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The beginner’s guide to multi media die-cutting

Crafter's Companion – 13/12/19

We’ve talked a whole load about die-cutting here on the Crafter’s Companion blog, but we thought that for this beginner’s guide, we’d get a bit more specific and delve into the world of multi media die-cutting! When we talk about die-cutting, we’re often referring to card and paper, but for this post, let’s explore all the other die-cutting possibilities!

What is multi media die-cutting?

‘Die-cutting’ is quite a broad term and relates to the cutting of materials with metal dies, but it’s usually only used when referring to paper or card. There are lots of sub-categories below the die-cutting umbrella and multi media die-cutting is one of them. As the name might suggest, multi media die-cutting refers to the cutting of a variety of materials with metal dies, not just strictly paper or card. We’ll get into all of the materials this could mean in a little while, but it;s a technique that’s used in needlecrafts and multi media craft projects!

What is a multi media die?

With most common dies, they are fairly thin to cut through paper or card only, but our multi media dies are much thicker. At 1.5mm, the bladed designs are slightly more pronounced to help you cut through more ‘difficult’ materials, whilst still giving you those crisp and precise shapes that you want. They can also cut through multiple layers of fabric, saving you time for sewing and quilting.

What materials can multi media dies cut through?

Multi media dies are excellent at cutting through a wide range of materials, such as:

Paper and card
Vellum
Foil
Vinyl
Chipboard
Cork
Foam
Cotton fabrics
Denim
Faux leather
Corduroy
Felt

And so many more! The possibilities truly are endless – it’s just a case of experimenting with different materials and discovering all of the different effects that you can achieve. Our multi media dies are capable of cutting through a whole host of things, so there’s a ton of potential for you to cut precise pieces.

Which crafts can you use multi media dies for?

  • Patchwork – in patchwork, you stitch together shapes to create blocks or patterns that can then be turned into a quilt, wall hanging, cushion or something completely different. Multi media dies are ideal for this because they help you to create shapes that fit together perfectly and guarantee identical designs.
  • Applique – this craft is characterised by the stitching of shapes on to fabric to create patterns or images, so if you want accurate pieces, multi media dies are the way forward. For example, you could cut a circle and multiple petals in the same size to design a flower.
  • English Paper Piecing – if you want really accurate shapes for your EPP projects, multi media dies will help you to cut both the paper and the fabric to the correct size.
  • Bag making – we stock a range of bag making dies that will help you to cut all of the pieces needed to create a range of bags. They make it easier for beginners to get started or experts produce bags at a much quicker rate.
  • Matting and layering – this can be done with paper, card or fabric and will help you to get a stunning layered effect on your projects.
  • Sewing – if you’re making stuffed toys, ornaments or clothing, you might find multi media dies really useful for getting those shapes just right. Try out our Build-a-Buddy Dies to create adorable stuffed animals!

How to care for your die-cutting machine

As multi media dies tend to be thicker than regular dies, it’s essential that you take good care of your die-cutting machine and plates. That way, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly and you’ll get the most out of every die that you use.

  • If you’re running a cutting plate through your machine more than once, you’ll need to flip the plate each time to prevent bowing.
  • Always use the correct sandwich or plate configuration that is recommended by the machine manufacturer, otherwise you could cause damage to your machine.
  • Never force your plates through!
  • Try to die cut away from the centre of your cutting plates, as this is where the weakest amount of pressure is.
  • Make sure you clean your machine periodically. Removing small bits and dirt will help the performance of your die-cutting machine.

If you’ve been pondering over multi media dies, we hope that this guide has helped you to understand the extra potential that they can bring to your crafts. Whether you’re a sewist, quilter or papercrafter, multi media dies will make a welcome addition into you’re collection!

If you have any other questions about multi media die-cutting, you can ask us on Facebook UKFacebook USA,  TwitterInstagram UKInstagram USPinterest UK or Pinterest US using the hashtag #crafterscompanion.