AECP Easy Die Cutting Techniques

Hello and welcome! I’m back today with another card for my AECP Level 1 courses. I’m really working hard to try to get through these courses. Only 1 more class to go and then my final assignment to get though Level 1. I’m excited that I’m nearly finished. I’ve learned so much through this process.

This class was Easy Die Cutting Techniques which was taught by the amazing Yana Smakula. I’m always blown away by her talent for making cards pop.

The use of die cutting in card making seems like second nature, but there actually are a lot of techniques that can be used with die cuts to enhance a card design. There were a few techniques such as Embossing with dies, negative die cutting and stenciling with dies that I had never tried so this class was a good jumping off point for me to learn some new tips and tricks with die cuts.

Inlaid die cutting can really bring a card design to life. Normally in die cutting, you’re cutting a stamped image out and placing it on a card panel to create a scene or focal point. Inlaid die cutting is the opposite, you’re keeping your image inside the card and not necessarily removing it but using it to maybe enhance your card design or create an element that pops off the page.

In all the time that I’ve been card making, I’d never actually tried to create an inlaid card design.

For my card design today, I decided to play with some black watercolor paper from Stonehenge. I actually received this as a Christmas gift and I’d forgotten it was in my stash. This paper is especially useful for using metallic watercolors like the Altenew’s 14 pan metallic watercolor set.

I chose the Statement Flowers stamp set from my stash as it has the large, beautiful blooms that are fantastic for coloring with any medium.

I stamped my image with some Versamark ink and heat set it with some Hero Arts Bubbly Embossing powder. Embossing the image is a bit of a cheat when watercoloring as it helps to keep the paint from bleeding outside of the lines. I ended up having to double emboss the image onto the black water color paper. I’m unsure why but the initial embossing didn’t take so well, could have been the paper or the Versamark ink pad was a bit dry. I reinked it and stamped an heat set it a second time which produced a much better result.

To figure out which of the Altenew Metallic Watercolors I was going to use to color the flowers and leaves, I painted on a scratch peice of my black watercolor paper to see which would look good on the black background. It was a hard decision because they are all such beautiful colors, but I wanted the color to pop. I went with the Amethyst and Topaz for the flowers with a touch of the Sterling Silver to add some lightness to the Amethyst and some Enchanted Gold for the flower center. For the leaves I used the Prasiolite and Aquamarine.

The nice part about the black watercolor paper is that it doesn’t take many layers for the color to pop off the page unlike coloring on white watercolor paper.

My original intent for the inlay was to cut the sentiment in the middle of the colored flowers. It’s an excellent effect to create for an inlaid design. However, to be honest when I saw how pretty the Statement Flowers looked with the metallic colors I couldn’t do it. I was worried something would go wrong and I’d screw up the whole project. I know some of you can relate to this.

Instead, I opted to die cut the thanks sentiment from the Altenew Script Words 2 Die Set underneath my flowers.

To create the inlaid sentiment on my card, I cut the watercolor paper with the sentiment die. I kept the die cut peices and even the inside parts that you’d normally throw away.

I wanted to have my sentiment pop off the page and I don’t have any fun foam to create a dimensional look so I decided to use layered cardstock. I cut 3 additional copies of the thanks sentiment with some white 80lb cardstock.

To add the inlaid sentiment back into my card panel, I added some score tape that was 3″ wide to the back of my card panel so that the sticky side would show through where the die cut thanks word was cut out. This allowed me to inlay the black watercolor paper back into the panel including the inside portions of the letters H, K and S. I used the wax end of my Crystal Katana to pick up the pieces and inlay them.

Next, I glued the white layers of cardstock sentiments together with some liquid glue. Once they were dry I glued them ontop of the inlaid peice. My initial plan was to leave the sentiment white or perhaps add a layer of colored cardstock. Ultimately I settled on some Tonic Mirrored Cardstock and glued it in place on top of the other layers.

The end result is a cool sentiment that looks like it’s sort of floating on top of my cardstock. I think it’s hard to pick up in photos, but its a really unique element to the card.

For some additional interest, I added some Hero Arts Blue Glimmer metallic ink and white acrylic paint splatters to the card front and allowed them to dry overnight.

I used some Tonic blue satin cardstock to mat my finished panel to and adhered everything to an A2 Card panel made from Neenah Classic Crest 110lb cardstock.

If you struggle with new ways to amp up your die cutting techniques for your card designs, I highly recommend the Easy Die Cutting Techniques class. I learned so many new tricks. I’m looking forward to using them all in my card making.

Thank you so very much for stopping by and checking out my card today. I hope you enjoyed it.