Learning how to embellish die cuts can help you transform ordinary embellishments into stunning and unique accents for your scrapbook layouts.
Scrapbooking with Die Cuts
In the scrapbooking world, die cuts are simply shapes cut from cardstock. They can be one solid color or printed with a design such as a boy on the beach or a girl opening up a Christmas present. You can either buy die cuts in packages or cut your own shapes using a machine such as the Cricut.
Die cuts are popular scrapbook embellishments because they are fairly inexpensive and don't add a lot of bulk to your page. They are also easy to use, since they can simply be attached using an ordinary glue stick or the adhesive of your choice.
Ideas for How to Embellish Die Cuts
Although it's fine to use die cuts on your layout in their original state, many scrapbookers like to embellish their die cuts in order to give their page a bit of pizzazz. If you're looking to add a special touch to your die cuts, LoveToKnow Scrapbooking suggests trying one or more of the following techniques.
Eyelets and Brads
Eyelets and brads make for a simple way to embellish die cuts. Add a rhinestone or fabric covered brad to the center of a flower die cut. Use eyelets to accent the buttons on a girl's shirt. Line up black mini brads to make a jack-o-lantern's face on a plain pumpkin die cut. You could also try using a large eyelet to reinforce the hole in a tag die cut before adding fibers or a ribbon bow.
For a layout with a feminine and fun appearance, there's nothing better than a touch of sparkle. Glitter is easy to add to die cuts. Simply cover the selected area with craft glue, then sprinkle on a bit of glitter in the color of your choice.
Flocking powder is used to give die cuts as textured appearance, similar to velvet fabric. Flocking makes a great accent for the fur on an animal or Santa's red suit. You could also try coating die cut letters in flocking powder to give your title a special textured treatment.
To make your die cut look like an expensive epoxy embellishment, cover the die cut with a thick layer of UTEE. Melt the powder with a heat gun, then gently fold the paper back and forth to give it a "cracked" look.
Combining Die Cuts
Combining die cuts can be an excellent way to make memorable scrapbook embellishments. For example, you could layer several small flower die cuts together to make one large floral bouquet that sits in a vase you've hand cut from a scrap of patterned paper. After you've used some of the techniques for how to embellish die cuts, adhere some of the flowers to the page with pop dots for a 3-D effect.
When you're planning to combine die cuts, spend some time playing with the arrangement on a sheet of scratch paper before you start gluing the pieces to your layout. You don't want to risk ripping your die cut if you glue it down and decide you don't like the placement.
Making the Most of Old Supplies
If you're scrapbooking on a tight budget, it's simply not practical to run out to purchase new embellishments for every single layout. You can save money by training yourself to look at your old supplies in a new light. Here are some tricks to try if you have a die cut that needs a bit of a boost in order to fit your layout:
- Ink the edges of the die cut with black or brown ink for a vintage look.
- If your die cut is made from white core cardstock, run a bit of sandpaper over it for a distressed look.
- Use chalk to add shading to selected areas of your die cut.
- Doodle over parts of your die cut with a black ink pen for a casual, whimsical look.