I started to hanker for a die cutting machine when I began making shrink plastic jewelry. Sure you can use paper punches or do the old fashioned way with careful scissor work.  However, using a die cutter is a lot faster and accurate.

There are a number of makes out there but I finally chose Sizzix's Big Kick machine. I have no association with the manufacturer.  Just a careful shopper who waited until Michaels had a 50% sale!

The Big Kick is very similar to the Big Shot - just superficial color differences.  The one I bought comes with a pair of clear cutting pads and a multipurpose platform.  The latter is to accommodate thinner dies.  The machine will take other non-Sizzix dies so the range of cutting patterns is considerably extended.

For this tutorial, you'll also need a separate die. I used the Pendant Frame die #657014 (no longer available but you can check out their other pendant dies).  The black foam covers some pretty sharp metal blades.  The demo earrings shown on the box were cut from acrylic.  I chose to go with denim using iron on denim patches. If you are recycling denim, you'll need fabric glue. Chose some pretty brads from the scrap booking section.

Sandwich the die and fabric scrap between the cutting pads. This die cutter does not use electricity - just human power! Then slowly feed the sandwich through while cranking the handle. 

Cutting out 4 of these shapes will probably take you about a minute!

Make holes for the brads in two of the shapes. A hole punch or a small slit with a sharp pair of scissors will work.

Feed the brad through the denim from the right side to the back.  Bend the tabs.

Trim the tabs shorter with some manly wire cutters - you don't want to wreck your nice flush cutters!

If you are not using iron on denim patches, apply glue to the back of the pendant including the bent back brads. Carefully back it another pendant cut out.  If you are using iron on patches, then steam press the back-to-back denim shapes.

Repeat the previous 3 steps for the other earrings. Trim the edges if you need to. Sealing the edges with Fray Check is optional. Next punch holes for the jump rings at the top.

Attach some jump rings and the ear wires and you're done! It'll go well with jeans and denim jackets.

The die cutter can also be used on a variety of materials besides fabric.  Paper, leather, plastics, thin metals (like that of aluminum soda cans) are all possible.  Here is a riveted leather pair of earrings I made with the die cutter.

There are also embossing plates to impress pretty patterns onto thicker metal.  But that is another story and perhaps another post!

Check out the links below for more ideas and inspiration on how to use die cutters creatively.

I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links.   The opinions expressed are solely my own. This supports this blog and to provide resource information to readers.  They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips