What can I use in my bigshot?

Well I have been slack and not posted for a while but I have been “playing” with my bigshot.  Given that I am only using embossing folders as I have already invested in a cricut my quest has been to work out what scraps of paper, card and other items I can actually use in the bigshot.

If you google you will find an endless list but that isn’t much help.  So this is what I have found out this far:

  • Bazzill/AC cardstock – embosses nicely gives a smooth edge
  • Foil cardboard – the kind you buy the kids to make stuff out of embosses fantastically, very clear & precise and as a bonus readily available and cheap!
  • Stardream/Opal papers – embossed fantastically, clear image.  2 pieces seem to emboss the same as 1.
  • Glitter card – embossed ok but difficult to see against the glitter
  • Acetate/clear packaging (including from your embossing folders!) – embossed fantastically, nice deep images which are clear.  So don’t throw away that clear packaging cut it up and use it.
  • Printed scrapbook paper/gift wrapping – embossed nicely, need to consider the pattern on the paper vs your embossing folder.  Ideally use at least 2 pieces of paper at a time
  • Vellum – plain and printed work great, gives a nice embossed finish but not clear images.  You need to use at least 2 pieces at one time.
  • Wallpaper – produces a nice soft embossed image

All of these are pictured below.

Different media embossed with big shot

Endless choice

Top row from left – bazzil, foil board, stardream, wallpaper.

Bottom row from left – wrapping paper, vellum, clear packaging, printed paper.

My girlfriend tested alfoil – you need to double up twice, it will crease-up a little around the embossed image so don’t expect a pristine flat piece of alfoil.  Brown paper also works well.

Other household items yet to be tested but I expect will be great – cereal boxes and covers from magazines.  The addition of “embossing” really does make an otherwise ordinary looking item look fantastic whilst being good for the crafting budget and the environment.

I would love to hear any other idea’s for what to emboss.




OK so I have an electronic little cricut but I did not until last week have a bigshot.   All embossing had to be done the old fashion way – stencils, light box and an embossing tool.  Needless to say I use the embossing tool at lot (it’s a useful item) but rarely hand emboss.  I even recently learnt that dry embossing is this old school way of embossing images!

So, the tax return was better than expected, the bigshot was on special (AUD$99) and I needed cheering up so a bigshot was acquired.  A quick demo and discussion with the very helpful lady and the craft store, purchase of some embossing folders on sale and I was on my way.

It’s now home, much heavier but easier to use than expected.  I’ve embossed scraps, tried double embossing and embossing large sheets of paper.  Read online about “shims” which I thought were metal sheets but apparently are silicone spacers to let you use your old-fashioned stencils in the bigshot.  So many possibilities.  Question is though – will it be a regularly used item or one of those which I only use occasionally?

I was quite impressed by the ease of the die cutting but resisted the urge to buy any as I do already have my little cricut and software to do whatever I can imagine.  The convenience of not having to plug the bigshot in though is enticing but then again I don’t have to pay for anymore dies!  It seems in this life we are never quite satisfied with our lot and there is always something better around the corner.

I am now considering whether I should sell my fiskars shapecutter (the original one) and accompanying templates along with the punchmate and some of the punches I don’t really use.  They are, what the tech lovers would call, old technology but still, they work just fine.  It’s just that my skills and expectations have moved on…..