Add Sound to Your Cards!

August 1, 2020

It's the Future...

It’s official, it’s the future.  I know this DIY card sound technology has been around for awhile, but for a combination of reasons, I haven’t explored it until now.  But it’s possible to add sound to your cards and customize them in ways that only seemed like sorcery growing up. 🙂

Is anyone else with me?  Growing up with my tween years in the 80’s, I remember when finding a sound card in the store was a BIG deal.  Getting a sound card from someone was an equally big deal, because those suckers cost like $8, even in the 80’s (and remember, mortgage rates were in the double digits then, so ain’t nobody got $8 for a card with sound in it!)

Anyway, I thought it would be #1, too hard, or #2, too expensive, and I’m here to say that it’s neither of those things.

I understand the concept of “too expensive” is going to vary, but you hardcore card-makers out there know that you can pile on the premium papers and embellishments and chipboard pieces and bling and make some pretty “expensive” cards, so this is just kind of next-level.

 

The Card Sound Device

In order to add sound to your card, you need a card sound device (I know, duh).  The company that makes these sound devices is called Big Dawgs, and this is a link to the device I used, which is a 10 second sound recording device and is between $3.50-$4.00 as I write this today in 2020.

I think I may have the only husband on the planet who willingly and thoughtfully purchases craft supplies for me (and even researches things that he thinks I might enjoy, like this!) for gifts, and so I got a bunch of these for Christmas.  #myawesomehusbandspoilsmewithcraftsupplies  (I’m guessing that’re REALLY not a hashtag… maybe I’ll start one!)  

So, when I got the gift, I was really excited…and then intimidation set in. 

I mean, it looks a little intimidating, no?

 

Big Dawgs Greetings Sound Device

Recording the Sound for Your Card

The little red button on the right side by my thumb is your record button.  That’s kind of universal for little red buttons though, right?  The big red buttons brings you Staples supplies and the little red buttons record things. 🙂

You press the little red button, record your message for 10 seconds, and then you hear a beep.

In order to “save” the message, you need to press the button again afterward until you hear TWO BEEPS.

Trust me, it will save you some heartache.  I recorded mine THREE TIMES because I kept hitting the little red button and erasing my message!

Installing the Sound Device in Your Card

Much like many of my tutorials, I made a bunch of mistakes since I was trying this for the first time.  But I’m always trying to keep it real with you and save you the pain points, so I leave the boo-boos in place so you can see what not to do. 🙂

The device peels away from it’s protective backing easily.

Peel sound device from backing

And what you want to pay close attention to are these tiny little notches at the top of the clear tab.

Sound device notches

There is one at the top and one at the bottom.

THAT IS WHERE YOU LINE UP THE CREASE OF YOUR CARD.

If you screw this up, the whole thing doesn’t work…so this is important.  It’s also super sticky, so go slowly and try to be careful.

I, of course, kind of dropped the heavier part of the device onto the card and had a hard time repositioning it…

Lining up notches on card crease
Sound device installed in card

So here’s where things went really sideways for me.  I was feeling pretty good up until this point.

Once you lay down the device and it firmly attaches itself to the card base, you’re left with the little red wires attached to the little red button.  And you need to figure out where to put it.

If you haven’t already recorded your card, then obviously move it somewhere that is convenient for you to press it later and record your message.

On the back of the button is a little adhesive strip…so you can tack it into place somewhere. 

 

Remove adhesive from record button

If you’re me, you HIT the button as you’re tacking it down…and you erase your message completely.

It’s really easy to hit the button when you need to press it to stick it down to the card!

Accidentally erased message

Clearly I will need to re-record it…. but let’s continue.

Add Panels in Your Card to Cover the Sound Device

The left side of the card is easy, you just glue on an inside panel as you would with any other.  There is very little of the clear device on that side.

On the right, however, I found it was best to put down a bunch of dimensional adhesive.  I tried to just tack the panel down lightly to hide the mechanics, but that really didn’t work.  You need some relatively thick foam squares.

Add foam squares
Add cover panel

I can still see the button on the inside, so I marked the top so I knew where to press it to re-record my message!

Button on the inside of card
Mark the stop where the button is

Video Tutorial

If a video tutorial is more your speed, I extracted the adding sound to your card portions of this card construction so you can see the mistakes and corrections.

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.


 
 
Big Dawgs greeting card sound device: 
 
Cricut Explore Air:  https://shrsl.com/2c9ek
Cricut Access: https://shrsl.com/27tq8
Cricut pink and purple patterned paper: https://shrsl.com/2ezns
Cricut cardstock :  https://shrsl.com/21uhj
Cat’s Eye Chalk Inks: https://amzn.to/2Y4JX8b
Double-sided adhesive and dimensional adhesive squares found here in a variety of sizes:  https://shrsl.com/24rsx
 
 
Links to favorite glue and Cricut supplies are on my blog resources page here:  https://amandatoryactivity.com/papercraft-supplies/

Love, Amanda

Make Custom Cupcake Picks Using the Cricut Design Space Slice Feature

July 17, 2020

Learn to Slice, and Then Slice Confidently!

This tutorial is going to be a 2-for-1.  First, I will show you how to use the slice feature (or slice tool) in Cricut Design Space.  Then, we will apply your newfound knowledge to make our own custom cupcake picks!

Cute, right?  They took literally about 30 minutes, start to finish, so not bad at all!  Think about all of the custom ninja-turtle-lego-unicorn-minecraft-superhero picks you could make for birthday parties! 🙂

The truth is, once you know how to slice in Design Space, you have the ability to make custom whatevers!  Even these, for example, could have easily been printed on sticky paper and turned into stickers.  I’m telling you, slicing is where it’s at.

If you’re already an accomplished slicer, and just want to do custom cupcake picks, you can skip down a few sections, or straight to the video tutorial at the bottom.

Custom cupcake pick

Slice, Slice, Baby!

I couldn’t help myself.  If you’ve read my blog long enough, or seen any of my shop products, you’ll know how much I enjoy word play.  If this is your first time here, welcome, and this is normal. 🙂

The slice feature in Cricut Design Space is one of the little tools at the bottom right of your project page.  It’s the tool I use most often, and the one I think is the most versatile.  

Think of the slice feature as your virtual scissors…let me show you what to do.

THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPAL OF THE SLICE FEATURE IS THAT YOU CAN ONLY SLICE 2 THINGS.  I’m putting that in caps because it’s super-important.  It’s so important that when you forget, it doesn’t work at all.

So, I start my tutorial with 2 shapes, a circle and a square.  I grabbed them from the “shapes” section of the menu bar on the left.

Start with any 2 shapes
Choose the 2 shapes you'd like to slice...whatever they may be.
Put together 2 items to slice
Move the two shapes on top of one another, depending on where you want to slice them. For example, if I want to cut a circle out of the middle of that square, I'm going to put it on top wherever I want to "cut" or slice it.
select both shapes
Once you have them positioned where you want them, use your cursor to select both shapes at the same time.
Slice button is active
Once both shapes are selected, the slice button in the lower right suddenly becomes available (it's greyed out when not available). Go ahead and push that button. It's okay...you can do it.
Slice complete
Ta-da! Now you have slices the circle out of the center of your square. What you have left is the original circle, what's left of your square, plus the circle-shaped piece you cut out of the square! Since the slice feature is your virtual scissors, that grey circle is kind of your leftover scrap paper. 🙂
Remove some portions
One thing to highlight is that you don't have to slice a whole shape (circle) out of a whole shape (square). You can use the slice feature to cut just a piece of something. Here, I removed a little piece from the right side of the square.
cannot add a third thing to slice
See what happens when I invite another shape to the party? The slice feature is suddenly not available anymore. ONLY 2 THINGS. They're serious about it.

Those Are the Basics, But Here's the Thing That Always Trips Me Up

If I take that circle and put a score line in the middle, is it still one shape?

Shape with score line

Let’s try to slice these 2 shapes.  It’s the same 2 shapes we sliced before…and that worked fine.

Move it into position, highlight both shapes, and go down to your slice button.

Slice button is inactive again

THE SCORE LINE IS ANOTHER “THING”.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this mistake.

If you want to cut these shapes now, you need to remove the score line, slice them, and then put the score line back.

He was not invited to the party, just like the little grey circle.  So sad.

Now That You Know How to Slice, Let's Make Custom Cupcake Picks!

I’m always looking for ways to use my Cricut to do the hard work for me, and this is a great example of something I wouldn’t want to cut by hand.  I HATE cutting circles.  Even when you think you got it right, you don’t got it right. 🙂  But we are going to make some circular custom cupcake picks, since I think that’s the most standard cupcake pick shape.

Start By Selecting Your Custom Item/Image

What’s going on your custom cupcake pick? A picture? Sometone’s name? An important date? Whatever it is, grab them and put them somewhere you can easily find them on your computer.

I chose to use 12 pictures of my son.  Since I had a dozen cupcakes, I used a picture from each month of the year to decorate cupcakes for my husband’s birthday.

 

Get Your Items/Images into Design Space

Upload images into design space
From a new project page, select "upload" on the left and you will get this screen, where you can select the "upload image" button at the top left.
Browse for your photo
Browse for your photos. You need to select one at a time. I obviously needed to do this 12 times...but I sped it up during the video tutorial. 🙂
Selected picture
When you select a picture, it imports like this. Select the green continue button on the bottom right. To explain this photo, Spencer was asked to come to school for the 100th day as a 100 year old person...so this was his outfit for the day. 🙂
Next select your design style
Next, you select your image type. I almost always pick complex, unless the image is one color or something truly simple. Complex gives you the best option to capture all of the colors in your image. Hit continue again.
Insert photos into project
Once you hit continue, the image is loaded into Design Space. Once all of your images are there, you can select them all together (no need to do one at a time anymore, thank goodness). Then hit the green "insert images" button at the bottom.
All photos are inserted
All of the photos you selected will now be populated into your project!

Slice Your Cupcake Pick Shape With Your Image

Circle cupcake pick shape selected
Just as we did in the slice tutorial, go to the shapes menu on the left side and grab yourself a shape. I've got a circle.
Duplicate it
I think it's good practice to go to the upper right and duplicate your shape a few times. That way, you don't have to worry about making another one later. Unless you are only making 1 custom pick!
Size your picture appropriately, and then place your shape over your image. Just like in the tutorial, select them both and hit that slice button!
slice shape
Now you have a circle with your custom image inside!

Don't Forget About the Back of Your Custom Picks!

It’s easy to get excited about all of your custom shapes, but don’t neglect to consider the back before you move to the cutting portion.

This is a good time to duplicate some more of those circles to make sure you have enough circle backs to match your circle fronts. 🙂

Cut Out Your Pieces and Assemble!

When you hit “make it”, Cricut will load all of the images onto a printable page for you.  Print that out and let the machine do that hard cutting-of-circles!

And select some paper to cut out your plain circles…

Select paper for the back
Flat topped wooden picks
I like using these flat topped wooden picks from Amazon. I'll have them linked in the supply list below. They provide a nice large surface on which to stick your image. If you don't want to buy these, you can use a toothpick but you'll likely need to glue the front and back together and squeeze the toothpick in.
Apply glue to one side of wood pick
Apply craft glue to one side of the wooden pick. I love Art Glitter glue for just about everything. I'll link to my resources page for that as well. I use it on all of my paper projects and it adheres well to wood.
Apply image to pick
Apply the image to the glued area and apply some gentle pressure while the glue sets.
Front half done
The front of your pick is done.
Align back to match with front
Apply glue to the back half of the stick and line up the back circle with the front circle.
Custom cupcake pick completed
And you're done!

Just Add Cupcakes...

You did it! You made some adorable custome cupcake picks and now you get to decorate!

All custom picks fanned out
All dozen custom cupcake picks in cupcakes

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.


 

I use a cardstock paper for heavyweight projects like this.  My favorite inexpensive option is this Neenah paper from Amazon.

The flat-topped wooden picks are also from Amazon, you can find them here.  As of the time I’m writing this blog post, they’re about $5 for 100. 🙂

My favorite glue and other favorite papercraft resources can be found on my resources page!

Love, Amanda

Trunk of Wildflowers Box Card Cricut Tutorial

July 3, 2020

Trunk of Wildflowers Box Card Design

You don’t have to tell me that I sound like a broken record, I KNOW I sound like a broken record.  My record is, in fact, broken.  This is another gorgeous SVGCuts design and I absolutely fell in love with the trunk of wildflowers box card design.

The link to the file is here (affiliate link): SVGCuts Trunk of Wildflowers Box Card

The design is beautiful (obvi), but for me this was a multi-day project.  I always talk about how much I enjoy box cards, but part of the reason for that is because I like the puzzle aspect.  Lots of little pieces coming together at the end for a satisfying finale…and that’s what I got with this card.

Tons of steps, lots of pieces, and totally worth the effort (for the right recipient).  

You know what I mean.  There are some people who really appreciate a handmade card, some people who only moderately get the amount of work involved, and some people who don’t even pay enough attention to realize that the card IS handmade.  

All I’m saying is, choose your audience to maximize your efforts. 🙂  Those who take the time to enjoy the handmade cards, get the best handmade cards.

And those people should get one of these box cards.

Grab the file and follow along.  If you prefer a video (I often need more than pictures) there is a video tutorial link toward the bottom of this post, so you can just go there if you’d prefer.  No judgement. 🙂

What's A Box Card?

If you’ve stumbled into this post and you don’t know what a box card is, first of all welcome, and second, it’s MAGIC.

When I first got my Cricut many moons ago, the box card was the ultimate goal for me.  I was motivated and wanted to get there quickly, because in my mind it was the perfect mechanism.

I’d always been fascinated by pop-up cards (in fact, my old college roommate reminded me the other day that I used to buy pop-up cards and take them apart to figure out how they went together…perhaps a little life goals foreshadowing there?).  But the pop up card can sometimes be kind of one note.  You know?  It’s fun and then it’s over.  With the box card, you get the same dramatic pop up card effect and then you can rotate it and admire it from all sides!

It starts off flat, unfolds to be super-dimensional (look at this one, it’s like 4 inches deep!), and then folds back up to go into your envelope.  MAGIC.

Trunk of wildflowers box card opened to full height
Trunk of wildflowers card folded flat
Front view of finished wildflowers box card

Get Your File Into Cricut Design Space

Ok.  Grab the file, and let’s get it into Design Space.  I did a whole video tutorial on getting third-party (non-Cricut) files into Design Space, so if you’re new to this process, I’ll link that video for you as well.  BUT, I will go through most of it below…

The link will take you to the SVGCuts website.  You’ll likely get distracted and never come back to finish this blog post, but my hope is that if I call you out on it now, you’ll catch yourself and come back to me. 😉

The site is super-well organized and the box cards are in the menu on the left.  My link will take you directly to this particular file, but you should come back sometime and grab some others when you want to play!

svgcuts website with trunk of wildflowers photo

Once you buy the file, save it somewhere on your computer where you can easily locate it.  I personally have an enormous repository of svgcuts.com files from many years, so I put mine in there.

Open Cricut Design Space and start a new project.  

Select upload image, and then find the file wherever you have saved it.  There is a lot of stuff in your download, but here’s where you should start.

Open the folder called “SVG Files”, and then head to the “extras” folder.

 

All downloaded files list

Then open the solid score lines folder…

Solid score lines folder

And in there, you will find the entire card file, with solid score lines.  Download that one!

Entire card with solid score lines
Whole card file selected

You’ll hit save in the lower right, and then you will see your file ready to be uploaded into your project.

Just click on it, and go to the right to select “insert images”.

Selected image from Design Space

Voila!  Your file is imported into Design Space.

Make A Few File Adjustments In Cricut Design Space Before You Cut The Pieces

In the video tutorial I linked earlier, I go into more detail about this part of the process, but you need to make a few changes so that some pieces that are marked as cut lines can instead be scored.

I started with the hinges.  If you select them and look to the right, you will see the highlighted hinges and the lines are marked as “cut”. Those need to be score marks instead.  To accomplish this, ungroup them with the ungroup button on the upper right, then select just the “cut” lines so they are highlighted.

Select hinges

Once the cut marks are highlighted, go to the upper left and change the “cut” in the dropdown menu to “score”.

Once you do this, you will notice the cut marks are now score marks and all is right with that portion of the file.

Now score marks on hinges

Repeat this process for a few more pieces.  I’ll post their pics below.

The first one are the main pieces of the box card, and all of the cut marks are attached, so you only need to make the change once.  If I’ve lost you, I encourage you now to go down to the bottom of this post and watch the video, because I do it step by step and that may be easier to follow. 

The second one is the insert at the top in the middle.

And the final piece that needs attention is the envelope.  You need to highlight the big black rectangle in the middle and change that from cut to score too.

Main pieces
Insert piece
Envelope

Print Out A Copy of the Trunk of Wildflowers Box Card PDF

This is a matter of personal preference, of course.  I typically print out the pdf document to use as a reference while I’m putting the project together, and then I just save it for scrap paper later.

It’ll be in the folder you downloaded in a safe place and marked as a pdf document.  It looks like this.

trunk of wildflowers pdf

Cut Out Your Pieces, and Assemble!

I have an 8 year old boy, so whenever I say or read the word “assemble”, what goes through my head is “Avengers, assemble!” 🙂  It’s oddly motivational, and also super-irritating. 

But, let’s assemble!

Start With the Box Card Front Piece

Here’s what you start with on the first layer on the front panel.  All of the front panel pieces, as shown below.  Make sure you don’t try to put the left panel piece on the front.  You know the left one goes on the left because the brad holes line up.

You can also add one of the leaf pinwheels, and the smaller of the little green draping wildflowers to the front.

Front panel

Then you can add the first flower embellishment on top of the leaf pinwheel.  

I chose to ink the edges of the petals a little, and added a Doodlebug Designs enamel dot to the center of the flower.

Add flower embellishment

Next Do Insert Number One

There is a number 1 that has been cut into the side tab of insert 1…so it’ll be easy to indentify. 

Start by adhering the leaf on the right side.

First layer of insert 1

I assembled the yellow flower with a few foam squares, some inked edges, and a little bling in the middle.

Yellow flower assembled

I glued down the small green leaf, and then placed this yellow flower on top.  I actually put the foam adhesive too high on the flower, so it would be sticking out in the back.  I needed to fold down the edges to hide them. An easy fix!

Folded back adhesive on flower

With the right side of insert 1 complete, work on the left side.  Start with the large green part, and then you can assemble the remaining 3 green bits in whatever arrangement you like.

Work on left side of insert 1
Assembled left side green pieces

Assembled, mine looked like this.

Assembled insert 1

Now For Insert Number Two

Find the piece with the number 2 cut in the side, and let’s put that one together next!

I put down the first couple of pieces.  The leaf on the bottom, the tall green thing that pokes out of the top, and one of the smaller little pinwheels of leaves…

Insert 2 with base layers

I glued on the yellow flower first, and then glued on the red one sitting slightly on top, plus the little embellishment in the center, so it matches the first one.

Glue on flowers

I didn’t have a stick-on embellishment that I liked for the center of the yellow flower, so I grabbed my collection of buttons and poked a hole in the paper and just popped one of those inside.

Buttons as embellishments
poke hole for button

Assemble the Back of the Back Piece

That’s right.  There’s a front of the back and a back of the back.  I started with the back of the back.

This is where that last trunk side panel goes.

Back panel piece

Then you arrange the frame pieces along the back as shown.

If you get stuck, I would again encourage you to look at the video tutorial…I show you how to place each one. 

Note that the 3 pieces at the top are flush with the top of the card.  None of the other pieces are, so I’m pointing it out since it matters as that’s the front flap of the trunk.

All back panel frame pieces

Finally, add the oval sentiment panel.

Add oval sentiment panel

Flip it over and let’s do the front of the back…

Start with gluing on the back panel.  For those of you keeping up, this is the back panel on the front side of the back. 🙂  

Glue on back panel

The giant twiggy part comes next.

Be careful when you attach this that you don’t extend the top of the twig too high.  If you can help it, it’s best to keep the top of the twig below the fold line of your trunk lid so you don’t have to fold it inside and make it extra bulky.

Insert twig piece

Add the larger pinwheel leaf and then your bigger flower on top.

I used some foam squares to pop up the layers of the large flower.  I sort of just rotated it until I thought it looked nice and this is where it ended up.

Add large pinwheel
Add largest flower

Now For The Magic Part - Assemble the Box Part of the Box Card!

Start by putting some glue on the side tab and aligning the cut out shapes with the brad holes on the side of the card base.

Glue side tab
Align cut outs with brad holes

Next, glue the left tab of insert 2 and glue it flush with the back of the card base.

Be careful here to also align the holes on the tab with the holes on the side of the box card.

Glue tab for insert 2
Align holes on tab side

Glue the left tab of insert 1 and glue that down butting up against the front of insert 2.

Glue next tab in up against first tab

Do the same thing with the right side tabs…making sure to stop and fold flat regularly to make sure everything is well aligned.

Right side tab glue
Flatten regularly to check alignment

Finally connect the front of the box card! You made a trunk of wildflowers box card!

Connect front of the box card

Add Final Embellishments and Envelope

Home stretch, ya’ll.  I told you it was a lot of steps.  I probably should have turned the writing of this post into a multi-day event too!

To finish this up, you need to add the hinges.  To add the hinges, you need some craft brads

Craft brads

There are two different kinds of hinges. 4 of them look like little hip bones to me, and the other 4 are straight.  The hip bone ones go on each corner.

Hinges on corners and sides

Add the remaining brads to the empty brad holes.  You can’t cheat here and glue them on instead…the card won’t open and close correctly if the hinges are glued down!

Finally, fold up the envelope.  It’s simple, just 4 folds and a little glue!

Fold and glue envelope

One thing to note before you put your card in your envelope.

If you fold the card all the way to the left, the little twiggy bits stick off to the side, which would make them prone to being bent.

Dont fold card to the left

Folding to the right will help keep those pieces safe from squishing. 🙂

Fold to the right before putting into envelope.

Fits perfectly in it’s GIGANTIC envelope.  I put this in the mail as a birthday card, so I was sure to add extra postage and a piece of cardboard inside the envelope to keep it from being bent.

Box card fits perfectly in envelope!

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.


 
Cricut Explore Air:  https://shrsl.com/2c9ek
Cricut Access: https://shrsl.com/27tq8
Cricut cardstock (leaves with texture):  https://shrsl.com/21uhj
Cricut green pearlescent paper:  https://shrsl.com/27xjy
Cat’s Eye Chalk Inks: https://amzn.to/2Y4JX8b
Doodlebug Designs Sprinkles:  https://shrsl.com/24r68
Double-sided adhesive and dimensional adhesive squares found here in a variety of sizes:  https://shrsl.com/24rsx
 
Links to favorite glue and Cricut supplies are on my blog resources page here:  https://amandatoryactivity.com/papercraft-supplies/

Want Some More SVGCuts Box Card Tutorials?

Some other SVGCuts box card projects that have tutorials on my site can be found here:

Jeep card tutorial

Spring tulip card tutorial

I’m a big fan, so there will surely be more to come!

Love, Amanda

Cricut Tutorial – Grill Box Card

June 19, 2020

Grill Box Card Design

This Cricut tutorial will show you how to put together a grill box card for Father’s Day!  Frankly, you can save this card design, remove the “Father’s Day” bit, and use it as a card for any occasion for the grill master in your life!  

For example, I’m reminded of the BBQ apron birthday card I made for my husband back in January.  This apron card design was from Cricut and was originally a baking-themed card…so you could easily use this grill box card design for anything you want!

BBQ birthday apron card

 The file for today’s grill box card, however, is from Lori Whitlock’s shop online and can be found here: https://shop.loriwhitlock.com/box-card-grill-chicken-fathers-day/

I also have a tutorial video dedicated to getting Lori Whitlock’s designs out of her shop and into Cricut Design Space.  I’ll link that here for you as well in case you need help with third party SVG’s

Adjust Grill Box Card Design in Cricut Design Space

Once you have gone through the process of getting the grill box card imported into Design Space, you need to make a few quick adjustments.

I will detail them for you here:

Ungroup to start
Start by ungrouping the file using the ungroup button in the upper right. This will allow you to isolate individual pieces you need to adjust.
Select one of the three inserts
Select one of the three insert pieces (I started with flames) and click inside of the piece until the 2 cut marks are highlighted. You can see in the upper left that the lines are cut lines.
Change cut to score
Change "cut" to "score" in the drop down menu.
Select piece and score lines together
Select the piece and the score lines together...
Attach score lines to piece
In the bottom right, select the attach button to attach the score lines to the piece.

Repeat this process for each of the three small insert pieces.  You can scoot the chicken legs and corn out of your way first. 🙂

Now, this next part is a little tricky to concieve of, but ultimately the same steps as above.  You need to start by isolating the main body of the card.  Every line on that piece is a cut mark.  The problem with this piece is that we actually WANT some of them to cut…so we can’t just change them all to score marks. 

If you look at the image below, I have pointed out the two marks that you actually want to remain cut marks. The skinny yellow lines are actual cut marks. All of the others should be score marks.  I apologize for the wonky yellow lines…it’s incredibly hard to get the little virtual pen to make a straight line!

Click inside the piece until the inside rectangle is highlighted.  The two marks I’m pointing to below look like they are going to remain cut marks once you change the others to scores…but they DO change!

These lines will change too

Once you have this rectangle highlighted, go back up to the dropdown menu and change these to score marks as well.

Once you do that, your card base will look like the image below.  Then you can select the card base and the score marks and attach them, just as you did with the other pieces. 

Score marks complete

Next, we need to deal with the little “Happy Father’s Day” sign.  Right now, the image is in Design Space as a cut file.  If you’re a glutton for punishment and you WANT to cut out and glue out all of the tiny letters, go right ahead. 🙂  Personally, I think it makes more sense to flatten this sentiment and print it out.

To do this, select the Happy Father’s Day image and the white rectangle it’s sitting on.

Select fathers day sign

And on the bottom right, hit the flatten button as pictured below.

Flatten text

That’s it for changes to the actual grill box card file.

But wait! There’s no envelope!  Let’s make one before we leave Design Space.

Create an Envelope to Accompany Your Box Card

First things first, what size envelope do we need?  Well, when you look at the design, the single large base piece will be folded in half in an envelope.  The height of the card will be the same as pictured in Design Space.  So, with those things in mind, a 5 by 7 envelope should do the trick!

I clicked on images, and just searched “envelope”.  I chose a free envelope design so those of you with Cricut Access will be able to pick the same one if you like.  I picked the green one on the bottom pictured here.  Pretty generic envelope.

Select envelope design

Unlock the aspect ratio of the envelope so you can resize it.  My lock is in the upper left instead of lower left because I turned my envelope around.  I’m visually more comfortable when my envelope is the same direction as my card. 🙂

Drag the envelope by the little arrow on the corner until the inside square measures 5 inches tall by 7 inches wide.  I go through this process in the video tutorial as well if this is not something you’re familiar with.

Resize to 5 by 7

Now, Let's Put Together Our Grill Box Card!

Sometimes with box cards, assembly can be kind of a mess.  I typically still enjoy those experiences because it’s kind of like a puzzle. 

This box card design, however, is actually quite simple.  I’ll lay out the steps below:

Ink Any Pieces You May Want, and Assemble the Inserts

Cats Eye Chalk Inks
I use Colorbox Cat's Eye chalk inks to ink the sides of the accent pieces.
Added ink to inside of the corn as well
I also tapped the ink onto the inside of the corn so it didn't look quite so flat...
Put chicken on the bone
I assembled the embellishments for the center piece . Glued the chicken to the bone and the corn husk to the cob
Assembled flames
I placed the smaller flame on top of the larger flame and then added the embellished pieces to the 3 black narrow inserts.
Main card base unfolded
Now, take your main card base piece and fold along your score lines.
Side flaps fold down
When you get to the side panels, fold those down so they will be on the outside of the card.

Put Together the "Box" Part of the Box Card, and Decorate

Glue tab and connect
Put some glue on the tab and connect one side to the other side.
Press down after gluing
Press down as the glue dries. I like to press in both directions with each box card addition...just to make sure all of the pieces are connected well.
Add grilll pieces to the sides
Glue the side grill silver accents down.
Add other silver accent pieces
Then add the other silver accent pieces. Doors, top of the grill, and bar above the grill where the knobs will go.
Flame insert
Next, work on the insert pieces. I started with the rear piece, the flames. Bend the two tabs back (away from you).
glue side flaps
Apply glue to both side flaps.

Glue In the Three Insert Pieces, and Finish Decorations

align back flaps
Align the back of the flaps to the back of the box.
Flatten and press piece
Flatten the card and press the piece into place.
insert second tab
Do the same thing for the second tab, making sure the second tabs line up with the front of the back. It'll look like this...
Insert the final piece
Insert the front piece (the single chicken leg) and this time bend the flaps toward you and line them up with the front of the card.
Attach fathers day and grill tools
Glue down the Happy Father's Day sign and the grill tools on the back behind the flames.
Glue sentiment panel on back
Glue the sentiment panel on the back.

Put Together Your Envelope!

Fold bottom of envelope
Fold up the bottom of your envelope.
Glue sides of envelope
Glue down the sides of the envelope.
Insert card
Your card should fit perfectly in your custom-sized envelope! 🙂

And you’re done.  Nice job, You. 🙂

Isn’t this part of cardmaking always so satisfying?  I love it.  The only part I love more is being able to see someone’s face when they open the card.  I always miss that part when I have to mail a card!

Finished card upright
Finished card folded flat

Prefer A Video Tutorial?

If you would rather watch the video tutorial of these steps, I’ve got you.  The video itself is about half an hour, but step by step including the Design Space portion. 

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.


 
Cricut Explore Air:  https://shrsl.com/2c9ek
Cricut Access: https://shrsl.com/27tq8
Cricut cardstock:  https://shrsl.com/21uhj
Heavyweight silver cardstock for grill accents: https://amzn.to/2YO0IVB
Cat’s Eye Chalk Inks: https://amzn.to/2Y4JX8b
Doodlebug Designs Sprinkles:  https://shrsl.com/24r68
Double-sided adhesive and dimensional adhesive squares found here in a variety of sizes:  https://shrsl.com/24rsx
 
Links to favorite glue and Cricut supplies are on my blog resources page here:  https://amandatoryactivity.com/papercraft-supplies/
 
Join the blog email list here and get notified automatically of new project posts and ideas!  https://thoughtful-designer-9053.ck.page/4ecc829be8
 
Once again, here is the link to the file on Lori Whitlock’s shop in case you don’t want to scroll back up for it. 🙂 This is not an affiliate code:  https://shop.loriwhitlock.com/box-card-grill-chicken-fathers-day/ 

I hope you enjoyed!

Love, Amanda

Dollar Bill Origami: Shirt and Tie

June 11, 2020

Want To Learn How To Fold a Dollar into a Shirt and Tie?

Is this little tiny shirt and tie not adorable?  I mean, little things are typically inherantly cute, I get that, but this origami fold, made mysteriously out of a single dollar bill, is extra cute, no?

I have always been a little mystified by origami, and, candidly, most of the time I would try one, I would end up failing and getting upset and giving up.  This origami fold, on the other hand, is one that I found that I can do easily, and while there are a couple of tricky folds, I’m getting the camera in as closely as I can so you can follow along and achieve origami success too!

Because this is worth it, it’s that cute.  

Shirt and tie origami fold in palm of hand

Shirt and Tie Origami: Step by Step

I’m going to post the pictures that go along with each fold, but I encourage you to watch the video linked below.   While I will endeavor to be as clear as possible, I think that origami is one of those things that really lends itself to being able to SEE what the motions look like.

That being said…I’m going to do my best here and keep the pictures are large as I can so you will have maximum detail.  

Start with a crisp bill

Start with a crisp bill

Fold it in half lengthwise. This will create the center line. I will refer to the center line throughout the tutorial, so remember this one

Fold in half lengthwise

Unfold it, and then fold the bottom of the bill up to meet the center line. You are essentially dividing the bill into lengthwise quarters

Fold bottom half to center line

Fold the top of the bill to meet the center line too...

Open it back up and orient it so the green emblem is facing North

Green emblem on bill facing north

Take the top right corner of the bill and fold it in to meet with center line

fold corner down

Do the same with the opposite corner, so it looks like this:

Top corners folded to center line

Take this new triangle you've created, and fold it over

Fold over the top triangle

If you have done this correctly, the tip of the white triangle will be tickling the edge of George's hair...

Point at George's hair

Take a breather. Here comes the hard part. If you get annoyed here, go watch the video so you can SEE (and pause when needed).

Ready? Okay. We're going to make the tie.

This is the hardest part of the fold. Take that little white triangle you were tickling George's hair with, and fold from the corner of that triangle to the center line

Fold from tip of white triangle to center line

This is the center line connection where you will fold. Give it a nice, firm crease

center line connection with tie

Do the same thing with the other side of the little white triangle. Both sides of your newly-created tie will meet at that center point in the picture above.

Fold other side of tie

Turn it toward you, you can see the outline of the tie now...from the ends of that small white rectangle to the center line at the top middle

Faint outline of the tie

Looking at the underside of your tie, you want to pull the two sides in to meet in the middle along the slant of your tie. This is also easier in video, but take a look at the next three pics...

creating underside of tie

You are kind of pinching them together to meet in the middle and aligning them all the way to the end (which is the top of the tie on the other side)

pinch underside of tie
fully pinched tie

Flip it back over, and admire your tie. Try to get the top as pointy at the top as possible....you can squeeze it into shape if you need to

flip tie back over

Press down on the shoulders, which will be at a slight angle now

pressed shoulders

Rotate the bill so the tie is on your right (and your tie is now likely poking George in or under his eyeball now)

rotate bill sideways

Fold up the bottom quarter to meet the center line, and tuck the top part under the tie. Do the same with the other side...

tuck quarter under tie
tuck other side under tie

Now rotate the bill so the tie side is closest to you

Rotate so tie end is closes to you

Fold the top down toward you on the natural white line

Fold the top down on the natural white line
folded on natural white line

Flip the dollar bill over, and rotate it to the side so the eagle is on your right

flip bill to the back
rotate so eagle is on your right

We are now about to make the collar. To start this part, I like to put my finger on the "F" in "Of The United States". Then you are turning the top corner in to line up the tip of the white part with your center line

point to the f in of
fold up half of collar
collar lined up on center line

Pull the other corner over and line up the collar tips on the center line. It's important that the tips of the collar touch one another. Crease that side down wherever it wants to lie down. It doesn't matter if it's even with the other side, as long as your collar tips touch. Everything else will be on the back and not seen

make sure collar tips touch

Flip it back over and around so you are looking at the tie at the top again

Flip it back over

Grab the collar from the bottom and fold it up so the top of the collar meets the bottom of the tie and crease firmly

fold collar to tie
crease firmly

and then open that fold and prepare for hard part #2

unfold

We are going to make the sleeves by popping out the crease you just folded firmly. Reach in with your finger and crease the "inny" crease to an "outty" crease

turn crease inside out
two popped out creases

Now, keep your fingers in the opening and pull those "outty" creases gently to the side as you fold the collar back up along that same crease you made when you pulled the collar up to meet the tie. You creased it firmly, so hopefully it'll naturally want to go back there...

open flaps to stick fingers into crease
make sleeves pop out
Line collar back up with tie

When you have popped out your sleeves and folded the collar back up to the tie, it should look more or less like this

after sleeve pop out

This is the home stretch! This is where the magic happens and it suddenly comes together. 🙂 You're going to fold the whole thing in half keeping the tie visible in the front. This means you are taking the collar and sleeves and pushing them behind the tie. Line up the corners in the back...

fold in half
folding backwards
line up corners front and back
align corners

It's the square corners that you are lining up...the shoulders part of the front will still stick up over the top, like this

after fold before collar

Last step! Reach around back and bend your collar forward to line up with the tie. Obviously, the collar should sit on either side of the top of the tie. Once you get it into a position that looks good to you, force it down in the back with a nice squish. You'll be making it stay and it'll resist you...there are a lot of layers back there in and around the collar

pull collar around front
bring closer to tie
push collar into place
squeeze the back

The back will look janky, but it's okay

back looks janky

Because the front looks like this!

finished origami

Now That You Made It, What Do You Do With It?

Sometimes I just like making things because I’m a maker of things, but this fold I’ve used in a couple of different ways.

For starters, if you have any older children in your life who are only interested in cash for gifts, this is a fun option.  Once you have done the fold a few times, you will become familiar enough with it that you can do it with any denomination.  You won’t have visual cues like George’s hair tickling to help you along, but you will probably find the same sorts of cues on other bills.

I also think it’s a fun idea to stick in a Father’s Day card, or to give someone as a good luck charm of some kind. 

I have known people to keep dollar bills in their wallets… 😉

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  There are no affiliate links in this post, because there are no supplies! If you are looking for other paper folding projects, you can check out this post on free paper animals you can print and fold (complete with video as well).

Love, Amanda

Cricut Tutorial- Super Dad Card

June 5, 2020

This Is A Super, Super Dad Card Design!

You guys.  Can you stand it?  I saw this design on the Dreaming Tree website and realized that it was absolutely the perfect card for the super dad in my life, my husband Mike.  In the tutorial below, I will show you how to get this card into Cricut Design Space, do very little file manipulation, and put together this super, super dad card.  This is a great file that needs nothing much from us….in fact, I struggled to pull anything original into it at all!

There are a LOT of layers of paper in this card design, but I think it’s totally worth it.  I actually also really enjoy layering paper because it puts me in the same head space as putting together a puzzle.  Anyone else?  Only with card making, when you are done with your puzzle, you have a card to gift instead of a mess to put back into a box. 🙂

So let me show you how to get here…

Finished card

Get the File From Dreaming Tree

If you are reading this in the future, this will likely not still be true, BUT for those of you reading this in advance of Father’s Day 2020, this design is actually free right now if you make a purchase of $9.98 or more. UPDATE: This deal is already gone and there is a new free bundle up…but the link to the card file is here and it’s $2.99 at the moment. 

Dreaming Tree does these promotions a fair amount and it’s always kind of nice that the promotions typically match something you actually need when you go to search. For example, I went looking for Father’s Day card designs and that was the first page.  

Hmmm…I spent $10 on other stuff and get $7 in free Father’s Day cards that I was probably going to buy anyway.  Yes please.  So, I usually take these opportunities to grab a few files for upcoming projects in order to get to my $10 order and then add in the freebie.

There’s a video tutorial link toward the end of this post, and in the video tutorial I show you how to get the free gift into your shopping cart.  It’s not at easy and just putting it in your cart and having it come off at the end.  Get all your stuff ready to go, then DON’T put the freebie in your cart.  Seriously. I’ve made this mistake before and ended up with 2…one I paid for and one I didn’t.  All you need to do is put “freegift” into the coupon code and it magically populates itself into your cart.

Get Super Dad Card Into Design Space

This is a pretty straightforward import into Design Space.  If you need help with the actual process of getting the card downloaded from the site and uploaded to Design Space,  I have a step by step video tutorial showing how to get third party SVG’s into Design Space. I used Lori Whitlock’s file as an example, but the process works the same for Dreaming Tree files.

As I said before, there’s not much to be done with this card file!  The biggest thing you need to watch out for are score lines that are imported as cut marks.  You will want to select those and change them from cut to score.  The video mentioned above does this step by step with you.

You can see from the picture below that if you didn’t have score marks on your card base (they grey part), you would be slicing off the sides!

Cut lines changed to score lines in Design Space

Assemble the Super Dad Card! It's Not Super Hard...

The only really tricky part about this card is getting the layering done in the right order, but I’m going to step you through it.

I started, however, by inking some of the pieces to add a little dimension.  This is a technique I use a lot and am kind of obsessed with the Colorbox Cat’s Eye chalk inks.  I love that they stack and make it easy to have a bunch of options in one tower of color. 

Selectively Ink Anything You Want to Emphasize

inking card pieces before assembly

Glue Super Dad to the Inside Yellow Panel

Applying glue to Super Dad logo
Align with notch marks

The file will have marked some tiny notches on the yellow piece that show you exactly where to stick the Super Dad logo.  It’s actually important that you get this piece in the right spot, because it’s what peeks through his shirt when the card is closed.

Fold Your Card Base

Folding gatefold card
Perfectly align centers

For this card base, I used an 8.5 x 11 cardstock that is one of my favorites for card bases (and placecards, as seen here).  It’s super sturdy and has a great pearlescent sheen to it.  In the tutorial video, I think the sheen was picked up a little better than in the photo. 

The important thing about folding a gatefold card base is lining up the center.  The magic of the gatefold card is that the design is uniform on the front.  You want to make sure the seam meets perfectly so you don’t ruin the effect.

For this reason, I like to fold half of the card, and instead of using the score mark on the other side, I line up the center in the top and bottom, and then force the score line to be wherever it needs to be.  Some machines callibrate a little differently…and some papers are thicker than others, so I think this is a good habit to get into.

Add Super Dad to the Inside of the Card Base

Using double sided tape
Image peek a boo from the front

I used double sided tape to affix my inside because I didn’t use cardstock for the yellow piece, I used text weight paper.  To avoid getting it all wiggly and weird, I used the smallest amount of glue I could.

I think my centering was a little off, but you still have the nice peek-a-boo effect from the front!

Stack and Glue Jacket Pieces

Largest jacket pieces first
Start with the largest jacket pieces first.
Add lapel pieces
Add lapel pieces second.
Collar pieces next
Third, add the collar pieces.
Add the tie
Last, add the tie pieces.

Assemble the Neck and Chin...But Don't Do It Backwards Like I Almost Did

Neck piecces only fit one way
The 2 neck pieces only fit 1 way, so that part is easy enough.
Chin pieces done wrong
The chin pieces, on the other hand, are open to interpretation. THIS IS NOT the correct interpretation. 🙂
Correct chin orientation
THIS is the position in which to glue the chin pieces!

Assemble the Sleeves and Attach the Arms

Correct arm orientation
Get your arms situated in the correct position so you can add the sleeves.
Glue down sleeves
Glue down the jacket sleeves.
Add cuffs last
Finish the arms by adding the cuffs.
Attaching arms with pop dots
I used dimensional adhesive to attach the arms. Line up the knuckles when you attach them.

Add Embellishments

I used some enamel dots and Doodlebug Designs Sprinkles to make cufflinks and buttons.  The file will have given you the small star for the center of the Super Dad logo…I cut mine from Cricut glitter vinyl so it would already be a sticker.

Finally, Assemble the Belly Band and Envelope

The belly band design may be my favorite part of this design.  I HATE piecing together tiny little letter bits, but this card has been designed so the interior pieces of the letters are made with a rear panel of the same color.

This is probably easier to understand with photos…

Attach fathers day text to align with open holes
Glue the Father's Day sign onto the white part of the belly band making sure to align the inside of the letters with the holes underneath.
Attach red back piece
Then attach the red backing piece so that the red shows through the holes. This creates a complete stacked letter effect that is brilliant design!
Attach belly band rear
Slide belly band on the card bottom
You can then slide the belly band onto the bottom of the card. Try to keep it level with the base of the card to help is slide on more easily.
Fold envelope
Fold the envelope and glue the bottom flap.