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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

 

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Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

Do you Need the New Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set?

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

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Wheel

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

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

What Scoring Choices do Cutter Users Have?

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

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

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

Cutting Dashed Lines

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

Using a Scoring Tool

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Stylus

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

Scoring with a Cricut Machine

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

Embossing Score Lines

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

Engraving Score Lines

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

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

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

Creating Score Lines Manually

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

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

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

Test Your Scoring Options with A FREE SVG Cutting File

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

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

Love,

Julie

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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 Make an All-Occasion Tri-level Popup Card

Create the Tri-Level Popup Card

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

 

Tri-Level Popup Card

Tri-Level Popup Card ready for decorations

Supplies Needed for the Tri-Level Popup Card 

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

Free SVG file for the Tri-Level Popup Card

100# white cardstock for popup card

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

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

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

Dark green cardstock for card Backing

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

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

Dries Clear Art Glitter Glue: Heartfelt Creations

Pearl Stickers

Transparent Micro Fine Glitter

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

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

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

Cutting pieces for the Tri-Level Popup Card

Folding the Popup Card

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

First Folds, Center sides of popup card.

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

Mat Pieces glued in Place.

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

Closed Popup Card

Tri-Level Popup Card

Mountain and Valley folds on the Popup Card

Glue the Popup Card to the Backing Card

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

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

Print and Cut Some Clipart

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

Create a 3D Decoupage Effect by Layering Pieces

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

Shape Your Printed Flower and Butterfly Pieces

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

Butterflies and Flowers Clipart from DesignBundles

Decorate the Inside of the Tri-Level Popup  Card

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

Decorated Tri-Level Popup Card

Decorate the Outside of the Tri-Level Popup Card

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

Tri-Level Popup Card

Outside view of decorated Tri-Level Popup Card.

Please share your decorated cards with us.

 

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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Julie, cuttercrafter.com

How to Use the Regal Split Monogram Font

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

Regal Split Monogram

Split Regal Monogram on a Ceramic Tile

Supplies Needed 

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

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

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

 

How to Download and Install the Regal Split Monogram Font

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

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

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

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

Cricut Design Space

Brother Canvas Workspace – Scan N Cut

Silhouette Studio

Pazzles InVue

Make The Cut

Sure Cuts A Lot

Adding Custom Text to the Regal Split Monogram

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

Resize Your Custom Text

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

Adding Custom Text Below the Regal Split Monogram

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

Save Your Completed Monogram Design

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

Cutting your Regal Split Monogram Design

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

Regal Split Monogram

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

Weeding Your Regal Split Monogram

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

Regal Split Monogram

Weeded vinyl still on the backing.

Apply Vinyl Transfer Tape to the Weeded Vinyl

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

Regal Split Monogram

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

Regal Split Monogram

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

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

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

Clean the Tile and Apply the Vinyl Design

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

Regal Split Monogram

Clean Tile

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

Regal Split Monogram

Start placing the vinyl on the tile.

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

Remove the Vinyl Transfer Material

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

Regal Split Monogram

Remove the Transfer tape.

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

 

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

How to Use SVG Files with Scan N Cut

Learning how to use SVG files with Scan N Cut is important. Not all SVG files work well with Scan N Cut. In this tutorial you will learn how to make sure that your SVG file will work well with your Scan N Cut. ScanNCut SVG files need to be no larger than 11.75″ x 11.75″  using the standard sized mat, or 11.75″ x 23.75″ using the long mat. The DPI size also needs to be correct. Make sure that the ScanNCut SVG file has a minimum number of nodes. This tutorial will address all of these issues.

ScanNCut SVG

Scan N Cut

How was the SVG file Created?

SVG files may be created in any number of software programs. Some software allows the designer to add many different “pages” of file pieces on a single screen. This is fine if cutting from that software directly to a supported cutter. That software will allow you to select the specific portions of the designs to be cut in a given pass. SVG files of this type will work in many programs for many different cutters. However, any SVG file imported into the Brother Canvas Workspace software will be resized to fit the mat on the screen. When all pieces of the file are selected, and the width or length of the selection is greater than the screen mat size, the pieces will be resized to fit. So all of your design pieces may shrink to a very tiny size in the Brother Canvas Workspace or on the LED screen of your Scan N Cut.

FREE Rose SVG Cutting File

There  is a Free Large 3D Rose cutting file in SVG format in my Free Resource Library for you to use as you work through this tutorial. When it is cut and assembled, this rose has a width of about 7″.

ScanNCut SVG

Large 3D Rose SVG Project

The cutting pieces for this project measure over 17.5″ wide when selected in their original size. The largest petals measure 3.45″ wide.

ScannCut SVG

Original Size of Large Rose Cutting File – 17.5″ wide

But when you import this same design into Brother Canvas Workspace, you will receive a message that the design was resized to fit the Canvas Workspace.

ScanNCut SVG

Warning Message in Brother Canvas Workspace about Size

The resulting imported design in Brother Canvas Workspace was resized to be 11.75″ x 11.75″ and the largest petal measured 2.03″ wide. This size is about 58% smaller than the original. The final assembled flower would measure about 4.12″ wide. Now if this adjusted size is OK with you, then you can go ahead and cut the project to make the smaller rose.

ScanNCut SVG

Large Rose SVG file was resized in Canvas Workspace

Vendor Remedies for ScanNCut SVG Files

Some software vendors are aware of this issue, and save their larger SVG projects into multiple SVG files with a maximum width so that they will work with all software, including Scan N Cut. They will add all of the project SVG files to a single folder, and zip them up for a single download. You will need to unzip the folder once you have saved it to your computer, by clicking on the zipped folder, and selecting Extract All. Then you will be able to import one SVG file at a time to either Canvas Workspace or directly to your Scan N Cut via the Bluetooth connection, or via a thumb drive plugged in to the USB port on the machine.

How to Make Size Adjustments for ScanNCut SVG Files

If you have determined that you need to retain the sizing of the original file, how do you make the necessary size adjustments in the file so that it will work with the Scan N Cut? One option is to contact the original designer of the file, and ask them to limit the sizing of their SVG files to a width of 11.75″. However, that is not always practical for you or for the original designer. You can learn to make the necessary adjustments in the file so that it will work on your machine.

The best option is for you to use a third party software for making changes in your SVG file. Software that exports designs with the sizing of the original design are the free Inkscape ,  Make The Cut,  or Sure Cuts A Lot (using the 96 DPI export option or Save as FCM). SCAL is the best option for MAC users.

The Large 3D Rose file is a good place for you to start. Select one of the above software programs to use for editing your SVG files. Plan to stick with it for all of your editing needs. You will need to learn how to use it for many different purposes. Each has its own learning curve. See my video tutorial covering use of each of these three programs for making the small changes that this file needs.

How to Reduce the Number of Nodes for a ScanNCut SVG File

Whenever you change file formats for a cutting file, it is possible that extra nodes will be added to the design. If a design has too many nodes, or construction points, it may not load into Canvas Workspace or the Scan N Cut. It is therefore important to reduce the number of nodes in the design before exporting as SVG. In Make the Cut, you can use Ctrl+Shift + X to view path detail.

Reducing the Node Count in Make The Cut

ScanNCut SVG

View Path Detail in Make The Cut

In this file there are only a total of 434 points, and 182 Nodes, as indicated on the top line of the window. This number of nodes is not a problem for Scan N Cut. Some files with lots of tiny detail can have upwards of 30,000 nodes. That would be too many. To reduce the number of nodes in Make The Cut, select all (Ctrl+A), Join (Ctrl+J), Auto Simplify Paths (Ctrl+Shift+Z). The number of nodes will be significantly lower if there are too many nodes.

Reduce the Node Count in Inkscape

If you are using Inkscape, and your SVG file has too many nodes, select all (Ctrl+A) and Simplify (Ctrl+L) as many times as needed to get rid of excess nodes, a few at a time. This file does not need it. You only need to reduce nodes or simplify paths if you get an error when trying to load your SVG file into Canvas Workspace or into the Scan N Cut machine.

ScanNCut SVG

Warning when attempting to transfer a design with too many nodes to Scan N Cut.

Reduce the Node Count Using Sure Cuts A Lot

To reduce the number of nodes in a file if you are using Sure Cuts A Lot,  go to the Path menu at the top of the screen, and select Simplify. A window will open allowing you to see the nodes and reduce the number of nodes if there are too many. This design does not have too many nodes, so simplifying would actually add nodes as shown in the image below.

ScanNCut SVG

Use the Path Simplify tool to view the number and to reduce them if necessary.

Import your ScanNCut SVG Files into Scan N Cut Canvas Workspace or into the Machine

Once you have edited the SVG files to have its objects fit on a single design page in the software of your choice no wider than 11.75″,   reduced the number of nodes if necessary, and exported the files as SVG for FCM using the proper DPI settings, then you are ready to transfer your files to your Scan N Cut machine for cutting. You can copy the files to a thumb drive, and plug them in to the machine’s USB port, or import them into Canvas Workspace to Transfer to your Scan N Cut.

Cut the pieces for your ScanNCut SVG Large 3D Rose, and you are ready to assemble your flower.

ScanNCut SVG

Large 3D Rose SVG Cutting File

You can get the FREE cutting file for this project as well as additional SVG projects in my FREE Resource Library.

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Thanks!

Julie

cuttercrafter.com

Tips for Cutting Basswood on the Cricut Maker

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

Cut Basswood

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

Supplies Needed to Make the 3D Family Tree

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

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

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

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

Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks

 

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

Tips for Cutting Basswood on Cricut Maker

3D Basswood Tree

Preparation for Using the Knife Blade to Cut Basswood

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

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

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

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

Cut Basswood with the Knife Blade

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

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

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

Assemble the 3D Basswood Tree

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

Cleaning the Mat

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

Decorate Your Cut Basswood Tree

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

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

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

 

Cut Basswood

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

 

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

Get the FREE CUT FILES FOR THE Small Magnolia Flower 

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

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

How to Fold Popup Cards

Learn how to fold Popup Cards.

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

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Folding Lines for the Happy Birthday Popup Card

Select Heavy Cardstock for Popup Cards

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Happy Birthday Popup Card cut from 80# cardstock

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Popup Card made with 65# Cardstock

Make Solid Score Lines

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

How to fold popup cards

Scored and Cut file ready to be folded.

Fold Popup – Valley Folds

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

How to Fold Popup Cards.

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

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

Fold Popup – Mountain Folds

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

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

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

Check all of the folds from front and back sides.

How to Fold Popup Card

Check all folds from the back side of the card.

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Gently press the back of the card towards the front.

Check both sides of the card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Check folds on front and back.

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

Fold Popup – Open and Close the Card

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

How to fold a popup card.

The open card should stand on its own.

 

 

Add the Backing to the Card

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

 

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

Glue Outside card to popup card.

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

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

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

How to Fold Popup Cards

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

Open Card

How to Fold Popup Card

Card ready to decorate.

Decorate Your Popup Card

How to Fold Popup Cards

Alternate numbers for customizing card.

How to Fold Popup Cards

Another version of the same card.

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

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Julie

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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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