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Best Cuttlebug Ideas and Tips

Updated on March 1, 2019
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Cuttlebug Tips And Ideas

When I took my Cuttlebug home in this box, I did not know the new world I was about to enter. It's a creative world where the only limits are your imagination! What could you create with this amazing machine? Let's take a trip together and find out!

Learning how to use your Cuttlebug is our goal. Sharing the best tips and ideas to help you use your Cuttlebug is our promise. Letting your Cuttlebug sit on a shelf cause you are or frustrated with it is about to change because we believe every crafter should have one and be using it.

The Cuttlebug is a die cutting and embossing machine made by Provo Craft, the same manufacturer that created the popular Cricut personal electronic cutter.

The Cuttlebug is a machine that uses no electricity. The paper is pressed between three plates, advanced with the manual movement of the bar. That makes this machine very portable. When it's not being used, the "table" that the plates glide on also act as the "dust cover" for the machine.

he Cuttlebug has a suction function so that when you unfold the base to open the machine it will sit firmly onto your smooth work table

The machine will cut dies and embossing folders, which make it very useful for all of your papercraft projects. Here are the best Cuttlebug tips and Ideas to help you get your creative juices flowing.

Cuttlebug Advantages

You can use many different manufacturer's dies or embossing folders with the Cuttlebug. Dyes manufactured by Quickutz, Sizzix, and Spellbinders are just a few of the options available to you.

This option alone makes it the best on the market and well worth the money!

The Amazing Cutting Unit—You Will Get Hooked To This Machine!

This is a terrific buy. I paid $58 for my unit in Joann's and that was one sale! Once you get started and see what you can create, I promise you will get addicted. The cost for this unit which includes the plates and one folder is under $50.00.

With the Cuttlebug, you get the "A"plate( a spacer), two "B"plates (for cutting), One embossing folder and two metal dies. You also get one rubber embossing mat which is 6 by 8

The "sandwich" is the order that the plates are stacked. It is very important to use the correct "sandwhich" in order to get the best results and use of your Cuttlebug

Cricut 2000293 Cuttlebug Machine, 14.4 by 12-Inch, Green
Cricut 2000293 Cuttlebug Machine, 14.4 by 12-Inch, Green

You get the cutting unit, all the cutting pads, an embossing folder and directions. You can get started right out of the box


More Cuttlebug Advantages-Why Should You Consider Getting One

  • It's a very affordable unit Unlike the Cricut which can go towards $150 and up, the cuttlebug is very reasonably priced...(check out the sales I have posted for you !) For those folks who don't have a large craft budget, it just makes more sense

  • Like we said earlier, the cuttlebug accepts dies from other machines So if you have scizzix dies and others, you can use them on this machine. This was a big selling feature for me.
  • Cuttlebug can be used uses no electricity Take it to a class or a crop. It saves money and stores easily
  • Cuttlebug can emboss and cut on almost anything You can use it on cardstock, parchment paper,vinyl, chipboard, patterned paper, craft foam, light metal,mesh and fabric paper
  • Unlike other types of units, it's "sandwich system" keeps the dies from moving, so it has a more accurate cut

What Does The Cuttlebug Cut?

Try using cardstock, thin metal, thin wood, some fabrics, thin felt, poster board, chipboard, tissue paper, and fun foam just to name a few. The height of your cutting materials should not exceed 1/8".

Never force any materials through the machine, you may cause damage

Rub a dryer sheet on your cutting plate and or your cutting die to keep the paper from sticking to either the plate or the die

Cuttlebug folders have lots of dimension. They can be used over and over to create unlimited designs
Cuttlebug folders have lots of dimension. They can be used over and over to create unlimited designs

Cuttlebug Plates

It's normal for the Cuttlebug plates to get marked from the dies that you use. And you might even see a little warping on your plates.They are still very useable.

the plates need to be aligned on the front and back for the machine to work correctly. If the plates are lined up correctly and inserted the handle will start turning on its own and you know you are good to go. Never force anything through the machine ! If it won't move, realign the plates or check your sandwich configuration.

The plates come in the standard size. There are also 6" by 13" plates as an extra purchase. These are perfect for your larger projects.

There are also magnetic mats that hold your dies and act as extra shims.

In addition, you can also get magnetic cutting mats for the Cuttlebug YOu would use these with thinner does. They require two B Plates and i A Plate

For certain dies, shimming with thin layers of cardstock might be necessary to get a clean cut. Simply add extra pieces of cardstock beneath the die until you achieve the right amount of pressure for your die.

Embossing sandwich going through the cuttlebug
Embossing sandwich going through the cuttlebug

Beautiful Design in No Time

The embossing folders are so easy to use! And the results are spectacular! I use them on cards, scrapbook pages and all kinds of paper crafts. You can get seasonal or general purpose...the great part is that you will use them again and again. The idea is that the folder presses the design onto the folder. The cost for the embossing folders in very reasonable. I make a list of the ones I want and shop around. The best buys that I have found so far in on eBay.

When I am making cards, I place the top part of the card between the two embossing plates, It will emboss only the front of the card, which really speeds things up if you are making a lot of cards for a holiday or party invites

You will use these embossing folders over and over again, so any that you purchase will be well worth the cost.

How To Emboss With The Cuttlebug

  1. Cut a piece of paper to the size of the embossing folder
  2. Place the paper inside the embossing folder
  3. Create a sandwhich ="A"plate on the bottom,"B" plate, the embossing folder with the paper inside and the other "B" plate on top
  4. place the sandwich on the platform and give it a very slight push.
  5. Turn the handle till the plates go through the machine.
  6. Remove the paper from the embossing folder and admire

Embossed paper with a little white ink to showcase design
Embossed paper with a little white ink to showcase design

Basic Cuttlebug Tips-Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

These are my favorite Cuttlebug Tips. They have been lovingly gathered from all over the internet. I am sharing them with you so that you get as much from your machine as possible.

  • When you need a little texture to a shape that you have cut, run it through an embossing folder to give it that little extra texture.
  • The best way to extend the use of your mats will be to periodically flip them over! The Cuttlebug Mat will get scratched. That's a sign that your machine is well used.
  • Combine your embossing with features from your cutting machines. I often will use a Cuttlebug embossed card and then add things that I have cut from my Cricut Machine.

Use the stacking instructions link to create file cards to keep with your Cuttlebug. Never forget which sandwich to use with your handy referral cards

Cuttlebug Projects—Tutorials, Ideas and Inspiration

I have searched the internet for the best projects for use to use for your Cuttlebug! I hope they inspire you and get you using your machine. I have several of these projects in mind for this week.

Cuttlebug Foil Technique

Cuttlebug Tips and Ideas

Here are some of my favorite ideas and tips for use of your Cuttlebug:

  1. To prevent warping of the plates used with the Cuttlebug, flip them. Use one side and then the other. Place a little piece of washi tape or a post-it note on the side you last used.
  2. To use a scizzix die with your Cuttlebug make sure to use the B plates only and set the die at the back portion of your plate so that it will go through.
  3. To prevent paper cracking or ripping, especially on intricate designs, roll the plates slowly. You can also lightly mist your paper with water, using a very fine mister to prevent cracking.
  4. If you are using dies, place a piece of wax paper between the die and the paper. The paper will release from the die a lot easier.

Technique Or Project
Which Plates To Use
Thin Dies
A and two B plates
A plate on the bottom, B plate, die(with foam up), paper and B plate
Thicker Dies
A, C and B Plates
A plate on the bottom, C plate, die(foam up)paper and B plate on top

How To Cut And Emboss With The Cuttlebug

Storing And Organizing Your Embossing Folders

I like to store my folders/dies upright in a plastic store container. You can also use one of the several folder/die storage units that are available on the market. Another alternative would be to use one of the decorative photo boxes in your local craft store. Some folks like to store them in page protectors categorized in a binder. Decide what storage idea works best for you.

If you want to be really organized, you can create a catalog for your embossing folders. That way, while you are designing, you can flip through your samples and save lots of time!

What You Need to Create an Embossing Folder Catalog

  • Index Cards or Pieces Of Cardstock
  • Hole Punch
  • Permanent Marker
  • Your Cuttlebug
  • All Of Your Embossing Folders And Dies
  • Binder Rings

First, emboss one copy of each of your embossing folders. Cut each piece to the size you desire. Punch a hole in the same end of each sample. Mark on each sample the size and name of the folder. Thread your samples on the binder ring.

The nice thing about this project is that you can put it in your purse or refer to it when you are shopping.

© 2013 Linda F Correa

Tell Us About Your Cuttlebug - We'd Love To Hear From You !

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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      21 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I have the cuttlebug and a Gemini machine. The Gemini machine is a little more expensive but is faster and easier on the hands. The Gemini however requires electricity, so it is less portable. I still iuse my Cuttlebug. I always tell everyone make a decision what is right for you based on the copst and use you want your cutting tool to have. Thanks fior stopping by.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      21 months ago from La Verne, CA

      After many years paper crafting I am finally exploring the idea of buying a manual die cut machine. I appreciate this review and the tips you offer here.

    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      5 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I have never cut vinyl with the cuttlebug. I think vinyl might be too thick. Having said that it would be worth some experimentation. I have a Cricut explore that cuts vinyl perfectly

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi i was wondering does this cut vinyl?


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