How to partial die cut – step-by-step guide

Want to take your die-cutting skills to the next lever? Discover how to partial die cut with our handy step-by-step guide!

You may already be a fan of using dies on your cards and papercraft projects – whether it’s to create apertures, shakers or shaped toppers. With just a few simple tips and tricks, we’ll show you how to elevate this technique, for a professional finish that’s a cut above the rest!

Partial die cuts may seem a little intricate at first, but once you learn the secret to success, you’ll be impressing your recipients with extra-special makes, in no time at all.

Want to go a step further? Try using a die-cutting machine to emboss around die-cut shapes, too, for added texture and interest. We show you how it’s done in this video tutorial.

To start, keep it simple and have a go at the following step-by-step project, which shows you how to partial die cut to customise apertures around the design of your card, using a simple circular die. Dust off your die-cutting machine and get going!

Love the look of this project? Check out more of our fantastic ideas and free downloads!

You can also use partial die cutting to add extra interest to shaker cards, as shown in our handy tutorial.

Find more things to make in our How to… section, too!

We love to see what you’ve been crafting, so don’t forget to share your projects with us on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Shopping list

Basic card kit, plus


How to partial die cut

1. Using black ink, stamp the Bunny with Teddy image onto a 12x12cm piece of Neenah Classic Crest card, as shown – leaving enough space on the right-hand side for your circle die.

New to stamping? Read more about stamping and our top tips!


2. Place the circle die over the stamped image, as shown. Once happy with the position, use a pencil to mark the curve of the inner circle, leading from the bunny’s ear to its foot.


3. Remove the circle die then carefully cut around the right-hand side of the bunny image, using a sharp craft knife or a scalpel. You can tidy up any rough edges later.


4. Once you have trimmed around the image, cut just beyond the circle line, as shown, so your die will slip neatly through the opening in the card – as shown in step 5.


5. Slide the die through the opening you created in step 4. Use low-tack tape to keep the die in place then run it through a die-cutting machine – only up to the edge of the image.


6. Once you are happy that your die has cut properly, carefully remove it. You should then be able to get rid of the waste card, as shown, leaving an aperture next to the bunny.


7. Using scissors, trim any rough edges around the image. You may find it easier to use smaller craft scissors for this, especially when cutting around the bunny’s whiskers!


8. Colour the image using alcohol markers. For the shaker, back the opening with acetate, place sticky foam pads around the aperture, add sequins, then lay patterned paper on top.

Haven’t made a shaker card before? Take a look at our step-by-step guide for more detailed instructions.