Craft Life Hack – DIY Magnetic Platform

Getting into card making, scrapbook layouts, or the Project Life series of documenting our daily lives can be over the top expensive.  Especially if you spend any amount of time watching craft videos on YouTube where every new tool or convenience is displayed for you to drool over and covet.

Die cutting is one such tool.  The machines themselves are over $100 and they come with the bare necessities.  Extra items are all add-ons and can destroy your budget quickly.  With the advent of wafer thin dies that serve dual duty, cut and emboss, the industry has been finding more ways to deplete your budget with these tools that we “Just Have to HAVE”.

Sizzix created a “Magnetic Platform” just for the wafer thin dies.  This acrylic pad with a magnetic top has allowed the paper crafter to do more with their dies.  That Magnetic Platform will set you back $30 or more.  The good thing about this tool is that you no longer have to fuss around with dies shifting on you through the cutting process.  You no longer have to tape everything down to get a good and clean cut without wasting a lot of paper while keeping track of where the die is before it goes under the pressure rollers.

I have not gotten into the wafer thin die aspect of paper crafting.  Mostly because of the initial cost of the die set.  These dies come in sets, or “Nested” sets.  Each die is graduated in height and width from smallest to largest and ideal for layering on your card fronts or your scrapbook layouts.  One set of dies will cost over $25 and it would be really easy to get to the check out with a total of over $100 just for three or four of these sets.  Add on the cost of the magnetic platform and your crafting budget will be gone in seconds.

Storing these wafer thin dies can be a challenge in itself.  Keep the packaging they came in or find an alternate storage solution.  One of my friends, Maureen Criss Mathis, told me about her purchase of Magnetic Vent Covers from her local hardware store to use for her die storage.  This was a few years back.

While in my local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center I went to the heating aisle and right to the section that sells the vent covers.

Vent covers at my hardware store

Vent covers at my hardware store

Magnetic Vent Covers are sold in this section.  When you want to block air flow over one or more registers in your home it can be accomplished with these covers.  The cost is $4.97 at my store for a set of 3.

Magnetic vent covers

Magnetic vent covers

These magnetic sheets cut easily with a pair of scissors.  So I had to see if I could make my own “Magnetic Platform” using this product on my three Sizzix machines.  The Big Shot, Original Sizzix Machine, and the Side Kick.

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

I was able to use the magnetic sheets on all three of my machines successfully.  The cuts I got using this home heating product were clean without any mistakes.

So, if you have been thinking about getting the Magnetic Platform from Sizzix for your wafer thin dies then head on over to  your local hardware store.  Spend your craft budget money on the acquisition of more wafer thin dies 😀

Here is my demonstration video for this new tool in my paper craft arsenal.


Cheap Trick – Sliding Blade Trimmer.

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US.  My wish for you is that you enjoy your family and friends on this special day.  Good family and friends, great food, and lots of love and laughter.

After you have risen from your nap after the bountiful foods and drink have a look at this video I have created.  I show you how to use a budget priced paper trimmer to cut a square hole in the center of two A4 size (4-1/4 x 5-1/2) pieces of card stock.  I show you how to get the scored frame around your cut.  I also show you how to use the paper trimmer to score lines along the length of the card stock.

You will see, in the video, that I make a 2 inch square cut out on the card stock pieces.  If you want a rectangle or larger square to feature one of your favorite stamped images or beautiful papers it will be easy for you to do.

Find the center, which I show you the center measurements in the video.  Measure your image or feature element.  Say for example you have a stamped image that is 1-1/2 inches wide by 3 inches tall.  Add 1/2 inch to the measurements to be 2 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches tall.  Your center line measurement will be 1 inch from the left of center and 1 inch from the right of center on the wide part.  For the tall measurement you would be 1-5/8 inches from the top of center and 1-5/8 inches from the bottom of center.

Mark you paper lightly with a pencil and then cut your “aperture” that will feature your stamped image.  There are so many variations you can make with this technique.  Cut out a diamond, square, or rectangle shape that will leave people asking how you did it. 😀

Have fun in your creativity.  Get to know your paper trimmer.  Most of all, if you are a beginning card maker and have limited tools, use what you have to create amazing things.

I hope you enjoyed this video and learned something from it.  I look forward to learning what you do.