the C'bug. I didn't include it above because I wanted to show that these dies could be used without necessarily having to invest in more supplies. It does make it quicker and easier to use the longer dies though, that's for sure.

    One caution--my spacer platform is just a tiny bit thicker than my C'bug A plate--the sandwich would be to use the spacer platform in place of the A plate and the long cutting pads instead of the B plates. Some folks may find this to be a bit thick to put through their machines. It fit through mine just fine, but again, remember to take care and not force anything through the C'bug--don't want anything getting broken, particularly crafters' hearts if something should happen to put a machine out of commission. :-)

  8. I noticed my b plates are getting cuts int them when I use the die cuts.The more I use it the more I'm hearing crackling noises as it runs through the cuttlebug. Is it normal for the B plates to get cut up when using the dies? I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if that is just the way the cuttlebug works?

  9. Cin, it's normal to see cut marks on the B plates. It's just a sign that the die is cutting all the way through the paper or card stock. That sharp edge has to have something to cut against, eh? Think of them as being like the marks that you see on a kitchen cutting board or chopping block. Just rotate and flip your plates and they'll last a while. I usually keep one of the plates specifically for cutting though, and the other clean for embossing.

    Hope that eases your mind a bit. :-)

  10. Any one have a ez cut machine? Can cuttlebug dies be used on them (I have loads of dies and my cuttlebug gave up the ghost - in the process of deciding which to buy) Thanks :>)

  11. Hi,
    I also have and Ez cut machine and would like to know if I can use cuttlebug dies in it?


Thanks for visiting my blog and for taking the time to leave a comment. :-) Don't be surprised if your comment doesn't show up right away. Because of the amount of spam being posted these days, I've switched things over to moderated. Legitimate comments will be appreciated, approved, and published in a timely fashion.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin