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Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

You have done your due diligence, and have decided that you must have a Cricut machine, but you cannot decide which would be the better purchase for you. Should you get the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. You want one of these machines because they allow you to use your huge collection of Cricut Cartridges with the Online Cricut Design Space software. Third party software can be used to create your own designs to cut, and import them into Cricut Design Space to cut on one of these cutters. Import images, and the software will create cutting lines for you. What does one do that the other cannot do? We will take a close look at the differences to help with this tough decision.

Cricut MakerCricut Maker MachineCricut Explore Gold

 Price

All of the models of Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker use the same free software, Cricut Design Space™ . The prices for these machine vary greatly. Depending on the package or bundle that you select, you may purchase a Cricut Explore for as low as $149.99 plus tax or a Cricut Maker for as low as $399.99 plus tax. The price difference is about $250.00. Are the extra features available on the Cricut Maker worth the price difference for you?

Cricut Machine Basic Features

The original Explore machine was produced with dual tool holders, a single speed, and no built in wireless. The Explore Air machines boasted of the added wireless feature. A lower priced version,  the Explore Air One had only a single tool holder, plus the wireless feature. Next the Explore Air Two came out, with its dual tool holders, built-in wireless,  and a new dual speed option. All of these different versions of the Explore machines were sold in a variety of “bundles” and colors. But they are all basically the same machine with the same cutting ability. You can see a comparison chart for the available Explore and Maker models here.

Cricut Maker Features

The Cricut Maker, the newest of the Cricut machines, has the added ability to use two new tools. The Rotary Tool shipped with the original Cricut Maker.

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

Rotary Blade Kit for Cricut Maker

The new Knife Blade tool is a separate purchase. These two new tools can only be used with the Cricut Maker. They cannot be used with the Cricut Explore machines.

Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore

Cricut Maker Knife Blade

 

Material Settings for Cricut Explore

All of the  Cricut Explore machines  cut with up to 350 grams of pressure. Pressure settings may be adjusted in the software, when Cricut Explore machine is chosen, and the dial on the machine is set to Custom. Here are some instructions for using Custom Settings with the Cricut Explore. See the Cut settings for the Cricut Explore machines here.

Material Settings for Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker can cut all of the same materials as the Cricut Explore machines, plus many, many more. When using the Cricut Maker with Cricut Design Space, a much longer list of Material Settings is available.  The Cricut Maker can use the same standard and deep cut blades used by the Explore machines to cut similar media. The pressure settings for those materials may be adjusted  up to 350 grams of pressure. Settings for materials requiring use of the Rotary Blade may be edited for pressures up to 4,000 grams! Settings for materials requiring use of the Knife blade may NOT be edited. The heaviest built in pressure for use with the Knife blade is 750 grams. The advantage of using the Knife blade is the length and thickness of the blade itself. Tough materials are managed by the software using a combination of multiple passes and pressure settings.

Material Settings for Cricut “Legacy Machines

The older Cricut “Legacy” machines, Personal, Create, Expression I, Cake, Cake Mini, Expression II,  and Imagine,  were able to cut heavier media to a certain extent. See the Legacy Settings Chart for Cricut machines,  for use on the older Cricut machines.

Cartridges

The “Legacy” Cricut machines primarily used cartridges. Your cartridges could be linked to your Cricut account by signing in to Cricut Craftroom, and linking your cartridges to your account. All cartridges that have been linked with the Cricut Craftroom automatically become available for your use with your account in Cricut Design Space. However, the Cricut Craftroom is soon to be shut down. While it is still open, you can use it If you have cartridges still not linked to your account at Cricut.com.

Using Cartridges with Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

The Explore machines include a port on the top left side of the machine. Use that  for linking cartridges to Cricut Design Space. To use it, go here , Login, and click on Home in the upper left corner of the screen. Select Link Cartridge, and this window opens.

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

Link Cartridge

Select the green Link Cartridge button. Then the cartridge will automatically be linked to your Cricut account for use with either Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machines.

However, Cricut Maker does NOT have a port for linking cartridges to your account. You can purchase an optional Cartridge Adapter for linking your cartridges to your account. The process for using this adapter will be the same as Linking a Cartridge on the Explore, except you will plug the adapter into the small USB port on the side of the Cricut Maker, and plug the cartridge into the adapter.

Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore

Cartridge Adapter

If you have the Cricut Maker, but do not have the Cartridge Adapter, you can take photographs of the front and back sides of your cartridges, contact Cricut Support. Send these photographs to them, and they will manually link your cartridge to your account. Then you can use the cartridge content with your Cricut Design Space account on your Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker without charge.

Will Your Choice be Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker?

Think carefully about what you want to cut. If you want to cut some of the materials that only the Cricut Maker can cut,  consider saving your money to get that machine. But  if you want to get started cutting right away, and have a limited budget, you could purchase the Cricut Explore now. Then later you can upgrade to the Cricut Maker.

For example, I have always wanted to cut tissue paper, crepe paper, and inexpensive construction paper on my cutters. But the Cricut Maker is the only machine in my collection that will cut these very light weight papers without some kind of stabilizer. Cricut Explore can cut through felt and fabric, but you will need to stiffen them or use a backing  of some kind. But the Cricut Maker cuts all of these very nicely without needing a backing or stabilizer. Cricut Explore cannot cut through basswood, but Cricut Maker does an excellent job cutting through Basswood that is up to 1/16″. The Maker’s knife blade cuts through thicker and tougher media better than blades in other machines.

What Will You Cut First?

Once you make your choice, get ready for a great new cutting adventure! Check out some of the resources available to you in our FREE Resource Library. Whichever machine you choose, these posts will help you get ready.

Get Your Cutter Out of the Box

Perform Test Cuts on New Cutter

Importing and Using a Popup Card in Cricut Design Space

How to Fold Popup Cards

I would love to see a photo of your first project! You can send it to me at hello@cuttercrafter.com

Julie

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my full disclosure policy.

Get the password for the Free Library with free SVG files  by filling out this form:

 

 

 

How to Use SVG Files with Scan N Cut

Learning how to use SVG files with Scan N Cut is important. Not all SVG files work well with Scan N Cut. In this tutorial you will learn how to make sure that your SVG file will work well with your Scan N Cut. ScanNCut SVG files need to be no larger than 11.75″ x 11.75″  using the standard sized mat, or 11.75″ x 23.75″ using the long mat. The DPI size also needs to be correct. Make sure that the ScanNCut SVG file has a minimum number of nodes. This tutorial will address all of these issues.

ScanNCut SVG

Scan N Cut

How was the SVG file Created?

SVG files may be created in any number of software programs. Some software allows the designer to add many different “pages” of file pieces on a single screen. This is fine if cutting from that software directly to a supported cutter. That software will allow you to select the specific portions of the designs to be cut in a given pass. SVG files of this type will work in many programs for many different cutters. However, any SVG file imported into the Brother Canvas Workspace software will be resized to fit the mat on the screen. When all pieces of the file are selected, and the width or length of the selection is greater than the screen mat size, the pieces will be resized to fit. So all of your design pieces may shrink to a very tiny size in the Brother Canvas Workspace or on the LED screen of your Scan N Cut.

FREE Rose SVG Cutting File

There  is a Free Large 3D Rose cutting file in SVG format in my Free Resource Library for you to use as you work through this tutorial. When it is cut and assembled, this rose has a width of about 7″.

ScanNCut SVG

Large 3D Rose SVG Project

The cutting pieces for this project measure over 17.5″ wide when selected in their original size. The largest petals measure 3.45″ wide.

ScannCut SVG

Original Size of Large Rose Cutting File – 17.5″ wide

But when you import this same design into Brother Canvas Workspace, you will receive a message that the design was resized to fit the Canvas Workspace.

ScanNCut SVG

Warning Message in Brother Canvas Workspace about Size

The resulting imported design in Brother Canvas Workspace was resized to be 11.75″ x 11.75″ and the largest petal measured 2.03″ wide. This size is about 58% smaller than the original. The final assembled flower would measure about 4.12″ wide. Now if this adjusted size is OK with you, then you can go ahead and cut the project to make the smaller rose.

ScanNCut SVG

Large Rose SVG file was resized in Canvas Workspace

Vendor Remedies for ScanNCut SVG Files

Some software vendors are aware of this issue, and save their larger SVG projects into multiple SVG files with a maximum width so that they will work with all software, including Scan N Cut. They will add all of the project SVG files to a single folder, and zip them up for a single download. You will need to unzip the folder once you have saved it to your computer, by clicking on the zipped folder, and selecting Extract All. Then you will be able to import one SVG file at a time to either Canvas Workspace or directly to your Scan N Cut via the Bluetooth connection, or via a thumb drive plugged in to the USB port on the machine.

How to Make Size Adjustments for ScanNCut SVG Files

If you have determined that you need to retain the sizing of the original file, how do you make the necessary size adjustments in the file so that it will work with the Scan N Cut? One option is to contact the original designer of the file, and ask them to limit the sizing of their SVG files to a width of 11.75″. However, that is not always practical for you or for the original designer. You can learn to make the necessary adjustments in the file so that it will work on your machine.

The best option is for you to use a third party software for making changes in your SVG file. Software that exports designs with the sizing of the original design are the free Inkscape ,  Make The Cut,  or Sure Cuts A Lot (using the 96 DPI export option or Save as FCM). SCAL is the best option for MAC users.

The Large 3D Rose file is a good place for you to start. Select one of the above software programs to use for editing your SVG files. Plan to stick with it for all of your editing needs. You will need to learn how to use it for many different purposes. Each has its own learning curve. See my video tutorial covering use of each of these three programs for making the small changes that this file needs.

How to Reduce the Number of Nodes for a ScanNCut SVG File

Whenever you change file formats for a cutting file, it is possible that extra nodes will be added to the design. If a design has too many nodes, or construction points, it may not load into Canvas Workspace or the Scan N Cut. It is therefore important to reduce the number of nodes in the design before exporting as SVG. In Make the Cut, you can use Ctrl+Shift + X to view path detail.

Reducing the Node Count in Make The Cut

ScanNCut SVG

View Path Detail in Make The Cut

In this file there are only a total of 434 points, and 182 Nodes, as indicated on the top line of the window. This number of nodes is not a problem for Scan N Cut. Some files with lots of tiny detail can have upwards of 30,000 nodes. That would be too many. To reduce the number of nodes in Make The Cut, select all (Ctrl+A), Join (Ctrl+J), Auto Simplify Paths (Ctrl+Shift+Z). The number of nodes will be significantly lower if there are too many nodes.

Reduce the Node Count in Inkscape

If you are using Inkscape, and your SVG file has too many nodes, select all (Ctrl+A) and Simplify (Ctrl+L) as many times as needed to get rid of excess nodes, a few at a time. This file does not need it. You only need to reduce nodes or simplify paths if you get an error when trying to load your SVG file into Canvas Workspace or into the Scan N Cut machine.

ScanNCut SVG

Warning when attempting to transfer a design with too many nodes to Scan N Cut.

Reduce the Node Count Using Sure Cuts A Lot

To reduce the number of nodes in a file if you are using Sure Cuts A Lot,  go to the Path menu at the top of the screen, and select Simplify. A window will open allowing you to see the nodes and reduce the number of nodes if there are too many. This design does not have too many nodes, so simplifying would actually add nodes as shown in the image below.

ScanNCut SVG

Use the Path Simplify tool to view the number and to reduce them if necessary.

Import your ScanNCut SVG Files into Scan N Cut Canvas Workspace or into the Machine

Once you have edited the SVG files to have its objects fit on a single design page in the software of your choice no wider than 11.75″,   reduced the number of nodes if necessary, and exported the files as SVG for FCM using the proper DPI settings, then you are ready to transfer your files to your Scan N Cut machine for cutting. You can copy the files to a thumb drive, and plug them in to the machine’s USB port, or import them into Canvas Workspace to Transfer to your Scan N Cut.

Cut the pieces for your ScanNCut SVG Large 3D Rose, and you are ready to assemble your flower.

ScanNCut SVG

Large 3D Rose SVG Cutting File

You can get the FREE cutting file for this project as well as additional SVG projects in my FREE Resource Library.

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Thanks!

Julie

cuttercrafter.com

Tips for Cutting Basswood on the Cricut Maker

Here are my tips to cut basswood on the Cricut Maker while making a lovely 3D Family Tree bursting with small magnolia flowers!

Cut Basswood

3D Basswood Tree decorated with names on hearts and 3D Magnolia Flowers.

Supplies Needed to Make the 3D Family Tree

Please note: Some affiliate links may be used in this post. I am affiliated only with products that I use. When you purchase products using my affiliate links, it does not cost you any more, but I will share some commission. Thanks!

One Basswood sheet 3/32″ x 8″ x 24″
Cricut Maker
Knife Blade holder and blade for Cricut Maker

Cricut Strong Grip Mat
Blue painters tape or masking tape
3D  Family Tree design by JenniferMaker.

Glue that dries quickly.
Heartfelt Creations 3D Rose Shaping mold 
Magnolia Flower Cutting File from the Free Resource Library
Cricut Printable Sticker Paper

Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks

 

Cricut recommends using basswood no thicker than 1/6″, but all I had was 3/32″ basswood. I used it to cut a lovely free 3D  Family Tree design by JenniferMaker.

Tips for Cutting Basswood on Cricut Maker

3D Basswood Tree

Preparation for Using the Knife Blade to Cut Basswood

First, If you have the Cricut Maker, order the Knife blade, and an extra blade. Basswood was hard for me to find locally. You may have to order some online. The other thing that would be good to order is the 2mm chipboard for the Maker. I noticed that this is an excellent quality chipboard. Not all chipboard is created equally. Some shreds easier than others, and cuts poorly. This chipboard is thick, firm, and a good cutting quality. It measures only 11″x11″ . Thicker media for cutting with the knife blade needs to be no wider than 11″.

After you receive your new knife blade, be sure to follow the instructions for its proper use. You need to calibrate the knife blade in the Cricut Maker machine. This process is easy  and quick. Then, move the white star wheels on the roller bar over to the right. I neglected to do this, and the wheels marked up the length of my wood. Do some small test cuts! See my post on how to make test cuts.

Cuts using the knife blade need to be no smaller than 3/4″, or about the width of a pencil. A few pieces of my 3D tree broke after removing them from the mat because they were on the thin side. Basswood is more sturdy than balsa wood, but it can split if you are not very careful handling it while removing it from the mat.

Use the heavy tack mat, and use painter’s tape or masking tape on the edges to keep the wood in place during cutting.

Cut Basswood with the Knife Blade

Heavy media takes many passes, and may take a very long time. Thick basswood required about 14-15 passes. The 3D tree took two hours to cut. There were two  large pieces to cut, and each piece took an hour. Stay near the machine during the cut, as the blade did get stuck about 4 times on each of the pieces. When the blade runs into tiny pieces of “dust”, cutting stops, allowing you to brush away the debris. You click on the C button to resume the cut at this point. No time is lost, and the machine does not miss any steps in the process. Since I was cutting media that was thicker than what was recommended, that may have been part of the reason for the blade getting stuck so much. But the cuts were still perfect!

You do have the option to add extra passes, one at a time, after the cutting is done, in case the wood is not cut all the way through. You simply press on the C button on the machine to have it cut again. Do not do this too many times, as the knife is capable of cutting all the way through the mat.

To remove the cut pieces from the mat, remove the tape first. Then roll the mat away from the wood. You don’t want to bend the wood, because it can crack and split.

Assemble the 3D Basswood Tree

You cut two pieces. One of them has a slit at the top, and the other has a slit at the bottom. Handling very carefully, slide the piece with the slit in the bottom as far as it will go over the other piece that has the slit at the top. The pieces will fit together very snugly if you are using Basswood with 3/32″ thickness. The cut pieces are fragile. The tree will stand on its own if the two pieces are aligned correctly.

Cleaning the Mat

Using a scraper tool on the mat after cutting wood is not a good idea. The bits of wood can get caught in the grooves of the cuts in the mat, ruining it. It is recommended that you wash the mat and use a brush with a circular motion to get the tiny wood pieces off of the mat. Then you can let the mat dry, or wipe it down with a soft cloth or paper towel. My mat cleaned up nicely. The knife blade did produce some pretty deep cuts on the mat, though.

Decorate Your Cut Basswood Tree

You may decorate your cut basswood tree according to your plan for its use. I decided to make my tree into a 3D Family tree, with names of family members printed on sticker paper, cut into heart shapes. To do this, you can print the names on Cricut Printable Sticker Paper, and use your electronic  cutter to cut around the printed names in the shape of hearts. Be careful not to cut through the backing sheet of the sticker paper. Performing a test cut on the sticker paper before proceeding is important.

Next,  adhere the heart stickers to the assembled tree. There are 72 small hearts onto which you may place stickers. Add  small  magnolia flowers on the tree branches. This is  a smaller version of the flower used on the lovely peony gift basket. Assembly of the small magnolia flowers is very similar to the peony flowers on the gift basket.

Instead of shaping the small flowers as a peonies with small beads in the centers, shape them as  more open Magnolia flowers. To do this, Instead of using the 3D Floral Basics  Shaping Mold from Heartfelt Creations, use their 3D Rose Shaping Mold. Use two petal layers and one leaf layer for each flower you wish to place on the tree. I used 32 flowers on my 3D tree, so I needed 72 petal layers. Use quick drying glue inside of one of the petals, and insert the other with petals alternating. Shape the leaf layer, add some glue to the center, and place the petal layers in the center of the leaf layer. Adhere the flowers to the tree branches so that they do not obscure any of the printing on the heart stickers,  using a dot of  hot glue on the back of each flower.

 

Cut Basswood

3D Basswood Tree decorated with names on hearts and 3D Magnolia Flowers.

 

You can use this lovely 3D Family Tree design as a nice table centerpiece, or decor for a special event. It can be a part of a 3D village, or it can be a special gift. For weddings you could have each guest sign a blank heart sticker, then you can place the stickers on the tree later. This idea would also work for baby showers or wedding showers. Another idea is to use this as a necklace organizer. Use colors and decorations to match the theme of your special event!

Get the FREE CUT FILES FOR THE Small Magnolia Flower 

You can get the SVG cut files for the Small Magnolia Flower as well as  some of my other FREE SVG projects from my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

How to Fold Popup Cards

Learn how to fold Popup Cards.

Some folds are mountain folds, and some folds are valley folds. Fold them carefully in the correct direction so that the card will close and open smoothly. Patience is important, as the folds should be made slowly and methodically. This article will walk you through the steps.

Here is a diagram showing the score lines. Red lines indicate valley folds, while blue lines indicate mountain folds. Black lines are to be cut. Decorative overlay pieces are filled with lavender and pink . The card backing is the darker purple, which shows through the openings cut in the white base card. Refer to this diagram as you are folding your popup card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Folding Lines for the Happy Birthday Popup Card

Select Heavy Cardstock for Popup Cards

The first step to fold Popup Cards is to select heavy cardstock for the project before cutting. Folding  popup cards will be much easier to do if the cardstock is heavier. The first popup card below was cut from 80# cardstock. Notice how the columns look very study, and the score lines are clean and crisp.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Happy Birthday Popup Card cut from 80# cardstock

This next card was cut from 65# cardstock. It did cut well, but the columns in the design are weaker, and the score lines do not hold up as well as those made from heavier cardstock. You should use the heaviest cardstock that you have available when making popup cards. The heavier the cardstock, the easier it will be to fold the card neatly.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Popup Card made with 65# Cardstock

Make Solid Score Lines

To ensure that your score lines will be strong, and not tear during folding, make your score lines solid rather than dashed. Use a scoring tool, embossing tool, engraving tool, or set your blade to a very shallow depth (as for cutting lightweight paper) and a very light pressure, and cut with your blade. Use a bone folder to make clean folds on the score lines. Popup Card templates or cutting files generally distinguish between mountain and valley fold lines using colors. You may not see a distinction between the different types of folds in an SVG cutting file. The following steps will help you know how to fold a popup card after cutting the SVG file on your cutter.

How to fold popup cards

Scored and Cut file ready to be folded.

Fold Popup – Valley Folds

The valley score lines at the center of the card should be folded first. Pinch the card from the back side of the card on the center fold line. Then find the score lines at the top of each main layer and pinch them from the back as well. Use a bone folder on each of the score lines to make a nice, crisp fold.

How to Fold Popup Cards.

Pinch the valley folds from the back side of the card.

Each of the folds at the bottom of a pillar is a valley fold as well. Pinch these folds from the back of the card.

Fold Popup – Mountain Folds

Pinch the mountain folds together on the score lines from the front. Mountain folds are at the top of each pillar, and at the center of the top layer. Make sure that each of the folds are at a 90 degree angle before trying to close the card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Pinch the score lines for mountain folds from the front of the card.

Fold Popup – Gently Press the Back of the Card Towards the Front

Check all of the folds from front and back sides.

How to Fold Popup Card

Check all folds from the back side of the card.

Gently press the back of the card towards the front of the card with many small movements, until the card folds flat. Check all inside folds to make sure each fold is going in the correct direction, and each piece is in place. Open and fold the card to make sure that the card opens and closes as it should.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Gently press the back of the card towards the front.

Check both sides of the card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Check folds on front and back.

If everything is in place, burnish all folds so that the card lies perfectly flat.

Fold Popup – Open and Close the Card

Open and close the popup  card to check it, and make sure that it opens the way it should. It should stay open on its own, before adding the backing and decorations.

How to fold a popup card.

The open card should stand on its own.

 

 

Add the Backing to the Card

Fold the card backing along the score line and burnish well so that it folds flat. Open the backing card. With the popup card closed, line up the folded edge of the card with the center of the open backing.

How to Fold Popup Cards

 

Line up the folded card with the center of the backing card.Next, add glue around the outside edges of the card, as well as around the portion of the card that  will not be popping up. Close the backing over the glued inside portion, and hold in place until the glue is dry.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Glue Outside card to popup card.

Open the backing to the other side. Add glue only to the portion of the inside card that is not popping up. Avoid getting glue on the column pieces.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Glue the other side of the card to the outside card.

Close the card and press it flat until the glue has dried.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Close the cad and hold in place until the glue is dry.

Open Card

How to Fold Popup Card

Card ready to decorate.

Decorate Your Popup Card

How to Fold Popup Cards

Alternate numbers for customizing card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Another version of the same card.

The free cutting file includes all of the alternate numbers and letters to customize the popup birthday card for your needs. You can download the free SVG, MTC, PVGC, and FCM cutting files from the library here. 
Would you like to have the FREE cutting file for this Happy Birthday Popup Card?
You may get it and some of my other FREE SVG projects in my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Julie

Importing and Using a Popup Card in Cricut Design Space

Importing and Using a Popup Card in Cricut Design Space can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you learn how to prepare your popup card design to score and cut properly on your Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker using Cricut Design Space.

Cricut Design Space provides options for using two different tools with your Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. A popup card is best created using an embossing tool in addition to the cutting blade. You need to let your software know which lines should be scored, and which ones should be cut. In addition, you need to attach all score lines to the design pieces which are being scored.

import and use a popup card in Cricut Design Space

Popup Happy Birthday Card

Importing Your Popup Card Design Into Cricut Design Space

First, you need to import the SVG file for the design you will be cutting in Cricut Design Space. To do that, open Cricut Design Space, and click on New on the left toolbar. Then click on the  Upload icon at the bottom of  this same left toolbar.

importing and using popup card designs in Cricut Design Space

Design Space Left Toolbar

Click on the Upload image button on the screen that opens.

Importing and using popup card designs in Cricut Design Studio.

Upload Images

Next, click on the Browse button to search for the file you wish to use.

importing and using popup card files in Cricut Design Space

Click on the Browse button to search for the design you wish to use.

Once you have found the SVG file on your computer that you wish to use,  select it, and the design pieces will open in Cricut Design Space to the following screen.

importing and Usings Popup Cards in Cricut Design Space

Check the file name, and add some tags.

The name of the image that you selected should appear in the Image Name field on the right side of the screen. You should add some tags that you can use in the future when you wish to search through your file collection to find this design. I added the tags Happy, Birthday, Popup, and Card. After entering this information, click on Save in the lower right corner of the screen. Your Recently uploaded designs will open on the screen. Click on the Happy Birthday Popup Card image. A green box will appear around the thumbnail image. Click on Insert image in the lower right corner of the screen to add this design to your main screen in Cricut Design Studio.

 

Importing and Using Popup Cards in Cricut Design Space

Recently Uploaded Image screen opens.

The grouped design pieces appear on your main screen. Congratulations! You have successfully imported a design into Cricut Design Space!

Importing and Using popup card designs in Cricut Design Space

Design pieces appear on your main screen in Cricut Design Space

Using your Popup Card Design in Cricut Design Space

There is some preparation of your design pieces that must be done in Cricut Design Space before you can score and cut them. The design pieces are all grouped together, so you need to ungroup them. Right click on your mouse, and select Ungroup. This will allow you to unstack all of the parts of the design.

Importing and Using popup card designs in Cricut Design Space

Ungroup the imported shapes.

It will help to be able to see all of the design pieces separately, instead of in their stacked positions while preparing the design for cutting. Drag your cursor around all of the green pieces and move them off to the right of the screen. Click on the tiny minus in the lower left corner of the screen to zoom out a bit. Move also, the lavender, green, and yellow pieces off to the side. There is a score line in the middle of the darker purple piece. Drag your mouse around the purple piece to select it and the score line. Right click and select Attach, to connect the score line to this piece.

On the Layers panel on the right side of the screen, find the score line above the thumbnail image of the purple piece. Since the score line does not have a color fill, this line is represented by the circle with a red slash through it.

Importing and Using popup card designs in Cricut Design Studio

Card Backing with attached score line.

Click on the scissors icon next to the red slash to open the Layer Attributes panel. Click on the Score icon on the tool bar to change this line to be Scored instead of Cut.

Importing and Using popup card designs in Cricut Design Space

Layer Attributes Panel

The icon on the Layers panel on the right side of the screen will now display the Score icon, indicating that the line on the purple card backing will be scored instead of being cut.

Importing and Using a popup card in Cricut Design Space

The attached line on the card back is now designated to be a Score line.

Right click on the white portion of the design, and select Move To Back.

Importing and Using Popup Card Designs in Cricut Design Space

Right click and select Move to Back

Attach score lines to the card.

Zoom in using the Plus icon in the lower right corner of the screen. Drag the group of score lines over the white card design. Line up the top score line with the two vertical lines under the word “Happy” at the top of the white card layer. The candle should be perfectly centered between the two horizontal score lines under the word “Happy”. The score line should rest exactly at the top of the two vertical lines to the right and left of the candle. This should place all of the score lines precisely at the tops and bases of the pillars as shown below.

Importing and Using Popup Cards in Cricut Design Space

Line up the top score line with the cutting lines under the word Happy.

Click away from the card, then click and drag your mouse around the entire white card and score lines to select them. Right click and select Attach. On the top of the Layers Panel on the right side of the screen, you should see a thumbnail of the white card. Above that is a circle with a red slash through it.

Importing and Using Popup Card Designs in Cricut Design Space

Change lines to score lines.

Click on the scissors icon, and select the Score icon from the Layer Attributes Panel so that these lines will be scored rather than cut. Congratulations! You have now attached all of the score lines to their corresponding designs, and you have changed the line attributes of the lines to be scored, so that the Explore or Maker will use the scoring tool on those lines instead of the blade tool.

Hide Any Layers you do Not want to USE

This particular popup card includes many extra number layers, giving you many choices for customizing the final version of the card. You may select the numbers that you wish to use at the top of the cake, then hide all of the layers containing numbers that you do NOT want to use. To hide layers, click on the Eye icon on each of the layers you do not want to use this time. The only green shapes showing on your screen after hiding unwanted layers should be the ones you DO want to use. This card is for someone who is celebrating their 101st birthday! Won’t she be surprised when she receives it? I move the 101st to the position at the top of the cake, in front of the candle.

 

Make It!

Now, when you click on the Make It button at the right top of the screen you will be taken to the Prepare screen with Six different colored mats. The first and last mats indicate that there are cutting lines and scoring lines on each of those. The other four mats have only cut lines on them.

Importing and Using Popup Card Designs in Cricut Design Space

Six mats ready to go.

Note: If you see a black mat containing only black lines, then the lines have not been properly attached to their corresponding pieces. Cancel the cut in that case, and on the main screen, select the white card piece with it score lines and attach. Then select the purple piece with its score line, and Attach. Now when you go to Make, you should no longer see a black mat.

Follow the prompts on the screen, and you are ready for using your Popup Card Design in Cricut Design Space.

Importing and Using Popup Card Designs in Cricut Design Space requires that you properly position and attach score lines to the card. Popup cards will not pop up effectively if the score lines are not positioned very carefully. When you follow these instructions, your popup cards should cut and score beautifully. See this video covering Importing and Using a Popup Card Design in Cricut Design Space on YouTube.

Would you like to have the FREE cutting file for this Happy Birthday Popup Card?
You can get it and some of my other FREE SVG projects in my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Popup Flower Card

 Popup Flower Card

3D Peony flowers are the focal point for the front of this Popup Flower Card

You can make this lovely popup flower card for any special occasion. It can be a Mother’s Day card, birthday card, Anniversary card, Wedding Card, or serve as a beautiful gift for any special occasion. The 3D peony flowers on the front are beautiful, and the popup flower inside is a great surprise for your recipient. To see how these 3D peony flowers were made see the instructions included with the Lovely 3D Peony Gift Basket project. This card is a perfect card to go with the Peony Gift Basket with 3D Flowers as they both use the same printed paper and 3D flowers.

Popup Flower Card Inside

The inside of this Popup Flower Card will make an impact upon your recipient. As they open the card, the seven connected flowers spring open!

Popup Flower Card

Popup Flower Card Inside

The Popup Flower Card includes ready-to-draw sentiments for Mother’s Day and Birthday. You can add other sentiments using your favorite cutting software  to customize the card for other special events such as Anniversaries, Weddings, Thinking of You, Showers, etc. You can also customize the colors of the flowers on the front of the card, and select printed paper to match.

Get the SVG Cutting Files

The cutting files for this project include SVG, AI, and WPC formats. There are also printable,  step-by-step, illustrated instructions for creating this amazing project included here. Members of the Pazzles Craft Room can download this project for free! Those who are not members, may purchase the cutting files from Pazzles.

If you think you might like to have 4 or more of my projects or any of those posted by other design team members, it might be worth it for you to sign up for a single month of Pazzles Craft Room membership. That membership would allow you to download up to 40 projects every 70 hours for the entire month without additional charge. So for $19.99, you could download up to 400 projects in a month. Being a Pazzles Craft Room member is so worth it to me! You can browse through the projects here to see if very many are of interest to you.

Would you like to see some of my FREE SVG projects? Check them out in my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Easy DIY Tool Organizer

You can make an Easy DIY Tool Organizer to keep your most used tools for cutter crafting handy on your desk next to your cutter. This is a great first project to try after you have set up your cutter  and  finished performing some test cuts.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer

You will find the cutting files for this project in the Free Resource Library. There is also a special file in the Free Resource Library with a list of Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools  which you likely have around your home already. This Easy DIY Tool Organizer will provide a place to keep these important tools so that they don’t get lost, and they remain handy while you cut and craft!

Supplies Needed to Make the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Two sheets of heavy 12″x12″ cardstock
Glue that dries quickly.
Cutting File from the Free Resource Library
Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools 

Assembly Instructions for the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

To make this Easy DIY Tool Organizer, use the heaviest cardstock that you have that your cutter can cut. Be sure to do a test cut to determine the best pressure and blade extension for the cardstock that you have chosen. Since the cardstock is heavy, it is important that you use a brayer or other similar implement to press the cardstock firmly on the cutting mat. Heavy pressures can cause the paper to move around the cutting mat during cutting if the cutting mat is not sticky enough.

 

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer2-cuttercrafter

Adhere cardstock firmly to the cutting mat.

Cutting the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Download the zipped cutting file from the Free Resource Library and Extract All. Open your cutting software and import the appropriate file. Most cutter software can use the SVG file, but there are other formats included for those who need them. Follow the instructions for using SVG files with your cutter. If you are using Cricut Design Space, see How to Use SVG Files in Cricut Design Space. If you are using Scan N Cut, open the FCM files. There are two files for Scan n Cut users. See also How to Use SVG Files with Scan N Cut. Open the MTC file to cut the design from Make The Cut. Or see this video tutorial on how to find and use SVG files with Make The Cut. Open the PVGC file to use with Pazzles InVue software. If you are using a Silhouette or Cameo machine, open the Studio2 file. If you are using Sure Cuts A Lot, open the SCAL4 file.

Once you have the file open in your software, send it to cut. There are two design sections, represented by two different line and fill colors. Select one portion of the design and cut. Remove the cut pieces for that cut. This piece may require a 24″ long mat. However, if you place your 12″x12″ paper strategically on your cutting mat, you may get it all to cut on the standard cutting mat.

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Cutting file part 1 pieces.

Now you are ready to cut the pieces for the second part of the Easy DIY Tool Organizer.

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Second part of the box.

Fold and Glue First Box

Fold on all of the score lines using mountain folds, folding towards the back of the pieces, for the first part of the Easy DIY Tool Organizer.

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Fold towards the back on all score lines on this piece.

Put glue on the outside of each of the glue tabs for the main box. Fold up the side pieces, and hold the tabs in place until the glue is dry to form a box.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer9-cuttercrafter

Glue the tabs to the end pieces of the box

Add glue to the outsides of the tabs on the dividers, and place inside of the box, about 3/4″ from the ends of the box, or wherever you wish to place them to fit your tools.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer10-cuttercrafter

Glue the dividers inside of the box.

Fold and Glue Second Box

Fold on all of the score lines using mountain folds, folding towards the back of the main box piece. The long narrow strip has folds that alternate between mountain and valley folds, as shown in this photo. From left to right the folds are as follows: valley, mountain, mountain, valley, valley, mountain. The partitions on the left side of this box are larger than those on the right.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer6-cuttercrafter

Fold tabs for Box 2 as shown.

Glue the tabs on the main box piece to the end pieces. Hold in position until the glue is dry, forming a box.

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Glue the second box together.

For the inside partition piece of this box, place glue on the two flat sections where they will line up against the front and back of the box. The small tabs need glue as well, where they attach to the main box. Make sure you have the narrower compartments on the right side. Place the right side into the box, lining up the tab with the front right corner of the box. Make sure the the sides of the compartments are straight. Then hold in position until the glue is dry.

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Partitions inside of the second box.

Assemble the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

You may use the two boxes separately, one on either side of your cutter. I like to use strong double stick tape to adhere the boxes securely to the cutter end caps.

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Use a box on either end of your cutter if you like.

But my current setup makes it easier to access my important cutting tools by having them both on one side of  my cutter. To make the two boxes into a single unit, glue the back of the smaller box to the front of the taller box. Be sure to line up the bottoms of both boxes against your desktop.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer12-cuttercrafter

Glue the two boxes together to make a single Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Now you can fill your Easy DIY Tool Organizer with the tools you use the most in your crafting. Be sure to see the special file in the Free Resource Library with a list of Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools  which you likely have around your home already. This Easy DIY Tool Organizer will help you to organize those Must-Have cutter crafting tools.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer13-cuttercrafter

Place your most used tools in the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Decorate Your Easy DIY Tool Organizer

I used one of the large peony flowers that I made for my Lovely Peony Basket. You can decorate yours with any number of beautiful ornaments from your supplies.

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My Easy DIY Tool Organizer on my desk.

Completed Project

Here is my finished Easy DIY Tool Organizer. I would love to see yours! What are you going to put in it?

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

Would you like to see some more of my FREE SVG projects? Check them out in my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Learn how to make a lovely peony gift basket adorned with six 3-D peony flowers. Use your craft cutter – Cricut, Pazzles, Scan N Cut, KNK, Silhouette, Silver Bullet, etc.- to cut out all the pieces for the project. The basket is easy to assemble. Color and shape the flowers, glue to the basket, and fill with goodies to make it ready to give to someone special for Mother’s Day, Anniversary,  Birthday, Graduation or other special occasion.

You can make Peony Gift Basket with 3D flowers

Peony Gift Basket with 3D Flowers

There are two small  and one medium-sized peonies on each side of the handle. The basket is made from white cardstock, and it is lined with pieces cut from printed digital papers available in the Pazzles Craft Room. I plan to fill this basket with my mother’s favorite Sees candy, and give it to her for Mother’s Day. You can fill yours with special treats for someone special in your life for a special occasion such as a birthday, wedding, baby shower, anniversary, graduation, Mother’s Day, etc. There is a matching card available in the Pazzles Craft Room, the Popup Flower Card.

Assembly Instructions:

Make six 3D peony paper flowers, 4 small and two medium. The SVG, WPC, or AI cutting files include flowers in three different sizes. I used the small and medium flowers on my basket. I am placing the larger flowers that I made inside of the basket with the treats that I use to fill the basket.

Cut two medium petal layers, and two smaller petal layers, and one set of leaves per flower.

Add water color to the lower half of each petal. I used water color pencils to scribble some lines on the lower portion of each petal, then swirled a water brush pen around each petal to blend the color. You can use inexpensive watercolor paints and small paintbrush dipped in water to blend the colors.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Watercolored Flowers

Shape the Petals

Place small petals, color side down, on the slots for the small size petals of the Heartfelt Creations Basics flower mold. Place the larger petals color side up on the slots for the medium size petals. You may layer up to three of the petal layers per slot in the mold.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Flower Mold

Place the cover over the petal-filled base, and run through your Cuttlebug, Big Shot, or other embossing machine using a cutting plate sandwich that works with your machine according to the chart available at Heartfelt Creations. I used the Fiskars Fuse machine with 2 -B and 1- C adapter plates along with the cutting plate.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Use an embossing machine with the flower shaping mold.

Remove the petals from the mold and let them dry.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Let the Shaped Petals Dry

Place the dry petals on an embossing mat, medium size petals color side up, and small size petals color side down. Press firmly in the center of each petal layer using an embossing tool to lift the petals. I used the 5mm tip in a small circular motion in the center of each petal layer to add more lift as needed.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Use flower shaping tools

Assemble the Flowers

Place some hot glue in the center of the uncolored side of one of the small petal layers, and place a small faceted bead in the glue. Add some more hot glue to two of the petals and squeeze them around the bead. Add hot glue to just the bases of the remaining petals, and wrap them around the bead. Place some hot glue in the center of the other small petal layer and position the bud in the center. Squeeze the petals of this layer around the bud.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Flower Bud

Shape the larger petals in the same manner. Place some hot glue in the center of one of the petal layers and place the second petal layer in the center, with petals alternate of those in the first layer. Place glue on the bottom and around the bottom edge of the bud, and place in center of the larger layered petals.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Completed Peony

Shape the leaves using the paint brush handle, and make a valley fold down the center of the leaves.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Shaped Leaves

Place some glue in the center of the leaves and place the flower in the center of the leaves.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Peony with Leaves

Make the Basket

Cut the white pieces for the basket from heavy cardstock. The basket is formed using three sections that are glued together by the side tabs. The cutting file includes panels (shown in pink below) that will be cut from patterned paper and glued inside of the basket after it is assembled. Be sure to do a test cut on your paper before cutting the delicate basket design.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Basket Pieces to Cut

Print the digital paper, or use printed paper that you have, and cut the inside pieces, show in pink above. Glue the pink pieces to the white pieces before assembly. The square pieces go on the back side of the white pieces. Fold the top flaps forward on the score lines, and glue the pink scalloped pieces under the folder flaps as shown below.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Pattern Paper glued to inside pieces of basket.

Glue the front side of a side tab to the back of the untabbed side of another basket section. Repeat with the remaining basket piece.

Shape the pieces into a hexagon shape, and glue the final tab to the remaining open side.

Turn the box upside down, and fold the flaps towards the center of the basket.

Place glue around the edges and around the inside of one of the hexagon pieces as shown below in blue.

Press the prepared hexagon, glue side down into the bottom of the basket.

Glue the other hexagon to the bottom of the box, covering the tabs.

Gently stretch the handle pieces with your fingers into curved shapes.

Glue the printed strip in the center of the handle piece. If your patterned paper was not a full 12 inches long, center it on the handle piece. The bottom inch on each end of the handle will not be visible once glued to the inside of the basket.

Use hot glue to attach each end of the handle inside the basket. The ends of the handles should go about one inch down from the top edge of the basket.

Use hot glue on the back of each flower to attach to the basket. Glue the larger flowers on center of the outside flap opposite the handles. Then glue the smaller flowers on the flaps, on either side of the larger flower.

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Finished Peony Basket

How to Make a Lovely Peony Gift Basket

Side view of the Peony Gift Basket

Fill the basket with the recipient’s favorite treat, and delivery to someone special. They are sure to love it!

Would you like to have the FREE SVG cutting file for a smaller version of the same 3D flower that was used in this project, as well as some of my FREE SVG projects? Check them out in my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

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>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below. If you already have your password, enter the resource library here. Forgot your password? I put the password at the bottom of nearly all of my emails. But if you can’t find one of my emails to you, you can either fill out the form above again or email me at hello@cuttercrafter.com Password Tip: I recommend you copy and paste the password in to avoid any accidental mistakes. If you ever forget your password, please email hello@cuttercrafter.com Not working? If you enter the password and the same page refreshes, without any contents, that means you put in the wrong password. Double-check your email, copy the password, and paste it in to the link above. Still not working? I promise the password works—I haven’t changed it since I opened the library.   Try the copy/paste method again and make sure the URL you are going to has https at the start of it (that’s a secure page and it makes a difference). If that still isn’t working, try a different web browser.
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