A $30 Letterpress

CuttleKids is the junior version of one of those expensive die cutting machines used to make shapes for scrapbooking. It is used for embossing as well, but you need to buy embossing plates separately. I've found a way to mimic those letterpressed cards without having to buy a bunch of special dies. I haven't found a way to add color yet, but I think this is pretty exciting. Although it lists for $30 I paid $15 for this on sale at Wal-Mart. It is on sale now at Michael's as well.
140 lb. cold press watercolor paper
fun foam
thin metal objects like brass stencils or letters

cuttlekids machine
The machine comes with 2 thick plastic printing plates; A and B. Cut the fun foam the same size as the plastic "plates" but cut 1/2" off the end so that the foam is shorter than the plastic. Cut the paper the size of the plastic. Make a sandwich starting with plastic piece "A", fun foam, paper, metal letters and lastly plastic "B". Line everything up at the far end. The front end will be missing the fun foam. This allows the press to "catch" the sandwich. Run it through the press front edge first.

Although this press isn't large enough to make a full sized card, the pieces can be glued, sewed, riveted, whatever to a greeting card for a letterpress look.
There is a large, more expensive version of this machine called the Cuttle Bug.
You can use most watercolor papers but I prefer to use the cold pressed as it is textured. The impressed design becomes smooth and contrasts with the background.
I place the letters and let them move around a bit while I roll them through the machine but if you want more control you can glue them to a thin piece of copy paper. Just make sure you let the glue dry or everything will stick together.


Sun O said...

how smart of you! i love lil ... what's the word... modifications! especially if they're much more cost effective than those plates! ty ^^

gorengal said...

Just wanted to let you know I love the idea for your site and I'll be checking back often!

Thanks for the lightbox ideas...I've been searching for a good make-your-own tutorial, and my fave is the Christmas lights in the storage box.

Annie Pazoo said...

This is awesome - love it. Found you via Rachel/One Pretty Thing :-) said...

I love you. i love you . i love you.
i just bought this cuddle bug the other day for $12.00 on sale and thought, I don't need this! and you have just given it new purpose.
love your site, came over from one pretty thing and will be back for sure!!!

~Cindy~ said...

try using your metal stencils in your cuttle bug, I think you will really like the results..

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