Die Cut Do’s and Dont’s

As soon as Halloween is over folks start looking towards Christmas, especially in the world of crafts.  One of my top sellers is my Ice Skate Tags.  Made from Tim Holtz Sizzix Alterations Die, paint, ink, glitter, baker’s twine and imagination, these die cuts become adorable Christmas accents with their Vintage Americana look.


I sell these in a variety of finished looks.  The lead picture shows two ice skates finished with red and white laces and strung together with tinsel twine which makes them perfect Christmas tree ornaments (in fact, a museum back east is decorating their entire tree with these this year, I hope they remember to send me a photo).  Directly above, shows the skates with white lacings and as separate units that you can add to a variety of Christmas projects such as wreaths, Christmas cards, greeting tags, gift tags and these make truly unique Skating Party Invitations. FYI:  these are 3½” x 3½” – pretty big.  But this year, I’ve had requests for unfinished skates which led me to discover that other sellers are offering these, but OMG, cardstock????


So, if you decide to make and/or decorate these skates yourself, let me help you avoid a disappointing, time-wasting, pitfall – using the wrong paper.  Whether you’ve got the Sizzix die and are about to make your first die cuts or you’re going to purchase some die cuts premade, be sure you’ve got the right paper for your project.  If you are going to paint these skates then regular or even heavy cardstock WILL NOT WORK.  Due to the moisture in paint, these skates will curl once you start to paint them. Then when you get to the stage of lacing the twine chances are at least one of those holes for lacing is going to rip out. Also, for the ornament skates, these are probably going to turn into keepsake ornaments and they may be used Christmas after Christmas so you’ll want to begin this heritage with a sturdy paper foundation that will hold up to some Holiday wear and tear.  The photo above shows unfinished die cuts made from Medium Weight Chipboard in Natural color.  This weight is the heaviest (paper) I can run through my die cutting machine, it’s also more expensive, but it’s worth it.  You can paint, glitter, glue, punch holes, run needles and these die cuts will endure.  So before you cut that die or buy that premade, make sure of the paper quality you’re getting and compare that to what you’ll be doing with/to that die cut.  There’s nothing worse then getting half way into a job and having your supplies tank on you – you either get to start over or you end up trashing the whole thing – arrrrgggghhhh!



This is the “greeting tag” that started my excursion into ice skate die cuts.  Thanks to the wonderful imagination of Tim Holtz and his great product line, this unique card/tag was really fairly easy to make.  If you would like to see step by step instructions check out Tim’s blog at timholtz.com and put in ice skate tag (done on Dec 6, 2013).

Now, Craft On

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