Cut it Out!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Recently I've been sharing basic ways to use the computer in you projects and this month I thought I'd discuss the latest trends in die cutting machines, and how you can achieve the same look using your computer with less $$. It used to be that we only had traditional die cutting machines, the sizzix and quikutz type, which obviously aren't hybrid, But the past year has seen a revolution with the wishblade/craft robo and the cricut. Electronic cutting machines are definitely here to stay but what's the difference? and how can you get the same look without spending the cash? well read on!

First let's look at the wishblade/craft robo. In case you don't know they are essentially the same machine just retailed through different names by different distrubutors but the machine is exactly the same, only the software is different. This is a machine that hooks up to your computer and using the software it enables you to cut out ANY font on your computer in ANY size (Obviously within the dimensions of the machine). Because it's hooked up to the computer and you use a software program I classify this as hybrid. Each person my have their own opinion but Hybrid Scrapbooking is classified as using the computer and well, with this machine you have to. I love the fact I can use any font on my computer and resize it to suit my layout, definitely worth the extra initial cost considering there are no other costs for cartridges or dies. If you can make it in your software (or import it) you can cut it! An example of a layout done with a craft-robo cut title is below.

Moments to Remember by Di Hickman. Supplies: Cardstock: DCWV, Patterned Paper: DCWV, Buttons: EK Success, Other: flower, clip

In the same category as the wishblade and craft robo are the Pazzles machines. These again have to be hooked up to a computer to work but the main differences I can see from this to the wishblade/craft robo (aside from the increased price) is that they are available in different sizes and the Pazzles software has the joining of images built in, with the others there is software than can do it but it's not built in and you have to use a different program to do it.

Another die cut machine to hit the scrapbooking world is the Cricut. I personally don't consider this a hybrid took and I'll explain why. Basically you don't use a computer, yes it's electronic but then so is my heat gun, can I claim that as a hybrid tool too? Not really huh? For this reason Cricut isn't a hybrid tool.

So now onto a way that we can all get the same look but with less cost! All you need is: your computer; any word processing program, or painting package; and a craft knife with a steady hand. To get the look all you need to do is type your text out like you would for any journaling, mirror image it then print it out on the reverse of the paper or cardstock you want to use. Now the key point here is that you need to mirror image the text. You can either do that in the paint package or when you send it to the printer (some printers have a 'mirror image' feature to check). Once you've printed out the title, remember it's reversed so cut it out carefully turn it over and voila! Yes it's a little more time intensive than the fancy die cut machines but it works. The following layouts show titles printed out mirror image on the back of the paper and cut it out using a craft knife.

Layout by Robin Blankenship.
Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzil, Patterned Paper: Basic Grey, Rub-ons: Three Bugs in a Rug, Chipboard: Magestical Memories

Layout by Robin Blankenship.
Supplies: Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket, Paint: FolkArt, Chalks: Craf T,

As you can see the effects are stunning and can be used for other elements as well as titles, circles or other shapes, dingbat fonts etc. The possibilities are endless.

Published in Scrapstreet Ezine September 2007
Copyright Di Hickman 2007


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