Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fussy Cutting And The Die-Cutting Conundrum

Tell me I'm not the only one who's noticed how expensive dies have become lately.  And just when they are at the height of their popularity, too. We've come to a point when we cannot remember crafting without them...and that's just about the point when they become more expensive than ever.

Manufacturers have said that the cost of steel has increased, and sadly, those extra expenses get passed on to the consumer. Waah! I do love dies, and cannot believe how long it took me to hop on the Big Shot bandwagon. But when the cost for the accompanying die cut set costs as much or even more than the stamp set it's meant to coordinate, that's when I've got to take a step back and reconsider.

All of us have a budget to consider when making purchases. If you visit the cafe frequently, it may appear that I'm the spendiest person on the planet. New "this" for the house! New "that" for the house! And truly, we have had to spend more on this house than any of our houses in the past. I'm not happy about that. Trust me. But what you don't see are the areas where we scrimp and save.

Ten Ways We Try To Live Frugally
*We often sell things we no longer need or use or want on Craigslist, and in turn buy gently used things on Craigslist as well.
*I sell stamp sets and supplies that are no longer getting enough love and attention on forums and boards and here on my blog.
*I buy crafting supplies from forums at greatly reduced prices.
*I wait for sales online, and always try to angle for free shipping.
*I stay out of crafty stores as much as possible, and only go with list in hand.
*I'm not a manicure or pedicure or fancy hair salon type of person. Honestly, I'd rather spend money on some beautiful COPIC markers than two handfuls of nails that will chip off when I do dishes. And did I mention I cut my husband's hair? And my son's hair, too? And sometimes, I let them cut mine.
*I'm a bargain food shopper. We LOVE Aldi!
*We don't eat out at restaurants frequently. It's quite surprising what a difference this makes in our monthly budget.
*We frequent the library over the bookstore, and the Redbox over the movie theater. Entertainment is usually cheap or free. Bike rides, metroparks, walks along the river.
*We are DIYers. We paint our own rooms. We cut our own grass. We landscape our own gardens.

So lately, when I buy a new stamp set, I have to decide if I really really really need the die cuts that coordinate with it. Most of the time, I'm deciding that I don't. Unless those dies do something extra fancy (like cut out a perfect frame, or emboss the paper with intricate detail), I'm trying to do without them.

Which brings us, finally, to today's card.

Wow. Took me long enough, didn't it?!

Today's card may look like I used die cuts, but I did not. I fussy cut around all of those flowers and leaves. I bet you can't tell the difference, can you? Sure, it takes more time. But in the end, time is money...and it turns out I usually have more of the former than the latter.

{Today's Brew: Blissful Botanicals (My Favorite Things stamps), Label Maker Sentiments (MFT), PTI card stock, Lawn Fawn papder, sequins, COPIC markers, homemade Gelato spray mist, corner rounder punch}

So tell me, do you use die cuts frequently? Are you a good fussy cutter? How do you save money?

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!


  1. I've been slowing down on die purchases also, especially if there is little detail in the stamp/die. I stamp several designs in my craft counter and save them to color or fussy cut in the evening while watching tv.

    1. Great idea, Vikki! I'll have to try that, too! Coloring and the Gilmore Girls! Fussy Cutting and the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel! ;)

  2. I do this exact same thing (coloring or cutting while watching tv)! And yes, I have definitely noticed the increased cost of die sets, especially those that match certain stamp sets. There are many stamp sets that I haven't purchased because the cost of the coordinating die set is almost double that of the stamps; and honestly, how many cards do I really intend to make with those same images? So, I've started fussy cutting again(which I do enjoy), and save the $$ for another set of stamps or specialty dies.

    BTW, I love your card - great job with the cutting! This looks like one of the sets referred to above that I passed on because of the cost of the dies!

    1. I hear ya, JW! That's why I've started buying stamp sets without dies.

  3. I am cutting down on sets AND dies this year....I have so many already! And I don't mind fussy-cutting, so as long as I have a steady hand, I'll keep doing it. My weakness is dies with stitched and scalloped edges....oh, how I love them!

    1. LeAnne, we share the same weakness! I've been eyeing the dies from MFT that make a cross stitched border frame. One day, when it's in my budget! ;)

  4. Loved your post MaryRose! I tell you I have fallen in love with so many sets and when combined with the dies and the amount of use they would get......I can't do it either me I have plenty some I don't have time to use .
    No, I cannot tell you fussy cut your gorgeous flowers.....well done and stunning card! I do love dies and fussy cutting!

  5. I know what you mean, Marybeth! So many craft supplies, not enough time to use them all!

  6. I know what you mean, Marybeth! So many craft supplies, not enough time to use them all!

  7. Great card - you did a fab job at fussy cutting! One of my crafty friends and I just had a conversation a few weeks ago about this very topic. I'm not so good at fussy cutting, so it is tempting, but the cost, particularly for larger sets - yikes! If I think I will be doing.a lot of inlaying I will spring for them. But mostly I first buy just the set and see if I can do what I want without the dies. I can always buy them later if I find that I need them.

  8. Beautiful card! I only by dies for frames, backgrounds, sentiments and shapes anymore. When I realized that I was only using the shaped dies 2 or 3 times, it really made the cost per use too high. (I have these flower stamps on order and LOVE them!)