A lot of folks have a love/hate relationship with their Coluzzle cutting system. You either hate it or you love it. Okay, I’m one of the latter. I love that you can easily see what and where you’re cutting. If you’re in the former group, well, I was too until I got the hang of the thing. Now I love that I can get all these circles and ovals out of one very transportable tool. So, here’s my little Coluzzle primer to help you get over your Coluzzle buyer’s remorse. Stick with me through some dry instructions because at the end of this post is the most stinkin’ cute card you’ve ever seen. (I can say that because I didn’t design it.) So . . . hang on. Figures 1 2 and 3 are from ProvoCraft who manufacture the Stampin’ Up! Coluzzle system.
First of all, prepping your Coluzzle equipment a little may help:
- When you open the templates you can just barely see that they have a plastic covering on both sides that you must remove.
- You can mark your template’s channels with different colors of permanent markers or sharpies to make it easer to keep track of which channel you’re using. This helps avoid inserting the blade into the wrong channel as you work your way around the template.
- Make sure your swivel knife blade is screwed in tightly. If not, you could nick your template.
- Don’t discard the foam looking mat, it’s not packing material but rather the cutting mat. Other cutting mats won’t work with this system.
Okay, let’s cut:
- Lay the foam mat on a flat surface with nothing underneath it. Place your piece of cardstock or patterned paper on top of the cutting pad. Place the template on top of the paper.
- Be sure to hold your paper firmly in place. If you need to, anchor the template to the cardstock with temporary adhesive, such as 3M Removable tape, to prevent it from shifting.
- Insert the swivel blade through the desired channel until you hear it "pop" through the cardstock and into the cutting foam.
- Make sure the cutting edge of the blade is being guided through the channel in the proper direction/angle. The right direction will cut; the wrong direction will merely drag and tear the paper because that’s not the cutting edge of the blade. If you’re not sure, examine the blade for a moment–you’ll see that it is "angled", like a tiny Xacto knife blade! That angle is the cutting edge, just like on a real size Xacto knife.
- Hold the swivel knife STRAIGHT up and down while guiding it through the channel. You do not hold it slanted like a regular knife. Sometimes standing up and looking down as you cut will help you keep the knife straight. Keeping the knife straight is the key to perfect Coluzzle cutting.
- Don’t pick the swivel knife up until you hit the plastic piece, then put it on the other side to continue to make the rest of the cut until you hit the other plastic piece.
- Lift off the template.
- Using your paper snips, cut the little tabs to disconnect your cut shape from the cardstock.
- Try some lightweight sandpaper or our sanding blocks to take off the little uneven edges that the "tags" leave behind.
- Lightly guide the knife around the template, don’t force it or drive it. Go slowly and hold the knife up and down. You can even twirl the knife in between your fingers to move around some corners but that’s not necessary with our circles and ovals.
- Try cutting through some lightweight card stock first before trying the heavier card stock. It’s easier once you get the feel for it.
Hmmm, a tool that requires so many tips seems kind of intimidating, doesn’t it. I definitely recommend trying the tool before purchasing, but with a little practice you’ll find it will save you some money and storage over other cutting systems.
So, why are we talking Coluzzle . . . well, because of this!
The egg shape, the opening to the egg and the opening in the card base for the diorama effect was made with the Coluzzle Oval Cutter. Sarah Moore designed this card using the "Bunny Love" set from the Spring Mini, and described her card in these posts here and here. I honestly didn’t make many changes, but tomorrow I’ll give you a few more tips for this card you can apply to others. Stay tuned.