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Silhouette, Rose Shape Cutting Machines

Updated on October 21, 2015
Getting those perfect shape
Getting those perfect shape

How Do I Get Those Clean-Cut Shapes?

If you are into scrap-booking, card-making, quilt-making, or making hair accessories, you've probably had to work with fabrics, papers, and maybe even leather. And if you are like me you've probably had to manually cut these materials by hand using scissors or any other hand-held cutters. Have you ever wondered how some people just get their fabric, paper, or leather shapes cut so perfectly like it was done with some type of machine? I have.

Just recently I took on a project that involved me cutting a bunch of leather flowers. First I had to draw the flower on a cardboard in other to cut out the template for my project. After cutting out the cardboard shape, I started to painstakingly cut each flower shape out of my leather layers. That was a lot of work. In the end, I wasn't so thrilled about how my flowers came out.

The edges were somewhat rough, not clean-cut like I would have loved it to be. I tried trimming, that only made it worse. Then one day, I came across a perfectly cut flower shaped accessory on etsy's marketplace. Why couldn't I get mine to look so perfect. What was the secret behind that perfectly cut shaped accessory? After much digging around and asking questions at a forum, I finally found out. The secret, my friends, is Die-cut Machines.


The Big Shot Die Cut Machine
The Big Shot Die Cut Machine | Source

What Are Die-Cutting Machines?

Die-cutting machines are machines that are used to manually and electronically cut shapes out of different types of materials. This process of cutting uniform, clean-cut shapes out of different types of materials is called Die-Cutting.

Die cutting started as a process of cutting leather for the shoe industry in the mid-19th century. Today, scrap-bookers and most crafty individuals use portable die-cutting machines at home to cut different shapes and letters out of different materials ranging from leather (for leather accessories), rubber, plastic, sheet metal, paper (for scrapbook layouts,homemade cards and other paper crafts), and fabric (for quilting). These shapes and letters are then used to decorate their homes, scrap books, or crafts.

There are several brands and models of die-cutting machines out there to choose from depending on your intended project. Some die-cut machine cuts everything from cardstock to fabric (even leather), some only cuts through fabrics (for quilters), while some only cut papers (for scrap-bookers).

How To Use A Manually Operated Die Cut Machine, The Big Shot

Die cut machines are very easy to use. They are not complicatied at all. Some are electronically operated, while some are manually operated. When you buy your die-cutting machine, be sure to read the accompanying manual before you operate or attempt to use it.

The video below give a brief demonstration on how to use The Sizzix Big Shot Die Cut Machine. This machine is manually operated and is therefore different in operation from its electronic counterparts.

To better understand which die-cut machine is best for your project, see;

Choosing The Right Die-Cut Machine for Your Project.

Where To Buy Die Cutting Machines

Die-cutting machines can be found at your local fabric stores like JoAnn's Fabric. But be sure to ask a lot of questions about the needed parts. Some die-cutting machines come complete with everything you need to start your project, while some may require that you buy those parts separately.

Used or refurbished die cutters can be found on online stores like eBay. This is usually in a bidding process, and you may be required to create an eBay account to qualify to bid on some items. Be sure you ask questions about items you're interested in before putting in your bid.

Die cut machines can also be found on Amazon (an online store), and in most craft stores, such as, Michael's Craft, and Hobby Lobby. These craft stores also operate online, so be sure to check them out.


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