Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Big Shot

Happy Birthday to me!!

My husband got me a super cool new papercrafting tool for my birthday. It's called the Sizzix Big Shot and it is, to borrow a phrase from a cheesy script I recently used, rockin' awesome.  It is basically a platform and some rollers - it squishes things.  It may sound boring but it turns out very cool.  You put dies through it to cut shapes.  You put embossing folders or plates through to add raised textures.  I did a lot of comparing between digital systems (like the Cricut) and manual systems (like this one but there are many other brands).  There were a few things that sold me on this one.

First, this particular machine uses dies, folders and plates by all the different manufacturers, not just its own.  It makes it very versatile, plus I feel a psychological benefit to not being locked into one brand (and what does that say about me, eh?).

Second, I really love the embossed textures.  The digital systems don't do that.  Here's one I love but unfortunately photos don't really do it justice.   This embossing texture is so complete (meaning every part of the paper is pressed up or down) that it gives the paper a fabric-like texture. 
Third, the dies from Sizzix are very strong - the full size ones will cut through up to six layers of fabric, through chipboard, cardboard, acrylic and thin metal.  Wow!  And Stampin Up! partners with Sizzix on unique designs that are really lovely.  Here's the one I currently have - it's a scallop edged shape called the Top Note that is great for scrapbooking and cardmaking.  That's a random piece of cardboard turned into something cool!  The only downside with these is that the full thickness dies are pretty expensive - around $20 each.  But, they can be used over and over and you can also get thinner dies that only cut through paper or cardstock.

Fourth, you don't waste a lot of paper. I definitely have a mental hangup in this area.  I enjoy using scraps of paper (even if they're teensy) so when I have them, I can't stand to throw them away.  I think using a Cricut would send me into a some kind of downward spiral!  With the Big Shot, the frame left after I cut something has as many uses as the something itself - I used the Top Note frame at least as often as I use the Top Note.

Even though I just had my birthday, I've had my new toy for a little while (it was on sale...).  You'll see the results popping up in stuff I post, I'm sure!  If you are thinking about buying one, here are a couple of tips:  Check Overstock and Joanns Online - they seem to have the best prices on bundles at Overstock and the best sales at Joanns Online.  Be sure it comes with the multi-use platform and a set of cutting pads (it usually does).  The extended cutting pads would be nice if you are going to want to use the extended dies.  Finally, check out the great designs from Stampin' Up! and from Tim Holtz - both are awesome!


  1. Love your review! Welcome to the club! BTW, I may be convinced to cut into my embossing folders, maybe!

  2. i love it!

    I have a cricut and enjoy it immensely, but am envious of your embossing abilities!