All about the Big Shot

Big Shot Picture

The big shot is an awesome die cutting machine that is very versatile and allows you to cut as well as emboss. The big shot is both portable and durable and needs no electricity. It is easy to use and can even be operated by kids. All you do is make a sandwich of a cutting plate, your paper the die and another cutting plate. In this article you will learn:

 1. What is needed to use the big shot

2. What are dies and embossing folders?

3. How does the big shot compares to other machines?

4. Materials that can be used on the big shot.

5. Different platforms and cutting plates.

6. Samples

What do I need to use the big shot?

     big shotYou will need to buy the big shot which is around $99.00 and comes with the machine two standard cutting pads and the base platform. You will need to buy the dies separately and I will go over the different types later in my article. So to start off you only have to buy the machine and the dies you wish to use as we’ll as the material you wish to cut. There are other things you can get for different techniques and dies but for now this is the basic supplies needed.

What are dies and embossing folders?
There are hundreds of dies and embossing folders out there but for now I am going to tell you the different types and what they mean.

Framelits: Framelites are very thin metal dies that are as they say
“frame” lits. They frame your image, and lots of the framelits
come with coordinating stamps. They cut through only two
pieces of card stock at the maximum, but also cut thin paper
too.

Edgelits: Edgelits create cute edges for cards and envelopes. They are
thin just like the framelits but are usually straight dies.

Embosslits: Embosslits are like embossing folders and framelits
together. They are small little folders you put your paper in
and it cuts and embossed at the same time.

Embossing Folders: Embossing folders are cute folders with texture to
them. They put texture on paper and card stock to
add to your cards, scrapbook pages and more.

Thinlits: Are dies that create delicate detailed images and flip cards. They
are like framelits but have more detail. Sometimes they are so
detailed you need to run them through the big shot twice or add
wax paper in between the die and the paper.

Original Dies: Original dies are the first large dies that came out with the
big shot. They are large images that have perforated
edges in them, that can be cut apart and pieced with
different colors to make an awesome die cut. The original.
dies are steel rule dies and can cut up to three pieces of
card stock at once.

Bigz Dies: Bigs dies are just like the original dies only they are bigger.
They are steel rule dies and are great for card making
Scrapbooking and paper crafts.

XL Dies: XL dies are very big long dies and they need an extended
cutting plates and platform. The awesome thing about XL dies
are thar almost all I have seen are dies that you die cut and
assemble, like the french fry box. These are a must have for any
paper crafter.

How does the big shot compares to other machines?
The big shot is very sturdy, it is portable and has easy to use instructions right on the multi purpose platform. There are other sturdy ones out there but they are made of plastic and that plastic may crack if dropped. They are portable and some may be lighter then the big shot but it is still manageable. The best thing about the big shot is that the instructions are right on the platform in case you forget. There are other cutting systems out there that may be better or even electronic but for a basic die cutting machine I feel the big shot is the way to go.

Materials that can be used on the big shot.
There are many materials that can be cut with the big shot, they include but not limited to.
Tin cans
Card stock
Paper
Chip board
Window sheets
Velum
Fabric
Foam
Adisive backed cork
Balsa
Heat and shrink plastic
Thin leather
Shelf lining
Vinyl
Aluminum
Brass
Paper wood
Mat board
Silicone
Corrugated pad
Plastic canvas
Bubble wrap
Adhesive rubber
Pure beeswax
Pop and cut sponge
Iron on fabric
Funky fur
Canvas
Place mats
Vinal flooring
And more

Different platforms and cutting plates.
The big shot comes with standard cutting plates but there are also several other accessories you can purchase. First there is a crease pad which would replace your top cutting plate to make a nicer crease and so that it creases the material and does not cut it. Two there is a squish shim that you can add to the sandwich for a better cut. The next thing you may need or want is the awesome magnetic platform. This is used with any of the framelits, Thinlits, or edgelit dies. It holds the die in place so you do not have to stick it down with a post it note. Last but not least if you are using the XL dies you will need the same as the regular ones. You need the extended cutting plates and platform as well as the extended crease pad. This May seam very confusing but once you get into using it it gets easier.

Samples:
Here are a few samples I have done using the big shot.

 

   Sample 1Sample 3Sample 2