Tag Archives | Sizzix Big Shot

National Scrapbook Day Giveaway – Win Graphic 45 Little Women!

Welcome to National Scrapbook Day on Craft Critique! I’ve got a great giveaway to celebrate with thanks to Graphic 45 – and a simple layout that I hope will get you inspired to scrapbook today!

[Disclosure: Some links below are links to Nally Studios advertisers or are affiliate links that pay a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

Graphic 45 Little Women large

This new Graphic 45 collection celebrates the classic book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Every young girl who reads the story sees herself in one of the four sisters whose lives share the book’s pages. (Of course, I’m a Jo!) This gorgeous celebration of reading and storytelling is perfect for scrapbooking any number of childhood moments.

I chose a photo of my daughter reading with her daddy to share with this collection. This is an old photo, over ten years old, part of a stash of forgotten enlargements I recently rediscovered while cleaning my mess, I mean studio.

Graphic 45 Little Women layout

Supplies Needed:

The diagonal color blocking is a dramatic look. But it worked great – the photo of my daughter stood out brilliantly against the blue background and then the darker side of the photo stands out on the yellow print. The yellow paper balances the yellow on the layout by sitting opposite the yellow on my daughter’s pajamas.

I did the same color balancing with the pink & green, pairing the two pink elements on opposing sides of the diagonal divide and giving them green accents. The flower die is a Graphic 45 Staple and the layers work together beautifully! I used three graduated shades of cardstock (lighter on the bottom) to create the flower and give the illusion of shading.

The quote card was the perfect choice because it included the word “storybook) and it pulled the blue background print over to the other side of the diagonal.

So, are you ready for the giveaway? One lucky reader is going to win a Graphic 45 Little Women collection pack!

How To Enter: All you have to do to have a chance to be the lucky winner is leave a comment on this entry before 11:59PM US eastern time on Wednesday night, May 9th, 2018. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Craft Critique staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. Sorry, US delivery addresses only.

But that’s not all! We’re giving away a different Graphic 45 collection on each of our Nally Studios websites today to celebrate National Scrapbook Day! Don’t miss your chance to win them all! Visit the links below to enter the giveaways on our other websites!

Thanks for sharing your National Scrapbook Day with Craft Critique and Nally Studios!

Review | Sizzix Letterpress Plates

Reported by Cassandra Darwin

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:

  1. Apply ink directly to the letterpress plate
  2. Create the proper sandwich of plates for your die cutting machine
  3. 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.

Back view, so you can really see the difference a shim makes.

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

What do you think?  Have you tried the Sizzix letterpress plates?  Do you plan to now? Leave a comment and let us know!