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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

 

>> 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.

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

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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Make an Oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card

Make an oval accordion card.

 

You can make this oval accordion card using the FREE SVG cutting files posted in our Free Resource Library. Make it using as many or as few panels as you like. There are several layers which you can use for the center of each panel, or you can use the base oval for trimming a photo to fit. Add photos and/or sentiments, or  journaling  to the front and back side of each oval as you prefer. The card’s height is 6″, but you may adjust the size according to your needs. You may even add lots of panels to create a mini album. The card folds flat for mailing, with a complete size of 4.5″ x 6″ . It stands alone for display.

Supplies Needed to Make the Oval Accordion Card

Please 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!

Digital Paper from Pazzles.
Medium  Weight white Cardstock for printing digital papers
100#110# white cardstock for card base pieces
Colored Cardstock for oval layers
Electronic Cutter (I used Pazzles Vue)
SVG Cutting File from our Free Resource Library
Pop Dots if desired for layers
Art Glitter Glue Dries Clear Adhesive

Software Requirements

The SVG files are suitable for use with Make The Cut, Sure Cuts A Lot, Pazzles InVue software, Cricut Design Space, Brother Canvas Workspace,  Scan N Cut,  Inkscape,  Silhouette Studio DE, Illustrator, CorelDraw, and any other software that will import SVG files. Also included is a PDF file containing assembly instructions.

Paper Choices

Decide how many panels you want for your card. Then select papers for any layers that you wish to use. Print any digital paper you plan to use for the rectangular frame on each panel. You can use printed papers, or solid. If you are using photos,  trim them to the size of the largest oval in the file, or to any size that you prefer. There are several layers to choose from. You can use some of the panels for titles, sentiments or journaling. Select heavy cardstock for the base panels, as they will stand alone better, and be more sturdy for displaying. Use lighter weight cardstock for the oval layers. You do not want these to be too heavy to put unnecessary weight on the upper and lower hinges on the ovals. You may use pop dots to give more dimension to any of the layers.

Cutting Instructions

The cutting files include a single panel for the left side of the base card. The left and center panels are the same. Make multiples of the center shapes for as many extra panels that you need. The panel for the end of the right side of the card is different from the others, as it has no folding tab for the right side of the card. You need only one of these panels. This panel is rotated in the cutting file so that it will fit  better on the cardstock for cutting. You will need an extra printed layer for the front of the card, if you plan to close it flat. Also consider cutting extra oval layers if you plan to use the back sides of the ovals.

Score Lines

The score lines for the side tabs are better created as shallow solid lines, as opposed to cut dashed lines. You can use a scoring tool, embossing tool, engraving tool, or the blade set to a low extension, and cut at a low cutting pressure. You do not want the blade to cut through, but rather to just scratch the surface so that the tabs fold more readily.

Oval Accordion Card

Basic panels for oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card Assembly

It is easiest to decorate the base card pieces before folding. Use glue around the edges of the back side of each layer. Next glue the layers onto the base card. Make sure the rectanglular layer does not overlap the score lines.

Oval Accordion Card

Decorated Panels

After you have decorated the panels, fold the flaps. The panel on the left has the flap folded up with a valley fold. The center panel has the flap folded back with a mountain fold. If you have more panels, the folds will alternate. The panel on the right does not have a flap. Next glue the left edge of the center panel over the flap of the panel to its left. If you have additional panels, repeat this process. Glue the final panel over the flap of the panel to its left.

Oval Accordion Card

Panels Glued Together

Folding the Card

Use a bone folder to crease the panels in the direction of their folds. Between the first two panels there is a valley fold. Between the last two panels there is a mountain fold. Now, place glue on the tiny square tabs between the ovals and the outer frame. The oval on the left comes over the valley fold to meet the the oval to its right. Glue the tab to the back of the neighboring oval, and fold the tab with a mountain fold. The tab on the center oval goes behind the mountain fold of the base card to connect to the back side of the oval to its right. Make a valley fold on this tab. The ovals should end up touching each other. Hold the tabs in place until the glue dries.

Oval Accordion Card

Glue oval tab to neighboring oval.

Fold the ovals in the opposite direction of the folds in the base card. Then burnish creases.

Oval Accordion Card

Connecting Oval Tabs

Fold the card flat. The tabs at the top and bottom of each panel should fold naturally as you help the base card and ovals fold correctly.

Oval Accordion Card

Card Folded Flat

Burnish the folds so that they are creased well. Now you may decorate your card with additional embellishments if you would like to do so. I might add a 3D flower from my collection, depending on who I plan to give it to.

 

Oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card completed

Love,
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

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You can make a Lovely Floral Gift Box

Would you like to make a lovely Floral Gift Box for someone special in your life? That someone is sure to be wowed by a lovely handmade creation such as this. After making this floral gift box, topped with this special heart flower, I filled it with chocolate bon-bon candies, and gave it to my Step-Mother as a birthday-Valentine’s gift. She absolutely loved not only the chocolates, but she also appreciated the handmade heart flower that I used instead of a bow to decorate the top of the box, as well as the lovely box that she can now use to hold jewelry or other small household items.

Two part gift box with decorative 3D Heart Flower ornament

Two part gift box with decorative 3D Heart Flower ornament

The floral gift box has a magnetic closure to  keep it closed. You might want to decorate your floral gift box with more masculine papers for male recipients. The flower may be used to decorate other DIY projects such as cards, frames,  scrapbooks and more. You could even make an entire bouquet of these flowers and place in a vase for some lovely home decor.

You can make this box out of ordinary cardstock, which cuts nicely on electronic cutters such as Pazzles Vue or Inspiration, Cricut, Silhouette Cameo, Scan N Cut, KNK Zing, Zing Orbit, or Force, Silver Bullet, or other cutters that have software that can use SVG, AI, or WPC file formats. The heart flower ornament can be cut out of cardstock or from lighter weight paper. I used some lovely iridescent text weight paper for mine.

Illustrated, printable, step-by-step assembly instructions accompany the cutting file, to make the assembly process quick and easy. It amazes me that we can make such gorgeous gifts out of something as mundane as paper! Do you need a box for a gift for a special occasion coming up soon? The box measures about 3.5 inches square, and it is 1.5 inches high, making it a perfect size for a watch, jewelry, a special sweet treat, as well as a gift card. I hope you will give it a try  for an upcoming occasion.

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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.