the summer months aren’t highly planned at my house. my kids go to camp, we go on vacation, and i still have orders and design work. but for the most part, we’re all out of school and enjoying the slower pace of life. a friend recently invited my husband and me to join in on a weekly-ish happy hour based on an article she read, which led me to want to add a cheat sheet to my planner to keep up with the ideas of where to go. So, with that in mind, today I’m going to show you tips on how I print for die cutting pages. It’s not just for happy hour, but hey, if you’re coming to New Orleans, you could get some ideas!
writing notes and lists is great, but some lists that are long and detailed would be too time consuming and take up a lot of space if written out by hand. in the case of my example, the article was a map article, slideshow style, so simply printing it for reference didn't work. plus a printed article would end up having to be folded and tucked into a pocket. so i decided to copy and paste the information into a new document, edit it to more concise bullet entries, and print it to fit on a die cut page insert. i still have the article bookmarked, but now i have a quick reference without have to scroll through the slideshow and i can check off the happy hour locations as we try them.
regardless of what program you use to type and print, it all starts with a little math. i decided to show the same information printed for two of the binder page die options since they are what i use the most - the process would be the same for the spiral dies. first you need to know the size of the dies, which is easily found in the papertrey ink web store - the full page is 5 1/4" x 7" and the note page is 3 5/8" x 6" - then you need to add a 1/4" to each measurement for your guide box. above you can see what i printed. in my program, i am able to draw boxes and then fit another text box on top. so the boxes you see are sized at 5-1/2" x 7-1/4 for the full page and 3-7/8" x 6-1/4" for the note page. then i copied and pasted my information into a text box that fit inside those. once i edited it, including font size and spacing, i moved it to where it needed to be within the larger box, leaving about 3/4" on the left for the hole margin and about 1/4" around the other three sides. the lines of the outer box help for placement now, as well as for cutting later. if you can't draw boxes or create text boxes in your program, you would simply set the margins to create a space of the right size in which to type. the good news is that after you've set this up one time, you can use it as a template for future pages!
once printed, i cut along the right margin line so that my pages would fit through the die cutting machine. at this point, i also decided to add washi tape to the hole margin for stability and decoration. i find that it's easier to add it first so that the holes are perfectly cut. remember that you added extra margin for cutting, so the tape should be slightly in from the edge of the page.
now it's time to line up the die, fitting it right inside of the box lines if you were able to draw them. the washi tape is a good guide for the left edge and the opening of the die is perfect for centering the printed content.
then sandwich it all together and roll it through. i have a magnetic base plate, so it holds it all down tight for me, but you can also use washi tape to secure it from slipping.
i was having trouble decided which page size to go with for this list, which is why i ended up sharing both. first of all that's one of the benefits of typing - you can copy and paste with ease and no mistakes! while the full sheet is perfect for the back of the binder, i prefer not to use it in the middle of a week which would block half of the spread completely. so i the like the smaller note page if i want to place a list there, this divided onto two pages.
either way, i also like to add the happy hour of the week to my calendar, so i have several flags and stickers ready to place and add a little fun to my otherwise boring summer weeklies. i hope i explained my process well enough - if you have questions or need clarification on anything, please ask in the comments and come back to look for the answer there as well...