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Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

You can make this lovely Impossible Butterfly Popup Card with the SVG cutting file from the Free Resource Library. It will make a lovely gift for someone special. The card base is made from a single piece of heavy cardstock, and yet the center pops up in a seemingly impossible way! This special Impossible Card includes a dimensional butterfly, whose wings pop out from the card base. The card makes a lovely conversation piece when displayed on the mantle or coffee table.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

 

Supplies Needed to Make the Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Please note: Some supplies may include my affiliate links. I am an affiliate only for products that I use. Your purchase from my links will not cost you any more, but they will help support my blog. Thanks!
Digital Paper from Pazzles.
Medium Weight Cardstock
1 sheet 110# cardstock
Strips of Double-Sided sticky tape 1″ wide
6”x6” grey square jpg file included with the cutting file.
Electronic Cutter (I used Pazzles Vue)
SVG Cutting File from our Free Resource Library
Pop Dots
Art Glitter Glue Dries Clear Adhesive
The Font used for this project is Aubrey Script

 

Printing Instructions

I used Digital Paper from Pazzles. But you may use printed papers of your choice.
Resize the digital paper to the following measurements, and print on medium-weight cardstock.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Printed Digital Papers

Light Pink paper is cut from Stripes resized to 8.5”x7”
Yellow pieces are cut from yellow paper resized to 8.5”x6”
Blue resize to 8.5″x5″
Dark pink resize 8.5″x3″
Print the 6”x6” grey square jpg file.
When printing, use the Best Quality setting on Plain Paper in your printer Preferences.

Print the sentiment on pink paper and cut around it using the piece for it in the SVG cutting file.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Printed Sentiment

SVG files are provided All in one file or in three separate files for your convenience. However, if using the All in one file, you do not need to use the separate files.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Cutting Pieces

Cut the File Pieces

First cut the file pieces with the black lines on 110# heavy cardstock using the chipboard setting. Next, score the red line without removing the mat from the machine. Do not move the cutting head. You may use a scoring tool, or cut the score line with a retracted blade and lower cutting pressure.

Impossible Butterfly CArd

Cut Card Base

Folding Card Base

After you finish cutting and scoring the card base, remove it from the cutting mat. Then fold the center portion of the card towards the front, and use a bone folder on the crease.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Twist right side to back

Now, twist the right section of the card to the back, and press the side portions flat, allowing the center to pop up.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Twist right side to back

Make Glitter Paper

See detailed instructions for making Glitter Paper in a previous post. In this project I used 1″ wide double stick tape instead of a sheet of scor-tape.
Use double sided sticky tape over the entire printed grey piece that you printed. To use it, first remove the backing. Next, adhere the sticky strips to cover the grey paper. Then Remove protective layer off the front of the tape.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Cover the grey paper with double sided sticky tape strips.

Sprinkle the sticky tape with glitter. Next, brayer over the glitter. Now, rub the glitter with your finger. Finally, sprinkle off the excess glitter, and pour it back into the jar.

Impossible Butterfly Card

Glitter paper ready to cut.

Next you can cut the large and small grey butterfly pieces, as well as the sentiment mat from the glittered paper. Use your poker tool to remove small inside pieces that did not stick to the mat. See the resource document for information on cutter crafting tools in the Free Resource Library.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Cut Butterflies

Assembly of the Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Now, your cut pieces are ready to assemble.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Cut pieces are ready to apply to the card.

Butterfly Assembly

Bend the butterfly wings forward. Glue only the center body part of the butterflies when assembling layers.
Next, glue body of the large lacy butterfly to the solid pink butterfly. Then glue the body of the pink butterfly to the striped mat. Finally, glue that mat to the blue mat, aligning the tops of the pieces to each other.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Assemble the butterfly layers.

Now you can glue the butterfly layers to the card base, aligning the tops of the design. The edge of the bottom layer should line up with the score line.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Glue the butterfly layers on the card.

Next, center yellow panels to the card base and glue in place.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Add decorative panels.

Tag Assembly

The larger tag and mat for the back side of the card is for writing your personal greeting. First, glue the yellow journaling piece to its mat. Then center the tag on the back side of the card with the edge flush against the fold line to give support for the butterfly popup. Now, glue in place. Finally, to finish the back side of the card, glue the striped panel to the back side of the butterfly.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Back side of the card.

Card Front Embellishments

Now you are ready to add the embellishments to the front of the card. First glue the long narrow rectangle to its mat. Center it on the front bottom part of card. Then glue in place.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Front panel

Now, add pop dots to the back of the sentiment, and place on the grey mat. Then glue the assembled sentiment at an angle on the left front side of the card over the decorative strip.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Add the Sentiment

Next, bend the wings of the small butterflies upward. Then glue the body of the smallest butterfly to the pink butterfly. Finally, glue the body of the pink butterfly to the bar on the front, over the open space.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Small Butterfly Embellishment

Finished Impossible Butterfly Card

Now you can display your finished card.

Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

Finished Impossible Butterfly Popup Card

When it is folded flat, the card will fit in a 7″ square envelope for mailing.
The recipient of your card is sure to be encouraged by your lovely card.

Love,
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

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How to make and use glitter paper for Patriotic Decorations

Now is a great time to make some patriotic decorations for your Independence Day celebrations.

Patriotic Decorations

Patriotic 3D floral centerpiece with DIY Glitter Paper

I saw some lovely glitter paper projects at a Stamp and Scrapbook convention, and I thought you might like to learn how to turn an ordinary piece of patterned paper into a sparkly paper. The glitter paper can then be used to create lovely 3D craft projects. This 3D flower, embellished with DIY glitter paper works perfectly for patriotic decorations for a variety of projects. Vinyl can then be used to add detail to the cut project.

Patriotic celebrations in the US call for Red, White and Blue decorations.  Pazzles Craft Room has a nice set of digital papers, and among them are some papers in these colors. Take a look through their digital paper collection when you need some seasonal papers for your projects.

Supplies Needed to Make Glitter Paper

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!

White Cardstock- 65# Recollections 8.5”x11”
Pazzles Americana Digital Paper design 8.5”x11”
Scor-Tape 6”x6” sheet double sided adhesive, acid free and heat resistant.
Transparent Micro Fine Glitter 
Flower Shaping Tools – Large ball Embossing tool, foam pad
Designer Dries Clear Adhesive Glue
Black Vinyl
Pearl Sticker(s)
Red, White and Blue Ribbons
Tray, coffee filter or folded sheet of printer paper
Optional: Hair Clip, Flowers, Mug, Electric Candle, Card or Scrapbook page as you prefer.

How to Make Glitter Paper

Making Glitter Paper is easy with the correct supplies. First, print the paper you wish to use, or select a piece from your own paper collection. Then cut a selection from the paper that is a bit larger than the project that you wish to cut. Next cut a piece of scor-paper to fit the paper that you cut. Remove the backing from one side of the score tape, and stick it to the paper. Now  place paper in a tray, coffee filter, or on a piece of printer paper, folded in half. Remove the protective coating of the adhesive sheet.

Sprinkle Micro fine glitter over the entire surface of the adhesive sheet. Brayer over the glitter to press it into the tape. Rub the glitter paper with your fingers to make it smooth and add bling from the oils in your fingers. Tap off the excessive glitter onto the tray or printer paper. Finally, pour all excess glitter back into the bottle from which it came.

You now have some custom, DIY glitter paper in exactly the right colors for your project.

Cut Your Project Pieces

Perform some test cuts for each part of the project. Cut the flower layers from printed glitter paper on your cutting machine, glitter side up, using the cutting file. The cutting file is FREE for Pazzles Craft Room members. The file is also availabe to purchase in SVG, AI, and WPC formats, if you are not a member.

Create a Vinyl “Press and Peel” Outline

Cut the black portions of the design from black vinyl, being careful not to cut through the backing. Weed out the vinyl pieces that will not be used on the finished piece. Place vinyl transfer tape over the weeded design, and use a brayer and squeegee to adhere the vinyl to the transfer tape. Lift the transfer tape with the design off of the backing. Carefully line up the black vinyl design over the cut and glittered flowers. Burnish the vinyl, and remove the transfer tape.

Shape the 3D Flower

Place the flower layers color side down on double layered foam mat. Roll the large tip of the embossing tool around the center of each flower layer, and press
the tool from the outside of each petal towards the center. Turn the flower on the foam mat to have the right side up. Roll the embossing tool around
the center of each flower. Press down firmly in the center to lift the petals on each layer. Curl the tip of each petal back, using the small end of a small paint brush.

Assemble the 3D Flower

Place glue on the center back of the smallest layer. Put the smallest layer in the center of the medium layer, offsetting the petals. Place glue on the center back of the medium layer. Place in the center of the large layer, offsetting the petals. Press firmly down through all layers to lift petals. Place a large or five small pearl stickers in the center of the top layer of the completed flower.

Embellish A Project

Embellish the project of your choice with your completed 3D flower. Not only does the 3D Flower make a nice ornament for a vase centerpiece, it can be hot-glued to a hair clip to create a lovely patriotic decoration for the hair. Add some colored ribbons for a festive look.

Glitter Paper

Patriotic Flower Hair Ornament

Or you can add the DIY Glittered 3D Flower to  a jar to make a patriotic luminary to add to your patriotic decorations. Add an electric tea light to the jar, and glue the flower to the top of the jar. You can make a number of these to decorate and light up for an evening celebration.

Patriotic Decorations

Patriotic Decoration – Flower Topped Luminary

More Patriotic Decorations for Your Celebration

Patriotic Decorations

Exploding Box Centerpiece

You can make the title of this patriotic centerpiece shine with the addition of DIY Glitter Paper. I am sure you can think of lots of ways to make your patriotic celebrations sparkle by using some homemade glitter paper on your projects.

These Patriotic Decorations work well not only for Independence Day celebrations, but also for Memorial Day,  and Veteran’s day. You can add to them for next year’s celebrations as well!

Please show off some of your Patriotic Decorations in our CutterCrafter Facebook group!

Thanks,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Make an All-Occasion Tri-level Popup Card

Create the Tri-Level Popup Card

In this post, you will learn how to make an All-Occasion Tri-level Popup Card. The FREE SVG file for this card is available in the free Resource Library.

 

Tri-Level Popup Card

Tri-Level Popup Card ready for decorations

Supplies Needed for the Tri-Level Popup Card 

Please note: Some supplies may include my affiliate links. I am an affiliate only for products that I use. Your purchase from my links will not cost you any more, but they will help support my blog. Thanks!

Free SVG file for the Tri-Level Popup Card

100# white cardstock for popup card

81# text weight Stardream Quartz metallic paper for small Magnolia Flower

81lb Text Fairway Green  Metallics paper for inside card mats.

80lb Text Botanic Green Curious Metallics paper for Small Magnolia Flower leaves.

Dark green cardstock for card Backing

Decorative sentiment for outside card: Heartfelt Love Paper Collection by Heartfelt Creations

Small dogwood Flowers – Free SVG cutting files from CutterCrafter.com

Dries Clear Art Glitter Glue: Heartfelt Creations

Pearl Stickers

Transparent Micro Fine Glitter

Cut out the Card, Card Backing, and Mats for Inside Overlays

The FREE SVG cutting file for this card may be imported into the software used with your electronic cutter. You may resize the project once you have it imported. I resized the main card backing to 6″x 12″. The popup portion of the design measures  5.5″x11″. The finished card measures 6″x6″ when closed. Cut the black lines first. Without removing the mat from the machine or moving the cutting head, change from the blade to an embossing tool, or set the blade depth and cutting pressure to low settings.

Next, select the red and blue lines and score them. Now cut the light green pieces from the paper that you want to use as mats over the popup card. Cut the dark green lines from the card stock you wish to use for the card backing. Cut any pieces that you wish to use to decorate the inside and outside of the card.

Tri-Level Popup Card

Cutting pieces for the Tri-Level Popup Card

Folding the Popup Card

Pinch the center fold line of the popup card from the back side to create a valley fold. Nudge all of the popup pillars up in the opposite direction of the center fold.

Tri-Level Popup Card

First Folds, Center sides of popup card.

Before folding the remaining parts of the popup card, glue the mat pieces in place. It will help to keep the cut pieces on your cutting mat so that you can see where the pieces go on the card. Remove one piece at a time, add some glue on the back side around the edges of the piece, and place on the card. Repeat with each mat piece until all pieces are in their proper positions.

Tri-Level Popup Card

Mat Pieces glued in Place.

From the back side of the card, pinch on the valley folds at the top and bottom of each popup pillar. Then pinch from the front side on the mountain fold on each pillar. Carefully fold the card closed all the way.

Tri-Level Popup Card

Closed Popup Card

Tri-Level Popup Card

Mountain and Valley folds on the Popup Card

Glue the Popup Card to the Backing Card

Now you are ready to  glue the top side of the popup card to the inside top of the backing card. Add glue only to the back side of the top portion of the popup card. Avoid getting glue on any of the pillars, so that they can pop up properly. Line up the center fold of the popup card into the center fold of the backing card, glue side up. Next, carefully close the backing card over the popup card. Press firmly in place until the glue is dry.

Turn the card over, open the backing card, and apply glue to the white popup card. Again, apply glue only around edges of the card, making sure that you do not get any glue on the popup pillars. Close the card and press down until the glue is dry. Now you can open your card and inspect it to make sure that it folds open and closed correctly.

Tri-Level Popup Card

Print and Cut Some Clipart

After you have cut out the pieces for your card, and assembled it, you can decorate your Tri-Level Popup Card for any occasion. Simply add the decorative elements to the panels that pop up, as well as on top and bottom inside of the card, and the front of the card. You can add the titles and sentiments of your choice. Here is how I decorated my Tri-Level Popup Card on the inside. I used some clipart posted for free download this week from DesignBundles.  There are so many designs from which to choose. These are the design pieces that I used. Size your design pieces to fit the card. The widest pieces should be no wider than 5″ wide in order to fit well on the card. Duplicate pieces that you would like to use as layers over the base designs.

Create a 3D Decoupage Effect by Layering Pieces

Cutting two of each design pieces will give you the option to layer pieces for a 3D Decoupage effect. You can see a video tutorial on how to do this using a Pazzles Cutter with the Pazzles InVue software, or using Make The Cut software. I use the Pazzles Software when creating files for use with Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker, and Make The Cut software  for use with Scan N Cut , KNK Zing, Cameo, and older Cricut machines. The two wider pieces are downloaded as bouquets. Individual flower elements are cut and layered over the flowers in the bouquets to give the design more depth.

Shape Your Printed Flower and Butterfly Pieces

To get a dimensional look with your printed designs, use Flower Shaping Tools and a foam mat. Use a medium size embossing tool on the back sides of the printed flower shapes. Tap the tip of the embossing tool on the back side of each petal, and roll in circles in the center of each flower to give the edges some life. Turn the flower over on the foam mat, and press the embossing tool firmly in center. Shape the larger bouquets in similar fashion. Put a dot of glue on the center back side of the flower, and place it over the corresponding flower in the bouquet. Hold in place until the glue is dry. Repeat with as many layers as you like. You may add small lines of glue on your design pieces, then add some glitter to them to make them sparkle.

Tri-Level Popup Card

Butterflies and Flowers Clipart from DesignBundles

Decorate the Inside of the Tri-Level Popup  Card

You are now ready to glue your 3D decoupage designs onto the popup card.

Tri-Level Popup Card

Decorated Tri-Level Popup Card

Decorate the Outside of the Tri-Level Popup Card

And this is the outside of my tri-level popup card, decorated as a card of encouragement for friends who are having a hard time right now. I used some paper from  Heartfelt Creations Love Collection. I also used the small magnolia flower from our Free Resource Library on the front of the card. You can use some of the same paper you used for the mats on the popup card, to create a mat for your chosen sentiment. Add some decorative elements such as the Small 3D Magnolia flower, and tiny pearl stickers. Or you can use other decorative elements that you have on hand.

Tri-Level Popup Card

Outside view of decorated Tri-Level Popup Card.

Please share your decorated cards with us.

 

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

If you found this post helpful, please share, comment, and like  with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and groups that you are in. Send them here to get all the details, and free resources.

Thanks!

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

How to Use the Regal Split Monogram Font

Learn to use the Regal Split Monogram Font in your cutter software to create lovely personalized gifts for weddings, anniversaries, and other occasions. You will find the FREE font in my Free Resource Library.

Regal Split Monogram

Split Regal Monogram on a Ceramic Tile

Supplies Needed 

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!

Regal Split Monogram font in TTF format from the Free Resource Library

12″ square ceramic tile
outdoor vinyl 12″ square
12″ square vinyl transfer tape
Alcohol wipe
Vinyl Pick Tool for weeding
Squeegee Tool

 

How to Download and Install the Regal Split Monogram Font

To use the Split Regal Monogram font, you will need to first download it. You can get the zipped font from my Free Resource Library. Save the zipped file to your computer. Double click on the saved file, and select Extract All. Now you can right click on the extracted font, and select Install. The font will be installed into your computer’s system fonts folder, and will be available for you to use in any software that allows use of True Type Fonts. You can use it in your cutter software, just as you use any other font.

How to use the Regal Split Monogram Font in your Cutter Software

Once the Regal Split Monogram Font is installed in your computer’s system fonts folder, you can access it from your cutter software. Select the font in your cutter software by clicking on the T. Scroll through the font list to the R fonts. Select the Regal Split Monogram1.ttf font. Now type the capital letter you wish to use for the monogram. The design for that letter should appear on your screen. Resize the design to 10″ with the aspect ratio locked. If your project will be smaller or larger, size the monogram to fit. Since my tile is 12″ square, I chose to size my monogram to 10″. This allows for some room under the monogram for additional text.

Using fonts in each software is slightly different, so I have made some video tutorials on how to use this Regal Split Monogram Font in the most popular cutter software programs. Click on the software name to view the video.

Cricut Design Space

Brother Canvas Workspace – Scan N Cut

Silhouette Studio

Pazzles InVue

Make The Cut

Sure Cuts A Lot

Adding Custom Text to the Regal Split Monogram

There is a space in the middle of the monogram for you to add customized text to the design. You will need to select a font from your collection for this text. I used Caslon BD BT for my text. Upper case letters may work easiest, although I used upper and lower case letters for this particular project. After you have selected the font you would like to use for the remainder of the project, type your text. I used the last name of the couple for whom I made this tile plus the word “Family” in the space in the middle of the monogram.

Resize Your Custom Text

Resize your text to fit the space in the middle. You need to unlock the sizing tool, and drag the text to fit the available width and height. You may slightly overlap the top edge and bottom edge of the text with the bars of the two sections. Then select All (Ctrl+A) and weld all pieces together. Another way to do this is to make the text slightly smaller than the opening in the middle of the monogram. The text can fit in between the two parts of the monogram. But I think the welded version is easier to weed and apply.

Adding Custom Text Below the Regal Split Monogram

You can leave space below the monogram design where you can add additional text such as an important date. My project is a wedding gift for friends, so I added their wedding date under the monogram design. I used the same font that I used in the middle of the Monogram. Once you have added the text of your choice, resize it to the same width you used for the monogram design. You can change the height of the text to fit your available space.

Save Your Completed Monogram Design

Next, give your design a name, and save the file in your software. I like to save the design before I weld the customized text, so that the design will be ready to use for another gift. But once the design is saved, I weld overlapping letters. It is also a good idea to group everything together. But if you are using Cricut Design Space, rather than grouping, you should select all, right click, and select Attach. This keeps all of the design together when you go to cut your project.

Cutting your Regal Split Monogram Design

Be sure to do a test cut on your vinyl before cutting the large design. See the post on Performing a Test Cut . You need a very accurate blade depth and cutting pressure for this project. Make sure that your blade cuts cleanly through the vinyl. The blade should NOT cut through the backing material on the vinyl. If the cutting pressure is inadequate, you will have an extremely difficult time weeding the vinyl that will not be used on your project. Too much pressure may also cause bunching and tearing of your vinyl. Use a slower cutting speed, as the monograms contain some very intricate, fine lines.

Regal Split Monogram

Cut the vinyl. Notice the test cuts in the lower right corner. The first two tests cut all the way through the backing.

Weeding Your Regal Split Monogram

Weeding involves removing all of the vinyl that you do NOT want to place on your tile. I put boxes around the text at the bottom and around the main monogram design before cutting, so that weeding was a bit easier. Use a sharp, pointed object to lift the unwanted outside vinyl pieces away from the backing. Use scissors to trim away sections of the vinyl that you are pulling away. Don’t allow vinyl pieces to attach themselves to portions of the design that will be placed on your tile. After you remove the large outer pieces, work very carefully to remove the tiny pieces inside of letters and designs. Be careful not to lift any of the design pieces away from the backing.

Regal Split Monogram

Weeded vinyl still on the backing.

Apply Vinyl Transfer Tape to the Weeded Vinyl

Apply a 12″x 12″ piece of vinyl transfer tape over the cut and weeded vinyl design, a little bit at a time. Avoid getting air trapped between tape and weeded design. Pull away the backing material slowly, while pressing down on the transfer material from the top.

Regal Split Monogram

Apply vinyl transfer tape over the weeded vinyl a little at a time.

Regal Split Monogram

Use a squeegee tool to burnish the transfer tape securely to the vinyl design.

Use a squeegee tool firmly across the front of the design to remove all air bubbles and wrinkles. Rub firmly on front and back of design to get the vinyl pieces to stick to the transfer paper. At the same time you want the backing to release the vinyl pieces. Check the front and back of your design to make sure that everything is firmly in place where it belongs on the transfer tape. This is the time to fix any crooked pieces of vinyl.

Pull up on a top corner of the transfer tape. Make sure that the cut vinyl pieces stick to the transfer paper as you slowly peel it away from the backing.

Clean the Tile and Apply the Vinyl Design

Remove all dirt and oils from the tile. Use an alcohol wipe to clean the entire surface so that the vinyl will stick to it.

Regal Split Monogram

Clean Tile

The large 12″ square design may want to jump onto the tile before you are ready. Once this vinyl sticks to the tile, it will NOT want to come up. So it is very important to place the vinyl exactly where you want it to be the first time.

Regal Split Monogram

Start placing the vinyl on the tile.

Place the backing paper over most of the tile to prevent the design from sticking to the tile prematurely. Place the lower edge of the design where you want it on the tile. Use the squeegee to remove bubbles and apply the vinyl design smoothly to the tile. Move the backing back little by little, as you press the cut vinyl to the tile. Inspect the vinyl to make sure that all air bubbles and wrinkles are smooth and flat to the tile surface. If you have some bubbles, use the squeegee to move the bubbles to the edges of the cut design. You may use a heat tool to remove stubborn bubbles or wrinkles. Poke smaller bubbles with a needle or tip of your pointed tool to let the air escape.

Remove the Vinyl Transfer Material

Once all of the vinyl pieces are in place on the tile, slowly peel back the transfer material 180 degrees over itself to remove it. Make sure that the vinyl pieces stick to the tile as you peel away the transfer material.

Regal Split Monogram

Remove the Transfer tape.

Check your vinyl to make sure it is all secure on the tile. You special gift is now ready to give. The vinyl will last for many years. Your project is sure to be a blessing for its recipient.

 

 

>> 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

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

Does your cutter need maintenance? Here are some cutter maintenance tips that will help you know when, where, why, and how to maintain your electronic cutter. Regular maintenance of your cutter will increase the accuracy of your cuts. And it will greatly reduce the frustration that bad cuts cause.

Cutter Maintenance

Cuts before and after cutter maintenance

Have your cuts been inaccurate, ragged, torn, or bunched up in places like this one?

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

Poor quality cut before maintenance.

 

And have these issues continued even after working through the usual trouble shooting steps? Reduce pressure, reduce blade depth, slow down the speed, try  a new blade and new mat, and try using good paper? If these trouble shooting tips do not fix your cutting issues, and  improve your cuts, then your cutter may need some maintenance.

Performing quick maintenance steps each cutting session will improve your cuts. Here are some important things to check before starting a major cutting session

Cutter Maintenance Tip#1: Machine Setup

Is your machine sitting on a firm surface with plenty of unimpeded space in front of and behind the machine? If not, be sure to  see this post about setting up your machine.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#2: Connections

Securely plug in all cords. Is the power cord plugged in to a surge protector? Make sure that cord is well-connected to the power box, and the other end is plugged in to the machine. Is your USB cable connected securely on each end? If using Bluetooth, is it working properly? If not, turn off your machine, unplug your bluetooth radio or disconnect it. Then plug the bluetooth radio or reconnect it and turn on your machine. Make sure that your bluetooth is properly paired with your machine by consulting information provided by the distributor of your machine via Customer Support.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#3: Clean Surfaces

Did you wipe down the main surface of the machine? Inspect the front edge of the machine and back edge of the machine where the mat comes out to make sure there is no adhesive residue build-up. Wipe it down with an oil-free wipe. If the movement of the mat in and out of the machine is hindered by sticky residue on these surfaces, the cuts will not be accurate. Also be sure to wipe down the front  and back side of the mat. Use alcohol free wipes on the sticky surface of your mat to remove all dust and bits of paper and other media that may accumulate there. Let the mat dry completely before use.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#4: Blade Holder

Is there debris inside of the blade holder? Take the blade out of the blade holder. Next check inside to make sure there is nothing inside of the blade holder that might prevent the blade from swiveling while cutting. Inspect the blade tip under a magnifying glass or microscope. Is  the tip of the blade chipped or broken? If so, replace the blade with a new one.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#5: Cutting Head, Wheels, and Rail

Is there dust or debris on the rail on which the wheels behind the head sit? Use an alcohol swab to wipe down the rail. Do not get alcohol on the belt that moves behind the raiIs. Can you see debris on the wheels behind the cutter head? Wipe down the wheels. Manually move the head to the other side, and watch for any debris on any part of the wheels as they track on the rail.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#6: Clean Environment

Is your environment free of dust and excess humidity? Keep pets out of the room, and do not cut outside where sand, wind, or moisture could cause damage to the machine components. Wipe down your mat with alcohol-free wipes before each cut.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#7: Cutting Strip

Inspect the cutting strip that is  directly below the blade tip, and runs all the way across the width of the cutting area. Do you  have some adhesive coming up? Is there an accumulation of dust or debris on the cutting strip ? Wipe down the cutting strip to remove all dirt and debris. Replace the cutting strip and tape if necessary according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#8: Bar and Rollers

Wipe down the bar behind the cutting strip to remove dust, rust, and debris. Use a damp alcohol swab to wipe it down. Check the rollers on the bar to make sure they are clean. You may manually rotate the roller bar forward or backward. Some cutters, such as Pazzles Inspiration and Vue have removable rollers. Remove each one and wipe to remove dust and particles. Some cutters have pressure levers that you raise and lower manually. Make sure that the positions of the rollers are directly over the grit rollers.

Cutter Maintenance Tip#9: Grit Rollers

Most importantly, check your grit rollers to make sure there are no tiny pieces of tape, paper, vinyl or other debris stuck on the grit roller.

Cutter Maintenance Tips

Debris on Grit Roller

Directly below the roller bar running across the front of the cutter are grit rollers. The rough surface of the grit rollers, working in conjunction with the rubber pressure rollers just above them, are responsible for pulling the mat in and out of the machine. If the grit rollers cannot grab the mat firmly to move the mat, then the cuts will not be made in the correct locations. The machine can miss a step, and this can cause many tears and bad cuts.

Removing Debris from Grit Rollers

Debris on the grit rollers can be very difficult to remove. This is especially true if there is any adhesive built up on the grit rollers. Use some tweezers with a sharp point to grab any tiny pieces stuck on the grit rollers. Manually move the bar a little bit at a time. This will ensure that all bits of paper, etc. are removed. You may need to use alcohol on a Q-tip,  cotton swab or Chalking Easy Tool to loosen any adhesive on the grit rollers.

A sharp vinyl pick tool for weeding may also be used to help remove debris from a grit roller.

For me, none of the previous tips resolved the cutting issues shown in the first photo of this post. But cleaning the grit rollers as described in Cutter maintenance Tip#9 resulted in a lovely cut of the same file. Isn’t it amazing what difference that cleaning the grit rollers can make in the quality of the cuts?

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

Clean cut after cleaning grit rollers.asdfas

Cutter Maintenance Tip#10: Prevention

Prevent adhesive build-up on the grit rollers. When you resurface your mats, be sure not to get any adhesive on  edges of the mat where the wheels make contact with it. Also, avoid the use of tape along the mat edges. It is extremely difficult to remove tape from the grit rollers. This is where “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Take a few seconds before starting your cutting project to review  these cutter maintenance tips. They will save you a lot of frustration and wasted media. Your cuts will be more perfect, and you can reduce your overall project time.

Would you like to have a FREE Snowflake SVG cutting file to use as a cutting test?

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

Snowflake design .

You can download the FREE Snowflake SVG cutting file as well as my other FREE SVG projects from my FREE Resource Library.

 

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

Thanks!

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

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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.