Instruction page for positioning rubber stamped images using Spellbinder's Nestabilities dies in Provo Craft's Cuttlebug die cutting machine. Easily create
cardstock shapes for professional looking handmade greeting cards, scrapbook layouts and rubber stamped art projects.

In addition to a die cutting machine, such as the Cuttlebug, you'll need to buy dies. A die is a thin metal piece in a certain shape (like paper punch shapes, scallops,
leaves, flowers, tags etc.) Depending on the brand these are really thin or have a big chunk of foam and plastic base on them. No matter what it's like you can usually
use it in the Cuttlebug. I've successfully tried out Sizzix (both the sizzlits and big dies,)  Spellbinder's Nestabilities and Bosskut brand dies in my Cuttlebug machine in
addition to the many designs Cuttlebug offers. They are all great, but if you're a serious paper crafter you just have to check out all the Nestabilities (shapes that fit
over each other in about 1/4" to 1/2" increments - nesting dies.) No more careful measuring and hand cutting out frames or mat layers. Just roll your cardstock
through the cuttlebug with your die to cut the shape.

*2017 update* this page is about 8 years old and there are now many electronic options for die cutting. I use the "Silhouette Cameo" for custom shapes and
stencil making with images I draw on my computer. This has reduced my need of physical dies and paper punches. If you are interested in one that will
specifically cut shapes around your stamped and drawn images, the best one on the market is called "Brothe ScanNCut 2". I am leaving this page up for
anyone who has older supplies and still needs instructions on how these products work together.
Cuttlebug Sandwich recipe for CUTTING:
A plate
C plate
Spellbinders Nestabilities Die (blade ridge side up)
Paper
B plate.
--
Cuttlebug Sandwich recipe for EMBOSSING:
A plate
B plate
Spellbinders Nestabilities Die (blade ridge side up)
Paper
Embossing mat ("official" ones are made by the Spellbinders company) or you can use craft foam and cardstock***
B plate.
--
(In order of what you put down first, creating a stack bottom to top. A plates are always on bottom, B plates on top which get cut into.)
--

*** In order to use inexpensive items I already had, I cut up a thin sheet of craft foam (2mm thick available at JoAnns, Michaels or Dollar Tree stores in the kids
crafts section.) I cut
one larger piece into four sheets of foam measuring about 4" x 6" each. I then took two 8.5" x 11" sheets of regular white cardstock and folded
them in four longwise (so that each sheet is now the thickness of 4 sheets and fits onto the cuttlebug plates.) You end up with the thickness of 4 thin craft foam
sheets and 8 sheets of cardstock as your embossing mat. You can adjust this to suit your machine by adding or removing extra layers of cardstock to adjust the
embossing depth.

This way should cost you less than a dollar. I recommend this if you're waiting for a real embossing mat in the mail or want to test out the embossing feature before
investing more cash into the official supplies. If you want to do things the "right" way you may be able to find the official Spellbinders tan embossing mat online
(somewhere in the $10 range including shipping.) It's a rubber like material that will provide a lot of flexibility for pressing your paper into the embossing grooves.

Damage precautions: Cuttlebug is a UNIVERSAL die cutting machine, meaning it accepts dies of any brand without judging! However, since Nestabilities dies are
made by the Spellbinders company to work in their Wizard die cutting machine, I can NOT guarantee that using these in your Cuttlebug machine (made by the Provo
Craft company) will not cause
any damage. I personally have used the above sandwich recipes with success and no breakage. I have however heard of people
breaking their B cutting plates over time (which may be unavoidable no matter which dies you use.) Michaels and larger JoAnns crafts stores usually stock
replacement B cutting plates (two for $7.99, less with a coupon just in case!) It is normal to hear a light crackling and see the imprint of the die on your B plates no
matter which brand of dies you use.
B plates are cutting plates, and are meant to be disposable! Always arrange your stacks so that you are cutting into the "B
Cutting Pad."
Each cuttlebug machine's rollers may vary by a mm or more. Your machine may be tighter or looser than mine, so keep one good rule in mind: If it feels too tight to
be rolled through, it probably is... Don't force it!
- You'll have to experiment with adding or removing sheets of cardstock to your sandwich stacks if it doesn't
get the job done.
Remember, noise (cracking/popping sounds) is normal, but having a really hard time cranking something through is not!

*MONEY SAVING TIP* First, if you haven't already, sign up at JoAnn and Michaels craft stores website's for their weekly ads/newsletter/to receive discounts. Every
couple weeks they email you a 40% to 50% off coupon you can print out and redeem in store. Last week when Michaels sent me a 50% off coupon I picked up the
Cuttlebug die cutting machine. It's normally $80 there, but with the coupon I got it for $40!

Choosing your die cutting machine: I purchased the cuttlebug instead of other die cutting machines mainly for the low cost and it's ability to accept nearly any brand
of dies. It was also a perk that it was available at my local Michaels or JoAnn stores, so there was minimal risk involved for trying it out. However, If you are only
interested in Spellbinder's Nestabilities dies and can spare about $80 - $100  I would recommend the WIZARD die cutting machine (made by spellbinders.) It is
made of metal, steel, and is much more sturdy than the plastic internal parts of a cuttlebug.
cuttlebug placement of boards mat to cut spellbinders nestabilities
embossing and die cutting tutorial with cuttle bug machine spellbinders nestabilities die
CUTTING STEPS:
1:
I used my unmounted rubber stamps with Color Box pigment ink
and stamped on a sheet of white cardstock (but of course you can
use whatever ink, unmounted or mounted stamp, colored paper or
even shrink plastic that you want.)

2: Select a nestabilities die that fits your stamped image. This
examples uses the Petite Ovals Large set.
3: Attach your nestabilities (cutting ridge side towards the paper)
with a couple small pieces of removable tape.

4: Set up your sandwich recipe for cutting (see below.) Flip your
paper over so the cutting ridge is facing up, place your B cutting
plate on top and roll it through your cuttlebug machine.
5: Remove the extra paper that the die just cut away. Leave the
stamped image part inside of the die's metal ridges if you'd like to
continue to embossing.

EMBOSSING STEPS:
6:
Add foam and cardstock OR a rubber embossing mat and card
stock (see more info towards the bottom of this page under
"sandwich recipes".)
7: Set up your sandwich recipe for embossing, roll through
the machine and pop out your cardstock from the
nestabilities die.

8: Select a larger nestabilities die to cut out your background
layer of cardstock and repeat the cutting/embossing
process for that piece of paper.

Note: Depending on the sizes you select you may not need
to repeat this process. Both sheets can be done at the
same time if the dies are small enough to fit 2 or more at
once (side by side) in your machine.
If you end up collecting a variety of the nestabilities shapes, experiment by laying the dies over your stamped images to see which cuts will compliment
the artwork the best. As my personal storage solution, I made little key ring binders out of some 4x6 chipboard i had. Using strips of magnet to hold the
dies to the pages. (I don't recommend the thin magnet "tape" at Michaels, but the thicker strips work well. I found the cheapest in 25' rolls at JoAnns.)

For the heart card above I used: Rubber stamps (from Love-070 and Roma-119,) Spellbinder's Nestabilities Heart Dies, Colorbox pigment ink pads,
Scrapbook paper from K&Company, Stickles glitter glue, 1" Marvy circle paper punch and scissors for cutting out the word "Love" , retro flower punches
from EK Success, Zig Memory System 2-way glue pen marker.
Completely new to die cutting? Pictures are good, but video is awesome. Stacey Caron has some great You Tube videos which show
the dies being used in the Cuttlebug or Spellbinder's Wizard machine:
Art Nouveau woman flowers heart valentine longing greeting card die cut rubber stamp
nestabilities spellbinders storage magnet strips chipboard rubber stamps
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Thinking of You rubber stamp heart woman nestabilities square and oval greeting card example
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