Some crafters think that a die cutting machine is a must. Cutting shapes by hand has been around much longer which had its drawbacks, it was time consuming thus taking longer to create any object and also producing inconsistencies. For example the process of making shoes, the shapes being cut out of leather by hand and also holes being punched by hand produced some differences between a pair of shoes.

The invention of the die-cutting machine in the 1800s provided the shoe industry with a better and more efficient process of providing uniform shapes and faster production.

However, the first personal or “…consumer hand-operated die-cutting machine was invented by LaDorna and Bob Eichenberg in 1977, who were co-founders of the Ellison LetterMachine®️. The Ellison LetterMachine®️ became the brand ‘Sizzix’ in 2001. You can read more information here.

The perfect die cutting machine is a necessity for any papercrafter. Whether it’s making cards, gifts or home décor projects, die cutting machines are sure to add a professional touch to any craft make.“[quoted from CraftStash]

However, I went for years without a cutting machine apart from the normal paper trimmer to cut 12″ x 12″ papers. Admittedly I could not use dies to cut different shapes, but even those I was able to achieve with the Creative Memories Custom Cutting system which gave you some shapes and each shape gave you six versions – one large and one small and with the other two blades you could get another two sizes of each shape. For example the hexagon in the image below and the three blades you could cut three sizes on the outside of the ‘frame’ as I call it and likewise three sizes on the inside of the ‘frame’. The inside of course giving you the smaller sizes and the outside the larger.

My first die cutting machine I purchased about 8 years into my paper crafting efforts. Then because the machine did not do some of the larger dies that I had been given I purchased the “Big Shot Pro” (another 8 years later) and it was a totally different way of die-cutting. It took some time to get used to.

So where is this all taking you? Well, just to say that CraftStash offers a whole range of high quality manual and digital die cutting machines from leading brands such as Cricut, Sizzix, Silhouette, Tonic and Gemini. CraftStash also have hundreds of machine accessories and storage from plates, tools and mats to trimmers, attachers and guillotines, you will find everything you need to create fantastic die cutting projects. [Quoted from their website, not verbatim]

Cricut Explore 3 Digital Cutting Machines:

Reading through all the components and its features it is a machine I would love to have.

With Bluetooth wireless technology it comes with 100 ready-to-make projects online and “material for a practice cut” and includes UK Plug and EU Adapter.

The variety of machines now compared to when I purchased my first one makes it difficult to choose. I think it comes down to what you really want versus what you really need and what you can afford. If you are looking to purchase for personal use, you need to ask:

-what kinds of projects are you making?
-Do you have large dies which would not fit into a small die-cut machine?
-Do you have small dies which the large machine cannot handle?

Depending on your needs, I would recommend one that takes large, small and in-between size dies and it would also be helpful to discuss with the salesperson in the store what die sizes the machine you wish to purchase will take. At CraftStash you can contact them for advice and assistance.

It is true however, that these machines are not only cutting machines they are also embossing machines, which places more value on them in their usage but even embossing can be done without a machine. This is a process that I will go into in a later post. This time I had been thinking about the history of the die-cutting machine and wanted to include CraftStash because they have various offers at different times and wanted my readers to benefit.

One thing to keep in mind when ordering a machine online is the cost of postage/shipping so the weight of the item would be a consideration and it may be advisable to find a local stockist of the machine rather than try and have it shipped from the US or even UK depending on where you are located. Each location offers free shipping over a certain amount in the US I think it is $70 which is a current promotion and in the UK orders over £30.

That is all I have for you this time. The links in this post are affiliate links and should you purchase from these links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I have tried to give an honest view on the necessity for purchasing die-cutting machines because experience has shown that while there are some people who say you can’t make professional-looking projects without them I disagree, I have made professional-looking cards and scrapbooks without one for several years and even though I now have two I rarely use either and still manage to make beautiful cards and scrapbooking pages.

I would love to read your comments and any feedback you care to give about this post.♣︎LR

Author: raevon59

Scrapbooker, card maker and Creative Memories Advisor. My goal since 2020 and beyond is to make scrapbooks for other people. I would really like to spend more time filling albums with my scrapbook pages, writing books, making cards and helping others with their scrapbooking and card making. Want to know more? Send me a message.

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