Hello my crafty peeps and welcome to another Innovation Station post! This is a monthly feature, focusing innovative tips and tricks. During the 2nd week of each month I plan to share an innovation that I find myself going to again and again.

This month’s innovation is inlaid die cutting. Inlaid die cutting is the process by which you place the negative space pieces back into the die cut creating a one layer background. This technique works well with background dies, but it also works with shapes and words. Inlaid die cutting adds color and interest to full panel die cuts and allows you to create many different looks. Inlaid die cutting is pretty straightforward, which is what makes it such a wonderful card making staple. Basically you run the item through your die cut machine over and over, using different card stock and/or pattern papers. It’s really that simple. I have come up with a few tips that I find helpful, which I share at the end of this post.

Now onto the cards. For the first card I used the Hello cover plate from Poppy Stamps. I started with a top folding card base and I die cut the plate into the card face. I set those letters and inserts (the inside of the O’s and E’s) aside. Next, I die cut the plate from several pieces of card stock in the new InColors (lemon lime twist, tranquil tide, powder pink, berry burst, and fresh fig) and I cut a slightly smaller backing for the card front, which I turned into a sticker by adhering it to a piece of Stick It! adhesive and placed it behind the card face. Finally, I began inlaying letters, making sure to include the white inserts for the O’s and E’s. For the finishing touch, I added two silver enamel hearts to one of the O’s.


For my second card I die cut Winnie & Walter’s Multifaceted cover plate out of a piece of Emerald Envy card stock and also out of a piece of the Pick a Pattern DSP. Using Stick It! adhesive, I turned the Emerald Envy die cut into a sticker and adhered it to a Flirty Flamingo card base. Next, I began placing all the shapes from the DSP using the outline version to help me figure out which pieces went where. I stamped the label frame in Emerald Envy and the sentiment in Flirty Flamingo and colored in the letters using a Flirty Flamingo marker. Using my Flirty Flamingo reinker, I dyed a piece of white seam binding and also punched out the frame using the new Pretty Label punch and popped it up on dimensionals over the ribbon.


I took a friend to the airport at 4am this morning and I was leaving the house when I remembered another style of inlaid die cut I had planned to show: using smaller dies to create a background. The wheels were turning (both my car’s and my brain’s) and by the time I returned from the airport this card was almost completely designed! Bonus! I created it using the Frozen Treats dies and it shows how creative you can get with inlaid die cutting. HINT: To get a seamless one layer cut for the ice cream cone follow these steps. Cut the cone out of the white panel first and then overlap the ice cream die so it looks like one clean cut (see below left). Next, place the panel back on the BigShot’s magnetic platform, inserting the proper cone in its spot and placing the ice cream die in position in the hole left by the first time you die cut it. Run that through the machine again and voila, the cone and ice cream meet up and look seamless. I finished off the card with one of the sentiments from the Cool Treats stamp set cut out using the Layering Ovals.


TIPS & TRICKS: A few things I’ve learned along the way… If the die has a lot of pieces I often adhere my frame to a piece of Stick It adhesive sheet so that thin, edge to edge adhesive is showing through the negative spaces where I will put the die cuts in. I love Stick It! because it’s double sided adhesive so you can glue your panel to the card front and the negative spaces also have adhesive! When I do use glue I tend toward Multi Matte Medium or SU! Fine Tip Glue Pen as both provide pinpoint application, dry clear and give a strong bond. I will sometimes die cut something out of a lot of different colors and patterns and save them up for future cards. I will often store these die cuts in the pocket with the dies. With intricate full panels I will often us the version I cut out of DSP to help me figure out where all the little pieces go. The best thing about inlaid die cutting is that you can dress them up with a sentiment, but visually they are interesting enough to carry the card without needing much more.

Thanks for hanging out with me, and learning (or relearning) about inlaid die cutting! Join me next month for another of my go to innovations, marble backgrounds. Until next time, remember, creativity and imperfection live together in all we do. “Grace is the face love wears when it meets imperfection.”


Supplies Used:
Dies: Winnie & Walter Multifaceted, Poppy Stamps Hello, Frozen Treats (142756), & Layering Ovals
Card Stock: Whisper White, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, Lemon Lime Twist, Tranquil Tide, Fresh Fig, Powder Pink & Berry Burst
Designer Series Paper: Pick a Pattern (144163) & Cool Treats
Stamps: Pieces & Patterns (143843) & Label Me Pretty (143861)
Inks & Markers: Emerald Envy & Flirty Flamingo
Extras: Metallic Enamel Shapes (141678), Stick It!, Tweezers, Pretty Label Punch (143715) & Seam Binding

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