If you’re looking to step up to a new level of creativity, look no further than nesting dies! Clever and versatile, these are some of the best dies for cardmaking as they allow you to create a whole variety of effects, including layered frames and decorative apertures perfect for taking your home-made cards to new heights!
We’ve put together this handy guide to using nesting dies, so you can see just how simple it is to create stunning effects.
What are nesting dies?
Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). Nesting dies are a set of metal dies of the same basic shape that come in multiple sizes – they sit inside one another a bit like a Russian doll.
Nesting dies come in all kinds of shapes, oval, rectangular, circular, flower shaped, the list goes on! Each die has been scaled to fit perfectly inside the next size up, giving you the opportunity to create a beautiful layered background, border or frame. Perfect for adding new depth to your cardmaking!
Not only are they ideal for cutting out shapes, they’re also perfect for cutting in, so you can try your hand at creating aperture cards, shaker cards or pretty peekaboo cards! You can then use the negatives of these cut ins as gift tags or embellishments for other projects. We told you they were versatile!
How do I use nesting dies?
Nesting dies couldn’t be simpler to use! Simply choose your shape, select your cardstock, decide which sizes you are going to use and fire up the die-cutting machine!
How to use nesting dies with the Gemini Die-cutting machine:
- Start with the Clear Cutting Plate on the bottom
- Place the Plastic Shim on top of it
- Place the Magnetic Shim on top of the Plastic Shim, magnet side up
- Position your chosen nesting die, blade side up, with the smooth side facing the Magnetic Shim
- Pop your chosen cardstock, paper or other material on top of the die
- Place the Clear Cutting Plate on top of the Material to be cut
- Align the platform combination and feed it into the Gemini
- Release your hold on the platform combination once the motor begins to pull it into the machine
- If you’re creating frames, just put the larger shape on to the cutting plate and add the smaller shape inside. Use some Low Tack Tape to hold both dies in place, then continue with your sandwich before rolling through the machine
Now all you have to do is layer up your nesting dies however you choose, adhere them to the front of your card or project and pop on a few finishing touches. As you can see below they form a perfect frame for sweet sentiments and birthday wishes! You can also use nesting dies to create matt and layers for your card bases.
What effects can I create with nesting dies?
Nesting dies are very versatile and are perfect for creating layered die-cut backgrounds, frames or borders. You can also use one of the nesting dies to cut an aperture into your card to create a beautiful window, tunnel effect or stunning shaker card! Take a look at some examples below!
What kind of nesting dies are there?
Crafter’s Companion has an amazing range of nesting dies on offer, so you can choose between intricate lace designs, sweet scalloped edges and even inverted sets! Take a look at the list below and see what takes your eye.
- Gemini Elements Inverted Nesting Dies – Choose between a decorative zig-zag or scalloped edge to run around the inside of each shape!
- Sharon Callis Vintage Lace Frame Nesting Dies – Intricate designs in a range of shapes, all perfect to wreath your cards in layers of soft and sumptuous lace!
- Gemini Elements Stitched Edge Nesting Dies – A huge range of shapes from pentagons, flowers, ovals and rectangles, each with the design of a running stitch along the edge
- Gemini Elements Scalloped Edge Nesting Dies – Choose between oval, circular and rectangular nesting dies, all with a sweet scalloped design running along the edge of the shape
- Multi-Media Nesting Dies – These dies can cut through multiple layers of fabric in one pass through the die cutting machine so you can create embellishment and applique pieces in a range of sizes!
If this post has got you thinking about exploring with nesting dies, why not tune into the below episode of The Craft Class on Crafter’s TV to find out even more about inverted nesting dies and how to create amazing effects!
And for a warm welcome to all sorts of craft techniques, join us for more episodes of The Craft Class on Crafter’s TV to unlock your creative potential!
We hope this post has helped you get started with nesting dies, we’d love to see your nesting die creations on social media. Share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #crafterscompanion.