Big Shot Die Cutting System – Let’s Learn

Oh the things you can create with Stampin’ Up! and Sizzix…

Stampin’ Up! is proud to offer the Big Shot Die Cutting System!  A Big Shot is a personal die cutting machine. It works on a rolling principle. The materials to be cut are rolled through the machine as you turn a crank. The Big Shot machine is capable of cutting materials from vellum to chipboard (with the appropriate dies), embossing, and texturizing.  For those of you who do not know what this is … just think about heaven a bit… you can cut shapes, letters, phrases and images using this cute tool as well as emboss using special embossing folders and dies… The Sizzix Big Shot for Stampin’ Up! product line is a big deal! With the Big Shot you can cut over 50 different material types and duplicate creative and intricate designs quickly and easily.  Using the special Multipurpose Platform – It also works with the following competitor dies and embossing folders (low profile/wafer thin dies as well as acid edged dies):

  • Sizzix – Sizzix Steel Rule Dies, Sizzlets, BigZ Dies, Clearlets , Embosslets, Simple Impressions Folders, Texurz, Easy Emboss, Cutn’Emboss, Window Cuts, Decorative Strips, Extended Cuts
  • Big Shot Thick Cut Dies, Big Shot Thin Cut Dies
  • Spellbinders – Wizard Dies and embossing folders
  • Cuddlebug – Dies, A2 Embossing Folders, Embossing Folders
  • Quickutz
  • Bosscut
  • Accucut – Thinner wooden and wafer then dies
  • Stampin’ Up! Brass Templates!
  • Any Competitor’s Brass Templates!

Stampin’ Up! has created a special cutting dies that you will NOT find anywhere else that will enhance your Stampin’ Adventures and help you turn out beautiful cards, scrapbook pages and gifts with ease!

As you get more familiar with the Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting System, you will begin to notice that there are different styles offered – the black/gray Stampin’ Up! Style… the black/pink Special Edition Style… and the Blue Style… these are all the same – they just are different colors… The Big Kick is not the same as the Big Shot.

There’s a few terms that you need to know about to help you get started:

  • Die – A special metal plate that has the image that you desire to cut or emboss onto the cardstock (or one of the 50 approved materials).  The dies can be Steel Rule or Acid Edge Dies.
  • Sandwich – A unique combination of die cutter materials plus the Die or Embossing Folder plus the material you are trying to emboss or cut. (In this case, sandwich refers to the way you stack the different plates for your die-cutting machine.)
  • Embossing Folder – A special folder that has the positive and negative image to emboss onto your material.

  • Shim – Material such as Cereal Boxes, heavier cardstock or special Shims to make the sandwich stronger and more sturdy – usually used for embossing…

  • Multipurpose Platform – a special base (bottom of sandwhich) that allows you to work with other competitor’s dies.  This comes with the Stampin’ Up! Big Shot.
  • Extender Platform – a special base that allows you to use longer dies with.
  • Embossing Starter Kit – a special base that has a rubber mat to help make the impression when using embossing templates and folders.

Stampin’ Up! Product Codes:

  • 114337 Chocolate Chip Vinyl Sheet, 12″x24″, $12.95 for 2 sheets.
  • 114336 Kraft Vinyl Sheet, 12″x24″, $12.95 for 2 sheets.
  • 114335 White Vinyl Sheet, 12″x24″, $12.95 for 2 sheets.
  • 114334 Gray Vinyl Sheet, 12″x24″, $12.95 for 2 sheets.

The directions will be different for each type of die/embossing folder you use.  But the steps are pretty simple:

  • Step 1: Make a sandwich using the material you want to cut/emboss and die/embossing folder and base of your choice.
  • Step 2:  Place the sandwich at the front of the Big Shot Die Cutting Matchine.
  • Step 3:  Using the handle, crank until the sandwich comes out on the other side.  Embossing will be an easier crank than cutting.  Cutting will cause you to hear noises that are popping – which means you are cutting through the material.
  • Step 4:  Take apart the sandwich and enjoy your new creation!

Here’s a few websites that will help you get familiar with the Big Shot and what it can do…

Here’s a few ideas that are really cute:

Here’s a few sandwich tutorials that will help you with sandwiching the dies properly:

Fiskars Plastic Texture Plates Sandwich:

1. Big Shot Multi-Purpose Platform (Tab 2)
2. Fiskars Embossing Template
3. Paper/Cardstock
4. Sizzix Embossing Mat (or the like)
5. Acrylic Pad

Tips for using the Big Shot:

  1. When using cutting dies that have folds in them, use the crease pad instead of the cutting pad.  If you do not, then you increase the risk of getting cuts where the folds should be.
  2. If it seems hard to crank the wheel, flip the top cutting plate over and see if that makes a difference.
  3. To prolong the life of the cutting pads, alternate & flip the cutting pads from time to time.
  4. Remember the Thin dies do not cut through thick materials like the Thick dies do… so make sure you read the instructions/recommended materials for the Thin Dies before you use them.
  5. Be careful using sandpaper on the cutting dies – it could dull the sharp edges and eventually wear out the ties.
  6. Put adhesive on the material you are trying to cut before you run it through the machine.  It should not gum up the machine – this makes it easier then to have adhesive on the smaller letters and edges.
  7. Do not try to “stuff” too much in the sandwich – meaning really get to understand each type of material you are cutting on only put in what could be possible to cut.  For example if you are using thick chipboard – try only one sheet instead of multiple sheets…
  8. When unpacking your Big Shot from Stampin’ Up! – be very careful not to loose your handle – it is embedded in one of the styrofoam packaging pieces – so do not throw anything away until you have your handle and the tools to attach the handle to the Big Shot machine…
  9. Use one plate for Cutting and one plate for Embossing and using a marker – mark them as such so that you do not have cuts in the plate you are using to emboss with…
  10. When embossing using embossing plates – mist your paper with a fine mist of water before embossing – this will weaken the paper fibers a little and make a deeper impression – especially when using the Fiskars plastic texture plates (blue/pink).
  11. Remember that each machine may be callibrated slightly different from the next. So experiment with your machine… and again do not force product through the rollers. Once you have found the “sandwich” formula write it down and attach it some place on your machine so that you won’t need to experiment the next time around.
  12. When precision is necessary, use Tombow Temporary Adhesive to position your cardstock/material you want to cut on the top of the sandwich… this will reduce the movement…

I am hoping that all of this will help with getting you up and running quickly with this nifty tool – if you need help do not hesitate to contact me!  The most important thing to remember is to be creative!



  1. Carolyn said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    This is a fantastic source of information and I really appreciate your time and generosity in sharing it with all of us.
    -TN Stampin’ Up Demo

  2. Natalie said,

    March 5, 2009 at 5:42 am

    I just purchased Big Shot machine and this information is really helpful. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to play with it more 🙂

  3. mssmotorrd said,

    May 3, 2009 at 7:53 am

    It’s the first time I commented here and I must say you share us genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Good job.
    p.s. You have a very good template for your blog. Where did you find it?

    • Marie! said,

      May 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm

      Hi! and welcome to Stampaloooza… the template is a template from wordpress – the graphics I did to match my business cards! I am a graphics artist/web designer by day… at night I am a mad scrapper!

      I am glad you like the blog… I have two Asperger teens that lately have me hopping! So it is hard for me to post all the time… but summer is coming and so is a new Stampin’ Up! Catalog… Yahoo!


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