decoration decoration decoration
decoration
leaf leaf leaf leaf leaf
decoration decoration

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

 

 

 

 

Best Paper for Cutting

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

Best Paper

Best Paper for Cutting

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

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

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

Machine Choice

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

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker

Rotary Blade Kit for Cricut Maker

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

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

Is the Best Paper Made of Hardwood or Softwood?

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

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

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

The Best Paper for Light Weight Projects

Tissue Paper

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

Best Paper

Cricut Maker

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

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

Crepe Paper

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

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

Construction Paper

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

Vellum

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

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

Pazzles InVue Cutter

Pierced, embossed, and cut Vellum popup butterfly

 Scrapbook Paper

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

Text Weight Paper

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

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

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

Best Paper for Cardstock Projects

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

Medium Weight Cardstock

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

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

Best Paper

Cuts before and after cutter maintenance

Heavy Cardstock

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

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

Watercolor Paper

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

Matboard

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

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

Chipboard

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

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

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

Best Paper Brands for Cutting

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

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

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

Paper Brands to Avoid

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

Best Paper Hints and Tips

Humidity

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

Storage

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

Emboss the Cut

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

Drying with Heat

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

Chipboard

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

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

Best Paper Cutting Settings

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

Best Paper Conclusion

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

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

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

Best Paper

Best Paper for Cutting

Best Paper

Love Football Border

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

Make an Oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card

Make an oval accordion card.

 

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

Supplies Needed to Make the Oval Accordion Card

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

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

Software Requirements

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

Paper Choices

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

Cutting Instructions

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

Score Lines

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

Oval Accordion Card

Basic panels for oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card Assembly

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

Oval Accordion Card

Decorated Panels

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

Oval Accordion Card

Panels Glued Together

Folding the Card

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

Oval Accordion Card

Glue oval tab to neighboring oval.

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

Oval Accordion Card

Connecting Oval Tabs

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

Oval Accordion Card

Card Folded Flat

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

 

Oval Accordion Card

Oval Accordion Card completed

Love,
Julie, cuttercrafter.com

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

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

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

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

You can make a Lovely Floral Gift Box

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

Two part gift box with decorative 3D Heart Flower ornament

Two part gift box with decorative 3D Heart Flower ornament

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

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

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

loading
×

>> 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.
%d bloggers like this: