First, let us get acquainted with the Sliding Blade Trimmer. You probably have one of these in your crafting space and are pretty familiar with it already. For those that just use this tool along the horizontal measuring area at the top of the trimmer, you may not realize there is also a VERTICAL measuring area on the swing arm.
Sliding Blade Trimmers
Horizontal and Vertical measuring aids on trimmer
Let’s take a look at the cutting blade itself. You will notice two “Arrows” on either side of the blade platform, and you will notice an indented groove running through the center of the blade platform.
Guides on the blade platform
To make the magic happen you will need to make use of these guides while cutting within your card stock. Depending on whether you use the Metric measurement scale or the Inch measurement scale these handy arrows will help you be precise in your cuts. Pay attention to the arrow on the swing arm guide that you will be referencing. Use the arrow along the Metric guide if you need to cut in centimeters. Use the arrow along the Inch guide if you need to cut in inches.
Now, folks, there is some math that needs to be done here. Following along with my Sample #1, you will need to have two (2) pieces of card stock measuring 4-1/4 x 5-1/2. Color doesn’t matter, you don’t need to use orange. It was the first pieces I grabbed.
2 pieces of 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 card stock
Finding “Center” on the card stock is to divide 4-1/4 x 2 and 5-1/2 x 2. We are going to be cutting a 2 inch square hole out of the center of the card stock.
Once you find “Center” it is a matter of determining the measurements of where to begin the cuts along all four sides.
Stick with me here. Continue on down through the photos and descriptions. There is a “Method to my madness” here. To begin your cut you will need to place one edge of the card stock (4-1/4″ width) on the 1-1/8″ mark of the HORIZONTAL measuring guide.
Line up card stock to the 1-1/8 inch mark
Once you have the card stock lined up properly you will then move on to the VERTICAL guide on the swing arm. Your blade will be pressed in the card stock at the 1-3/4 inch marking on the swing arm.
Vertical guide at 1-3/4 inches
Slide the blade down to the 3-3/4 mark on the Vertical guide.
Cut down to the 3-3/4 inch mark on the vertical guide
Your cut will look like this.
Your first cut
Now flip the card stock over and place the other 4-1/4 edge along the 1-1/8 in HORIZONTAL measure guide and repeat the same cut you just made along the VERTICAL guide. You will now have this.
The 2 vertical cuts
Now rotate your card stock along the 5-1/2 inch edge. Along the HORIZONTAL measure guide line up the card stock with the 1-3/4 inch mark. You will see that the top of the cut you just made is centered within the blade guide. Look for the black arrow of the second photo to see what I’m referring to.
Along the 5-/12 edge measure to 1-3/4 inches
The top of your first cut will be seen within the cutting blade groove
Your blade will be pressed into the card stock along the VERTICAL measure guide at 1-1/8 inches and you will cut down to the 3-1/8 inch mark. This will connect your two cut lines.
Line up the card stock to 1-3/4 inches HORIZONTALLY
Begin your cut at 1-1/8 inch and move down to 3-1/8 inches
Your cut will now look like this.
This is the result of your 3 cuts
Flip your card stock to the other 5-1/2 inch edge and repeat this step. You will then have a centered square cut out of your card stock.
Repeat the previous measurements and cuts
There you have it. Centered square
Now…repeat this entire process to your second piece of card stock.
Repeat the steps.
Now we are going to move on to the Scoring Blade. Notice this tool has marks a little different from the cutting blade. You will be using these indicators on the scoring blade to press scores around the box you just cut out. This will frame the box. This step is how you will get the “Frame” around the cut similar to a Spellbinder die.
Guides on the Score Blade
I have given myself a 1/4 inch gap between the top of the cuts and out on each side.
Score 1/4 inch away from the edge and sides of your cuts
Your cuts are now framed
You can score panels of lines down your card stock if you want to add more dimension and texture. Line up the 4-1/4 edge along the HORIZONTAL measure guide the width you wish and score down the length of your card stock.
Score lines down the length of your card stock
The square hole in the card stock will feature a spinning stamped image. Choose a stamp that will fit in the window with at least a 1/4 inch reveal all around within the square. You will need to stamp 2 (two) images.
Stamp two images
Test fit the images to make sure you have plenty of room on all four sides. Making sure the stamped images won’t get caught on any of the edges or it will not spin properly.
You will need some clear tape, a length of cotton thread – about 10 inches long.
Clear tape and cotton thread
It doesn’t matter if your stamped image is crooked. IT DOES MATTER that your cotton thread is perfectly straight and centered on the back of one of the images. The other image you will add the adhesive of your choice to sandwich the cotton thread and hide it.
Attach the cotton thread to one image.
Your sandwich will look like this.
Your stamped sandwich
Now tape the cotton thread tales to the back side of your front piece. Make sure to have the cotton thread straight before you attach it with the clear tape. Crooked placement will not be your friend.
Center your stamped image
Tape the thread tales
Cut off any excess cotton thread that is higher than the top or bottom of your card stock.
Add your favorite adhesive to the other card stock cut out and place over the cotton thread. You will see that my cotton thread piece is not straight. My butterfly image is off center. Thankfully there is enough space around the image and the cuts it will spin freely.
Add adhesive to the cut out cover
Place the card stock pieces together
Now, using your fingers twist the stamped image around and around until the cotton thread is twisting well. Let go and you will see your image spinning in circles within the square cut out you just made.
Front of sample #1
Back of sample #1
This sample will help you to feel confident in working with this kind of design element. You have the extra boost of confidence knowing that you have not screwed up a perfectly good card base while you are trying something new.
I, generally, try new things out in this way. If the piece turns to crap then I have not not wasted about 5 card bases trying to get it right.
Okay. It is your turn to try this technique. Leave a comment below and let me know how you did. Also, if you are one of those that are masters of the sliding blade trimmer and have other tips to pass on I would love hearing from you as well.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Leslie