|Recycled Soda Tin Floral Barette|
The flowers were cut out using the Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (Powder Blue & Teal) by Ellison die cutting machine. The teal is the newest color in the series and works just as well as the pink and black one.
|Big Shot Machine|
Lately, it seems like every craft show I attend has someone demonstrating and/or using a
Sizzix Big Shot Machine or the Sizzix BIGkick Machine Only (Vintaj Special Edition) by Ellison
that is created specifically for metal at their booth. I have seen people use such a variety of materials with these machines that it never ceases to amaze me. Even beyond that, is the projects people make with their die cut pieces. This tool appears to be one of the "must haves" for an avid crafter and recycling junkie.
At the "Unique LA" show I attended recently, I watched my friend Stefanie Girard (author of
|Recycled Felted Wool Sweater Ring|
The Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only comes with:
- Big Shot Machine (14-1/4 by 12-3/8 by 6-5/8 )
- Multi Purpose Platform
- Directions imprinted right on the platform so you wont lose them (unless you misplace the platform)
- Pair of standard Clear cutting pads
Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit
- The Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit on Amazon comes with:
- Big Shot Machine
- Standard Cutting Pads
- One Extended Multipurpose Platform
- One Bigz Die
- Two Sizzles Dies
- One Textured Impressions Embossing folder (these work with thin metals too)
- One Framelits Seven die set
- Ten Cardstock Samples
- Instruction Booklet
My first question upon opening the box, was "what is this multi purpose platform for?" It looked a bit odd so I did the smart thing and read the instructions. I love the fact that the machine is so easy to set up. The cool multi purpose platform itself has flaps called tabs. Each tab gives the directions for using various dies, embossing and texture sheets printed right on it. The multi purpose platform is important because it shows many of the Sizzix products and how they are compatible with this machine. If you shop at the Sizzix website it has a button that leads you to all of their products that are compatible with the big shot. Additionally, the platform allows you to use other company dies, embossing, and texture sheets with this machine.
Upon reading the directions, I realized that the Big Shot cuts and embosses a wide variety of materials. Since, I had a limited amount of dies to test out, I decided to take advantage of my local craft store sale on dies and pick up a few to help me test out the machine's capabilities. Once I was armed with enough dies, I had a field day running different materials through the machine and trying out the dies.
|aluminum and plastic from soda containers|
|the blue felt material above is 1/8" thickness|
than 1/8" went through the machine. I tried out some craft wood that was the thickness of wall paper and very soft. It went through without any problem.
butterfly die (#654996 ).
The finished piece was very cool and since this die is a butterfly and I could fold up the wings to give it more dimension.
Podge also made it easier to shape the petals. I added a bit of glitter to the petals, then attached a pin back to make it into a flower pin.
adhesive felt craft sheets would be fun to test the "Big Shot" on. I tried a single thickness and it worked very well.
|Hello Kitty Die Cut in Felt|
|Hello Kitty Tote Bag|
extended platforms to run this particular die through the Big Shot. The felt sheets were a little less than 1/8" thickness. I cut the sheet to fit the die and ran it through the machine. Running the extended platform through the big shot takes only a bit more work than the shorter ones. You need to hold them together until the die is 1/4th of the way through, then it run slowly through to get a nice cut on your paper or material. Needless to say, it worked great and the thickness of the foam made the suitcase a little bit sturdier than if I had cut it out from card stock paper. The foam did not fold as easily as paper would have and it did need to be stitched with thread to stay in the suitcase shape. However the end result was worth that little bit of extra effort.
It was very sheer so I decided to paint the petals before I put them together to create the flower in layers. I used the Plaid Enamels to paint the plastic and they worked really well together. Once the paint dried, I shaped the petals by pinching the ends and then put the flower together. Since it was plastic, I realized it would be great to use to decorate a pin wheel for the garden.
|Plastic Bottle flower attached to pinwheel|
I cut the plastic to fit the Flowers Layer die cut (#654982) and put it through the "Big Shot" using the extra long clear plastic pads. I was glad to see that it worked well cutting out the petals without leaving any sharp edges.
Third Project - Animal Print Flowers
Using the plastic flowers I cut out from the animal print place mat, I took the pad from my pergamano set so I could use a stylus to give the petals some shape.
I glued the pieces together, added a brad in the center, and then glue them to pin backs so they could be used as a pin.
Rubber Shelf liner
The girls used the cut outs to decorate journal pages and an old tag I had from a trade show.
Then, I followed the actual directions on the tabs for wafer thin dies. I placed the die face up on the pad. I put a piece of paper stock on top of the die followed by a piece of foam and the second clear pad. It cut clean without any problems.
I put it through the big shot and using card stock and it cut through cleanly.
I decided to try to cut another piece of soda can tin and I was surprised to see that it cut through the tin cleanly.
aluminum can that I had cut from an energy drink. Using the enclosed platform, I made sure that tab
number 2 went through the machine first. I placed the cutting pad with the "Cuttlebug Emboss Sheet"
I carefully removed the aluminum from the embossing sheet. The design embossed beautifully and looked great on both sides of the aluminum piece.
well the current price of that machine is $143.00 with free shipping (if you are a member of Amazon Prime) so it will have to wait for a bit. My friend Stefanie purchased the Big Shot Plus Cutting/Embossing Machine, so I spent the afternoon checking it out and here are some of my preliminary thoughts about it:
- The Big Shot Plus Machine measures: 15 3/4 inches by 11 3/4 Inches with a height of 7 1/2 Inches. These measurements are approximate.
- The biggest draw of the machine is that you can feed your 8 1/2" by 11 inches papers through the machine to cut out the die shapes. I use the 12 inch by 12 inch papers a lot more, so I would still end up having to cut my paper to feed it through the machine. So I am not sure if spending an additional $75 for the machine is worth it at this time, with out knowing more about it.
- I not sure if you can use your collection of dies in this machine, as I did not have my collection of dies with me that day (and she lives 75 miles away from me) to test out and she only had regular 8 1/2 by 11 paper to use.
- The color of this machine is a simple white with grey trim look. It doesn't have the fun colorful designs that the regular big shot does but it really does not need it either. It is a nice machine to have if you have the space to store it.
- Because of its' size, it is not as portable as the big shot. However, it does not need to run on electricity which is always a plus when crafting on the fly.
- Always use the right platform or cutting pad board with the appropriate die.
- Carefully place die or texture plate facing the correct direction (according to manufacturers directions). If you are new to using these types of machine, just know that the clear plastic pads will get scratched and cut over time. The die cutting process does leave its mark behind on those, so try to remember to rotate and flip the clear pads to get even wear on them.
- Local craft stores do not have a large selection of these dies in stock, they are trending towards the electric die cut machines which I think is a mistake. There is a need for both types, especially if you want to take your die cutting machine with you somewhere where there is not electricity readily available. Anyway, you can find a great selection on die's online.
- Check the Sizzix website to get some more project ideas to make the most of your machine.
- The Big Shot comes wrapped in a huge plastic container. If you cut it carefully, you can use that same plastic and run it through your big shot to die cut it and use it for craft projects or mini books.
- The longer dies are harder to push through the machine, but have patience and it will go through. I found that if I put a rubber anti slip mat under the big shot while using those longer dies it does help keep the machine it from moving as much.
So far I am really liking the Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine for using on my larger pieces of paper and other fun materials. I did find that Michaels Craft Store had the best bundle price on it (plus I had a bunch of gift cards for that store) which included some extra mats and markers. However, I want to use it more and test it out on a variety of materials before I review it fully. However, the Cricut Wireless Cutting Machine does require power to work so it is not quite as portable as the Big Shot is. And I personally consider it to be a completely different type of machine, since it does not use traditional dies.