By December 29, 2007General

I hope all of you had a fabulous holiday season!  I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my family, but I am really looking forward to getting back to my stamping as well!

I thought it would be fun to do a little post today going back over some of the details surrounding Nestabilities.  This is the number one product that we receive questions about, so I think the information merits a little review.  (Click HERE for details on the project pictured here.)

First, a little about how they work.

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.

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!

Embossing with Nestabilities

Many of you have been asking more about the embossing features of the new Nestabilities dies.  Especially the details as to whether you can just cut without embossing the image.  And what is the process if you did want to emboss the image?  It’s all about your "sandwiches"!  (mmmm, turkey on sourdough is my favorite. Is it lunchtime yet? *wink*)

In this photo I have just completed running a standard rectangle die through using the "cutting sandwich" appropriate for my machine.  (See our Compatibility Chart to see what is best for your machine). After you have peeled away the perimeter "scrap" that surrounds the die-cut image, you are left with this.  Notice how nicely the die-cut cardstock lies within the boundries of the raised cutting strip.  It is at this point that you are able to make the decision to emboss or not.  If you just remove the cardstock from the die now it will be a plain rectangle with no embossing.

If you decide to run the die BACK through with your "embossing sandwich", you will end up with this.  Notice how the center of the cardstock has been "smooshed" into the flat base (frame) of the die, creating an embossed rim, just inside the cut edge.  There was no need to line my basic rectangle back up within any boundries to perform this task, because I  had left it in place after I had completed the cutting step. 

So basically, there is a very simple technical explanation for all this.  If you press your die against a solid surface (your cutting sandwich), it will cut through the cardstock.  If you press your die against a soft surface (your embossing sandwich), it will emboss the cardstock. This makes it so easy to make the BIG decision- to emboss or not to emboss?!?!?  The choice is yours!

What is the difference in size between the large & small sets?

The next thing that people often ask is what size dies are included within the large set vs. the small set.  Here is a photo of both the LARGE & SMALL scalloped rectangle sets combined, from largest to smallest.

In order to seperate them into the LARGE and SMALL sets individually, I pulled EVERY OTHER die from the group, starting with the second to largest.  The top row (which begins with the largest die) is considered the LARGE scalloped rectangle set.  The bottom row (which begins with the second to largest die) is considered the SMALL scalloped rectangle set.  So essentially, the two sets are very similar in the range of sizes they cover.  It just means that if you own both sets, you have more intervals between the largest and smallest dies.

How do you know what size scallops to pair with the standard shapes?
Next up is looking at how the small & large standard shapes look with the different sizes of scalloped dies.  Truth be told, it really matters what your personal preference is and
what look you are going for.  Here it is broken down visually to help
illustrate what I am trying to say…

This is all of 5 of the scalloped ovals from the LARGE set, die-cut from pink cardstock.  I have put them in order from largest to smallest.  (The quarter helps to show the size of the dies as well.)

Here are the LARGE standard ovals, die-cut from white cardstock,
layered on top of the LARGE scalloped ovals.  You can see that pretty
much just the scallops extend from the edges of the standard oval.

Here are the SMALL standard ovals, die-cut from white cardstock,
layered on top of the same LARGE scalloped ovals.  There is a lot more
space around the standard oval exposed.  So you see, it is really a matter of what kind of look you prefer.  A
lot of scallop or a little?  Here are two identical cards I created.

This card uses a LARGE standard oval and a LARGE scalloped oval.

While this card uses a SMALL standard oval and the same LARGE scalloped oval.  So, if you like a little scallop to show, you want to order LARGE
scalloped & LARGE standard (in any shape, not just the ovals).  If
you like a lot of scallop, go with the LARGE scalloped & SMALL

If you want further information on the Nestabilities Dies, you can read all of the posts contained in THIS countdown that I prepared when we first began carrying them.  I will try to answer questions posted here as well.   Have a wonderful New Year!

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 41 Comments

  • 1
    Carol B says:

    Thank you, thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I just received the rectangles and ovals from Santa, and although I could figure it out by playing, you really explained everything so clearly. So, now, I can just get to work and not have to experiment!

  • 2

    I ordered the scalloped circles and scalloped ovals yesterday and cannot WAIT to get them! Thanks for the detailed tutorial! I just can’t wait to play!

  • 3
    Tricia says:

    What an incredibly informative post! Thank you, Nichole!!

  • 4
    HoleyCow says:

    I guess Im THAT person who just doesnt get it! What machine are you talking about.. ?
    I think im missing the KEY part of all this.. so these are just litle metal shapes.. and they lay? snap? punch something when they go into a machine?
    I keep looking around looking for a glimpse of the machine.. so I could see what exactly these do.. Im sorry for not getting this.. but ive seen these so many times.. and still have no clue!

  • 5
    Granna on the Go says:

    Thank you again for a wonderful, informative tutorial. Every little detail helps to create the final project. I have noticed that the rectangles challenge me; but, I like the suggestion with the text block below. You are the greatest! Thanks.

  • 6
    Pam says:

    I received my first two sets of Nestibilities for Christmas and have to say you’ve answered all my questions. Thank you so much Nichole and Happy New Year to you too!
    Smiles, Pam 🙂

  • 7
    Sara Paschal says:

    I love the cards you have made to go along with this post. What DP are you using and have you heard of people using the dies with a sizzix? I love the embossing effect and have looked into getting the dies but I want to make sure I can use them with what I have.

  • 8
    Heather B says:

    Wow, Thank you Nichole! This is very helpful. Happy New Year!
    Heather B

  • 9
    Nancy says:

    I am one of those uncertain how to do things with my new complete set of nestabilities ordered from you and on their way to me. I have a BIG KICK machine.

    I have looked on the Spellbinders site, the Sizzix site, your blog (thanks for the repeat, however!), and SCS, and have posted questions (still unanswered). I guess I will figure it out with my machine once I get the nestabilities. I’m a visual learner, and will take pics of my process once I figure it out! I don’t know if I need the embossing folders to emboss if I’ve ordered the tan mats from you, but I did order the embossing folders anyway, just in case! Wish there was someone to actually video a demo of using the proper sandwich with my machine. The one with the Cuttlebug was very informative!

    Thanks for any additional info you might have!

  • 10
    Christine Villacarlos says:

    Thanks for posting these again, Nichole! Really handy info!

  • 11
    Jennifer S says:

    this sure does explain a lot! thank you so much!!! 🙂

    Happy New Year! may it be all you want and more!

  • 12
    Margaret H says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I recently bought the nestabilities (LOVE THEM!) and am using them with the Sizzix Big Kick. The only comment I’d like to add to the directions/compatabilities is that when you use the white thick pad closed, you will get a lot of creaking and it will be very difficult to get the die across the machine. The best way to do it is to open the pad up so you are cutting at the smallest thickness and then do the mat layering as described. Cuts perfectly and easily and NO scary creaking (or just a tad).

  • 13
    Charlene H. says:

    I love your blog. Not only do we get to see your beautiful cards but you provide a lot of useful information. Thank You!

  • 14
    Martha says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I have been thinking about getting some nestabilities but was not sure what to get (not able to get them all). Thanks for the visuals of the large/large and large/small combinations. Helped a lot with the decision making.

  • 15
    Jackie says:

    Thanks so much for reposting this information. I had a girlfriend come over tonight to have me show her how to run the nestibilities through her machine. Since her machine is differentthan mine, I told her I would go online and look for the compatibility info! Unbelievable that you had reposted it the same day!

  • 16
    Diane says:

    How bizarre!! I’d just posted a question on SCS when I saw your tutorial. Thank you so much for explaining the embossing process. I need to buy an tan emboss mat but the whole process is now so much clearer.
    Many thanks

  • 17
    Theresa says:

    Hi Nicole! I just found you recently and am already addicted! I have been scouring every bit of information here (which is alot!!) trying to teach myself all the techniques. I love that you generously share your knowledge with us!

  • 18
    suzi finer says:

    very cool technique & product!
    have a wonderful new year…

  • 19
    Ali Manning says:

    That was really helpful. Thanks Nicole! Now I’m off to order more.

  • 20
    nancy morgan says:

    I swear, you must have read my mind! I’ve been thinking of taking the leap and purchasing these incredible dies, but I had a few questions and you’ve just answered them all. Absolutely perfect. I think you’ve convinced me that these really are a must have = ) … thanks!!

  • 21
    dridrine says:

    Superbes!!! Comme toujours…

  • 22
    Tiffiny says:

    Love these cards. Very nice job. I think I might have to go shopping again!

  • 23
    Kaylene says:

    Hi Nichole! LOVE your style…I am a HUGE Paper Crafts subscription is always 3 years or so into the future. :o) So happy to have found your blog & Paper Trey Ink’s site. I emailed them a week ago but no reply but maybe they are busy. I wanted to place a large order like over $350 plus I am debating on getting the entire $300 set of the Nestabilities dies on top of that. I had some questions so I was hoping to get some help. Do I just need to try re-emailing them? I don’t see the entire set as being available…any ideas when they might be? Thanks for you time and all of your great inspiration and tutorials….you are awesome!! Kaylene

  • 24

    Thanks for the VERY informative tutorial Nichole!!! It was SO helpful!!!

    I hope you had a lovely holiday season!!!

  • 25
    Dianne says:

    Thanks so much for the explanations of the dies with different machines. My question is which machine do you use? Are you allowed to tell that? I appreciate the compatability chart, but I really think I am going to have to order several of these sets and wondered if it would be worth investing in a different machine. Thanks so much, your work is beautiful!

  • 26
    Samantha says:

    Beautiful card. Love the sewing and the pretty hat pin!

  • 27
    Samantha says:

    Beautiful card. Love the sewing and the pretty hat pin!

  • 28

    This is the most beautiful card! I absolutely love it! Thanks so much for sharing and for the great tutorial!

  • 29
    Chris says:

    i love my nestibilties!!! and thank you for the tutorial. but i have another question for you….i need an idea on what to do with boxes that PTI stamps come in…i have 14 boxes and REFUSE to put them into the landfill!!! i love the packaging, but i would like to reuse the boxes. thanks for the great stamps!!! >”<

  • 30

    I’m trying very hard not to get sucked into another fun tool, but you’re making it hard! The first card at the top with the hat pin is absolutely gorgeous. I love the stitching, the colors, everything! Very nice!

  • 31
    lynn whelan says:

    Nichole I find myself increasingly needing cards for either sympathy or thinking of you in the case of death or illness in friends families. Do you have plans for a set devoted to something like this? I would love to see maybe a “with sympathy” and “thinking of you” or “my heart is with you” or “my thoughts are with you” accompanied by a sentiment for inside the card. If there is room either a bamboo look or something and maybe some kind of flower that can go with it. KWIM? I know it would be done well by you. So, what do you think???

  • 32
    Velta says:

    Nichole ~ I love to see all that you have to share with us. Thanks for your inspiration and all of your tutorials. I wonder if you will even get to see this comment as you have sooo many. Please visit me as I have wonderful news to share 🙂

  • 33
    Melissa C says:

    I love the card at the very top of this post. The information is very helpful, too, but the card is so captivating! I love seeing your artwork. TFS!!!

  • 34

    hi there in amrika
    i’m from holland and i like your style. i look for ideas for my work for a stickercompany..
    in holland there not so much stamping as in amerika…. but we have 3d…
    bye bye from holland

  • 35

    I couldn’t find an e-mail link anywhere so I thought I’d post here and hope you read this. Where are you? We are missing new inspiration from you on your blog. I hope that all is well and that you are just so busy that you don’t have time to blog. Please post soon. We miss ya!

  • 36
    Kris A says:

    I just got my nestabilities and was feeling a little intimidated about trying them. thanks for explaining them with the pictures. I now “get it” and am going downstairs to my craft room right now and start working with them.

  • 37
    Terri Conrad says:

    Hi Nichole,

    Your card is soooooo pretty designed with my Vintage Home paper…I always enjoy seeing your designs darlin’. then I noticed your detailed how to re: Nestabilities. I ordered the lot, and they’ve been sitting in my studio b/c I couldn’t figure out how to run them thru my Bigz :o) Even after reading your tutorial, I think I must be missing a key element. Will be calling Spellbinders tomorrow!


    Terri Conrad

  • 38
    Amy says:

    Hey, I’m sorry if I’m not asking the right person or not, but do you know if these are sold in Canada at all?

    Nestabilities look so neat & I’d love to try them but having problems finding where to get them.

  • 39
    phyllis m. smith says:

    where are these die cuts avaiable?

  • 40
    Pat says:

    I really appreciate your tutorials. They are s-o-o-o much help for someone like me who has so much to learn. You’re an inspiration!!!

  • 41
    Heather says:

    Thank you so much for doing this!
    I ordered only the large sizes of the ovals and rectangles and have been debating about whether it was worth it to invest in the small also, but I couldn’t find a reference that would show the difference.
    Your post answered all my questions.

    I’m off to buy the small. 🙂

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