5 Die Cutting Techniques You Must Try!

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Last Updated: February 3, 2024

Cards created with die cutting techniques and the Mini Blossom Die Cutting Machine

Are you a beginner at die cutting? Looking for cool die cutting techniques you can try? Well, you came to the right place!

Die cutting has evolved beyond simple shapes and designs, becoming a versatile and dynamic crafting technique that results in gorgeous and amazing crafts. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or a beginner, experimenting with die cutting techniques can add depth and texture to your projects. 

In this blog post, let’s explore five die cutting techniques that you or any crafting enthusiasts must try!

1. In-Lay Die Cutting

"Be Kind" card created with die cutting technique #1: in-lay die cutting

The in-lay technique involves die cutting images and shapes then reattaching those pieces into the “negative” (the remainder of the panel where the dies were cut) to create a seamless appearance. It's basically similar to solving a jigsaw puzzle! 

There are various ways to use this technique with distinctive and creative outcomes, one of which is executed in this tutorial video below:

Noticed how the shadow die enhanced the look even more? You can get creative with your dies like that. 

Here’s another trick you can try: Smoosh or swipe one color family on one panel, then another color family on another panel (say, Red Cosmos Fresh Dye Inks and Cool Summer Night Fresh Dye Inks). Then, when the inks are dry, stamp and die cut your desired images on both panels, careful to not ruin or throw away the negatives. Then swap the die cuts and in-lay them on each other’s negatives, and watch magic unfold!  

2. Hidden Die-Cuts

Add an element of surprise to your projects with the hidden die-cut technique!

Masculine card created with die cutting technique #2: hidden die-cuts

For this technique, you take two panels and stamp or color a similar pattern to both. Then, you take one of the panels and die cut your images or designs from that. Take your die-cuts and arrange them on the other panel as they would have been positioned in the other one. Basically, your die cuts should look like they’re “disappearing” from certain angles.  

Check out this tutorial below, and see a bonus twist on the hidden die-cut technique (Hint: She uses the negative for this one!)

Hidden die cuts are perfect for interactive cards, scrapbook layouts, or any project where you want to delight your audience with unexpected details. This technique not only adds visual interest but also engages the viewer by encouraging exploration.

3. Faux Masking

A birthday card created with die cutting technique #3: faux masking

Faux masking is a clever die cutting technique that mimics the look of traditional masking, but with die cutting in the mix.

Basically, you use the edges of the die-cut areas to “mask” the next image you’re stamping. Then, you can take the die cuts and assemble them into a charming arrangement on a different panel, or you can combine it with the in-lay technique and reuse your negative, just like the example above.

To see how it was made, check out the tutorial video below:

Faux masking is a fantastic way to breathe life into your paper crafting projects.

Pro tip: You can also use die cuts as “stencils” to create layered and intricate designs. By selectively applying ink or other coloring mediums through the negative space of the die cuts, you can create stunning multi-dimensional effects that add depth to your projects!

4. Debossing

Take your die cutting to a new level by incorporating debossing into your projects.

A thank-you card created with die cutting technique #4: debossing

Debossing involves pressing a die into the paper, creating a recessed design. This technique adds a tactile and elegant touch to your creations, making the die-cut elements appear as if they've been pressed into the paper itself.

Here’s a tutorial on how to deboss with dies:

Pro tip: Experiment with different levels of pressure to achieve varying degrees of debossing, creating subtle or bold effects depending on your desired outcome.

5. Shaker Die-Cuts

A "Just for you" tag created with die cutting technique #5: shaker die-cuts

And finally… who doesn’t love a good shaker card?

Shaker cards have long been a favorite among crafters, and combining this popular technique with die cutting takes it to the next level! Create a transparent window using a die-cut shape and encase small embellishments, such as sequins or beads, to make a captivating shaker element.

And it’s not just cards, too! Check out this tutorial on how make a shaker tag:

Whether it's a birthday card or a festive holiday project, shaker die-cuts add a playful and dynamic element that is sure to impress.

Try Out These Die Cutting Techniques Today!

Various die-cuts that crafters use in their crafting projects

Die cutting is like a creative playground, giving you the freedom to play around with different techniques and make your projects pop.

Whether you're into faux masking or digging the vibes of shaker die cuts, these five techniques are like your cool pals guiding you through the die cutting scene. So, jump in, have fun, and let your creativity run wild as you try out these tricks on your next crafting spree!

If you want more die cutting inspiration and ideas for your next project, feel free to visit us In the Craft Room. Happy die cutting!

Free eBook: Essential Information About Die Cutting for Paper Craft


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