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Sizzix Big Shot Plus

(13 Posts)
stupidgreatgrinonmyface Mon 18-Apr-16 18:53:07

I'm looking to get machine that I can use to cut mainly paper and card, but occasionally, fabric as well as embossing card etc. Ideally, I would have gone for a machine that would link to my computer and design my own images to print and cut, however, lack of space and the cost of those, means that is destined to remain a pipe dream. The Sizzix Big Shot Plus appears to offer the most versatile option among this type of machine. I completely understand that I will be limited to using dies and embossing folders that are available, rather than creating my own. The reviews seem mostly good. Does anyone have one of these and what do you think of it? If you have something different, why did you make that decision? Are there any well known issues with it? Does it work with most other dies (there are lots in the Spellbinders range that I like the look of)? Amazon has what appears to be decent deal on it. This will be the only purchase of this type I will be able to make, it's taken two years of birthday money to save for this so I won't be able to 'start small and then trade up' as it were. Does anyone have any advice please? Thanks.

YouAreMyRain Mon 18-Apr-16 18:57:13

I think the brother scan n cut is more portable and you cut fabric shapes from your computer £125 is pretty reasonable

YouAreMyRain Mon 18-Apr-16 18:58:19

Oh sorry it's four payments of £125 blush

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Mon 18-Apr-16 19:54:56

Thank you YouAreMyRain. I agree it looks amazing, unfortunately, the cost alone is prohibitive for me and I just don't have space near the computer to accommodate it. If I am ever in the position to have a crafting room, rather than a small fold up table in the living room, it would be on my 'must have' list. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

AuntDotsie Tue 19-Apr-16 19:38:54

I have one and it works great once you've got your head round it. What you can cut depends on what kind of die you use - the Bigz dies are steel and come with foam padding in their own housing, and you can use those on most things, including fabric. Thinlits, Sizzlits etc. will do 1-2 sheets of thin material like paper or card.

I've used all brands of dies with it, including Spellbinders, and they all work perfectly. Spellbinders can be proper fiddly though as some bits are tiny!

The Plus is a good idea as it will do A4 size and fit the long strip dies too. Embossing works fine using the folders with the cutting plates, but you can also fork out for the silicone mat and special embossing plate if you like.

The 'sandwich' is the part you need to get used to, but instructions are printed on the various layers (shims) so you can't go too far wrong. Just be aware that your cutting plates will be etched with your die outlines and remember to flip them every 1-2 times you cut to even out the warping. YouTube is also a great source of tutorials and information if you need or want it.

The only issue I've had with it is that the crank can be a bit squeaky and also run away with you and hit you in the hand if you're not paying attention! It's basically just a fancy mangle, really.

AuntDotsie Tue 19-Apr-16 19:40:54

Oh, and Hobbycraft has a much better deal on it than Amazon smile

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Tue 19-Apr-16 20:55:31

Thank you AuntDotsie, it's great to know that you've not had any huge problems with it and for the info about the embossing mat and plate. I liked the look of the Amazon package as there seems to be a lot of extra bits included so I could get started straight away. I have just bought some beautiful victorian inspired papers for Christmas cards which I think would definitely benefit from the use of decorative dies rather than my usual paper trimmer or edging scissors. I am definitely leaning towards this. I am only hesitating because it seems a lot of money to spend on something just for me - the last big thing I saved for was my computer, but of course everybody else uses it as well, especially when they have stuff that needs printing! The big shot would only be used by me so stupidly, even though it's my birthday money, I feel a bit guilty even considering it.

AuntDotsie Tue 19-Apr-16 21:28:07

I did get that same deal when I bought mine from HC for £99 on special offer, IIRC. The extras are OK but I can't say I've used them all that much. You get some nice-ish papers, some butterfly and heart dies and a box die. The box is teeny and the lid won't stay on without adhesive help. The embossing folder is smallish dots, looks a bit like bubble wrap but smaller!

I don't know what you have planned but I've only ever embossed much smaller pieces of paper than A4. So I'm not sure the A4 folders are worth the extra you pay for them, personally. You can also use dies to emboss if you want.

For the £50 difference, you could buy dies, folders and papers you really like. First Edition dies are £10ish and I think are a great deal. The Works does a nice range of cheaper papers. And the Sizzix website itself has a perma-sale on where you can occasionally bag a serious bargain (but they take forever to deliver!!). This could look nice with Victorian papers, maybe? But I do get the itch to get going when you unwrap the beast ;)

Oh, one tool you will need is a pokey stick like this one, for poking out all the little bits. You could use a pin, but the pokey tool feels cool!

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Tue 19-Apr-16 22:19:35

Thank you flowers. It's nice to know what you think of the extras - I will definitely look at buying the dies etc separately. And thank you for the tip about the pokey stick. I had seen a set of 'frames' by Spellbinders, which would be great with the papers I've . Even if I end up spending a bit more, it makes sense to have supplies that I will use, rather than things that will just sit in their packaging.

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Wed 20-Apr-16 07:13:51

Off to check out my local Hobby craft after work tonight - getting excited!

AuntDotsie Wed 20-Apr-16 08:32:06

Ooh, have fun! And don't be afraid to check out the kids' section for things like glitter paper - same effect, much cheaper.

Those frames are lovely! You might like the Tattered Lace dies also, then, which HC has a huge range of and I think a 3 for 2 offer on.

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Wed 20-Apr-16 21:35:37

So, I have it grin. I got the machine and then chose some lovely paper and card. Not a great selection of dies, to be honest, so I bought a couple of different sets of 'frames', useful for matting and layering and a bigz flower , which I would use reasonably often. There is a good selection on Amazon and other websites, so I'm not too worried about the lack of choice in the store. I looked in the children's section and got some lovely glitter foam for a good price. I saw a die for a cushion type gift box, didn't buy it as I want to be sure I will get enough use out of it. Oh, I also got a pokey tool thing with a brush and a piercing tool all in one. I have had a quick go tonight and was pleasant surprises at how easy and successful it was. Looking forward to a serious 'play'at the weekend. Thank you so much for your advice. I will post a pic once I have made my first one.

AuntDotsie Thu 21-Apr-16 09:44:16

Yay! Glad you're pleased! It's really not hard, although the noises it makes sometimes when you're cranking it through can be a bit scary grin

I've been eyeing up the boxes as well, but tbh they're going to be quite small and I don't make things small enough to fit in them. They are very pretty though. I reckon they're aimed at people who're making their own wedding favours and whatnot.

And yes, there's a huge array of dies available on t'interwebs, the XCut ones are very good - The Range has a surprisingly good selection (also all kinds of craft supplies).

Other handy tips off the top of my head - a tape runner is great for sticking mats (and everything else). Double sided adhesive sheets are great for fiddly intricate dies, just stick a piece to your cardstock before cutting and you have a ready-made sticker. You can apparently also use magnetic shims in place of a Sizzix shim to keep dies in place, but I haven't tried this yet.

The Sissiz website has an 'inspiration' section you can check out for, er, inspiration! The US version has a wider selection though, I think. Enjoy playing!

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