Stretch the use of your dies!

That’s right! Dies aren’t just for cutting shapes! You can use them to create backgrounds, you can use them to make stencils, you can use them to create masks, you can use them to emboss…


The list goes on and on! Today I’m going to share a few techniques that I learned while taking the Altenew Easy Die Cutting course. I think you might also be able to tell that I took this course not long after I took the Let it Shine course… glitter was still on my mind!


First up seems pretty straight forward – but I think we can often get into a rut of doing the same thing over and over again. While we will often go straight to cardstock to color and cut images with dies, that’s just where it often stops. So the encouragement is to try different materials and see what you come up with .

This time I used the Altenew Painted Butterflies Stamp & Die set to stamp out several butterflies on vellum. I heat embossed them with white embossing powder and flipped them over. Using a finger dauber, I colored the backs of the butterflies using Altenew Crisp Inks in Honey Drizzle and Turquoise as well as Catherine Pooler Party Dress. Once finished, I used the coordinating dies to cut them out. To give the background something, I decided to make a stencil from the Altenew Watercolor Stripes Cover Die. Once I’d cut that out of cardstock, I lightly blended the Turquoise ink to create the striped background. I was able to glue the butterflies down on the panel by hiding the glue behind varying areas of embossing. I then stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment from the Plentiful Pine Stamp & Die set using Altenew Dusk Crisp Ink. Since I’d recently become familiar with my stash glitter paper, I pulled out one in a rose gold color to give a bit more bling before adhering to a top folding card base.


My next card is intended to be the one in this set focusing more on “for the guys”. Again, I decided to mix up the die use and pick one for a stencil.

Using the Altenew Circular Elements Die Set I cut out several of the circles. I randomly placed them around on the card panel and ink blended the background using Catherine Pooler inks in Garden Party, Lime Rickey, Grass Skirt, and Tiara. Then I dragged the Grass Skirt ink directly on a piece of cardstock and cut out a couple of leaves using the Altenew Just Leaves Die Set. Finally, I cut the sentiment out of some scrap brown cardstock using the Altenew Waterbrush Hello Die. I adhered it all together on the cardbase without adding any foam. The varying layers of die cuts seemed to provide enough extra dimension for me. To finish it off, I added just a few neutral sequins.


For my final card, I tried a technique I’ve seen quite a bit of but I’ve never tried. Using the die to create a tool for embossing. Since folks seem to be focusing on holiday cards lately, I thought I’d do something with that theme.

I pulled out the Altenew Plentiful Pine Stamp & Die set and thought that it would look nice with some “snow” as the background. To create this effect, I used the Altenew Halftone Cover Die. After cutting the die background, I placed it on cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot using my embossing sandwich. The result is a subtle background with a lot of circles – what I’m calling the snow. Unfortunately it's difficult to see in the pictures, you have to look really closely and use your imagination.

I also knew that I wanted to position the tree cluster close and overlap it some so that was going to require masking. I used the tree dies in the set to cut out masks. Once done, I stamped the green and pink trees using Catherine Pooler inks in It’s a Girl, Party Dress, Cranberry Fizz, Lime Rickey, Grass Skirt, and Altenew Evergreen Crisp Ink. I masked those off and then stamped the blue tree using Altenew Crisp Inks in Sea Glass, Ocean Waves, and Lavinia Elements in Blue Lagoon. I added some craft foam to the back and pulled out that fun glitter card stock pack – selecting the bright blue! After adhering all that to the card base, I added a few sequins in coordinating colors.

I encourage you to look for new ways to use the tools you have! It’s really exciting when you find so many more ways to take advantage of the investment you make in them.


The following is a list of the tools I used for these projects.


Please note that some contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission when you click and purchase - at no additional cost to you! This helps to support my blog. Thank you!!



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