First up… Christmas cards.
I’m in a “simplicity” phase at the moment, and, as usual, I’m short on time, so the design is simple. The cards are quick and easy to make and you can change them up simply by choosing different cardstock colors…Christmas-y red on green , blingy green on gold or super subtle white on white. I even added a few foam dots on some to add dimension. The free download file includes all of the pieces for NOeL and hohoho cards sized to fit a standard A2 envelope.
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What you need…
- Cardstock – I used Michaels Recollections brand 65lb (80lb would be great, too)
- Cardstock adhesive or double-sided tape
- Foam dots or pop-up glue dots – optional, to add dimension if you like
- 1/4″ Hole punch – optional, depending on your design choice
- Scoring board – not needed if you use the Silhouette to score the card
- Silhouette 12″ x 24″ mat – optional, but sure speeds up the cutting process when cutting a bunch of cards
- Silhouette cutting machine – mine is powered by Silhouette Studio Designer Edition v3.3.638 and v4.0.837
- Free file ↓ ↓ ↓
The download file contains the two parts needed to make a 4¼” x 5 5/8″ card:
1) the background piece with built-in optional score line,
2) two choices of front piece (either NOeL or hohoho).
The little squares and circles are optional background additions. More on them later.
The background is solid. The front piece has letters cut from a series of circles. When you layer the pieces, the background shows through the front piece. If you want the letters to “pop”, choose two cardstock colors with good contrast. If you want a super-subtle effect, go with little contrast or none at all…monochromatic is pretty classy.
A score line is a big help in getting the background piece to fold nicely into a card. You can draw the score line manually or you can have the Silhouette do it for you (that’s what the green dashed line is in the middle of the background piece). If you prefer manual score lines, be sure to select ‘No Cut’ for the dashed score line when you get to the cut settings. If you’d like the Silhouette to do the scoring, you’ll get the nicest score lines by using Blade setting at 1 to cut just the top layer of the cardstock (A), instead of cutting all the way through (B).
This is where the dual carriage of the Cameo 3 comes in handy because you can have one blade cut the card and the second blade cut the score lines all in one pass. If you have a Cameo 1 or 2, you’ll have to do it in two passes.
Cut one background and one front piece for each card. I cut the background pieces from 12″x12″ cardstock (2 from a sheet), and the front pieces from 8½”x 11″ cardstock (4 from a sheet).
Cut by Line Color – If you’d like the Silhouette to cut the score lines, toggle the cut settings to cut by line color. In Silhouettte Studio version 4, you have the cut by line color option as soon as you click SEND. In version 3, check the ‘Advanced’ cut mode box to access cut by color.
If you have the Cameo 3, assign one blade to cut red lines using regular cardstock settings and the other blade to cut the green lines to cut the score lines (regular cardstock settings but with a Blade of 1). If you have the Cameo 1 or 2, cut the red lines using regular cardstock settings, then without unloading the mat, change the Blade to 1 and send to cut the green score line.
Mats – You can use a regular 12″ Silhouette mat, but when cutting multiples for something like this, the 12″ x 24″ mat is way more efficient and saves a lot of time. If you have two mats, you can get into a rhythm of unloading & loading one while the other is cutting. I had one small and one large mat going, but I’ve just ordered another large mat so I can use two large ones together next time.
Cut Settings – With the right cut settings, the cardstock should cut cleanly with no chads and no need for X-acto knife intervention. If you need a primer on finding good cut settings for cardstock, see the Christmas gift tag post here. And if you peel the mat off the cardstock, the cardstock weeds itself so you don’t have to weed all those itty bitty dots.
If you didn’t use the Silhouette to score where the background folds, you can fold it without a score line if you’re careful. I like to score first because I find it results in a cleaner, more accurate fold. And for something as simple as a single straight line card fold, I do it manually on a scoring board. As usual, the right tool for the job makes the job go faster. If you make a lot of cards, I highly recommend getting one.
To use the board, line up the paper along the ledge at the left, then run the knife-looking bone folder down the slot at the distance you want. The slots are 1/8″ apart. For this card, I scored at the 4¼” mark.
If you look carefully, you can see where the bone folder is leaving an indented score line. Once the card is scored, then it’s super easy to match the corners and fold it with a nice crease.
For the simplest assembly, glue the front piece to the background, and yo, you’re done.
If you have a little more time, cut some of the little squares & circles (optional background additions) from the file and play with multiple color backgrounds on a single card, like this:
The circles go behind the O and E, the squares go behind the N and L. For this card (above), I added green circles behind the O and E. For cards I did all in white cardstock, I applied circles and squares to the backside of the front piece like this:
Want to add a little bling? Cut the squares/circles from gold or silver foil.
And if you take a hole punch to your cardstock scraps, look what can happen. Do you see the red dots scattered amongst the letters?
Here’s what this one looks like on the back:
Adding dimension (optional)…
They raise the front piece about 1/8″ from the background, causing the letter holes to create a cool shadow effect.
And yo, you’re done.
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