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How to Emboss Vellum with the Cricut

Many have asked how to emboss vellum with the Cricut.  You can also create flowers that pop out from the embossed background.  Then you can add some lovely petals for a 3D effect to make a gorgeous  card. In this tutorial I will share how to make this lovely card using your electronic cutter.

 

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Using Electronic Cutters to Emboss Vellum

You don’t have to have a Cricut in order to make this card.  The SVG, PVGC, and FCM  cutting files for this project are available that can be used in most electronic cutting machines. You can find them in the FREE Resource Library. Download the free cutting files.  You can right click on the file link, and select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”. Save it to your computer. When the download is complete, double click on the downloaded file and select Extract All. Then open your preferred cutting software, and import the cutting file. There is one file that contains all the design pieces. If you are using a Scan N Cut machine, use the FCM file.   Those using Pazzles InVue software will use the PVGC file. All others should use the SVG file.

Note: this post may contain affiliate links.

Supplies Needed to Emboss the Vellum Popout Card

Heavy Translucent Vellum Cardstock
Electronic Cutter – Pazzles Vue, Scan N Cut, Cricut Explore or Maker Silhouette Cameo, or other cutter that uses SVG files.

If you wish to add foiling to your design, you will need foiling tools. I used the We R Memory Makers Foil Quill and silver foil but you may use a metallic pen instead if you don’t have the foil quill. I used the bold tip for this project.
Embossing Mat- Pazzles,or Scan N Cut Embossing Kit, or  SNC Embossing Mat 
Embossing Stylus –Pazzles Embossing Tool
or
Hand Embossing Stylus or Scan N Cut Embossing tool
Dries Clear Adhesive
Low Tack tape
Pearl Stickers
Embossed Vellum Popout Card cutting files from the 
Free Resource Library 
Pop Dots

Limitations to Emboss Vellum With Cricut

Embossing vellum with the Cricut Maker is not as straight forward as it is with other electronic cutters. This is due primarily to the fact that Cricut does not allow any options for adjusting the pressure of tools using  the A slot on the Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore cutting head.  Cricut Explore does allow use of a special pen holder in the blade holder slot. With that  holder in the B slot, the pressure can be adjusted up to the maximum under Custom Settings to 340-350.

Pen Holder for Cricut Explore

Pen Holder for Cricut Explore

While the Cricut Maker boasts of up to 4000 grams of cutting pressure, this pressure is only available in the B slot on the cutting head. And a hand-held embossing stylus is not recognized in the B slot. Maximum pressure is needed to get an excellent embossed effect on vellum cardstock.

The only pressure options on the Cricut Maker head A are the automatic settings for either drawing or scoring.  Pressure for drawing on the Cricut Maker is inadequate for embossing. The pressure for scoring is adequate, given the right embossing stylus and mat. The Cricut Scoring tool tip is not broad enough for embossing. It has a tendency to tear through delicate vellum cardstock.

Paper to Use to Emboss

Selecting to best paper to use for embossing with your cutter is very important.  Lighter weight papers will emboss more readily on cutters, than cardstock. It can take massive amounts of down pressure to form nicely embossed shapes on cardstock.

What is Translucent Vellum Cardstock?

Vellum is a type of coating that is used on some papers. The type and weight of vellum is very important for this project. While our cutters cannot make a very good embossed impression on most cardstock, one exception is to use translucent vellum cardstock to emboss with your cutter. The cardstock should be translucent enough to be able to see through it.  When using translucent vellum cardstock, an embossing tool will create white lines on the Vellum.

Best Weight of Transparent Vellum Cardstock to Use

For the Embossed Popout Daisy Card, you need to use Transparent Vellum Cardstock that is neither too heavy nor too light. The popouts will work better with Vellum that is still. But if the cardstock is too thick, the embossed design will not be the pretty white color you are wanting. If the cardstock is too thin, the design may tear during cutting or removing from the cutting mat. I found that 36# translucent vellum cardstock works best for this project.

Embossing on Legacy Cricut machines

Those using any of the legacy Cricut machines  (Original Cricut Personal, original Cricut Expression, Cricut Cake, Create, Cricut Cake Mini) will find that the Pazzles Embossing tool fits perfectly in the blade holder of these older machines. You can emboss on these machines if you have an embossing mat and embossing tool.  Unfortunately, the Pazzles Embossing tool is too large to fit in the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker.

Pazzles Embossing Tool

Pazzles Embossing Tool

 

Cricut has simplified the cutting process by providing automatic settings wherever possible. But this is an example of how automatic settings can limit creativity.  Perhaps one day Cricut will add full embossing functionality. Until then, you can use the techniques I have used to make this card.

Embossing Stylus

To emboss, you need to be able to use an embossing stylus. The stylus needs to fit the pen tool holder. In addition, the stylus tip needs to be long enough to extend deep enough through the pen holder to reach the mat.

Testing Hand-Held Embossing Tools

I have tested a number of different hand-held stylus tools. Unfortunately, most of the ones I have collected through the years will not work in the Cricut machines.  The length of the tips of most were too short.

I did find one that works in the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. This one has a metal tip that is a full 1″ long.

Hand

Hand Embossing Tool

I still have to wrap 5 inches of blue painter’s tape around the center of the handle to make it a bit thicker to fit snugly in the pen holder.  Place the tool with the larger ball tip down into the A tool holder of the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. Other cutters than have pen holders may also use a tool like this for embossing.

Hand Embossing Tool With Tape

The tip of the embossing stylus needs to  be quite close to the mat surface, as shown in my photo below.

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Embossing Stylus In Cricut Maker

Embossing Stylus In Cricut Maker

Embossing Mat

In order for an electronic cutter to effectively create embossing designs on vellum, it is essential to have a cushion under the paper on the mat. Too much of a cushion may result in tears in the delicate vellum. And not enough cushion may result in unsatisfactory embossing.

Some cutter companies provide embossing mats that work with their brand of cutters. Other companies do not. Thin craft foam that is .8mm to 1mm thick may serve as an embossing mat in some cutters. Others have found that using faux leather provides an adequate surface for embossing.

With the foam or faux leather options, you will need to apply some adhesive to the top in order for the vellum to adhere to it during embossing and cutting. Too much adhesive may cause the popout petals on the card to tear when removing it from the mat. Too little adhesive may allow the vellum to shift during embossing and cutting. Taping edges of the vellum down without adhesive on the mat does not work due to the intricate detail of this project.

Embossing Mat Testing Results

Pazzles Embossing mat works well with the Pazzles machine. It is a bit too wide to fit Cricut machines. However, the Pazzles embossing mat may be trimmed down to work with Cricut machines.

Bosskut Gazelle made an excellent embossing mat that works with a number of different cutters.  It will work with Cricut machines as well, but Bosskut is no longer in business.

I found the Scan N Cut Embossing mat to be a workable solution for How to emboss vellum with Cricut machines. A sticky Cricut mat holds the embossing mat in place. And the top surface of the embossing mat is sticky, and able to hold the vellum in place while the cutter is embossing and cutting.

Scan N Cut embossing mat on a Cricut mat.

Scan N Cut embossing mat on a Cricut mat.

When combined with a hand embossing tool, the Scan N Cut mat worked well to emboss vellum with the Cricut machines.

Silhouette users who would like to emboss vellum will need to use the Silhouette Curio cutter. This is because the Cameo and other Silhouette machines do not have adequate pressure for embossing. They also do not have enough clearance between the mat and roller bars to fit an embossing surface between the mat and vellum.

Foiling in Lieu of Embossing

In the event that you do not have an embossing tool and embossing mat that work to Embossing Vellum with your Cricut machine, you may elect to use the Embossed Popout Daisy Card design with a foil quill and foil. The background design of this card foils nicely. This is an option for those using Silhouette cutters as well.

Foiled Cricut Popout with Daisy Card

Foiled Cricut Popout with Daisy Card

How to Emboss and Cut the Embossed Popout Daisy Card

If you are using a Pazzles or Scan N Cut machine to emboss and cut the popout daisy card, you will find that all lines in the cutting files are designated as either draw or cut. Choose the Draw lines first and emboss the Draw lines using your embossing tool and mat.  Use maximum pressure when embossing.  Do test cuts to determine the best settings for cutting.

Do not remove the mat or move the cutting head after the “drawing” is complete. Simply replace the embossing tool with the cutting tool, and select “Cut” to use with the cutting lines. Cutting on the embossing mat will not ruin it it you have set the blade depth appropriately.

 

How to cut and emboss with the Cricut

The process is a bit different when using Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker.  First, import the SVG file into Cricut Design Space. To do that, open Cricut Design Space. Click on Upload, the bottom icon on the left toolbar. Next, click on Upload Image. Browse to the place where you saved the Embossed Vellum Popout Card file on your computer. Click on Save. The design you just uploaded will be visible now. Click on it to select it,  and click on Insert Image.

Get the Design Ready in Design Space

Ungroup the design pieces by right clicking on the design, and selecting Ungroup. Next, click on the white emboss portion of the the design, and designate it as “Score” at the top of the page. Select both the score and white cut layers, right click and select Attach. Click on the top score layer and the next group layer on the right toolbar. Right click, and select Attach.

Now click on Make It.  Move the entire design in and down 1″ from top and left sides of the virtual mat. This will reduce tearing along the edges of the vellum.  Select Continue, and select your machine.  Set materials to Vellum. Next, Set tools. Select the Scoring Stylus for the embossing.

Place your vellum on the embossing mat, and load the hand embossing tool in the A tool holder. Load the mat into the Cricut, and press the Go button on the machine when it starts blinking.  It will take about 30 minutes to do all of the embossing and cutting on the vellum. Get the paper for the mat and card base ready. Be very careful when lifting  the cut design from the mat to prevent the petals from tearing.  Finally, you can cut the remaining card pieces.

How to Assemble the Embossed Vellum Popout Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

The side that is facing up on the mat is the Debossed side, as the embossing tool has pressed the design down into the vellum. The opposite side is the embossed design. You may use the side that you prefer on your card.

Fold the base card in half. Next, glue the mat to the center of the card front, or use pop dots to raise the mat a bit off of the card base. Add small dots of Dries Clear Adhesive on the back side of the vellum, only on places that are white from the embossing. Let it dry. Gently lift the cut petals up, away from the card, to give dimension.

Add the 3D Daisies

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

Embossed Popout Daisy Card

If you wish to add 3D daisies to the card, place a daisy piece on a foam mat, and press down firmly in the middle of the daisy to lift the petals. Repeat with the next daisy piece of the same size. Place a dot of glue on the back of one of the daisy layers, and center it over the other daisy layer of the same size. Make sure the petals are opposite the first layer. Add a drop of glue on the center back of each 3D Daisy layer and adhere to the center of one of the popout daisies on the card, again, keeping the petals opposite the bottom layer.

Repeat with all three flowers.  Glue a pearl sticker to the center of each of the 3D Daisies on the card. You card is now complete! Add a sentiment of your choice to the inside of the card, and give it to someone special!

How To Emboss Vellum with the Cricut

How To Emboss Vellum with the Cricut

Be sure to go to the Resource Library to grab the free cutting file for the Embossed Vellum Popup Daisy Card cutting files. If you like this project, please comment, share, and pin!

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

;

How to Prepare Cutting Files with Intricate Detail for use with Cricut Design Space and Scan N Cut

You may love cutting lovely projects with lots of intricate detail as I do.  But sometimes the cutting files for those projects load very slowly, if at all, into your cutter software! In this post you will find some tips for making your SVG cutting files easier to use.  Learn to prepare SVG cutting files that are optimized to load quickly and cut more efficiently in Cricut Design Space and Scan N Cut Canvas Workspace.

Note: this post may contain affiliate links.

Here is a cutting file for a popup card with intricate detail that could be problematic for use with some cutters, if it were not properly prepared.  You can find the free cutting file for this project in the Free Resource Library.  Before you go any further, download the zipped files to your computer, double click on the downloaded file, and select Extract All. Then you  can follow along with this tutorial.

Valentine Popup Card

Valentine Popup Card by Julie Flanagan

What can you do if the cutting files won’t work correctly or require lots of tedious editing? This can be very frustrating.  Sometimes details do not load properly into the software.  Lines or shapes may be missing, or they show up in very odd places on the screen. What can you do to prepare your cutting files so that they load easily into your favorite cutting software?

You may wish to learn more about third party software that can be used for creating your SVG cutting files on this blog post.

What do Good Cutting Files look Like in Cricut Design Space?

Upload an SVG cutting file into Cricut Design Space

Now that you have downloaded and unzipped the cutting files for the Valentine Popup Card,  upload the SVG cutting  file for CDS to Cricut Design Space .  Cricut Design Space is a free program that you can use, even if you don’t own a Cricut. Open a New page in Cricut Design Space.

"How

Click on the  Upload icon at the bottom of the left toolbar.   A window will open allowing you to search your computer for the file you wish to use.

"How

Click on the Upload Image button.  Then click on Browse, to search for the file named ValentinePopupCard2-CDS-JulieFlanagan.svg  that you saved to your computer. Double click on the file name, and it should open in the next window you see in Cricut Design Space.

 

"How

Add as many tags as you might like to use when searching for this design once it has been loaded into Design Space. I use popup, card, valentine, heart, scallop, lattice, JulieFlanagan.  I can search using these tags later.  Now, click on the green Save button in the lower right corner of the screen. Another screen opens allowing you to select the image you wish to use.  Click on the image you just uploaded, and you will see a green outline around the image.

Click

"How

Select the green Insert Images button in the lower right corner of the screen.  The design will now appear on the Cricut Design Space Canvas.  Your cutting file is now open in Cricut Design Space. But it is not quite ready to use.

"How

Preparing to Cut a Design in Cricut Design Space

Before doing anything else to this design, notice the Layers on the right side of the screen. There are four layers, two with score lines, and two with the card shapes. You first need to click on the score line layer at the top of the panel. This highlights the score lines on the popup portion of the card.  Currently these lines are designated as cutting lines. You need to change them to score lines.  Under Linetype at the top of the screen, select Score.  Now these lines will not be cut. You will be directed to use the scoring tool with these lines when you go to Make the project.

"How

Repeat this process with the second score line layer for the card back.  Select Score from the Linetype drop down menu.  Now all score lines will be scored rather than cut when you send the file to cut.

"How

Attaching Score Lines to their Cards

Before you can cut your project, you still need to Attach the score lines to their cards. You cannot do that yet, because all design pieces are grouped.  Right click on the shapes on the Canvas and select Ungroup.  Now on the Layer panel on the right side of the screen, hold down your Shift key, and click on both of the layers, Score and Cut for the popup portion of the card (light pink in this case.  These two layers will now be highlighted, and you will notice that both layers on the Canvas are now selected.

"How

 

Now select just  the backing card (Burgundy) and its score layer from the Layers panel on the right side of the screen while holding down the Shift key. Right click your mouse, and select Attach.

Ready to Make It

Click on the green Make It button in the upper right corner of the screen.  You should now see only two mats ready for scoring and cutting.

"How

 

Other Files Not so Ready for Use in Cricut Design Space

You may have experienced SVG cutting files with Intricate details that need a whole lot more preparation for use in Cricut Design Space. If you are making your own SVG files in third party software, you may have run into some frustrating issues in preparing them for cutting in Cricut Design Space. Are your files very slow to load? Do you get error messages indicating that the design is too large to load? Are each of the tiny shapes in the design on its own layer?

"How

 

Are each of the many tiny score lines of a popup card on its own layer, and needing to be changed to score in the Linetype window? These tiny lines are very hard to select either from the Canvas or from the layers.  Changing each tiny line from cut to score takes way too much time!

"How

How to Prepare Cutting Files with Intricate Detail for use with Cricut Design Space 

There is a solution for this issue. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our multi-layered, intricate projects would import into Cricut Design Space in just a few simple layers, instead of hundreds of layers?  The solution lies in the preparation of your files in your design software.  Not all cutter software includes the necessary editing features to achieve this. What is the secret?

Design

Layers or Line Colors.

Create your designs with score lines on different layers  from the cutting lines. An alternative is to assign one line color to score lines, and use another color for the cut lines.  If you need to cut pieces out of different colors,  keep the score lines for each colored piece separate from score lines on other colored pieces.

Select by Layers or by Line Colors

Once you have arranged your design pieces by layers or assigned line colors, you need to be able to select all the same linetypes by layer or by line color in your software.  Not all software can do this.  For example, The Valentine Popup Card has blue lines for mountain folds, red lines for valley folds, and black lines for cut lines. However, the score lines need to be on different layers or different line colors from those used for the backing card.  For my design, I needed four layers or line colors; two cards, and two sets of score lines.

For example, you can select by line or fill color using Illustrator, Inkscape, and Silhouette Studio. You can select by line color in Pazzles software. You can select by layer in Make The Cut and Sure Cuts A Lot.

Make Compound Paths from Selections

Once you select everything that has the same line color (stroke) or the same layer, you need to make a compound path (Illustrator and Silhouette Studio), or use Combine (Inkscape), or Group with Transparency (Pazzles) or Join (Make The Cut) or Merge (Sure Cuts A Lot).  Most cutter software includes a simple group or ungroup feature, but Cricut Design Space does not recognize all groups in imported SVG files.  Properly designed Compound Paths should import into Cricut Design Space in fewer layers, making it easier to select the layers that need to be assigned a different line type.  Cricut Design Space does appear to recognize compound paths.  Those compound paths may not be broken in Cricut Design Space, so keep that in mind.

DPI sizing for SVG Files in Cricut Design Space

If sizing of your project is important, then the SVG file needs to be exported with a DPI of 72 for it to import into Cricut Design Space at the correct size. This is the standard DPI exported by Adobe Illustrator, Pazzles InVue software, and Silhouette Studio Business Edition.

Sure Cuts A Lots has the option to export SVG for Cricut Design Space, which automatically exports at 72 DPI.

If you want your SVG export from Inkscape or Make The Cut to import at the correct size into Cricut Design Space, you will first need to Select All (Ctrl+A) in your software, and reduce the size by 80%. To do this in Make the Cut, lock the aspect ratio for the Height and Width fields at the top of the screen. Type in 80% in either the W or H field and press Enter. Now export SVG (Ctrl+Shift+S) and import SVG into Cricut Design Space. It will import at the correct size.

 Additional Tips

For tips on how to cut and fold popup cards, see this blog post. 

To learn more about importing and using cutting files for a popup card in Cricut Design Space, see this blog post.

 

Learn how to prepare cutting files with intricate detail for use with Scan N Cut

The built in software on Scan N Cut machines is limited in the number of shapes or layers that it can use. It may not recognize all of the tiny details, and tell you that the file cannot be used. Brother Canvas Workspace software, a free software download,  may also give you a message that tiny details may be lost when a design with intricate detail is imported.  As a side note, my CM350 would not load some detailed files, while the newer SDX225 loaded it fine.

Avoid overloading Scan N Cut memory by using the same suggestions listed above for making compound paths in your design software, before trying to import into Brother Canvas Workspace or before trying to import your cutting file designs directly into the machine.  By making compound paths in your design, you should have much less difficulty getting your Scan N Cut machine to handle your designs with intricate detail.

Page Size Limitations for Scan N Cut Machines

When creating cutting files for use with Scan N Cut, it is very important that all design details fit on a single canvas, either 11.5″ wide and 11.5″ long, or 11.5″ wide by 23″ long. Any design pieces outside of this workspace will cause the design to be automatically resized to fit the workspace. All design pieces in the cutting file will be reduced in size so that all of them fit within the cutting boundaries of the virtual mat.

While many cutter software programs allow designers to move pieces off of the virtual mat so that all of the pieces of a huge project are in the same file, this practice will be problematic for Scan N Cut users.

Larger designs need to be broken up into several separate files. Select all design pieces that will fit on one virtual mat, and export as SVG as  a page, such as PopupCardPage1. Then select the next set of pieces and export with the same file name, but with Page2, such as PopupCardPage2.  Then you can place all of the necessary files for a single project together in a single folder on your computer.

DPI sizing for SVG Cutting Files for Scan N Cut

If sizing is extremely important for your designs, make sure your SVG files are exported with a DPI of 96 for use with Scan N Cut.  If the DPI is set to the Illustrator standard of 72 DPI, then the design pieces imported into either Canvas Workspace or directly to the Scan N Cut machine will be too small.

Inkscape SVG exports are automatically sized to 96 DPI.  SVG cutting files exported from Make The Cut follow Inkscape parameters, so those files import into Canvas Workspace and Scan N Cut at the correct sizes.

Sure Cuts A Lot has an option to save your designs in the native FCM format for use with Scan N Cut. FCM export is better for use with Scan N Cut. The DPI sizing will automatically be correct, and FCM files will often load more quickly and efficiently to the Scan N Cut.

Converting Files from SVG to FCM

Using Brother Canvas Workspace, import your prepared SVG file by going to the File menu in the upper left corner of the screen. Select Import.

"How

Now you need to assign the score lines layer to draw instead of cut. To do that, click on the Layers icon, third icon down on the toolbar on the right side of the screen in Canvas Workspace.  To do that, click on the blade icon on a layer that appears to be black, You will have a cut or draw option. Select Draw for those layers which you want to score rather than cut.

 

"How

Your Layers panel should now show a pen icon on each layer that you want to score rather then cut, and a blade icon on each layer that you wish to cut.

"How

Now, you can go to the File menu, and select the option to Export FCM file.  You may get a Warning: “Tiny objects are automatically removed when converting to FCM because it is too small to cut.”  Ignore this warning if you have prepared your SVG file with compound paths. Click on OK. You will not lose Intricate or tiny details in your cutting file, if you have properly optimized it in your design software. 

"How

A window will open, allowing you to type in a File name and to select a location where you would like to save the FCM file.  Click on the Save Button.

"How

You can now share this FCM file, or add it to a thumb drive you plug into the USB port on your Scan N Cut. Then you can load the file from the USB thumb drive to your Scan N Cut.

Sending your prepared file to the Scan N Cut Wirelessly

You do not have to export your design in FCM format if your Scan N Cut has wireless capability.  All SDX models have wireless capability. Older Scan N Cut models may require the purchase of a wireless card in order to send files wirelessly from Canvas workspace directly to the machine.  To send wirelessly, go to the File menu at the upper left corner of your screen and select Transfer FCM via Internet.  You will get a message indicating the the file is ready to use on your Registered Machine.

Turn on your machine, place your media on the mat, and load the mat.  Select the option to Retrieve Data either from USB thumb drive, Machine, internet wifi or USB cable.

After you  load thedesing into your machine, edit the design. Next, select the portion of the file you plan to cut this pass.  Indicate whether you will be drawing or cutting. You may use an embossing tool in the universal pen holder. Or you may use the Brother embossing tool for your score lines. Select Draw for the score line portion of the design. Then select Cut to cut the cutting lines.

Assemble Your Popup Card

When you have finished cutting and scoring the popup card, you repeat the process to select the card backing. Then cut and score it. Fold it and assemble it.

"How

Additional Tips for using SVG files with Scan N Cut

See this blog post for more tips for using SVG files with Scan N Cut.  See also this blog post for more help with folding popup cards.

Make a Valentine Popup Card

"How

Cut and assemble this card. Create and use a topper, sentiment, or image of your choice on the front of the card. I would love to see a picture of your creation! You can send me a picture in the CutterCrafter Facebook book, so others can see it.  If you have any further questions, please let me know! If you enjoyed this post, please share on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Be sure to follow my blog for more great tutorials and free cutting projects!

 

>> 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

 

 

 

 

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Black Friday is a great time to stock up on crafting supplies. Look for great deals on the high-priced items that help you to be more productive. Do you need a better cutter? Is there a Foil Press on your wish list? Or perhaps you need a more efficient die cutter/embosser to handle those very intricate dies.  Maybe you need a new computer or external hard drive. Do you need a new printer?

If you do not need a new machine, perhaps you need to stock up on consumable supplies for your crafting projects. Is you stash of paper or vinyl, or HTV dwindling? Do you have plenty of adhesives? Be sure to check your supply of blades and mats for your machines! There are lots of Black Friday Deals for Crafters that could save you money on your craft supplies.

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Pazzles Inspiration Vue Cutter Best deal of the year for this machine! Don’t miss this best buy of the Black Friday Deals for Crafters!

Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Pazzles Inspiration Vue

Items on this page may contain affiliate links.

More Black Friday Deals for Crafters

Scan N Cut350 Get a great deal on the reliable version of this machine.

Scan N Cut DX This one is the latest Scan N Cut model with the auto blade.

Brother SNC Universal Pen Holder Works with older and newer Scan N Cut models.

Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer with Duplex Printing\

Amazon Basics Thermal Laminator Use for foiling in combination with a Monochrome Laser Printer. Print your design in B&W on a laser printer. Place foil over printed image. Place  design and foil between printer paper. Run through preheated laminator. Foil transfers to the printed design.

Scan N Cut Standard Blade For older machines – not for the DX models.

Scan N Cut Standard Mat Fold older machines- not for the DX models.

Online Activation Card for Scan N Cut for WiFi connection DX models do not need this, as WiFi is built in on the DX machines.

Silhouette Cameo 3  Check the Silhouette Online store from your free Silhouette Studio software for the best deals of the year on cutting designs.

Cricut Maker

Mint Cricut Explore Air 2 

New Cricut Easy Press 2 Now in three different sizes. Heats to 400 degrees quickly.

Cricut Easy Press Mat  

Cuttlebug by Cricut

Cricut Bright Pad

Ultimate Fine Point Pen by Cricut  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. Get this machine or the Gemini Jr. to use with the new Gemini Foilpress. Gemini Jr is only slightly less than the full size Gemini. So unless you really need the smaller size of the Jr. 6-inch width, I recommend the full size Gemini. You will need an extended plate for the Foilpress to work in the full size Gemini.

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.

Dries Clear Adhesive Everyone needs a good supply of adhesive that dries clear for projects. I use this type of adhesive for my 3D flowers, boxes, cards, luminaries, and other projects.

Heartfelt Creations Deluxe Flower Shaping Kit I use this kit for shaping my 3D flowers. While there, take a look at their new products and their 50% off sale on Limited Editions.

Spellbinders Tool In 1 Great for brushing the tiny pieces out of intricate cuts. If you cut any intricate designs, you need this tool!

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 I cut these with my electronic die cutters to use with foil to make lovely foiled projects. No heat necessary for this method. Brayer the dull side down over the cut adhesive.

Modeling Clay, 24 colors plus tools 

Flameless Candles  Great for luminaries and lanterns!

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 You need a place to store all the files you collect for cutting!  Back everything up before you lose it!!!!!!

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. Take a break from your crafting to enjoy a healthy treat!

 

See EVERYTHING available during Black Friday here

 

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 Paper for Cutting

What is the Best Paper for cutting with your electronic cutter? The answer to this question depends on what you want to do with the cut paper. Are you wanting to cut very intricate designs? Are you wanting to make popup cards? Do you want to print on the paper before or after cutting? Are you cutting very thin paper or very thick paper? Do you need to emboss your paper? There are many factors to consider in your paper choices.

Best Paper

Best Paper for Cutting

There is some excellent general information about paper called The Ultimate Guide to Card Stock posted here.  And there is excellent information about paper weights here.

No matter which paper you choose to cut, you must do test cuts. Test cuts help you determine the optimal settings on your machine. See this document for test cut suggestions.

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!

Machine Choice

Not every machine can cut every different type of paper well. For example the Cricut Maker can cut Tissue Paper,  Construction Paper and Crepe Paper very well using its rotary cutting wheel.

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

Rotary Blade Kit for Cricut Maker

But other electronic machines may require special stiffening to be cut these thin papers. And most machines will not cut these very thin and very fragile papers at all.

Silhouette machines, such as the Silhouette Cameo can cut lightweight cardstock and text weight papers very well. But these machines are not rated to cut heavier cardstock or heavier media.

Is the Best Paper Made of Hardwood or Softwood?

Every paper mill has its own formula for creating paper. All use hardwood and softwood to make their papers. But the proportions of hard to soft woods used in the papermaking process varies. When you find paper that works extremely well for the projects you like to make, take note of the mill that produces that paper. You might want to consider purchasing your favorite papers in quantities. When you get some papers that do not cut well for the projects you like to make, avoid purchasing papers from the mills that produce them.

For example, I purchase inexpensive paper made by Georgia Pacific for test cutting new designs if they are not too intricate. But when making final project cuts and intricate designs, I prefer to use papers by Neenah or Colormates from Worldwin. These papers seem to be crispier, and cut without shredding. Even very intricate designs cut very cleanly on these papers. Crispy papers have a higher hardwood content that make them cut better on electronic cutting machines.

However, stiff and crispy papers may crack under pressure when using Die Cutter/Embossing machines. In this case, it is important to test small samples for embossing, before you purchase in bulk. You may find that paper that cuts best on the electronic cutter, is not the best paper for using in a pressure embossing machine.

The Best Paper for Light Weight Projects

Tissue Paper

When you want to emboss many, many layers of tissue paper, embossing folders used with Die Cutter/Embossing machines work great. However, tissue paper may rip and tear under a cutting blade in a cutting machine. For this reason, a rotary blade, such as that available for use on the Cricut Maker works best. You can cut some amazing flower petals from tissue paper using the Cricut Maker and rotary blade.

Best Paper

Cricut Maker

Use a light tack mat, or the project may tear when you remove it from the mat. Do not attempt to cut any shape smaller than 3/4″ using the rotary blade. Cut larger simple shapes from tissue paper for best results.

If you are needing straight cuts, a hand-held rotary tool may work for cutting multiple layers at a time. Then you can use scissors to make any necessary curved cuts.

Crepe Paper

Crepe paper comes in a wide variety a weights and attributes. When making crepe paper flowers, getting a quality crepe paper that stretches nicely is important. Crepe paper comes in many weights. You may be able to cut heavy crepe paper, ironed between two layers of freezer paper with a regular blade on your electronic cutter. But I have found that if I want to cut crepe paper on a cutter, Cricut Maker using the Rotary blade is the only machine that will do it well without tearing. Again, do not plan to cut any shapes smaller than 3/4″.

Crepe paper rolls for decorating may not be your best choice for cutting. This type of crepe paper is very thin, and stretches very little.

Construction Paper

Construction paper is very inexpensive. But it is also tears very easily. Its fibers are very loose. Cutting blades rip and tear in the cutting process unless using a rotary cutting blade. Use the rotary blade on the Cricut Maker for simple cuts on construction paper. Otherwise, scissors may cut the best. Construction paper is not always the Best Paper option for use with cutters.

Vellum

Translucent vellum used for crafting is generally a thin, but crispy paper that cuts well with a blade on electronic cutters. It comes in a text weight or as cardstock. The text weight paper is very fragile, so should be handled carefully. Translucent vellum cardstock works extremely well with line embossing on electronic cutters. And it cuts very well, too, without using a special backing or freezer paper.

You can create some lovely parchment type crafts using vellum, an embossing tool, piercing tool and cutting blade on your electronic cutter. If your machine does not have piercing and embossing tools available, it is possible to use hand embossing or piercing tools in a pen holder. The tip of a blade can produce a pierced effect if you don’t have a piercing tool.

Pazzles InVue Cutter

Pierced, embossed, and cut Vellum popup butterfly

 Scrapbook Paper

Decorative scrapbook papers are fun to use on cards and scrapbook layouts. Most cutters can cut scrapbook paper without a problem. But some scrapbook papers cut better than others. Some scrapbook papers made of layers may split, bunch or tear when cut. If you have papers that give you problems, avoid tiny cuts. Use them for cutting larger shapes. Cutting small welded text with sharp angles can result in lots of tearing. It is better to use nice crispy paper without a white core for intricate cuts and tiny text. If you find a brand that cuts well, stick with that brand for cutting with your machine.

Text Weight Paper

Paper that feeds into printers is usually text weight. 20# text is very light weight printer paper. 24# paper is better than 20# for double sided printing. 37# text weight paper is very nice for print and cut projects that do not need to be stiff. You can use shimmer papers for making lovely 3D flowers. This paper is described as 18 GSM (32/80lb Text) , The key word is “text” – this is NOT cardstock. It feels like quality letterhead paper. It has a smooth, Satiny Metallic finish.

Text Weight Papers can also be sold in heavier weights. Even up to weights that are nearly equivalent to medium weight cardstock. Be sure to read the weight specifications. Is it Text Weight or cover stock? Even more importantly, try some test cuts. Does it cut well for your purposes? If you need to print on it, will it feed through your printer smoothly? It is recommended for use in printers? Heavy cardstock may not work well for cutting around printed images.

Be sure to use a light tack mat when cutting light weight papers. Light weight papers may not come off of a brand new, very sticky mat. At least you should condition a new mat, and do test cuts on heavier paper on a new mat before using it with lightweight paper.

Best Paper for Cardstock Projects

Cardstock is available in weights from medium weight 65# up to  very heavy weight 110#. 70#, 80#, 90#, 100# and 105# are also common cardstock weights. You may want to have a variety of weights on hand for different projects.

Medium Weight Cardstock

65# cardstock is the most common medium weight cardstock. It can be used for cards, scrapbook photo mats, stamping embellishments, home decor, gifts and other crafting projects. Some medium weight cardstock cuts well, and others do not cut well on electronic cutters. If you have some medium weight cardstock that does not cut well on your electronic cutter, try using it for embossing on cards and embellishments. It may also be used for making simple shapes or photo mats.

It is easy to assume that your cutter is broken when nothing will cut right. However, “mushy” paper is the culprit for bad cuts more often than not for me. Also, be sure to check the cutter maintenance tips to rule out other causes of poor cuts.

Best Paper

Cuts before and after cutter maintenance

Heavy Cardstock

Any cardstock above 80# is considered to be heavy weight. 100# cardstock is great for coloring, molding, and shaping for 3D flowers. You will love 110# cardstock for creating heavy duty boxes and 3D paper projects. 100# cardstock is great for making popup cards. You will like using 80#-90# cardstock for making cards, intricate frames, borders, corners, etc . If you prefer cutting heavy cardstock, stay away from the cutters that are limited to cutting medium weight cardstock.

Some heavy cardstocks have polyester fibers in them, which make them strong. But these polyester fibers make them much more difficult to cut cleanly, especially on intricate designs. The polyester fibers also are very hard on blades, dulling them quickly. These textured papers make very nice cards and photo mats. However, they may not be the Best Paper for cutting with your electronic cutter.

Watercolor Paper

Watercolor paper can have different weights and densities. These papers are great for watercolor projects. Cutting watercolor paper into simple shapes may not be problematic. But it might be best to cut only simple, basic shapes from it. Because watercolor paper is not crispy, it may tend to bunch and shred by the blade. You may be able to cut shapes around your watercolor designs if you are careful.

Matboard

Professional quality photo mats are made from 4-ply matboard . Matboard is very stiff, and very difficult for most electronic craft cutters to handle. Some of the cutters that can cut with up to 1000 grams or more of pressure can cut 2-ply matboard up to 2mm thick. The cutting blade must also be able to handle the thickness of the Matboard. Some cutters, such as Scan N Cut, have the pressure rating for cutting heavier materials. But they are limited in the thickness that they can handle. Scan N Cut 2 is rated to cut media no thicker than 1.5mm. Read more about cutting matboard with the Knife Blade on the Cricut Maker here.  Pazzles Vue can cut 2 ply matboard up to 2mm thick.

Scan N Cut 2 cuts media only up to 1.5mm thick. The Scan N Cut DX to be released in the Fall of 2018 is boasting a 3mm thickness cutting option. Cricut Maker cuts media up to 2.5mm thick, but would require the optional Knife blade to access the pressure needed for cutting thicker media. Pazzles Vue cuts media up to 2mm thick. Some of the KNK machines will cut Matboard, as does the Silver Bullet line of cutters. Be sure to check your cutter specifications before investing in Matboard to cut.

Chipboard

Chipboard comes in many thicknesses and densities. Some chipboard is made of multiple layers. Some is coated on a single side, while others have a coating on both sides. Most cutters can handle cutting cereal boxes, which is flexible chipboard. Some chipboard is not flexible. That type is most difficult to cut. Some chipboard shreds during multiple cutting passes. There is chipboard available that cuts well without shredding. Here is an excellent article about chipboard. Cricut sells 11″x11″ chipboard made specifically for use with the Cricut Maker. Silhouette sells a chipboard colored cardstock, as regular chipboard cannot be cut on Silhouette machines.

I prefer cutting chipboard that will cut in a single pass. This is because the density of chipboard can cause a cutter to skip steps. If this happens, successive passes would not be in exactly the same location as previous passes. This results in shredding of the chipboard and very poor cuts. If multiple passes are necessary, it is best to start with lower blade extension and cutting pressure, then increase these settings for the next passes. This reduces the possibility of missed cutting steps. If you need thicker chipboard pieces, you might want to try cutting several pieces of .022″ chipboard, and gluing them together to make your project. Do not plan to cut intricate designs from chipboard.

Cricut Maker users may cut chipboard up to 2mm thick with the optional knife blade. The interesting thing about using the chipboard setting in Cricut Design Space, is that chipboard and other thicker, denser materials do not use a cutting pressure any more than 750 grams. The secret to success for this machine is the slow cutting, and many, many passes. The blade needs to have sufficient cutting surface to cut completely through the thickness of the chipboard.

Best Paper Brands for Cutting

I have been using electronic cutting machines since 2004. The brand of paper that I have had consistently excellent cutting results with is Worldwin Papers, I have used most of their papers varying from very light weight to very heavy weight, and all of them cut with excellence on my cutters. Their textured 65# Cutmates line is guaranteed to cut well on any electronic cutter. The selection of colors in the smooth 65# Colormates makes it to be much in demand among cutter users. My personal favorite smooth paper by Worldwin is the 90# Colormates Smooth and Silky. Their colormates line of heavy textured cardstock is also wonderful to cut. I love their metallics as well.

If you cannot find the Worldwin papers you need at Amazon, you can purchase your favorites from The Paper Mill Store.

When I need low cost paper options that I can get quickly locally from Michaels, I purchase Recollections cardstock . Their 65# cardstock generally cuts well, as does their very heavy 110# cardstock. 

Paper Brands to Avoid

I avoid papers from Joann. Their Core dinations  brand does not always cut well. I save this paper for purposes other than cutting on my electronic cutters. Paper sold at Walmart is inconsistent for cutting purposes. One color in a package may cut OK, while then next color will not cut well at all. These may work for simple shapes, but I stay away from their papers when cutting intricate projects.

Best Paper Hints and Tips

Humidity

Nice paper for cutting may not cut nicely if it has been exposed to humidity. Pressure and blade settings may change with the environment. What cut well this morning may not cut so well at the same settings in the afternoon when the air conditioning is running. Always do test cuts when environmental changes occur.

Storage

Store your paper in Zip lock bags after you have opened its original packaging. Two-gallon zipper bags fit 12″x 12″ papers well for storage. Storing them this way will prevent the papers from collecting excess moisture that can hinder cutting quality. Moist papers get “Mushy” and may tear and bunch during cutting.

Emboss the Cut

If you have some paper that is not cutting well, try using an embossing tool or scoring tool in the machine over all of the cut lines a couple of times at very high pressure. Then cut as you normally would. The embossing tool compresses the paper along the cutting lines so that you can get much better cuts.

Drying with Heat

Some have mentioned drying paper that has soaked up moisture in the oven. If you attempt this trick, be sure to keep an eye on the paper, so that it does start burning. Using a low temperature in a dehydrator for a longer period of time might be safer. Check on the paper at regular intervals. Some prefer to dry out paper using an iron.

Chipboard

After removing chipboard from its packaging, it gets thicker overnight. New chipboard straight from the packaging requires different settings than would be required if the paper sits out overnight. Cricut recommends letting its chipboard sit out of the package for a day before cutting for best results. Chipboard is very absorbent, and sensitive to environmental conditions.

Be sure to use a high tack mat and possibly tape the edges of chipboard and other heavy media to the mat to keep it from moving around during cutting .

Best Paper Cutting Settings

Because paper is very environmentally sensitive, the same paper may require very different settings. Those who live in very dry climates will need to use less cutting pressure than those who live in humid environments. For this reason, performing your own test cuts is extremely important. Don’t rely on a published list of settings or presets. Sometimes different colors of paper in the same package can require different settings. What cut well yesterday at certain settings may require different settings today. Be sure to do test cuts at the beginning of each cutting session, and any time you make color changes or environment changes.

Best Paper Conclusion

If you are faithful to do test cuts, you will be more successful cutting any papers you have in your collection. Be sure to keep lots of inexpensive paper that cuts well, on hand for doing project test cuts. Save your expensive paper for the final versions. This will save you lots of frustration.

The paper that is best for you depends on what you like to cut most, and what machine you have. Special tools available for use with your cutter can also make a difference in how they cut.

Here is FREE cutting project that you can use to check how well your paper cuts with each of the tree layers. The hearts layer provides some intricate cutting,  while the white layer provides a simple shape to cut. The Brown layer has some intricate inner detail. You can use this project on a card or scrapbook layout.

Best Paper

Best Paper for Cutting

Best Paper

Love Football Border

 

>> 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

Baby Crib Popup Card FREE SVG

A Baby Crib Popup Card FREE SVG file is available for download now in the free Resource Library.

Do you need a nice card for a baby shower or gift? This lovely card is decorated for a girl, but it could just as easily be decorated suitably for a baby boy. The card folds flat for delivery. When it is opened, the crib pops out. There is plenty of room inside for you to write a message and sign the card. You can put a gift card inside as well. The card measures 5.25″ wide by 7″ tall. You can resize the card according to your needs.

 

Baby Crib Popup

Baby Crib Popup Card

Supplies Needed for the Baby Crib 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 Baby Crib Popup Card

Recollections 110# cardstock for popup card backing

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

81lb Text  Green  Metallics paper for card mats and Pink Metallics paper for the front sentiment and the crib skirting.

80# white cardstock for Crib

12″ 1/8″ wide white satin ribbon

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

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

Dries Clear Art Glitter Glue: Heartfelt Creations

Pearl Stickers

 

Assembly Instructions for the Baby Crib Popup Card

Cutting Instructions for the Baby Crib Popup Card:

Cut out all pieces in your choice of colors. If you wish to resize the card, select all, and resize proportionally so that all pieces fit together well. When importing the SVG file into your cutting software, check the sizing, and resize as necessary. The outside card measures 10.625″ wide by 6.875″ tall. The crib pieces together measure 10.5999″ wide by 3.791″ tall. The sentiment pieces measure 4.973″ wide by 3.182″ tall. The crib skirting piece measures 10″ wide by 1.579″ tall.

The red lines are score lines, set to cut with tiny dashes. If you are importing the design into Cricut Design Space, ungroup all first. If you prefer to use a scoring tool rather cutting dashes, you can import the score line from Shapes, and place those over the dashes. You can then delete the dashes, or hide them on the Layers toolbar. Next,  select each piece with its score lines, right click, and select Attach.

In case you need to change the sentiment, or add more cutting text, the font used was  GE Curviture. 

Folding Instructions for the Baby Crib Popup Card

Make valley folds for the score lines on the outer and inner cards. Make mountain folds on the white crib pieces and the skirting piece. Crease the scored lines using a bone folder or other folding tool.

Shaping and Assembling the Magnolia Flower

See the instructions for shaping and assembling the small Magnolia flower included in the Tips for Cutting Basswood on the Cricut Maker blog post. Scroll down to the paragraph on Decorate Your Cut Basswood Tree. The cutting design for the flower is available in the Free Resource Library.

Glue Crib Pieces

There is a tab on one end of each of the crib piece. Glue the end without the tab over the tabbed end of the other piece. When dry, glue the plain end of the crib over the tabbed end. This will form a 3D box. Press the box flat from side to side to make sure it folds and unfolds easily. The skirting, the piece with the scalloped edge, is next. Glue the plain end over the tabbed end. Place the skirting inside of the crib piece so that the scalloped edge show below the crib rails. The straight edge of the skirting is visible through the crib rails. Glue the skirting at each of the corners formed by the legs. Also, put a dab of glue in a few other places along the bottom crib rail to hold the skirt in position.

Putting the Baby Crib Popup Card Together

Glue the inside mat piece to the inside of the card. Be sure to line up the score lines. Make sure that the card opens and closes easily. Glue the sentiment for the front of the card on to its mat. Glue the mat to the front of the card. Put glue on the back side of the crib. Line up the feet of the crib just inside the bottom of the card. Glue the back side of the crib, with the back left corner snugly in the center fold of the card. Add glue to the left end of the crib piece. Next, close the card, and hold firmly in place. When dry, check to make sure the card opens and closes properly.

Decorate the front of the Card

Add pearl stickers to the ribbon strips. Now glue the ribbon to the top and bottom of the front of the card. Fold three of the butterflies that were cut out of the inner mat piece, and glue just their centers over the butterfly shapes connecting the sentiment on the card front. Next, add a row of 4 pearl stickers to the center of each butterfly. Now, assemble a small magnolia flower, and glue it over the ribbon on the bottom front of the card.

Add Pearl Stickers to the butterflies  on the Inside of the Baby Crib Popup  card.

Place the pearl stickers across the centers of each of the cut out butterfly shapes on the inside card mat. If desired, use more butterflies with folded wings and pearl centers on the front side of the crib. Add any additional greeting on the inside. Now your card is ready to bless its recipient.

Baby Crib Popup

Baby Crib Popup Card

Get the FREE CUT FILES FOR the Baby Crib Popup Card and the Small Magnolia Flower 

You can get the SVG cut files for the Baby Crib Popup Card and 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

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.

 

How to Use the Regal Split Monogram Font

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

Regal Split Monogram

Split Regal Monogram on a Ceramic Tile

Supplies Needed 

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

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

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

 

How to Download and Install the Regal Split Monogram Font

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

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

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

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

Cricut Design Space

Brother Canvas Workspace – Scan N Cut

Silhouette Studio

Pazzles InVue

Make The Cut

Sure Cuts A Lot

Adding Custom Text to the Regal Split Monogram

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

Resize Your Custom Text

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

Adding Custom Text Below the Regal Split Monogram

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

Save Your Completed Monogram Design

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

Cutting your Regal Split Monogram Design

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

Regal Split Monogram

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

Weeding Your Regal Split Monogram

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

Regal Split Monogram

Weeded vinyl still on the backing.

Apply Vinyl Transfer Tape to the Weeded Vinyl

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

Regal Split Monogram

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

Regal Split Monogram

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

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

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

Clean the Tile and Apply the Vinyl Design

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

Regal Split Monogram

Clean Tile

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

Regal Split Monogram

Start placing the vinyl on the tile.

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

Remove the Vinyl Transfer Material

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

Regal Split Monogram

Remove the Transfer tape.

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

 

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

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

Cutter Maintenance

Cuts before and after cutter maintenance

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

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

Poor quality cut before maintenance.

 

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

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#1: Machine Setup

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#2: Connections

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#3: Clean Surfaces

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#4: Blade Holder

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

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

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#6: Clean Environment

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#7: Cutting Strip

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#8: Bar and Rollers

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

Cutter Maintenance Tip#9: Grit Rollers

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

Cutter Maintenance Tips

Debris on Grit Roller

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

Removing Debris from Grit Rollers

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

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

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

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

Clean cut after cleaning grit rollers.asdfas

Cutter Maintenance Tip#10: Prevention

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

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

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

10 Cutter Maintenance Tips

Snowflake design .

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

 

>> 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:

 

 

 

Will the Cricut Maker Cut Felt?

Will the Cricut Maker Cut Felt? Will it cut even inexpensive, loosely woven felt that has not been stiffened or backed? I purchased some felt in a variety of colors to do some test cutting from here. This is a 9″x12″ piece from a package of 10 sheets in different colors. I can cut felt on my other cutters if it is stiffened, backed with adhesive, or Heat n Bond, ironed between two layers of freezer paper, or cut on a very sticky mat. Cricut advertising for their Maker with the rotary cutting wheel and 4000 grams of available cutting pressure indicated that this machine would not require that fabric, felt included, be stiffened, adhesive backed, ironed between layers of freezer paper or cut on a very sticky mat.

Finding a Project to Cut in Felt

In order to cut to the Cricut Maker, users must sign in to the free Cricut Design Space software. No other software will cut to the Cricut Maker. There are Apps for use of this software on tablets as well as Windows or Mac computers. You can select a ready to cut project from Cricut Design Space called Felt Flower Wreath since this project was designed specifically for use with felt. You don’t have to cut all of the flowers for this project if you just want to experiment with cutting felt. This project is free to Cricut Access members. You may follow the instructions posted with the file for cutting and assembly of your felt flowers.

Cutting the Felt

Cricut recommends the use of the pink cutting mat that ships with the Cricut Maker for cutting fabric. You may use an older Cricut cutting mat if you prefer. I used an older cutting mat in case I had difficulty getting the felt residue off of the mat. This mat had very little adhesive left on it.

Will Cricut Maker Cut Felt

Old Cricut cutting mat with felt placed on it.

In the Cricut Design Space software, select Make It. Select just the Turquoise mat # 8 to cut. Make sure that your rotary blade is installed in the machine, and select the rotary blade option from the software. Select Felt as the media. Load the mat, and press the Start Button. The machine will cut the flower shapes.

Will Cricut Maker Cut Felt

Remove the excess felt from the mat.

The excess felt lifts away from the cut flowers easily and cleanly. Each flower layer is perfectly cut.

Will Cricut Maker Cut Felt

Felt flower layers cut cleanly.

The felt flowers lifted off of the mat nicely. They were all cut out perfectly with no snagging. Even though the mat was not very sticky, the cut pieces did not move around on the mat during cutting. The Cricut Maker Cut felt perfectly.

Cleaning the Cutting Mat

When the felt flowers are removed from the mat, they leave behind a residue that will not come off with a scraper tool.

Will Cricut Maker Cut Felt

Felt residue left on mat after cutting.

However, you may use alcohol-free baby wipes to remove this fabric residue. The old mat will clean up nicely with these wipes.

Will Cricut Maker Cut Felt

All Felt residue is gone using alcohol-free baby wipes.

The mat is ready to use again. You may notice that there are some excessively deep cuts in the mat where the roller blade cut circles. Cutting this type of felt may  be cut using less pressure to avoid gouging the mat like this. The extra pressure cutting into the mat is not good for the blade either.

Use Hot Glue to Assemble the Flowers

Place hot glue on the tab of each flower layer to give it a cupped shape. You can use two or three layers for each flower, placing hot glue around the center of each layer to adhere the next smaller layer to it. You can glue one of the small cut circles to the center of the top layer, and embellish as you like. I used a pearl sticker in the center of each of my felt flowers. The cut felt flowers are ready to add to your favorite DIY craft project such as cards, home decor, hats, hair ornaments, and 3D projects.

Will Cricut Maker Cut Felt

Cut and assemble felt flowers.

Will the Cricut Maker Cut Felt?

Yes, the Cricut Maker cuts felt very well! Cricut Maker does a better job cutting felt than any of my other cutters, faster, with much more ease,  and much less expense. Very inexpensive felt can be used, no backing or stiffening is required, and results are exquisite! I purchased the Cricut Maker because of this exceptional feature.

Will Cricut Maker Cut Felt

Cricut Maker Cuts Felt

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

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

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>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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