Die Cutting Techniques | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Die Cutting Technique - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #248: “Cindy, do you have the Sizzix BIGkick Machine (Vintaj Special Edition)?” ~Cheryl-H

In last week’s Combing Technique Video, I showed some examples of jewelry components made from die cut polymer clay. This week I will demonstrate how to make these unique shapes for your own jewelry making projects.

What were those “die” cuts and how do you go about finding shapes to do them? ~Teresa-D

Please tell us what you used to cut your clay out with Cindy, to create such intricate designs. ~DixieAnn-S

Hmmmm, I too have been wondering about die-cutting for quite some time. I’ve never been able to find a tute for it. ~Lesley-S

Die cutting machines have been around for quite a while… mostly used by scrapbookers to cut paper, cardstock, chipboard, felt, fabric, metal foil, leather, and plastic… for their scrapbook and card making projects.

These versatile tools can also be used to emboss thicker materials. Vintaj has even come up with dies and folders that will work with up 24 gauge metal.

As with most mixed media tools and techniques, polymer clay is perfectly suited to work itself into the picture. So naturally, with all that die cutting brings to the table for the mixed media jewelry artist, I could no longer resist the urge to purchase a die cutter, dies and embossing folders for my studio. This means of course, once I started playing with my new toy, I just had to show you all how to use it!

Looking forward to it since I just purchased Vintaj BigKicks Machine. ~Lupe-M

I’m extremely interested in learning to use my die cutters with polymer clay! ~Lisa-W

So… coming up tomorrow (Friday, March 23, 2012) in the Vol-046-4 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I will be teaching you how to use a die cutting machine to make intricate shapes with polymer clay. You can then use these polymer clay die cuts as charms, pendants and many other jewelry components.

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Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-046-4 Die Cutting Polymer Clay:

  • Thin sheets or veneers of polymer clay in any technique. See last week’s Combing Technique Video for tips on thickness’ and baking.
  • Die Cutting Machine and Dies.  I used the Blue Sizzix BigKick, but Vintaj just teamed up with BigKick and designed a cool looking Vintaj BigKick that is great looking. Same machine, different look. As far as dies go, there are tons available. Use the thicker steel dies meant for cutting thicker material such as chipboard, fabric and leather.

- Sizzix Cutting Machine & Accessories Vintaj BigKick. For more info about this product type 40059223 into the search box at CreateForLess

- Sizzix Dies Originals Rachel Bright Oval Frame, Bird & Pendant. For more info about this product type 77746296 into the search box at CreateForLess

- Sizzix Dies Originals Rachel Bright Frame & Medallion. For more info about this product type 12725950 into the search box at CreateForLess

- Sizzix Dies Originals Rectangles #3. For more info about this product type 33708971 into the search box at CreateForLess

- Sizzix Dies Originals Rachel Bright Frame & Pendant  #2. For more info about this product type 02685555 into the search box at CreateForLess

- Sizzix Dies Originals Rachel Bright Frame & Pendant. For more info about this product type 95966087 into the search box at CreateForLess

- Sizzix Dies Originals Brenda Pinnick Asymmetrical Rings. For more info about this product type 76935676 into the search box at CreateForLess

  • File Folder (optional).
  • Palette Knife (optional).
  • UV Resin (optional).


Create More, Spend Less

By the way, many of the “shopping” links I provide for the various tools and supplies used in my tutorials, are “affiliate” resources. That means companies like Amazon and the other suppliers I refer, pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials so low… at only $3.32 per month. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay. So please do feel free to click away whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for supporting this site :-)

Here’s a sneak peak of this week’s tutorial…

Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
Polymer Clay Tutorials

The full version of the “Die Cutting” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-046 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Cindy & Doug – Thank you both once again for giving way more than you ever ask for in return. Many Uuuuuugggggs. ~Peggy-B

I have NEVER regreted joining the member video tutorials, I don’t know how you keep hitting it out of the park all the time. ~Ken-H

I signed up last fall as a treat to myself. I thought I could learn at least a few more clay techniques and because the videos are so reasonably priced there was nothing to lose really. What an understatement! The value I get in return was/is such a nice surprise: video quality and detail (no incomplete, rushed instructions; lots of close-ups; great sound). Cindy’s thorough “testing” which always leads to additional tips; and a wealth of information available through her blog. It’s rare – but if something isn’t covered in a video tutorial, questions are encouraged and followed through with a prompt response. I too, can’t get to doing all the weekly lessons right away, but I always watch and learn. Something I wasn’t aware of initially that has happened, is the way I think about creating projects. All of the tutorials have really helped develop a vocabulary for ideas. I can write my thoughts down and know that when I get a chance, they can be completed because I now know the “practical” info from watching and reading. Learning what can be done inspires so many new ideas! I really love that I can access the clips anytime 24/7; repeat and pause whenever I need to understand everything that’s explained. Many thoughtful, experienced clayers follow this site and offer SO much as well. Hope this helps, sorry for the length here….you can tell I’m a convert!! ;0) ~DJ

The following topics are included in this week’s Die Cutting video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library:

  • See examples of die cut polymer clay in a variety of different polymer techniques, shapes and jewelry component uses, including pendants, charms, links and earrings.
  • Find out how simple it is to create these gorgeous intricately cut polymer clay components.
  • Learn information on the proper way to prepare your polymer clay for die cutting, as well the right kind of dies to use for the process.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Die Cutting” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-046 Back Issue Package.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


Create More, Spend Less

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Comments

  1. Hi Cindy. I.m sure this week’s tute will be interesting because they all are. However, I’m wondering how many more of these tutes are going to require that we buy expensive equipment in order to utilize the tute? I know there are a lot of scrapbookers out there who would love to know how to do this and who may already own this equipment but I am not a scrapbooker and living on a limited, fixed budget doesn’t allow for purchases of this nature. I guess what I’m trying to say, in a nutshell, is when are we going to get back to claying?

    Disclaimer: this is NOT a criticism of our wonderful Cindy and should not be construed as such :)

    • Unfortunately, I would have to agree with Angela M. This is probably a cool use for someone who already has or is planning to buy one of these machines. I priced them a while back for metal-embossing, so I know this is not an investment I care to make. (Saving for a D.R.E.A.M. Machine instead!) I’m sure I’ll watch and enjoy the video, though. As I’ve said before, Cindy, your tutes are always entertaining and you teach in a style that encourages experimentation, so I get lots of helpful tips and gentle “kicks” to the right side of my brain LOL

      Speaking of which, have you seen this Left Brain / Right Brain Quiz?

      I think it’s for prospective students to Vancouver’s Art Institute. I took it for fun and I expected to come out WAAYY over on the left, but I was surprised at the results. Guess there’s hope for us all!

      Cindy, I hope you have a great W/E and a nice Fifth Friday “week off” next week. Enjoy!

      • Hi Monique :) I did that quiz. What a surprise that was. Turns out I’m a very definite right-brainer, not at all what I expected. Thanks for the link and have a great day.

    • Thank You Angela and Monique for your input. I appreciate your kind comments as well as your critiques.

      As far as your first question Angela, “How many more of these tutes are going to require that we buy expensive equipment in order to utilize the tute?” The answer is honestly, “Probably many.”

      You see awhile back I realized that there was no way I was ever going to be able to please everyone all the time. Some people love flowers… some people hate them. Some want to make only canes and others can’t bare the thought of them. And some want to use whatever supplies are available to them, while others wish only to use their bare hands.

      Somewhere along the lines I decided to please myself by being as innovative as I could, and never keeping my creativity in a box. If I had or saw a new tool that could be used in a new way, I certainly would try it… then if I came up with a tutorial that was cool, then I would show you all how to do it. With this approach, I am able to ‘please’ many different types of people over the course of time.

      It would be good to remember, just how cheap these tutorials are. If you are a paying monthly member, you pay approximately $40 per year, for 48 video tutorials and 48 color recipes. Plus you get 48 more free color recipes, just for signing up for the PcT Newsletter (Guest List).

      To put that into perspective, there are many polymer clay tutorials on the market today that cost $40 for one tutorial with limited views. So it could be fair to look at my tutorials as paying for 1 tutorial and getting 47 for free! Plus you can watch them as many times as you want, and get 96 color recipes to boot!

      When you can look at our tutorials in that light, then it doesn’t really matter how many tutorials are done with equipment that you never intend to buy. They may not interest you in style or materials, but they are new ideas you can add to your ‘memory banks’. It may just spark your brain to come up with an idea of your own or a whole new approach to things.

      I have watched many quilting and glass blowing tutorials for that very reason. I know I probably won’t ever use those mediums, but they may lead to a polymer clay idea that is cutting edge.

      So the long answer to your question is, yes I will definitely have more tutorials with tools in them that may be out of your price range. I will try to however give suggestions on how you could use the technique if you can’t get the tools. But if that still doesn’t make you want to do the technique, then don’t worry about it. It cost less than a dollar and you may have learned something new.

      Have you ever bought a magazine or book that only had 1 or 2 projects in it that you liked? I have. But the ones I liked were well worth the price if they led me down the road to discovery and enjoyment of my favorite medium… Polymer Clay!

      • Well put, Cindy! I am certain that when we watch the tomorrow’s video , we’ll see you are full of suggestions, as always, for alternate ways to get these effects for those who enjoy the look but cannot/don’t want to purchase this particular tool. Do I LOVE every technique? Of course not! But given enough hours in the day, I’d probably try most of them. Do I think the membership is worth it? ABSOLUTELY- the colour palettes alone are worth more to me. And the effect on my (sad, underdeveloped) creativity? PRICELESS. Of course, I personally like stuff that is less reliant on a technology, but so what? I have never seen you strike out, and you sure hit a lot of home runs! xoxo

      • Cindy, thank you for replying so quickly and for your honesty and forthrightness.

        I had not considered this from the magazine perspective-that is an interesting thought. Only a few months ago I purchased a sewing magazine, that I’ve never bought before and may never buy again, just because it had one article I knew would be highly useful to me and save me money as time goes on. I wasn’t quibbling about your membership fee though. That would be just ridiculous as the price you charge is almost free for what you offer. I still can’t understand how you can offer so much and charge so little for it.

        What I was talking about is being able to DO what you are teaching. I so enjoy my Friday tutes and want to be able to do them. Being part of Cindy’s “club” feels good and I want to keep that going. I like that you are innovative and forward-thinking because you help me see things in a different light. Growing is always a good thing and you definitely help me to grow in my polyclay endeavors. My concern is that you’ll be using too many things I can’t afford to buy and that I won’t be able to adapt the techniques to non-equipment uses. If I have this concern then I know others will too and I thought you would want to know. I guess time will tell and, in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the tutes as I always do :)

        • Thank you Angela for your comments and I can sympathize with your concerns. Because I do try and keep in mind the needs of everyone here, I try my best to find the best balance I can, between tutorials that may use new tools and ones that use stuff you most likely already have.

          This month is the perfect example of that. For the Clover Flower tutorial all you needed was a little ink and a knitting needle, which most of you already have or can purchase very inexpensively. And the Combing Technique only used your pasta machine or roller and a rubber tipped tool or a knitting needle. Even tomorrow’s die cutting tutorial can be done with an exacto knife and a little patience. So in actuality, you will be able to ‘do’ all the tutorials this month, even if you can’t buy a die cutting machine.

          Also, once I do introduce a new tool or supply to the group, I use it in as many different ways possible. The style and detail tools, or the Wilton Flower cutters are a case in point. I have used those tools in several tutorials and plan to use them in many more. As well, I will in the future be showing more things that can be done with a die cutting machine, so that if our members do decide to purchase one, they can get the most value out of their investment.

          I know that for some people, getting more tools and supplies isn’t always as possible as they would like. That really is the case for everything in life actually. But you can never let that hold you back from learning something new. With a little creativity, everything I teach can be accomplished in some way. I hope you do decide to continue your claying journey with us. We love having you here!

        • Cindy,

          Recently the subject was broached of having a dedicated blog for members to discuss the videos in detail (so as not to reveal too much in the public forum). With today’s thread in mind, it just occured to me what great use could be made of this; to really build on and share new ways we have found to use a tool or technique (or get around using a tool!) How many times I was tempted to write about how such and such a technique could be altered! But I was afraid to say too much. I feel this would be a wonderful way for members with mobility issues, for example, to share adapted methods with one another and with all of us. There are so many helpful and creative folks here

          • That is a good idea Monique :)

            Many times I’ve had ideas or questions or comments about a tute that I knew I couldn’t broach without giving too much away. Also I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could email one of the members but didn’t know how to get an email address without making it public info which is not the best thing to do. I also realized that even if I had an address & could email, how would that member know if I was a member so they wouldn’t be giving Cindy’s stuff away by emailing with me? A members-only blog would sure help with that though so thanks for thinking of it.

            Have a great day.

            Angela M

          • I too would be interested. So many times I’ve really had to hedge my remarks so I wouldn’t give away the secrets. I can usually follow Cindy’s great tutes because she makes things so clear, but it would be nice to discuss in detail once in a while. But, I won’t sob and cry if it doesn’t come to pass…..:).

          • Love the member only blog/forum idea. Important to be able to assist folks more thoroughly with membership techniques that cannot be posted on the free PCT blog.

            Would also love a place to note special sales at craft stores, good online outlets and sales, and craft supply trading between members (sort of our own internal Ebay). I have lots of stuff I can no longer use, and would love to see someone here be able to put it to use, especially newbies.

            Doug, if you wanted the ultimate in feedback for this, why don’t you post a special blog entry where we can all brainstorm this idea?

            That way the comments are all in one spot and not spread throughout.

            One specific spot that we could go to request new topics or tutes would be great too, and eliminate some duplication.

            You do a great job here, and I am so grateful to be a member.

          • Oh Doug, I forgot to add my support for the “members only” forum idea! I think it would be brilliant to be able to discuss techniques in detail and help each other out and share our own variations and so on. I’ve been wary in the past about sharing ANY info with others simply because I have no way of knowing who has paid for what tute and I in no way want to reveal crucial “secrets” to anyone who isn’t a member. So count me in!

          • I too would love to be able to share with the members here and not have to worry about what I needed help with or had a suggestion for . I do not write often as I sometimes blurt out thoughts without editing out crucial info that could give away the important points. Questions answered and sharing will make your community a stronger and more loyal force here on a members only blog… and in turn will encourage others on the outside looking in to join to get even more value from the pennies that we spend here. I love this site and you have my support in which ever direction you choose to go but I am definately a yes for a closed place to discuss.

        • The tools needed for this and future tutes are a good thing to use your 40% off coupons for, I did and got the machine and several dies for less than $100

      • I thought maybe you will come up with a way to put the die through the pasta machine. LOL !! You are very inventive and I KNOW you can figure that out for us.

        I understand others concerns about buying equipment as I too have a lot of “stuff” and do not want to spin off in another direction. But I have to admit that I looked at the die cutting machines them at Hobby Lobby last night. I have a friend that has a machine and am going to suggest a cooperative/sharing agreement- I will make some really cool PC sheets and you use your really cool die cutting machine. Win-Win.

        I have seen the texture/embossing folders used with metal blanks. I think they can be used WITHOUT the die cut machine with raw clay-cool double sided clay.

        Anna

      • Well said. You definitely cannot please everyone all the time. The die cutting is not my style, but I love to see how it all works. Learning is not always straight ahead. You learn by doing. So this technique will please lots of clayers. Go for it …………..!Anything that is new is exciting. Life is a Smogasbord – you pick what you like.

      • Cindy, I am a picker and chooser of what I want to do today, I have not done all of the tuts yet and some I am not currently interested in doing. But I can tell you that I have gone back and decided that Today would be a good day to try something new and have used some of the tuts that I watched awhile ago and passed on doing. Life changes and so do our moods and what we want to try. How wonderful that we have the availability of the library to change our ideas and directions if we choose. I am kinda a “flavor of the month girl” this month I will do Flowers LOTS AND LOTS of flowers and next month I may try something new. Thanks for bringing us a variety of offerings.
        I do have a die cutting machine that I purchased a while ago and never have used it. But it was in a closeout bin at a small store…. you never know what will happen that you may get one. It was not a purchase that I would then or now have made but it was a deal not to be passed up. And at the time I thought it would make a good present for my scrapbooking sister and it was less than 70% of the value. Need I say that My sister will not be getting a die cutter now, though I will not try this technique right now…. maybe in a few months.
        By the way, you may want to check on Craigs list for items like this So often I find items there for far less than cost. Assuming I guess that you all have a Craigs list….
        As always Cindy thanks for your wonderful efforts at presenting new and differing ways to do my claying. Karonkay

  2. Cool…looking forward to this tute. I look at this as something that I can add to my polymer clay pieces, since I do jewelry primarily. I know that the mini die cutters work great for thin polymer clay pieces that you can “applique” to polymer clay. So, when they are in the sale bins in Michael’s I snatch them up, but you can use many of the die cutter templates for polymer clay to cut out certain shapes. I have also used molding sheets from the baking isle that they use for decorating cakes as well. There are so many things that you can use for designing polymer clay pieces which is why I love this medium! Thank you for all the links, Cindy!

  3. Wow! ….. so looking forward to this one, something completely new to me. I have to agree with Cindy – sometimes we don’t have the equipment needed …. but an idea is sparked, and that can take us in all kinds of new and exciting directions.

    I would just like to say that, since I started making jewellery in polymer clay, joining the “Cindy Club” is absolutely the best single thing I’ve done. Rock on Cindy, you are such a star!!!

  4. A die cutter may not be an item I’ll purchase anytime soon if ever but I sure love seeing what you come up with! What I find so amazing is by watching your videos is it helps me to think of other possibilities that I wouldn’t have on my own! So Thank You.

    Besides it gives me something else to put on my wish list. LOL

  5. Folks, hope all are well here at the PCT community.

    My old computer is very wonky, so miss being able to scroll around here and the art world online, but am saving my pennies for a new tower.

    I am so excited to see this tute. The last time I had the computer long enough, I was totally absorbed in researching all the new to me die casting machinery available. This stuff is just too cool if we can use polymer clay and metals with it.

    Put a big smile on my face when I saw Cindy’s new direction. These machines and techniques allow gorgeous detailed and ornate shapes produced perfectly, and for those like myself who have hand difficulty due to MS, truly expands possibilities way past cookie cutters, stamps, blades, etc. I cannot wait to see how this plays out as a new tool for the medium.

    Thanks, Cindy!

  6. Hi CINDY,
    Thought I would add my two cents to this thread. Don’t ever stop researching and experimenting with different ways of using tools that are out there for other crafts. This is what makes you UNIQUE.

    Somebody said to ME once “Don’t try to fit in, you were born to Stand out”. So I say how true this is of YOU and yes, some of these tools are out of people’s price range but , hey nobody gets everything they want out of life, but we can always dream!!!

    I was researching the cost of poly -photo plates, as had purchased a UV light,
    (bargain price for the UV resin technique you taught us), would love to make my own plates to use with silver art clay but know it is something I will have to put on my wish-list and also learn a lot more about this technique before I even think about it.But what a cool-tool! Multi functional.

    Waiting now to see the full version of this latest tute, especially as I also work with leather and metal, (both that you mentioned could be used with the die cutter.) How exciting, even if I cannot afford it until I am a little wrinkly old lady!!!! So keep the experiments going, push the boundaries, go where no man (or woman) has gone before.

    Just remember, members and non-members, Cindy GAVE you the Teardrop Blend which was the best, the very best time-saving blending method ever, and who would have thought that one day we wouldn’t bat an eyelid, rolling our clay through a machine that made pasta? Wonder what inventive person came up with that idea?….Best value site ever………….Cheers xx

  7. Guess I’ll be staying up late again to catch the video when it becomes available. I never thought about buying a die cutter because I wasn’t into scrapbooking that much, but I guess I need to get another “piggybank” (actually an old pringles can ) for this, it’s how I save for all the larger equipment that I want from seeing all these fantastic techniques. I’m currently saving for a little tabletop kiln so I can try the PMCs

      • I saw a while ago a product that is PMC in a paper form. I have a dream of making an origami PMC charm bracelet someday, and I don’t trust myself with a torch yet, that would be an outside project, that’s why I want the kiln.

        • I know what you mean by using the torch inside. Yikes! The kiln would be the way to go. I have been watching the prices of the PMC itself and the kilns. Why can’t their prices drop like the housing market? Lol!

        • I don’t blame you Ken. I have a feeling that I would not be very good with a torch which is why I have stayed away from PMC plus it is considerably more expensive than PC. Would love to see what you do with the kiln. I am with Cat…always wanted to get a kiln. 8)

          • The torch is easy to use and a lot less money. You can fire a lot of smaller items. I’ve made pendants and rings using just the torch. I’m on the look out for a kiln too for PMC as well as fusing glass but they are so expensive I can’t afford it at the moment..

        • Hi Ken :)

          I was on the Pinterest board earlier and saw a simple gold chain necklace with a single gold origami swan hanging from it. Although there were no other adornments but the swan, it was so striking it made me gasp. I think you are definitely on a good track with this.

          Have a great day.

          Angela M

          • Ken, I found a video on YouTube a couple of years ago about Origami Clay! You would be amazed what this lady did! I will try to find it and let you know. I never tried it but it was so cool.

  8. What an interesting thread of discussion. My problem is that little old New Zealand doesn;t have that stuff!! I have to buy on line and with the price of shipping on weight it gets quite prohibitive. In saying that though, we are coming to the states in May, landing in San Fran and hiring an RV to drive inland to LA.. Will there be places to buy that sort of thing?
    Thanks
    Sandra

    • It will be easy to find die cutting machines and dies when you are in California Sandra. Any of the big craft stores like Michaels and Joanne’s will have them no problem. Make sure to sign up for their emails ahead of time so you can get their 40% off coupons. Have a great trip. It sounds like fun!

    • You can use whatever machine and dies you want Catalina, as long as they are steel rule dies and meant for cutting thicker materials, like cardboard, chip board, felt, etc. and not just paper or cardstock. If you use the Sizzix dies in your Cuttlebug, you may just have to play around with the ‘sandwich’ and use some shims to get the right fit. Once you see the tutorial, you will know what will work for you.

      • I am still looking dor a die cutting machine in France
        The cuttlebug I have found is the V2. Would that fit ? It cuts 1mm thick material (including felt).
        I didn’t undertand about the “steel rule dies” (language problem) -still not ready to be your translator in French ; -).
        Thank you Cindy for letting me know if that would be OK

        Francine

        • Teresa and Francine, Steel Rule just means that the dies use steel band (sort of like a sharp cookie cutter) that is embedded in a black firm foam base. When the die is put under pressure in the machine, the foam pushes back and exposes the steel rule cutters.

          Most of the time the packaging won’t say anything about the cutter being steel rule. It will say however, the types of material the die is capable of cutting. Make sure to use dies that can cut things like cardboard, chipboard, grunge board, felt, fabric, leather and craft metal and it will work fine for polymer clay. Hopefully that helps!

  9. At first I, too, thought about the money a die-cutting machine would cost and knew I wouldn’t be buying one. Then I thought about the Wilton flower pieces and had thought I wasn’t going to spend the money on them until you did something I couldn’t do without them.

    Anyway, I did spend the money for the Wilton flower sets and I have just had so much fun with them. My granddaughter teaches at a parochial school who had a fundraiser silent auction. She asked if I would make a dogwood pin for it. My daughter is going to enter a Bead Star contest for plastic and asked if I would make a big flower she could incorporate into a necklace.

    Your idea about a magazine hit me because I know that if I buy a book or magazine and only get one good idea from it, I feel it’s worth the price I paid.

    I’ll be at my computer eagerly watching the tute tomorrow even though I don’t intend to buy a die cutting machine. If I don’t like it, I’ll go back into the library and watch and refresh my mind with an older tute and be happy.

  10. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…….(suck in a breathe)…..YEAH….THANK YOU! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! This tute was what I hoped it would be. A die-cast tutorial. This is awesome. And I get 40% off one item at Hobby Lobby at least once a month. Ok I am now going to go faint with sheer happiness and joy! Love you so much, Cindy!

  11. FYI guys, been researching the die cutters, and Joann’s have 40% off the sizzix bigshot, which does the same thing as the one Cindy has, only on online though. some of you might want to check it out. they don’t ship internationally, so i gotta hope that they have a sale when i am over there.

  12. Ok, I get now. Very cool! I always wondered about doing this and now I know! This would be nice to make your own scrapbook embellishments, too! The UV resin will really make these look great.

  13. Hooray! I’m back to getting my newsletter on Friday. Doug’s advice was right on as usual. Can’t do this weeks tutorial, but that’s OK, just leaves more time to mix these gorgeous new colour palettes. Every cloud has a silver lining (silver PC, that is!) I feel some new flower canes may be in the forecast for this W/E, mokume gane in new shades, maybe some leaf and feather canes, background pattern sheets, etc., etc. So many choices!! Have a great claying W/E everyone!!

  14. I bought a BigKick last weekend for this very reason! I spent the last 2 days die cutting polymer clay. Some big fails, and some successes. I can’t wait to see what Cindy has done.

  15. Love the ideas and how tos I get from these Friday tutes. I will have to scout out the machine. Not sure yet…… I use my exato knife quite a bit so this gave me some ideas for picture frame pendants and such. Hmmmmm

  16. Wow what a fascinating machine ! Thanks for showing us how they work – I had NO idea about the internal workings of a die cutter

  17. Love it!! Soooo many ideas spring to mind …. I don’t have a die cutter but will definitely add this to my (ever-lengthening) wish list! Meanwhile ……. where’s my scalpel?

  18. Watched the preview, never guessed I would want one, as thought it was only to cut and emboss paper and card. Looked up all the prices, gulp, then went on ebay UK and bid on two “used ones in good condition”………..What am I like?? Want a new toy mummy ha ha……..

    I’m hooked again Cindy (You are awful, but I like you ) Now have to wait to see the full version but liked Anna Sabina’s idea of sharing with her scrapbooking friend.
    So am looking out for a card making /scrapbooking friend in my location. It is good to know beforehand that the dies and embossing plates can be used on any machine? So I would only have to buy the steel plates? Am I correct Cindy, no don’t answer, your tute will give me all the information (I expect.)

    So, ( like Ken,) my money box is used for saving for a table-top kiln.
    How are you at Origami Ken? Mmm wonder if I could make origami charms using Cindy’s polyfabric tute? I love making those fiddly little cranes using paper, so off I go again on a journey of what if … experimentation….while waiting and watching to see how many people bid on the auction. Wll eventually watch, and really enjoy the new very different avenue that Cindy is leading us. It is like the Yellow Brick Road, Do you have a pair of red sparkly shoes Cindy? hee hee…………cheers xx

    • I’m alright, I can’t do any of the advanced creations, mom got me interested in it when she brought a few book a while ago, then saw the pmc paper and that’s when the lightbulb when on.

      • What a brilliant idea Ken. I have the kiln come visit and we will play! Washington state is a distance for you to get here but how fun!

    • I’m bidding on a machine on eBay too! Thought I might as well grab one if I could get it cheap – new ones seem to be at least £50 and that’s too much for me at the moment as neither me or Him Indoors are working right now. Gotta love eBay ;)

  19. Your tutorials are brilliant and give plenty of ideas but I think the use of expensive tools should only occur from time to time. It is quite difficult to find some of the supplies in France and they happen to be 30 % more expensive than in the US. For instance : impossible to find UV Resin or liver of sulphur and I found the wilton tools but 35% more expensive in France. If I want to order from an american site, shipping is often prohibitive and if I order for more than 90 $ (including shipping) I will very likely have 30% costums fees (and on shipping too). And for those who can’t afford to buy supllies, please don’t use them too often in the tutos. It is very frustrating and the tutos are of no use for them.
    Anyway, the only machine available in France is the cuttlebug (sigh !!! – I will buy it when I can – the tuto is so gorgious). Can the technique be used with the cuttlebug and where could I find the dies that fit the machine? (my gosh, i will have quite a job to find to find the proper tools. Create for less doesn’t ship to Europe and, by now, I could not find the dies I am interested in on the french soil. Am I the only european member here ???? If I buy cuttlebug dies, what are the specifications required for the cuttlebug ?
    Too, it could be good thingt o give supply links to websites that sell internationaly (including exotic continents like Europe ;- )

  20. I must admit to thinking, “Oh no, another tute I can’t use because I can’t justify buying an expensive bit of kit,” when you announced this one Cindy. However I was intrigued enough to check out prices for second-hand machines on eBay and hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have won one for cheap. I love how your pieces look and the flat resined effect is definitely my style.

    I haven’t bought the flower moulds/cutters because although I like what you’ve done with them I can’t justify that kind of expense for something I’ll realistically use to make a few pendants before my eye is caught by another project and I move on to a new obsession. Especially as craft stuff’s so expensive here in the UK!

    That said, I appreciate that your tutes are so cheap that it totally doesn’t matter if I don’t love every single one. You make enough that I’m truly excited about to make it worth my while. :)

  21. Francine,
    I have never used PC in my die cut machines before, but I have used both the Cuttlebug & the Bigkick for everything from metal to fabric……& I much prefer the Cuttlebug to the Bigkick by far! I actually sold my Bigkick shortly after purchasing my Cuttlebug, yes the Cuttlebug is THAT AWESOME! ALL my Sizzix (Bigkick) dies from X-Lg to small, and even the tiny little wee embosslit’s work in the Cuttlebug, as do the Spellbinder’s Wizard/Dreamweaver dies. The Cuttlebug does it all from die cutting to embossing. What I love most about the Cuttlebug is that it folds up so small, so it is not as huge of a hog spacer as the Bigkick was. Which is great for those of us who may not have abundant crafting space available ~ more room for other crafting goodies!!!

    • Thank you very much for your answer and advice Kathleen. When I buy the cuttlebug, Il will be looking for a website that ships these beautiful dies to Europe. It is true the pieces cut by the die cutting machine are amazing !
      Too, could you please tell me what are the characteristics of the dies to cut the polymer clay. How can I know, if I order from Internet, that I will buy the right ones, thick enough to be used with polymer ?
      Thank you for your understanding
      Francine

      • Francine ~ Go to the sizzix.com website & look up their “originals” line of dies. What you want are the dies that have the stronges & thickest blades. I went and measured my Sizzix “Originals” and “Bigz” dies and they are each nearly 1 3/4 cm thick. These dies will do well with Polymer Clay. The “Originals” and “Bigz” have a hard plastic casing all around the edges and the back of the die(Pink plastic casing for my Hello Kitty dies, and Red plastic casing for all my other dies). The blades are encased within a soft black foam type material on the face of the die. Although the blades are encased within this soft black foam, they are still very sharp so be very careful not to press your fingers or your hand upon the face of the die.
        You want to stay away from the Spellbinder’s Wizard/Dreamweaver dies, they are FAB for paper cutting, but I am afraid that they would not do so well with Polymer due to how thin and detailed they are. There are so many lovely dies to choose from ~ but I think in the beggining I will use my least intricate & delicate dies for my PC adventures as I worry that perhaps very fine & detailed cuts may be hard to tranfer succesfully to Polymer cutting (ie; too fragile which can lead to breaking/cracking of the Polymer sheet).
        Also any type of “embossing” folders/templates will not die cut. However, I have used the embossing type folders to impress their designs/texture into sheets of unbaked clay (I did not run the clay & the embossing folders through the Cuttlebug though, I just placed the sheet of clay upon the embossing folder & rolled my acrylic rod over the clay to tranfer the texture).
        I hope this helps you Francine ~ It is so hard to purchase sight unseen over the internet. I cannot tell you how many times I have received items that are so NOT what I thought I was purchasing!

  22. Hi peeps,
    Up at 5am to sort out my naughty little laptop, but thanks Doug, using your video problem page and over two hours later I eventually was able to view the latest die-cut tute.

    Brilliant Cindy, such a very clever piece of equipment, so time-saving and looks so easy to hand-crank? Your advice is invaluable and just know you will make this little machine earn it’s quite high purchase price. (looking forward to new tutes with metal, to compliment PC jewellery.)

    So looks like Silverleaf and I could be bidding against each other on ebay uk. Good luck Silverleaf I hope you win as I will stop bidding hoping you get it for a bargain price. Don’t want to have a bidding war and push the price up!

    Welcome to Johnie C and LOL when I thought of you turning that handle to “churn out” dozens of great die-cut pieces. What part of the world do you live? It’s nice to have another guy on board. (company for Ken)

    Good idea Doug about a members only blog. I forget sometimes how many people all over the world can view this site and must remind myself not to give away Cindy’s secrets.

    Don’t worry Cindy (my lips are sealed) but hoping to encourage more new members especially here in UK where PC is still only thought of as play dough for kids. Gotta change their attitudes.

    Met some lovely ladies yesterday who couldn’t believe that the faux coral and ivory earrings I was wearing were made of PC, and one lady had an ear-bashing from me talking about Cindy’s wonderful site and lessons on how to make these. Hope she joins??

    Perhaps with more European members we can get more people buying and somebody will set up a good supply company for all the great stuff we see being sold only in US that we all yearn to buy. (still yearning to get hold of some PYMII) no luck so far…….

    (If I had the time and money I would do it myself .) Could boost the British economy and perhaps the competition was see prices reduced a little.

    Gotta dash, still have loads of little quail eggs to blow (but now have a great piece of kit borrowed from……..no won’t tell you, keep guessing, will have to wait until we have our own members blog to give away my tips and tricks (wicked aren’t I?)………..Cheers…..xx

    • Hi Elaine, I’m very happy to say I won my auction for £12.50 – I saw others going for much more than that. This particular one is collection only from Barnsley (not too far from me in Chesterfield) so it didn’t attract many bidders. Yay!

      I’m with you on educating people over here about what PC is! Even worse, if they have head of it they are like, “Oh, my kids play with that,” and I have to explain that it’s a proper artistic medium rather than just a toy. I usually end up describing myself as a “mixed media jewellery artist mostly working in polymer and resin”, which makes it sound much less like I’m fingerpainting for a living or something, lol! It’s such a shame because we have some wonderful talented polymer artists over here.

      And so often you see people selling PC stuff that is, to put it politely, rubbish – not finished properly, covered in gloopy varnish and fingerprints and made entirely from straight-from-the-package colours, because they don’t know that anything different is possible. They totally need Cindy!

      Okay, rant over. ;)

      • Hi, Silverleaf!! So, glad you got a new toy! and cheap, too! I agree with the title of “Mixed Media Jewelry Artist” and if they asked what the beads are made of just say CLAY! I say that and I get more people asking more questions and they seem to really want to learn more. Hope your are feeling good and claying like crazy. You know I’m one of your biggest fans :) And “rant” on I enjoy it :-)

  23. Great post as usual Elaine, full of thought-provoking stuff! I’ve been looking on Ebay as well, won’t be bidding yet though as this month’s craft budget is massively overrun already. As usual! When I started claying I thought “this will be really cheap to do!” …. and now, just a year later, with boxes of “stuff” everywhere and an ever-growing Wish List, I realise that I was slightly deluded, ha ha!

    I too have been trying to find PYMII … along with several other products which are only available in the U.S. … including a new one called Swellegant which looks utterly amazing …. hopefully one of these days someone will start importing. I do buy online from the U.S. and Canada quite a bit (Shades of Clay is excellent) but obviously postage can be quite hefty.

    I had to laugh at the reaction to your earrings. I get pretty much the same thing …. usually “polymer WHAT?”

    Finally I’d like to add my vote for a members-only blog … I think it’s a brilliant idea!

    Am itching to “play” today, but it’s a beautiful summer day and the garden is screaming for attention …. gah!

    • Hi Lesley and “polypeeps”

      Must agree, that the guys n gals living across the pond don’t know how lucky they are with all that “stuff” they can purchase at a much lower price than their UK cousins. Epecially using their $40% off coupons grrrrrrrrrrrrrr,
      (wasabi green with envy.)

      Can imagine we are all very alike with boxes of “stuff” and wanting more but craft budgets all stretched beyond the limit.

      Summertime starts tonight here in UK so don’t forget to put clocks forward and yes, the garden calls and loads of stunning plants to buy and time to get the garden furniture out of the shed and dusted down and……..and……and….

      Swellegant (gotta have some) what is it? ha ha.
      Enjoy your w/e …………………………………….cheers xx

  24. Hi Cindy!!!
    I love this tut!! I have used these type of machines for lots of metal type crafts and leather! The one big WOW that I saw on this tut was the earring cards you made with the die cutters!!!! Those are beautiful!! It’s funny what captures each person’s interest when watching your fabulous tuts, huh!!!
    Anyways I had never heard of the website createforless until now!! And I am looking on their site for the die cutter you used!! Do you have the number handy? I think a tut on those and similar tags for people to create to sell their wares would go over HUGE! Just saying!! But in the mean time….. What’s the secrets!! I won’t tell!! Wink! Do you have your own signature stamp for your name at the bottom of the cards? If you do, where did you get it made??? Did you glue 2 together? Is there a spacer between the two at the bottom so it will stand up? They are scrumptious! And I want to start right away!!

    PS…. For those wanting to purchase machines or dies, Michaels has a sale on this week for Sizzix, spellbinders, and cuttlebug. Buy one get 50% off the second one, machine and accessories!! And a 40% coupon, and an extra coupon to use for today of $ off depending on how much you buy!! It does say though that “selection varies by store” and “excludes Tim Holtz line”

    Thanks Cindy!

    • Hi Denise, It is great to finally see you here in the blog! Welcome to our little clay family! Great questions.

      I will definitely do an Die Cut Earring Card tutorial soon. They turn out super cute and because of the enormous selection of papers and dies out there, they can be suited for any style of jewelry. There are some little ‘engineering’ tricks that make them work properly, so hopefully I get to that tute in the next few weeks. Of course the same principals could be used without a die cutter (for those of you who have decided not to get the machine) but it is such a fast, professional (and cheap!) way to make the cards, that I’ve just got to show you all.

      Thanks for commenting!

  25. Question about the steel cutting dies, do they wear out or need resharpening if used for large projects?

    Do the manufacturers provide this service, or can you go to a local sharpening shop to have it done?

    • Great question Jocelyn! No steel rule dies won’t wear out, cutting polymer clay with them. They clay is quite soft and won’t cause the blades to dull in any way. They can dull if they are used to cut sandpaper with them though. So that means that goes for clay with sand in it as well. Also, you must not cut any metals that are thicker than a pop can in your die cutters either. You can cut foils and pop cans with it though. I doubt very much as to whether the blades could be sharpened. The labor would be higher than the cost of the dies. Hope that answers your question!

      • Good news. Do you think a piece of aluminum soda can, pressed flat, is thin enough to get a good punch out or impress?

        • Yes! I just did that today and it works beautifully. I cut the top and bottom off a soda can (be careful, the edges can be sharp) then cut from top to bottom to make a flat rectangular sheet. I’m going to try adding resin to alu to see how that works.

          As for sharpening the dies, I’ve been trawling scrapbooking forums and apparently cutting through 10 layers of regular aluminium foil about 5 times sharpens really well. I haven’t tried it as my dies are brand new and sharp.

          • Girl, you win a bonus prize for keeping us informed and saving us money!

            That die sharpener trick is excellent. Will google…..

  26. Hi again!!

    I have been a silent viewer of this blog for along time, now I’m finally chiming in lots in one day!!!

    Ken and others,
    I see you are interested in the PMC medium!! I work with it all the time and it is awesome! Origami and the sheet Pmc you will love when you are to purchase your kiln!! But you can purchase a handheld torch at princess auto for like under $20 with the butane, and fire it on a brick, or on top of your stove with the vent hood on. Even in an old throw away pan, or aliminium pan!!
    I wanted to let you know that you can also create your own sheet with Pmc lump clay and glycerine, (google this!!) and dry it, put it through this type of die cutting/embossing machine and then fire it!! The possibilities with all these mediums is absolutely endless!!

    Happy claying whatever clay you decide to use today!!!

    • Thank You for the information, i’m just not comfortable with using a torch yet, (had to call in a plumber a while back, even though I knew what needed to be done and how to do it). Cindy gave us videos a while back on making headpins and the likes and I haven’t started doing that either, :(

      • Ken, you sound like me! I’m afraid of setting my dogs on fire!! (You know they use to sit right on top on my desk but I have since moved them to floor.) But, with a safe area that is just for PMC would make it easier. It is finding the extra space that is the issue. I finished enclosing my studio so the dogs can stay on the floor now and not wander the whole basement. But, I need more space!! We might need Cindy to do a tute on this so we can learn the proper and safe way to use a torch with PMC!! (Hint, Hint!)

        • Cat, as much as “I” would also like that it does stray quite a bit from the PC aspect of the blog and I don’t think it would go over well with the rest of the membership.

          • On the other hand, Ken, Cindy has rightly stated that she feels she should “never keep her creativity in a box”. So I wouldn’t rule anything out! Bring on the fire! Channel our inner caveman (caveperson?). Yeah, I might never actually light a torch, but this would be entertaining to watch (and much cheaper than a kiln).

          • Oops, started typing this in French (too many blogs open at once LOL). I meant to add, Ken, wouldn’t it be great to have a faux PMC-type tute, get the best of both worlds!?

    • I’m fascinated with the pmc sheet clay but haven’t bought it yet. Can it be fired with a torch too? I’ve done some work with pmc and the torch – little things like rings and pendants. Whats the site url for making your own pmc shee?

  27. As usual… some great feedback from you, Jocelyn (and others).

    I just wanted to make a comment about your suggestion (Jocelyn) to create a “special blog entry” to generate more discussion about the idea of creating a private discussion area for members only.

    Although I agree that approach would definitely allow for more conversation to happen… here’s something to consider…

    New forums or discussion areas require lots of ongoing support from the members who will actually use them. Otherwise, after the initial honeymoon period is over, they can very quickly turn into ghost towns with crickets chirping loudly in the background.

    I’m sure many of you have already seen this with various other venues on the web, that started out with the best of intentions… but then fizzled away due to lack of support over time.

    There is actually a benefit in keeping discussions about these types of topics, scattered throughout the commenting threads of the posts here at this blog site. It is the people who are already taking the time to read, follow, and (most importantly) interact at this site, that are also the ones who would ensure long-term success for any new members only areas that could be set up.

    So that is the theory behind keeping things slightly covert when broaching such things. Hopefully that makes sense. Both Cindy and I are definitely excited to hear from (many) more of the Klan, in hopes that we can continue to create great value for all of you guys.

    • Doug, I wonder if the FB page would be the spot we could converse openly? Or is the FB page a “public” page? Not only could we comment on pics posted but the issues we might have had when creating them. Just a thought.

      • Hi Catalina – The Facebook Gallery page is public. Really the only way to do it is within the library environment, where everyone has their own unique username and password, that is associated to the specific videos they own. Setting that kind of thing up is not the problem. My question is whether there would be enough commitment from the group to use the resource consistently.

        • That sounds good! If the “public” blog was only on the preview video everyone would be able to talk about the up coming video. Once the video is posted, for paid members, the blog becomes “private” or members only. Right? This way neither one would get lost or forgotten.

    • Doug

      I do see your point. I love bouncing around all the different tutes and topics reading.

      But if there are more detailed questions, which could be answered from other members in conjunction with you and Cindy about private techniques, I think a members only something….blog, forum, is a viable choice. Would it be used as much as the main blog comments sections? Probably not.

      But it could really be a source of greater resources, instructions and encouragement that ultimately bring more people here in general, knowing that the capability exists.

      So that alone makes it a cost benefit addition.

      It really is a question of numbers, so in order to persuade you to add it, folks have to comment here that they want it and will use it.

      Come on peeps! Vote!

      If it turns to crickets chirping, then, take it down.

    • Another thought, Doug. Do you think it’s possible just to link one members only blog to the members tut selection screen. Think just one place to ask questions specific to the videos would be fine… You could use the Window search screen to find topics or tut reference number?

  28. Oh, and I would like to add a YES to a members only blog OR even a private group on Facebook that is closed to the public and you need to be added in by the Cindy team!!!

  29. Doug & Cindy!!
    Hi,
    another note about this private “place to be” with other members, I am in several Facebook groups that are private. You can not get in unless you are added by the “admin” and then it pretty much takes care of itself and runs! They are a fanatstic place to privately chat techniques with each other, pics, etc, grill Cindy for a resolution to a problem!! All very safe, secure, and you decide who joins! I love the groups I’m in and I get to choose if I want to be notified of new posts on my smartphone FB app, so I am always up to date with what is happening, quickly!!
    They say, now a days we only have seconds to take a look at some info and they we move on. If I’m updated constantly in an easy to access platform, you’ll hold my attention. As for logging into the blog, I forget it exists and check about twice a month. My FB groups im involved in, I get updated multiple times daily!!!
    Just my two cents!!!
    Great job on tuts as always!!

    • Hi Denise – I’m involved with a few private facebook groups as well… and do appreciate them as well. Unfortunately that won’t work so well in this situation, because it would assume that everyone had access to all of the tutorials… and that just is not the case. Some members do own everything right back to Vol-001. But many members are current only from the date they joined, while others have selectively purchased back issues based on their needs.

      Really the only way to set up “no-holds-barred” types of discussion groups specific to the individual videos, would be if access to each specific tutorial discussion is associated with the member login details.

      2013-03-11: Added Note: This topic was also discussed here…
      Polymer Clay Tutor Facebook Group Idea
      .

  30. Hello everyone,

    Someone mentioned wishing members had a place to list polyclay-related items they wanted to buy or sell. This is something I’ve hoped for for some time now and haven’t brought up.

    I’ve been looking for the first 8 issues of the PolymerCafe magazine (the first 6 now as I won the bid for 2 of them on Ebay recently, hooray) and I figured that maybe somebody who keeps up with this blog might have them for sale. I guess the next best thing is the facebook page so I’m going to post my request there. I hope someone who reads the blog and has the mags also uses facebook (fingers crossed for luck).

    To Cindy – Do you have a Pinterest page? I looked for you under your name and the PCT name but didn’t find anything. I’m curious to know the types of things that inspire you. We know you’re totally into nature but what about nature grabs you? Is it the shape of a cloud, the aura of a setting, the color of an animal, etc. What inspires you besides nature? Just seeing the types of things a person pins on Pinterest says so much about them and I’d love to see what you would pin. Only thing is Pinterest is so addictive and if you don’t set limits, a person could spend way too much time there (speaks from experience, lol).

    BTW Now that I’ve watched this weeks tute, I’ve told all my children I want a die-cutter for Christmas. That gives them plenty of time to save up for it. I’d never seen a die-cutter in action and didn’t realize what all they could do. I really thought they were only something a scrapbooker would want and that’s not so at all.

    In my wanderings on the internet I’ve been seeing more and more comments about repurposing canes. Not just using them as scrap or Natasha’s but actually recutting them, maybe adding something else to them or not, and turning them into new canes. I’d love to see a tute about doing this. For instance, if you had any old Pirate cane left, how would you cut it apart, add maybe a jelly roll to it, turn parts around and then put it all back together? The Stroppel cane is a good use of lots of unused cane ends and pieces, Natasha’s are a good use of unused canes and scrap clay, twisting scraps together is a good use too. What I’m talking about is taking an unused cane and turning it into a brand new cane without the randomness of a Stroppel or Natasha. After all that rambling I sure hope I got my idea across, lol.

    Hope everyone is having a nice weekend :)

    Angela M.

    • Hi Angela, It is great that you have ‘opened your heart’ to the die cutting machine. I knew if you saw some of what it could do, you would be hooked! :-)

      Hopefully some one will have those Polymer Cafe magazines for you. It is always nice to have a full set of something, right from the beginning. I saw your post on Facebook. Maybe someone can help you out there.

      As far as Pinterest goes, I do have a profile set up at http://www.pinterest.com/pctutor/ — but as you will notice, there are no boards or pins yet. (Already have 28 followers though, so I guess I better get a pinning!) Had been holding off because I was swamped over here, and there had been so much hullabaloo about the Pinterest Terms of Service that I just thought I’d wait to see if it got straightened out before moving ahead on it. Looks like Pinterest listened to all the squawking and fixed things, so now I have no more excuses and will start pinning very soon. Will probably start pinning a little at a time till I get something worth telling people about. When that happens we’ll add the Pinterest links here, so everyone can check out our pins.

      Thank you for the re-purposed cane idea. I know that even though, I teach people how to make small canes, so that they won’t be stuck with too much of the same design, they still can pile up after awhile. So any new idea for using them in another way other than smushing them up is a good idea. The Stroppel cane is an awesome way to use up scrap canes, but you’re right about it being more random. I will put some thought into it. I certainly have enough canes to play with. Could take some time though, I already have a list of tutes coming up.

      • Cindy, this pinterest is getting more interesting by the hour. Love the studio ideas…this one is so easy, dust proof, and cool looking…..any jars would work, adding a poly covered caps, of course.

        pinterest.com/pin/190558627953262167/

  31. Another addition to the birthday/Christmas/sales-goal-reward list (I have a running list that keeps getting added to but I’m on a tool buying crunch until I have a few more craft shows).

    On that note, for anyone that does shows that’s looking for new display ideas, yesterday at a car show (that lead to several more leads for shows, surprisingly) I used picture frames with the velveteen display inserts from FMG but I’m sure other suppliers have some. I just used the 5×7 size they had on sale at the time I bought and replaced the glass with the inserts. Michaels has frames on sale all the time so I snagged some when I was there last. I used u-shaped pins (Dritz Tidy Pins) to secure pendants to the inserts and set them up the night before the show, wrapped them in a towel, and they were ready to go the next morning for the show. Just thought I would share in case anyone else is looking for display ideas lately. They worked really well for me.

  32. HI Cindy and Doug,

    I would love to see a blog where we could discuss the videos and technques . The video useing the BigKick I really enjoyed. Loved the earrings. I have not use the resin I purchased a long while back, I dont have the nail lamp. but will try it this summer useing the sum. A couple of week ago I purchased an Accuquilt machine. and I am wondering if anyone who has one has tried useing dies from the BigKick , Cuttlebug etc in it.

    Barb in Kansas

  33. I was holding off on leaving a reply as I didnt want to be easily impressed by this site, but……. I am very impressed. I enjoy each lesson so much it inspires me on to creative play. the die cutting one, I did not think would interest me and then once I watched, …… Im getting a die cut machine getting the big shot on sale via amazon and watching teh video many times. Im enjoying this so much. Thanks Cindy. Keep up the good work. you know how to inspire in short videos. the faux wood and die cut have me so excited to try. very good

  34. I was wondering reg accuquilt verses the sizzix and it appears as though you can use smaller accuquilt dies for the sizzix but not able to use the sizzix dies for the accuquilt. If you use the accuquilt dies you have to beef them up a little by adding shims, Im assuming that is the case. I havre not tried it yet so I could be wrong

  35. I just purchased the Bigkick today from ACMOORE. The machine was 99.99, I used the 50% off coupon and a 10 dollar off coupon earned shopping with the loyalty card. The total after adding New Jersey 7% tax was $42.79.
    I am very excited to try this tutorial. Now I need to purchase the die cartridge from createforless
    Thanks Cindy :-)

  36. If too much about a tut is shared here that Doug can make an administrative decision edit that post. Although the member only Blog interesting, I do not think we should put that responsibility on Doug and Cindy. They know how much work it is to monitor and maintain this site and it is a lot of the behind the scenes work. When i joined as a member Cindy posted a blog daily, even on weekends. It is amazing how long she sustained that activity. They seriously consider each suggestion and idea and know the direction this business needs to go. To keep this site a high quality learning environment and not become totally burned out Cindy and Doug need to have a life outside of this site. They just wrote a book, are constantly creating new ideas for us, responding to questions and posts, researching products, etc, etc. This site has consistently provided a high quality atmosphere.

    If we want a member only blog then maybe it is something a member can take on as a project.

    Thanks for all you do.
    Anna-Des Moines, Iowa

  37. Hi Anna Sabina: the idea for this is from Cindy’s post March 3:

    I don’t know if some members were thinking it originated from me or another member. As far as I remember, that post (Cindy’s) was the first about this topic, but it may have cropped up in earlier discussions I am unaware of. I have read a lot of the old blog entries from before I became a member, but certainly not ALL! LOL

    It’s interesting that Doug mentioned the possibility of not enough traffic to a dedicated blog. When I first read Cindy’s suggestion I remember worrying there might be TOO MUCH discussion there to the detriment of the public blog, which is the main way non-members hear about interesting new videos and the positive reaction to them.

  38. Hi Polypeeps,

    I think I will have to sit on the fence regarding a members only blog. Have to agree with a lot of what Anna Sabina has to say! Cindy and Doug work really hard and give us so much already.

    Although it would be great to share other members tips etc. and also suggest new ways to solve problems surely a “closed shop” would defeat the object…..Think about it !!!

    I am sure this blog, that allows guests to join in, must eventually encourage them to sign up??

    (It took me ages, as a guest, before I signed up to become a member.) Why did I wait so long??

    Mixed media artist, yes, I’m one of those and love working with silver art clay, as well as leather, metal and wire. Pyrography is another hobby I enjoy but polymer clay is so facinating I do not think I will ever get bored with it.

    Cindy’s tutorials can’t be beat! If we do inadvertantly make a slip and say something we shouldn’t , just think, it’s not like viewing the real thing, which you can only do if you are a fully paid up member, at great value for money!!

    Great that you got your ” Big Red,” Silverleaf and at such a bargain price, worth the trip to fetch it!
    Lovely to read comments from people who don’t usually write on this blog, and also the input from all the regulars….. if I wrote replies to you all I’d be here till Easter LOL. So had better not:]

    Thanks for all the interest in my Queeds,BTW I’m still making them!! ……………..cheers xx…………..

  39. Elaine, I don’t think any of us wish or asked for a totally closed shop. I think what the membership is asking for is an easier and more discretely detailed ways of discussing results of various tutes that they have already purchased, and need additional guidance or hints with in order to be more successful without betraying the secrets of the method. The same general blog comment section would exist accessible by all folks visiting the blog and using the search facility.

    Whether or not adding this new request is best and most supported by Cindy and Doug is, of course, totally their decision.

    I think it would be helpful and a great addition, but, that is just my my own opinion. I would be willing to pay more to have this feature.

    • Well put Jocelyn,

      It was just difficult for me to figure out how? With new members joining at different times I suppose the best method is to add the new feature (members only blog) with a one-off payment for say a trial period of six months. That way Doug and Cindy can monitor it to see if it pays it’s way and doesn’t fizzle out like a damp squid (or even squib) Most squids are pretty damp anyway!!

      New members would have the option of deciding to opt in or out at the start of their new membership but if they opt out, would have to wait the full six months before being allowed to join.

      I don’t do Twitter or Facebook, don’t even have a decent camera and my mobile phone was a hand-me-down from Noah, who had no use for it in the Ark.

      So as long as Doug keeps it simple, I now am liking the idea as see many possibilities. So have jumped off the fence and lined up with the Aye voters….Well a gal can change her mind ….cheers xx

  40. Well, I now have a machine and some dies and I’ve had a brief experiment with mixed results.

    Some pieces worked fine, others partially stuck in the dies and had to be eased out, but many got completely stuck, so much so that I had to break them to get them out. This makes me sad. :(

    It seems to be the smaller pieces that are problematic, or ones that are thin or pointy – all my flowers got stuck as well as the cut-out bits from a leaf, whereas the bird and butterflies worked okay.

    Cindy, any ideas on how to solve this problem? Has this happened to you at all?

    • How about the application of a proven mold release on one (or both) side(s) of the cured clay tablet?

      Would cornstarch, lite oil, WD-40 or something like that help keep it from sticking?

    • Hi Silverleaf, it is nice to see you are getting right to the die cutting. Don’t worry, what you’re experiencing is quite common with the small designs. I like Jocelyn’s suggestions of using a release. Just make sure to use sparingly though, so as to not junk up your cutters.

      I find the thinner sheets do better in the dies with the small pieces. One thing I found was if I let the die sit for a few minutes the pressure from the foam under the stuck pieces, popped some of the pieces out, without me having to do anything. With skinny petals I just eased them up very slowly with a spatula, and didn’t have any breakage at all.

      Another thing you can try is using a pin to prick at the back of the piece to get it to pop up. In another case I found if I pushed down on the piece from one side, the other side would pop up.

      Most of the designs I used, only had small pieces in the cutout areas that were meant to be thrown out anyway, so damage to them wasn’t a problem.

      Hope this helps!

      • Thanks for the reply Cindy, at least it’s not just me. :/

        I tried experimenting this afternoon, and here’s what I found out.

        The stuck bits sit completely flush with the dies, so there no way to get any purchase without sticking a pin or something in and ruining the piece. The foam stuff in places looks “squashed” and just isn’t pushing the clay out.

        Cornstarch helps a little. The pieces still get jammed in, but prising them out is easier.

        Thinner clay, similarly. Still sticks but the reduced friction from the thinness of the edges along with the increased flexibility of the clay makes getting the pieces out easier, but I still have to ruin them with pin holes.

        The best results I’ve had were when I didn’t push the handle down all the way down, just until I felt the pressure. Of course that’s a bit hit-and-miss, and can’t be done with crank handle machines.

        I called Sizzix UK today for advice, and the lady I spoke to wasn’t experienced with polymer clay so she said she’d speak to a designer who works with PC and will call me back. I’ll let you guys know what she has to say.

  41. That’s a good idea, I have cornstarch so I’ll see if that helps. I’m also going to try thinner sheets of clay. The stuck bits just get completely wedged in the die and it’s really hard to get them out. I was wondering if it’s just the dies I chose, or my machine, or the clay or whatever, or a common problem.

  42. Oh, a diecutter is most certainly on my most-wanted list! I don’t mind there being videos here that include using some equipment I don’t have yet, as there is always something I learn from them which is very useful to my claying around. In fact, something I see in those videos can actually take off on a tangent to something entirely different! Funny how the old brain works!

    I would also vote for a private blog chat setting; it would be great fun and great help to be able to openly discuss the tutes and such. But, I, too, will leave that decision to Cindy and Doug, as they do know best if that could be done without too much fuss.

    I, too, want a kiln so badly. Not that I can really afford PMC, but it would be wonderful to be able to incorporate this with polymer clay. Another thing for the wish list! I figure if I had enough money to buy everything I want, life would be too boring with nothing to look forward to, lol. I am slightly afraid of my torch, as well. Seems like a lot of flame in the house! I am working on getting my craft room set up (slooowly), so maybe then. I need a fire brick or pad or something, though, I presume?

  43. Hi cindy,

    I LOVE LOVE your video’s! I am a beginner in polymer clay and your video’s have so helped! I have a cricket cake machine I am going to convert to a die cutter. It can be done by changing to a deep cut housing unit. Thought I would pass that on. Would I still need to bake my clay before cutting??

    • Great idea Anita, and welcome. Come back and let us know how it worked.

      Any clay you put in one of those machines has to be baked. Think it would turn to mush if fresh, lol, and Lordy I can not imagine how much time it would take to remove all that gunk.

      • I am not totally sure that the clay needs to be baked for that type of machine Jocelyn, since the Cricket Cake Machine cuts thin sheets of raw rolled icing. Those types of computerized die cutting machines have an electronic knife that ‘runs around’ on the surface of a cutting board to cut out the design, rather than pressing a cookie cutter type die into the material, like the BigKick Die cutting machine I used in the tutorial.

        Anita you will have to test it out both ways to see if it works. Do come back and let us know how it goes!

        • Uh oh. My apologies to both of you.

          Somehow I thought the die heads and pressure applied here too.

          See the kind of help and expertise we get for our money????? Yay Cindy, you are lightening and wind. LOL!!!

          • Jocelyn,
            I have tried it both ways on my cricut- similar machine- and have found that the baked clay works much better. I had quite a mess with the unbaked sheet. Because of the sheet that it is fed through on it is difficult to get it off if not baked. And the rod that carries it has little rubber wheels on it the soft clay was marked by each one. I found the baked sheet worked better and the cutter head must be changed for a deep cut head. I have a small cricut that I use just for clay. and a larger model for the paper cutting like the tags. What is nice about the tags is that I can write what I want on them and then cut out the letters on the tag. Gives it a whole different look. Love both machines…. You may have a different experience with the Cake cutter I do not have that one… although I believe that they work alike and have been tempted to get the cake cutter machine but could not really justify the expense for as much as I would use it. Have fun experimenting!

          • No, no, don’t you worry one bit Jocelyn. You were not out of line at all. You were sharing what you thought and that is just perfect. I see that Karonkay has some further info that shows your guess was more on track than mine. I had just wanted to add that the way the cricut machine was designed, that it MAY not have to be baked to be cut. It is always good to be open to all the possibilities. You never know what will be the best way to do something, until you try it… or in this case, someone else tries it!

  44. Hey ladies. I am back to give you my tests on converting my cricket cake machine to a die cutting machine. So here is what I have discovered so far:

    It cuts paper very well with the deep cut blade and unit.
    It does not cut clay very well with the deep cut unit/blade.
    It cuts very well with the regular cake machine blade. You also have to use the cake cutting pad.

    All in all I am not very impressed. I will continue to experiment when I have time but I don’t think it is going to be a favorite with me. I think I will stick to my fingers and other tools instead. Hope this helps. Any questions let me know…….

  45. Sizzix 656850 Vagabond Die-Cut Machine – Tim Holtz special edition, electronic no handle.

    9 Reviews
    5 star: (8)
    4 star: (0)
    3 star: (1)
    2 star: (0)
    1 star: (0)

    Average Customer Review
    4.8 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)

    I’ve been researching these machines all week. Based on my hands being affected by MS, I think Tim’s special edition, with no handle turning, or need to hold pressure, is my best option.

    Bleeping expensive, lol.

    Just wanted to say that one of the main ways I’ve been able to keep claying is my switch over to electric motors, they are on pasta machines and I dremel to death. Kato was the first one I noticed using the electronic rheostatic stuff, foot pedal add ons allow you to quickly adjust for minute changes, and these foot pedals are worth your weight in gold if your hands are holding art.

    Another reason is because of the wholesale auction sites, like Amazon and eBay. Look for free shipping and your unit pricing is better than ideal. Also, these sites provide valuable customer reviews and experiences. If you go to the link above, the second comment about Sizzex’s failure to replace damaged parts is kind of concerning for the amount of money you will invest in the machine, dies, and replacement items.

    Third and best reason I’ve been able to poly is this site. Cindy and Doug’s work motivates me and all of you provide value for the dollar discussing the options.

  46. Hi Cindy
    Do you know of there is any difference between the Red and White and the perwinkle Sizzix Big kick machines? My ACMoore has the Red & White one for $49 as supposed to the perwinkle one of $99

    • Natalie, think this stuff is all covered here on various tutes and comments. You could try to use the search facility. I popped in “die cutters” and a ton of article/comments came up. Also you could contact the folks at: sissix.com for the specifications. Good luck!

    • I did a search and it appears my Cricut might not be the best thing for cutting baked clay, but I do have another question….

      What are you doing with the scraps of baked clay once you have cut your designs from it? Obviously you can’t roll it back into anything, but I’ll bet you have some ideas for us Cindy!

      • Well Joyce, I don’t have much advice on using a Cricut with polymer clay, but I do have some idea of what to do with the scraps from using a BigShot with the Sizzix dies. If the pieces are interesting, you can embed them into raw clay, much like I did with the Inlay Technique.

        If they are not really good for embedding or using in some sort of layered piece, then they can be chopped or grated and used as a inclusion in some Faux Pebble Beads or Faux Jade, etc.

        As you can see there is always a use for scrap clay, whether it is baked or raw!

        Have fun!

  47. hi well I have saved an article on cricut machines darn… I printed it out and Ive looked at it a lot its under craft test dummies Ive tried to make it super thin using putting thin sheet unbaked pmc twwen two sheets of deli paper and roll again. It also suggested using mix of pardo etc with premo what I find is that it appears this process after cooking the sheet is wrinkled. so I did not try any more if you get the article it will explain further I have not folled with it too much as I pretty much am keeping busy with what cindy sends us. there is so much to do so much that I dont finish much but I did get some earrings to friends and family and they like them so made more lighter pink. the paisly sounds fun

  48. I’m wondering what I did wrong. I made a sheet of the Blend & Switch Technique

    Rolled it out to a 3 card thickness, and baked for 1 hour at 275. My sheet came out not flat and when I tried to bend it it cracked.

    I baked on a piece of parchment paper on top of a ceramic tray.

    Trying to salvage the pieces I cut out. Hopeful still.

  49. Did a search on your site here and found what I was doing wrong. I guess I need to bake my clay on card stock, put the parchment paper on top, and sandwich between 2 flat ceramic tiles.

    Back to the drawing board!

  50. Hi Cindy,

    I have watched your tutorial on die cutting polymer clay using the sizzix machine. I have the same machine and it works great. I know that the spellbinder dies work in the sizzix machine with cardstock as long as you use the spellbinder recommended sandwich. I was wondering if they also work with polymer clay.

    They look very different from the sizzix dies and it seems like each die can cut and emboss depending on the sandwich. I doubt the embossing would work on clay, but if the cutting works, they have a lot of dies that I like.

    Below is the youtube video on using spellbinders on multiple machines with cardstock. The sizzix machines are the last shown on the video.

    Thanks,
    Donna

    • Hi Donna, I didn’t have much luck cutting out polymer sheets with my Spellbinders dies, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. After watching the video you sent, it appears there are many little tweaks that you can do, such as cardstock shims and embossing pads, etc., that I did not try when I attempted it. Why don’t you try it out yourself? You could also experiment with the thinness of the sheets as well as different baking times for the clay. Do come back and post your results here at the blog if you do end up doing some experiments!

  51. Hi all:

    I have a problem with thick texture plate (usually rubber) an’ getting them pressed into the clay thoroughly. I was wondering if anyone has used the Big Kick to press a texture plate (not a cutting die) into raw clay?

    Thanks for any assistance. Also if I posted this in the wrong spot let me know — I’m doing my best to figure out this posting system :)

    Diana

    • Hi Diana, thank you so much for posting your question here! You will get used to this posting system quickly, so don’t worry about it.

      The problem with using a Big Kick for pressing a texture plate into polymer is that it is just has too much pressure and the clay would squeeze out all over the place. A pasta machine aka clay conditioning machine, would be a better choice for this kind of thing. Another option is to use a board on top of your rubber stamp or texture sheet and ‘step’ on your clay. you can practice putting just the right amount of force onto the clay, to get the impression you want. Hope that answers your question.

      We have absolutely tons of information here at the blog on almost every possible topic to do with polymer clay. Type your keywords into the search box at the top of the page and you should be able to find your answers quickly. Thanks for commenting!

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