Making your Cricut creations less "die-cutty".

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Posted 4/17/2011 by Rumplesnat in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 198,096
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Posted: 4/17/2011 11:20:15 PM
I've had my Cricut for about 2 years now and haven't really gotten into using it until recently. I also just purchased SCAL a few months ago and am beginning to dabble in that as well.

My biggest question is, without offending anyone, what is the trick to making unique cuts that don't look like the die cuts that were sold in LSS stores years ago? You know, the plain, blah one dimensional shadow cut-outs that were kind of cheesy and I guess "beginner looking" for lack of a better description?

I was just at a crop on Saturday and there were TONS of people using their Cricuts, however they all pretty much had the same trend going on. I don't mind the letters for titles and such being plain, but there has to be some creative Peas who really take the Cricut up several notches. Please help!


PeaNut 16,887
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Posted: 4/17/2011 11:27:15 PM
I'd love to know this too. I have found some good inspriation online but mostly the "die-cutty" looks your talking about.


PeaNut 18,334
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Posted: 4/17/2011 11:33:12 PM

Use patterned paper instead of plain. Layer paper. Use other techniques such as inking, chalking, glitter, pen work. Finally, embrace them for what they are. They are diecuts and there shouldn't be any shame in them being what they are. No one is bugged by the fact stickers look like stickers.

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PeaNut 290,201
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Posted: 4/18/2011 12:05:48 AM
I don't have a Cricut, but I can tell you some of the things I do with my Sizzix die cuts.

I look for unusual materials to cut - textured papers, acetates, handmade paper, thin metal sheets, giftwrap, mesh, etc. I don't know how well those materials work in the Cricut, but sometimes just changing the material will change the look of a die cut.

Layer. Cut multiple copies of the die cut, then layer with 3-d pop dots to give dimension. You can also take sharp craft scissors and cut out selected parts of the die cuts, then layer them as if you were doing 3-d decoupage.

Texturize. Put your cutout in an embossing folder and run it through a cuttlebug or big shot. Or use a texture plate and rubbing tool. Or add some adhesive and use flocking powder or flower soft to add texture. Flower soft is wonderful for botanical die cuts.

Cut and roll. For things like flower die cuts, make small cuts along the petal lines, and use a quilling or rolling tool to roll the edges for a more realistic design.

Crackle or distress it with distress stickles, distress paint, or crackle medium and papier paint. Or glaze it by stamping the die cut with versamark, then covering it with UTEE and heat embossing it until the UTEE forms a glaze over the design. Use glossy accents to create an epoxy effect: sepia accents for an aged or vintage look.

Color it. Markers, chalks, Sakura glaze pens, souffle pens, glimmer mist, pearl-ex, whatever you have available. Cut your die cut from glossy paper or transparency film and use alcohol inks for marbled effects.

Use paper piercing or stitching to add extra dimension.

Mosaic. Cut the die cut apart and use paper mosaic glue and faux paper "grout" to create a mosaic design. Or use a puzzle piece punch and "puzzle" the design.


PeaNut 453,721
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Posted: 4/18/2011 12:14:13 AM
Check out this thread
I hope this helps!


PeaNut 103,954
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Posted: 4/18/2011 3:10:41 AM
I use the cricut to make an certain engagement wedding card that I have had lots of orders for. Its plain but the cricut really makes it so easy when doing a few at a time , I guess that is what makes the cricut what it is.

I have uploaded a pic of the first one I did on my blog for you to see if you are interesed. Have moved it along a lot more now but goes to show another aspect I guess.



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PeaNut 98,374
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Posted: 4/18/2011 3:33:04 AM
foam dots to elevated layers. embossing to add texture, stitching items when feasible and using patterned papers in addition to CS.


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PeaNut 198,096
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Posted: 4/18/2011 8:07:11 AM
WOW! Thanks so much for everyone's replies and suggestions. That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for.


PeaNut 153,649
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Posted: 4/18/2011 8:39:24 AM
i cut the crane and the tree on my cricut.
i kept the crane plain and pasted it to the page,
i turned the tree over onto my mouse pad and 'drew' the bark and furrows on the trunk with my dry embossing tool. i then inked it up with distress inks.
i think if i had a little more time to play with it that i would have been able to bury that tree base in some sort of lsndscrape.

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PeaNut 290,201
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Posted: 4/18/2011 11:49:46 AM
It's also fun to layer several different textures together - for instance, cut the same pattern from cardstock or manila, then a textured paper, then a shimmery vellum, mesh, or even a sheer fabric. Use the cardstock layer as your base and build up layers so the sheerest layer is on top - fasten together with brad, tiny attacher, or whatever works with your project.

You can use black or white core cardstock, emboss it, then sand lightly over the embossed design so that a bit of the core color shows through. This works especially well for vintage or heritage designs. Using pearlescent paper will really make an embossed design pop.

Many of the techniques you would use to enhance a stamped image will also work on die cuts. Split Coast Stampers is a great resource for a variety of techniques and ideas.

I also love metallic rub-on paste to add highlights to embossed or textured designs. Just rub a little of the paste across the design with your fingers or a soft cloth.

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PeaNut 413,587
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Posted: 4/18/2011 4:49:58 PM
I do most of the suggestion in these posts. You will be surprised what a difference they make too. Have fun!

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PeaNut 185,443
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Posted: 4/18/2011 5:02:46 PM
This is something that made me wait so long to put a diecutting machine on my wishlist other than my BS. I don't know if there is a trick to it other than to make it have layers, add 3D embellishments like brads/eyeletts and honestly that is the only suggestions that I have for a general question because it depends on the item that you are diecutting.

But I use my diecutting on every single layout that I do and they don't look like diecuts from the lss or at least they don't to me. But I also don't use a lot of the premade images that you find on cricut carts either.
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PeaNut 272,954
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Posted: 4/18/2011 5:08:00 PM
I do many of the things already suggested. I also sometimes add a little bling such as pearls or rhinestones. For boy/guy layouts, add metal such as brads, chains, hinges, etc.

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PeaNut 272,058
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Posted: 4/18/2011 5:10:59 PM
Wow-these are AWESOME ideas!!! Thank you Peas!!! (and OP!)

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PeaNut 248,491
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Posted: 4/18/2011 6:48:01 PM
I'm with you! I've stopped using them so much because I can spot a cricut cutout a mile away in anyones scrapbook. I like uniqueness.. with SCAL you can cut svg files. Have you seen all the paper piecing ones? They are dimensional and I add googly eyes, ribbon, etc to those


PeaNut 196,142
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Posted: 4/18/2011 6:53:16 PM
So many great ideas here, I don't think I had anything new to add.

If you want it to have a sticker feel, you can cut a little bigger shape in a cream, distress the edges with a brown/blue combo and adhere your shapes to that.

In addition, use your scissors to make the edges not to clean cut, that will add a little bit of personality as well.


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PeaNut 198,096
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Posted: 4/18/2011 8:15:03 PM
You guys are so awesome!!! Thanks again!


PeaNut 175,021
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Posted: 4/18/2011 8:25:23 PM
I don't like the look of the old die cuts that the LSS's used to sell either.

I love my cricut and I use the cartridges and create adorable embellishments with it. I do not like the cartridges that don't include layers - like many of the solutions cartridges.

I've never been interested in the Slice die cutter because their images look so flat and one dimensional.

Like many of the above posters, I use patterned paper, texture, bling, ribbon, googly eyes, etc. to dress up my die cuts. I look at the embellishments that are made to go with paper and think to myself that I can create that too - and I can!



PeaNut 153,649
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Posted: 4/18/2011 8:59:20 PM
sorry that i didn't add the link to what i am talking about. i did the post just before i fell asleep after a 12 hour my spelling was awful too!
the crane i left one dimensional on purpose. the tree i textured by turning it over and debossing interest to the trunk. i then played with distress inks until i was happy with it.
i would love to see links to what the other posters are describing.
hth, sandi

cricut tree and crane


PeaNut 501,350
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Posted: 4/18/2011 11:02:32 PM
chalking edges makes a big difference IMO.


PeaNut 413,831
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Posted: 4/19/2011 1:30:21 AM
I know exactly what your talking about. My cricut sits in the corner now, unused. I prefer to cut things out by hand, especially letters- just so unique looking. I have scal and have dabbled in it, but find that I really only use it for cutting out letters. (and then i started realizing i didnt want to go through all that trouble just to cut out a few letters) I'm just not a fan of my cricut like I once was. Give me some thickers, micro mono alphas and an x-acto knife any day

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PeaNut 20,531
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Posted: 4/19/2011 10:26:23 AM
This may seem a little obvious, but go to Two Peas Forum, do a search on "cricut" in all forums, and you'll get a lot of ideas. If you click on either "most liked" or "most bookmarked" you'll see some phenomenal examples. At least to me, they're not what I think of when I think of the old-fashioned flat, one-dimensional die cuts -- layers, 3-d, embellished, very creative.


PeaNut 19,210
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Posted: 4/20/2011 1:05:34 AM
Here's a sample of what you can do just by chalking...
Cow card

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PeaNut 13,267
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Posted: 4/20/2011 9:53:45 AM
So many wonderful ideas!

I use texture stamping, sponge daubing, but I am not advanced with Cricut at all.

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PeaNut 80,424
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Posted: 4/20/2011 10:26:20 AM

Here's a sample of what you can do just by chalking...
Googly eyes bring life to anything, LOL! CUTE cow!

There's also that Versamark pen that creates a watermark effect.

Instead of looking at the die cut that rolls out of the Cricut as the final product, try seeing it as just the base shape, on which various techniques can be used to bring it to life.

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