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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 16, and Prime Day deals have already started! 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 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.

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. 
  • 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

Scan N Cut2  – Price has now gone up some.

Brother SNC Universal Pen Holder

Scan N Cut Standard Blade

Scan N Cut Standard Mat

Scan N Cut Online Activation Card for WiFi connection

Silhouette Cameo 3

Cricut Maker  New LOWEST price ever!

Cricut Explore Air Rose new low price for this bundle!

Cricut Easy Press

Cricut Easy Press Mat  Half off right now from Cricut. 

Cricut Cuttlebug

Cricut Bright Pad

Cricut Ultimate Fine Point Pen Set Assorted

Stamp set

Prismacolor pastel color sticks

Prismacolor colored pencils

Sizzix Extended Cutting Plates

Super Doodle 50 Gel Pens Set

Arteza Watercolor Premium Artist Paints Set of 24 Colors

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.

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.

Heartfelt Creations Deluxe Flower Shaping Kit I use this kit for shaping my 3D flowers.

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

15″x15″ 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Scor-tape Sheets

Modeling Clay, 24 colors plus tools 

Flameless Candles 

Set of 88 Alcohol Dual Tip Markers with case

Cricut Rotary Blade Kit

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

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks

Portable 4T External usb Drive

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.

 

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

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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.

 

 

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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 <<

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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.

 

>> 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

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

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

Cricut MakerCricut Maker MachineCricut Explore Gold

 Price

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

Cricut Machine Basic Features

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

Cricut Maker Features

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

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

Rotary Blade Kit for Cricut Maker

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

Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore

Cricut Maker Knife Blade

 

Material Settings for Cricut Explore

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

Material Settings for Cricut Maker

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

Material Settings for Cricut “Legacy Machines

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

Cartridges

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

Using Cartridges with Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

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

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

Link Cartridge

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

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

Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore

Cartridge Adapter

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

Will Your Choice be Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker?

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

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

What Will You Cut First?

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

Get Your Cutter Out of the Box

Perform Test Cuts on New Cutter

Importing and Using a Popup Card in Cricut Design Space

How to Fold Popup Cards

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

Julie

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

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

 

 

 

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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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