Cricutting Christmas

Have you made all your Christmas cards yet? Every year, I think I’ll make a few each month so that by December, I can just write and send.  It never works out like that. I did make two in January but then didn’t make any more until October or November and ended up ‘panic crafting’ in December.  The trouble with that is, it’s not always much fun.  Maybe I’ll do better next year…?

In the Black Friday sale, I purchased a few cutting files to use with my Cricut Maker machine to create some Christmas cards so I have not one, but six, cards to share with you this week.  To begin, here’s a card I made last year when I didn’t know much about cutting files!  I used the Cricut to write the skinny letters and draw the holly and cut out the big words in metallic vinyl.

This next one was a free download called minimalist trees.  I switched the stars from the original as I prefer 5-pointed stars.  The infills made a bonus tag!

My sister loves the gnomes, or gonks as they’re called where we grew up.  As soon as I saw this file, I thought it’d be perfect for her card.  This design was cut from self-adhesive vinyl.

I loved how the gnomes turned out so used one of them for Mr L’s card.  The lettering was cut from vinyl but the gnome is cut from card and popped up on some foam tape.

His beard is flocked card so it’s a little bit furry!  I added some glitter Nuvo drops onto the hearts to give them some dimension.

This next card was for our neighbours so I wanted to have houses on it.  The original houses in the cutting file were too intricate to cut for a small project like this so I created a roof line silhouette instead. The background was ink blended with Distress Oxides and spritzed with water which gives a lovely starry night sky look.

I also added a spray of Perfect Pearls mixed with isopropyl alcohol to give the background some shine.  It’s tricky to photograph but here’s a close up.

Lastly, a nativity scene, again with an inked background.  For this one, I wanted the light from the star shining on the stable to be the focal point.

I hope you’re not having to do too much panic crafting for Christmas and, instead, can enjoy the creative process.

OMG! You’re how old?

My year of big birthdays is now at an end.  There’ve been five 50ths (including my own), two 60ths and one each of 70th and 18th

I bought the Sunburst stencil from Sweet Poppy Stencils as I thought it might be useful for making masculine cards.  Indeed, it was when I made this one.

It was whilst I was making this card that I thought it’d be fun to try it with the deco gel and some foil.  The trickiest part with the gel was the circle in the centre – it’s quite hard to get an even layer of gel over that section.  Anyway, after it dried, I applied some rainbow foil and ran it through the laminator. I never grow tired of the reveal!

Next, I got busy with the Cricut and made my letters and backgounds.  I use Inkscape for designing my lettering and the shadow outline is created by making an offset to the text and then import into Cricut Design Space.  There are really good tutorials for how to do both of these things on YouTube.  I used some rainbow vinyl to make the inside lettering.

Working out the next step nearly blew my mind!  I’m normally quite good with this kind of thing but brain fog has blighted me the past few months so this took me literally HOURS (and loads of binned pieces of card) to work out.  Got there in the end though! This would be simpler if you’re OK with a fold in the centre of your pop-up but I didn’t want that.  If it’s just a small pop-up, or number like I did on my other card, a simple mechanism like the right-hand one will suffice.  I needed more of a wiper pop-up mechanism so I cut out the pattern on the left. 

Fold the corners up into a triangle shape and trim the flaps.  Ensure the flaps face the card and put the point of the triangle on the fold inside the card.  I glued my banner onto the mechanism and then glued that in place inside card.  I made my life much more difficult by creating such a ginormous pop-up banner – I should have checked the size before cutting it out!

Adjusting how wide the sides go will determine if the triangle lies flat when the card opens or if it sits up. I wanted mine to be popped up, although I find this stage is very much trial and error and I use Blue Tac to hold the pieces roughly in place to check it will work before adhering.

Anything overhanging the triangle on the left (shown by the arrow) can catch on the card base.  I just got away with this but had to place the banner there otherwise it wouldn’t have been hidden within the card when it was closed.

The final job was to adhere the decorations and mount the front panel onto a black mat then onto the card blank.  I’m loving the 8” x 8” card blanks for celebratory cards!

Here’s a video showing the whopper pop-up in my friend’s 50th card in action.

Here’s the one I made for my God-daughter’s 18th birthday.  I put her name on the front as OMG! didn’t seem appropriate.

Constructing these was quite a workout for my brain – I hope the recipients enjoy the results!

Expanding Accordion Card

As I mentioned earlier in the year, I have several ‘big’ birthdays this year, one of which was my father-in-law’s 70th.  If you ask most card makers, the consensus will be that cards for blokes are difficult – I am no different!  My FIL is a very practical man and builds models (designed by him and printed on his 3D printer) so I figured he’d appreciate an interactive card.  I saw this video by Sam Calcott on YouTube and thought it’d be perfect for him. At the end, I’ve linked to Sam’s blog which has all the dimensions.

My card was to be a 5” x 7” so I trimmed 2 pieces of A4 card to 7” deep and scored them at 5” and then at ¾” intervals, trimming the last section off one panel.  These were then glued together using the small section as the glue tab. The number of folds can be adjusted depending on the number of spaces required for the sentiment, for example ‘CHRISTMAS’ would need an insert to give 9 mountain folds.

Next, I cut my mats and layers for the flip panels and large panels for the front and back of the card.  I used some dies to cut out the letters and numbers and my Cricut to cut the decoration for the front panel and inside from vinyl.

Now for the assembly! My top tip is the top row letters need to be on the right-hand side of the flip panel and the bottom row on the left.  Ask me how I know this!!!  After assembling each of the panels, the top row is glued onto the left side of the mountain fold and the bottom row onto the right side.

I transferred my vinyl onto the panels and adhered them to the card.  This card is quite thick so needs a belly band or ribbon to keep it closed.  I’d just had some flowers delivered so I reused the ribbon that came with them. It was secured by glueing it onto the back of the card (under the panel to write on), leaving long enough tails to tie a knot and bow.  I also added a fun little tag.

The outside…

…and the inside!

Here’s the card in action!  Apologies: Mr L struggles a bit with the double knot.

This card doesn’t fit into a normal envelope and it’s also quite heavy so I’d recommend making a box to present it in.

https://mixedupcraft.com/2021/08/23/showstopper-expanding-accordion-cards/