Making a Balloon Cut-out Valentine’s Card with the Cricut Maker – Free Download
This was added to the site initially in February, when it seemed appropriate to call it a Valentine’s card – but to be honest, with its cheery heart-shaped balloon design, it’s a card that’s appropriate to tell someone you care about them at any time of the year! If you fancy having a go at it then get your hand on our FREE SVG and Full Instructions here:
FREE Balloon Hearts Card SVG
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In Design Space, create a New Project and import the file (which should be in your downloads as balloonheartscard.svg – please use one of the other file formats if you’re using a machine that doesn’t use svgs).
You should see something like this:
What can I say? Acid colours keep me alert!
Anyway – with the images selected (as shown there will be a box around them – if there isn’t then click on one of the images and a box will appear), click on ‘Ungroup.’
All the elements in the file will now be separate, so you need to fit them together into different groupings. We’re going to take them one at a time, starting with the envelope.
- Select the envelope exterior (the section in pink on the diagram) by clicking and dragging your mouse over it – this is what you’ll see:You’ll see, in the right hand margin, that the two elements that make up this piece – the envelope template and a rectangle shape inside it – are shown in a darker grey colour. We want the envelope template to be cut out but not the rectangle inside it. The rectangle shows where the folds are – we want this to be scored, so click on the rectangle piece in the margin. The Layer Attributes panel will pop up, as shown:On the top left, you will see four circular icons – click on the one that says ‘Score’ and the icon next to the rectangle will change to the stylus icon and, on the diagram, the rectangle will now appear as a dashed line.
- With both envelope and square selected – either by clicking and dragging over them both, or pressing Shift while selecting the two items in the right-hand margin – Attach the two (either by right-clicking and selecting it from the drop-down, or simply clicking on the paperclip icon at the bottom of the right-hand margin). Your envelope exterior is now ready to cut and score!
- Follow exactly the same procedure as for the Envelope Exterior, but for the lime green shape. You’ve now got the elements required to make the envelope. (You’ll find instructions on assembling the envelope below).
The Main Card:
There are a few separate elements to the card – the cut-out section at the front, the score line at the centre, the balloons (cut from adhesive paper A), the bow (cut from adhesive paper B) and the written stuff on the inside (which uses a pen). We need to separate and group these pieces before telling the machine what we need to do with each section. We’re going to split the card into manageable sections.
The card – cut-out and scoring:
- Click and drag over the main card piece and choose Ungroup in the right-hand margin:
- If you select the card, you’ll see the relevant sections shown in the right-hand margin. If you click on the card, you’ll see the basic card with its cut-outs (we want to leave that as it is, with the Scissors icon alongside it). Above it, you’ll see a line – this is the line in the centre of the card, which we want to Score rather than Cut. Click on this line (this will highlight it on the diagram) and convert it to a Score line by clicking on the icon that appears in the layers attribute panel when you do this:
- Now, select both the card and the score line in the right hand margin (hold down shift while selecting the items) and Attach them, either by right-clicking and selection from the drop-down, or clicking on the paperclip icon at the bottom of the list:
With the card still selected, click on ‘Arrange’ at the top of your screen and choose ‘Move to Back’ from the drop-down. This’ll enable you to see the balloons and text again! We’ve dealt with the card cutting and scoring – now we need to move to the inside of the card.
Written sections – the inside message and balloon strings:
- You now need to tell the Cricut to write each of the letters on the ‘You lift me up!’ message. To do this, you need to click on the scissor icon next to each letter one by one and select the ‘Write’ icon from the Layers Attribute panel. This will also give you the opportunity to choose what pen you’ll use. I’m going to try a silver metallic pen, so that’s what I’ll choose from the drop-down.
- Click on shift and (again in the right-hand margin) select each letter of the message (‘you lift me up!’). As you do so, notice that a box appears around the text in the diagram. Once you’ve selected each letter, Attach them (Paperclip icon at bottom, or right-click and select ‘Attach’). You’ve now identified the message as one ‘piece’.
- Now I’m going to identify the balloon strings from the right-hand margin – these are to be drawn too, so I’ll use exactly the same method as I did for the writing in step 1 – selecting each of them and clicking on the Scissors icon to replace it with the ‘Write’ icon, one-by-one in the right-hand margin. I want these strings to be black, so I’m going to choose Black 0.4 Tip from the drop-down.
- Now, click on Shift and Select each of the balloon strings (as you can see, as I select each, they become encased in a ‘box’ in the diagram):
- Click on Attach.The strings will now appear in front of the balloons in the diagram. Don’t panic though – this is how we want it to be!
- Now we need to select all of the balloons and attach them. These are going to be cut – but in a different colour/material combo to everything else, so we leave the scissors icons alongside each item as they are, and simply Attach all of these balloons together, using exactly the same method as in the previous steps (i.e. clicking Shift and selecting each of the balloons), as shown:Now, you need to click on Attach. This will make them appear above the strings again!
- Select and attach the bow pieces (please see previous steps on how to select items and group them). These also need to be cut, so we’re leaving the Scissors icons alongside each bow section as they are. The bow will now appear in front of the strings again.
- Now – select everything within the card and Attach them.
The message for the front of the card:
- This is cut separately from the rest of the card as it’ll be glued onto the front. I want to use the same pen as for the message inside, so my first step is to select all of the letters one my one and choose ‘Write’ from the Layers Attribute panel, selecting the appropriate pen. Then, I need to click Shift and select each of the letters and the white rectangle, and Attach them.
Now…you should be ready to proceed!
Please check your cutting mats before you go ahead and cut. They should look as follows (though I’ve found that they can come through in different orders!).
Cutting the Pieces:
Most of the pieces (as shown above) are pretty simple to cut and apply, but there are a few things to bear in mind.
Cutting and Weeding the Balloons:
This isn’t the procedure I’d normally use, but I found it worked very well with the Wilko Rose Gold vinyl, which is known throughout the UK crafting community for being beautiful but really hard to weed!
I really would recommend a proper transfer tape for this – but regardless of what you use, you really need to make sure that it’s lost most of its tack, by pressing it repeatedly against a piece of clean fabric – you don’t want it to stick to the paper and tear it as you take it away. I used Wilko’s book cover but it really was extremely sticky, despite me having ‘untacked’ it repeatedly!
- I cut the vinyl on a setting MUCH HIGHER than I’d normally use (metallic posterboard – though please bear in mind settings do vary from machine to machine!) This cut through the whole of the vinyl AND the backing…but I found that if I kept it on the mat, it was easy to take away the excess vinyl and end up with this:
2. From here, I could transfer the whole thing to transfer tape. What was great was that, when I turned it over, the paper and the backs of each balloon ‘sticker’ were grouped perfectly yet I could peel the back off JUST the parts I wanted to transfer. This made it so much less likely to peel away the paper!
You can see this in the next step, which shows the back of the paper:
Cutting the Card:
SUPER-IMPORTANT – position the card ‘right side’ down. This might not be important if your card is the same colour on both sides…but it will be if it’s just one-sided!
So here…this is the original card we cut, on blue card with a white backing – the white side is uppermost, as we’re cutting (and writing, and scoring!) on the ‘wrong’ side, which will be the interior of the card.
Once positioned, cut, paying attention to the screen. You’ll start off with the stylus, but once the score line has been drawn down the middle, Design Space will tell you to change it to a pen for the balloon strings and message (these will be different pens if you’ve chose different pens earlier) before cutting out the shapes. It’s so much fun to watch!
Once it’s finished writing and cutting the result should look something like this at the front:
And like this on the inside:
Assembling the Envelope:
- Fold over the scored sections.
- Apply glue over the central rectangle on the pink piece and place the green piece on top. Smooth over the pieces.
- Apply glue to each flap on the pink piece, and push them together with the green pieces.
- Apply glue to the side sections of the envelope:5. Push up the front flap. Here are some completed envelopes:
Assembling the Card:
Now comes the interesting bit – transferring the adhesive paper or vinyl to the card!
1. Taking care to position the edges of the balloons so that none of the edges appear through the cut-outs on the front of the card (you’ll need to look at both sides and arrange accordingly), position the balloons so that they are on the inside of the card with the shiny side facing out towards the front. It’s easier if you position it using a bit of masking tape so you can adjust it until it’s perfect. It’ll look something like this – forgive the quality of the photo here, I was holding the card and taking the photo at the same time!
When the front of the card is pressed closed though, it matches up perfectly:
2. Now you’ve shut the card, you can press the vinyl where it’s meant to be – on the inside of the card! Stick it down carefully, rubbing your finger over each balloon in a circular motion to eliminate air bubbles:
3. Remove the transfer tape carefully. If you left the backing on the vinyl around the balloons, it’ll be much easier to remove the paper but go slowly and carefully as there’ll still be some sticky on there!
4. It’ll look like this:
5. Repeat the process (weeding and transferring) with the bow – though this time you don’t need to match anything up at the front; just stick the bow over the point on the picture where the balloon strings converge. (NB I used a very cheap polka dot vinyl from Poundland that I’ve also had difficulty using for other stuff).
6. Print up the cards that make up the ‘sentiment’ on the front (i.e. ‘I love you because…’ making sure you follow the instructions to insert the pen for the text bit. Glue the text card on top of the slightly larger rectangle, and affix to the front of your card.
7. Admire your handiwork!
Here’s another version, with the interior colour scheme reversed (the Poundland vinyl is the balloons and the Wilko vinyl the bow on this one:
Have you tried to make this card? Please share your version with us at the CraftAGoGo Crucial Crafting Facebook Group – we’d love to see your work!
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