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How to Emboss Vellum with the Cricut

Many have asked how to emboss vellum with the Cricut.  You can also create flowers that pop out from the embossed background.  Then you can add some lovely petals for a 3D effect to make a gorgeous  card. In this tutorial I will share how to make this lovely card using your electronic cutter.

 

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Using Electronic Cutters to Emboss Vellum

You don’t have to have a Cricut in order to make this card.  The SVG, PVGC, and FCM  cutting files for this project are available that can be used in most electronic cutting machines. You can find them in the FREE Resource Library. Download the free cutting files.  You can right click on the file link, and select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”. Save it to your computer. When the download is complete, double click on the downloaded file and select Extract All. Then open your preferred cutting software, and import the cutting file. There is one file that contains all the design pieces. If you are using a Scan N Cut machine, use the FCM file.   Those using Pazzles InVue software will use the PVGC file. All others should use the SVG file.

Note: this post may contain affiliate links.

Supplies Needed to Emboss the Vellum Popout Card

Heavy Translucent Vellum Cardstock
Electronic Cutter – Pazzles Vue, Scan N Cut, Cricut Explore or Maker Silhouette Cameo, or other cutter that uses SVG files.

If you wish to add foiling to your design, you will need foiling tools. I used the We R Memory Makers Foil Quill and silver foil but you may use a metallic pen instead if you don’t have the foil quill. I used the bold tip for this project.
Embossing Mat- Pazzles,or Scan N Cut Embossing Kit, or  SNC Embossing Mat 
Embossing Stylus –Pazzles Embossing Tool
or
Hand Embossing Stylus or Scan N Cut Embossing tool
Dries Clear Adhesive
Low Tack tape
Pearl Stickers
Embossed Vellum Popout Card cutting files from the 
Free Resource Library 
Pop Dots

Limitations to Emboss Vellum With Cricut

Embossing vellum with the Cricut Maker is not as straight forward as it is with other electronic cutters. This is due primarily to the fact that Cricut does not allow any options for adjusting the pressure of tools using  the A slot on the Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore cutting head.  Cricut Explore does allow use of a special pen holder in the blade holder slot. With that  holder in the B slot, the pressure can be adjusted up to the maximum under Custom Settings to 340-350.

Pen Holder for Cricut Explore

Pen Holder for Cricut Explore

While the Cricut Maker boasts of up to 4000 grams of cutting pressure, this pressure is only available in the B slot on the cutting head. And a hand-held embossing stylus is not recognized in the B slot. Maximum pressure is needed to get an excellent embossed effect on vellum cardstock.

The only pressure options on the Cricut Maker head A are the automatic settings for either drawing or scoring.  Pressure for drawing on the Cricut Maker is inadequate for embossing. The pressure for scoring is adequate, given the right embossing stylus and mat. The Cricut Scoring tool tip is not broad enough for embossing. It has a tendency to tear through delicate vellum cardstock.

Paper to Use to Emboss

Selecting to best paper to use for embossing with your cutter is very important.  Lighter weight papers will emboss more readily on cutters, than cardstock. It can take massive amounts of down pressure to form nicely embossed shapes on cardstock.

What is Translucent Vellum Cardstock?

Vellum is a type of coating that is used on some papers. The type and weight of vellum is very important for this project. While our cutters cannot make a very good embossed impression on most cardstock, one exception is to use translucent vellum cardstock to emboss with your cutter. The cardstock should be translucent enough to be able to see through it.  When using translucent vellum cardstock, an embossing tool will create white lines on the Vellum.

Best Weight of Transparent Vellum Cardstock to Use

For the Embossed Popout Daisy Card, you need to use Transparent Vellum Cardstock that is neither too heavy nor too light. The popouts will work better with Vellum that is still. But if the cardstock is too thick, the embossed design will not be the pretty white color you are wanting. If the cardstock is too thin, the design may tear during cutting or removing from the cutting mat. I found that 36# translucent vellum cardstock works best for this project.

Embossing on Legacy Cricut machines

Those using any of the legacy Cricut machines  (Original Cricut Personal, original Cricut Expression, Cricut Cake, Create, Cricut Cake Mini) will find that the Pazzles Embossing tool fits perfectly in the blade holder of these older machines. You can emboss on these machines if you have an embossing mat and embossing tool.  Unfortunately, the Pazzles Embossing tool is too large to fit in the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker.

Pazzles Embossing Tool

Pazzles Embossing Tool

 

Cricut has simplified the cutting process by providing automatic settings wherever possible. But this is an example of how automatic settings can limit creativity.  Perhaps one day Cricut will add full embossing functionality. Until then, you can use the techniques I have used to make this card.

Embossing Stylus

To emboss, you need to be able to use an embossing stylus. The stylus needs to fit the pen tool holder. In addition, the stylus tip needs to be long enough to extend deep enough through the pen holder to reach the mat.

Testing Hand-Held Embossing Tools

I have tested a number of different hand-held stylus tools. Unfortunately, most of the ones I have collected through the years will not work in the Cricut machines.  The length of the tips of most were too short.

I did find one that works in the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. This one has a metal tip that is a full 1″ long.

Hand

Hand Embossing Tool

I still have to wrap 5 inches of blue painter’s tape around the center of the handle to make it a bit thicker to fit snugly in the pen holder.  Place the tool with the larger ball tip down into the A tool holder of the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. Other cutters than have pen holders may also use a tool like this for embossing.

Hand Embossing Tool With Tape

The tip of the embossing stylus needs to  be quite close to the mat surface, as shown in my photo below.

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Embossing Stylus In Cricut Maker

Embossing Stylus In Cricut Maker

Embossing Mat

In order for an electronic cutter to effectively create embossing designs on vellum, it is essential to have a cushion under the paper on the mat. Too much of a cushion may result in tears in the delicate vellum. And not enough cushion may result in unsatisfactory embossing.

Some cutter companies provide embossing mats that work with their brand of cutters. Other companies do not. Thin craft foam that is .8mm to 1mm thick may serve as an embossing mat in some cutters. Others have found that using faux leather provides an adequate surface for embossing.

With the foam or faux leather options, you will need to apply some adhesive to the top in order for the vellum to adhere to it during embossing and cutting. Too much adhesive may cause the popout petals on the card to tear when removing it from the mat. Too little adhesive may allow the vellum to shift during embossing and cutting. Taping edges of the vellum down without adhesive on the mat does not work due to the intricate detail of this project.

Embossing Mat Testing Results

Pazzles Embossing mat works well with the Pazzles machine. It is a bit too wide to fit Cricut machines. However, the Pazzles embossing mat may be trimmed down to work with Cricut machines.

Bosskut Gazelle made an excellent embossing mat that works with a number of different cutters.  It will work with Cricut machines as well, but Bosskut is no longer in business.

I found the Scan N Cut Embossing mat to be a workable solution for How to emboss vellum with Cricut machines. A sticky Cricut mat holds the embossing mat in place. And the top surface of the embossing mat is sticky, and able to hold the vellum in place while the cutter is embossing and cutting.

Scan N Cut embossing mat on a Cricut mat.

Scan N Cut embossing mat on a Cricut mat.

When combined with a hand embossing tool, the Scan N Cut mat worked well to emboss vellum with the Cricut machines.

Silhouette users who would like to emboss vellum will need to use the Silhouette Curio cutter. This is because the Cameo and other Silhouette machines do not have adequate pressure for embossing. They also do not have enough clearance between the mat and roller bars to fit an embossing surface between the mat and vellum.

Foiling in Lieu of Embossing

In the event that you do not have an embossing tool and embossing mat that work to Embossing Vellum with your Cricut machine, you may elect to use the Embossed Popout Daisy Card design with a foil quill and foil. The background design of this card foils nicely. This is an option for those using Silhouette cutters as well.

Foiled Cricut Popout with Daisy Card

Foiled Cricut Popout with Daisy Card

How to Emboss and Cut the Embossed Popout Daisy Card

If you are using a Pazzles or Scan N Cut machine to emboss and cut the popout daisy card, you will find that all lines in the cutting files are designated as either draw or cut. Choose the Draw lines first and emboss the Draw lines using your embossing tool and mat.  Use maximum pressure when embossing.  Do test cuts to determine the best settings for cutting.

Do not remove the mat or move the cutting head after the “drawing” is complete. Simply replace the embossing tool with the cutting tool, and select “Cut” to use with the cutting lines. Cutting on the embossing mat will not ruin it it you have set the blade depth appropriately.

 

How to cut and emboss with the Cricut

The process is a bit different when using Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker.  First, import the SVG file into Cricut Design Space. To do that, open Cricut Design Space. Click on Upload, the bottom icon on the left toolbar. Next, click on Upload Image. Browse to the place where you saved the Embossed Vellum Popout Card file on your computer. Click on Save. The design you just uploaded will be visible now. Click on it to select it,  and click on Insert Image.

Get the Design Ready in Design Space

Ungroup the design pieces by right clicking on the design, and selecting Ungroup. Next, click on the white emboss portion of the the design, and designate it as “Score” at the top of the page. Select both the score and white cut layers, right click and select Attach. Click on the top score layer and the next group layer on the right toolbar. Right click, and select Attach.

Now click on Make It.  Move the entire design in and down 1″ from top and left sides of the virtual mat. This will reduce tearing along the edges of the vellum.  Select Continue, and select your machine.  Set materials to Vellum. Next, Set tools. Select the Scoring Stylus for the embossing.

Place your vellum on the embossing mat, and load the hand embossing tool in the A tool holder. Load the mat into the Cricut, and press the Go button on the machine when it starts blinking.  It will take about 30 minutes to do all of the embossing and cutting on the vellum. Get the paper for the mat and card base ready. Be very careful when lifting  the cut design from the mat to prevent the petals from tearing.  Finally, you can cut the remaining card pieces.

How to Assemble the Embossed Vellum Popout Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

The side that is facing up on the mat is the Debossed side, as the embossing tool has pressed the design down into the vellum. The opposite side is the embossed design. You may use the side that you prefer on your card.

Fold the base card in half. Next, glue the mat to the center of the card front, or use pop dots to raise the mat a bit off of the card base. Add small dots of Dries Clear Adhesive on the back side of the vellum, only on places that are white from the embossing. Let it dry. Gently lift the cut petals up, away from the card, to give dimension.

Add the 3D Daisies

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

If you wish to add 3D daisies to the card, place a daisy piece on a foam mat, and press down firmly in the middle of the daisy to lift the petals. Repeat with the next daisy piece of the same size. Place a dot of glue on the back of one of the daisy layers, and center it over the other daisy layer of the same size. Make sure the petals are opposite the first layer. Add a drop of glue on the center back of each 3D Daisy layer and adhere to the center of one of the popout daisies on the card, again, keeping the petals opposite the bottom layer.

Repeat with all three flowers.  Glue a pearl sticker to the center of each of the 3D Daisies on the card. You card is now complete! Add a sentiment of your choice to the inside of the card, and give it to someone special!

How To Emboss Vellum with the Cricut

How To Emboss Vellum with the Cricut

Be sure to go to the Resource Library to grab the free cutting file for the Embossed Vellum Popup Daisy Card cutting files. If you like this project, please comment, share, and pin!

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Julie

;

How to Make a Foiled Slider Popup Card

Learn how to make a foiled slider popup card with the free SVG template from the Resource Library.  While making this project, learn how to use the Foil Quill tool by We R Memory Makers, and the Gemini Foilpress by CraftersCompanion.

Foiled Shamrock Slider Popup Card

Foiled Popup Slider Card Pin for Pinterest

You will find the SVG, PVGC  and FCM cutting files for this project in the FREE Resource Library. Download the free cutting files.  You can right click on the file link, and select Save Link As or Save Target As. Save it to your computer. When the download is complete, double click on the downloaded file and select Extract All. Then open your preferred cutting software, and import the cutting files. There is one file that contains all the design pieces. Because there are lots of design pieces with intricate detail, I have broken down the file into three smaller pieces. You can use the basic popup slider design to embellish in many different ways.

Note: this post may contain affiliate links.

Supplies Needed to Make the Irish Blessings Slider Popup Card

 White  80#  cardstock
One sheet printed  cardstock for base card
Coordinating pastel cardstock.
Glue that dries quickly.
Strong, double sided adhesive 
Electronic Cutter – Pazzles Vue, Scan N Cut, Cricut Explore or Maker, or other cutter that uses SVG files.

If you wish to add foiling to your design, you will need foiling tools. These are the ones I used for this project.
Gemini Jr.
Gemini Foilpress
Crafter’s Companion Gemini FoilPress Foil Roll for Papercraft- HollyFoil
We R Memory Makers Foil Quill

Cutting Files from the Free Resource Library 

Cut your Card Pieces

Irish Blessings Slider Popup Card Pieces

Card Pieces

Score the red lines. Foil the small dark green pieces and text using the Foil Quill. I cut the larger shamrock from heavy white cardstock and foiled it using my Gemini Foilpress. You can use plain green cardstock, or green mirror or glitter cardstock if you have some. I didn’t have the exact shade of paper I wanted, so I decided to use my Holly Green Foil.

The large pink piece is the base card. I think it looks best if you use some designer paper that is double sided.  I chose a sheet of paper from the Peony paper pad from Crafters Companion.  You may use the light green frames around the foiled designs if you like. I used one cut from the patterned paper and placed it around the foiled design on the tag.

The tag is the piece that forms the inside slider.  The smaller pink piece forms the hidden message inside of the card.

Fold Your Slider Card

Fold the base card in half on the center score line.  The cut window on the front of the card has several fold line. Make a valley fold at the top of the window. Make a mountain fold at the center of the window. Finally make a valley fold for the tab at the bottom of the window. Burnish the folds with a bone folder or similar tool to make nice, crisp fold lines.

Slider Popup Base Card Folds

Base Card Folds

Prepare the Designs for the Inside of the Foiled Slider Popup Card

You do not have to foil these designs. You can alternately use a metallic pen to draw the designs with your cutter. I created the very delicate small shamrock designs and the textured text so that I could play with my new Foil Quill.

Irish Blessings Slider Popup Card Inside Foiled pieces

Foil Quilled inside Pieces

Introducing the Foil Quill to Make a Foiled Slider Popup Card

Drawing with the Foil Quill using a cutter is not much more complicated than drawing with a pen in your cutter. Instead of placing a pen in the cradle,  select the adapter that is appropriate for your machine. Hold the quilling tool in one hand, and rotate the adapter around the threads at the top of the Foil Quill.

Foil Quill Tool Pieces

Foil Quill tool Pieces

The pink tool has an ultra fine tip, the blue one has a standard tip, and the black one has a bold tip. I used the blue Foil Quill for my project.  Select the adapter for the cutter you are using. Adapter A is for use with Silhouette machines such as the Cameo, Craft Robo, Wishblade, etc. T B Adapter is for use with Brother Scan N Cut machines. Adapter C is for use with all Cricut machines, as well as Pazzles machines. And Adapter D is for use with Sizzix Eclips, and any machines that can use the Sizzix Blade holder, such as KNK Zing, Zing Orbit, and other machines.

If a machine can use a pen, you should be able to use the Foil Quill either with one of these adapters or without an adapter. Hold the Foil Quill in one hand and turn the adapter around the threads near the top of the tool.

Select the Correct Type of Foil for use with the Foil Quill

Not all foils will work with the Foil Quill. Heat reactive foils for use with toner sheets and laminators and machines like the Minc will not work with the Foil Quill. In addition to the foils designed to work with the Foil Quill, the foils made for use with the Gemini Foilpress will work. There are several small rolls of foil included with the purchase of the Foil Quill Kit. There is only a small sample of foil in the kit, so if you plan to use your Foil Quill a lot, you may wish to order more. Here is the foil I used for my foiled slider popup card.

Foil for Foil Quill Slider Popup Card

Gemini FoilPress Foil

Power up the Foil Quill

The USB cable on the Foil Quill is designed to plug into a powered USB port. You can plug it in to a USB port on your computer. If you have a Cricut Maker, you can plug it into the USB port provided for charging your tablet. Do not plug it into a data port on your cutter, such as the ones on Scan N Cut machines. You can use a power supply made for charging your cell phone. The cable was not long enough for me, so I purchased a USB extension cord at Dollar Tree to help the cable reach to a USB port on my computer.

USB Extension Cord

USB Extension Cord

The Foil Quill needs to heat up for 5 minutes before you use it. So plug it in before you start assembling your Foiled Slider Popup Card. When the Foil Quill is plugged  in, the top of the quill lights up.

Prepare Your Mat, Paper, and Foil

Place your paper on your cutter mat.  Cut a piece of foil about 1″ larger than your design. Place the dull side of the foil down on the paper. Tape around the edges of the foil using the low tack tape included with the Foil Quill package. If you cut out your tag and backing piece for the inside of the card first, you don’t need to use the low tack tape. You can place the cut foil over the cut cardstock, and tack the excess foil to the adhesive on your mat. However, this may result in some foil residue on your cutting mat. If you do not want foil on your cutting mat, do the foiling first.

Foiling the Designs using the Foil Quill

Select the portion of the design you wish to foil. Select “Draw” in your cutting panel. Set the pressure appropriate for drawing with a pen. I set mine a bit higher. Do some small tests to see how your pressure, speed and choice of tip work with your foil.  Once your cutter has completed “drawing”,  remove the Foil Quill from your cutter, and replace the blade assembly in the holder.  Without moving the mat or cutting head, cut out the shapes on which you foiled.

Foil the large Shamrock

Cut the large shamrock from your preferred media. If you plan to use the Gemini Foilpress foil, turn on the Gemini Foil press, and insert the heating plate. Set the temperature to medium. Cut the large shamrock from white cardstock.

Large Shamrock for Foiling

Large White Shamrock

When the Gemini Foilpress beeps and a green light shows next to the Medium heat setting, place the foil, shiny side down on the Foilpress plate. On top of that, place the right side of the large shamrock down over the foil. Place a half sheet of heavy white cardstock  over the large shamrock. Place a black magnetic shim from the Gemini Junior over the paper shim, and place the foilpress carbon plate over the top. Set the heat for 45 seconds. When the machine beeps, remove the stack from the foilpress and place into the Gemini Junior for the necessary pressure.

Foiling with the Gemini Foilpress

Stack for the Gemini Foilpress

If you will be foiling with a toner sheet and laminator using heat reactive foil, cut the large shamrock from a black toner sheet. You can make a toner sheet by printing a black page using a monochromatic black laser printer. Or you can go to an office supply store and make photo copies of a black sheet of paper. Cut the large shamrock from this toner paper.  Fold a piece of printer paper in half. Place the dull side of a heat reactive sheet of foil down on top of the shamrock, and place both inside of the folded printer paper.  Set the laminator to heat up. Once heated, place the folded edge of the printer paper with its contents into the laminator.

You now have a large foiled shamrock for your foiled slider popup card.

Foiled Shamrock for Slider Popup Card

Foiled Shamrock

Slider Assembly for Foiled Slider Popup Card

Here is how to make a foiled slider popup card with the pieces you have prepared. Close the card base on the center fold line.  Lift the window flap to expose the inside bottom of the card.  Glue the piece that says Irish Blessings to the inside bottom of the opening using quick drying glue on the back of the foiled piece. Next, glue the foiled Irish Charm piece to the top of the tag. Glue the frame over the top of this piece.

Open the card to the inside. Place a strip of double sided tape along the bottom edge of the window flap. Also add strips of double sided tape along the outside edges and bottom of the inside front of the base card as shown below.

Adhesive inside of the Slider Popup Card

Double sided adhesive strips added to the inside of the card.

Remove the covering of the tape, and adhere the bottom edge of the tag, design side down,  to the bottom edge of the window flap. Next,  close the card, so that the back of the card is permanently stuck to the front, forming a pocket. Now when you pull the tag up at the top of the pocket, it pull the flap up with it.

Slider Popup Card Tag Top

Tag Top

Now the popup flap has formed, and it will serve as a platform for your large Shamrock.

Open slider popup card

The front window opens when the tag is pulled up.

The  designs on the inside of the card and on the tag are revealed when the tag is pulled up.

Decorating the Slider Popup Card Front

Now that the popup mechanism is formed, you can decorate it with the large foiled shamrock. Add quick drying glue to the back side arms and lower stems of the large shamrock. Do not get glue on any part of the shamrock that overlaps the window of the base card. Also do not add any glue to any part of the shamrock that hangs above the window fold.

Now that the large shamrock is glued to the popup mechanism,  assembly of the foiled slider popup card is complete.  When open, you can see the foiled sentiment on the tag, and the foiled sentiment on the front of the card.

Open Slider Popup Card

Slider Popup Card front when open

When the card is closed, the inside sentiments and foiling are hidden. The large shamrock is displayed proudly on the front of the Slider Popup Card. You can add a ribbon to the tag to make it easier for the recipient to know to pull on it.

Slider Popup Card Closed

Slider Popup Card Closed

Foiled Shamrock Popup Slider Card

Foiled Popup Slider Card Pin for Facebook

Now it is your turn! Share the with your friends on Facebook. I would love to see what you make with the basic slider popup template.

 

Special credits: The lovely fret pattern I used to create the shamrock design was shared by Diana Tunnicliff. She has shared thousands of her lovely designs with cutter users. She shares the links for her creations in a number of Facebook groups, including the Cutter Software Facebook Group. If you would like to see the process I used to create the Shamrock design, you can watch a couple of my YouTube Tutorials:  Make A Lacy Shape and Create a Lacy Shamrock.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Black Friday is a great time to stock up on crafting supplies. Look for great deals on the high-priced items that help you to be more productive. Do you need a better cutter? Is there a Foil Press on your wish list? Or perhaps you need a more efficient die cutter/embosser to handle those very intricate dies.  Maybe you need a new computer or external hard drive. Do you need a new printer?

If you do not need a new machine, perhaps you need to stock up on consumable supplies for your crafting projects. Is you stash of paper or vinyl, or HTV dwindling? Do you have plenty of adhesives? Be sure to check your supply of blades and mats for your machines! There are lots of Black Friday Deals for Crafters that could save you money on your craft supplies.

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Pazzles Inspiration Vue Cutter Best deal of the year for this machine! Don’t miss this best buy of the Black Friday Deals for Crafters!

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Items on this page may contain affiliate links.

More Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Scan N Cut350 Get a great deal on the reliable version of this machine.

Scan N Cut DX This one is the latest Scan N Cut model with the auto blade.

Brother SNC Universal Pen Holder Works with older and newer Scan N Cut models.

Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer with Duplex Printing\

Amazon Basics Thermal Laminator Use for foiling in combination with a Monochrome Laser Printer. Print your design in B&W on a laser printer. Place foil over printed image. Place  design and foil between printer paper. Run through preheated laminator. Foil transfers to the printed design.

Scan N Cut Standard Blade For older machines – not for the DX models.

Scan N Cut Standard Mat Fold older machines- not for the DX models.

Online Activation Card for Scan N Cut for WiFi connection DX models do not need this, as WiFi is built in on the DX machines.

Silhouette Cameo 3  Check the Silhouette Online store from your free Silhouette Studio software for the best deals of the year on cutting designs.

Cricut Maker

Mint Cricut Explore Air 2 

New Cricut Easy Press 2 Now in three different sizes. Heats to 400 degrees quickly.

Cricut Easy Press Mat  

Cuttlebug by Cricut

Cricut Bright Pad

Ultimate Fine Point Pen by Cricut  Set Assorted

Stamp set

Prismacolor pastel color sticks

Prismacolor colored pencils

Sizzix Extended Cutting Plates

Super Doodle 50 Gel Pens Set

Arteza Watercolor Premium Artist Paints Set of 24 Colors

Gemini Die Cutting/Embossing Machine Great price for a power machine! I ordered one, plus the plates for the Gemini Jr to use with this. Get this machine or the Gemini Jr. to use with the new Gemini Foilpress. Gemini Jr is only slightly less than the full size Gemini. So unless you really need the smaller size of the Jr. 6-inch width, I recommend the full size Gemini. You will need an extended plate for the Foilpress to work in the full size Gemini.

Sharpie Fine Point pen set of 24 colors Can you even have enough Sharpies? These fit in my pen holders to draw with my machines.

Dries Clear Adhesive Everyone needs a good supply of adhesive that dries clear for projects. I use this type of adhesive for my 3D flowers, boxes, cards, luminaries, and other projects.

Heartfelt Creations Deluxe Flower Shaping Kit I use this kit for shaping my 3D flowers. While there, take a look at their new products and their 50% off sale on Limited Editions.

Spellbinders Tool In 1 Great for brushing the tiny pieces out of intricate cuts. If you cut any intricate designs, you need this tool!

15″x15″ Heat Press If you do a lot of Heat transfer vinyl on garments, you need a heat press. The size is right on this one, and the best price I could find.

80# white cardstock Excellent cardstock for print and cut projects. The printer can handle it, and it cuts well.

100# white cardstock Great for cutting popup cards and stamped flowers for coloring and shaping into 3D flowers.

110# White cardstock Great for 3D projects

Ultra Fine Micro Line Pens set of 16  I couldn’t resist purchasing another set of these at this low price.

Derwent Watercolor Pencils set of 24  now at a reduced price. I love these for coloring my 3D flower creations.

Artists Choice Watercolor Pencils set of 72 More colors in this set, but the colors are not as intense as those in the Derwent set.

A4 LED Ultra Thin Light Box Tracer – Not quite as bright as the Cricut Bright Pad, but the price is right and it works well for weeding vinyl.

Tim Holtz Stamp Platform I love this for getting perfectly stamped images.

SanDisk 54Gb Flash Drive This will work to transfer SVG files to the Scan N Cut. I keep a dedicated thumb drive for that purpose.

Ultra Fine Glitter This is what I use with the Scor-tape Sheets to make patterned glitter paper.

Scor-tape Sheets I cut these with my electronic die cutters to use with foil to make lovely foiled projects. No heat necessary for this method. Brayer the dull side down over the cut adhesive.

Modeling Clay, 24 colors plus tools 

Flameless Candles  Great for luminaries and lanterns!

Set of 88 Alcohol Dual Tip Markers with case

Cricut Rotary Blade Kit

Dog Tags for engraving Engrave a blank tag for your pet using your engraving tool with your cutter!

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks

Portable 4T External usb Drive You need a place to store all the files you collect for cutting!  Back everything up before you lose it!!!!!!

Instant Pot Duo 6 qt.  – I love my Instant Pot. I can do a lot of crafting while it does the cooking!

Blendtec Blender – My favorite Smoothie Maker at a great price! Prime Day price updated at checkout. Take a break from your crafting to enjoy a healthy treat!

 

See EVERYTHING available during Black Friday here

 

Learn to Use Your New Crafting Machines

Check back here, at Cuttercrafter.com for tutorials and cutting files to use with your new crafty purchases. You will find some FREE projects to try in our Free Resource Library.

Would you like to see some of my FREE SVG projects? Check them out in my FREE Resource Library.

 

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Best Paper for Cutting

What is the Best Paper for cutting with your electronic cutter? The answer to this question depends on what you want to do with the cut paper. Are you wanting to cut very intricate designs? Are you wanting to make popup cards? Do you want to print on the paper before or after cutting? Are you cutting very thin paper or very thick paper? Do you need to emboss your paper? There are many factors to consider in your paper choices.

Best Paper

Best Paper for Cutting

There is some excellent general information about paper called The Ultimate Guide to Card Stock posted here.  And there is excellent information about paper weights here.

No matter which paper you choose to cut, you must do test cuts. Test cuts help you determine the optimal settings on your machine. See this document for test cut suggestions.

Note: Some affiliate links may be used in this post. I am affiliated only with products that I use. When you purchase products using my affiliate links, it does not cost you any more, but I will share some commission. Thanks!

Machine Choice

Not every machine can cut every different type of paper well. For example the Cricut Maker can cut Tissue Paper,  Construction Paper and Crepe Paper very well using its rotary cutting wheel.

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

Rotary Blade Kit for Cricut Maker

But other electronic machines may require special stiffening to be cut these thin papers. And most machines will not cut these very thin and very fragile papers at all.

Silhouette machines, such as the Silhouette Cameo can cut lightweight cardstock and text weight papers very well. But these machines are not rated to cut heavier cardstock or heavier media.

Is the Best Paper Made of Hardwood or Softwood?

Every paper mill has its own formula for creating paper. All use hardwood and softwood to make their papers. But the proportions of hard to soft woods used in the papermaking process varies. When you find paper that works extremely well for the projects you like to make, take note of the mill that produces that paper. You might want to consider purchasing your favorite papers in quantities. When you get some papers that do not cut well for the projects you like to make, avoid purchasing papers from the mills that produce them.

For example, I purchase inexpensive paper made by Georgia Pacific for test cutting new designs if they are not too intricate. But when making final project cuts and intricate designs, I prefer to use papers by Neenah or Colormates from Worldwin. These papers seem to be crispier, and cut without shredding. Even very intricate designs cut very cleanly on these papers. Crispy papers have a higher hardwood content that make them cut better on electronic cutting machines.

However, stiff and crispy papers may crack under pressure when using Die Cutter/Embossing machines. In this case, it is important to test small samples for embossing, before you purchase in bulk. You may find that paper that cuts best on the electronic cutter, is not the best paper for using in a pressure embossing machine.

The Best Paper for Light Weight Projects

Tissue Paper

When you want to emboss many, many layers of tissue paper, embossing folders used with Die Cutter/Embossing machines work great. However, tissue paper may rip and tear under a cutting blade in a cutting machine. For this reason, a rotary blade, such as that available for use on the Cricut Maker works best. You can cut some amazing flower petals from tissue paper using the Cricut Maker and rotary blade.

Best Paper

Cricut Maker

Use a light tack mat, or the project may tear when you remove it from the mat. Do not attempt to cut any shape smaller than 3/4″ using the rotary blade. Cut larger simple shapes from tissue paper for best results.

If you are needing straight cuts, a hand-held rotary tool may work for cutting multiple layers at a time. Then you can use scissors to make any necessary curved cuts.

Crepe Paper

Crepe paper comes in a wide variety a weights and attributes. When making crepe paper flowers, getting a quality crepe paper that stretches nicely is important. Crepe paper comes in many weights. You may be able to cut heavy crepe paper, ironed between two layers of freezer paper with a regular blade on your electronic cutter. But I have found that if I want to cut crepe paper on a cutter, Cricut Maker using the Rotary blade is the only machine that will do it well without tearing. Again, do not plan to cut any shapes smaller than 3/4″.

Crepe paper rolls for decorating may not be your best choice for cutting. This type of crepe paper is very thin, and stretches very little.

Construction Paper

Construction paper is very inexpensive. But it is also tears very easily. Its fibers are very loose. Cutting blades rip and tear in the cutting process unless using a rotary cutting blade. Use the rotary blade on the Cricut Maker for simple cuts on construction paper. Otherwise, scissors may cut the best. Construction paper is not always the Best Paper option for use with cutters.

Vellum

Translucent vellum used for crafting is generally a thin, but crispy paper that cuts well with a blade on electronic cutters. It comes in a text weight or as cardstock. The text weight paper is very fragile, so should be handled carefully. Translucent vellum cardstock works extremely well with line embossing on electronic cutters. And it cuts very well, too, without using a special backing or freezer paper.

You can create some lovely parchment type crafts using vellum, an embossing tool, piercing tool and cutting blade on your electronic cutter. If your machine does not have piercing and embossing tools available, it is possible to use hand embossing or piercing tools in a pen holder. The tip of a blade can produce a pierced effect if you don’t have a piercing tool.

Pazzles InVue Cutter

Pierced, embossed, and cut Vellum popup butterfly

 Scrapbook Paper

Decorative scrapbook papers are fun to use on cards and scrapbook layouts. Most cutters can cut scrapbook paper without a problem. But some scrapbook papers cut better than others. Some scrapbook papers made of layers may split, bunch or tear when cut. If you have papers that give you problems, avoid tiny cuts. Use them for cutting larger shapes. Cutting small welded text with sharp angles can result in lots of tearing. It is better to use nice crispy paper without a white core for intricate cuts and tiny text. If you find a brand that cuts well, stick with that brand for cutting with your machine.

Text Weight Paper

Paper that feeds into printers is usually text weight. 20# text is very light weight printer paper. 24# paper is better than 20# for double sided printing. 37# text weight paper is very nice for print and cut projects that do not need to be stiff. You can use shimmer papers for making lovely 3D flowers. This paper is described as 18 GSM (32/80lb Text) , The key word is “text” – this is NOT cardstock. It feels like quality letterhead paper. It has a smooth, Satiny Metallic finish.

Text Weight Papers can also be sold in heavier weights. Even up to weights that are nearly equivalent to medium weight cardstock. Be sure to read the weight specifications. Is it Text Weight or cover stock? Even more importantly, try some test cuts. Does it cut well for your purposes? If you need to print on it, will it feed through your printer smoothly? It is recommended for use in printers? Heavy cardstock may not work well for cutting around printed images.

Be sure to use a light tack mat when cutting light weight papers. Light weight papers may not come off of a brand new, very sticky mat. At least you should condition a new mat, and do test cuts on heavier paper on a new mat before using it with lightweight paper.

Best Paper for Cardstock Projects

Cardstock is available in weights from medium weight 65# up to  very heavy weight 110#. 70#, 80#, 90#, 100# and 105# are also common cardstock weights. You may want to have a variety of weights on hand for different projects.

Medium Weight Cardstock

65# cardstock is the most common medium weight cardstock. It can be used for cards, scrapbook photo mats, stamping embellishments, home decor, gifts and other crafting projects. Some medium weight cardstock cuts well, and others do not cut well on electronic cutters. If you have some medium weight cardstock that does not cut well on your electronic cutter, try using it for embossing on cards and embellishments. It may also be used for making simple shapes or photo mats.

It is easy to assume that your cutter is broken when nothing will cut right. However, “mushy” paper is the culprit for bad cuts more often than not for me. Also, be sure to check the cutter maintenance tips to rule out other causes of poor cuts.

Best Paper

Cuts before and after cutter maintenance

Heavy Cardstock

Any cardstock above 80# is considered to be heavy weight. 100# cardstock is great for coloring, molding, and shaping for 3D flowers. You will love 110# cardstock for creating heavy duty boxes and 3D paper projects. 100# cardstock is great for making popup cards. You will like using 80#-90# cardstock for making cards, intricate frames, borders, corners, etc . If you prefer cutting heavy cardstock, stay away from the cutters that are limited to cutting medium weight cardstock.

Some heavy cardstocks have polyester fibers in them, which make them strong. But these polyester fibers make them much more difficult to cut cleanly, especially on intricate designs. The polyester fibers also are very hard on blades, dulling them quickly. These textured papers make very nice cards and photo mats. However, they may not be the Best Paper for cutting with your electronic cutter.

Watercolor Paper

Watercolor paper can have different weights and densities. These papers are great for watercolor projects. Cutting watercolor paper into simple shapes may not be problematic. But it might be best to cut only simple, basic shapes from it. Because watercolor paper is not crispy, it may tend to bunch and shred by the blade. You may be able to cut shapes around your watercolor designs if you are careful.

Matboard

Professional quality photo mats are made from 4-ply matboard . Matboard is very stiff, and very difficult for most electronic craft cutters to handle. Some of the cutters that can cut with up to 1000 grams or more of pressure can cut 2-ply matboard up to 2mm thick. The cutting blade must also be able to handle the thickness of the Matboard. Some cutters, such as Scan N Cut, have the pressure rating for cutting heavier materials. But they are limited in the thickness that they can handle. Scan N Cut 2 is rated to cut media no thicker than 1.5mm. Read more about cutting matboard with the Knife Blade on the Cricut Maker here.  Pazzles Vue can cut 2 ply matboard up to 2mm thick.

Scan N Cut 2 cuts media only up to 1.5mm thick. The Scan N Cut DX to be released in the Fall of 2018 is boasting a 3mm thickness cutting option. Cricut Maker cuts media up to 2.5mm thick, but would require the optional Knife blade to access the pressure needed for cutting thicker media. Pazzles Vue cuts media up to 2mm thick. Some of the KNK machines will cut Matboard, as does the Silver Bullet line of cutters. Be sure to check your cutter specifications before investing in Matboard to cut.

Chipboard

Chipboard comes in many thicknesses and densities. Some chipboard is made of multiple layers. Some is coated on a single side, while others have a coating on both sides. Most cutters can handle cutting cereal boxes, which is flexible chipboard. Some chipboard is not flexible. That type is most difficult to cut. Some chipboard shreds during multiple cutting passes. There is chipboard available that cuts well without shredding. Here is an excellent article about chipboard. Cricut sells 11″x11″ chipboard made specifically for use with the Cricut Maker. Silhouette sells a chipboard colored cardstock, as regular chipboard cannot be cut on Silhouette machines.

I prefer cutting chipboard that will cut in a single pass. This is because the density of chipboard can cause a cutter to skip steps. If this happens, successive passes would not be in exactly the same location as previous passes. This results in shredding of the chipboard and very poor cuts. If multiple passes are necessary, it is best to start with lower blade extension and cutting pressure, then increase these settings for the next passes. This reduces the possibility of missed cutting steps. If you need thicker chipboard pieces, you might want to try cutting several pieces of .022″ chipboard, and gluing them together to make your project. Do not plan to cut intricate designs from chipboard.

Cricut Maker users may cut chipboard up to 2mm thick with the optional knife blade. The interesting thing about using the chipboard setting in Cricut Design Space, is that chipboard and other thicker, denser materials do not use a cutting pressure any more than 750 grams. The secret to success for this machine is the slow cutting, and many, many passes. The blade needs to have sufficient cutting surface to cut completely through the thickness of the chipboard.

Best Paper Brands for Cutting

I have been using electronic cutting machines since 2004. The brand of paper that I have had consistently excellent cutting results with is Worldwin Papers, I have used most of their papers varying from very light weight to very heavy weight, and all of them cut with excellence on my cutters. Their textured 65# Cutmates line is guaranteed to cut well on any electronic cutter. The selection of colors in the smooth 65# Colormates makes it to be much in demand among cutter users. My personal favorite smooth paper by Worldwin is the 90# Colormates Smooth and Silky. Their colormates line of heavy textured cardstock is also wonderful to cut. I love their metallics as well.

If you cannot find the Worldwin papers you need at Amazon, you can purchase your favorites from The Paper Mill Store.

When I need low cost paper options that I can get quickly locally from Michaels, I purchase Recollections cardstock . Their 65# cardstock generally cuts well, as does their very heavy 110# cardstock. 

Paper Brands to Avoid

I avoid papers from Joann. Their Core dinations  brand does not always cut well. I save this paper for purposes other than cutting on my electronic cutters. Paper sold at Walmart is inconsistent for cutting purposes. One color in a package may cut OK, while then next color will not cut well at all. These may work for simple shapes, but I stay away from their papers when cutting intricate projects.

Best Paper Hints and Tips

Humidity

Nice paper for cutting may not cut nicely if it has been exposed to humidity. Pressure and blade settings may change with the environment. What cut well this morning may not cut so well at the same settings in the afternoon when the air conditioning is running. Always do test cuts when environmental changes occur.

Storage

Store your paper in Zip lock bags after you have opened its original packaging. Two-gallon zipper bags fit 12″x 12″ papers well for storage. Storing them this way will prevent the papers from collecting excess moisture that can hinder cutting quality. Moist papers get “Mushy” and may tear and bunch during cutting.

Emboss the Cut

If you have some paper that is not cutting well, try using an embossing tool or scoring tool in the machine over all of the cut lines a couple of times at very high pressure. Then cut as you normally would. The embossing tool compresses the paper along the cutting lines so that you can get much better cuts.

Drying with Heat

Some have mentioned drying paper that has soaked up moisture in the oven. If you attempt this trick, be sure to keep an eye on the paper, so that it does start burning. Using a low temperature in a dehydrator for a longer period of time might be safer. Check on the paper at regular intervals. Some prefer to dry out paper using an iron.

Chipboard

After removing chipboard from its packaging, it gets thicker overnight. New chipboard straight from the packaging requires different settings than would be required if the paper sits out overnight. Cricut recommends letting its chipboard sit out of the package for a day before cutting for best results. Chipboard is very absorbent, and sensitive to environmental conditions.

Be sure to use a high tack mat and possibly tape the edges of chipboard and other heavy media to the mat to keep it from moving around during cutting .

Best Paper Cutting Settings

Because paper is very environmentally sensitive, the same paper may require very different settings. Those who live in very dry climates will need to use less cutting pressure than those who live in humid environments. For this reason, performing your own test cuts is extremely important. Don’t rely on a published list of settings or presets. Sometimes different colors of paper in the same package can require different settings. What cut well yesterday at certain settings may require different settings today. Be sure to do test cuts at the beginning of each cutting session, and any time you make color changes or environment changes.

Best Paper Conclusion

If you are faithful to do test cuts, you will be more successful cutting any papers you have in your collection. Be sure to keep lots of inexpensive paper that cuts well, on hand for doing project test cuts. Save your expensive paper for the final versions. This will save you lots of frustration.

The paper that is best for you depends on what you like to cut most, and what machine you have. Special tools available for use with your cutter can also make a difference in how they cut.

Here is FREE cutting project that you can use to check how well your paper cuts with each of the tree layers. The hearts layer provides some intricate cutting,  while the white layer provides a simple shape to cut. The Brown layer has some intricate inner detail. You can use this project on a card or scrapbook layout.

Best Paper

Best Paper for Cutting

Best Paper

Love Football Border

 

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Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

Pazzles Inspiration Vue Cutter Review

Pazzles Inspiration Vue may be the electronic cutter you need. It ranks among the top electronic cutters. The Vue is a powerful, but simple to use machine. You can cut many different types of materials with it. And with optional accessories, you can also use the Pazzles Inspiration Vue to cut, draw, engrave, emboss, pierce, and distress many media types. The Pazzles Inspiration Vue is the choice of beginner and well as professional crafters. This article reviews the features of this amazing machine to help you decide if this is a good choice for your crafting needs.

Inspiration- Vue Print and Cut

Note: I may have used some affiliate links in this review. I am affiliated only with products that I use. When you purchase products using my affiliate links, it does not cost you any more, and the tiny commission that I get contributes towards the costs for maintaining my blog. Thanks for your support!

What Do You Want to Cut?

Cutting Vinyl with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

The Pazzles Inspiration Vue cuts vinyl of all types, whether the vinyl is repositionable wall vinyl, permanent outdoor vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, vinyl window cling, Stencil Vinyl,  Glitter or Flocked vinyl or other types. It is recommended that you cut your vinyl on either the 12″ mat or the 24″ mat. Reserving a standard cutting blade for cutting vinyl ensures that you will always get smooth cuts with for your vinyl projects.

Regal Split Monogram

Split Regal Monogram on a Ceramic Tile

You can make wonderful gift items such as the customized tile above using your Pazzles Inspiration Vue electronic cutter. The design for the shirt below was a special request from my husband. The Pazzles InVue software that ships with the machine,  allowed me to create the cutting design from an actual photo of my husband fishing.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Glittered Heat Transfer Vinly project

Cutting Heavy Cardstock with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Entry level cutters do not have sufficient cutting pressure to allow users to cut heavy media. The Pazzles Inspiration Vue boasts of up to 1000 grams of down pressure, making it rank among the top home crafting cutters. It can cut media that is up to 2mm thick. So it can cut even tough chipboard. If you love to cut 3D projects from heavier media, you will need a more powerful machine. This machine boasts of three times the cutting pressure of the legacy Cricut machines as well as the Cricut Explore models. And it has about 4 times the cutting pressure of Silhouette and Craft Robo machines. The print and cut embellishments used on this card were all created using the Pazzles Inspiration Vue and its InVue software.

 

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Fall pop-up Card

3D boxes such as the Trailer Gift Box below are much more stable when cut from heavy cardstock.

 

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

3D cutting projects

Here is another project that required heavy cardstock. If you love making sturdy 3D projects, you will be happy if you have a cutter that can handle cutting the required heavy media.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Flower Mailbox

Projects like this Snow Globe Box Card last a lot longer on display when its pieces are cut from heavier cardstock. Pazzles Inspiration Vue cuts these so efficiently! The intricate snowflake detail cut beautifully on this machine.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Snow Globe Box Card

Engraving Metal with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

You can use Pazzles optional Diamond Tip engraving tool to engrave on metal. I recently engraved on a dog tag for our puppy. The tallest letter was .057″ and the smallest letter was  .06″ tall. The entire tag was only 1.5″ wide. I was able to fit four rows of text on the back of the tag with our puppy’s name, address and phone number. Here is the front of the tag. (I blurred the phone number.) You can cut thin aluminum metal with the blade.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Engraving On Metal

 

Cutting and Piercing Delicate Designs in Vellum with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

You can also cut very fine and delicate media such as vellum. I used Pazzles optional Piercing and Embossing tools on vellum to create this popup butterfly anniversary card.

Pazzles InVue Cutter

Pierced, embossed, and cut Vellum popup butterfly

 

Cutting Fabric with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Cutting fabric with this machine is great. I was amazed at how nicely my Vue cut the doily and the flowers out of fabric for this Easter Bonnet. It is good to reserve a blade dedicated to cutting fabric, since paper can dull blades quite quickly.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Fabric Doily Easter Bonnet with Fabric flowers

Cutting Wood with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Yes! This machine cuts thin balsa wood or basswood up to 2mm thick. Here is a Captain’s Wheel design that I cut. Covering the back of the piece of wood with blue painter’s tape before cutting keeps the thin wood from splitting during the cut and while lifting from a very sticky mat.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Captain’s Wheel cut from thin wood, with pen writing.

Making 3D Flowers with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

If you love making 3D paper flowers as I do, you will be happy to know that this machine cuts lots of different types of paper petals for making beautiful flowers. This bouquet includes some vellum flowers, some made from printed scrapbook paper,  some from medium weight cardstock, and some from heavy cardstock.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Musical Paper Flowers

Cutting Rubber Stamps

You can create your own custom rubber stamp designs using the Pazzles InVue software that ships with the Pazzles inspiration Vue. Then you can cut the rubber using the Pazzles Inspiration Vue. I had an idea for a musical stamp, so I created the design, and let my Pazzles Inspiration Vue  machine cut it out for me.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Homemade rubber stamp design.

Cutting Clay, Fondant, Gum Paste and Frosting Papers using the Pazzles Inspiration Vue

You can use Pazzles optional Cake Accessories Kit for cutting clay, fondant, gum paste, and frosting papers. Here is a project I made using thinly rolled Sculpey clay.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Clay Cornucopia Fall Decor

Cutting Scrapbook Page Overlays

Scrapbook pages are fun to make using the Pazzles InVue software and cutting with Pazzles Inspiration Vue. This machine will cut a full 12″ wide border or scrapbook page. It is not limited to an 11.5″ cutting width as some cutters are. Here is a scrapbook calendar page that I created. Notice the detail of the embellishments.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

December Calendar page with fancy embellishments and 3D snowflake flower.

Rhinestone Templates

Designing templates for use with rhinestone designs can be done using the Pazzles InVue software that ships with the Pazzles Inspiration Vue cutter. You can turn any design or test into a rhinestone template design. Then you can cut your template out of rubber designed for cutting rhinestone templates using your Vue. Here is my first rhinestone project.

Cutting Around Printed Images

Before I received my Pazzles Inspiration Vue, I was never happy with the cutting around printed images with my other machines. You will love how the Pazzles Inspiration Vue automatically finds the registration marks, and cuts perfectly around printed images that are up to 8.5″ wide. This project would have been extremely difficult to cut and assemble if I had cut each tiny element separately. Instead, I chose a number of appropriate designs from the generous Image library available in the Pazzles Craft Room, and printed the shapes. Then I had my Vue cut around the printed images. It did a great job!

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Teacher’s Cascade Card with print and cut Embellishments

You can see more of my Pazzles creations here .

What is your Cutting Skill Level?

If you are a novice cutter user, you will appreciate how easy the Pazzles Inspiration Vue cutter is to learn to use. With the great support offered by Pazzles to its customers through the Pazzles Craft Room, you can learn to start using your Vue to make amazing projects right away. The Pazzles Craft Room has hundreds of projects like the above, ready for you to download, cut, and assemble. The downloaded projects are yours to keep, even after your membership expires. And their Angel policy allows you to use the designs commercially. You can get almost all of the above projects for free as a member of the Pazzles Craft Room.

Ease of Use

The click style blade holder in the Pazzles Inspiration Vue makes setting blade depths easy. The software tells you where to set the blade for the media type that you have selected to cut. The blade holder and blade are the same ones that the Deep Cut blade holder and blades that legacy Cricut machines used. The blades are easy to insert and remove.

The machine automatically loads your mat. The optical reader sets the starting point at the same place every time. The optical reader also makes cutting around printed images so much easier!

More Advanced Users

You will love the flexibility you have in using the Pazzles InVue software. It has all of the basic functions with which you are familiar from other cutting software. But it also has lots of advanced design and editing functions. Some of these advanced features are not available even in the most expensive professional design software programs. Pazzles developed their InVue software with all the advanced design features that its staff and professional users were familiar with, and used to using.

The amazing thing about this software is that it is provided for FREE with the purchase the the Pazzles Inspiration Vue. And it is available for a VERY low price for those who wish to purchase it separately and use as third party software with other cutters. This software, combined with the advanced cutting technology in the machines, means that you most likely will not outgrow its functioning for your crafting purposes.

What is your Price Point?

Some people like to start their cutting adventure with a very inexpensive machine. Then they start saving their money, and plan to purchase a better machine when they outgrow the features of that machine. Others prefer to get the best machine they can get, so that they won’t be outgrowing its features any time soon. Pazzles Inspiration Vue is one of those machines that meets your growing cutting needs, without a need to upgrade to bigger and better machines later on.

Purchase options

There are several shopping options, making your purchase of the Pazzles Inspiration Vue cutter affordable. You can check out those options here.  If you wish to  purchase the machine outright, you will get the best price by first joining the Pazzles Craft Room for one month. While a member, you will receive a 15% discount on all Pazzles purchases. So you can get a 15% discount on your machine, and all the optional accessories you need. I save on shipping by purchasing all that I think I might need for a year. I  like to keep three good mats and three extra blades on hand at all times.

With your outright purchase, you will receive several months of free membership in the Pazzles Craft Room. Be sure to take advantage of that time to view all of the training videos in the video library. These will help you get a great start in using your new machine. Also, be sure to  download all of the cutting files and projects that you can get while you are a member. You can download up to 400 files per month, if you are diligent to download 40 files every 70 hours. These are yours to keep. While you are a Pazzles Craft Room Member, all downloads are FREE!

If you find that you love all the new projects that are regularly posted, you may decide that you want to maintain your Pazzles Craft Room membership. I really like all of the wonderful projects that they offer so much  that I decided to keep my membership going. The best price for me turned out to be purchasing a machine for $99 with a two year commitment to the Pazzles Craft Room. Another similar option is to purchase a machine for $199 with a one year commitment to the Pazzles Craft Room.

System Requirements

Pazzles Inspiration Vue works on both Windows 7, 8, and 10, and on Mac: OS X 10.9.X & 10.10.X.. It needs a USB2 connection directly to your computer. The InVue software also works on these machines. You will need software to cut to the Vue. You can use Pazzles InVue software or you may use Sure Cuts A Lot.  If you have Pazzles Inspiration Studio Pro 1014, you can use it to cut to the Vue. However, that software is no longer available for sale.

You do Not need high speed internet in order to use your Pazzles Inspiration Vue. Connect to the Internet to update your firmware and software one time after receiving your Vue. You can disconnect your Vue from your computer after making a cut. Then you can repeat that exact same cut with the same settings as many times as you like by pressing the Repeat button on the machine. When you need to make a lot of the same project, this is a real handy feature to have.

Pazzles Inspiration Vue Specifications

This cutter ships with the machine, USB cable, power cord, and converter box, blade, blade holder, and a print and cut mat. The machine will cut up to 1000 grams of pressure using settings of 1-50. You have 5 speeds from which to choose. The click blade holder has 11 different blade depth settings. Maximum cutting width is 12″. Cutting length is 12″ with the standard mat, and 24″ with the 24″ mat. The machine weighs 11.2 pounds, is 22″ wide x 6.5″ tall x 11″ deep. Its roller bar has two permanent pressure rollers, and four more rollers that are removable when cutting thicker media.

There is an accessory tray on top of the machine as well as three slots for additional tools. A support tray for the mat is built in to the front of the machine. You slide it out when using the machine. Then push it in when done.

Pazzles InVue Software Overvue

Cutter Software

Pazzles InVue Software

The InVue software  ships without additional cost to you with your purchase of the machine. It has many outstanding features. For that reason, we will touch only on the highlights. The software has special features not only for cutting, but also for drawing, piercing, embossing, engraving, distressing,  and converting to rhinestone designs. My favorite tools are the replace with a line, and replace with an arc.

The software will import and export SVG files. It will also import and export WPC  files. The image gallery connects to your online account with Pazzles. This allows you to download all new files easily. The software automatically stores these downloaded files in the correct topical file folders on your computer. Downloading files from the online library requires an Internet connection. But once they are saved to your computer, no internet connection is necessary for using them.

Software Pros

There are a variety of welding options in the software. One that is unusual to see is the WYSIWYG weld function. This allows you to arrange design pieces as you wish to see them. Then you use WYSIWYG Weld to get rid of all overlapping lines instantly. It has a nice inline/outline feature. It also has a nice Duplicate feature that lets you fill your page with the selected images.

The software will also convert images to cutting lines. There is a nice Fit text to path feature, which allows you to select any path for the text to follow. I love the Vertical/Horizontal tool, and the corner rounder features as well.

Text

The software will access any fonts installed in your computer’s system fonts folder. It will also access single stroke fonts that you have installed. The software has a very nice text preview window. This allows you to type in text and preview how it looks with any of your installed fonts. I love being able to see the text in  different fonts in a large size before I select  one. Once you have added your text to the layout, you have many options for spacing and kerning. Thickening fonts is easy in this software. Creating mats for  text is also easy. So you can make some lovely word art quickly and easily with this software.

Software Cons

Features that I miss in the Pazzles InVue software are freehand draw, fit object to path,  and  blackout shape. I miss the scissors cuts we had in Inspiration Studio Pro 2010, and the Create a Font option. This software is missing the word envelopes, simplify paths, and smooth small angle tools.

I go back to Make The Cut to use its better tracing options, its Conical Warp, and Texture Snapshot features. The MTC measuring tool and Lattice functions are some tools that I miss as well. Thin paths, Fuse and Weld and the Tiler functions are also features that I still go back to Make The Cut to use.

I go to Sure Cuts A Lot to make instant Knockout Text. We can do this using InVue software, but it takes a few more steps. Viewing and using alternate glyphs in  the private use area of fonts is another feature of Sure Cuts A Lot that I use on occasion. I go to CorelDraw to use the envelope for fitting text to a shape and for creating True Type fonts. CorelDraw and Illustrator have useful batch conversion utilities that come in handy from time to time. Sure Cuts A Lot does a batch convert for Brother FCM files. Pazzles InVue software does not have any batch conversion features.

The nice thing about the Pazzles InVue software is that even if you go to other software to use certain features, you simply export the files as SVG, import into InVue, and you are ready to cut. You get the best of all of the software choices this way.

Conclusion

Now you have an idea of some of the great things that the Pazzles Inspiration Vue can do for you. You need to figure out what your specific needs are. I have 14 different cutters in my collection. Each one has its own special purpose. I select the one that will work the best for the project on which I am working . You need to determine if the Pazzles Inspiration Vue or another machine meets those needs better. Study your options. What do you like to do the most? Get the best machine that you are able to afford that will work the best for your purposes. So the most important thing is for you to use what you have until you can get something better. You won’t really know exactly what you need until you start using what you have!

Free Thankful For You Tag SVG Cutting File

I have created a new cutting file for you using my Pazzles InVue Software, and I cut it on my Pazzles Inspiration Vue cutter. But you can use the FREE SVG cutting file with your own software and cutter. You can get the FREE Thankful For You  Tag  SVG cutting file in my FREE Resource Library. See the link at the bottom of the page.

 

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Thankful For You Tag

 

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Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

Do you Need the New Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set?

Do you Need the New Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set? The new scoring wheels for the Cricut Maker machine have just been posted for sale! You can get yours here. But wait! Do you really need this tool? Read on to determine the answer to this question for YOU.

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Wheel

The new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set is NOT for everyone! The scoring wheels will work only for those who have the Cricut Maker machine. If you think you need to have a tool like this, then you will need to consider purchasing a Cricut Maker if you don’t already have one. There are no other machines that have a tool set like this!

Some affiliate links may be used in this post. I am affiliated only with products that I use. When you purchase products using my affiliate links, it does not cost you any more, but I will share some commission.

What Scoring Choices do Cutter Users Have?

When you need to create score lines for an SVG cutting  project, you have several choices. Depending on the cutter you are using, and the availability of tools for use with it, you may choose to:

Cut dashed lines where you want the folds to be,
Use a scoring tool to indicate the locations of the folds,
Score with an embossing tool,
Engrave score lines with an engraving tool,
Use the blade set to a shallow setting with low cutting pressure,
Create score lines manually after the project is cut, or
Create the score lines with the new Scoring Wheel on the Cricut Maker.

Are you using one or more of the above techniques? Are they working well for you? If not, then you may want to consider the new option of Creating Score lines with the new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set with the Cricut Maker.

Cutting Dashed Lines

Cutting dashed lines where you want the folds to be is a simple solution for score lines that won’t get a lot of use. For example, a single score line for a card folded in half can be cut right along with the other cut lines if it is set to cut dashed lines. Using this option, only the cutting blade needs to be used for cutting the project and creating the score lines in a single pass. However, if you are making a 3D project, box, or popup card, dashed lines in your project may weaken it. And the project could tear very easily. Dashed score lines also do not look nearly as nice as smooth, uncut score lines.

Using a Scoring Tool

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Stylus

Ideally, a dedicated scoring tool applies pressure on the material to compress the fibers along the line where a fold is needed. However, to do this well, the machine has to use a very large amount of pressure to create a nicely scored line. Most entry-level cutters do not boast enough down-pressure to produce a nicely scored line. These tools can create a visual line to show you where the score lines need to be. But you will most likely need to complete the fold by hand, or by manually scoring along the guide lines that your scoring tool made.

Scoring with a Cricut Machine

The Cricut Scoring Stylus creates a lightly scored line on Explore or Maker models. (It will not fit in the Legacy machines.) The Explore machines do not have enough pressure to create much of an impression for score lines. Even the Maker, with its vast amount of pressure, cannot access all of its pressure for use with the Scoring Stylus. The  extra pressure is available only with the use of the special tools holder. Cricut has now provided the Scoring Wheel Combo Set to make it possible for you to create excellent score lines in two different styles. These wheels can provide up to 10 times the amount of pressure for creating lovely scored effects, without cutting or tearing your project. You can choose between single score lines or double score lines.

Embossing Score Lines

Some cutter companies offer an optional embossing tool. There are also third parties who sell special embossing tools to fit the pen tool holders on different machines. If the embossing tool is used in conjunction with with an embossing mat with a soft surface, the embossing tool can create a reasonably nice score line. The downside to this option is that you need to emboss and cut on the same mat. Cutting on the embossing mat will ultimately reduce the effectiveness of the soft embossing surface. To emboss well, a machine needs to use very high pressure.

Engraving Score Lines

An engraving tool etches a very fine line onto the media. It does not require a lot of pressure, like an Embossing tool or Scoring Stylus. The effectiveness of engraving score lines varies, depending on the media being engraved, and the design of the engraving tool. I can get a very nicely engraved score line using Pazzles Engraving tool on heavy cardstock. The engraved line works much better than any of the other score line options on the Pazzles Cutters. However, I have tried using engraving  tools with other cutters that tear heavy cardstock. I would choose different scoring options with those machines.

Using a Regular Blade set to a Low Pressure and Low Blade Extension for Scoring

Using the blade with low pressure is a viable option for creating effective score lines. This option requires that you cut and score in separate passes, changing the settings between passes. When using this option with heavy media, it is best to cut your project first. Then reset pressure and blade, and cut the score lines. The blade does not cut all the way through the material, and the resulting lines are clean and very easy to fold. The folds remain strong for 3D projects and popup cards. To use this option on Cricut Explore or Maker models, you do not have control over the blade extension. You would need to select a cut  setting for lightweight paper to get a score line on heavy paper. However, Cricut Design Space does not allow users to change settings between cutting passes, and perfectly lining up two cutting passes with different settings is not practical.

Creating Score Lines Manually

You will achieve excellent score lines using a hand scoring tool after you have cutting out your project. I sometimes use the We R Memory Keepers Trim and Scoreboard or the Scor-Pal Measuring and Scoring Board. But truth be known, I rarely get them out. When I am cutting, I don’t want to do yet another step with another device. Sometimes it is obvious where the score lines should go. But sometimes, line placement is not so obvious, and score lines may not all be straight. So creating score lines manually is not always practical.

Create the Score Lines with the New Scoring Wheel on the Cricut Maker

If you are using the Cricut Maker for cutting your projects that need score lines, I think you need the new Scoring Wheel Combo Set! If you have multiple machines, the Cricut Maker being one of them, you may even choose to use this machine over the others because of this great new tool. This combo pack includes two professional-quality scoring wheels that give you extra-deep score lines and a flawless finish on everyday and specialty material projects. Your boxes will fold better and look nicer. Your popup cards will fold much more easily after being adequately scored.

Test Your Scoring Options with A FREE SVG Cutting File

Our FREE Resource Library contains a number of FREE SVG cutting files. Download any or all of them, and try some of the scoring techniques discussed here. A very simple project to try is the free 3D DIY Doily Treat Basket. Or try the Flip Fold Card. If you really wish to evaluate the effectiveness of your scoring method, try assembling a complex popup card like the Happy  Birthday Popup Card. Use what you have at your disposal. Evaluate the results. The types of projects you do, and the media you use will determine which scoring methods will work best for you.

So what is your conclusion? Do YOU need the new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set?

Love,

Julie

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

 

 

 

 

 

Review of Gemini Die Cutter/Embosser

This review of the Gemini Die Cutter/Embosser covers tips  for cutting thin dies made by various companies. The Gemini is a must-have electronic machine for cutting very intricate dies in a single pass! You can get this amazing machine from Amazon for a great price. This is the full size version. There is also a Gemini Jr available for those who need a smaller, more portable size. But I prefer the larger size of the Gemini, as it can cut a lot of dies in a single pass, up to 9″ wide and 12.5″ long!

Gemini

Boxed Gemini

Some affiliate links may be used in this post. I am affiliated only with products that I use. When you purchase products using my affiliate links, it does not cost you any more, but I will share some commission.

Unboxing the Gemini

Right out of the box, this machine is ready to go. It needs  a space of 14″ wide, 8″ deep and 6.5″ tall for storage. When in use, it needs some room in front and in back of the machine for the cutting plates to move in and out. So plan on a stable working surface area of 14″ wide by 34″ deep. The machine itself weighs 14.6 pounds. You should be able to move it easily for storage unless that weight is too much for you. I like the hand grips on the sides of the machine that make it easy to lift.

In the box you will find the Gemini Die Cutter & Embosser, an assortment of plates, some metal dies, an embossing folder, User Guide, and power cord.

Gemini

Gemini Review and Tips

Gemini Plates

The Gemini ships with a nice assortment of plates. These plates all measure 9″ wide by 12.5″ long. The opening for the sandwiched plates measures just under 5/8″ (19/32″) high by 9″ wide. Included are two clear cutting plates. One of these goes on the bottom of the sandwich, and one goes on the top. Also included are a metal cutting plate, a magnetic shim, a plastic shim, and a rubber embossing mat. Suggestions for which plates and shims to use are included in the User Guide.

Gemini User Guide

The User Guide is a nicely illustrated, six page set of instructions. Instructions in French, Spanish, German, and Dutch are also included. Operating the Gemini is simple. Use a single power button on the back of the machine, and three buttons on top of the machine. The User Guide provides simple explanations of the functions of these buttons. Operation of the machine is automatic. As you insert the sandwich, the machine starts automatically, grabbing the sandwich,  pulling it through, and stopping when the cutting is complete.

In addition to the Operation instructions, there are sections covering several types of metal dies and embossing folders, including the following:

Cutting Thin Metal Dies
Cutting Very Intricate Dies
Deep Multi Media Dies
Embossing with Crafter’s Companion Dies
Embossing with 2D Folders
3D Embossing Folders
Cut & Emboss Folders

Pressure

The Gemini is a very powerful cutting machine which has much more pressure than its competitors. It was designed to exert enough pressure necessary for cutting very intricate dies that other die cutting machines do not handle well. Since not all thin dies are made with equal thickness, the pressure may need to be adjusted. The Gemini pressure can be increased or decreased using different combinations of plates and shims.

Buttons on the Machine

Gemini

Gemini Buttons

The button on the left is the power button. The center button is a Pause/Resume button. Use this button to stop the forward motion of the platforms. Press this button again to resume feeding the sandwich into the machine. The button on the right reverses the platforms out of the machine. The machine will automatically stop if the stack of platforms is too thick. After a few seconds, it will automatically back the stack out. If you have paused using the center button, you can use the reverse function to back the platforms out of the machine

Getting Started with Cutting Dies

The Gemini is shipped with a number of dies. The particular dies included may be different, depending on where the machine was purchased. HSN markets machines with a unique combination of dies, not available elsewhere. Machines purchased elsewhere will include a different variety of dies and embossing folders. It is good to do some practice cuts with the dies that came with your machine. Start with the sandwich suggestions in the User Guide for the type of dies you are using. Please note that dies with intricate detail require a different sandwich than those that are simple shapes.

Tip: Plan an uninterrupted time to become familiar with how the Gemini handles each of the different types of dies in your collection. Take notes! It will help to put a sticky note on your machine with a description of the sandwich that works for each of your most used die types.

Cutting Very Intricate Dies

There is a recommended Sandwich for use with very Intricate dies in the User Guide. Please be aware that as your clear cutting plate is used, it will warp. The sandwich may change if you are using a warped clear plate. The clear cutting plates must be positioned on top and bottom of the sandwich. The inner stack may differ, depending on what you are cutting. When using a die with very intricate inner detail, be sure to use the metal plate under the paper and  die, with the cutting edges of the die facing toward the metal plate. It helps hold the die in place if you include the magnetic shim under the metal plate.

Tips:

Although different from the suggested sandwich in the User Guide, it is also helpful to use the magnetic shim under the metal plate, smooth side towards the metal plate. The metal plate should snap to the magnetic plate, and the metal die(s) should be held in their positions on the metal plate.

Place your paper or other medium on top of the metal plate. Place the die, cutting side down toward the metal plate. Then place the cutting plate over that. On the bottom of the stack, you will need another clear cutting plate. This sandwich may or may not require the addition of the plastic shim. Try it without the plastic shim first. If the cut was not quite clean, add the plastic shim under the magnetic shim. If the addition of the plastic shim makes the sandwich too thick to pass through the machine, use a couple of sheets of 110# card stock folded in half, instead. You may also need to send an intricate die through the machine two or three times in order to cut through all of the tiny detail.

Cutting with Thin Metal Dies

Your machine came with some thin metal dies that do not include intricate detail. It is important that you do NOT use the metal plate with these open shaped dies. The use of the metal plate with these may cause them to warp.

Tips:

If you are using a thin metal die to cut around a stamped image, it is OK to flip the recommended sandwich so that the die blades are face down over the stamped image. This allows you to carefully line up the die over the edges of the stamped design. You may need to use some tape to hold the die in place. Under the stamped image, place the cutting plate. Add the plastic shim over the top of the die, and a cutting plate on top of the sandwich. If this is not thick enough, you can add the magnetic shim or 110# cardstock shims between the plastic shim and cutting plate. I do not like to place the magnetic shim directly on the die, as the die may put unwanted cuts or indentations in the magnetic shim.

Alternative for Cutting around Stamped Images

If you do not want to use tape to hold down your die, there is an alternative to try. From bottom to top, make a sandwich as follows:

Clear  plate on bottom,
3 or 4 pieces of 110# cardstock next,
followed by the Cuttlebug Magnetic Cutting Plate,
paper with a stamped image facing up
Die with cutting blade down,
Clear Cutting plate on top.

Magnetic Cutting Plates

The magnetic shim that ships with the Gemini is not suitable as a cutting surface. However, the Cuttlebug Magnetic Cutting Plates are thicker, and  designed to be cutting plates. These are not destroyed when a die is cut with its blade down on them. They are not stiff,  so they can be bent back into shape if the high pressure of the Gemini causes a bit of a curve. This alternative will work, and eliminate the need for taping down stamped paper or non-intricate dies. I do not recommend using this  alternative with very intricate dies.

Deep Multi Media Dies

The dies made by some companies come with deeper cutting edges than the traditional thin metal dies. The standard sandwiches may be too thick to fit through the Gemini with these dies. Do not use the metal plate if the die is not intricate. However, if the die is intricate, follow the sandwich suggestions for cutting very intricate dies. You will not likely be able to use the plastic shim, as it may make the sandwich too thick. I use about 4 layers of 110# cardstock in place of the plastic shim for these deeper multi media dies. The thickness of the media you are cutting will determine how many shims you need to use.

Tip: After sending your deep intricate dies through 2 or three times, and you still have some areas of a die that did not cut through, use a scrap of paper over that particular uncut area. Send it through the machine again.

Consumables

When using any die cutting machine, you will find that you will need to replace the cutting plates from time to time. The cutting plates warp. The dies leave a mark on the cutting plate with each pass, and the plates become very scarred with much use. Because the Gemini exerts much more pressure and force against its plates, warped plates will need to be replaced more frequently than plates on other machines. To reduce warping of all plates and shims, it is recommended that you rotate or flip  them after each use. This allows each of the four corners to be exposed to like amounts of pressure. Warped plates may still work for some cuts, but severely warped plates may not feed through the machine. Portions of intricate dies may not cut well if the plates are warped.

Purchase Extra sets of Cutting Plates

You are going to need extra cutting plates. This may happen sooner, rather than later. Purchase a number of cutting plates before you need them. You don’t want to be working on a special project, and get stuck because your cutting plates are too warped to be used. Some people have posted ways to remove some of the warping on plates. These techniques may work. But you will eventually need to replace your warped plates. Having extras on hand will save you frustration.

Tip: I try to keep three good sets of plates on hand at all times. When one gets damaged, I order a replacement while I still have a couple of good ones. Since working with my Gemini, I realized after only a couple of weeks of use, that I needed to order more. I ordered 4 extra cutting plates for both the Gemini and Gemini Jr. I know I will be needing them.

Optional Smaller Plates

Many people prefer to use the smaller plates and shims for the Gemini Jr. with their full size Gemini machine. There are some advantages for using these plates. First, the Jr. plates take only 8 seconds rather the 13 seconds to pass completely through the Gemini. Secondly, the smaller plates tend to warp less than the larger Gemini plates. Thirdly, these smaller plates serve as backups when your other plates need to be replaced. If using the Gemini Jr plates, you need to place them into the Gemini along the longer edge. The Gemini will not grab the shorter edge of these plates. If you do not need the larger cutting area of the Gemini plates, the Gemini Jr. plates are excellent options.

Tip: Using smaller plates means that you need less table surface space of only 26″ deep.

Alternative Shim Solutions

Keep in mind that you can use chipboard, paper, and card  stock as shims. If what you are using is not working, you can always use a substitute combination of plates and/or shims. Write down your special combination so that you won’t have to figure it out again. Also, if you are using alternative shims, you still need to use the clear cutting plates on the top and bottom of your sandwich.

Tip: I keep a sticky note on my machine where I write down my favorite sandwich stacks for my favorite die types.

Compatibility

The Gemini is the best die cutting machine I have tried for use with very intricate  thin metal dies. Getting excellent cutting results with this type of die in other machines requires more muscle strength than I have for cranking  the very tight stack through them. Since the Gemini is electronic, I don’t have to worry about cranking tight sandwiches. Gemini also boasts more cutting pressure to handle those dies more efficiently. Therefore, I reserve intricate thin metal dies for use with my Gemini.

No Steel Rule Dies

You cannot use steel rule dies with the Gemini. The opening is not high enough for dies such as theregular  Sizzix, Accucut, Big Shot,  or Go dies to fit. The Gemini opening measures only 14 mm. The opening is also not high enough for use with the flower shaping molds by Heartfelt Creations. Also, any die that is wider than 9 inches will not fit in the Gemini. You will need to use your other machines for these dies and flower shaping molds.

Third Party Cutting Plates

Tip: I do not recommend using most cutting plates for your other die cutting machines with the Gemini. I may try testing some if the need arises, and report on the results. They were not made for the extra cutting pressure exerted by the Gemini, so they might warp. This would make them unusable in your other machines. I reserve my other cutting plates for my other machines, so that they will work when I need them for projects that I cannot do with my Gemini. The one exception right now, is the Cuttlebug Magnetic cutting plates. I will use those with non-intricate dies to eliminate the need for taping dies or paper for precision cuts.

Intricate Dies from other Companies

Intricate dies that I have used successfully from other companies with the Gemini are:

Tattered Lace,
Anna Griffin,
Heartfelt Creations,
Cuttlebug,
Ellentina,
Spellbinders,
Crafters Companion
Die’Sire
Tim Holtz Sizzix thin metal dies

Additional Supplies

You will need the Spellbinders Tool in One or a similar brush with your intricate dies. The roller brush tip helps remove the cut materials from the dies. Place the cut pieces with the die on a foam pad, and brush the back side of the die. Use the pointed tip of this tool to poke through the holes on the back side of the die to release the cut pieces from the die. You can purchase additional accessories for this tool such as the embossing tips and brayer tip, if you do not already have those tools.

The other very necessary tool when cutting intricate dies is a trash can. You can avoid a lot of vacuuming by removing your intricate dies from the cut projects over a trash can.

Tip: Tap the die gently against the edge of your desk or table to loosen tiny pieces trapped in the die. Do this over the trash can!

Pros

Gemini cuts with greater pressure than any other die cutting machine.

Fewer passes are needed with this machine, as compared with thin dies used on other machines.

The machine is simple to use, as it is motor driven. This is great for those with limited mobility in hands, arms, or shoulders.

The maximum die width for use in the Gemini is 9″.

The 12.5″ cutter plate length allows you to cut many dies at the same time.

Gemini can use thin metal dies and embossing folders from many different companies.

You can use dies to cut around your stamped images by reversing the recommended plate order.

The Gemini automatically rejects a stack of plates that is too thick to cut.

Cons

Cutting plates do not last long. So purchase extras! If you place dies, blade side towards the metal cutting plate, you will need extras of those as well.

Gemini is NOT compatible with plastic or wooden steel rule dies. They are too thick to pass through this machine.

Gemini cannot be used with Flower shaping molds. The molds are too thick to feed into the machine.

Be careful with the way you stack the plates and shims, as it is easy to ruin them. Cutting blades with material to be cut, must have a clear or metal cutting plate next in the stack!

 

Love,
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

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>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below. If you already have your password, enter the resource library here. Forgot your password? I put the password at the bottom of nearly all of my emails. But if you can’t find one of my emails to you, you can either fill out the form above again or email me at hello@cuttercrafter.com Password Tip: I recommend you copy and paste the password in to avoid any accidental mistakes. If you ever forget your password, please email hello@cuttercrafter.com Not working? If you enter the password and the same page refreshes, without any contents, that means you put in the wrong password. Double-check your email, copy the password, and paste it in to the link above. Still not working? I promise the password works—I haven’t changed it since I opened the library.   Try the copy/paste method again and make sure the URL you are going to has https at the start of it (that’s a secure page and it makes a difference). If that still isn’t working, try a different web browser.
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