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Embossing 12x12 with Big Shot Pro

juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,868
edited July 2010 in Tips and Tricks
I have had my eye on the Big Shot Pro ever since its premier at CHA. Well, I finally bought one online, and have been experimenting with it. It does emboss 12"x12" designs, which is what I wanted it for. The challenge for embossing 12x12 designs is that there is not a 12x12 cutting platform for embossing available. The instructions for embossing say to use smaller Sizzix platform. That works fine for embossing the Cuttlebug folders, Sizzix texture plates, etc., but to emboss the 12"x12" designs that you cut, you need a larger thick platform.

The Big Shot Pro is now on sale at Joann.com for 40% off, only they don't have any in stock. Great sale! But they do have the Big Shot Pro platforms and extra cutting mats on sale at 40% off that should work fine in lieu of the Sizzix platforms. I ordered some of those, and look forward to experimenting with those. 3 of the standard Big Sho Pro platforms should be the equivalent of the Multi-Purpose platform. And two of the Standard Cutting mats should substitute for the additional Cuttlebug B and C plates needed. Meanwhile, I was able to use a stack of 12 pieces of 12x12 chipboard as the platform, and a couple of pieces of cardstock as shims as necessary. The other item that is not available in 12"x12" size is the silicone rubber mat to place over the cut design. I shopped around a lot, and found Pond Liner at Home Depot. This comes in 15' width, so I purchase 12", so I have enough rubber for 15 mats. It is a bit thinner than I wanted, so I use two pieces. This was a whole lot cheaper than paying $25 from online suppliers for a single 12x12x 1/8" silicone rubber mat.

For testing purposes, I got out some of my Fiskars 12x12 embossing templates designed for hand embossing. These are a full 13" wide, and the Big Shot Pro's opening is not a full 13" wide as advertised - shame on them! I cut a bit off of each of the right and left sides of the embossing templates to make them fit. These templates come two in a set, designed to place paper between them and hand emboss. I use a bit of adhesive to keep them together, and placed those in a "sandwich" on the Big Shot Pro. It took some experimentation to get the best combination of platforms, shims, etc. But it did turn out very nicely. I embossed a very nice 12x12 metallic piece of paper using the Fiskars 12x12 wedding template.
The sandwich consisted of Big Shot Pro platform, 12 sheets of chipboard, 2 standard mylar shims, Standard clear cutting pad, 2 thin Fiskars embossing templates, two pond liner rubber, standard Black mat, 2 cardstock shims.

My next step in experimentation is to cut one of my 12x12 designs from thin chipboard (cereal box thickness) on my Gazelle, and emboss using the Big Shot Pro in a similar manner.

I have attached a partial scan of this project. (I don't have a 12x12 scanner to capture the entire piece, and didn't want to bother stitching it digitally)


  • SallyscrapperSallyscrapper Member Posts: 54

    Have you seen the 12x12 Tan Pads available through Spellbinders? Here is the link: http://spellbinderspaperarts.com/accessories

  • juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,868
    Thanks, Sally for the link. My smaller tan pad works well, so I did consider purchasing the 12x12 one, but the price after shipping costs is really high. I thought I would try a less expensive alternative to see if it would work, first. Since I got fifteen 12x12 mats for $11.00 out of my one piece of Pond Liner from Home Depot, and two of those work well, I don't think I will be purchasing the 12x12 tan pad from Spellbinders any time soon - unless of course I can get it on sale for 40% off sometime. The Spellbinders mat is about twice as thick as the Pond liner that I got.
  • susan_ID2293susan_ID2293 Member Posts: 2,919

    Was the pond liner in the garden dept and is there more than 1 type? This might work in my Accucut. I had been using a Yoga mat that I cut up, but it is not smooth like the Spellbinder mats.
  • juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,868
  • ruthgillis61ruthgillis61 Member Posts: 5,932
  • DeanaDeana Member Posts: 975
    we used a piece of cheap thin craft foam and mounted it to the mat.
  • pigtailpatpigtailpat Member Posts: 1,515
    Hey Julie -

    Keep us posted on your experiments, as you know I also was looking at this from an embossing point of view instead of cutting. As an aside, the fiskars 12 x 12 templates (for hand embossing), are those used with a rolling pin?
    Cuts with Gazelle, PNC with silhouette.
  • juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,868
    The Fiskars 12x12 templates are used with an embossing stylus. You put the paper between the two identical embossing templates and trace around the shapes in the templates. Not any more for me! These work really well in the Big Shot Pro. I just have to trim down about 1/4" on each side of the templates to get them to fit. They are still usable with the Fiskars ScrapBoss, but I doubt that I will use that any more.

    Since the Fiskars templates are thinner than cardstock, I am thinking that the easiest way to make my own intricate 12x12 templates is to cut two identical pieces from cardstock and glue them together before embossing. I should have time today to try a few more things. I do have some acetate material similar to the Fiskars material to try as well.
  • juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,868
    I tried making embossing stencils from many different materials today. I got the best embossing from the stencil I made from Grunge paper. My intricate designs did not punch out of the grunge paper very cleanly, but they did emboss well anyway. It was nice to cut through the grunge paper in a single pass.

    The next best embossing was from a thin piece of chipboard, made into an embossing folder.

    Xyron magnets and laminated magnets were too thin. Acetate 0.01 thickness embossed well, but intricate detail was a pain to punch out of the acetate.

    The thin piece of chipboard worked best as an embossing folder, because it was very thin. 3 mil laminate (Purple Cow heat laminator) was too thin for a template, but it should work fine in an embossing folder, as it cut nicely, and had nice clean lines.
  • pigtailpatpigtailpat Member Posts: 1,515
    Hey Julie -

    I thought you would interested in this, I emailed sizzix to inquire whether or not they intend to come out with embossing folders for the big shot pro capable of embossing 12 x 12 papers. They said yes!!! But the embossing folders are in a design phase right now, and there has been no release date at all given to it. But at least they are thinking about it. So maybe sooner or later, sizzix will release some folders, to make it really quite easy to emboss 12 x 12. If this comes to pass, I will be buying a big shot pro for that sole reason - to emboss 12 x 12.

    If they have not given any release date, I'm not sure how far into the future that is. I truly hope to see it in time for the holidays, but it could be even next year too. I'll keep watching on this machine!
    Cuts with Gazelle, PNC with silhouette.
  • cleversomedaycleversomeday Member Posts: 1,183
    I can't imagine what these companies are thinking that the Big Shot Pro nor the Creatopia can emboss a full 12 x 12 "folder" without all this jerry-rigging. That seems like a no brainer. The Creatopia can only folder emboss a page that is 6-1/2 inches wide...FAIL.
  • pigtailpatpigtailpat Member Posts: 1,515
    Kay -

    I understand what you're saying - Julie said the opening width is not a full 13" as advertised by sizzix. However, sizzix does have some lovely designs in their textured impressions line, I have a couple of their folders in that line and use them with my oldie zip e' mate machine. So if the folders they come up with for the big shot pro - if they can in fact emboss a full 12 x 12 (even with that width that is not quite 13" inches) - I really would be very interested......I would much prefer that to going through all the steps to make my own folders..............

    I can't understand though why they released the machine and the dies without any embossing folders. To me, so much of the market is already saturated with die cutting, whether it would be with the smaller machines or cricuts, or gazelles etc . To release the machine without any embossing folders so that the unique aspect of this product (embossing 12 x 12) could be stressed and sold that way, doesn't make any sense. Ahhh but what do I know..........
    Cuts with Gazelle, PNC with silhouette.
  • juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,868
    The Big Shot Pro does emboss 12x12 nicely. As Kay said, it will be wonderful if Sizzix will come out with 12x12 embossing folders. However, I am happy to know that I can make my own 12x12 embossing folders if I need to. I would probably only do this if I need to use my homemade folder for many different projects.
  • cleversomedaycleversomeday Member Posts: 1,183
    edited November 2010
    I can understand that Xyron just wants people to buy their 12 inch embossing rollers, which are in the $30 range I think, but if I were Sizzix I would be scrambling to tout a full 12 x 12 folder embossing solution (assuming those folders won't be that expensive).
    Post edited by cleversomeday on
  • susibisusibi Member Posts: 23
    This is something I've been waiting for too - I design and sell my own favour boxes, special occasion stationery etc and would love to be able to cut boxes( both commercial die cuts and my own designs) out of simple white or cream cardstock then emboss them as one piece.
    I looked at the Creatopia .. great - advertised 12" embossing rollers just what I need but so much to pay for a machine I'd only use to emboss, and haven't really seen any good write ups on the embossing rollers, or even the rollers themselves. I have a KNK, Cricut Expression, 2 Craft Robos as well as various die cutting machines so I can cut pretty much anything I choose.. the next step is a BS Pro but would so much like the embossing folders although I could make them myself.
    So many companies come out with ' the big idea' but somehow don't quite manage to get it together so the market is flooded with machines that do 'almost everything' but not quite, have basic accessories missing that are 'on the way' , don't deliver what they're meant to, or are so expensive that by the time you've saved up to buy them they're out of date!!
  • crochetedgirlcrochetedgirl Member Posts: 1
    I was thinking about buying the Gazelle, because I thought it would emboss card stock also, I thought when they had a embossing tool, it would do that. Now I am questioning spending that much on a machine that can't do it all. Have you found anything close to meeting your needs?
  • juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,868
    Embossing cardstock is best left to the machines with the 3,000+ down pressure. Embossing folders work very well. You can use your cutter to make your own embossing folders without too much difficulty. Then run them through your favorite pressure embossing machine or use a rolling pin to press the embossing lines into your cardstock. The kind of embossing that we can do with any cutter is more like they use in making pergamano designs.
This discussion has been closed.