Last year I bought this “Lots of Love” letterpress plate from Stampin’ Up! to make some homemade valentines. That didn’t actually happen, but I finally pulled it out this year to give it a try. And I am hooked! Here is a quick rundown on my experience with the Sizzix letterpress plate, as well as a few tricks I learned.
The basic instructions are:
- Apply ink directly to the letterpress plate
- Create the proper sandwich of plates for your die cutting machine
- Run through the die cutter
The Sizzix letterpress plate is specifically marketed for Big Shot users, but I have a Cuttlebug. So after reading the instructions, I had to make a few guesses to adapt for a different die cut machine. This is the sandwich I started with: Platform “A,” inked Letterpress Plate, Cardstock, Cutting Pad “B.”
This worked just fine for transferring the ink to the cardstock, but did not create a letterpress impression in the cardstock. So I added two more pieces of cardstock as shims and got a great result. You can see the difference here – original sandwich on the left and altered sandwich with shims on the right.
I also tried using the letterpress plate with some pink cardstock tabs and without any ink. I like the results, but I think I needed one more piece of cardstock shim for a deeper impression.
Although the instructions specifically mention Sizzix die cutting machines, they did have some very helpful hints. One is that your letterpress images may get skewed if you are using an older cutting pad that has a lot of impressions already on it. So I elected not to use this one:
I used a new cutting pad and didn’t have any issues. The instructions also give a few inking tips for the letterpress plates, especially if you plan to use different colors. Since I only used one color, I inked the plate directly using a regular-size Brilliance inkpad.
- Really inexpensive way to get the look of letterpress at home – plates retail for under $10
- Can be adapted for any brand of die cut machine
- Easy to use and clean
- Instructions are geared for the Big Shot, so you will need to do some testing if you have a different machine
- Had a little trouble with ink smearing as you create the sandwich
- Not enough designs available – most are holiday specific