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Easy Die Cutting Techniques || AECP

I am so excited to have been accepted to the Altenew Educator Certification Program!

There are ten courses in Level 1, and they can be completed in any order. Me? I was instantly drawn to Easy Die Cutting Techniques because it's taught by one of my favorite crafters -- Yana Smakula. I could listen to that girl all day long!

This course has six lessons, and each lesson focuses on a different way to use dies. The name -- EASY die cutting -- is exactly what you'd expect, easy. Nothing novel, nothing groundbreaking. And yet each technique packs a big punch! I made six cards for this class, but here, I'm sharing my favorite two. 

Technique: Stenciling with Dies

This card was inspired by the fun graphic style of the Altenew Mega Hello die. I love the bold statement it makes, front and center on a card. 

I used the die to cut a "stencil" from leftover
Wall Pops vinyl -- the ones my daughter used on her bedroom walls almost 15 years ago! (Orange. Red. And Hot Pink. What were we thinking!) I centered the (negative die cut) stencil on an A2 panel and inked it up lightly with Sea Glass ink. 

Tip: Use the positive die cut to help you get correct placement of the letters' centers -- those are, apparently, called counters in the typography world! 

To create a shadow effect, I removed the stencil and repositioned it, slightly lower and to the right of its original position. (This was much more time consuming than I expected it to be!) I inked it again, using a heavier application of Sea Glass ink.

I peeled back the vinyl stencil, and the big reveal was gorgeous! I risked it, though, and stamped the Altenew Dainty Swiss Dot over the background, again, using Sea Glass ink. And whew! The risk paid off! 

I trimmed down the panel to 4 x 5.25", adhered it to an A2 card base, and finished off the card with a sentiment from the Altenew Simple Flowers stamp set.

Technique: Negative Die Cutting

I am especially excited about this card because I just found out I have a granddaughter on the way! The cute bunny and squirrel from the (retired?) Altenew Spring Fling stamp and die set are perfect for baby cards!

To create this shaker card, I cut a white panel
and a piece of craft foam to 3.5 x 4.75". I stamped the bunny with Innocent Pink ink near the top center of the white panel, and then die cut it. The sentiment -- from the Altenew Leaf Canopy set -- is stamped in Versafine Onyx Black ink. 

The negative panel served as a template to die cut the bunny in the same spot on the craft foam. A piece of recycled packaging provided the window for the shaker card. 

Tip: Use double sided tape to adhere the acetate behind the die cut window. Liquid glue works, too, but don't go crazy with it or you'll have an oozy mess! (Ask me how I know.)

I adhered the craft foam to an A2 card base, and then added the pink bunny into the die cut opening.  I sprinkled a pinch of (seriously ancient) gold metallic Beadies Mini Marbles into the bunny hole, and then adhered the negative die cut panel (with attached acetate) onto the craft foam. 

Tip: When the shaker opening is tiny, use smaller shaker bits, so you still get a good jiggle out of the bits. 

This super simple card takes full advantage of the power of white space -- a tip I need to be reminded of often! 

I hope this inspires you to look at your dies in creative ways! You'd be surprised the magic they're capable of!

Thanks for stopping by!


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