Cricut Beginner Card: Fast & Easy Valentine

Cricut Beginner Card: Fast & Easy Retro Valentine

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Today I am going to show you how to make a really easy, beginner-friendly Valentine.

If you need to make a whole bunch for your child’s class (or your office?) or just one at the last minute, this design is pretty quick to put together.

I show how to do this with a Cricut machine here and in the video, but if you are a ScanNCut user or a Silhouette user, I’ve got you covered too! There are tutorials showing how to set up the design in Brother Canvas Workspace and Silhouette Studio available in my Resource Library (password required).

The FREE Retro SVG design is also available in my Resource Library (password required). Click here to sign-up for my email list to get the password to the library. The library is a work in progress but there are several video tutorials and some other free SVGs available there as well.

A quick note if you want to cut this on the Cricut Joy – you’ll need to resize the card from 4.75″ W down to 4.25″ W and Hide the “score” line on the card base unless you have an adapter for the Scoring Stylus (I got one on Etsy). There are more details in the instructions below.

So now, let’s get crafting!

Click HERE for the SUPPLY LIST

Check out my Last Minute Valentine’s with the Cricut Joy Tutorial

Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for instructions with photos:


Upload the Design to Cricut Design Space

To get started you’ll need to upload the design to Cricut Design Space. From a New Project blank canvas in Design Space, click on the Upload icon at the bottom of the left-hand toolbar.

Upload Icon in Cricut Design Space
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On the Upload screen, click on Upload Image.

Upload Image Button in Cricut Design Space
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Click Browse on the next screen. This will open a navigation window for your computer/device. Find the file wherever you saved it, click on it to select it and then click Open.

Now, on the Select Upload Type screen, you can rename the file and add tags if you like.

Rename Upload in Cricut Design Space
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Click Upload in the lower right corner. You will now see the card fronts design as the most recent upload on the Uploads screen.

Click on it to select it (a green box appears around it) and then click Add to Canvas in the lower right.

Add upload to Canvas in Cricut Design Space
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Ungroup the Card Elements in Cricut Design Space

The card design will now be on your previously blank canvas. If you look at the Layers panel on the right, you can see that all of the elements are Grouped together.

Click Ungroup at the top of the Layers panel to break them apart.

Ungroup Icon in Cricut Design Space
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Change the Line on Card Base to Score in Cricut Design Space

When the design comes in to Cricut Design Space, all of the elements default to “Basic Cut” as their operation. Obviously, we don’t want to cut the card base in half so you need to change the line in the middle of the card base from “Basic Cut” to “Score” assuming you are using a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air machine (the Joy doesn’t Score – more on that below).

If you try to click on just the line to select it, the entire card base is selected because the line and card base are grouped together. Navigate over to the Layers panel on the right to find the group (highlighted in blue when selected but click off it to deselect it) and click on just the layer that is for the line (should be right above the rectangle shape for the card base). You can tell you’ve selected it when a small box handle shows up on the line.

Line Selected in Cricut Design Space
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Navigate to the Operation box on the top toolbar, click on the dropdown menu and choose Score.

Change Operation to Score in Cricut Design Space
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Attach the Score Line to the Card Base in Cricut Design Space

Once you’ve changed the line to “Score”, select the entire Group (card base and line), navigate to the bottom of the Layers panel and click Attach.

Attach Icon in Cricut Design Space
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This is important! If you forget to Attach the two together, the software will take the line and put it somewhere completely different on the mats when you go to “Make It.” Attach tells the software to leave the line exactly where it is on the card base instead.

Notes for Cricut Joy Users: Resize Everything and Hide the Score Line

If you want to cut this card using the Cricut Joy, you’ll need to do two things differently. First, you’ll need to resize all of the elements down to a size that the Joy can cut, like 4.25″ W instead of the 4.75″ W that it comes in at.

To do this, you need to click and drag the ‘Love’ word so it fits inside the lavender square with ‘Love’ cut out of it. It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit, but get it close.

Fit Word into Cutout in Cricut Design Space
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Click and drag over the rectangle and the word to select both of them. They will highlight blue in the Layers panel so you know you’ve selected them both.

Selection Highlights in Blue in Cricut Design Space
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Navigate to the Size box on the upper toolbar. Make sure the small lock icon is closed (aka locked) and change the Width to 4.25″.

Size Box in Cricut Design Space
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Both the word and the rectangle will resize down proportionately so the words still fit inside the resized cutout layer in the future if you want to use it.

Elements Sized Down for Cricut Joy

You will also need to Hide the line that would be the Score line on the card base (unless you have an adapter for the Scoring Stylus – see last notes in this section).

Click to select the card base and its Group will highlight on the Layers panel so you can see it. Click anywhere to deselect the Group and now click the Line only on the Layers panel.

Select Only the Line in Cricut Design Space
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Then, click on the eye icon on the right side of that layer to Hide that element. It will disappear after the icon is clicked.

Click Eye Icon to Hide Line in Cricut Design Space
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If you happen to have an adapter for the Scoring Stylus to use in the Cricut Joy (I got one on Etsy), you would follow the instructions for changing the Line from Cut to Score that are shown above. But instead of selecting ‘Score’ (which won’t be an option), choose ‘Draw>Pen’ instead.

Change to Draw>Pen in Cricut Design Space
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Hide the Elements You Don’t Need to Cut in Cricut Design Space

There are two things you don’t need to cut to make this card – the individual ‘Love’ letters and the text note about changing the line on the card base.

To hide them, click on the ‘Love’ word, go to the Layers panel, find the group there (highlighted in blue) and click on the eye icon on the right side of the Group layer. It will disappear from the mat as it is now hidden.

Click Eye Icon to Hide in Cricut Design Space
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Repeat for the layer with the text note to hide it as well.

Material Settings for the Beginner Card in Cricut Design Space

Click “Make It” in the upper right.

Make It Button in Cricut Design Space
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The next screen should show 3 mats for the three pieces being cut. Click Continue in the lower right.

Mat Screen in Cricut Design Space
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Now, you’ll need to select the Base Material for the mats. For the lavender and pink mats (more detailed cuts), I suggest you use a lighter weight cardstock: 65 – 80 lb/175-225 GSM for these layers. I always get better results with more detailed elements when using this weight of cardstock. So, for that cardstock weight I suggest using the ‘Cardstock for Intricate Cuts’ setting.

To find that, click on Browse All Materials

Browse All Materials Link in Cricut Design Space
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Scroll down to the Cardstock Section. It is the first choice for Maker and Explore Air machines. Cricut Joy doesn’t have this as a choice, so use ‘Medium Cardstock’ instead.

Find Cardstock for Intricate Cuts Setting under Cardstock Section
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For the mat with the card base, you need to use heavier cardstock so it can support the weight of the two layers we will be putting on it. In that case, I suggest using 100+lb/300+ GSM weight cardstock. For that cardstock, use the ‘Heavy Cardstock’ setting. You can find it the same way you found ‘Cardstock for Intricate Cuts’.

TIP: I always suggest checking the cut BEFORE unloading the mat. That way, if it didn’t cut through you can run it through a second time by either clicking the Cricut or Play button on the machine (Maker & Explore Air series machines) or clicking Rerun in Cricut Design Space for the Joy. If you unload the mat, you won’t be able to do this as the machine won’t be able to cut the same element again in the exact same place.

Cut the Card with Your Cricut

Back over in Cricut Design Space click Go and watch your Cricut cut the various elements for the design.

Cricut Maker Cuts Cardstock
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You will need a Scoring Wheel or Scoring Stylus when cutting the mat with the card base on it. Just check in Cricut Design Space because it will tell you when you need it.

Cricut Design Space tells you to Load Scoring Wheel First
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Remove the Card Elements from the Mats

Flip the mats over after they are done cutting and using a spatula or your hands, slowly and carefully peel the mat away from the paper.

Flip Mat Over to Remove Cardstock
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Be sure to keep the thinner inside pieces of the ‘O’ in the Lavender ‘Love” because you need those when assembling the card.

Keep the Inside Pieces of the O
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You don’t need to keep any of the cut out pieces from the pink glitter piece.

Assemble the Beginner Valentine Card

The assembly is really easy. Take a straight edge, like a ruler, and line it up with the Score line on the card base (or the two indents cut on the edges of the center of the card base if using a Cricut Joy) and push up on the top half of the card base to begin folding the card in half.

Fold Card Base with Straight Edge on Score Line
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The Score line will take over and it should then be easy to simply fold the card base together. Reinforce the fold by running a bone folder or old gift/credit card over the fold line.

Use Bone Folder to Reinforce the Fold
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Set the card base aside for now.

Now adhere together the lavender ‘Love’ elements on top of the glitter piece. To do this, I spread glue on the back of the lavender piece and then placed it down on to the glitter piece.

Add Glue to Back of the Front Card Panel
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Make sure to line up the inside letter cut outs on the two pieces before trying to line up the outside edges. It’s a lot easier to trim off any misalignment from around the outside edges than it is to fix those inside cut outs if not matched up.

Line Up Inside Cutout Edges First
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Then glue the larger inside piece of the O to the inside edges of the O cutout on the glitter piece. One side of the lavender O piece is slightly thicker than the other side. The thicker side needs to go to the left to match the thicker side of the O on the glitter piece.

Glue First Inside Piece of O to Glitter Panel
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Once secure, adhere these two layered pieces on to the front of the card base making sure to line up the outside edges of the pieces. Bare minimum make sure the top edge (where the fold in the card base is) are lined up as well as one edge first. You can always trim anything sticking out from behind on the sides but you can’t trim anything off the folded edge of the card base.

Glue Panels to Front of Card Base
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Finally, glue the small lavender center of the O down to the gray card base in the center of the O cutout.

Glue Center of O to Card Base
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Add a Heart to Counteract the Optical Illusion

Because there is a much larger space showing around the V in “Love’ than around the ‘E’, an optical illusion is created that makes it look like the word is off-center on the front of the card.  If that bothers you, you can add a small heart (or other element) in teh lower left corner of the card front.

To do this, I use a small heart paper punch and punch a gray heart out of the leftover cardstock from teh card base. You could also punch the heart out of the top two layers (lavender and glitter) before adhering them to the card base, so you’d just see a gray heart through the punched opening.

Punch Heart out of Gray Cardstock
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Add glue to the back of the heart and adhere in the lower left corner of the card front.

Glue Gray Heart to Front of Card in Lower Left Corner
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Once everything is dry, enjoy your new Valentine’s Day card!

Final Retro Valentine Card

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you soon. Want to just tell me how much you loved this tutorial? Please leave me a comment below – lol!

Suggestions?

I would also appreciate any ideas you have for topics to cover related to the software for Cricut (Design Space), Silhouette (Silhouette Studio) or Brother  ScanNCut (Canvas Workspace) and any suggestions you have for projects to create with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother Scan N Cut DX. Please leave any requests you have in the comments. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my blog. Thanks!

 


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2 Comments

  1. MarieHelene says:

    Oh 😍THIS is so fun and makes me want to get back to using my machines!
    I just LOVE it.
    Thank you for making a design SO SIMPLE yet SO APPEALING!

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Awww, thanks MarieHelene. It makes me very happy to know you like it. It’s one of my faves too. – Elena

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