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I could easily spend weeks and weeks experimenting, creating projects and writing articles here that showcase what can be done with the Big Shot, but, it takes time (and a lot of it) to do all that, so please bear with me! (wink!)  And, like most folks, I do have a budget to stick to, and simply couldn’t afford to purchase *everything* I wanted all at the same time.

It’s always wise, in the case of a luxury tool (Yes, I consider a personal die cutting system a luxury tool!), to start slow, to ensure I’m making wise investments.  Trust me, I learned that the hard way years ago. Hah!

So, today’s article is going to feature some materials I had on hand, coupled with a few dies I purchased after my initial investment in the Big Shot Starter Kit.

BTW, since I didn’t mention it in the previous article, the Big Shot Starter Kit has an MSRP of $119.95.  Shop around, as prices may vary from one retailer to another.  As I mentioned, I purchased mine through Costco , with my membership.  I don’t have the receipt in front of me, but I can safely say I paid about half the MSRP by purchasing through them.   However, I had to have the item shipped to me, and if there had been problems with it, I have no idea how a return or exchange experience would have gone . . .


As you can see above, I have been experimenting with various materials and what the Big Shot can actually cut through.  All the dies used above are Sizzix steel rule dies, and they are fully compatible with the BS.  Whether they’re used with the Sizzix cutter or the BS, they will cut through not only paper and card stock, but lightweight chipboard, quite easily.   While you can buy chipboard, I actually save the backings of all my notepads, and any of the stuff that comes in packaging, expressly for uses of this type.  Waste not, eh?!  chuckle!

After cutting through card stock, I experimented with lightweight chipboard and lightweight coasters*.  Most of the chipboard I have is kraft/gray, but coasters are white, and sometimes, white is nice. (grin)

On the advice of a fellow stamper (Thanks, Jeanne, The Royal Die Cutting Queen!), I found that adhering the suede or patterned paper to the chipboard with Xyron adhesive, prior to sending it through the machine, was a great time saver and saved tedious hand trimming.  Yessssss!!!

The example below features suede covered chipboard flowers.  Aren’t they darling?  Some company out there probably already offers something similar, all pre-fab, but I just *LOVE*LOVE*LOVE* that I can make my own, any color I want to suit my project! (grinnin’ n’ bouncin’!)  Did I say I love it?! chortle!

Zig Zag Stitching image by Hero Arts; Sentiment by SU!; Patterned Paper by SU!;  Suede/Velveteen Papers, source unknown; Fabriano Mediovalis Reply Card; Palette Hybrid Ink in Burnt Umber; Spiral Clip by SU!; Grosgrain Ribbon by SU!; Flower Power die by Doodlebug for Sizzix

I love this zig zag stitch image by Hero Arts–just looks so real, and I hate dragging out my sewing machine for anything, even card making.  I’ve had this darn stamp for more than 6 months, and the poor thing has never seen ink until this card!  I know–the horror of virgin rubbah!!!! ACK! 

After I secured the patterned paper to the base card, I just stamped the zig zag over the top.  The flowers were glued into place and then the sentiment was stamped.  Palette Hybrid Burnt Umber ink is such a nice rich brown, with a sepia tone to it, and it worked well for the sentiment, too.  Black would have been too stark, I think?

It still needed something to the lower right, to balance out the design, so a little spiral clip garnished with burgundy ribbon finished it off.  My buddy Mona Lisa has been encouraging me to release the death grip on my embellishment stash and USE the stuff.  She will be quite proud of me, I do believe . . . chuckle!

*Blank coasters are rather elusive, and typically, you can’t find them just "anywhere", and vendors sell them by the thousand count unit (literally!).  Well, if you’re like me, you really don’t know what you’re gonna do with a thousand of ‘em, let alone store ‘em, eh?  So, I got lucky and was able to buy a batch of 200 from someone else (Smooches to you, Speanburg!) who was willing to order that large a quantity.  But, even 200 coasters are a lot, so you might prefer buying a pack of 10 for $1.09  from StarLitStudio.

  1. Sometimes the simplest things are missed. I love the idea of adhering the paper before sending through the die cut machine. Why don’t I think of these things? Thanks for sharing all the tips and great ideas. You are so talented!

  2. Hi Julie! This is super cool — I love that HA zig zag stitch too. Plus by using a stamp you don’t have to own every color of thread under the sun! OH and here’s a tip, if you emboss it the stitches pop out and look even more real! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next with the Big Shot — I, too, have been holding off purchasing one of those critters but now you’ve got me tempted…! Enabler!!!

  3. well, i’ve had that set gathering dust much longer than you, but you have given me the ‘courage’ to get it out and USE IT! TODAY!!!!!!!thanks a bunch…such a cute card, you fooled me, i thought you had been sewing! :-)

  4. So glad to see that you are finally using your toy. Isn’t it just too fun? Wish I had room to keep mine out on the table where I would surely play with it more often, but my area is too cramped. Did you try the texture plates yet? The pcs. I sent you were from the Fiskars plates and they now have three different sets.

    Huggies to you,

  5. Hey Julie, You are fabulous. I just know that we would be fast friends were we to ever meet in “real” life! Anyway, sign yourself up at Sizzix.com. They have internet specials practically every week. Sometimes they even have clearance. Yahoo! I don’t have the Big Shot, just the regular Sizzix. I used my alphabet dies to cut out sponges and make my own stamps. Crude design, yes, but when you want a stamp and not cardstock, it works. Congratulations, and I can’t wait to see what else you design. You are fantastic!

  6. Hi Julie! I am a big fan of yours from SCS! love your blog! I had NEVER thought to check costco for a Big Shot! It is on my Christmas list for sure!

    Have a great day! thanks for the inspiration!


    ps. Your bio says you have been married for 22 years! did you get hitched when you were 12? You don’t look a day over 35!!!

  7. Very cool! It would have been a million years before I thought of the tip Jeanne shared with you! Thanks for passing it along!

    The card is very pretty! Those flowers just look perfect!!

  8. OH~! Love what you did with your BigShot! The card is great, and all the info is priceless! Thanks so much for experimenting FOR us! :) I’ve gotta get my die cutting machines OUT and PLAY! Thanks for the inspiration!

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