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What can I use with my Big Shot, and what accessories do I need in order to use them?

If you’re going to use:

  • Cuttlebug* dies
  • Cuttlebug A-2 embossing folders
  • Sizzix Originals* dies (steel rule)
  • Sizzix Sizzlit dies (wafer, won’t cut through more than card stock max)
  • Sizzix’s newly released BIGZ* dies
  • Sizzix’s newly released Embosslits (wafer style, cut and emboss; card stock max)
  • Big Shot Thick Cuts* dies
  • Big Shot Thin Cuts (wafer style, just like the Sizzlit; card stock max)
  • Big Shot Cut n’ Emboss (wafer style, cut and emboss; card stock max)

you don’t need anything extra, just the original white platform and the 2 clear cutting pads that came with the machine.

*indicates dies that will cut through not only card stock, but also lightweight chipboard, coaster material, felt, fabric, stencil plastic, polyshrink, acetate/transparency, thin sheet metal, leather, etc.

If you’re going to pressure/dry emboss with other (off-brand) brass  stencils or heavy plastic texture plates, you will need:

  • The Big Shot Multi-purpose Platform (photo HERE)
  • The Big Impressions Starter Kit (which has the necessary rubber/silicone impression pads you’ll need, PLUS some texture plates, photo HERE)

If you’re going to use QuicKutz dies in the Big Shot, I suspect you’ll probably need the BSMP, otherwise, you’ll have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to create a sandwich that will work with it, and whatnot.

What exactly IS the BSMP??? 

It is a white platform, with tabbed shims attached to it at one end, each color coded, and with printed directions that tell you which tabs should be opened or closed to make the appropriate sandwich, including cutting plates, needed for what you are trying to use (Ellison/Big Shot/Sizzix brand dies and embossing products, or off-brand dies and embossing products) with the Big Shot.

With it, you can discard the original white platform that came with the machine, but I don’t intend to discard mine. You never know when it will come in handy.

The BISK, the BSMP and the Big Shot specifically, are designed as one comprehensive system to eliminate all that messing around with chipboard shims trying to create endless variations of sandwiches that would work with this or that brand of die, this or that type of stencil, this or that type of texture plate, etc.

In effect, if it works as it should, you won’t need any kind of sandwich chart, or spare chipboard shims laying around, such as is currently needed for the Cuttlebug, when using off-brand products with it. If Provo Craft is smart, they’ll develop a multi-purpose platform and an impressions kit specifically for the Cuttlebug . . .

This doesn’t mean the Cuttlebug isn’t as good a machine as the Big Shot; it means Ellison is just a step or to ahead of Provo Craft on that particular aspect of accessory development for their machine.

Where can I get either the Big Shot or the Cuttlebug and for the best deal?

I bought my Big Shot through costco.com and the Cuttlebug through joann.com  After a brief comparison between the machines and figuring out which one was best for my bum hand/arm (tendinitis), I sold the CB to a good and loving home.

Where can I get the best deal on Big Shot/Sizzix/Cuttlebug dies?

I live on an island; I shop online a lot. (My LSS does not carry many, if any, of these particular products.  They do offer computerized die cutting services on site, however.)

I have ordered my dies and embossing products from  www.sizzix.com, , www.creativexpress.com , joann.com , and, most recently, www.paperdreamsstore.com

I’ll admit:  I’m the type with a strong preference to shop at those places/folks I know and trust or have had recommended to me by fellow stampers, based on their personal experiences.  I love a bargain as much as the next girl, BUT, I always consider those factors first and foremost.   You will need to do your own research and determine what is the best deal for you.  I don’t like to bid on things, so I don’t shop at Ebay, but you could possibly find some sweet deals there.

Which die cutting machine is best for me?

Please see Machine Comparisons

Where can I get some of that blank white chipboard/coaster stuff you showed the other day?

You can order them from www.americancoaster.com  However, they do have a minimum unit order, I believe, of 1,000 coasters.  I got in on a group order someone had organized in the forum over at Splitcoaststampers.com (after all, where the heck is anyone gonna store 1,000 coasters, and it would take quite a while to use ‘em all anyway! ); you could organize one among your stamping friends and split the order!  They are dirt cheap!!!

  1. I’m thinking of using the Big Shot just as a calendering machine for my handmade paper. I was trying to find out the PSI rating for this machine. And is the Big Shot Pro more PSI?

  2. hi, i have a question….
    i have an ellison big shot, and the block that came with it. it was kind of hard to use the cuttlebug with it and i’m scared it will stress the cuttle bug plates. is the multipurpose platform needed for cuttlebug dies? so it’s not so tight….

  3. My 11-year-old granddaughter has expressed an interest in scrapbooking. Since I have gone to a computerized cutter, I was going to give her my Big Shot and then give her a big box of papers and dies for Christmas. I see quite a few ‘strips’ have come out since I last shopped for dies. It says I need some kind of ‘extension’ to use these with the Big Shot. I can’t tell if I need two items or one. It sounds like I need an ‘extended platform’ as well as ‘extended pads’ or are they one and they same?

    Appreciate any help!


    Yes, you need both the Sizzix Decorative Strip Cutting Pad 13”, and the Sizzix BIGkick Extended Spacer Platform, to use the Sizzix Decorative Die Strips (these dies are very long, and cut borders, etc.). You can find both of these at http://www.joann.com or I’m sure http://www.sizzix.com also carries them. They were designed for use with the decorative strip dies made for the Sizzix SideKick, and are cross compatible with the Big Shot/Big Kick machines.

    HTH, Julie

  4. I didn’t read it good enough and didn’t realize it was a challenge! Hey, I’m all over this. I’ll get working and will post back here when I’m done. Thanks for the fun Julie!

  5. Julie-

    Thanks for taking the time to compile all this info on the comparisons between Cuttlebug and Big Shot- it has really been helpful! I currently have the Sizzix machine and with rheumatoid arthritis, I also was worried about the suction issue and the crank on the Cuttlebug. I am donating my traditional Sizzix machine to my son’s school (my justification for the new machine!) and am waiting for my new Big Shot to arrive!

    Thanks again!

  6. Thanks for all the great info, Julie!

  7. WOW!!! This is exactly what I needed. THANK YOU!!!!

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