Thanks to the precision of cutting machines nowadays, intricate papercut artwork can be created at the press of a button. You’ll need a suitable cut file, of course – and, luckily, we’ve created a whole alphabet for you!
The instructions here are for the letter ‘A’ – but whatever file you’re using, the instructions are the same and, what’s more – SO easy to follow! The size of the finished piece is 20.4cm (or 8″) wide and 29.1cm (11.5″) high – which makes it perfect for an A4 or letter-sized (if you’re in the US or Canada) frame. But, as it’s vector artwork, you can make it as large as your cutting mat (or paper) will allow! You can certainly easily size it up to A3, or ledger-sized paper.
You can buy files to make individual letters or our whole alphabet bundle at a reduced price – perfect if you want to make lots of gifts, or even make up full words to create wall art. It’s up to you!
Best of all – the supplies are SO simple – just a couple of sheets of paper and a frame and you’ve got a really gorgeous piece of art!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Two pieces of paper, one for the upper cut piece and one for the coloured base that sits behind it (we’ve chosen pink in our example) – this is a vector file so you can make it as big or as small as you want (cutting mat and paper permitting!) but the default size will cut to A4 (or letter-sized, if you’re in the US or Canada) paper
- Our SVG file
PREPARING THE FILES:
- Open a New Project and click on ‘Import Images’.
- Choose the file you’ve downloaded – in this case it will be something like ‘letterA.svg’ (or whatever letter you’re cutting, or format your machine uses!)
- Select all of the pieces on the canvas (by clicking on them) and then click on ‘Ungroup’.
- Now, select all of the pieces again (by clicking and dragging with your mouse) and attach the pieces – either by selecting ‘Attach’ in the right-hand margin, or right-clicking and selecting ‘Attach’ from the drop-down menu.
That really is it!!! You’re ready to start cutting out your initial!
This file has been tested with the Cricut Maker, and if you have the same machine I recommend you use the fine point blade on Cardstock (Intricate Cuts) with More pressure setting. It’s really important though, to have a really clean and sticky cutting mat, otherwise you’re likely to tear your cardstock. I’ve used very inexpensive 180 gsm plain white cardstock for this example.
- Cutting out the pieces is really straightforward – once you click on ‘Make It!’ you’ll see this:
- Continue and feed your mat with cardstock into the machine. All you’ll have to do is click the Cricut button and the machine will cut it beautifully!
- Once it’s complete, we’ll get to the most difficult part of the process – CAREFULLY removing the card from the mat! Did I stress CAREFULLY enough? I mean it – there are tiny, tiny cuts holding things together here, so you need to move slowly and gently. I recommend the age-old but invaluable advice of acting as if you’re removing the mat from the paper rather than vice versa – though I have found it best to pull the paper firmly, but at a very small angle from the mat (while keeping the mat flat), like this:You’ll have to take special care with the centres and the antennae of the butterflies, as they are very fragile!
ASSEMBLING YOUR ARTWORK:
Assembly sounds very technical but this could not be easier! There are four different shapes on your page, and you need to do the following for each:
- Heart shapes – push them out from the sheet (if they haven’t been left behind on the mat!)
- Smaller flower shapes – again, push them out from the sheet (if they haven’t been left behind on the mat!)
- Larger flower shapes (with holes in centre) – carefully, from the back (using a weeding tool if necessary) push the petals out, being careful not to tear to the centre of the flower, and fold over the individual petals so that they stand up slightly from the rest of the sheet. Once this is done, use your weeding tool to prod out the centre of the flower, creating a small hole.
- Smaller butterfly shapes – carefully, from the back (using a weeding tool if necessary) push the wings out, being careful not to tear the centre of the butterfly and fold over the wings so that they stand up slightly from the rest of the sheet
- Larger butterfly shapes – carefully, from the back (using a weeding tool if necessary) push the wings and the (very delicate!) antennae out, being careful not to tear the centre of the butterfly and fold over the wings so that they stand up slightly from the rest of the sheet. You can see how each of these pieces will look in the section below.
Once this is all complete, then position your piece on top of a contrasting sheet of A4 (or letter-sized paper). We’ve used pink paper and a pink frame here, but it looks just as good with glittery or metallic paper (whether for the top or bottom piece or indeed the frame) in a whole range of colours!
Fancy having a go yourself? Find our full range of initialled files in the CraftAGoGoShop. At this stage we’re adding more every day but please let us know if you have any requests!