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Do you Need the New Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set?

Do you Need the New Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set? The new scoring wheels for the Cricut Maker machine have just been posted for sale! You can get yours here. But wait! Do you really need this tool? Read on to determine the answer to this question for YOU.

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Wheel

The new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set is NOT for everyone! The scoring wheels will work only for those who have the Cricut Maker machine. If you think you need to have a tool like this, then you will need to consider purchasing a Cricut Maker if you don’t already have one. There are no other machines that have a tool set like this!

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.

What Scoring Choices do Cutter Users Have?

When you need to create score lines for an SVG cutting  project, you have several choices. Depending on the cutter you are using, and the availability of tools for use with it, you may choose to:

Cut dashed lines where you want the folds to be,
Use a scoring tool to indicate the locations of the folds,
Score with an embossing tool,
Engrave score lines with an engraving tool,
Use the blade set to a shallow setting with low cutting pressure,
Create score lines manually after the project is cut, or
Create the score lines with the new Scoring Wheel on the Cricut Maker.

Are you using one or more of the above techniques? Are they working well for you? If not, then you may want to consider the new option of Creating Score lines with the new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set with the Cricut Maker.

Cutting Dashed Lines

Cutting dashed lines where you want the folds to be is a simple solution for score lines that won’t get a lot of use. For example, a single score line for a card folded in half can be cut right along with the other cut lines if it is set to cut dashed lines. Using this option, only the cutting blade needs to be used for cutting the project and creating the score lines in a single pass. However, if you are making a 3D project, box, or popup card, dashed lines in your project may weaken it. And the project could tear very easily. Dashed score lines also do not look nearly as nice as smooth, uncut score lines.

Using a Scoring Tool

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Stylus

Ideally, a dedicated scoring tool applies pressure on the material to compress the fibers along the line where a fold is needed. However, to do this well, the machine has to use a very large amount of pressure to create a nicely scored line. Most entry-level cutters do not boast enough down-pressure to produce a nicely scored line. These tools can create a visual line to show you where the score lines need to be. But you will most likely need to complete the fold by hand, or by manually scoring along the guide lines that your scoring tool made.

Scoring with a Cricut Machine

The Cricut Scoring Stylus creates a lightly scored line on Explore or Maker models. (It will not fit in the Legacy machines.) The Explore machines do not have enough pressure to create much of an impression for score lines. Even the Maker, with its vast amount of pressure, cannot access all of its pressure for use with the Scoring Stylus. The  extra pressure is available only with the use of the special tools holder. Cricut has now provided the Scoring Wheel Combo Set to make it possible for you to create excellent score lines in two different styles. These wheels can provide up to 10 times the amount of pressure for creating lovely scored effects, without cutting or tearing your project. You can choose between single score lines or double score lines.

Embossing Score Lines

Some cutter companies offer an optional embossing tool. There are also third parties who sell special embossing tools to fit the pen tool holders on different machines. If the embossing tool is used in conjunction with with an embossing mat with a soft surface, the embossing tool can create a reasonably nice score line. The downside to this option is that you need to emboss and cut on the same mat. Cutting on the embossing mat will ultimately reduce the effectiveness of the soft embossing surface. To emboss well, a machine needs to use very high pressure.

Engraving Score Lines

An engraving tool etches a very fine line onto the media. It does not require a lot of pressure, like an Embossing tool or Scoring Stylus. The effectiveness of engraving score lines varies, depending on the media being engraved, and the design of the engraving tool. I can get a very nicely engraved score line using Pazzles Engraving tool on heavy cardstock. The engraved line works much better than any of the other score line options on the Pazzles Cutters. However, I have tried using engraving  tools with other cutters that tear heavy cardstock. I would choose different scoring options with those machines.

Using a Regular Blade set to a Low Pressure and Low Blade Extension for Scoring

Using the blade with low pressure is a viable option for creating effective score lines. This option requires that you cut and score in separate passes, changing the settings between passes. When using this option with heavy media, it is best to cut your project first. Then reset pressure and blade, and cut the score lines. The blade does not cut all the way through the material, and the resulting lines are clean and very easy to fold. The folds remain strong for 3D projects and popup cards. To use this option on Cricut Explore or Maker models, you do not have control over the blade extension. You would need to select a cut  setting for lightweight paper to get a score line on heavy paper. However, Cricut Design Space does not allow users to change settings between cutting passes, and perfectly lining up two cutting passes with different settings is not practical.

Creating Score Lines Manually

You will achieve excellent score lines using a hand scoring tool after you have cutting out your project. I sometimes use the We R Memory Keepers Trim and Scoreboard or the Scor-Pal Measuring and Scoring Board. But truth be known, I rarely get them out. When I am cutting, I don’t want to do yet another step with another device. Sometimes it is obvious where the score lines should go. But sometimes, line placement is not so obvious, and score lines may not all be straight. So creating score lines manually is not always practical.

Create the Score Lines with the New Scoring Wheel on the Cricut Maker

If you are using the Cricut Maker for cutting your projects that need score lines, I think you need the new Scoring Wheel Combo Set! If you have multiple machines, the Cricut Maker being one of them, you may even choose to use this machine over the others because of this great new tool. This combo pack includes two professional-quality scoring wheels that give you extra-deep score lines and a flawless finish on everyday and specialty material projects. Your boxes will fold better and look nicer. Your popup cards will fold much more easily after being adequately scored.

Test Your Scoring Options with A FREE SVG Cutting File

Our FREE Resource Library contains a number of FREE SVG cutting files. Download any or all of them, and try some of the scoring techniques discussed here. A very simple project to try is the free 3D DIY Doily Treat Basket. Or try the Flip Fold Card. If you really wish to evaluate the effectiveness of your scoring method, try assembling a complex popup card like the Happy  Birthday Popup Card. Use what you have at your disposal. Evaluate the results. The types of projects you do, and the media you use will determine which scoring methods will work best for you.

So what is your conclusion? Do YOU need the new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set?

Love,

Julie

>> 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Review of Gemini Die Cutter/Embosser

This review of the Gemini Die Cutter/Embosser covers tips  for cutting thin dies made by various companies. The Gemini is a must-have electronic machine for cutting very intricate dies in a single pass! You can get this amazing machine from Amazon for a great price. This is the full size version. There is also a Gemini Jr available for those who need a smaller, more portable size. But I prefer the larger size of the Gemini, as it can cut a lot of dies in a single pass, up to 9″ wide and 12.5″ long!

Gemini

Boxed Gemini

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.

Unboxing the Gemini

Right out of the box, this machine is ready to go. It needs  a space of 14″ wide, 8″ deep and 6.5″ tall for storage. When in use, it needs some room in front and in back of the machine for the cutting plates to move in and out. So plan on a stable working surface area of 14″ wide by 34″ deep. The machine itself weighs 14.6 pounds. You should be able to move it easily for storage unless that weight is too much for you. I like the hand grips on the sides of the machine that make it easy to lift.

In the box you will find the Gemini Die Cutter & Embosser, an assortment of plates, some metal dies, an embossing folder, User Guide, and power cord.

Gemini

Gemini Review and Tips

Gemini Plates

The Gemini ships with a nice assortment of plates. These plates all measure 9″ wide by 12.5″ long. The opening for the sandwiched plates measures just under 5/8″ (19/32″) high by 9″ wide. Included are two clear cutting plates. One of these goes on the bottom of the sandwich, and one goes on the top. Also included are a metal cutting plate, a magnetic shim, a plastic shim, and a rubber embossing mat. Suggestions for which plates and shims to use are included in the User Guide.

Gemini User Guide

The User Guide is a nicely illustrated, six page set of instructions. Instructions in French, Spanish, German, and Dutch are also included. Operating the Gemini is simple. Use a single power button on the back of the machine, and three buttons on top of the machine. The User Guide provides simple explanations of the functions of these buttons. Operation of the machine is automatic. As you insert the sandwich, the machine starts automatically, grabbing the sandwich,  pulling it through, and stopping when the cutting is complete.

In addition to the Operation instructions, there are sections covering several types of metal dies and embossing folders, including the following:

Cutting Thin Metal Dies
Cutting Very Intricate Dies
Deep Multi Media Dies
Embossing with Crafter’s Companion Dies
Embossing with 2D Folders
3D Embossing Folders
Cut & Emboss Folders

Pressure

The Gemini is a very powerful cutting machine which has much more pressure than its competitors. It was designed to exert enough pressure necessary for cutting very intricate dies that other die cutting machines do not handle well. Since not all thin dies are made with equal thickness, the pressure may need to be adjusted. The Gemini pressure can be increased or decreased using different combinations of plates and shims.

Buttons on the Machine

Gemini

Gemini Buttons

The button on the left is the power button. The center button is a Pause/Resume button. Use this button to stop the forward motion of the platforms. Press this button again to resume feeding the sandwich into the machine. The button on the right reverses the platforms out of the machine. The machine will automatically stop if the stack of platforms is too thick. After a few seconds, it will automatically back the stack out. If you have paused using the center button, you can use the reverse function to back the platforms out of the machine

Getting Started with Cutting Dies

The Gemini is shipped with a number of dies. The particular dies included may be different, depending on where the machine was purchased. HSN markets machines with a unique combination of dies, not available elsewhere. Machines purchased elsewhere will include a different variety of dies and embossing folders. It is good to do some practice cuts with the dies that came with your machine. Start with the sandwich suggestions in the User Guide for the type of dies you are using. Please note that dies with intricate detail require a different sandwich than those that are simple shapes.

Tip: Plan an uninterrupted time to become familiar with how the Gemini handles each of the different types of dies in your collection. Take notes! It will help to put a sticky note on your machine with a description of the sandwich that works for each of your most used die types.

Cutting Very Intricate Dies

There is a recommended Sandwich for use with very Intricate dies in the User Guide. Please be aware that as your clear cutting plate is used, it will warp. The sandwich may change if you are using a warped clear plate. The clear cutting plates must be positioned on top and bottom of the sandwich. The inner stack may differ, depending on what you are cutting. When using a die with very intricate inner detail, be sure to use the metal plate under the paper and  die, with the cutting edges of the die facing toward the metal plate. It helps hold the die in place if you include the magnetic shim under the metal plate.

Tips:

Although different from the suggested sandwich in the User Guide, it is also helpful to use the magnetic shim under the metal plate, smooth side towards the metal plate. The metal plate should snap to the magnetic plate, and the metal die(s) should be held in their positions on the metal plate.

Place your paper or other medium on top of the metal plate. Place the die, cutting side down toward the metal plate. Then place the cutting plate over that. On the bottom of the stack, you will need another clear cutting plate. This sandwich may or may not require the addition of the plastic shim. Try it without the plastic shim first. If the cut was not quite clean, add the plastic shim under the magnetic shim. If the addition of the plastic shim makes the sandwich too thick to pass through the machine, use a couple of sheets of 110# card stock folded in half, instead. You may also need to send an intricate die through the machine two or three times in order to cut through all of the tiny detail.

Cutting with Thin Metal Dies

Your machine came with some thin metal dies that do not include intricate detail. It is important that you do NOT use the metal plate with these open shaped dies. The use of the metal plate with these may cause them to warp.

Tips:

If you are using a thin metal die to cut around a stamped image, it is OK to flip the recommended sandwich so that the die blades are face down over the stamped image. This allows you to carefully line up the die over the edges of the stamped design. You may need to use some tape to hold the die in place. Under the stamped image, place the cutting plate. Add the plastic shim over the top of the die, and a cutting plate on top of the sandwich. If this is not thick enough, you can add the magnetic shim or 110# cardstock shims between the plastic shim and cutting plate. I do not like to place the magnetic shim directly on the die, as the die may put unwanted cuts or indentations in the magnetic shim.

Alternative for Cutting around Stamped Images

If you do not want to use tape to hold down your die, there is an alternative to try. From bottom to top, make a sandwich as follows:

Clear  plate on bottom,
3 or 4 pieces of 110# cardstock next,
followed by the Cuttlebug Magnetic Cutting Plate,
paper with a stamped image facing up
Die with cutting blade down,
Clear Cutting plate on top.

Magnetic Cutting Plates

The magnetic shim that ships with the Gemini is not suitable as a cutting surface. However, the Cuttlebug Magnetic Cutting Plates are thicker, and  designed to be cutting plates. These are not destroyed when a die is cut with its blade down on them. They are not stiff,  so they can be bent back into shape if the high pressure of the Gemini causes a bit of a curve. This alternative will work, and eliminate the need for taping down stamped paper or non-intricate dies. I do not recommend using this  alternative with very intricate dies.

Deep Multi Media Dies

The dies made by some companies come with deeper cutting edges than the traditional thin metal dies. The standard sandwiches may be too thick to fit through the Gemini with these dies. Do not use the metal plate if the die is not intricate. However, if the die is intricate, follow the sandwich suggestions for cutting very intricate dies. You will not likely be able to use the plastic shim, as it may make the sandwich too thick. I use about 4 layers of 110# cardstock in place of the plastic shim for these deeper multi media dies. The thickness of the media you are cutting will determine how many shims you need to use.

Tip: After sending your deep intricate dies through 2 or three times, and you still have some areas of a die that did not cut through, use a scrap of paper over that particular uncut area. Send it through the machine again.

Consumables

When using any die cutting machine, you will find that you will need to replace the cutting plates from time to time. The cutting plates warp. The dies leave a mark on the cutting plate with each pass, and the plates become very scarred with much use. Because the Gemini exerts much more pressure and force against its plates, warped plates will need to be replaced more frequently than plates on other machines. To reduce warping of all plates and shims, it is recommended that you rotate or flip  them after each use. This allows each of the four corners to be exposed to like amounts of pressure. Warped plates may still work for some cuts, but severely warped plates may not feed through the machine. Portions of intricate dies may not cut well if the plates are warped.

Purchase Extra sets of Cutting Plates

You are going to need extra cutting plates. This may happen sooner, rather than later. Purchase a number of cutting plates before you need them. You don’t want to be working on a special project, and get stuck because your cutting plates are too warped to be used. Some people have posted ways to remove some of the warping on plates. These techniques may work. But you will eventually need to replace your warped plates. Having extras on hand will save you frustration.

Tip: I try to keep three good sets of plates on hand at all times. When one gets damaged, I order a replacement while I still have a couple of good ones. Since working with my Gemini, I realized after only a couple of weeks of use, that I needed to order more. I ordered 4 extra cutting plates for both the Gemini and Gemini Jr. I know I will be needing them.

Optional Smaller Plates

Many people prefer to use the smaller plates and shims for the Gemini Jr. with their full size Gemini machine. There are some advantages for using these plates. First, the Jr. plates take only 8 seconds rather the 13 seconds to pass completely through the Gemini. Secondly, the smaller plates tend to warp less than the larger Gemini plates. Thirdly, these smaller plates serve as backups when your other plates need to be replaced. If using the Gemini Jr plates, you need to place them into the Gemini along the longer edge. The Gemini will not grab the shorter edge of these plates. If you do not need the larger cutting area of the Gemini plates, the Gemini Jr. plates are excellent options.

Tip: Using smaller plates means that you need less table surface space of only 26″ deep.

Alternative Shim Solutions

Keep in mind that you can use chipboard, paper, and card  stock as shims. If what you are using is not working, you can always use a substitute combination of plates and/or shims. Write down your special combination so that you won’t have to figure it out again. Also, if you are using alternative shims, you still need to use the clear cutting plates on the top and bottom of your sandwich.

Tip: I keep a sticky note on my machine where I write down my favorite sandwich stacks for my favorite die types.

Compatibility

The Gemini is the best die cutting machine I have tried for use with very intricate  thin metal dies. Getting excellent cutting results with this type of die in other machines requires more muscle strength than I have for cranking  the very tight stack through them. Since the Gemini is electronic, I don’t have to worry about cranking tight sandwiches. Gemini also boasts more cutting pressure to handle those dies more efficiently. Therefore, I reserve intricate thin metal dies for use with my Gemini.

No Steel Rule Dies

You cannot use steel rule dies with the Gemini. The opening is not high enough for dies such as theregular  Sizzix, Accucut, Big Shot,  or Go dies to fit. The Gemini opening measures only 14 mm. The opening is also not high enough for use with the flower shaping molds by Heartfelt Creations. Also, any die that is wider than 9 inches will not fit in the Gemini. You will need to use your other machines for these dies and flower shaping molds.

Third Party Cutting Plates

Tip: I do not recommend using most cutting plates for your other die cutting machines with the Gemini. I may try testing some if the need arises, and report on the results. They were not made for the extra cutting pressure exerted by the Gemini, so they might warp. This would make them unusable in your other machines. I reserve my other cutting plates for my other machines, so that they will work when I need them for projects that I cannot do with my Gemini. The one exception right now, is the Cuttlebug Magnetic cutting plates. I will use those with non-intricate dies to eliminate the need for taping dies or paper for precision cuts.

Intricate Dies from other Companies

Intricate dies that I have used successfully from other companies with the Gemini are:

Tattered Lace,
Anna Griffin,
Heartfelt Creations,
Cuttlebug,
Ellentina,
Spellbinders,
Crafters Companion
Die’Sire
Tim Holtz Sizzix thin metal dies

Additional Supplies

You will need the Spellbinders Tool in One or a similar brush with your intricate dies. The roller brush tip helps remove the cut materials from the dies. Place the cut pieces with the die on a foam pad, and brush the back side of the die. Use the pointed tip of this tool to poke through the holes on the back side of the die to release the cut pieces from the die. You can purchase additional accessories for this tool such as the embossing tips and brayer tip, if you do not already have those tools.

The other very necessary tool when cutting intricate dies is a trash can. You can avoid a lot of vacuuming by removing your intricate dies from the cut projects over a trash can.

Tip: Tap the die gently against the edge of your desk or table to loosen tiny pieces trapped in the die. Do this over the trash can!

Pros

Gemini cuts with greater pressure than any other die cutting machine.

Fewer passes are needed with this machine, as compared with thin dies used on other machines.

The machine is simple to use, as it is motor driven. This is great for those with limited mobility in hands, arms, or shoulders.

The maximum die width for use in the Gemini is 9″.

The 12.5″ cutter plate length allows you to cut many dies at the same time.

Gemini can use thin metal dies and embossing folders from many different companies.

You can use dies to cut around your stamped images by reversing the recommended plate order.

The Gemini automatically rejects a stack of plates that is too thick to cut.

Cons

Cutting plates do not last long. So purchase extras! If you place dies, blade side towards the metal cutting plate, you will need extras of those as well.

Gemini is NOT compatible with plastic or wooden steel rule dies. They are too thick to pass through this machine.

Gemini cannot be used with Flower shaping molds. The molds are too thick to feed into the machine.

Be careful with the way you stack the plates and shims, as it is easy to ruin them. Cutting blades with material to be cut, must have a clear or metal cutting plate next in the stack!

 

Love,
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

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Make A Flip Fold Card

You can make a flip fold card using the FREE SVG cutting file in our Free Resource Library. This interactive, all-occasion card will be sure to Wow its recipient.

Flip Fold CArd

Flip Fold Card

When the card is closed, you will see the front of the card with its frame around the back side of the flipped center piece. You can decorate this with the included lattice label piece. Or you can use one of the included frames, or solid label pieces as decorations. When the card is open, the center piece flips to the back, and you see the sentiment, or a stamped image you have added to that side. This is really a fun card!

Supplies Needed to Make the Flip Fold Card

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!

Patterned Cardstock of your choice. Double sided Patterned cardstock is best. I used paper from this paper pack.
Coordinating Colored Cardstock for lattice, frames, or label layers
Electronic Cutter (I used Pazzles Vue)
SVG Cutting File from our Free Resource Library
Art Glitter Glue Dries Clear Adhesive

Free SVG cutting file from the FREE Resource Library

 

Cutting the Card

Import the SVG file for the card into your cutter software. If using Cricut Design Space, be sure to select the score lines, and change the lines to be Scored rather than cut. Select the card base and the score lines, right click, and select Attach. If using Brother Scan N Cut, be sure to resize the entire selected design to 11.481″ wide x 11.099″ high before cutting. The finished folded card will be 5.5″ square.

Flip Fold Card

Flip Fold Card Cutting Pieces

The paper that I used is printed only on one side. If you are using this or something similar, with a printed design only on one side, use the printed side for the inside of the card. Use the extra panel piece, shown above in light green,  to make the front of the card match the pattern on the inside of the card. Since the back of the paper is white, a white frame will remain on the front of the card, surrounding the flipped card image. Extra pieces are included for you to use as you prefer for decorating front or back pieces of the card design. Cut the pieces in colors of your choice. If you will be using stamped sentiments, add those to the panels before assembling.

Assembling the Flip Fold Card

Fold the base card on the score line, and crease with a bone folder. The score line on the left is a valley fold. The score line on the far right is a mountain fold. The remaining score line is a valley fold. Gently flip the center right label piece and fold it to the back. This part of the card will be facing up when the front part of the  card is closed over it. When you pull the right side of the card to the right, the center panel should flip, revealing the sentiment you have added there. Close the right edge of the card towards the center,  and that center piece should flip back to a decorated panel. If you decorated with the lattice piece, for example, then that lattice piece will be showing through the window on the front of the card when it is closed.

Flip Fold CArd

Flip Fold Card closed with lattice design showiing through the window.

 

Open the card, and you should see the sentiment you added to the inside of the card instead of the lattice. If you didn’t add a sentiment, the printed pattern would be showing on this piece. Placing a solid colored panel here would make it easier to stamp a sentiment. You may also add a frame around the window on the left inside of the card.

Flip Fold Card

Inside the Flip Fold Card

Glue the decorative panels you have chosen to the base card. There is room on the center panel for you to write a message. Or you can add additional  embellishments. These  will show only when the card is open.

Creating Your Own Custom Flip Fold Card Design

If you are interested in creating a Flip Fold Card Design with a different flipping shape, see the Video tutorial I posted on how I created this design using the Make The Cut software.  I would love to see a photo of your finished project!

Flip Fold Card

Completed Flip Fold Card

Get the FREE SVG Cutting File for the Flip Fold Card

To get the free SVG Cutting file for the flip fold card, go to the resource library and enter the password. I have included the password at the bottom of most of my newsletter emails. If you have subscribed, check your most recent email to find the password. If you have not yet subscribed, I hope you will, so that you can be informed as  I add more new projects to the Free resource library! Once you are in the Free Resource library, right click on the file name of the project. Next, select Save Link As or Save Target As. Now, save the file to your computer. Next you will need to unzip the file. To do that, double click on the file you saved to your computer to open it. Then, click on Extract All. Now, open your cutter software, and import the SVG file. Select the pieces you wish to cut. Load your paper onto the cutting mat. Do a test cut to find the best settings for you machine, and cut the pieces you need. Repeat with the pieces you want to cut from a different color paper.

 

Love,
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

>> 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.

Make an Oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card

Make an oval accordion card.

 

You can make this oval accordion card using the FREE SVG cutting files posted in our Free Resource Library. Make it using as many or as few panels as you like. There are several layers which you can use for the center of each panel, or you can use the base oval for trimming a photo to fit. Add photos and/or sentiments, or  journaling  to the front and back side of each oval as you prefer. The card’s height is 6″, but you may adjust the size according to your needs. You may even add lots of panels to create a mini album. The card folds flat for mailing, with a complete size of 4.5″ x 6″ . It stands alone for display.

Supplies Needed to Make the Oval Accordion Card

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!

Digital Paper from Pazzles.
Medium  Weight white Cardstock for printing digital papers
100#110# white cardstock for card base pieces
Colored Cardstock for oval layers
Electronic Cutter (I used Pazzles Vue)
SVG Cutting File from our Free Resource Library
Pop Dots if desired for layers
Art Glitter Glue Dries Clear Adhesive

Software Requirements

The SVG files are suitable for use with Make The Cut, Sure Cuts A Lot, Pazzles InVue software, Cricut Design Space, Brother Canvas Workspace,  Scan N Cut,  Inkscape,  Silhouette Studio DE, Illustrator, CorelDraw, and any other software that will import SVG files. Also included is a PDF file containing assembly instructions.

Paper Choices

Decide how many panels you want for your card. Then select papers for any layers that you wish to use. Print any digital paper you plan to use for the rectangular frame on each panel. You can use printed papers, or solid. If you are using photos,  trim them to the size of the largest oval in the file, or to any size that you prefer. There are several layers to choose from. You can use some of the panels for titles, sentiments or journaling. Select heavy cardstock for the base panels, as they will stand alone better, and be more sturdy for displaying. Use lighter weight cardstock for the oval layers. You do not want these to be too heavy to put unnecessary weight on the upper and lower hinges on the ovals. You may use pop dots to give more dimension to any of the layers.

Cutting Instructions

The cutting files include a single panel for the left side of the base card. The left and center panels are the same. Make multiples of the center shapes for as many extra panels that you need. The panel for the end of the right side of the card is different from the others, as it has no folding tab for the right side of the card. You need only one of these panels. This panel is rotated in the cutting file so that it will fit  better on the cardstock for cutting. You will need an extra printed layer for the front of the card, if you plan to close it flat. Also consider cutting extra oval layers if you plan to use the back sides of the ovals.

Score Lines

The score lines for the side tabs are better created as shallow solid lines, as opposed to cut dashed lines. You can use a scoring tool, embossing tool, engraving tool, or the blade set to a low extension, and cut at a low cutting pressure. You do not want the blade to cut through, but rather to just scratch the surface so that the tabs fold more readily.

Oval Accordion Card

Basic panels for oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card Assembly

It is easiest to decorate the base card pieces before folding. Use glue around the edges of the back side of each layer. Next glue the layers onto the base card. Make sure the rectanglular layer does not overlap the score lines.

Oval Accordion Card

Decorated Panels

After you have decorated the panels, fold the flaps. The panel on the left has the flap folded up with a valley fold. The center panel has the flap folded back with a mountain fold. If you have more panels, the folds will alternate. The panel on the right does not have a flap. Next glue the left edge of the center panel over the flap of the panel to its left. If you have additional panels, repeat this process. Glue the final panel over the flap of the panel to its left.

Oval Accordion Card

Panels Glued Together

Folding the Card

Use a bone folder to crease the panels in the direction of their folds. Between the first two panels there is a valley fold. Between the last two panels there is a mountain fold. Now, place glue on the tiny square tabs between the ovals and the outer frame. The oval on the left comes over the valley fold to meet the the oval to its right. Glue the tab to the back of the neighboring oval, and fold the tab with a mountain fold. The tab on the center oval goes behind the mountain fold of the base card to connect to the back side of the oval to its right. Make a valley fold on this tab. The ovals should end up touching each other. Hold the tabs in place until the glue dries.

Oval Accordion Card

Glue oval tab to neighboring oval.

Fold the ovals in the opposite direction of the folds in the base card. Then burnish creases.

Oval Accordion Card

Connecting Oval Tabs

Fold the card flat. The tabs at the top and bottom of each panel should fold naturally as you help the base card and ovals fold correctly.

Oval Accordion Card

Card Folded Flat

Burnish the folds so that they are creased well. Now you may decorate your card with additional embellishments if you would like to do so. I might add a 3D flower from my collection, depending on who I plan to give it to.

 

Oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card completed

Love,
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

>> 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.

Why You Might Need a Brother Scan N Cut

Scan N Cut

Brother Scan N Cut

Unique Features of the Scan N Cut

Here are some reasons why you might need a Scan N Cut electronic cutter. It has a built in wide format scanner. The scanner allows it to cut around stamped or printed images. No computer or Internet connection is necessary. Scraps can be used efficiently. It can fill fonts with solid or patterned fills to be drawn or embossed. Free design software is available for download to your computer. You can use your SVG file collection with this machine.

Wide Format Scanner Built into the Scan N Cut

Do you need a wide format scanner? If you do, then the Brother Scan N Cut 2 might be for you. With it you  can scan a full 12″x12″  image, save to a USB thumb drive in JPG format in up to 300 DPI resolution. Wide format scanners can be extremely expensive. This wide format scanning feature alone makes the purchase of a Brother Scan N Cut a worthy investment. The built in scanner in the Brother Scan N Cut machine allows you to scan a design into the machine, and then have the machine cut around the printed design. The machine knows exactly where your images are on the mat to create a perfect cut. This is a great option for scrapbookers who create layouts in up to 12″x 12″ size, as they can scan their completed pages and share them with others online or even have copies printed.

Cutting Scraps with the Background Scans

The background scanning feature is genius. You can put your different colored scraps down on the mat. Then do a background scan . Finally, place your cutting designs exactly where you want them to cut. There is no guessing about where the shapes will be cut. You can make use of even the tiniest of scraps without worrying about where to place the designs on the screen.

Cut Around Stamped or Printed Images

You can stamp an image with a rubber stamp, scan it into your Brother Scan N Cut, and  the machine will cut around the stamped image. No additional software is necessary. This is a great option if you want to select the Direct Cut method on the machine to cut around the outside of the stamped shape. Quick and easy. You will need to play a bit more to master the machine’s more advanced Scan to Date option.

No Computer or Internet Necessary for Using the Scan N Cut

The Brother Scan N Cut can operate fully independent of a computer. There is with no need of expensive cartridges. With the addition of the optional wireless card, you can connect from  the free Canvas software on your computer to your Brother Scan N Cut. This machine is an excellent option for those who do not have ready access to high speed Internet service. It can be operated without a computer, and without Internet service.

There are hundreds of  cutting designs built in to the machine, ready to edit and cut. There are also hundreds of free cutting projects posted online at the Brother site that can be saved to a thumb drive. Then you can cut them on this machine. My grandchildren preferred this machine over all the others in my studio. I worked on my computer and cut to my Pazzles or Cricut Maker, and they were very content to cut their projects on my Scan N Cut without help. By the way, they are ages 11, 9, and 7.

 

Free Design Software

Design Software

Canvas Workspace

The Brother Scan N Cut can use SVG files created in the free  Canvas Workspace software, or any other software that provides an SVG file export. SVG files can be opened in the Canvas Workspace software and saved in FCM format, or it can be sent directly to the Brother Scan N Cut machine to cut, via the wireless connection. Or you can save your SVG and FCM cutting files on a USB thumb drive, and plug it directly into the machine’s USB port. The built in software allows you to load the design, edit it to the perfect size, and cut the design.

Drawing with Pens and Fills

Another unique feature of the Brother Scan N Cut is the option to draw text or a shape with a pen or embossing tool and fill it automatically with a solid fill or design. This can be done with software on other cutters, but this feature is actually built in to the Brother Scan N Cut machine.

 

SVG File Compatibility

The Brother Scan N Cut is compatible with third party software. Vector art programs such as Illustrator, CorelDraw, Inkscape, Sure Cuts A Lot, Make The Cut, Pazzles InVue, Silhouette Studio, Funtime Scrapbooking, and others that can be used to create SVG files that can be cut on this machine.

Amazing Cutting Pressure for Heavy Media

In addition to its unique features, the Brother Scan N Cut boasts cutting specifications that rival top-of-the-line cutters in the home crafting market place. At the same time, its price is comparable to entry level cutters. Its 1250 grams of cutting pressure is exceeded only by a couple of other more expensive cutters in the home crafting cutter marketplace. With this pressure,  it can cut through most any media up to 1.5mm in thickness.

Hints to Get Started with the Scan N Cut

Protect your Mat

Since the Scan N Cut is a heavy duty cutter, it can cut straight through your cutting mat. The mats are expensive. So spare yourself some agony and expense by setting your cutting pressure to -1, and don’t change it. Change the blade depth instead.

After you order

Check this document while you wait for your machine to arrive. Find a home for it.

Go to the Brother site. Download all of the documents pertinent to the Scan N Cut. There is one chart in the manual that I referred to constantly. It includes suggested blade settings for a variety of different media. I printed a copy of it and attached it to my machine for quick reference.

Browse through the hundreds of free cutting projects at the Canvas Workspace site.  Download the ones you like. There are new free projects posted there regularly.

Watch some video tutorials.

Once your machine arrives, do some test cuts. 

Go for it!

If you need a wide format scanner, an electronic cutter that does not require the use of a computer or the Internet, or a powerful craft cutting machine at an affordable price, the Brother Scan N Cut may be for you! Once you get your Scan N Cut, be sure to try cutting some of the projects included in our Free Resource Library.

Would you like to have some FREE SVG cutting files for a variety of 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.

Thanks!
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

PRIME DAY DEALS FOR CRAFT LOVERS

Prime Day Deals Crafters

Prime Day Best Deals for Crafters

Best Prime Day Deals for Crafters  to Check Out on Amazon.

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is Monday, July 15-16, and Prime Day is a great event for getting the best prices available all year.  If you haven’t heard about Prime Day before, it’s a once-a-year HUGE sale at Amazon — like, 100,000 items get put on sale. It’s bigger than Black Friday, but it is just for Amazon. I’m a Prime member (and you have to be to get these deals) and I’ve been shopping Prime Day for a while now. But I recently learned that it is possible to find out in advance what things are going to go on sale. I looked and I found some really interesting DIY & CRAFT deals. I’ll be adding to my shopping list for myself and my family — and I thought you might like to know about these deals, too. But be warned — it’s addicting.

While your other family members are finding lots of important tools and gadgets, this is a great time to anticipate major crafting needs for the coming year. I have posted links to crafting tools that I use the most.

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)!  

What to Expect, How to shop,  and Get Ready

  • Check out the amazon.com/primeday page every day to stay up to date on Amazon’s best deals and offers of the year.
  • Don’t forget to sign up for Prime, as Prime Day deals are exclusively available to members!
  • You can try it for FREE for 30 days! amazon.com/tryprimefree They also have a special deals for students. 
  • Download and install the Amazon App. In the top left app menu, tap “Today’s Deals”, then the “UPCOMING” tab. Find a deal that you want and tap “Watch this deal” to get notified when it starts.
  • Make a Wish List and watch for email notifications when items go up for sale. You can use my list as a starting point. Wouldn’t this make a great crafter’s Christmas in July shopping list?

Links to Prime Day Deals for Crafters

Machines

Pazzles Inspiration Vue CutterSee my review here. 

Silhouette Cameo 3 – Look for low prices with newer model coming out at the end of the year.

Gemini Die Cutting/Embossing Machine Great price for a power machine! I ordered one, plus the plates for the Gemini Jr to use with this. See my review here.

Scan N Cut

Scan N Cut2  – Great Clearance options.

Scan N Cut DX-Latest cutter from Brother. See my SNC review here.

Brother SNC Universal Pen Holder Allows you to use standard pens in your new or older model Scan N Cut machine.

Scan N Cut Standard Blade

Scan N Cut Standard Mat for CM models or SNC2

Scan N Cut Online Activation Card for WiFi connection This is not needed for the newer DX SNC models.

Cricut

Cricut Maker  New LOWEST price ever!  Cricut Explore vs Cricut Maker-Review.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Bundle new low price.

Cricut Cutting Mats – Standard Grip

Cricut Cutting Mats – Variety Pack

Cricut Easy Press

Cricut Easy Press 2  9″x9″ Higher heat options for Cricut Infusion projects

Cricut Easy Press 2   12″x10.  Necessary for larger Cricut Infusion projects.

Cricut Easy Press Mat 

Cricut Cuttlebug

Cricut Bright Pad

Cricut Ultimate Fine Point Pen Set Assorted

Cricut Infusible Ink Markers

Cricut Heat Resistant Tape

Cricut Coaster Blanks

Cricut Rotary Blade Kit– See my review here.

Nicapa Mats for Cricut– Set of Three

 

Crafter’s Companion Products – Lots of their products are for sale at a discount for Prime Day!

Tools

A4 LED Ultra Thin Light Box Tracer – Not quite as bright as the Cricut Bright Pad, but the price is right and it works well for weeding vinyl.

Crafter’s Companion NEW! Professional Guillotine  Large  13″ long, compact and light weight. Great for trimming! Side arm extends 13″ . Metric and Imperial measurments, scoring stylus, and scoring grid.

Temperature Gun – check the actual heat of your iron, heat press, heated project, etc.

Heartfelt Creations Deluxe Flower Shaping Kit I use this kit for shaping my 3D flowers. See my blog tutorial and my video tutorial for shaping paper roses. 

Spellbinders Tool In 1 Great for brushing the tiny pieces out of intricate cuts.

Tim Holtz Stamp Platform I love this for getting perfectly stamped images.

Sizzix Extended Cutting Plates

Candle Warmer – for shaping thin foam into flowers

Hand Engraving Tool – Insert in cutter pen holder. You may need to wrap tape around it to fit in the pen holder.

Dog Tags for engraving Engrave a blank tag for your pet using your engraving tool with your cutter!

Three Hole Punch – great low price. I use this regularly for organizing craft items in binders.

Pink Tool Set– Every crafter needs their own set of tools handy for everyday use. I got these. My hubby doesn’t like pink, so I might be able to keep them around for awhile.

Lighted Magnifying Glass – great for callibration tests on cutters.

Adhesives

Dries Clear Adhesive –  My favorite craft glue that dries quickly, and dries clear. Love the fine tip applicator.

Bulk Dries Clear Adhesive Refill – Use this to refill your smaller glue bottle with fine tip applicator.

Alenes Tack It Over and Over – Mix 1 part glue to 2 parts water, and apply to cutting mats using a foam paint brush for the least expensive way to make them sticky again.

Zig 2-Way Glue – Most convenient way to restick cutting mats, and very effective.

Mini Hot Glue Gun – Great for making 3D paper or foam flowers

Mini Glue Sticks – Refills for Mini Hot Glue Gun

Scor-tape Sheets

Self Adhesive Vinyl

Paper and Cardstock

See my Blog Post on the Best Paper for Crafting here.

80# white cardstock Excellent cardstock for print and cut projects. The printer can handle it, and it cuts well.

100# white cardstock Great for cutting popup cards and stamped flowers for coloring and shaping into 3D flowers.

110# White cardstock Great for 3D projects

12″x 12″ Assorted Color cardstock 150 sheets Variety of weights, most between 65# and 80#

Laser Color Copy paper – for use with Infusible Ink products from Cricut

Translucent Vellum 36# Cardstock – great for embossing

Foam

Thin Foam Sheets for Flower Making – 1mm thick, assorted colors, 24 pieces, 9.8″ square.

White Flower Making Foam .8mm thick, 30 sheets

Thin White Foam Paper for Flower Making

HTV and Sublimation

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)

15″x 15″ Heat Press If you do a lot of Heat transfer vinyl on garments, you need a heat press. The size is right on this one, and the best price I could find.

15″x 12″ 8 in 1 Heat Press combo – This allows you to create your Heat Transfer vinyl projects, Cricut Infusion Projects, as well Sublimation projects, including attachments for mugs, hats, dishes, etc. This is the one I have.  Check out this bundle that has all you need to get started with Sublimation, or purchase items separately.

Epson WF 2760 Printer – Use with sublimation ink.

Sublimation Ink for Epson WF 2760– Print designs on sublimation paper, and transfer to project blanks

Mug Blanks for Sublimation 

Sublimation Printer Paper

Foiling

Brother Monochromatic Laser Printer – for printing toner sheets to foil with deco foils and laminator.

13″ wide Thermal Laminator – For general laminating and for use with toner sheets and deco foil

12″ Deco Foil – for use with laminator

Gemini Foil Press – For use with Gemini Jr. ( or full size Gemini with Extender plate) and Hot foil  – See my tutorial for foiling.

Gemini Foil Bundles – For use with Foil Press, NOT for laminator.

Electronics

SanDisk 54Gb Flash Drive This will work to transfer SVG files to the Scan N Cut. I keep a dedicated thumb drive for that purpose.

Portable 4T External usb Drive – Great for storing backups of all of your printables, cutting files, and fonts collections

Instant Pot Duo 6 qt.  – I love my Instant Pot. I can do a lot of crafting while it does the cooking!

Blendtec Blender – My favorite Smoothie Maker at a great price! Prime Day price updated at checkout.

Flameless Candles for those lantern projects

Set of 9 Flameless Candles

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser – Create a relaxing and healthy crafting environment

Echo Input  – Alexa sent to your computer speakers  to add Instant music for your crafting environment.

Pens, Markers, Pencils

Ultra Fine Micro Line Pens set of 16  I couldn’t resist purchasing another set of these at this low price.

12 Retractable Bold Pens

Sharpie Fine Point pen set of 24 colors Can you even have enough Sharpies? These fit in my pen holders to draw with my machines.

Bic 36 colors, permanent pens

Dry Erase Markers

24 Mechanical Pencils

Derwent Watercolor Pencils set of 24  now at a reduced price. I love these for coloring my 3D flower creations.

Artists Choice Watercolor Pencils set of 72 More colors in this set, but the colors are not as intense as those in the Derwent set.

Set of 88 Alcohol Dual Tip Markers with case.

Prismacolor pastel color sticks

Prismacolor colored pencils

Super Doodle 50 Gel Pens Set

48 Colored Pencils– less expensive, but less dense pigment than Prismacolor colored Pencils.

136 colored pencils – Best deal

Acrylic Paint pens set of 18

40 colors Puffy Paints

Arteza Real Brush Pens set of 96 with case. 

Art Media

Prills – Use to embellish centers of 3D flowers

Stamens – Use to embellish centers of 3D flowers

Ultra Fine Glitter This is what I use with the Scor-tape Sheets to make patterned glitter paper. See my tutorial here.

Modeling Clay, 24 colors plus tools – Tools can be used to shape clay, fondant, and/or 3D flowers.

Arteza Watercolor Premium Artist Paints Set of 24 Colors

Art Supplies for Children – Great kit, including crayons, colored pencils, watercolor paints, pastels, tools, etc in a wood case when children want to craft with you.

Stamp set-nice for children

Stamp Pad Set

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks

Tim Holtz Distress Inks  – Excellent for adding color to foam flowers!

Stencil Brushes – Great for “Hot Mess Canvas” painting.

 

See EVERYTHING available during Prime Day here

Note that you need to be a Prime member to take advantage of these deals. But the good news is that Amazon Prime offers a free 30-day trial to those curious about trying the service. To access it simply click this link and follow the on-screen prompts. This is how I ended up with Prime — I signed up for a free trial and stuck around because of the free 2-day shipping and free movies. Tip: Anyone with a valid .edu email address can sign up for a 6-month free trial for Amazon Prime Student here.

Tip: I recommend you click “Watch Deal” for anything that interests you. Then you can monitor your deals on this page.

I will add to this list as I find more deals I think could help you. Set your alarms and have fun shopping! Let me know what you scored.

Learn to Use Your New Crafting Machines

Check back here, at Cuttercrafter.com for tutorials and cutting files to use with your new crafty purchases. You will find some FREE projects to try in our Free Resource Library.

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.

 

 

Best Software For Designing SVG Cutting Files

What is the best design software for creating SVG cutting files? There are a number of design software choices available. Learn which is the best for you. The most important factor in your design software choice is that it works with your cutter. The design software does not have to have drivers to cut directly to your cutter. But the design software does need to have options to export designs that will work with your cutter. So the cutter you are using, and its software requirements will be a huge factor for you in your design software choice.

Cutter Software

Design Software

Software for SVG Designing

Cricut Design Space

Design Software

Cricut Design Space

Cutters are usually shipped with software that works with the machine. But not all software is created equally. Some machines come only with the drivers necessary to make the machine work. This is true with many professional vinyl cutting machines. Other cutters come with some very basic free design software, such as Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker. Software required to work with these Cricut machines is Cricut Design Space.  Design Space allows you to save your designs on their Cloud, but you cannot save them to your computer or export then for use with other cutters.

You may be satisfied with cutter software that allows you to use only designs provided by the cutter distributor for awhile. But eventually you will want to spread your creative wings to make some of your own designs. Some companies do not provide software with their cutters. They prefer to give you a option of purchasing the software of your choice. In this case, you need to make sure that the software you purchase has drivers for your particular machine.

Brother Canvas Workspace

Design Software

Brother Canvas

Some cutter software allows you to open or import files that you or others have created. But they provide only basic software features. They have very little in the way of creative design and editing tools. For example, Brother has provided the free Canvas Workspace software for Scan N Cut and Design N Cut users. It includes basic design features. But you will likely need to use what is called “third party software”, software made by another company. This third party design software can be used to create your cutting projects. In order for third party software to work with your cutter, it needs to have the option to export designs that will work with your cutter.

Software Import and Export Options

Silhouette Studio

Design Software

Some cutters are provided with full featured design software. This software allows you to import, customize, and create cutting files. But the software may not allow you to export your work in formats that can be used with other cutters. For example, the free basic version of Silhouette Studio is excellent design software, but importing and exporting files in other formats requires paid software upgrades. Being able to export cutting files from your cutter software will be important if you want to use your cutting files with more than one cutter, or if you want to share or sell your files with someone else who uses a different cutter. Be sure to check the import and export options of the software you choose. Another thing to keep in mind is that Silhouette Studio does not allow the export of purchased designs from their online store in SVG format.

Cutters with Full-Featured Design Software

Finally, there are some cutters that are shipped with full-featured design software, that allows you to import and export cutting files. For example, Pazzles includes full-featured design software with the purchase of their cutters. Their software, InVue, (which may be purchased separately from a machine) allows you to import, create, customize, and export your cutting projects in SVG format. It included basic and advanced design functions. Therefore,  this software serves as an excellent low-cost, third party cutting software.

Cutter Software

While there are excellent cutters that do not have these important software options, it is essential that you consider creating your designs in software that does have these options. Therefore using additional design software may be necessary. In this case, make sure that the software you have chosen for your design work will work with the software provided with the machine you plan to use.

Design Software Options

The best time to evaluate software options is before you make your cutter purchase. This gives you more freedom as you consider design software options. So  if you are looking into purchasing a new cutter, now is the time to consider your design software options. Every design software has a learning curve. So once you select a design software, you will need to stick with it for awhile. Learn all of the basic functions in the software that are needed for creating projects for your cutter. Then you can learn to use many of the advanced features in the software. Have patience as you learn.

Free Design Software

Inkscape

Design Software

Inkscape

Inkscape is  open source software that is free. This software has no plugins for cutters, so it is used strictly for designing. It does have many import and export options. Many cutter crafters use Inkscape for creating their cutting files, then export their designs in a format that can be imported into  cutter software. Most cutter software will import SVG or DXF files that Inkscape can export.

Learning Inkscape

The down side to using Inkscape is finding adequate support for using it for cutting purposes. There are many more tutorials available covering Inkscape features today than there were in past years. Inkscape is so full of features for designers of all types, that finding the tools needed specifically for designing cutting files can be hard to find. The best course I have found for learning to use Inkscape for designing cutting files is one produced by Jennifer Maker called Cut Above SVG Design Course

 

Affordable Design Software for Sale

Pazzles InVue Software

Cutter Software

Pazzles InVue is the most affordable third party design software for sale. It is excellent software for designing SVG cutting files. It cuts directly to the Pazzles Inspiration and Pazzles Vue cutters.InVue also allows for importing and exporting SVG and WPC cutting files, making it a great option to use as third party software for use with cutters that have more limited design tools.

Learning InVue

The Pazzles Craft Room offers excellent video training for using this software. You can find some free video tutorials for using this software on my YouTube channel.   I also offer free Cutter Software support for this and most cutter software at the Cutter Software Facebook Group (Join to access free files and discussion group.)

Some third party design software will cut directly to a number of different cutters. This is handy, as you can design and cut your projects from the same software.

Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL)

The most up-to-date of these software options is Sure Cuts A Lot version 5 . You can download a free trial of this software for 15 days to see how you like it. Even if you cannot cut directly to your particular cutter, you can still create your designs in this software, and export your projects in most common formats, including SVG, SVG for Cricut, and Brother FCM. It can also import a large number of embroidery file types.

Design Software

Sure Cuts A Lot Cutter Software

Learning Sure Cuts A Lot

ScrappyDew has an excellent course  called SCAL Classroom covering how to use Sure Cuts A Lot, including a User’s Manual. There is a special offer for a discount for this course when you purchase the software.

Make The Cut (MTC)

Design Software

Make The Cut Software

The Make The Cut software is excellent software for designing SVG cutting files. You may download a free trial of this software on the download page to get a feel for how the software works. This trial does not expire. Make The Cut is full featured cutting software that will cut directly to many different cutters. It includes many advanced design features. The software imports and exports many different file types. There have not been updates to this software in several years, so plugins for newer cutters are not available. But the software is still quite competitive in the market for those designing SVG cutting files.

Learning Make The Cut

Support for  Make The Cut software is available in the free User’s Manual as well as at the Make The Cut Forum,  at the free MTC-Tuts Yahoo Group (join to access free  tutorials and cutting files), and at my YouTube channel.

Popup Card Studio

Those interested in making popup card designs will appreciate the option to copy and paste designs from the software to its companion software, Popup Card Studio (PCS).   There is a discount available for those who purchase both Make The Cut and Popup Card Studio at the same time. There are free YouTube tutorials for creating popup cards using Popup Card Studio on my YouTube channel. One great perk for owning Make The Cut is the inclusion of  of over 15,240 user contributed cutting files in its Gallery. Popup card studio includes designs for 127 popup cards in its Online Gallery linked within the software. There are some amazing designs included.

 

Not So Affordable Software For Designing SVG Cutting Files

Adobe Creative Suite

Design Software

Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is the professional vector design software. This cloud-based software includes tools for a wide variety of design professionals in many fields. Hence, it is quite complicated, and difficult to learn the specific design tools we need for designing SVG cutting Files. Illustrator does not offer plugins for direct cutting to cutters. But the files created in Illustrator can be exported for use with other cutter software. Illustrator became popular among crafty cutters who use MAC computers, when most cutter software did not offer support for MAC. Now it is more common to find cutter software that includes MAC support.

Learning Illustrator

Those aspiring to become professional designers may want to dive in to learning to use this software. Comprehensive support for cutter users is severely lacking for this software. I do recommend that if you want to be a design professional, that you get the entire Adobe Creative Suite, as you will likely need more than just Illustrator. I find that I use Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat Pro as much or more than Illustrator. If you plan to tackle Illustrator for designing SVG cutting files, I highly recommend Jennifer Maker’s Cut Above SVG Design Course . Jennifer is extremely diligent to provide personal help for her students in learning to use advanced software tools to create some amazing cutting projects.

Corel Draw

Design Software

CorelDraw

The CorelDraw suite is another expensive vector design software that imports and exports files in many formats. Many professional cutters use this software, especially those who work with laser cutters and wood cutting machines. However, there is not much support for home cutter crafters using CorelDraw.

Favorite Features of CorelDraw

There are only a couple of features that I use in CorelDraw for my design work. My favorite is the Word Envelope that automatically fills a shape with text. See my video tutorial on how this works. The other feature in CorelDraw that I use is their TTF file export. I use this for creating fonts. CorelDraw does  not provide plugins for cutting to our craft cutters, but many laser and CNC machines are shipped with plugin software that works with CorelDraw. If you have a machine that requires the use of CorelDraw, then you will need to invest in this software.

Design Software for Cricut Machines

Your older Cricut machine did not come with design software. You learned to use designs available on cartridges to create some amazing scrapbook pages, cards, 3D projects, and decorations for events. But there are times that you have some very creative ideas that you would like to try with your cutter, and you cannot find exactly the right cutting files in your cartridge collection. So perhaps it is time to learn to use cutter software so you can bring those creative ideas to life.

Cricut

Cricut Expression

There are some older software versions that work with your older Cricut, including Cricut Craftroom, Make The Cut 4.1.0 or earlier, Sure Cuts A Lot 2.0, and FairyCut. But those are no longer being produced, and Cricut Craftroom is being closed. If you happen to have one of these, it would be a good idea to start learning to use it. Even very basic software can be used to create some amazing projects. The latest versions of Make The Cut and Sure Cuts A Lot allow you to use the latest and greatest software features, and transfer your designs to the older software so you can cut to your machine.

Cricut Upgrades

After Cricut Craftroom closes in mid-July, 2018, you will need to make some decisions. If you have a huge collection of cartridges to use with your older Cricut, you might want to consider upgrading to a Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. Cricut Design Space, which is required for using these machines, does allow you to register your cartridges. Hence you can use all of your cartridge images and fonts on the newer machines. Cricut Design Space does have some nice design features to help you use your cartridge design collection more creatively. The software also allows you to import images and SVG files from other sources. For more information on how to use SVG files in Cricut Design Space see my post on How to Use SVG files in Cricut Design Space.

Do You Need a New Cutter?

You may need a new cutter if your creative needs have outgrown the features available with your current setup, or if support for your cutter has been discontinued.

Cutters

Discontinued Cutters

If you decide you do need a new cutter, it is important to consider your cutter software needs as well. Take some time to research the options available to you. An electronic cutter requires some kind of software to drive it. You need to make sure that the machine and software combination suits your needs. If you already have a favorite software for designing SVG cutting files, will it work with the cutter you are considering?

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!

Julie

 

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.

 

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

>> 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 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

 

 

 

 

 

>> 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 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 <<

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.

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

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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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