Partial Die Cutting

by Debby Hughes

Extend a portion of a die cut shape past the fold for a unique card or place marker.



  1. Step 1

    For a place card, cut card base to 5 1/2" x 4 1/4". Mark a pencil line across the card at 2 3/4".

    For a standard-sized card, cut base to 8 1/2" x 4 1/4". Mark a pencil line across the card at 4 1/4" and at 5 1/2".

  2. Step 2

    Place a shaped die so that one part of the die is above the center pencil line and the rest is below.

    For the standard sized card, position the die so that it does not go above the line at 5 1/2".

  3. Step 3

    Line up die cutting plates along the pencil line so that only the protruding portion is cut when run through the die cutting machine.

  4. Step 4

    Line up die cutting plates along the pencil line so that the rest of the die is encased between the plates. Run through the die cutter with an embossing mat to impress the die into the card.

  5. Step 5

    The card now has a die cut element, with the rest of the die impressed into the card.

  6. Step 6

    Score along the pencil line, outside the die cut area. Erase pencil markings.

  7. Step 7

    Decorate the card as desired.



  1. Use similar techniques on a card, or create a fun party ensemble.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Partial Die Cutting. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Kathleen I got the pen holder from Amazon, there's a link to it on my blog if it helps :D
Debby Hughes  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 9:50 AM
Lynn, the pen holder is great. It's a Kuretake one and there's links to it on my blog. I particularly like the rubber grip on it which makes it comfortable to hold :D
Debby Hughes  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 9:52 AM
Kay, I'm afraid I'm not familiar with those machines. Can someone jump in? Does anyone have a Accucut Grandemark or Zipemate machine?
Debby Hughes  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 9:54 AM
Hi Jake, I left the 'whole' as it was, it gives a nice wing die cut to the inside smile An embossing mat is a flexible rubbery piece which you add in to the die sandwich when running it through your die cutter. It allows for the die to be pressed into the card without cutting it and so just leaves an impression. I've had mine for a long time, but I looked on Simon Says Stamp and found something similar. I've linked it in my blog post ( It's not the same as mine but it looks like it will do the same job. Hope that helps :D
Debby Hughes  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:01 AM
LOL, just working through the comments and see that Dina has beaten me to a lot of the answers - she's awesome isn't she!
Debby Hughes  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Love this and would like to try it but I don't have any dies in my collection. I use an electronic cutter, Cricut to be specific. Is there any way to do this using this kind of machine instead?
Germayne Turner Nash  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:32 AM
Thanks for answering me. I have one follow up question about the embossing mats. Does the die cut them?
Jodi Ake  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM
No, it doesn't. It's usually layered underneath the cardstock to provide a cushion.
Dina K  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:04 PM
I absolutely loved this tutorial! Please do more of the watercoloring techniques as I learned SO MUCH! The card is beautiful and soft and so pretty. To the gal that asked how to cover up the hole. Just cut a piece the same size as the inside of the card and adhere with adhesive. Thanks Debby!
dottie  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Thank you for the great how you did the name...will have to give that a try...tfs
Gloria Westerman  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Since the bottom of the butterfly is not cut out, that holds the image in place. Can you do a demo or send instructions on the card. It appears that both wings are raised up on the card. Thank you and thank you for the great demos you provide.
Judi  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM
Debby, this is lovely. I look forward to trying it soon. I've always admired the partial dye cut look and didn't know how to do it until you shared this. Thank you. Blessings, Cecily
Cecily Farwell  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 1:01 PM
THANK YOU smile have seen the result of this and could not figure out how on Earth it was done! so simple once you know.
Caroline Searle  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 5:32 PM
Fantastic idea - thanks for the tutorial grin
Jocelyn Knight  |  Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 6:55 PM
All I can say is "WOW" how beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
Joyce Pierson  |  Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:56 AM
Hi Jodi, as Dina said no the cushioning of the mat means that the die pushes into the card without either cutting the card or the mat :D
Debby Hughes  |  Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:57 AM
Oh and of course 'whole' should've been 'hole' LOL
Debby Hughes  |  Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:58 AM
Hi Judi, for the card, I impressed the entire butterfly into the centre of a piece of watercolour card and coloured with the sprays. I also die cut a butterfly from some spare card and coloured that too. Then I layered the die cut butterfly over the impressed one with foam adhesive under the wings. Hope that helps :D
Debby Hughes  |  Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:59 AM
Hi Germayne, hmmm with an electronic cutter. I'm not sure as I don't tend to use my old cricut much. I'm wondering if with one of the cutters where you have more flexibility in the design of the cut whether you could do this. I've no experience though I'm afraid.
Debby Hughes  |  Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 1:03 AM
Your butterflies are gorgeous! Thanks for the instructions.
Di  |  Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 6:39 AM

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