Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vintage Paper Die Cuts

As some of you know, I am a big thrift store person.   Well, I am always looking for old newspaper articles, old Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs, old books, old ledgers with beautiful writing, old ledgers with accounting pages, etc.  The more aged and tattered they are, the better they are to me   While I find most of these items at the thrift stores, I have never found the large ledger books there that are full of wonderful handwriting, etc.   So a few months ago I found a really good deal on three large ledger books from the 1880's on E-Bay and have been using them to use in my journals and then realized they would make great die cuts.    The one problem with some of them is that they are fragile and really need to be glued to something for support.    Here are a couple links where I solved that problem by gluing them or adhering them via fusible webbing to manila folders, cardstock, fabric, or other fragile papers thereby making them very usable for pages, etc.

There are two ways that I have been doing this.   I started out using the Collage Pauge by Traci Bautista and then, after discussion on the Remains of the Day Yahoo Group, I started playing with the Pellon Fusible Webbing.   This is what I found

 Using Fusible Webbing.    This can become pretty expensive if you do a lot of it like I have been doing   It is much faster than the Collage Pauge though   I will say that when putting the two side by side, they really look the same.   I used Pellon 807 Wonder Web Fusible Web.

 Using Collage Pauge.     This method takes a lot more time because of the drying time, having to flatten them out and give them time to dry.   The fusible webbing is instant gratification but more expensive.

I actually started doing this so I could cut out some tags, labels, frames and other items out of old papers to use in Mary Ann's class, Full Tilt Boogie, using Vintage Photo Albums.   I just thought it would be the perfect fit.    These items will also work well with her Remains of the Day online class

So I set about making up a bunch of papers and then die cutting them in my new Vagabond Electronic Die Cutting Machine designed by Tim Holtz   What a difference this was compared to my Sizzix Big Kick hand cranked machine   You can cut more paper at a time and it takes thicker items than the other machine.

One thing led to another and I ended up with all kinds of ziploc bags full of frames, tags, flowers, leaves, labels, tickets, you name it.  

So one day I decided to send Mary Ann a package of vintage papers and lots of die cuts  because I wanted to just thank her in a little way for all the work she has done in her fabulous classes that I have enjoyed so much.   Of course, she was surprised and thankful and related that these would really work great in the new vintage photo album journals that we were going to do in her new class.    So I got busy and made a bunch more and sent her some of her favorities    Now I am busy making some for me and also to include in other packages that I send out either as a trade or as a Random Act of Kindness

Here are some pictures of the items I ended up with.   There are tons more but time and energy ran out.

This is a Sizzix Die called Regal Crest designed by Tim Holtz.

These are little frames from the Tag Die designed by Tim Holtz

This is the Sizzix Flower Die designed by Tim Holtz.   This is fabric that was glued to a Sears catalog page.

This is the Form Die designed by Tim Holtz   It also comes with a spool of thread and a button.

This is a Sizzix Mover and Shaper Label Die designed by Tim Holtz   Some of these were cut out of a crocheted granny square that had been glued to manila folder.

I believe the top die is Tim Holtz  and the botton is a Sizzix die.   The top die is cut out of Irish Linen that was glued over a piece of Sears catalog page.

This is a Tim Holtz designed die called Cabinet Card which I think is perfect for our FTB class  One is out of a Long Island Express ledger sheet and one out of an old Sears catalog.

The top one is cut out with the Cabinet card die where a granny square was glued onto manila folder   The bottom die is a Sizzix die cut out of ledger paper over manila folder

These two fram dies are from Sizzix.

I believe these are also Sizzix Dies cut out of ledger papers.

This is a Leave Die designed by Tim Holtz   The one is cut out of ledger paper and the other is some exotic paper I glued to a manila folder to give it support

A gear die and a tag die designed by Tim Holtz and cut out of ledger papers.

I believe this is Tim Holtz die and I used a granny square that I had glued to a manila folder

Here is the form die again designed by Tim Holtz and the granny square material was used for this one.

Pictures of some of the insides of the frame dies use Sears Catalog papers and Long Island ledger papers.

Here are some tags cut out of manila folders, dictionary paper and linen glued over a ledger page.  These are #8 Size Tags.

These are the insides of the cabinet card die designed by Tim Holtz.

This is an Altered Trading Card Die designed by Tim Holtz.   And the negative of it makes a great frame.

So this is some of what I have been doing of late......a lot of gluing, ironing on fusible webbing and cutting up a bunch of items to use in our journals or for trading/giving away.

I buy all of my manila folders at thrift stores.   I used old cardstock that I have become disinterested in.   I used vintage linens and other fabrics.    Anything works and especially if it was cheap.

And remember the negatives of all the die cuts make great frames too.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.



  1. This is brilliant, Nancy!! I'm so happy you shared this post! Wonderful ideas, and perfect for FTB! Especially timely for me, since I'm going to be making my book from the ground-up, including cutting the mat boards for the cabinet card album. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and your beautiful die cuts!

  2. Some very cool ideas! Love the vintage paper!

  3. Great ideas here, Nancy, all nice and thrifty, which is awesome, and they will be wonderful for projects!

  4. What a great idea! I love how these turned out. I used Collage Pauge on your recommendation, and I love it! I'm going to try this die cut technique for my FTB album too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Glad I stopped in - you answered a question and that is do die cut machines cut fabric. The dress form cut from a granny square is just too cool. I wonder if fusible interfacing would be more economical in the long run? Would any fabric you put in the machine need to be paper backed? Thank you for the post!

  6. SO awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for the instructions .. I will try some. ADORE the ones you sent me. Such inspiration, Nanay. Thank you! See you at FTB. Donna

  8. These are all fabulous Nancy. I will have to go and find the Collage Pauge and try it out.


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