My husband’s US Army unit, 4-17 Infantry, was recently assigned a new battalion commander. While the Soldiers received him with a grand marching formation, the spouses hosted a welcome party/shower for his wife. We were all asked to bring gifts to help her “survive” her time in El Paso. She was given lots of sunscreen because it’s always sunny, a kite for our insanely strong winds, and some locally made coffee beans. For my gift, I wanted to give her a stationery set with the 4-17 unit crest on front. And because I wanted it to look nicer than a boring printed image, I needed to convert the crest into a cut file.
The new Cricut Design Space software that was released with the Cricut Explore machine is pretty amazing! It allows you to convert any digital image into a cut file. I have noticed that clipart and .png images work the best because they have less detail and crisper lines. Other pictures will work too, they may just require some patience. Today’s tutorial will walk you through how to create your own cut files with this free online program.
Step 1: To get started, open Cricut Design Space in your web browser. Create a new project and click upload image.
Step 2: Choose basic upload.
Step 3: Click browse to add your image. Simple images works best for clip art in my experience. However, feel free to play around with each option. If you end up not liking how your image looks with with the option you chose, it’s no big deal. Just click the back button so you don’t have to start over.
Step 4: This is the only time consuming step. Depending on how pixellated your image is, and how much of a perfectionist you are, this can be a very tedious process to clean up your image. The idea here is the machine will cut out whatever is not transparent, but it does not recognize color. So you isolate one color at a time by making the other colors transparent. The select and delete function turns an entire section transparent. To clean up pixellated edges, zoom in and use the eraser.
Step 5: Save your cut file. Repeat this process for each color to create different layers.
While my cricut cut out all of my images, I set to work on the background. I stenciled it in 2 layers. The first is done in tumbled glass distress ink. Then, I offset the stencil and applied Viva Croco crackling paint with a palette knife. I just love the look of this crackle paint, but it seemed to warp my cardstock. Does anyone else have this issue? And if so, what do you do to combat it? As the paint dried, I assembled the crests. Dry wall tape works perfectly to keep all those little bricks lined up as they are removed from the cutting mat, glue applied, and then adhered to the crest. And for the final touch, it’s mounted with thick foam dots to make this card really pop.