I was recently asked if buying a Big Shot Machine was worth the price tag, and I was quick to say yes, yes, yes!! If you’ve ever seen my Pinterest you’ll know that my Big Shot is my FAVOURITE craft tool – I use it for about 95% of my cards!
The average Big Shot machine retails for about £100 for a starter kit so I cant blame you for being a little cautious about taking the plunge and adding one to your workshop bench! But there are just so many benefits to owning one – I’ve had mine for almost a year now and I’m still learning new things I can do with it!
There are so many different Die Cutters available for you to use to make your cards look fantastic and the best thing is – you’re not restricted to one brand! There are lots of different companies out there that make Dies for our machines and you can use pretty much any Die with a Big Shot, in fact I’ve not found one that doesn’t work. The same goes for embossing folders, these work great with the Big Shot and the end result looks brilliant!
Recently the Flip-It Sizzix Die has become my favourite Die Cutter (Mothers Day card above), this Die cuts the flip-it card out and all you need to do is add the cute paper to top it off – its so effective!
It’s very surprising just how many different materials Dies are able to cut through, with the right amount of rolling my Big Shot has cut through more than just the obvious card and paper. After a little bit of experimenting and google-ing I’ve found that Big Shot’s will happily cut through: Felt, Rubber, Aluminium, Corrugated Card, Thin Craft Wood and plenty more I’m sure!
Top Tips for using the Big Shot:
- Dedicate one cutting pad to be the bottom pad – The pad that takes the impact of the die will be marked with the die shape and will therefore need replacing some day. By doing this you will only need to replace one pad at a time (I’ve had mine for 10 months and am only just considering changing my first one).
- Don’t be scared when you pass your first Die through your machine and hear a loud crack sound – It happens to us all and it doesn’t mean its broken!
- Remember to flip your cutting platforms over each time you use them – This will prevent your cutting platforms from bending out of shape.
- You may need to pass your Dies through your machine more than once – More delicate Dies will require you to re-roll them through your machine even up to ten times.
- Remember to use the right tab of your multipurpose Platform when using embossing folders – As these are thicker than Dies you’ll need to use tab one of the platform.
Obviously if you are new to card making it would be the sensible decision to hold off your Big Shot purchase until you are 100% sure that card making is something you are going to stick with and enjoy for a few years! Why not check out ‘Die cut cards’ on Pinterest to get an even better idea of what they can do!
If you’re serious about adding this machine to your craft kit, why not search for a deal on Ebay first – second hand machines will work just as well!
What do you put through your Big Shot? Would you recommend it to other crafters?