The first way I will show you is essentially cutting by hand. I have a couple of old templates that were given to me when I worked on one of my first design teams. I don't *think* they ever went to production as they were difficult to make due to the materials but you could do this with any shaped template, stencil, or free drawn shape you have. If you have a Cricut, you could cut any shape and use it as a template in the same way I am going to show here.
I have cut my Kraft cardstock at 5 1/2 x 4 1/4.
If you do have a Big Shot, Sizzix, etc here is how to do the same thing using any die cuts you have. I've chosen two different styles of Spellbinder Nestabilities to use. I have used the largest in each grouping to give me the most surface area for my card.
First, select the shape die you want to use.
Now you will put it into your machine leaving the CREASE SIDE OUT of your cutting plates. If you cut all the way through you'll have two pieces but they will not be connected.
Now all I need to do is cut those little areas to separate it from the outline and my card is ready to decorate.
And here are the four different shaped card bases I've created. Whether by hand or machine this process is really simple. Please don't hesitate to ask questions!! You can either leave a comment in the comments section or come over to my blog Paper Canteen and send me an email with any questions!!