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Old 02-12-2008, 10:12 AM   #1  
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need advice....what are your techniques for getting your layers straight?

I have tried my paper cutters fiskars rotary and slide type and they just don't seem to come out all that straight. I have been just using ruler and a craft knife. What works best for you??? I see all these cards with nice straight layers!
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:49 AM   #2  
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WHat I do is to adhere my top piece onto a larger piece of what will be beneath. Then I trim the edges down with a long pair of scissors - this allows me to make them all straight! I usually put it in the corner of my larger piece so I make sure that those 2 edges are lined up straight, then i only have to cut 2 sides.

Does that help?
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:58 AM   #3  
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Default Layering

I do somewhat similar as stampez by aligning two edges of cardstock the distance I want width of layer to be. Then I use my Fiskar trimmer to trim the remaining two sides making them the same distance as possible. I admit that I just eyeball this but it could be measured if desired.

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:08 PM   #4  
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Have you tried the Perfect Layers? I use them every time I scrap or make a card. If you aren't familiar they are rulers that have different measurements of "notches" and you line up the notch to whatever - a picture of your first layer in a card and then you use a blade to cut along the ruler and you have perfectly spaced and straight lines. I got mine on QVC awhile back I know that they have a different set then I originally got and it's on back order right now. HTH. Elizabeth
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:05 PM   #5  
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One approach is to treat the layers separately by cutting each on a nice paper cutter. One layer at say 5x5. The next layer at say 4 3/4 x 4 3/4. I do use the perfect layers, these are retired from SU!. Good luck! lela
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:25 PM   #6  
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I swear by my guillotine-type paper cutter. I've had it for years, it's never been sharpened and the gridlines keep everything accurate. I've been cutting by eye for years, but if you have to measure things, do that until it comes naturally. I also do what the others said - line up the top layer in the corner of the next layer and then just cut the other 2 sides to match.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:48 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by clee1953View Post
I swear by my guillotine-type paper cutter. I've had it for years, it's never been sharpened and the gridlines keep everything accurate. I've been cutting by eye for years, but if you have to measure things, do that until it comes naturally. I also do what the others said - line up the top layer in the corner of the next layer and then just cut the other 2 sides to match.
I love my guillotine table top cutter too. I've wasted a ton less paper. My little fiskars wiggles unintentionally and won't give me a straight edge.

I also measure like the other poster 5 x 5=base 4.75 x 4.75=next layer etc. sometimes I leave only 1/8th of an inch around.
Good luck. Try things- you will find one that suits you best.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:02 PM   #8  
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Oh - another thing about the guillotine-type: even tho it doesn't have the scoring-ability like the slide-type scoring blade, I have cut slivers off c/s! I can't imagine the other blades doing that. And a quick tip about scoring a card for the fold - I raise the cutting blade (it should stay up by itself) and just line the card up halfway off the surface, then lightly bend the card over the metal edge. Use a bone folder to finish it off (I use my fingernail on the back - I've never noticed a problem, but some pros would be horrified that I don't use the 'tool'). It works every time.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:57 PM   #9  
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Thanks for the suggestion. I will sure give it a try.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:00 PM   #10  
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I might have to look into the gillotine type cutter because you are right the other fiskars just doesn't do it. I have even went the the rotary and it still is uneven. The perfect layers sound interesting also. Thanks girls!
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:58 AM   #11  
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I have a small Fiskars cutter (a little bigger than 9x5 surface, marked in 1/4" increments at the top, 1" increments on the side) - at Michaels/Joanne/A. C. Moore for $20 - I think it's the guillotine type one, works great.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:39 AM   #12  
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I have a Purple Cows 2-in-1 trimmer, it has a rotary side and a guillotine side. The rotary side locks down to hold your paper in place while you cut, and there is a guide line. The guillotine works great too, there are markings for cutting A2 sized cards and it cuts beautifully. HTH!
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:54 PM   #13  
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I use the Fiskars and get crooked lines all the time, I thought I just had to deal with it. Now I know better and will look for a new way to cut. TFS
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:37 PM   #14  
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Default straight layering

I have an Exacto photo trimmer that I use for trimming. I take the top layer and adhere it to a larger piece of paper. Then I line up the top piece exactly along the edge of the finger guide. Then I chop it and turn until all my edges are done. The Exacto gives me a slightly smaller mat than 1/8 " and it is beautiful- precise and even. I also bought a Fiscars photo trimmer, as the blade is a bit farther than the finger guide giving me a slightly larger even mat. Used my 40% or 50% off coupon at Micheals and Joannes. Hope that helps.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:59 AM   #15  
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Subscribing-I also struggle with this and it drives me crazy! I found the retired SU layering tool for sale on craigslist and hope to get it soon. I sure hope it helps me.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:51 AM   #16  
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I just wanted to add that the guillotine-style cutter I have is larger and heavier than those I've seen people using. The grid on the surface is 12" X 12". It's not what I would call portable if that is what you're looking for, but it won't move around when you're using it. The first time I ever went to an SU party, the demo had me cut a few sheets of c/s on this tiny little cutter that couldn't hold a full 8.5 X 11 sheet. I couldn't really get a straight cut. She said the type I had was so expensive. Yes, it wasn't cheap (not sure of price - maybe over $30), but I consider straight paper the absolute minimum requirement for a nice-looking card.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:12 AM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by clee1953View Post
I just wanted to add that the guillotine-style cutter I have is larger and heavier than those I've seen people using. The grid on the surface is 12" X 12". It's not what I would call portable if that is what you're looking for, but it won't move around when you're using it. The first time I ever went to an SU party, the demo had me cut a few sheets of c/s on this tiny little cutter that couldn't hold a full 8.5 X 11 sheet. I couldn't really get a straight cut. She said the type I had was so expensive. Yes, it wasn't cheap (not sure of price - maybe over $30), but I consider straight paper the absolute minimum requirement for a nice-looking card.
I think the Tonic guillotine cutter is awesome. I do keep my Fiskars around for specific jobs (I like to cut out a center square/rectangle out of large layers and use the cardstock on other projects), but I will NEVER give up my Tonic. That baby is awesome, and I get a straight cut every time. And it's even on sale at Joann's this week: Tonic guillotine cutters (plus use code FEBFSH835 for free shipping over $35)
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:29 AM   #18  
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Any difference between the one for sale at Joannes and the SU one besides price?
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:36 AM   #19  
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Any difference between the one for sale at Joannes and the SU one besides price?
Just the colors (The SU one is black and gray, and has the logo imprinted at the top). But the SU one is manufactured by Tonic.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:43 PM   #20  
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I am cutting challenged and would be completely lost without my Carl cutter.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:22 PM   #21  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by clee1953View Post
I just wanted to add that the guillotine-style cutter I have is larger and heavier than those I've seen people using. The grid on the surface is 12" X 12". It's not what I would call portable if that is what you're looking for, but it won't move around when you're using it. The first time I ever went to an SU party, the demo had me cut a few sheets of c/s on this tiny little cutter that couldn't hold a full 8.5 X 11 sheet. I couldn't really get a straight cut. She said the type I had was so expensive. Yes, it wasn't cheap (not sure of price - maybe over $30), but I consider straight paper the absolute minimum requirement for a nice-looking card.
I agree. Mine isn't really portable either, quite heavy but absolutely brilliant. I then have a smaller one by Creative Memories that is excellent.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:22 AM   #22  
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Well, I use a rotary cutter to cut everything, because I can't cut a straight line with a scissors to save my life. They're not always perfect. But from that point, I eyeball everything. Close enough. I tend to do "formal" cards, that is, things aligned and straight, even tho I learned from a demo who put everything on at an angle just so she didn't have to worry about it. LOL Every now and then, DD tells me something is crooked, but heck, I don't notice.

That's probably not real helpful. I'm also craft-knife challenged, so even tho I have the perfect layers tool, I never use it.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:56 AM   #23  
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I am SO **** about uneven edges. It absolutely drives me batty!!! I have a Carl Cutter which I love and use a LOT. I also have a Creative Memories personal trimmer (guillotine type) which I use for smaller things at my desk. I do like other posters and put my smaller image onto a larger piece, lining up 2 edges, adhere, and then all I have to do is cut the other two edges. I've gotten pretty decent at eyeballing what is even or not.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:58 AM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by GatomomView Post
Have you tried the Perfect Layers? I use them every time I scrap or make a card. If you aren't familiar they are rulers that have different measurements of "notches" and you line up the notch to whatever - a picture of your first layer in a card and then you use a blade to cut along the ruler and you have perfectly spaced and straight lines. I got mine on QVC awhile back I know that they have a different set then I originally got and it's on back order right now. HTH. Elizabeth
will this do 1/8th inch mats?
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:52 PM   #25  
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Yes, it does 1/8th inch - it even does 1/16th! At least mine does. Haven't looked at the QVC one. I use my perfect layers every time I need something evenly matted. I highly recommend it!
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:53 PM   #26  
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Originally Posted by mtnstamperView Post
Yes, it does 1/8th inch - it even does 1/16th! At least mine does. Haven't looked at the QVC one. I use my perfect layers every time I need something evenly matted. I highly recommend it!
what kind do you have?
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:28 PM   #27  
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to clee-1953: I thought I was the only one that uses a 12x12 guillotine cutter! And I SCORE the very same way you do...how funny is that? I love my cutter and would be lost without it. TFS!
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:49 PM   #28  
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I also use the Perfect Layers by Stampin' Up!. It works on cards, scrapbook pages and odd shaped embellishments. I keep it on my desk right along side of my trimmer....
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:32 PM   #29  
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QVC has Perfect Layers in stock:

http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/view.2/app.detail

Go get 'em, Girls!
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:45 PM   #30  
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Originally Posted by MaryAnnDOLNView Post
QVC has Perfect Layers in stock:

http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/view.2/app.detail

Go get 'em, Girls!
I don't get how they work....you have to pick up your piece to put adhesive on it, so isn't it hard to keep the ruler in the right place?
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:37 PM   #31  
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I think that one thing that ruins a straight layer cut is if the corner is not perfectly square. I have used a piece of scrap paper and sometimes find that I can't seem to get it right, only to find out the one of the sides was accidently cut a bit crooked. Another thing you can do, is draw a dark line with a ruler around a square pc of c.s. to make it APPEAR layered. This makes the card not as heavy if you want several layers.
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:15 AM   #32  
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Boy did I open a can of worms! LOL! Okay get this, for Valentines Day my DH bought me a gullotine cutter by fiskars and I still can get crooked lines! Leave it to me! Maybe I am just lopped sided! Any sugguestions? It is still more straight than the rotary one. It's a 12 x 12 gullotine. I have also ordered perfect layers off of Ebay for $16. plus shipping. It should be here any day now. Maybe I am just too much of a control freak or perfectionist!
You all have been great! Thanks so much for giving me your input. I will continue to monitor this thread. I will let you know how the "perfect layers" work out for a bungle head like me!
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:25 AM   #33  
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Default Fiskars cutter

I have a Fiskars rotary cutter that I've had for several years now and I love it! It cuts a 12 x 12 sheet of paper. It has a metal rail which makes all the difference; cuts a straight line every time! I bought it at Mike's with a 40% off coupon (I think it was originally $39.95) but well worth the price. Fiskars has a newer design which is more compact but it won't cut a 12 x 12 piece of paper.
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:10 AM   #34  
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Default paper cutter

I am about to buy a guillotine cutter right now, a good one! Be sure and look at the way the measurements are laid out, I recommend a more expensive wooden one with a self-sharpening blade. I teach and sometimes I take the school's cutter home for a weekend so I can make good cuts! Now I will own my own!
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:24 AM   #35  
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You'll love the Perfect Layers. I like to use it when I am mounting photos. Let us know what you think about it.

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Boy did I open a can of worms! LOL! Okay get this, for Valentines Day my DH bought me a gullotine cutter by fiskars and I still can get crooked lines! Leave it to me! Maybe I am just lopped sided! Any sugguestions? It is still more straight than the rotary one. It's a 12 x 12 gullotine. I have also ordered perfect layers off of Ebay for $16. plus shipping. It should be here any day now. Maybe I am just too much of a control freak or perfectionist!
You all have been great! Thanks so much for giving me your input. I will continue to monitor this thread. I will let you know how the "perfect layers" work out for a bungle head like me!
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:55 AM   #36  
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Originally Posted by PenascodragonflyView Post
I love my guillotine table top cutter too. I've wasted a ton less paper. My little fiskars wiggles unintentionally and won't give me a straight edge.

I also measure like the other poster 5 x 5=base 4.75 x 4.75=next layer etc. sometimes I leave only 1/8th of an inch around.
Good luck. Try things- you will find one that suits you best.
Same here!
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:00 PM   #37  
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Another vote for the Perfect Layers tool. I rarely make a project without them anymore. They take all the measuring and guess work out of getting perfect mats. I use a small rotary cutter (from the quilting dept) instead of the craft knife. Makes it even more perfect.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #38  
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I gave up on rotary and guillotine cutters long ago. Same for scissors. I use my exacto knife and a 12" grid ruler. It is see through and has lines running vertical and horizontal so I can line up two sides at the same time to insure straightness. It also has a metal edge on one side to prevent the knife from cutting into the plastic.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:24 PM   #39  
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Default Layering up

I use the Purple Cows cutter for almost everything. Nice, straight cuts with the guillotine but you CAN cut on an angle if you want to.

Just got a Fiskars trimmer though as I sometimes want to trim as little as 1/16" inch from a narrow strip and PC doesn't handle pieces that are less than 1 1/2 inches wide. I've used sticky notes to "widen" the strip and that works well.

I use sticky notes to help with layering pieces too. After I have the pieces cut and have figured out where I want them I use sticky notes to mask the border on the base of the card, then apply my pre-glued first layer, lining it up with the edges of the sticky notes. Subsequent layers are handled the same way. I pull up the sticky notes after each layer. This lets me measure before each layer goes down and ensures that all pieces end up exactly where I intended them to be. sab
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:16 AM   #40  
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Perfect layers is fantastic and you will never go wrong - I'm a bit of a klutz with it but I love the outcome as layers are always "perfect".

I swear by my guillotine cutter - I can almost use it with my eyes closed (he-he). I think I've bought every cutter known to man and this is the one I come back to time and time again. Everything comes out straight and so layers fall together just right.

I have the little "wiggly" Fiskars cutters that I throw into my craft bag. It's great for when you are the run. Never could get a straight cut with these so I don't use them on layered stuff.
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