Spellbinders Nestabilities Dies are now available for purchase through Papertrey Ink.

So are you ready to dive into the world of Nestabilities?  First let me start by explaining these revolutionary dies.  They are made out of metal and look like a frame of sorts.  Very different from other dies on the market, especially since they do not have any ejection foam.  Because of their frame-like design, the interior edge can act as an embossing template when "cushion" is added to the sandwich of plates run through your machine.  The photo below shows a close-up of how the die is actually constructed.

072607_die_closeup The base of the die is a very thin piece of metal and flat.  Running along the center of the base is a raised strip of metal.  This raised strip acts as your "die" and is what cuts your cardstock.  If you want to emboss the edge of your shape after you have cut it, you simply do not remove the shape from your die after  you have completed cutting, and run it back through the machine with the appropriate cushion.  The cushion provides the pressure needed to "push" the cardstock through the inner opening of the frame (base) of the die.  This action is what leaves the pretty embossed edge around your die cut shape!  I will be showing you more of this in detail later this week.

So to start I thought we would talk about compatibility.  The most popular question by far has been what machines these dies are compatible with.  The answer…pretty much all of them!  I own a Cuttlebug and QuicKutz Revolution and experimented myself with fantastic results.  Here is some information on sandwiching for various machines that I compiled with a combination of my personal results and findings from Spellbinders website.  If I haven’t listed your specific machine, I am certain Spellbinders would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have….

Spellbinders Style Dies™ Compatibility

—> Zip’eMate™ by Accucut®

This machine is capable of cutting and embossing any Spellbinders Style Die™.

To use a Spellbinders Die in the ZEM:
1. Place Spellbinders die on ZEM’s platform, blade side up.
2. Place paper over die and cut in the same manner as with Zip’eCuts.
3. After cut, do not remove the die or the paper from the platform, place ZEM’s Embossing Foam over paper and with the
ZEM’s Embossing Mat, roll through again to emboss the die-cut.

—> ZAZ™ by Accucut®

This machine is capable of cutting and embossing any Spellbinders Style Die™, except the larger, Size Four Spellbinders Dies.

To use a Spellbinders Die in the ZAZ™:
1. Place Spellbinders die on ZAZ™’s platform, blade side up.
2. Place paper over die and cut in the same manner as with Zip’eCuts™.
3. After cut, do not remove the die or the paper from the platform, place ZAZ™’s Embossing Foam over paper and with the
ZAZ™’s Embossing Mat, roll through again to emboss the die-cut.

—> Sizzix®
Sizzix® manufactures the Sizzix® Adapter™ and the Sizzix® System Converter™ which, together, allow the cutting of Spellbinders Style Dies™ that are smaller than the Sizzix® Adapter, which measures 2 3/8” by 2 5/8.” This includes most Spellbinders Fonts and Mystery Dies. The Sizzix® Adapters are sold in packages of ten and several can be used side by side to allow for the cutting of larger Spellbinders Style Dies™.

Sizzix® does not manufacture any kind of embossing pad or foam to allow the Spellbinders Style Dies™ to be embossed in the Sizzix® machine. However, Spellbinders Tan Emboss Pad can be used in the Sizzix® Machine.

To cut and emboss a Spellbinders Style Die™ in a Sizzix® Machine:
1. Place the Sizzix® System Converter into the Sizzix® Machine.
2. On the Cutting Pad, place paper to be cut, then the Spellbinders Style Die™, ridges down.
3. Place a Sizzix® Adapter over the Spellbinders Style Die™, then cut as normal.
4. Leave the cut paper in the die. Turn the die over so that the ridges are facing up, place back on the cutting pad – without
the Sizzix® Adapter.
5. Layer a Tan Emboss Pad over the die.
6. Press in the Sizzix® Machine. Shim with extra pieces of cardstock if needed.

—> Sidekick™ & Tag-a-Long™

The Sizzix® Adapter does allow the cutting of Spellbinders Style Dies™ with the Sidekick™ & Tag-a-Long™, but this is limited to most Spellbinders Fonts or Mystery Dies, due to the limiting size of the Sizzix® Adapter.

The Sidekick™ & Tag-a-Long™ do not allow for the embossing of Spellbinders Style Dies™.

To cut a Spellbinders Style Die™ in a Sidekick™ Machine or a Tag-a-Long™:
1. Place die, ridges up, onto a Sizzix® Adapter.
2. Place paper over die, roll through the Sidekick™ or Tag-a-Long™.

—> QuicKutz Revolution ®
The QuicKutz Revolution® is capable of cutting Spellbinders Style Dies™.

Embossing a Cardfront with the Cuttlebug

So as I stated before, I personally own the Cuttlebug, and I decided a good place to start was a photo tutorial on how to utilize the embossing feature of these dies. 

If you refer to the detail I went into earlier in reference to the actual BUILD of the dies, I stated that the frame (base) acted as your embossing agent and the raised strip performed the actual die-cutting.  What I discovered while playing around with Papertrey’s 110lb. Stamper’s Select White Cardstock is that the raised strip will NOT cut if you run it through your machine with the appropriate cushion, you can use IT to emboss too! (Note: I tried the SU! Whisper White cardstock witht his technique, but since it is a much thinner 80lb. the embossing results weren’t as dramatic)

072607_suppliesSo first, the supplies.

Cuttlebug machine, A plate & two B plates (you can find these at Eclectic Paperie)

largest Plain Rectangle Nestabilities Die

white 4×5 cardbase, made from Papertrey Stamper’s Select Cardstock

Spellbinders tan polymer mat

3 pieces of standard cardstock cut same size as polymer mat

072607_first_b_plateNow for the layering process.  First lay your A plate followed by the B plate onto the Cuttlebug tray.

072607_die_on_cardfrontNext, you want to position the die, raised edge DOWN, onto the front of your card. 

072607_white_cardstock_2Hold the die in place and carefully flip the card over and lay it on top of your B plate in your machine.

072607_3_layers_cardstock_2The next piece of the sandwich is 3 layers of cardstock.  I cut my cardstock to the same size as my tan polymer mat and store them with my Cuttlebug supplies so they are always ready.

072607_spellbinders_tan_matNext up is the Spellbinders tan polymer mat.  This mat is part of their Charm Embossing Kit, which we will have available for pre-order along with the dies.  I have heard some say they have seen success with a thin mousepad, but from personal experience, I had no luck with this.  In my opinion, it would be a lot of trial and error to find a mousepad of the right thickness for optimum results.

072607_last_b_plateTo top off everything is the final B plate!

072607_frame_revealedYou then can run your sandwich through the Cuttlebug.  After peeling away all the layers you are left with the following view of the BACK of the front cover (you can click on the photo for a larger view).  I decided to show you this to help demonstrate how the die is working.  As you can see, the die was "smooshed" into the cushion of the cardstock layers & tan polymer mat, therefore leaving an "impression" of the die.

072607_finished_embossed_cardAfter you flip your card over and remove the die, you can see the beautiful results.  A perfectly embossed card front!  I used to purchase these types of cards to keep on hand for quick & easy creations, and I am just SO excited that now I can make my own!  You could also do the same process with some of the other shapes to create embossed square or circle cards!  How fun is that!

082607_celebrate_cardHere is a little card I whipped together utilizing the embossed notecard.  I love how the embossed frame adds the perfect finishing detail!  I made a batch of 25 embossed cards while I had all of my supplies out, and it only took about 10 minutes!

Stay tuned tomorrow for some more tips and tricks with the limitless Nestabilties dies! Just as a little reminder, Papertrey will begin taking pre-orders for these dies on August 1st.  They should be shipping in late August!


ink: Chartreuse, Cote d’Azure and Landscape Palette Ink Pads

stamps: Text Boxed (spiral flowers) and Little Lady (sentiment) from Papertrey

paper: Stamper’s Select White Cardstock

other: Adhesive Rhinestones from Paper Studio

ETA: Here are some answers to some questions that were left on this post…

—> Jenny asked…Is the cutting edge sharp? It looks rounded and I am wondering how it cuts cardstock.

The cutting edge (raised strip) is not sharp to the touch.  Die-cuts are more about the pressure built between the die & the machines plates, rather than the actual sharpness of the die.  So for example, in this post I showed you how to emboss by using the tan polymer mat.  If the mat is replaced with the standard die-cutting plate, the force at which the die is pressed against this solid surface easily cuts through just about any material.  That is why you never have to worry about dies becoming dull, becasue they aren’t sharp in the first place!  It’s all about the pressure!

—> Amy asked… I have the now-discontinued BISK. Will my black embossing pad from the BISK work instead of the tan pad from the Wizard? When the Bug first came out, I had the impression these were interchangeable, but I want to make sure.

The Big Impressions Starter Kit (or BISK) looks to have a mat similar to the Wizard tan polymer mat.  I don’t feel 100% comfortable stating that it will work, as I have not tried it myself, because I don’t own one.  But it won’t hurt to try.  I can tell by looking at the BISK mat that it is similar enough that you wouldn’t dammage anything while experimenting.  It would just be a matter of how optimum your embossing results would be.

—> Deb asked…why did you use three pieces of carstock [in your embossing "sandwich]- does it emboss all three at the same time? Can you use just one?

The three pieces of cardstock are just standard weight cardstock (I used 80lb. SU! cardstock, but whatever you have on hand will work just fine).  This cardstock is merely to provide more cushion for the die to have optimum embossing results.  It may sound strange to have to add the cardstock layers, but in order to add enough thickness to the Cuttlebug sandwich and get the amount of pressure needed, the three sheets of cardstock is just the right thickness.  The extra cardstock is left with a slight impression, but nothing you could use for a project.  As I said before, they just act as an additional cushion.

—> Doreen asked…Please photo tutorial with the sizzix! I loved the step by step but I have the old sizzix machime with an adaptor for sizzilits would I need other supplies and will you be selling them?????

I will be unable to do a photo tutorial for the Sizzix machine because I do not own one.  If you refer to the compatibility list I included in the post above, it provided you with specific step by step instructions on how to do the same process with the Sizzix.  Papertrey Ink will not be carrying any of the adaptors needed, but I am sure that these are items that you could pick up from any online Sizzix dealer.

It is not capable of embossing Spellbinders Style Dies™.

1. Place a Spellbinders Style Die™, die side up on the Revolution tray.

2. Add your cardstock on top of the die.

3. Place your clear plate on top of that as your final Layer.

4. Run through the machine.

—> Big Shot by Ellison Design™
This machine is capable of cutting and embossing any Spellbinders Style Die™.

To use a Spellbinders Die in the Big Shot:
1. Layer an acrylic mat onto the thick white pad.
2. Place either two Sizzix® Adapters™ or one Spellbinders White Spacer Plate onto the acrylic mat.
3. Place Spellbinders die on the Spacer Plate, blade side up.
4. Place paper over die.
5. Place another acrylic mat over paper. Roll through the Big Shot.
6. To emboss the die, remove the Spacer Plate.
7. Place Tan Emboss Pad over paper, put acrylic mat on top again and roll through Big Shot again.

—> Big Kick™

With the Big Kick, you can both cut and emboss Spellbinders Embossing Dies.

From the bottom up, to cut:
1. Universal platform (thick white mat from sizzix)
2. Clear acrylic mat
3. Spacer plate from Spellbinders
4. Spellbinders Style Die (cutting side up) that would mean the side with the ridges
5. Paper or cardstock
6. Clear acrylic cutting mat

Second Step- to Emboss (from bottom up) :
1. Universal Platform (thick white mat from sizzix)
2. Clear acrylic mat
3. Spellbinders Style die with paper still inside the die
4. Two pieces of tan Spellbinders Polymer
5. Clear acrylic cutting mat

—> Cuttlebug™

With the Cuttlebug, you can both cut and emboss Spellbinders Embossing Dies. Results are beautiful (see a photo tutorial below)

Cutting Sandwich – (Stack from bottom up)
1. A plate
2. C plate
3. Spellbinders die face up (rough side up)
4. Paper or cardstock
5. B plate

Run through Cuttlebug machine.

Embossing Spellbinders Dies in the Cuttlebug- (Stack from bottom up)
1. A plate
2. B plate
3. Die face up (with die cut still in die)
4. 3 pieces of cardstock
5. 1 Spellbinders tan polymer mat
6. 2nd B plate

Run through Cuttlebug machine

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 55 Comments

  • 1
    kimberly says:

    I can ALWAYS count on you! Thanks for the great information!

  • 2
    Deidra says:

    Do you know how much they are going to be?

  • 3
    Alli Miles says:

    AWESOME! I was worried that I might have to go out and buy ANOTHER machine *lol* (not that that is a bad thing…!) Great card too.

  • 4

    Fabulous card! I love the simplicity of it. Thanks for wealth of knowledge. I really appreciate you taking the time to get this to us! Happy Day!

  • 5
    Julie says:

    Ah! Awesome info, Nichole! I didn’t preorder any of these from Ellen b/c I wasn’t sure how it actually worked. I have the Cuttlebug and thought your tutorial was extremely helpful! I’m sure I will be preordering some of these. My other big question is figuring out which size/shape I want to begin with. I would love to see some more pictures of the different sizes used in projects. It’s hard to imagine what the ‘scale’ actually is – and I’m never good with dimensions without visuals. Thanks for taking the time to educate us!

  • 6
    kalyber says:

    > NOW I AM. I was going to wait on these dies because the crafting budget is tight but after reading this…SCREW THE BUDGET I need these now. How much are they going to be and which shapes will you have?

  • 7
    florence says:

    Thanks for the information I was interested but could not find out if they worked with cuttlebug, now that I know they do can’t wait to get them.

  • 8
    goldie says:

    Thank you Nichole for the wonderful detailed instructions on how to use these dies w/ the Cuttlebug! I can’t wait to do my pre-order. Now only if I could figure out how to hide it from my DH! 🙂

  • 9
    Donna Baker says:

    what a classy card! Thanks for sharing this tidbit of info, Nichole! You’re SO awesome!

  • 10
    Amy (amysings) says:

    *Thank you*! I have had such a hard time getting my brain wrapped around how these dies work!

    I have a question for you–I have the now-discontinued BISK. Will my black embossing pad from the BISK work instead of the tan pad from the Wizard? When the Bug first came out, I had the impression these were interchangeable, but I want to make sure.

    Thanks again! Lovely job!

  • 11
    Deb says:

    Thanks for the great turotial – I’m glad you used the Cuttlebug, cuz that’s what I have!

    I have a question though – why did you use three pieces of carstock – does it emboss all three at the same time? Can you use just one? Thanks!

  • 12
    Debbie Olson says:

    FABULOUS, Nichole!! I can get my Wizard to cut through one layer of PaperTrey Stamper’s Select, but I can’t get it to cut through two layers to make a scalloped notecard. Anyway, I’m definitely going to try embossing your way too–SO classy!

  • 13
    Doreen says:

    Please photo tutorial with the sizzix! I loved the step by step but I have the old sizzix machime with an adaptor for sizzilits would I need other supplies and will you be selling them?????

  • 14
    Melissa says:

    Nichole, this tutorial is great! I was unsure of how these nesting dies were going to work with various die cutting machines but you explained it perfectly. I can’t wait til they are available. And your card is so simple and elegant!

  • 15
    CherylQuilts says:

    This is great…the tutorial is sooo helpful! I just received bought a Cuttlebug and am loving it! Thanks…and now I have to wait until August 1…hurray up. Love your blog!

  • 16
    Cathy J R says:

    I am one of those pepole that has the desire to know how things work. I have been racking my brain to figure out the dry embossing with the dies.
    Thank You for taking the time to explain and show us how remarkable this product is!!!

  • 17
    Radiogirl says:

    I like the elegance and simplicity of the card that you made. Thanks for the demo, especially in the Cuttlebug. I plan to get the large rectangle die (so I can to cards like the one you made) and I, too, have a Cuttlebug. It’s nice to know that I do not need to have 3 or more die cutting machines and tools. For me the Cuttlebug is working out just fine.

  • 18

    Beautiful way to use the dies, Nichole — LOVE the embossed card! Can’t wait to get mine so I can play! Thanks for sharing your findings.

  • 19
    Kymm Kent says:

    why 2 sheets of cardstock when you use these dies with the cuttlebug?

  • 20
    Darcy says:

    Thanks so much for answering all of these questions!

  • 21
    K Ostvig says:

    VEry nice making it hard to resist the spellbinders.

  • 22
    Jessica M McLaughlin says:

    Thanks for the info I think I now need to order these!!

  • 23
    Juanita says:

    I would like to know if you have an ETA on Spellbinders? Thanks for your time and TFS.

  • 24
    Angeles says:

    I was wondering if the 3 pieces of card stock can also be inserted between the A and B plates?

  • 25
    sandie c says:

    WOW Thanks for all this wonderful information!! It is greatly appreciated.

  • 26
    bluemoon says:

    Great information here, thank you. What is your experience with the cuttlebug and Quick Kutz set of scallop/oval/round (etc.) dies? (the nesting set)?.

  • 27

    Wow your card is gorgeous….I love my cuttlebug too and this is a great idea. Your tutorial was easy to understand TFS!!!

  • 28
    Nancy says:

    I have the Big Kick – what do you refer to as the Clear acrylic mat? Something from spellbinders or something from Sizzix?

  • 29
    Regina says:

    Hi Nichole,
    I’m hoping you can help me. I’m using my new Nestabilities with the Cuttlebug and your sandwich suggestion. When I try to just cut (not emboss) I get a partial emboss around part of the shape. It’s just not the crisp, clean cut I’m looking for. Do you have any suggestions?

    I love your work. Thank you very much for sharing!

  • 30
    Granna on the Go says:

    Thank you again for your wonderful way of explaining in your tutorial for the Nestabilities. I have a Big Shot and did OK. Today I received a new Cuttlebug. I really like the results with such ease.

  • 31
    patti moffett says:

    Thanks for the great tutorials. The have been so helpful and inspiring in my growth as a card makerI read somewhere that I could use a Cuttlebug with my Fiskars embossing plates (the blue ones) I was thrilled to finally be able to use the 16 I addictively bought and couldn’t figure out how to use manually!!!! but of course I can’t find the tutorial. Can you help!!!

  • 32
    Gloria says:

    Can nestabilities be used the ellison prestige pro?

    Please e-mail when the square nestabilites are available. Thanks

  • 33
    FJU says:

    WOW !!!!

  • 34
    Jill Deschaine says:

    Thank you so much. Very well done!

  • 35
    Peggy says:

    Would you please do a tutorial using the Wizard? Both embossing and cutting. Thank you, a frustrated Wizard owner. Peggy

  • 36
    Valerie Fox says:

    I think your site is wonderful, your cards are great and the detailed tutorials you give are second to none! I have a question I hope you can answer. I believe the Zip-e-Mate is no longer made by Accucut, I have one of these machines, which I love but am finding it very difficult to get a new cutting mat. I live in the UK, any ideas?

  • 37
    Celia says:

    I actually have the wizard machine, but have yet to make a perfectly centered embossed card front like you made. Do you have any tricks for centering the nestability die? So far I have been “eye-balling” it with out much luck. I even bought the magnetic mat with the hopes of things being centered..no such luck.

  • 38
    Melodye says:

    How important is the tan polymer pad? I have a set of Nestibilities but no mat. Will it be necessary to buy one. Will one be offered as a single purchase by Papertrey.

  • 39
    ckchai says:

    How abt bosskut? Do you have any idea if the spellbinders nestabilities can be used with bosskut?

  • 40
    evette says:

    Can we just get the spellbinders mat? I have several dies but not the mat. Thanks so much. and do I have to go to spellbinders site to get it? evette

  • 41
    Karen says:

    Thank you for making these fab FAQs! I have a QK revolution and I can´t seem to find out if I can use the LARGE scallop dies in that machine? Do you know? Thanks! Oh and btw, do you ship international at Papertrey Ink?

  • 42
    Denise Morisset says:

    I have the Cuttlebug and have “sandwhiched” per your notes however, my Nestabilities dies cut right through my B plate leaving impressions and cut marks. What am I doing wrong? Please help. Thank you.

  • 43
    Marie says:

    Well I sure hope you see comments on older posts of yours. I have been trying to figure out if using a Big Shot is what’s giving me my “problem”? I have been getting an embossed edge on all of my nestability shapes – specifically the Scalloped Ovals and “plain” ovals that I have been working with thus far, even when not running it through with the cushion. Is there a way that you know of to NOT get the embossed edges when cutting the shapes with the Big Shot? I followed your recommened “sandwiches” to the “T” and can’t get them without the embossed edges and sometimes I don’t want the embossing. Thanks so much!!!!!!!

  • 44
    Kate Bahr says:

    Thank you for showing me how to use the nestabilities. Do you have any actual card ideas using these things. You do such beautiful cards. I would love to know when you post new things:) Thank you Kate

  • 45
    Gloria Rosland says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and assistance. Very clever

  • 46
    Susie says:

    I have what i think is a spellbinders nestibility (squares) but the number is different to that of ones i have seen on their site – mine is …S4 006 Squares – is one of the scalloped nestibilities compatible with this please

  • 47
    Paola Levi says:

    think what you do is just FAB!!!!!

  • 48
    Geri from Canada says:

    Your site is awesome! I refer to it often for inspiration and guidance.

    I am new to the “Nestabilities” scene but love what I see.

    I am confused though….what is the difference (if any) between the Spellbinders Embossing MatKit and the Polymere Mat?

    Thanks for your help 🙂
    – Geri from Canada

  • 49
    Patricia Hoffman says:

    Awesome website!!! Thanks for all of your hard work to bring us the information about the Nestabilities. I have to come back because I couldn’t take it all in at once. I wish that you had a newletter to sign up for or at least an update notice. I now have you bookmarked under several different categories so I am sure that I will be able to find you. Once again, thanks so much!!!

  • 50
    Diane G. says:

    I just came across this when I noticed that you are now selling the Nestabilities. Do you know how long I’ve been asking these questions? It’s like you knew exactly what my questions were! THANK YOU 🙂

  • 51
    Carolyn says:

    they also work in the wizard, that machine won’t break

  • 52
    Dorothy Cummer says:

    I love the look of just embossing the
    rectangle on the card front…I have
    a big Kick & wondered if the sandwich you
    provided for cut/emboss process, if I just
    wanted to emboss could I do it, by using
    the sandwich for emboss only?
    I love the idea also of die cutting fabric.
    You also explained the difference between
    large/small sets very well.

  • 53
    Dot Phipps says:

    I just wanted to say that all the spellbinders dies give the information for
    practically all die cut machines. They list exactly how to sandwich each step of the way.

    Dot Phipps

  • 54
    ugg store says:

    I am totally immersed myself in the excellent stuff.It is our great pleasure to share the wonderful blog with you. Best Regards!

  • 55
    Gwladys says:

    Hello, I have just bought a second or possibly third hand Accucut ZipeMate machine. All I have with it is a thick white plastic block and a black foam mat. I obviously need a few items so could you advise what I need to be able to use the machine and if at all possible where I could obtain an instruction manual?
    Thanking you , Gwladys.

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