Sunday 2 October 2016

2016 #19 Die Cuts {Challenge}

 2016 Topic 19: Die Cuts

Eileen Godwin
Well hello everyone, Darcy here with another new topic for you get your teeth into or rather get your cutting machines into. For the next two weeks we will be exploring die cut shapes, and the ways that they can be used. did you know that PaperArtsy have their very own line of metal dies. There are a good selection, everything from flowers to leaves, birds and hearts. They cut beautifully and work on regular smoothy, waxy, tissue paper, sheer fabrics, card, grungepaper, and even a metal-humungo-card sandwich. Some of the PaperArtsy die also coordinate with stamps, so look out for the ones that match up. 

Often just the die cut image will be used as an embellishment, but these shapes are excellent to use at masks too, and don't forget the 'negative' space left behind. The 'hole' in your leftover card can be used as a stencil, this means you get a lot more value from your dies. 

Here you can see that Wanda has used the negative card left behind from using a PaperArtsy flower die, these leftovers were turned into a great little niche.

Wanda Hentges

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 18: Autumn Leaves Challenge...

The winner of Autumn Leaves  is: Raquel from Scrapcosy

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

Some of you may be very familiar with dies and die cutting machines, but other people maybe not so much. Paper and fabric have always been shaped either by hand or with knives or scissors, but when it comes to tougher substrates such as leather and metal then more specific tools are needed for the job. 

Once humans were able to extract metal from rocks skilled people were needed to from this metal into usable or decorative objects. The ancient Greeks used dies and punches to create coinage. This continued well into the middle ages, the most common method needed two die, one a positive image and the other a negative image. A blank piece of metal was placed between the two dies and the sandwich was struck with a heavy hammer. Even today we use the term 'coins being struck' 

By the 15th century dies and punches were being used in machines, and in 1796 a Frenchman obtained a patent for dies specifically for punching sheet metal. Throughout the first part of the 20th century dies continued to be used by companies wishing to mass produce their own products. These products were of course not images for art, they were industrial products used in engineering. These methods of precision stamping and punching are still used on a huge scale to produce components for almost everything that we use. 

Within the art and crafts industries we began to use dies to create multiple shapes, quickly and with more precision than using a knife or scissors. These dies meant that we could cut paper, card, leather, fabric, foam, thin plastics etc. within the leather industry these dies became important in making shoes and gloves, it became possible for many more pieces to be cut that were all of an accurate size. 

Just look at these dies for making gloves!

As the need for decorative embellishments increased so did the variety of die shapes available, and now we have access to almost every shape imaginable. These can be used to cut just one layer or multiples and it has transformed the accuracy of hand made items. For those that hate to 'fussy cut' or have difficulties with hand cutting, the die cutting systems have become a vital part of the tool kit.  

Here is a great video tutorial from Leandra, showing how easy it is to cut some metal flowers and then stamp the shapes with the corresponding stamps. 

Helen Chilton is a regular on this blog and she loves to experiment, so when given the challenge to see what she could do with the PaperArtsy dies she came up with a ton of ways to use them. check out her whole post HERE. 

Die cut shapes can be all kinds of intricate, take a look at this card. Can you imagine cutting one delicate butterfly out by hand , never mind three? Using a die makes this quick and painless. 

Tobi Crawford

Similarly with this so very delicate Memory Box die, I don't mind a bit of fussy cutting, but this would defeat me. Let the die do all the hard work.

So now we know that dies are great for cutting delicate images, what else can we use them for. tis piece by Kay is a perfect example, Here she has used her die cuts in the background of her project and painted over them, they have turned into the most fabulous texture. 

In the same way Eileen has layered up die cuts onto an MDF butterfly to create this stunning and very textural effect. If you fancy having a go she has all the details on her blog HERE. 

We saw earlier how the negative shape can be built into a niche, but even just one layer can provide a window on a card, as on this card by Meghan. 

Another window effect here, a totally different look from the one above just with the addiction of bright coloured paper behind the shaped hole. 

Amy Ryall
Again using the negative space left in your card, this tutorial shows just how to build up colour using the negative as a stencil. 

Kittie Caracciolo
Once you have used the stencil  part of your die cutting, time to use the actual cut out images to build up your scene, till you achieve this fabulous 3d card. 
Kittie Caracciolo
We often want instant art, especially when we need a card in a hurry, this is where dies really come in useful, for creating instant embellishments. they don't need to be fancy or intricate, simple letters like the ones below have a lot of impact when repeated and a punchy colour is introduced. 

Amy Kolling

Bolder,chunkier die cuts also have great impact, see how  Ellen Vargo has used these cog dies to great effect on this tag. 

Here you can see how the die cut image has been used as a mask, temporarily glued to a jar and then paint applied around the shape. Very clever. 

How about making your own foam stamps from die cuts, just layer up several die cuts, glue them together and Voila! you have stamps. 

Tim Holtz
There are all kinds of neat tricks that you can do with dies, this technique is dry embossing. 

See how Sara turned that into this lovely tag. 

Nothing could be simpler than die cut circles, but see how Anya has layered them up into a Snowman! Never overlook the basic shapes, they can end up being your best tools. 

Anya Schrier
Take your dies to another level and use shrink plastic, then like Kimberly Crawford you can create beautiful and sturdy little buttons. 

There are so many ways to use dies, the negative cuts and the positive cuts. This applies to the dies used in hand operated machines and also to the electronic machines. If you don't have a die cutter of any sort then why take another look at your punches, see if you can come up with some interesting ways to use your punched images and also the negatives left behind. 

Think outside the die, and see what you can create! Try die cutting into another die cut!

We look forward to seeing what ideas you come up with. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! 

I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!


Topic 19: Die Cuts PaperArtsy Blog Challenge

We'd love you to share your ideas and link up your creative response to our current blog topic. Take a minute to read the challenge guidelines below.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Die Cuts link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, 16th Oct, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

1. The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic.

Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, do your own thing - whatever grabs you!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog.

3. We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.

4. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!

6. You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday 16th Oct  (London Time)

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50.

8. Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

9. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Miriam said...

Fabulous topic...I love die cuts! Gorgeous inspiration.....wonder if I will get time to play before I go away?!

Miriam said...

Fabulous topic...I love die cuts! Gorgeous inspiration.....wonder if I will get time to play before I go away?!

Artmadnana said...

Now this will be a challenge. I love the variety of samples in this post Darcy. Should appeal to all styles. I don't use dies much although I've bought lots!!! Great challenge.

Craftyfield said...

Interesting theme... I love the unusual ways of using dies. I am looking forward to the DT's inspiration!

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Brilliant theme, has encouraged me to get the dies out again and get thinking :)
Donna xx

Wendy Mallas said...

Love it. Die cuts, positive and negative, are so versatile. Really good challenge. 🤗

Mac Mable said...

Creative and fun inspiration, thank you x

Etsuko said...

Fabulous theme Darcy! First to the focus was the dies when I started paper crafts. xx

Craftychris said...

Awesome projects! So inspiring! xxx

Jane said...

Fab topic,I adore using die cuts with my work, they are my favourite embellishments! xx

Astrid Maclean said...

A super topic and what amazing examples!! Great finds Darcy!!

Julie Lee said...

Super imaginative intro! So many wonderful ways with die-cuts! xx

Kirsten said...

Congrats to Raquel! Fab examples for the new challenge theme.

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Loving all the great techniques used. Happy crafting, Angela x