Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Memory Box Dies

Over the last few weeks I have seen a number of crafters using the ornament, snowflakes and Christmas tree dies from Memory Box and everyone seems to agree; gorgeous dies but hard to glue down because the dies are so finely detailed. I've struggled with the ornament and Christmas tree die as well but think I have fixed the problem.

Last week I bought some adhesive sheets to make one of those Holtz 12 Days tags. Once they arrived, it struck me that this might be the solution to the Memory Box dies. I gave it a try last evening and am pleased with the results.

I made three attempts; one using gold foil and one with a metal sheet and one with card stock.

The foil attempt didn't work at all. There wasn't enough strength in the foil/adhesive combination and the diecut didn't make it half way out of the die before tearing. I continued on just to test it and the same problem came up when removing the open cut areas.

The second attempt was card stock. The ornament worked beautifully, the tree was a huge disaster. Personally I don't think that die is deep enough so while it did cut through the card stock, it didn't cut completely though the thin layer of adhesive. When trying to free the open areas, the adhesive wasn't cut all the way through and pulled on the diecut areas. :(

My third attempt was using some thin metal sheets that I had purchased eons ago. This medium worked so well I ended up cutting two from the metal sheet. Once I had the die cut free of all the bits, the adhesive backing made placing the cut very easy. It's a stong bond; both cuts are attached to bases that are covered in embossed iridescent ice and I have tested the bond in several ways and its firm.

To bond the metal and card stock to the adhesive I cut equal sizes of both then starting at one end of the adhesive, I peeled back the edge placed it on the metal/ card stock edge. Using the brayer, I rolled the adhesive along the metal/card stock as I pulled the backing off. This really helped to keep the tape to medium smooth and bubble free. Added bonus, I finally found a use for my brayer!!

I placed the die and metal into the Bigshot; added a folded sheet of computer paper between the metal and the top plate then cut the die. I add the paper because my plates are so old, the cut marks can sometimes transfer to the item being cut. Since metal is very sensitive I knew adding the paper would keep the final cut clean and free of the marks. I took the same steps with the card stock. Once cut, the removal of the open areas was really easy. I think the weight of the metal made it easiest to remove the open areas.

The completed ornament is the first metal try; the one without the bling is the second one and I'll finish it up tonight. Both cuts will be used on Christmas cards. Not sure which direction I'll go with the card stock ornament.

So for anyone that may not have discovered this idea yet, and plan to give it a try, please let me know if you get the tree to work. I'm more than a bit disappointed in that one right now.

The metal sheets were probably purchased at Recollections; so they might be available at Michaels.
The adhesive sheets were purchased Ellen Hutson LLC: Be Creative Tape Sheets by Skoowang
They also carry all the Memory Box dies, DP and stamps.


  1. The ornament has turned out really well, thanks for the tips, although I don't have any of these dies I have been considering a purchase. Maybe I'll have a re-think now,

    Liz x

  2. I can tell you what worked for me with fine dies. I use my ATG gun and run it over thick vellum and then put the metal on top, then run it through the Cuttlebug, Calibur, etc. So now that you've enabled me to want those dies too!

  3. Hi Carole

    I don't have any of these dies .. .. they sound hard work .. .. but the finished result looks amazing.

    You have oodles of patience that's for sure.

    Have you tried spray adhesive?

    Would that help?

    Love Jules xx

    p.s. I didn't know what type of bird it was on my image yesterday so decided it should be a white dove!! The dove of peace for Christmas.

  4. I've wondered if that would work, so thanks for trying it out for me - lol!!! I love the look of both of these dies, and I've had similar results with the tree - I am not ready to give up as I really like the way it looks, and am convinced I can get it work just as I've imagined! Love your blog!!
    Hugs, antonella :-)

  5. I used the Winterland tree for several of my Christmas cards--the special ones--and had no trouble at all. I ran some silver text-weight paper through the Xyron and then put a thin cardboard "shim" under the tree die when running it through the Big Shot. I just had to take an extra moment to make sure all the swirls sat down and adhered to the card layer.

  6. OMW this is absolutely gorgeous - LOVE the metal against the cardstock, and especially for this ornament die. Thank you for the steps outlined with the shims you used - I found this very helpful - and I had to laugh about your comment on finally finding a use for your brayer - I've never used mine either! Again, just gorgeous!!

  7. I am getting this die to prepare my christmas cards for this year, but instead of metal foil I plan on use cardstock, cut the top layer and use embossing powder to get the gold (or copper or silver) effect

  8. I am getting this die to prepare my christmas cards for this year, but instead of metal foil I plan on use cardstock, cut the top layer and use embossing powder to get the gold (or copper or silver) effect

  9. I have had good luck running card stock through my Xyron machine to adhesive on the cardstock. Leave the protective backing in place and then put the die/cardstock sandwich through my Cuttlebug. I carefully remove the protective backing and the die cut is ready to attach.

  10. When I have a die that will not release the trimmings I sand the die with fine sand paper to remove some of the paint on the cutting edges. I always use a metal plate as well. Hope this helps with the tree.