If your a card maker, you have no doubt seen and wanted the NESTIES. If you have a cricut the cutting of the nesties is not a big draw as they are just dies cut 1/4 inch apart so you can nest them. For a cricut owner that just means turning the dial to a 1/4 inch difference between cuts. The one thing the nesties can do that the cricut can not is emboss the edges. I love the clean and professional look the embossed edge has. So much that I have actually been saving to buy some. I really wanted the simple shapes (I am sick of scallops) but in my cheepness thought I'd see if I could save myself and find a way to use what I have....and I did! I used the cricut to cut pieces of chipboard to look like the nesties, then ran them through the cuttlebug just like you would anything else you wanted to emboss and it worked lovely! I used about $5 worth of chipboard, but made the 4 sets I wanted most (circles, squares, rectangle, and curly label) which would have cost me over $100. I used the OUTLINE function on GEORGE for basic shapes- but any outline shape on any cartridge will work. You do have to use heavy chipboard(the raising of the embossing will be the same as the chipboard, thin cb and you just can't see it well), or cut two of each of thin chipboard and glue them together (like two layers of cereal box board). Instead of the fancy Nesties foam I used a sheet of that kids craft foam, which I cut into 4 and stacked. WARNING, cramming too much into your cuttlebug can crack the plate, so play with the number of foam sheets. You should not have to cram it in with all your force, but if it goes through without having to turn the crank, you need more foam. I used 3 sometimes and 4 sometimes, depending on the chipboard box I had used to create the die. They go in standard order: base plate, die, paper, foam, b plate.
You do not need a ds to do this, just change the dial by 1/4 inch. BUT if you want the look alikes for the labels you need ds (it is just the curly frame smooshed, .cut below- and I've seen lots of .cut files for the others). As with the real thing, after it is embossed you can turn it over to use for chalking/sponging or masking.
I started this with basic shapes in mind, but now...well now I'm experimenting will all sorts of things. And if you don't want the sponging/masking feature I found that the solid images worked great for embossing too. I'm keeping all my inside peaces for making backgrounds like embossing folders. An important tip: when you make them, right on them what they are so you can cut the same shape later and quickly find the corresponding die. Some embossed pieces:
If you want the scallops you'll probably still need to spend the money as the swivel action of the blade on the cricut does not make perfect scallops like the dies would. And I'm sure the nesties are lovely, and work great, but now I don't feel the need to spend the money. If you want basic shapes or the lables or just cricut shapes that nest, woo hoo, a little time and some cereal boxes, you could save $$$$ too. Hopefully I can get some cards posted with the finished embossed elements up soon. I was going to do that yesterday but my son came down with the flu, so of course, cuddling took priority over crafting.
Here is my first completed card with my fake square nestie: