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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. This software is  available for purchase online.  You can download the free trial version from this site, and use it indefinitely.  The trial version does not allow SVG export or printing.

Make The Cut  is not cloud-based.  It is extremely important to protect your user registration number, in case your computer crashes. Save your entire Make The Cut! directory as well as your registration number to a thumb drive or a CD, in case you need to install Make The Cut to another computer. Copy everything from this folder  C:\Program Files (x86)\Make The Cut! to the thumb drive.  Then you can plug in the thumb drive to a new computer and copy these files to the new computer.

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.  You can create your own cutting files, or customize or edit designs that you have. Then you can select all (ctrl+a) and export as SVG (Ctrl+Shift+S). These SVG files may be imported into your favorite cutting software.

The User Gallery in Make The Cut is partially functional.  You can still download thousands of designs from that Gallery. If you own Make The Cut, see this document to learn how to Retrieve your registration key by Sandy McCauley. She has also made some of the archived gallery files available for FREE download:

Files contributed by Dave (AKA Berry One) Dave contributed files primarily in MTC format. There are a few SVG files among his collection that even those who do not own Make The Cut can access.

MTC Gallery Rescue by User Paul Zingah   These are primarily files in MTC format with PNG thumbnail images.

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 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 Make The Cut  software to its companion software, Popup Card Studio (PCS).   Popup Card Studio is no longer for sale.  However, those who have purchased this software in the past can still use it to create popup cards.  There are free YouTube tutorials for creating popup cards using Popup Card Studio on my YouTube channel.  The user gallery is no longer functional. You can download an archive of most of the designs that were available in the PCS user gallery in SVG format.  Even if you do not own Popup Card Studio, you may access these SVG files for making nearly 100 different popup cards.

 

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:  I use some affiliate links in this post 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.

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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.

 

 

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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

Tips for Cutting Basswood on the Cricut Maker

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

Cut Basswood

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

Supplies Needed to Make the 3D Family Tree

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

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

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

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

Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks

 

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

Tips for Cutting Basswood on Cricut Maker

3D Basswood Tree

Preparation for Using the Knife Blade to Cut Basswood

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

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

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

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

Cut Basswood with the Knife Blade

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

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

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

Assemble the 3D Basswood Tree

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

Cleaning the Mat

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

Decorate Your Cut Basswood Tree

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

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

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

 

Cut Basswood

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

 

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

Get the FREE CUT FILES FOR THE Small Magnolia Flower 

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

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

How to Fold Popup Cards

Learn how to fold Popup Cards.

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

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Folding Lines for the Happy Birthday Popup Card

Select Heavy Cardstock for Popup Cards

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Happy Birthday Popup Card cut from 80# cardstock

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Popup Card made with 65# Cardstock

Make Solid Score Lines

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

How to fold popup cards

Scored and Cut file ready to be folded.

Fold Popup – Valley Folds

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

How to Fold Popup Cards.

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

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

Fold Popup – Mountain Folds

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

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

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

Check all of the folds from front and back sides.

How to Fold Popup Card

Check all folds from the back side of the card.

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Gently press the back of the card towards the front.

Check both sides of the card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Check folds on front and back.

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

Fold Popup – Open and Close the Card

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

How to fold a popup card.

The open card should stand on its own.

 

 

Add the Backing to the Card

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

 

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Glue Outside card to popup card.

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

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

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

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

Open Card

How to Fold Popup Card

Card ready to decorate.

Decorate Your Popup Card

How to Fold Popup Cards

Alternate numbers for customizing card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Another version of the same card.

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

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Julie

Easy DIY Tool Organizer

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer

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

Supplies Needed to Make the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

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

Assembly Instructions for the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

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

 

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer2-cuttercrafter

Adhere cardstock firmly to the cutting mat.

Cutting the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

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

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer3-cuttercrafter

Cutting file part 1 pieces.

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer4-cuttercrafter

Second part of the box.

Fold and Glue First Box

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer5-cuttercrafter

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

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer9-cuttercrafter

Glue the tabs to the end pieces of the box

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer10-cuttercrafter

Glue the dividers inside of the box.

Fold and Glue Second Box

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer6-cuttercrafter

Fold tabs for Box 2 as shown.

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer7-cuttercrafter

Glue the second box together.

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer8-cuttercrafter

Partitions inside of the second box.

Assemble the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer11-cuttercrafter

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

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer12-cuttercrafter

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

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer13-cuttercrafter

Place your most used tools in the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Decorate Your Easy DIY Tool Organizer

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

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer16-cuttercrafter

My Easy DIY Tool Organizer on my desk.

Completed Project

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

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

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

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Get Your Cutter Out of the Box

You were so excited to purchase a new electronic cutter so you could start creating fabulous projects. Is that Cricut, Cameo, Scan N Cut, Pazzles, Klic N Kut, Silver Bullet, or other fine cutter still sitting in its unopened box? It is time to get your cutter out of the box!  Don’t let the warranty expire on your machine before you even have a chance to use it! Do you need some help getting started using your cutter? Do you want to make some of those lovely projects you have been admiring for so long? I have helped many crafters get their cutters out of the box, set up, and started using them. If you  live near me in the Pacific Northwest, you might want to come for a visit. Or perhaps you can attend a class that I am teaching in your area. Alternatively, the following tips can help you get started. You can begin to create some of the projects you envisioned when you invested in your cutting machine.

Cutters are great tools for crafters if you use them.

I was frightened to take my cutter out of the box when I first received it, about 13 years ago. It took me 4 months to actually start using it! Some private help from the company who sold me the cutter gave me courage to get my cutter out of the box. Perhaps you don’t have the advantage of hands-on help where you are. If not, I hope I can help you a bit here to get you started. Here are some steps to help motivate you get your cutter out of the box, and set up. Then you can get started using it for some creative and fun crafting!

  • Prepare a Space for your Cutter .

    While you are waiting for your new cutter to arrive,  decide where you will be putting it once it arrives. This is a great time to prepare a space for your cutter. You need a space as wide as your cutter, and about 36 inches deep. Your machine  can sit on a desk, or under a shelf on your desk. Leave some room behind and in front of it to allow the cutting mat to move in and out  of the machine smoothly without interference. If you don’t have room on your desk, you can set up a sturdy table, stand, or rolling cart behind or beside your desk. Cutters equipped with bluetooth may be used further from your desk after you get it set up. You will find it much easier to get bits of crafting done if you don’t have to worry about taking care of these details each and every time you want to create something. You will use your cutter more if it is within arm’s reach of your computer work space, plugged in, and ready to use.

    Ready to Craft

    Cutter on Desk near Computer

    Cutter ready to use on desk.

  •  Prepare a place for your cutting supplies near your cutter. Having a shelf above the cutter could be a workable solution. Do you have some space under or near the table, stand or rolling cart where you can keep your cutting supplies? You will need a place for your mats, blades, and frequently used tools. Mats need to be stored flat. I keep my covered mats stacked neatly on top of my drawer cubes. Get the free list of Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools in the Free Library.
  •  Learn while waiting for delivery day. You can watch some unboxing  YouTube videos . Find the company’s support page, join some cutter support groups, and learn about your new purchase. Unboxing videos will help you to warm up to the idea of getting your cutter out of the box, and  become  friendly with the possibilities waiting for you with this new tool.
  •  Delivery Day! Think about why you purchased this machine in the first place as you head toward that box. Place the box on a large table with room for all of its contents.

    Big Box

    Cutter has arrived!

  • Unpack the Box

    . You can use scissors, a box cutter or knife to cut through the packing tape and open the box. There is another box inside of the shipping box, so you don’t have to worry about damaging the machine when you are opening this outer box. You may see a packing list which you can check as you unpack the contents of the box.

    Packing Sheet

    Inside the Shipping Carton

  • Remove the inner box from the shipping carton. You may need help pulling it out. It may be easier for you to get the inner box out by turning the carton on its side or upside down to  pull the outer box off.

    Inner Box

  • Open the inner box.  The cutting mat is often wrapped loosely around the body of the machine. Take it out and allow it to lie flat  while you unpack the remainder of the box contents.

    Inside the Inner Box

  • Remove packaging. The machine is wrapped in plastic foam or bag to protect it from moisture during transit. Remove this wrap and other packing material used to stabilize the machine during shipment. Save all packing materials. If you ever need to ship your machine for service or repairs, etc.,  it will be much easier to ship if you have the original packing materials.

    Wrapped Machine

  • Look for the “Quick Setup” instructions that are most likely near the top of the box. This will guide you through each step of setting up your new machine. Continue unpacking the contents of your box, to make sure everything is present that you will need. Your Quick Start Guide will list everything that should be in the box.

    Quick Start Guide

  • Power Cord and Converter Box. The converter box may look like many others that you have around the house. However, this one is unique to this cutter. Do not use other power supplies intended for other cutters or devices, as not all electronic devices have the same input and output power ratings. Use some tape to label these cords with the cutter name to avoid confusion in the future.

    Power Cord and Converter Box

     

    One end of the black cord plugs into a surge protector strip, and the other end plugs into the black box. You should invest in a surge protector power strip if you don’t already have one, in order to protect your machine from sudden surges of power that could destroy your machine.

    Labeled Box

     

  • USB Cable   If your cutter connects to a computer via USB, it probably shipped with an A toB USB cable, similar to one that a printer uses. One end of the cable plugs into the cutter, while the other plugs into a USB port on your computer. Plan to use a primary USB port on the back of the computer, rather than an auxiliary port or hub. If a hub becomes necessary, use only a self-powered hub. Even if your machine is equipped with blue tooth wireless technology, you may still need a USB cable when first setting up your machine. Check your instructions and follow the recommendations for setting up the machine and software used to run it.

    USB Cable

    Software – If your cutter purchase included software, there may be a software CD in the box. Some companies provide software downloads in lieu of an installation CD. Software frequently requires updates, so even if you do have an installation CD, you will need to install software updates once your machine is set up. If there is a registration number in or on the CD packaging, be sure to put that number in a safe place. Be sure to register your machine and software with the company. This software has the License Key number on the back of the CD envelope.

    Software CD

    Software License Key

    Warranty

  • Don’t let your warranty run out without doing some test cuts on your new machine. There should be a warranty document included in your box. Take a look at that to see if you have any warranty time left, if you delayed in opening your box. Most electronic cutters come with a one-year warranty. If that time is drawing short, you should plan to dive right in to using your cutter as soon as possible! There is likely a warranty registration card. You should definitely register your machine right away, either by sending in the card, or registering its serial number online with the company.

    Support and Warranty Information

    Find and record the Serial number on your machine. You will need this number to register your cutter. It is usually found on the bottom of the machine.

    Serial Number

  • Remove packaging Tape. Moving parts of your cutter may have been taped down for protection during shipping. Your quick setup instructions should direct you to locate the positions of the tape or other packing materials, so that you can remove it before starting to use your craft cutter.
  • Blade Setup

  • Insert the cutting blade into the blade holder, and insert the blade holder properly into the carriage on the cutting head. The blade should barely be peeking out from the end of the blade holder for most cutting purposes.

    Cutter Blade Holder

    Insert blade into the blade holder as instructed.

    Cutter Setup

    Blade holder sits in the carriage.

    Be sure to position the blade holder in the carriage so that the depth setting is visible from the front of the machine. This will make it easier to make adjustments to blade depth without having to remove the blade holder from the carriage.

  • Plugging in your Cutter

  • Take a look on the machine to find the power port. The USB port will be located near the power port. Plug in the power cord to the converter box. Plug the other end of the power cord into the machine, and plug in to a power source. Don’t turn the power on until you are directed to do so by the instructions that came with your machine.

    Plug the USB and power cords into the machine.

    •  You may  find some extras in your box such as sample materials to cut, depending on the machine package that you purchased.
    • Software Installation

  • Install the software that will be used to drive your machine as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. Some cutters use online software, while others come with stand-alone software that you will install on your computer. Some also have apps for your mobile devices. Go ahead and get the software loaded on your computer and/or your mobile device.
  • Once you get your cutter power plugged in and get it to connect with your computer or mobile device, you may be directed to do some firmware updates. Most cutter manufacturers provide updates for the machines they produce. You may need to access the most recent Firmware updates for your machine online. Firmware is the programming that is built in to the machine. The update process is usually simple, and often it runs  automatically. During the  software installation process, the drivers necessary for your computer to communicate with your cutter will be installed as well.
  • Get Support if Needed

  • Don’t let this process get in the way of setting up your machine. You can always contact the company from which you purchased the machine for direct help in setting it up. Don’t be afraid to call them, email them, fill out a support ticket on their web site, or post your questions in online forums. Even if your machine is now out of warranty, most companies are willing to provide the help you need to get your machine and software up and running.

Congratulations!

You now have your cutter out of the box, set up and ready to use! Don’t forget to grab your free  list of Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools from the Free Library, and get them  in their new home near your cutter. Then you are ready to move on to making some test cuts and get started on making some of those great projects you have envisioned!

Would you like to have the free list of Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools  as well as some FREE SVG cutting files for a variety of projects?

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

 

 

 

You can make a Lovely Floral Gift Box

Would you like to make a lovely Floral Gift Box for someone special in your life? That someone is sure to be wowed by a lovely handmade creation such as this. After making this floral gift box, topped with this special heart flower, I filled it with chocolate bon-bon candies, and gave it to my Step-Mother as a birthday-Valentine’s gift. She absolutely loved not only the chocolates, but she also appreciated the handmade heart flower that I used instead of a bow to decorate the top of the box, as well as the lovely box that she can now use to hold jewelry or other small household items.

Two part gift box with decorative 3D Heart Flower ornament

Two part gift box with decorative 3D Heart Flower ornament

The floral gift box has a magnetic closure to  keep it closed. You might want to decorate your floral gift box with more masculine papers for male recipients. The flower may be used to decorate other DIY projects such as cards, frames,  scrapbooks and more. You could even make an entire bouquet of these flowers and place in a vase for some lovely home decor.

You can make this box out of ordinary cardstock, which cuts nicely on electronic cutters such as Pazzles Vue or Inspiration, Cricut, Silhouette Cameo, Scan N Cut, KNK Zing, Zing Orbit, or Force, Silver Bullet, or other cutters that have software that can use SVG, AI, or WPC file formats. The heart flower ornament can be cut out of cardstock or from lighter weight paper. I used some lovely iridescent text weight paper for mine.

Illustrated, printable, step-by-step assembly instructions accompany the cutting file, to make the assembly process quick and easy. It amazes me that we can make such gorgeous gifts out of something as mundane as paper! Do you need a box for a gift for a special occasion coming up soon? The box measures about 3.5 inches square, and it is 1.5 inches high, making it a perfect size for a watch, jewelry, a special sweet treat, as well as a gift card. I hope you will give it a try  for an upcoming occasion.

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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.