View Full Version : Which dies should a beginner buy for A BigShot Sizzix?

18-11-2006, 10:08 AM
Hi everybody, I am very new to card making and very enthusiatic. My husband is desperate for me to pick a pressie for Christmas so having looked at various things, I am thinking of buying the Ellison Big Shot Machine.
I looked at the tag-a-long as well, but was advised it would probably be a waste of money as once I started using it I would want the extra versatility of the Big shot (do you agree with this?)
My real question is, as a beginner, what else would I need to start using the Big shot, and which dies would give me the best basic set to begin with?
Many thanks!:)

18-11-2006, 11:50 AM
Hi Nyse
I don't own a big shot, I have a standard Sizzix machine. When I first had my machine I bought some tag dies because they can be used as toppers for cards and as tags in their own right. I then got basic shapes like squares and circles because they are great for making unusual matting and layering on cards and they can be hard to cut by hand (well the circles anyway!) After that I just cruised the web looking for dies that interested me, they are not the cheapest craft item to buy so when I am buying I try to think of all the things I can do with each die. A example of this was when I bought the card die (large red sizzix) I have used the card for passing diving test cards, and also for just married cards with Bitty body people in side. Then at Easter I used the die as a basis of an Easter basket. I cut off the wheels and the steering wheel and then placed some paper weaving over the main section of the cut out..suddenly I had a basket with a handle over the top which I put painted eggs in. There are some really great dies out there so whatever system you finally choose you will enjoy using them.
Hope that helps a bit
Anice xx :)

18-11-2006, 01:25 PM
Many thanks for that Anice! I'm quite excited about the prospect of having a die cutter to "Create" with. I'll look out for the shapes you mentioned. I must admit it seems a little extravagant (especially when the actual cut outs are so cheap on Ebay) but i'd like to make my own.
One question though if you have, say, a handbag cut out, and you want to make the flap in a different colour, do you cut the whole thing out twice and then have two on opposite colourways or can you cut out one part of a design only? (I'm also thinking of the people how do you have different coloured eyes or dresses for example?)

20-11-2006, 08:06 AM
Hello Nyse
When I am using my Sizzix dies and I want different colours for different bits, for example I have a Santa head and want his face cream but his beard white and hat red, what I do is cut out one whole die, usually a base colour then using bits of paper/card that us crafters always have around , as we never throw anything away! I place the small off cut of card in the colour I want over the section of the die I want to cut and then just cut that bit. Saves card/paper and you only get the bit cut that you want. I then stick the new coloured piece on to the base die cut which gives the image some depth. With the Santa head I always put his moustach on with foam pads so it stands up off his face. You can do so many things with your cut outs to make really special, unusual toppers for your cards. When you own your own cutting machine you can cut what you like in whatever material you like. Take a quick look at my blog http://funkyhand.blogspot.com/ for what I mean, there is a card with a santa head on there and a dress on a stand that I cut in red and then added white felt so it looked like fur! You'll find both in the September archive.
Good luck! :)
Anice x

20-11-2006, 05:11 PM
I've just bought a Big Shot and I wondered how much wear and tear I should let the plastic cutting pads have before I replace them? Also I ordered a tag design thick cut (crescent) only to find practically the same die came with the machine, are there any swap sites for the dies? Sadly I'd already opened the packaging before i readlised so I can't send the duplicate die back.

21-11-2006, 04:27 PM
If you can't send the die back how about trying to sell it on ebay? There is a huge market out there for craft things so it might be worthwhile considering. On the subject of which dies to buy I can't help you there at the moment as I don't own a machine but I have one being brought over from the USA near Christmas - very exciting!! I will have to check back for advice but I would agree with Funkyhand and just go for ones which interest you.

21-11-2006, 09:49 PM
Thanks for your replies- which are interesting as I too have just ordered a set of tags (and presumably will get one in my Big Shot box which I am about to order) what else comes with the Big shot?
I am a little confused by embossing folders and extension platforms ;) and what you need to go with it!
Have to say that I too am very excited and can't wait for Christmas!
Thanks also for the advice regarding different colours, I shall give that a go too and will let you know after Christmas how I get on.

22-11-2006, 07:58 AM
In with my Big Shot was a thin cut dragonfly die and a thin cut flower die plus an embossing Friends. Not sure about the embossing bit and what to do with it! Really pleased with Big Shot however.

22-11-2006, 08:01 AM
Ps thanks for replies

23-11-2006, 06:44 PM
I've just bought a Big Shot and I wondered how much wear and tear I should let the plastic cutting pads have before I replace them?

A trick with the plastic pads is to cut them the same size as your die, this way they won't curl over the edge and develop into a banana shape too soon.
The replacements are expensive and thats if you can get hold of them, however i have found a source which are well cheap.
E mail me for details if you are interested.

24-11-2006, 08:31 PM
How do we e-mail you?
Could somebody explain how the dies work and which other makes work with the Big shot? (and if you need adapters?) Thanks!
Thanks for all your help I'm very grateful!