Some of these ideas were created for specific die-cuts but they can easily be adapted to similar ones.
(Julie in KS)
- Decorate the die-cut shape with pens - trace a thin line (or stitches) just inside the shape. Use a silver or gold pen to highlight the embossed (raised) parts of die-cuts cut from dark paper to enhance the detail.
- Decorate the die-cut shape with stickers - stars on the Cowboy Hat and Boot, ornaments or lights on an Evergreen Tree, an award ribbon on a Trophy, etc.
- Add fancy paper behind an Ornament die-cut to fill in the wavy stripes.
- Make stained glass windows with pens or colored paper for a Church or Cathedral Window.
- Use a Heart die-cut as a picture frame.
- Use the template part of a die-cut as a mat behind a rectangular photo.
- Cut a die-cut in half and place at the edges of a page. Two boats gliding across the page, both partially in view.
If you use a lot of the same die-cut you might want to get a template of that shape. It will save money and you will be able to cut it in any color.
Many of the new die-cuts are pretty similar to the old ones (only smaller) so in a lot of the layouts they can be used instead. Often the smaller size is an asset because they don't take up so much space on the page.
Pick the seven or eight most commonly used die-cuts and laminate either the die-cut or the stencil to use as a pattern. (Or cut some patterns out of old manila folders.)
Using the Stencil Part of the Die-cut
- Mount colored paper behind the template, mount on album page.
- Use a regular die-cut stencil to mat a Polaroid picture.
- Use it as a stencil with a sponge and pigment ink pad or a rubber stamp and pigment ink pad.
- Punch a design on the frame - such as stars on a star die-cut frame (be sure to save the punched stars too).
- Place stickers on the frame (flowers on a heart frame, etc.).
- Use decorative scissors to cut strips to frame photos or "photo corners" from the corners of the frame.
- Cut a template of four Acorns, Apples, or Leaves into quarters and decorate the four corners of a page.
- Trim the outline of the original die-cut about 1/4" from the edge of the original shape. You can journal inside if you want.
- Cut the stencil diagonally and use as triangle to back photos.
- Cut photos in shapes using the die-cut stencil part. Try the train for a zoo train ride; cowboy boots; Christmas tree; pumpkin, etc.
- Mount on the page and journal in the open space.
- Use it as a pattern to make a die-cut in another color.
- Use it to trace a shape on the page with a pen.
- Use the stencil as is, or round the corners for a different look.
Ideas for the New Small Die-Cuts
- Mat a photo in one color, and nestle a small die-cut of another color up by the corner of the photo
- Draw a wavy borderline down (or across) one side of the page and alternate several of the small die-cuts with smaller stickers
- Do a cluster group of die-cuts instead of the larger die-cut in a corner of a page.
- Use the circle/oval cutter to cut "around the hole" of the die-cut negative. Use this circle/oval with a shaped hole as a page decoration
- Mount a small die-cut on a bit larger circle/oval/triangle/square of paper...this will create a larger page decoration, which could be used in the same way as the larger old die cuts. (Jean Gifford)
Landscape Die-Cut Idea
(by Jean Gifford) Most of the landscape die-cuts can be split over two pages by cutting them in half and centering the two halves around the page break.
With the Nativity die-cut, I have used it very effectively (especially in the 8 x 10 album) by cutting carefully right between Joseph and the kneeling wise man. Round both cuts slightly (follow the curve of Joseph's back and the curve of wise man's knee. Then, mount them on opposite SIDES of the pages, not the center. Looks like the wise men are coming WAY in from the East, and really pulls together the two-page spread.
Using Up Old Die-cuts
For the title page of a child's album groups various die-cuts relating to babies or children at the bottom of the page. You can use a lot and overlap them as needed to fit. For the title of the page use "My Childhood Memories". (Cheryl D. CMC)
Note: You could do a similar type of title page for a sports album, school album or a section of a regular album on those subjects.
Miscellaneous Die-cut Ideas
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- ABC/123 STENCILS: trace onto photos. Example - cut out the word "ZOO" from duplicate pix of a trip to the zoo.
- APPLE: the large apple die-cut with a very small hole punched in it and a
"worm". The punch out from the sunglasses becomes the worm.
- BABY CARRIAGE: Enhance the baby carriage with pen "lace" and flower stickers. I used small flowers around the top edges and lace border drawn in front of the hood.
Or add a blanket of printed paper.
- BANANA: See Corncob
- BARN: See schoolhouse
- BASKET: For a fall page, use a Basket die-cut spilled over with Apple die-cuts tumbling out.
Fill the basket die-cut with baby items, Easter Eggs, flowers, etc.
Take the scrap from the basket and use it as a pot of gold or a Halloween cauldron.
- BIB: Enhance the baby bib with stickers to spell "baby" or the baby's name if it is short.
Use the part that you removed from the bib as a speech bubble!
- BIRTHDAY CAKE: pink birthday cake split in three layers using the scallop scissors and separated slightly to look like frosting.
- BUTTERFLY: Cut the butterfly in half to make two 'flying' butterflies.
- CAMERA: Use every part - For example the gold camera die-cut. Use the stencil (frame) to write titles, names or dates inside of - or to frame or mat a photo. Cut the top part (flash) off the camera to make a more modern looking camera; Use the flash section as a computer. The circle punch out part can be a ball or a sun or a moon; use the punch out part from the flash to add to the top of the camera like a "pop up" flash.
Another idea is to use the pink camera and pink film frame on a page with the title "Pretty as a Picture". The pink camera is also good on any page with little girls dressing up, playing Barbie, etc.
- CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT/HOT AIR BALLOON: turn the Christmas ornament upside down
- add a basket with strings to it if desired.
- CHRISTMAS TREE: Decorate with ornament or light stickers.
- CHURCH/HOUSE: Color in the windows with a yellow pen so it looks like the lights are on.
- CLOWN: See Ice Cream Cone
- CORN COB/BANANA: Trim corncob a little at the bottom and it becomes a banana.
- COW: Cut the legs off of the cow and angle them so that the cow is
"jumping" over the moon.
- COWBOY HAT and BOOTS: Decorate with star stickers or use a star punch to make a design.
- CROSS: Split in half both ways with antiques scissors. Spread apart slightly and write the title in the empty space - this looks great on a Baptism or Christening page.
- DOG: Use the stencil from a dog die-cut to make a dog from white paper. Add spots and a fire truck and you've got a Dalmatian.
- DUMP TRUCK: Cut across at the bottom part of the truck bed and you can
'dump' the dump truck.
Fill truck with hearts and/or stars.
- FILM STRIP: Make your own using a binding machine and strips of black paper.
- FIRECRACKER: Pop open a Firecracker die-cut by cutting in half with a jagged line.
- FISH: Draw scales with a pen.
- FOOD: Use scalloped scissors to take a bite out of your ice cream or any other food item.
- HORSE: Add the scrap from the flowerpot die-cut to a horse as a unicorn's horn.
- HOT AIR BALLOON: See Christmas Ornament
- ICE CREAM CONE/CLOWN: Turn a blue ice cream cone upside down, add two yellow paper punches for eyes, a red shape for the mouth and a purple pom pom on the hat, draw a wavy line across the part where the cone top is to separate the hat from the head.
- JACK-O-LANTERN: Add yellow paper behind a Jack-o-lantern die-cut to light its candle.
- LEAVES: Draw stems and veins on the leaves.
- MIRROR: See Tennis Racket
- SAILBOAT: Trim the bottom with the scallop scissors - rounded part up.
- SCARECROW: "Dress" a Scarecrow with gingham paper.
- SCHOOL BUS: Add your school's name.
- SCHOOL HOUSE: Add your school's name.
Cut off the top of the schoolhouse to make a red barn. Follow the slant of the roof. The bell sort of made a little flat spot but it looked OK. Put a strip of paper about 2" wide across the bottom of the page for ground. Set the "barn" up a little on the strip so it looks like it is in the distance. Scatter farm animal stickers close to the bottom of the strip so they appear in the foreground. Open the doors to the "barn".
- SNOWMAN: Add a gingham scarf to a Snowman die-cut.
A purple snowman stencil cut down to a quarter inch outline using black punches for the buttons and eyes and an orange carrot shape for the nose.
- STORK: Trim a baby picture and place the baby in the bundle of a Stork die-cut.
- SUNGLASSES: Trim the ear pieces off the green sunglasses and put on the upper part of a 3 inch yellow circle a pair of 'shades' makes the sun look 'cool'. (see also Apple)
- TENNIS RACQUET/MIRROR: A blue tennis racket, with the "string"
part removed and filled with light blue paper (or foil) and a pink bow sticker on the handle becomes a looking glass.
- TRAIN: Combine different colors of train die-cuts to match your theme
(Christmas, birthday, etc.) Or make more train cars using rectangular photos and paper circle wheels.
- TROPHY: Use stickers to spell out "Best Dad" or whatever--
or use an award ribbon sticker.
- UMBRELLA: Cut three different color umbrella die-cuts into thirds to make striped beach umbrellas.
- WORD PLAY: Use a die-cut in your title...Example: Use a die-cut heart for the word love in a title.
Use the Sunglasses die-cut in place of two O's for the word "Pool" or "Cool".