Challenge: Make the cut

Design team members Tracy & Anna Karin have both asked about doing a die-cut challenge, so let’s get one going! Whether you use a die cutting machine, paper punch, pre-made die-cut shapes or stickers, or have your own twist on the challenge we encourage you to join us.

Tracy was inspired to create a framed dimensional piece for her Brother In Law’s Birthday.


The Vintage Camera die was my inspiration this week which I thought would be perfect for my Brother In Law’s birthday as he is often seen with a camera in his hand capturing those special moments. The Picture Wheel die seemed the perfect accompaniment for this piece. The Tim Holtz Core’dinations Kraft Core Nostalgic Paper Stack was perfect for die cutting the elements in my piece, adding that vintage/aged feel.

Suzz loves to upcycle leftover cardboard and using the die cuts makes ordinary cardboard look elegant.


I love the way cutting out an elegant die can turn a piece of cardstock or cardboard into a beautiful frame. I started with leftover cardboard, PaperArtsy Metal Card, Claudine Hellsmuth Paint, and an Embossing folder to set the stage for my album. I was inspired to create a mini album for a wedding using the Impression Obsession A Good Marriage. I softened the metal with a touch of the white paint and some pretty flowers.

Meihsia used some vintage die cuts to decorate an altered journal for this weeks challenge.
I love to collect journals and this Tim Holtz District Market Journal is one of my favorites. I was inspired to decorate this journal with die cuts and alter it with a shabby chic style. The front of this journal was covered with Faber-Castell Gesso and sprayed with Ranger Dylusions Ink Spray and Heidi Swapp Mustard Color Shine. After I got these sprayed colors beautifully blended and dried, I glued the die cuts (Tim Holtz Sizzix Die Weathered Clock Bigz Alterations and Sizzix Mini Old Jalopy & Arrow Dies Movers Shapers), Prima Flowers and some embellishments on the cover. Now, it turns out a gorgeous shabby chic journal.

Candy used all sorts of die cuts to create this sweet vintage style accordion album.


I finally got a chance to use Karen Burniston’s Accordion Album by Sizzix. With vintage “stained glass” butterflies as my theme, Bo Bunny’s 6×6 Gabrielle Paper Pad provided the perfect background panels. Memory Box’s Vivienne Butterfly graces all four panels; three of which also have a die cut opening on the center panel. Still more delicate die cuts including  Harrington Vine, a dainty String of Hearts and a Ribbon Banner add softness and detail to this very dimensional piece.

Dan was inspired this week by an old movie he’d watched.

Last week I was watching the old 1951 movie version of Scrooge and it struck me that the 3 spirits that visit him during the night are always male. In my upbringing it’s always been the women in my family that have had the biggest hand in making Christmas special, from cooking the food and trimming the tree to wrapping the gifts. For that reason I decided to give the Spirit of Christmas Present a feminine remake. I used Tim Holtz’s Festive Greenery die, along with the Classics #5, Artful Artifacts and Holiday Wishes stamp sets.

Sandra Mouwen was in a little bit of a girly mood, while making this tag

It isn’t often that I make really girly things, but when I went through my paper pads looking for inspiration, I saw the Little Miss of Bo Bunny pad, and I just couldn’t resist. The 6×6 paper is a little bit smaller then the #8 manilla tag that I used as base, so I cut the bottom piece off and it fits perfectly now. I love the dress form from the Sewing Room die, and it is always fun to dress it up. I was inspired by a dress from a catalog. The Large Hearts are exclusive dies from Simon Says Stamp and I sewed them onto the tag.

May was inspired to make a sweet card this week.


I was inspired by the Mayberry die cut chipboard sticker set this week. I also decided to cut my own heart shape into the corrugated cardboard as well as get some stickles action going. I love this week’s challenge because it reminds me to get out those die cut stickers and chipboard shapes and get them into use in my crafting!

Michelle used a tag die to create an art book from a vintage children’s book that was damaged beyond repair.


I used an Avery Elle tag die to create tags from the pages of a discarded vintage children’s reader. These tags, which had illustrations on both sides, were collaged with papers and a Dylusions stencil for visual interest. I bound the tags into a matchbook-style miniature flag book that I designed. The cute Jenni Bowlin flair was just what I needed to embellish the cover. I loved being able to create a new book from the remnants of an old one.

Ashli took this week as opportunity to use her one of her new favorite dies along with her go-to Simon Exclusives:


The Heart of Hearts die by Impression Obsession is one of my new favorites. I decided to put it to good use this week and scrap a page about my middle child and her little personality. To begin, I spread a thin layer of Modeling Paste in a vertical column down the page. I then added Glitter and Color Shine. This gives a nice textural background in which to layer all of my die cut goodness!  To finish things off, I used the exclusive Oh Happy Day die for part of my title and the exclusive Ribbon Banner for more layering fun.

Mona used a variety of die cuts to give a burlap canvas a vintage romantic flair.


I took advantage of the opportunity to transform the canvas into a clock wreath full of die cut peonies, roses and bitty blossoms. To prepare the background for embellishing, I adhered strips of French Industrial paper and Symphony tissue tape onto the canvas, randomly applied Gesso then spritzed on Cranberry Color Wash. I also added a sweet resin cupid and Addage ticket.

Andrea had a royally good time making this crown out of die cut shapes and snowflakes.

Pretty much every useful skill I’ve acquired on this planet has been a direct result of my mom and dad’s awesomeness. So thank you, mom, for teaching me at a young age how to cut a decent snowflake! This one skill alone has saved me ugly-snowflake-embarrassment throughout many a Christmas season in school and has made me look cool to my coworkers when snowy cubicle décor was called for. So why not utilize snowflakes all year round by making them into crowns? This summer crown was created by hand-cut snowflakes and a bevy of stellar die cuts and punches like Tim Holtz’s Sizzix Tattered Flowers die and Martha Stewart’s Butterfly and Hydrangea punches. I also used the awesome Fiskars AdvantEdge machine and a scoring board for the rosette.

Dies are one of Anna-Karin’s absolute favourite tools and she will be back on Wednesday with a tutorial.

Make sure you check back on Wednesday, for a step-by-step tutorial with fun die-cutting ideas.

For more inspiration click on our design team’s blog links so you can see more photos (and full supply lists) for their projects. Leave them a little comment love while you’re there so they know how they’ve inspired you too, if you’re so inclined.


As always, Simon Says Stamp is giving away a $50 gift voucher that will go to a random entry chosen by random generator. To qualify all you need to do is create a new project that ties in (in any way!) with our theme and post it, along with a link back to this challenge, and add a link here. This challenge will end at 11:59pm on Sunday August 18th Eastern time.

We will also be choosing some of our entries to put in the spotlight – a special honor where we talk about why we loved that entry in particular and award a special badge too!

For the full rules, read the “challenge rules” posted in the side-bar here on our blog.



  1. Great inspiration DT!! I really enjoy seeing how each of you take the challenge in such different creative directions.

  2. So happy I got to play along with this challenge!
    Your great creations inspired me to create something other than a card – thanks! :)

  3. I’ve never done much with die cutting but the design team’s pieces are amazing, as are many of the submissions. They add so much dimension to the paper, and I’d never realized you could use it on cardboard as well.

  4. What a great challenge and lovely eye candy from the team! See you next time!!! Thanks again! :-)