Crafters Companion > Blog > Die cutting tutorial for beginners

Die cutting tutorial for beginners

Crafter's Companion – 09/01/23

If you want to pick up the versatile and fun craft of die cutting, it can be hard to know where to start. And some projects can seem too complicated to try! So we’ve come up with a simple die cutting project that’s perfect for beginners.

Just craft along with our video guide and follow the matching step-by-step instructions to make your own beautiful die-cut photo frame. We’ve used the Gemini Fancy Frames Beautiful Butterflies Die, which is filled with delicate decoration that simply couldn’t be achieved with scissors or a craft knife!

In just a few simple steps you can craft your own, customised frame for family photographs and cherished memories. Your finished project will look so professional, perfect to gift to family and friends, or to hang in your home!

PS. If you want to learn more about the foundations of die cutting before you begin, check out our Getting Started section.

You will need:

Video guide

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Choose your card colour, take your Fancy Frame Die and lay face down it on top of the card.
  2. Attach in place with Low Tack Tape.
  3. Follow the instruction manual with your Gemini die-cutting machine to layer up your card, die and cutting plates. Here’s a handy guide.
  4. Pass your plates, card and die through your die cutting machine.
  5. Then, take the plate combination from the back of your die cutting machine and take out your card and die.
  6. Peel off the Low Tack Tape and take the die away from the card.
  7. Next, use a Pokey Tool or Foam Brush Roller to release the intricate pieces from the metal die to reveal your beautiful, die-cut frame design.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 with a piece of patterned paper to create a second die-cut frame.
  9. Use a pair of small scissors to cut the butterflies from the frame.
  10. Gently lift the wings of the butterflies on the corners of your frame design.
  11. Fill a glue tip applicator with Collal All-Purpose Glue and use to add a small amount of adhesive to the centre of the butterflies on frame.
  12. Gently lift the wings of your individually cut out butterflies and stick to the centre of the butterflies on the frame.
  13. Now, dab your finger into a pot of gilding wax and gently apply shimmer to the edges of each butterfly’s wings.
  14. Use the same method to apply gilding wax to the other corners of your frame.
  15. Cut out a piece of card to measure slightly larger than your die-cut frame, approximately 8″ x 6″.
  16. Next, take your photograph, turn it over and use a tape pen to apply lines of adhesive to all four sides.
  17. Attach your photograph to the card piece, arranging it so there is an equal border around all four sides.
  18. Then, turn over your die-cut frame and use a dotted tape pen to gently apply lines of adhesive to each side.
  19. Attach to the card piece, with the photograph arranged in the centre.
  20. Finally, use a Pokey Tool to lift up the butterfly elements for extra dimension.

You’ve created a beautiful die-cut photo frame, ready to hang in the home, turn into a cute card or gift to friends and family. Customise with different colours and styles to create something to match the occasion or recipient.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of die cutting there’s a whole world of creativity for you to explore! The Crafter’s Companion blog is full of easy step-by-step projects for you to expand and develop your new papercraft skills!

And don’t forget, we love to see your finished makes! So, make sure to show us your finished creations on Facebook UKFacebook USATwitterInstagram UKInstagram USPinterest UK or Pinterest US using the hashtag #crafterscompanion