Thursday, May 4, 2017

Groot Birthday Card

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from clicking on one of these links, I will make a small commission.  Thanks!***

I am having fun learning to use the Cricut Design Space™ software. I have to admit, I was nervous about learning this tool . . . I was not sure if I was going to be able to figure it out. I am in no way an expert, but I am starting to learn a few tricks and I am happy to share them with all of you who might also be nervous about trying to learn something new.

With the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming out, we are starting to see the little baby Groot showing up in ads and commercials.  Well why not in a birthday card too!


I made this little guy by finding an image online, cleaning it up in Photoshop, uploading it to Design Space to turn it into a cutting file (click HERE for a post about that process) and then creating layers for each of the different colors in the image (click HERE for a post about that process)

Since I wanted Groot to be the main focus of the card, I kept the background pretty simple.  I used a kraft paper card base, and then layered a blue dot patterned paper and a soft grid patterned paper over the top of that.


Next I figured out how big I was going to cut Groot, and then separated all of his layers in Cricut Design Space™     One tip I learned, while you are still in Design Space, after you separate the layers and space them out around the mat, select ALL of them at once and go to the lower right hand corner of the Design Space screen and click on the Attach button.  This attaches the layers to the location that you have them placed on the mat.  All of the images might change to the same color, but don't let that worry you . . . you will see why this is helpful in the next step.

Then I placed pieces of paper for the colors I wanted to use for each layer in the same manner that I had separated the layers in Design Space.  This allows me to just load my mat one time and cut ALL of the layers out.  If I did not do this, I would have had to load/unload the mat 6 times for this one image.  


See . . . THIS is why you wanted to use the Attach button!  If you would not have done that the Cricut would have asked you to load and unload the mat for each and every color, and it would have always started that cut in the top left corner of your mat.

Once all of the layers are cut out I can just take what I need off the mat and place it direction on the base cut to start to build Groot.  This is really nice because sometimes when you take those little pieces off the mat, if you go back to cut another piece somehow a little piece will get lost . . . it falls off the table or sticks to the bottom of your mat . . . you don't know how many times I have lost an eyeball piece over the years!  Now I just leave it on the mat until I am ready to stick it on the base.


I also like to add little touches with marker or ink.  For Groot I went around the edges of his face, and then placed some random lines on his face to make his face look more like tree bark.


I have to admit, all of those small pieces on his arms and body were kind of a pain to place correctly.  If I make him again, I might make the tree bark colored paper one large cut, and the layer the black outline over the top of that.  That way I would not have to place all of those individual pieces!


Another tip for those little pieces, like the eyes . . . I use a straight pin to help pick them up and place them.  I slightly "poke" the piece with the pin to lift it, move it and position it more easily.

So, for this card my ORIGINAL plan was to cut the words "I AM GROOT" out and place those letters inside the card.  Well, as I was placing them I found it really had to keep them in a straight line and due to the font that I used you can see in the image below that for some letters (the G, O and T) there are two parts to the letter . . . so that made it even HARDER to line things up.

To save this, what I ended up doing was using the negative space instead of the letters that were cut out.  I just backed the piece with the same blue dot paper that I used on the front of the card.


So the inside did not turn out like I planned, but I think that unless you KNEW I was planning to use the individual letters you would never know that the inside was born from a mistake.


Overall, for still feeling like a newbie to the Cricut Design Space™ software and tool, I think this card turned out pretty cute.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Layered Image in Cricut Design Space

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from clicking on one of these links, I will make a small commission.  Thanks!***

A couple of weeks ago I shared a post showing how uploaded an image I found on the internet and turned it into a single layer image I could cut with my Cricut using the Cricut Design Space™ software. If you missed that post and would like to read it, just click HERE.

Today I am going to show you how I took that same image and cut it with two layers.  Below is a photo of the finished project . . . Mickey and Minnie Mouse decals for my laptop.  Minnie Mouse is wearing an adorable pink glitter bow.


To start, I am using the exact same image I used for my past post, which was a Mickey and Minnie window cling for the cabinets in my kitchen.  For the directions on how to upload an image and clean it up for cutting, please check out that post by clicking HERE.

For this project I want to cut layers two layers, one out of black vinyl and a second one of just Minnie Mouse's bow in glitter vinyl.  I am going to want to place the glitter vinyl bow right on the black piece, so first I want to adjust the image below so that the bow cuts out in black to make things easier for layering.


When I select the image the Cricut Design Space gives me some options to edit or alter this image.  For this project I want to use the Contour tool found in the lower right corner of the screen, indicated by a pink arrow in the image below.


Once I click on Contour, the window below shows up.  This window will allow me to select areas of the image I want hidden.  I can do this by clicking on the pieces in the main Mickey and Minnie image . . . in this case I want to click on the three parts of Minnie's bow . . . the left side, right side and the small knot piece of the bow in the center.  

The other way to select pieces to hide them is to scroll through the images on the right, under the LARGE pink arrow.  These shapes represent the individual pieces of the image.  For some shapes it is hard to tell what piece of the puzzle of the overall Mickey or Minnie image the piece represents so it might be easier to just click on the pieces from the overall image.


Once I finish clicking on the three pieces of Minnie's bow to hide those from the cut the image looks like the one in the image below.  You can see that Minnie's bow is now black, and will cut out attached to the same piece that her ears are cut on.



So how do I get it to cut JUST the bow?  Easy!  I made a copy of the Mickey and Minnie image I already had and used the Contour option that I just showed to to hide everything EXCEPT for Minnie's bow!  Now I have a bow I can cut from a different color that will layer on top of the Minnie cut perfectly!





First I wanted to cut the Mickey and Minnie out of black vinyl, so I went to the layer controls in the upper right hand corner of Design Space and I clicked on the little eye icon (shown under the pick arrow in the image below)  This will hide this item from cutting.


Then I load my black vinyl into my Cricut and cut.  I remove the outer vinyl from the shape and weed out the small pieces inside the image (the face, eyes and gloves) and when I am all done this is what the image looks like . . . 


Now I go back to the layer controls in Design Space and click on the eye icons again to unhide the bow and hide the Mickey and Minnie image.  I load some pink glitter vinyl into my Cricut and cut . . 


Now I just layer that pink bow on top of the Minnie Mouse image . . . and since the glitter vinyl has an adhesive backing it sticks perfectly to the black vinyl.


Now I just have to move this entire vinyl decal to my laptop.  Since I want to make sure that the inner pieces like the eyes and nose stay in the exact same position/location that they currently are inside the main image I am going to have to move this all together.  You can use transfer tape to do this, and I have also heard of some people using Glad Press and Seal . . . I did not have either one of those on hand, so I decided to use blue painters tape.


I placed several strips of blue painters tape over the top of this image and then I rubbed over it with my hand to be sure that the tape was sticking to the vinyl.  I then slowly pulled the tape back, and if the vinyl was not sticking to the tape I just put it back down and rubbed some more.

Once I got the entire piece to come off of the backing it looked like this . . .


Now I go to my laptop and place this sticky side down exactly where I want it.  Now this time I peel back the painters tape one strip at a time.  This allows me to be more careful and to rub the vinyl down to the laptop as I go along and make sure the whole image is really sticking to the laptop.

Below is an image when I was almost half way done peeling off the painters tape.


And here is Mickey on my laptop!


Then I just did the same thing on the other side to place Minnie.  Not sure if you can tell, but I did not line things up as straight on the bottom with Minnie, but I could not really see that until I removed the last piece of painters tape.  If I wanted to be a perfectionist I would have tried to put the painters tape back over this, pull Minnie up and try to place her again, but for me she looked good enough.


I hope you like my Mickey and Minnie Mouse laptop decals, and that I was able to show you how easy it is to add layers to images you upload to Cricut Design Space™.