Die-cutting Essentials

Die-cutting Essentials 23 sneak peek!

13th April 2017


Die-cutting Essentials 23 sneak peek!

Issue 23 of Die-cutting Essentials hits the shelves on Thursday 20th April and this month’s FREE Freshwater Friends die set is the perfect addition to any cardmaker’s craft stash!


Once more, the Die-cutting Essentials team has been hard at work bringing you yet another jam-packed issue, and this time we’ve got cards for women, men, children and even cards for all occasions – you’ll be so inspired, you won’t be able to stop making cards!

We are so excited about this month’s free gift; if you love nature then the Freshwater Friends die set is definitely one for you! This versatile wildlife collection features 11 intricate dies with embossed details and, if that isn’t enough, we’ve thrown in some bonus scenic paper downloads to get you started! Click here to link to the downloads and to find the template on p77.


Sandra Rayner and Christine Smith are back to showcase our fabulous free dies, and by gum they’ve done us proud! You’ll find Sandra’s lovely layered designs on page 11 and Christine’s colourful technique-based cards over on page 52.



I was so inspired by the Freshwater Friends set that I thought I’d have a play! I started to experiment with using the dies to create quirky background and added a bold colour palette for fun.

Life is now



white cardstock

white 10.5cm-square card blank

American Crafts Dear Lizzy Saturday foil stickers

Spectrum Noir Floral Aqua Markers

My Favorite Things Die-namics STAX Stitched Circle dies

nesting circle dies

3D foam pads

PVA glue


1 Colour in a piece of white cardstock using the Sunflower marker from the set, and repeat with a Rose Pink marker.

2 Die-cut a selection of fish from the pink panel and ducks from the yellow cardstock.

3 Arrange the duck toppers onto a piece of white cardstock to form two circles as shown.

4 Die-cut it into a circle, shape the fish toppers, layer them into the centre of the circle topper using 3D foam pads and add the sentiment sticker.

5 Die-cut a stitched circle from the remaining pink cardstock, secure the focal topper onto it and affix it to the card front.

With wedding season on the horizon, we invited Cricut’s very own Suzie Candlin to create stylish wedding projects using the Cricut Explore Air 2 electronic die-cutting machine. We were lucky enough to interview Suzie too about her her first steps into crafting, her favourite cardmaking occasions and working with Cricut – go to page 80 of the magazine to read all about it.


Suzie made so many projects that we couldn’t squeeze them all into the magazine! Here’s the tutorial for a quick wedding invitation from the collection.

Wedding invitation



teal & cream cardstock

cream printable paper

Cricut Design Space online software

Cricut Scoring Stylus

PC & printer

Old Paper Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink

ink-blending foam


1 Connect the machine to your chosen device, and log on to your Design Space account. Create a new project, search for ‘Floral Wedding Invitation’ Make It Now project in the ‘Wedding’ category.

2 Load the Scoring Stylus into accessory clamp A, cut the design from teal cardstock and fold the score lines as shown.

3 Create your customised invitation, print it onto cream paper, trim to co-ordinate with the invitation and lightly ink the edges of the panel.

4 Matt the panel onto the inside of the card blank to finish.

As ever, Christine Smith went above and beyond to bring you extra card inspiration, we love this fantastic Thank you card on which Christine has made a cool background using a custom-made embossing folder!



free dies

white cardstock

Lawn Fawn Cuts Scripty Thanks die

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolour paints


gold gilding wax

ink-blending foam

3D foam tape

kitchen roll

Cosmic Shimmer PVA glue


1 Cut two pieces of white cardstock to measure 10x14cm, cut various dragonflies from one panel as shown. Place this panel on top of the other and emboss using a rubber matt and the appropriate sandwich for your die-cutting machine.

2 Add colour to the embossed panel using watercolours, once dry add gilding wax and buff with kitchen roll.

3 Add white dragonfly die-cuts from Step 1, die-cut the sentiment from white cardstock and layer it onto the card front to finish.

Lastly, we’ve got the perfect card to round up this issue, made by Christina Griffiths using the latest releases from Apple Blossom. The fabulous Floral Frames collection is ideal for all-occasion makes, we can even see this design working for Christmas cards!

Just for you



white 15cm-square card blank

white & green cardstock

gold glitter card

Spellbinders Nestabilities Grand Circles die set

Apple Blossom Fairground Birthday & All Occasions die sets

Apple Blossom Floral Frames stamp set

3D foam pads

colouring pencils




1 Place a large circle die over the fold of the card blank, die-cut to create a shaped card base and fold the card front in half. Use the same die to cut a white circle, emboss it and affix it to the card front.

2 Stamp a background onto white cardstock, colour using pencils, die-cut it into a circle and secure it to the card front. Die-cut the floral frame from green cardstock, wrap it with ribbon and mount it onto the card front.

3 Die-cut the sentiment from gold glitter card and layer it onto the card front, add a bow and pearls as shown.

4 Matt the base of the card with co-ordinating circle die-cuts. Die-cut a white flourish, add a gold die-cut sentiment and secure it to the card base using 3D foam pads to act as the eael stopper to finish.

Thank you for your continued support of Die-cutting Essentials, I hope you enjoy issue 23!

Until next time… happy die-cutting!

Natalie Helyer


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