Need to make some easy, last minute Valentine’s cards with the Cricut Joy? Then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve got a new card front design (see the Supply List) that features lots of hearts and is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Plus, the design is easy and fast with the Cricut Joy.
There are, however, a couple of things you’ll need to consider when it comes to the Joy and this somewhat intricate design – material you use and the stickiness of the mat.
After testing the design with several different weights of cardstock, I can say with certainty that this design is too delicate for the Cricut Joy to cut really well using card stock. Instead, I suggest using scrapbook-type paper.
Scrapbook paper is heavier than copy/printer paper but not as thick as cardstock. This allows you to use less pressure during cutting, so the Joy can easily cut the design.
Then you will need to simply glue the scrapbook paper cut out to a much heavier card stock to create your cards!
Using a very sticky, pretty new mat is also very important for the Joy to succeed with the cuts in this design. You want the paper to really stick to the whole mat, especially in the middle. Taping the paper down around the edges of the mat because your mat isn’t sticky enough. won’t work.
Because the Joy is cutting intricate shapes across the entire piece of paper if the mat doesn’t hold the paper down really well, the blade is going to snag on the finer cuts and drag them apart, ripping the connected pieces as it goes. Not fun but that’s just a reality I want you to be prepared for.
Now that I’ve scared you enough, it really is time to start making these cute Valentine’s Day cards. I swear the Cricut Joy makes it easy as long as you follow the above precautions. Let’s get crafting!
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.
On the Upload screen, click on Upload Image.
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.
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.
Resize 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.
For whatever reason, the card elements will be the wrong sizes when they are first brought into Cricut Design Space. They were created and saved at the correct sizes but Design Space seems to open everything at somewhat random sizes.
In this case you’ll need to resize the smaller rectangle to an A2 sized card front – 4.25″ x 5.5″. Click it to select it and make sure the lock in the lower left is locked (that’s the default so it should be). Navigate to the Size area on the upper toolbar and type 4.25″ in the Width box. The Height will automatically change to 5.5″
For the slimline card front, repeat this step but this time enter 9.00″ as the new Width. The Height should automatically change to 3.75″.
Finally, the greetings need to be resized as well, using 1.75″ for the width of each.
Slice the Greeting from the Card Front in Cricut Design Space
Click and drag the “I Love You” greeting onto the large heart in the center of the A2-sized card front. Move it around until you are happy with the placement since you will be slicing it out of the card front.
With only the greeting selected, navigate to the bottom of the Layers panel and click Weld. This will take the greeting from three separate but grouped layers down to one flattened layer.
You can only Slice with two layers – the top layer with the shape to be sliced out of the bottom layer. Welding the greeting will allow you to Slice it out of the card front.
To Slice it, click to select the layer with the greeting. Then hold down the Ctrl key (CMD key on a Mac) to select the A2-sized card front also.
Navigate to the bottom of the Layers panel and click on Slice.
The Layers panel will now show three layers that are ‘Slice Results’ – the original greeting, the card front with the greeting cut out of it, and a new black version of the greeting (what the slice from the card front leaves behind).
You don’t need the black greeting, so click the X in the upper left corner of the image bounding box to delete it.
Hide Elements Not Being Cut in Cricut Design Space
For this tutorial, I am only cutting the newly sliced A2-sized card front, so I need to Hide all the other layers.
Find the eye icon at the end of each layer row on the Layers panel.
Click on the eye to turn it off or ‘hide’ each layer you don’t intend to cut.
Do this for all layers until only the A2-sized card front is visible.
Settings to Cut the Card Front in Cricut Design Space
Check that the machine is set to your Joy in the upper right. Change it to your Joy if necessary and then click on Make It.
Choose ‘On Mat’ when the window appears asking how you intend to load materials.
You will now see the design placed on a 4.5″ x 6.5″ mat. You can click and drag it to adjust it down if you like.
Click Continue in the lower right. Now you need to Set the Base Material. Click on Browse All Materials.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this design is too intricate for the Cricut Joy to cut from cardstock. You’ll need to use scrapbook-type paper but the material setting you pick will be different. Instead of going to the paper section, go to Cardstock and choose Light Cardstock.
Click Done to return to the previous screen. Leave the pressure at Default and now, head to your machine to load the mat and cut the design. Yay!
Load the Mat with Paper and Load Into the Cricut Joy
As I also mentioned at the beginning, how you adhere the scrapbook-type paper to the mat is extremely important. I used a very sticky mat (I re-stuck it myself with a Zig Two Way Glue Pen) and then placed the material at the top edge of the mat’s cutting area.
I also took a brayer and rolled over it a few times to ensure the paper was well stuck to the mat.
Once the paper is secure, load the mat into the Cricut Joy.
Cut the Card Front with the Cricut Joy
Back over in Cricut Design Space click Go and watch the Cricut Joy cut the card front design.
I suggest keeping an eye on it while it cuts just to make sure that it doesn’t start tearing the paper (it shouldn’t but you never know). Once it finishes cutting, check the cut. If it looks good, click Unload in Cricut Design Space to unload the mat.
Remove the Card Front from the Mat
Flip the mat over and using a spatula, slowly and carefully peel the mat away from the paper.
If anything didn’t cut completely through, use a craft knife on a self-healing mat to fix the cut.
Be sure to remove and save the inside pieces from the letters that should be left on the mat. You’ll need those when gluing everything together.
Also, you can remove all of the small hearts that are left on the mat and use inside the card or on another project, if you like.
I used a small tweezers to remove the inside loops from the letters and the hearts. Then I scraped the remaining cut pieces off the mat with the spatula.
Choose a Color for Your Card Base
If you cut the card front design from patterned paper like I did, you’ll need to use a solid color for the card base that contrasts with the intricate design so you can see it well on the card.
Generally, using a solid color that is much lighter or darker than the patterned paper should work. It will provide enough contrast so the intricate design will be able to be seen easily on the card front.
You may also want to consider who the card is for and choose a color for the card base that suits the receiver as well as contrasting with the paper used for the cut card front design.
You can create a top folding A2-sized card base by trimming a piece of heavy cardstock to 4.25″ x 11″. Score across it at 5.5″ and then fold. Use a bone folder or credit card to burnish the crease in place.
Glue the Card Front Design to the Card Base
I suggest using a liquid glue with a narrow tip on the bottle to add adhesive to the back of the card front.
Since there is a fair amount of solid area in the design, I concentrated glue in those places and along the edges.
When you’ve added enough glue to the back, flip the design over and adhere it to the front of the card base. I find lining it up along the top and one edge of the card base helps me get it properly aligned.
Add Bling if You Like
Depending on the colors and/or patterns you use, you may not need to add anything else to the card.
I, however, can’t help myself and in this case I decided to add 3 small crystal gems just around the greeting to highlight it.
I also added 3 hearts to the inside of the card.
Once everything is dry, enjoy your new Valentine’s Day 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!
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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HEARTS CARD FRONTS DESIGN – Zipped Folder with SVG, PNG, Studio3 and CWPRJ VERSIONS – Available for purchase after FEBRUARY 28, 2022.
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