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Old 03-07-2005, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default I suck...

at cutting anything straight. It seems that all the cards I see have perfectly layered borders with the same amount of space on all sides. How in the world do you do it?
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:32 PM   #2
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What I do is measure the wood block of my stamp, using my SU grid paper to get an idea of what size I need. Then I cut a piece of paper that is that size or a little larger.

Then to layer I just cut the next color either 1/4" longer and 1/4" wider (that will make it have an 1/8" border). Or cut the next color 1/2" longer and 1/2" wider (that will make it have an 1/4" border).

Does this make sense to you? Hope it helps. I usually layer in 1/8", 1/4", or 1/2" increments.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:36 PM   #3
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So do you measure 1/4" or an 1/8" all around and mark it with a pencil on both ends so you end up cutting it straight?
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:36 PM   #4
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You don't suck everyone has something that they can't do as well as someone else, like me, I can't every seems to get a straight title for my scrap book pages.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:45 PM   #5
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Let's say the piece I'm stamping on is 1" X 2-1/2 ". To get a 1/8" border I just add 1/4" to the width and the length. So that piece would end up being 1-1/4 X 2-3/4. It works out the same as adding 1/8" to all four sides but you don't have to mark your paper, just use your paper cutter.

Another example, if the fractions confuse you. Let's say the piece you are stamping on is 1" X 2". Then the next layer to make 1/4" boarder you will have to add 1/2" to the width and the length. So that piece would end up being 1-1/2 X 2-1/2.

It's easiest if you are using a paper cutter. Try it on some scraps and maybe that will help you to understand.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:48 PM   #6
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stamping_jen,
Just a thought-- Are you using a trimmer? You really need one to make your mats straight, and then won't need to mark anything-- just trim the mat 1/4" larger both lengthwise and widthwise using the ruler markings on the trimmer (or 1/2" or however much larger you want it) You can get one of the Fiskars trimmers pretty reasonably priced using a coupon from Michael's. Also it's important to regularly replace your blade. I notice that if I let mine get too dull, it begins to cut a little crooked. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:53 PM   #7
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It's all about having the right tools and although cutting straight is sorta doable with a ruler and pencil with scissors and/or an craft knife, I tell you what works for me

I already had a personal trimmer from creative memories when I started making cards as well as a long trimmer from fiskars

I end up using my personal trimmer for most all of my matting and such because it has a grid on it and I NEVER have to measure! I simply stamp the image on the first paper (usually a scrap or smaller piece of cardstock). I cut it as close as I want, being sure the top edge of the paper is butted against the top of the trimmer....since this trimmer is precise and a pull down arm, it makes a PERFECT 90 degree cut.

Then I butt each side up to the top and cut, forming a perfect square or rectangle. Using the grid on the trimmer, I cut the mat "one square" larger than the stamped cardstock was. PERFECT every time!

If I want to double mat, I simply make the next mat one square larger than the second one.

I know there are other drop down arm trimmers, but I had one before this one and it did not cut as straight....I LOVE my CM personal trimmer.

If you want to do ovals, you have to try out their cutting system.

Of course, my friend is a SU demo and she uses some ruler thing...but she still has to cut with that exacto or the fiskars longer one and you have to hold that paper still so it is straight. When we work together, she usually uses my trimmer too.

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Old 03-08-2005, 05:25 AM   #8
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You didn't mention what you are using to cut but I find that when I use my Fiskars paper trimmmer I get more accurate results. That's particularly important when I'm working with small pieces of CS. I have a large heavy duty swing down arm blade slicer as well. That one I only use for cutting large pieces (ex. halving CS for fulll card size or 6x6 scrapbook pages) When using my Fiskars I really hold my CS firmly when I pull or push the blade -- it wants to slip since our CS is so heavy. Just show it who's boss! So, since I don't know what you're using, my advice is:

If you're using a swing blade cutter for detail work, that may be the problem.

If you're using the Fiskares 12 in. trimmer -- then hold on tight!

If you're using something different -- I'd switch to the Fiskars.

By the way, I'm terrible with math & remembering measurements so I mark directly on the silver part of my trimmer with a Stampin' Write marker -- do all my slicing for that size piece -- then lick my finger and wipe it off. Then I re-mark for the next measurement. Sounds gross -- but it's quick, easy & if I get sidetracked (which happens often at my house!) I don't have to re-calculate everything.

Good Luck! Hope you get some helpful tips!
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:36 AM   #9
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When my sis (mamakimberly) taught be to stamp she wrote out the measurements for card borders on a scrap of paper....I STILL have that paper in my card box so I can look every time! SHe taught me over a year ago!

Here's what she wrote out for me:

5 1/2 x 4 1/4 ~ card front
5 1/4 x 4 ~ card front with tiny edge of cardfront color
5 x 3 3/4 ~ quarter inch border
4 3/4 x 3 1/2 ~ either half in border or quarter in border on another layer

Hope that helps you too!
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:45 AM   #10
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Default Might be Trimer's problem

Of course, you don't suck at trimming. My Fiskar's paper cutter is great, especially that swing out arm for measuring, once I figured out how to use it. However, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, a good friend of mine had a Fiskar's trimmer just like mine and it was CROOKED. We tested and tested and mine was straight and hers was crooked. She'd butt the paper up tight, make her cut for a card, fold the card and be 1/8" off. She ended up taking it back to wherever she bought it. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 03-08-2005, 06:00 AM   #11
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My Fiskars is crooked, too! For a long time I thought it was *me* but I have seen several posts on SCS from other people saying their's was cutting crooked and Fiskars replaced it. If you are using a Fiskars 12" cutter, that might be the problem!
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:15 AM   #12
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Not all Fiskars 12" cutters cut crooked...just the ones without the triple track. If you have the non-triple track, try to pressure the blade to one side before cutting.

But it does sound like the original poster may not be using a paper cutter. Darlin', you will never cut straight without one! You NEED one.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:

Originally Posted by emilymomto3boys
5 1/2 x 4 1/4 ~ card front
5 1/4 x 4 ~ card front with tiny edge of cardfront color
5 x 3 3/4 ~ quarter inch border
4 3/4 x 3 1/2 ~ either half in border or quarter in border on another layer
Thank you for posting those numbers, Emily. I have to refigure every time as my brain just cannot seem to hang onto those measurements. I've written them out on my own piece of scrap paper now and will be looking at it regularly!

Renee
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:44 AM   #14
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Thanks a bunch to all your replies. I will definitely be able to use the chart Emily gave us and Collette, I love the marking idea - I can tell I will need to do that at least at first. So I will hopefully have much straighter lines from now on when I have the proper tools and knowledge on how to use them.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:07 AM   #15
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Another thing that can mess up the best planned cuts is that if the paper you are cutting from is not straight to begin with. I would sometimes carefully cut the paper to make a card, fold it, and the ends wouldn't meet. I became so frustrated and then one time I held up the whole sheet of card stock and it was not a straight rectangle shape (even have that problem with SU card stock). I think it is important to start with paper that is straight or you can never make straight cuts from it.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:35 AM   #16
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I scrapbooked before I started stamping, so I experimented with several types of trimmers. The SU trimmer is exactly like the Fisker 12" personal trimmer. It works well for quick cuts because it so light weight and small, it's easy to move it around your work area. Measuring is really easy once you understand how the trimmer is layed out. You must keep a sharp blade or the cuts begin to have some residue -like you tore it against a straight edge. And I have replaced mine several times because it doesn't have a replaceable cutting strip and the molded strip becomes chipped, leaving the cut residue (like a dull blade). I've tried several different personal trimmers, but keep going back to this one. Trimmers that have a swing arm and the rotary trimmers make neater and cleaner cuts, but they are kind of bulky and/or heavy, so manuvering is more difficult. I use both, depending on the quantity of paper I'm cutting. I have a cheat sheet for measuring the layers, because at 1:00 in the morning, I'm not thinking too clear, and it's safer for me to look up the correct size. PM if you would like a copy. Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:06 AM   #17
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Jen,
Go to QVC.com and look in the scrapbooking/crafting section for perfect layers. I don't have a problem eyeballing it (or perhaps I just don't mind if it's off a bit! ) but TONS of people on the scrapbookaddict board use it and LOVE it!! They say you can't do it wrong or mess it up, and it's very easy. But, qvc is the ONLY place to get it. It isn't sold anywhere else. They frequently sell out, so check back often for when they restock.
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:40 AM   #18
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I do something most people will cringe at. Yes I do rely on the fiskars cutter, it is my life line for stamping. Now here's the cringe part. I acutally stamp my image, say on a scrap, then line it up, by sight, into the corner or my paper for layering, leaving the desired border showing. Then I adhere that piece THEN cut the other two sides to match. I know that's not too scientific but I always get an evenly placed border around my layers that way. This technique is for the free spirits that like the paper to take them where it wants!
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:47 AM   #19
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Quote:

Originally Posted by richey_kane
Another thing that can mess up the best planned cuts is that if the paper you are cutting from is not straight to begin with. I would sometimes carefully cut the paper to make a card, fold it, and the ends wouldn't meet. I became so frustrated and then one time I held up the whole sheet of card stock and it was not a straight rectangle shape (even have that problem with SU card stock).
I noticed this myself the other day! What chance do I have if the full piece isn't cut straight? I keep telling myself "If you want perfect, buy Hallmark."

I also have been known to stick the stamped image onto paper and then trimmed the last 2 sides. Works pretty well. It's when you have more than 2 pieces of paper that it gets too fat to cut.
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