Welcome back to another installment of In Detail. Today, I’m taking another look at die cuts, specifically dies suitable for the negative, inlay, knock-out, window and selective-cut techniques. I’ve chosen dies to illustrate these techniques with the upcoming holidays in mind.
For many of the examples, I’m using a 4" tag die from either the My Favorite Things Die-namics Tag Builder Blueprints 1 set or the Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Duo 1 set; I reviewed the sets in this In Detail post.
Let’s start with dies that work well for the negative technique. For this technique, look for a solid image that’s easily recognizable, such as the Savvy Woodland Deer.
To create the tag, I nested the deer die inside the Pretty Pink Posh tag die and ran the combination through my Big Shot, cutting the tag out of white cardstock. I also cut the tag separately out of red cardstock and put the white tag on top of the red tag. The tags could be left separate, as shown, or adhered together. The combination could be used on a gift package or added to a card.
I used the same technique with the largest die in the Penny Black Crystal Trio Snowflake set (the dies can be snipped apart), cutting the snowflake inside the My Favorite Things tag die.
In both cases, you’ll also have a positive image left over to add to a tag or card.
Dies that work for the negative die-cut technique will also work for the inlaid technique.
The inlaid technique requires a minimum of two cuts. Cut the die once in the background cardstock and again in the cardstock of the image. Remove the die cut from the background and replace with the die cut in the other color cardstock.
Here’s an example of the inlaid technique using the Savvy Woodland Deer die. Please note: I did not attach the deer to the tag in the example. For finished work, I’ve used Scotch tape, as well as office supply labels (cut to size), to secure the inlaid image to the background.
The Memory Box Cabrini Ornament die works well for this technique, although a little more work is required. The die cuts an outline and interior pieces.
I nested the ornament die inside the Pretty Pink Posh tag die and ran the combination through my Big Shot, cutting the tag out of white cardstock. After removing the ornament outline and interior pieces, I’m left with the following negative shape.
I die cut the ornament out of green and red cardstock as well, putting the pieces into the gold ornament outline for the leaves and berries. I find the Lifestyle Crafts QuickStik invaluable for this process. For this example, the ornament itself is gold foil.
Knock Out Technique
Unlike most dies, the Memory Box Dazzling Snowflake die does not cut a positive shape. Instead it cuts small pieces that would be next to impossible to be used alone, but the die works well for the knock-out technique, a variant of the negative technique.
I cut the die from a 4" x 5 ¼" panel and placed it on an A2 card base. The Tim Holtz Tonic Craft Pick was essential for poking out the tiny pieces from the card panel.
In this In Detail post, I showed how the Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Duo 1 set includes a window die. The Halloween-themed My Favorite Things Centerpieces Spooky Window is similar. The window pane die does not cut on its outer edge.
The four-pane window measures 2 ⅝" x 3 ⅝". I cut the Spooky Window from a 4" x 5 ¼" black cardstock panel and placed it over an A2 card base of orange cardstock. Since no outside edge is cut, I could have cut the window from the A2 card front or from a smaller rectangle. The die set includes a separate spider; I cut the spider from black glitter paper for added contrast.
The final technique uses the Penny Black Wings of Peace die.
I don’t know that this technique or type of die has a specific name, but I’m calling it a “selective cut.” The Wings of Peace die cuts the outline of the bird (and its eye), but the bird body is left in place.
In the photo, the image on the left shows a white cardstock rectangle cut with the die from which the outline piece has been removed. The center image illustrates how the die could be used for the negative technique. The wings of the bird can be left loose and pulled away from the card or tag base for added interest. The image on the right shows how the die could be used for the inlaid technique. The white outline and eye were loosely placed into the negative space (for illustrative reasons). For a finished tag, I would adhere the outline from behind.
What's your favorite die cutting technique beyond using the positive die cut?