I made this project in response to a query on Melody Lane’s Facebook group, which is a fab place full of really supportive crafters!
Anyway – a member of the group wanted to make a photo map of the United States with all of the pieces cut out – after a bit of grappling with Illustrator it was a fun one to put together! And it’s also made me realise I need to do a bit more travelling! (As a result, I have now created a USA map art print with stamps…so do try that – it’s also in the free files – if you have too many gaps!)
You will need:
- One sheet of paper in white (I used a really amazing felt-embossed white 270gsm paper)
- One sheet of paper in blue (I used an inexpensive card)
- One sheet of photo paper
- I haven’t specified the size as you can of course resize the files. However, I used standard A4 paper (slightly larger than letter paper if you’re in the US or Canada).
- Our FREE File – please scroll down to the bottom and fill in the form to get it sent to your inbox in SVG, EPS, DXF, PNG and PDF formats!
In terms of your Cricut set-up, you will need to ensure your mat is super-sticky, as the state border areas are extremely narrow. As I used such a heavy cardstock for that sheet, I had my maker set on Cereal Box with the deep cut blade (it always grieves me to use that setting for heavy, quality cardstock, but it has got really good results for me!
However – please choose your settings dependent on the paper you’re using! You might have to experiment a bit as it’s quite intricate.
Preparing the file for the main shapes:
- Open USAphotomap.zip
- Once you’ve unzipped the files (this is pretty easy on a Mac, but if you’re using windows you might need to use an application like Winrar or Winzip), you need to choose the ones most appropriate for your cutting machine. (There are two files in five formats – I’m using the Cricut Maker so I need to choose the svgs – they’re called USAmapwithstates and USAstates). Import ‘USAmapwithstates’ into Design Space.
- Ungroup the Files (using the menu on the right-hand menu, or right-clicking and selecting ‘Ungroup’ from the drop-down)
- That’s it! You’re ready to click on Make It!
- I have always found the order the pieces are presenting for cutting to be completely random, but it showed me the section with the state borders (which I’m cutting from white cardstock – check the image at the top of the page if you want to see which part it is!)It will cut as shown:
- Then, we have the ‘overlay’ section – this will put a nice shape around the edge of the piece you’ve just cut, and look altogether more professional. I’ve cut this in light blue – but you don’t have to – I think I thought I was representing the sea, but Canada is a solid landmass! Once cut, you can put it on top of the piece you’ve just cut:
- Now….we’ve got the main pieces, but we need to fill the states up with images from our holidays. I’ve only visited two states in the US, so I’ve got a long way to go…but I can at least make a start!
Printing and cutting out the photos for each state:
Of course – you can use the bits of paper left over from your initial cut (from the white cardstock) as templates around which you can draw on your photos. But…you can also just Print and Cut them!
- Open the image (that is, a photo of you enjoying yourself in one of the states of the USA!) it in your vector drawing program (I use Illustrator, but you can do it in the free software Inkscape as well) and open USAstates.svg.
- Ungroup the file if necessary, and choose the state you want.
- I’m choosing this picture of me with legendary rapper Grandmaster Caz (really! He’s great!) taken in New York State. The photo needs to be resized so that it’ll fill the shape of the state – in my case, to get both of our faces, I had to reflect the image and rotate it.
- Select both objects (ensure the state shape is in front) and go to Object>Select Clipping Mask>Make (in Illustrator – in Inkscape it’s Object>Clip>Set). Haha…hey, nobody said it had to be flattering!
- Open a document (make the size larger than the photo you’re posting) in Photoshop (or equivalent photo-editing software) and paste the image you just created – your photo in the shape of a US state! (Choose ‘pixels’ from the flyover box that appears to position it onto the canvas).
- Save it as a png (this means it’ll save and therefore cut in the shape given, with a transparent background rather than a white square and you won’t have to mess with it too much in Design Space).
- You can now close Illustrator or Inkscape (or whatever you’re using).
- Now, you can import this image into Design Space! I would recommend you import it into the same document as the files you’ve already cut out, as it’s likely you’ll have to resize it. As you can see above, when I imported it, it was far too small – you need to resize it so it’ll fit behind its state ‘frame’! Once it’s the same size as the relevant state, you can Print and Cut. (It’ll send the image to your printer, so you can cut it out). Please forgive the scars on my cutting mat! And please note – this is a VERY low-resolution photo – yours will be much better!
- Now, all you need to do is attach it behind the section you could with the borders on it. I’ve applied a bit of tape to keep it in place.
- Make sure it looks right at the front (please note – if the fit isn’t right, then you can always go back and change the size in Design Space as we did earlier). 11. OK…one state down…another 50 to go!
Want to make this yourself? Simply fill in the form below to get the FREE (for now!) files sent to your inbox.
PLEASE NOTE: You may use this file to create up to 100 commercial units (i.e. physical products) – any more than that then please contact me. However, you may NOT sell any of the digital files in any way, whether in full or part.
Once you’ve made it, please be sure to share it with us at the CraftAGoGo Crucial Crafting Facebook group! This was a project suggested by someone, and who knows…we might draw up your project too, if you tell us what it is!
Free USA Map and Stamp Art Cut Files
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