Cricut Design Space – Save Paper Using Mat Preview

Cricut Design Space – Save Paper Using Mat Preview

Here is another Cricut Design Space tip for my Cricut Explore users.  For this video, I will show you how to move and rotate images on the mat preview within the Desktop version of Design space, so you can easily use different size papers and scraps.  If you take the default layout from Design Space, it often does not arrange the images optimally on the mat for paper usage.

For iPad Cricut Design Space users, you can also move and rotate images within the mat preview with your finger or stylus.  There is also a lot of Material Size options within the iPad IOS App.  There is also a feature called SnapMat that allows you to take a picture of your mat to optimize scraps.  Click here to view Cricut’s SnapMat FAQ.  

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Cricut Design Space: Save Paper Using the Attach Option

Cricut Design Space: Save Paper Using the Attach Option

For those that use Cricut Design Space, I would like to share a tip I use in Cricut Design space that will help you conserve valuable paper and cardstock.

Often, when cutting from within Design Space, I notice a lot of paper waste when viewing a project in the mat.  For those paper lovers out there that want to conserve paper, here is a tip on how you can use the Attach option within Cricut Design Space to do just this!

Tune in next week for another paper saving technique I use in Cricut Design Space.

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Our 7 Favorite Tools for Paper Crafting

Our 7 Favorite Tools for Paper Crafting

  1. Die Cutting machines (Of course!)

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    I love the idea, you can design and cut paper via die cutters now. I still love my scissors, but using these machines is a time saver and it is amazing what you can do with them.  I currently own 3 die Cutters (a Cricut Explore, Cricut Explore Air, and original Silhouette Cameo).  For my paper designs, both machines are very equal in their capabilities.  However, I prefer to use the Cricut when working from my laptop, due to Bluetooth capabilities and Smart Set Dial.  The newly released Silhouette Cameo 3 does have Bluetooth capabilities and a new AutoBlade, but my original Cameo is a workhorse.  I cannot justify another machine quite yet.

  2. Die Cutting Software

    For cutting and designing simple SVG files, here are the three software packages I use frequently (other than Adobe Illustrator).

    Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) from CraftEdge

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    Mostly, I like Sure Cuts A Lot for the ease of creating SVGs, the ability to cut directly to the Silhouette Cameo, and the ease of exporting Cricut Design Space (DS) compatible SVGs.  It is like a mini Adobe Illustrator for Die Cutting machines. Whatever die cutter you own, it is worth taking a look. They have a Trial version available to try the software. You can curve text by using the Text on a Path or use other effects to change shapes easily. Or add a background by using the Shadow Layer effect.

    Silhouette Studio (Designer Edition)

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    Even though I am able to cut designs on the Cameo using SCAL, I also use Silhouette Studio.  I use the Designer Edition, which is a minor upgrade that grants the software additional capabilities, like the ability to import SVG files.  As with SCAL, it has some advanced design features that are not found in Cricut Design Space, like Offset feature and curved text by adding it to a curved path or circle, or any type path for that matter.

    Cricut Design Space

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    Design Space is the cloud-based software used to cut to the Cricut Explore.  You can upload SVG files for free. I like how the software groups images with same color on separate mats, rather than having to manually move the images about on a virtual mat.  I also like the Custom dial settings you can set from within the software, for non-standard paper and materials, like glitter and sticker paper.  It is cloud-based, so it stores your saved projects and uploaded SVGs and Internet connection is required.  Mostly, I design outside of Design Space and use DS to cut to my Explore devices.   I do design Cricut DS image only projects, so I do use it for that purpose also.  Many times, I just want to work offline.  This is when I use SCAL or Silhouette Studio to cut to my Cameo.

  3. Embossing Folders

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    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE embossing folders!  They easily add texture to paper designs and can quickly take a box or card from “cute” to “fantastic”!   I use a Big Shot manual die cutting machine, because it is a workhorse. I can also use it with the few dies I still have.  There are other smaller embossing/die cutting machine options available that do the same, like the Cuttlebug.If you have not read it, check out 5 Fun Embossing Folder Tips.

  4. Chalk and Chalk Ink

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    Besides embossing folders, I use the technique of chalking or inking regularly.  I use both to enhance a design.  I like to use both to outline cuts to give them depth.   Chalks are easier to work with and if I make a mistake, I can erase the chalk easily with a white eraser before it sets.  Chalks are also more subtle than inks.

    I primarily use Pebbles Chalk sets and Craf-T Decorating Chalks (not sure if they are in business anymore).  You can create shading and different colors by layering different chalk colors.Most of the time, I use Colorbox Cat’s Eye Chalk Ink to ink paper edges, but mainly for larger pieces, as it is hard to manuever the ink into small parts.  It is permanent, so once it is there, I cannot take it back.  It just depends what look I want.

  5. Glitter Glue (like Stickles)

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    I like to add little glitter touches to my designs.  Every design needs a little bling.  For this, I mostly use Stickles and honestly, I use the clear colors the most.  Using colored paper, I sometimes just want to add a sparkle, so I will add a bit of Diamond or Crystal Stickles.  It just makes it pop a bit from the design. I do have every color Stickles though! Never too many supplies!

    Make your own box to hold your glitter glue, as shown above.  Click here to buy Glitter Glue Holder SVG Design.

  6. Glue/Adhesive (How could I work without glue?!)

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    The latest glue I have been using is Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive.  It dries very quickly when working on 3D boxes.  However, I prefer the Quick Dry Tacky Glue.  It does not dry as quickly, but gives me a little more time to move things into place before it dries.  I also use Zig 2-Way Glue pen for small pieces and foam tape to give a design element a more dimensional look.  I am always looking for a better glue.

  7. Brads

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    Brads are a great way to add a 3D design element.  I use brads a lot on the corners of card mats.  I also like to use them to make a pattern on a card or design or to attach a word tag or label.

    TIP:  If you have lots of permanent markers, ink and/or Stickles (like me!), you can get spruce up a plain metallic brad easily.  I changed a standard gold into a glitter brown brad with a brown dye ink stamp pad and Diamond clear Stickles.  I can just make any color I need!

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Honorable mention products:

  • Cutter Bee Scissors
  • Tonic Paper cutter
  • Metallic Ruler with cork back (to avoid slippage)
  • Stylus (for assistance scoring)
7 Useful Tips for 3D Paper Crafting

7 Useful Tips for 3D Paper Crafting

When I started putting together 3D Paper boxes, bags and other models, I just jumped in head first and made quite a few mistakes, or rather learned by trial.  I want everyone to have a good experience with 3D paper crafting, so here are some tips!

1) Use a paper weight appropriate for the project.

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For the structure of 3D items, it is best to use anything from 65lb to 110 lb weight paper or cardstock.  I find that 80lb is around the best overall weight.  However, it really depends on the project. For small treat boxes, 65lb is more than sufficient.  Smooth cardstock works better for cutting intricate cuts and boxes, but texture looks great on larger panels and boxes.

I found this Paper Weight Guide on Paperandmore.com that might come in handy. If you are like me, I rarely pay attention to weight, but they are on the package!

2) Use the right glue for the project.

For a 3D structure, PVA craft glue or most clear drying glues are generally recommended, as they adhere well.  A few that work well for me to glue together cardstock are Aleene’s Tacky Glue and Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.  I also like Tacky Quick Dry Glue. For thinner papers for decorative elements or panels on 3D designs, you could use glue sticks or a tape adhesive like Scotch ATG (Adhesive Tape Glider) .  I also like to utilize Glue Dots to add flowers, jewels, or beads.

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Lastly, I love foam tape or pop dots to create 3D affect for embellishments. I use the Front Porch Treasures Foam Mounting Tape, available at the 99 Cent Store.

3) Use the correct amount of glue.

When using liquid glue, make sure you use the right amount, as not to have leakage or get glue everywhere. Apply thin beads of glue to the items you need to glue.  Test on thinner pieces of scraps for thinner paper, as glue could bleed through.  Do not place large amount of glue near edge or seam of paper you are gluing.

This Scrapbook Expo video is a good demonstration of how to use liquid glue effectively on your paper projects and not get it everywhere!

4) Keep your hands clean of glue.

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Make sure you keep your hands clean, to minimize glue transfer to the project. If you follow tips from Step 3, you should be okay.   I always keep a paper towel handy to quickly wipe up any excess leakage, because I am guilty of getting glue on my stubby fingertips!

5) Use tools to help hold tabs until secure.

I use various to hold pieces in place to keep everything in its place until glue adheres. The best tool I have found is my finger.  Holding a tab against a table works the best for me, if you can.  For deeper and longer tabs, I have a take-out chopstick to apply pressure.  I have also used pens for the same purpose, for hard-to-reach tabs. I have not used them, but I have seen others use clothespins to hold paper in place while glue is drying.

6) Follow instructions! 

Even if you think you know something goes together, check first.  Sometimes, there is a certain order of assembly that is intentional. A lot of us designers take a long time to create written detailed assembly instructions and/or produce YouTube videos.  I know of many crafters that will just jump in without looking at the instructions.  Look at them. Most time, it helps.  If it does not, contact the person that created it to get help.  If you ever have trouble with assembly of our products, please Contact Us.

7) Be patient.

Some 3D paper projects are quite detailed and require some time.  Round and intricate designs often take time.  That is normal. Take the time and the results will be fantastic!

Lastly, just remember to be creative and have fun! Throw on an extra embellishment or two to make it your own and personalize.  Whether you are making it for a gift or for yourself, the final result is usually quite awesome!

Now, have a FANTASTIC crafting day!

PS….Comment with your own tips, if they are not listed!  Share with us!

5 Fun Embossing Folder Tips

5 Fun Embossing Folder Tips

Here are 5 Fun and Easy Ways To Use Embossing folders.  I love how a quick use of an embossing folder can make your card or 3D project pop!  These are not new tips, but these are the ways we like to use them.  Perhaps some will be new to you!

  1. Just Emboss!  
    Using the embossing folder traditionally adds texture to a plain piece of paper to jazz it up quickly.  It can take a plain background to a “fandancy” background!
    Embossing Tips-Emboss It
  2. De-Emboss it!
    Use the de-embossed side instead of the raised embossed side.  Just turn the embossing folder over and instead of a raised design, you will have a inset design and opposite features embossed.Embossing Tips-De-Emboss It
  3. Sand it!
    Accentuate the embossed portions of the designs by sanding the embossed portions. This can we done with light sand paper (look up grit) or craft sandpaper.  If you have white core cardstock, the design will pop.  It is a fun technique to use with Core’dinations cardstock too! Below, I sanded only the top portions to show the difference.

    Embossing Tips-Sand It

    With Core’dinations Cardstock

    Embossing Tips-Sand It

    With White Core Cardstock

  4. Use Ink!
    Just dab an ink pad on the top portion of the embossing folder before embossing.  Insert paper and run the folder through your embossing machine.  This will give it a cool effect, as most everything but the embossed portion will have the ink color.  Try inking the back side too to see how the de-embossed version comes out.  Sometimes, it just gives you a entirely different look!

    Embossing Tips-Ink It

    Using Multi-color Stamp Ink

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    With Distress Ink

  5. Embellish It!
    Decorate embossed paper using raised elements or with pens.  Use embellishments, such as jewels, to compliment embossed pattern.  Or use pen to color in portion of a design. On this, I used Smooch to color in portions of pattern and also added I-Rock gems.
    Embossing Tips-Embellish It
    Embellished with Smooch & I-Rock Jewels

The limits are really your imagination and scrapbooking supplies.  Most of us have a lot.

Have Fun!