Die Cutting, EBE by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen, Stamping

Say It Your Way with Alphabet and Number Dies

Do you sometimes wish you had the perfect sentiment but can’t find one in your stash? Do you have an alpha/number die set but can’t seem to find the right layout? Ellen Hutson Design Ambassador Daniel West has a few good ideas about how to set up a great sentiment with the EBE Classic Block Numbers & Symbols along with the Classic Block Alpha Die Sets — both by Julie Ebersole.

Hey there! Daniel, here, with a bit of a struggle to win for you and me. Alphabet and number dies make me smile big time, but they can also frustrate the dickens out of me if I don’t know how to actually put them on a card front. For today’s post, I had in mind a mother’s day card and so I put this one together.

I really enjoyed creating the stamped front of this panel with the Painted Florals by Julie Ebersole and some great inks from Catherine Pooler. After stamping out the panel using an acrylic block, I die cut the word “MOM” out with the Classic Block Alpha dies from the panel, then popped it all up in a row over the front of the card. I used multiple die cuts of the letters to stack them higher and leave a shadow and dimension. The design of the panel continues through the die cut letters, but can be distinguished because of the lift.

When I finished, though, I wasn’t happy with how I had blocked myself in, leaving no room for a more fanciful use of the “#1” die cuts. I ended up popping the #1 up on foam tape to the left of MOM. It’s an okay result, but it didn’t thrill me. (Do you also criticize your work too much?)

So, I took a nap about it and thought on how to say something similar but with a different arrangement.

A Mother’s Day card does not have to say MOM on it. With this sentiment, I just celebrated my sweet momma’s place at the top with abbreviated text and symbols. I won’t go into whether or not texting has ruined the English language, but it certainly makes for a fun use of these dies!!

You can set them up in a grid or block fashion like I did, using a mix of alphas, symbols and numbers. I imagine you could even say a PG-13 word with the symbols — but don’t give one of those to your mom!

I started this card out by adding a gradient of Tiara Ink from Catherine Pooler down the front starting at the top. I used one of Catherine Pooler’s Blending Brushes for this. The bristles on this brush are not too tight and they wash up beautifully and stay super soft.

Then, I added some Painted Florals images to the front with an acrylic block! I used four inks for this palette — Midnight, Coral Cabana, Samba and Tiara — all from Catherine Pooler.

Then, since I had already die cut the letters and symbols out of white cardstock, I decided to dip them into black ink to add some contrast to the vibrant background. So I took out my Versafine Onyx ink pad and pressed each die cut piece into it with a pair of reverse tweezers.

After that, I popped them all up in a grid with foam tape over the front center of the card and called ‘er done!


  • Take a creative nap! When you hit a creative wall you may find it helpful to rest on it and meditate on the ideas floating around in your head. I close my eyes and rearrange the project’s composition in my mind and sometimes I fall asleep doing it. When I am calm and refreshed, I feel like the design comes together for me and I can proceed.
  • For a list of fun words your could create with just two or three letters to a row, you can do a search with terms “abbreviated texting words.”
  • Instead of putting all your die cuts in a single row, try creating a grid for them. Keep the grid neat and tidy by using the same number of letters in each row.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and projects featuring the Classic Block Numbers & Symbols + Alpha dies. You will find a grid of all the supplies I used for these projects below and my links throughout the post.

Have a wonderful day!



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