When I was trying to decide what I wanted for a birthday present for my recent 50th I skipped the suggestions of jewellery, trinkets, something nice for the house, and went straight for the craft ideas. I’ve been eyeing off various die cut machines for some time so I went into full on research mode and finally arrived at the Brother Scan N Cut die cut machine. Mostly because I liked that it was a stand alone machine, meaning I didn’t have to plug it into a computer to get it to work. (Having said that, I would love to have that option as well – I do like working directly from my computer.)
Anyway I’ve only had it for a few days and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to give it a really good test run. This weekend saw that opportunity. Wow – what fun! It can do SO much. I’ve got literally a million projects doing the rounds in my head. I’ll be sharing these with you right here. I’m also thinking up some ideas for YouTube tutorials, so stay tuned.
Here is my new set up in my craft room. My Brother sewing machine to the right, with my other machines tucked in behind. And my brand spanking new Brother Scan N Cut, front and centre, ready to go.
So what does it do? You can scan anything into this machine and it will configure the outlines and from there the machine directly cuts that shape onto the scanned item or you can add it to your library and save it for later. For example, I had a template that I’d printed out for a tea bag cover and a round sticker that I will use over and over again. I scanned the template through and saved it to my library. At the same time I directly cut one out as a trial. It was perfect.
As part of the snail mail group that I started I’m always trying to find cute little ideas for things to include. Tea always goes down well, so I created a little template for putting a bag in. In the past I’d printed it out and cut around it. But now, with my fancy pants machine, I will be able to run it through any time I need some and voila a neat little tea bag cover in no time flat.
You can use any of the hundreds of installed designs. The Brother Scan N Cut machine comes with a pretty huge selection of pre-made designs that are ready to go and they are actually quite good. I started with something really simple – a small card template. I used some old scrapbook card. The great thing about this machine is that it allows you to use old scraps of paper in any shape. So all of those offcuts you’ve got lying around will get put to good use. The scanner detects the shape of the paper and you can slot your pattern or design into that area. So clever. I then had a look at the selection of phrases and found the perfect “For You”. It was ideal as I was planning to give a little something to a friend.
I’m really looking forward to sharing lots of tutorials and projects with you – from stickers to screen printing and making patterns to paper crafts. Over the coming days I’m going to start scanning through patterns for making softies, envelope templates for my snail mail, lettering for felt projects and little purse templates. Even if you don’t have a Die Cut machine I’m sure you will get a lot of great ideas from the upcoming tutorials and YouTube clips I have planned.
And I haven’t even touched on using fabric yet. Yes you can cut fabric, felt, leather, lightweight plywood, basically anything up to 2mm thickness.
Next week I will provide a tutorial for the teabag cover with a free printable for you to make your own.
Do you have a die cut machine or have you ever used one? I would love to hear from you.