Starting something is never easy; that is something we all already know. Whether it is an essay, a big project, or just a hobby, we all are confused and frustrated at the beginning. But blessed be the internet! With just a search, you can find many tutorials and guides on how to deal with die-cutting, this one included.

As written at, die-cutting needs some preparation, which is why this article presents the basics of the process and some tips to help you.

What is Die-cutting?

Die-cutting is the process of creating cut-out forms from a stock material such as paper or chipboard by shearing them with a tool called a die. A die is a specialized instrument used in the manufacturing industry to cut or shape a material put into a press. It features sharp edges for cutting into the material and contains the completed part’s specific two-dimensional form. Die-cutting works in the same way as cookie cutters do, in that the dough is sliced into smaller pieces. Paper, cloth, rubber, fiberglass, metal sheets, and plastic are all materials that can be die-cut.

Die-cutting Tips For Beginners

Now that we established the notion and basic principles of die-cutting, it is time to share a few tips that will help in the beginning stage of your die-cutting adventure.

Use Delicate Tools

You’ll need to delicately remove the die-cut form using a pokey tool or something similar, which can be tricky with elaborate dies. To make this operation easier, place a layer of greaseproof paper between the card and the die. Pokey tools with a bit of a ball on the end are designed for the job to prevent leaving markings on the card.

If you don’t have a pokey tool, you can also use bamboo sticks or skewers but be careful not to damage the design.

Creating the Sandwich

The most basic type of die-cutting machine is similar to a mangle. You make a basic sandwich between plates and place the die on the material with the sharp side facing down. The pressure is delivered over the whole die as you wind the handle, cutting through the card or paper as it goes through.

Making the sandwich with the plates that came with your machine is a bit of helpful advice for this operation. To keep your die from sliding about, you might want to hold it down. This will vary per machine; see your machine’s instructions to ensure that your sandwich is made correctly.

Use Low Tack Tape

Errors are common in any technique that includes machinery, and the most typical one in die-cutting is when the die moves or is cut erroneously. If you’re worried about your die moving while going through the machine, use some Low Tack Tape to hold it to your card or material. It’s simple to take off and not rip or harm your artwork.

Repeat the Process

As mentioned before, not every die-cut will be perfect, and you might need a few additional tries to get the job done. However, this tip is as easy as it sounds. It’s a good idea to run your die through again if it hasn’t been totally sliced to guarantee a clean cut.

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