Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oval Aperture Cards

It all started with a simple request for help on the Cricut message board. Michelle wanted to make invitations for a celebration of her husband's 20th anniversary working for Peterbilt and was having many frustrations in trying to create the card in Design Studio. I love a challenge and so I told her I would give it a try. I had been working on trying to weld in circles and ovals on and off since I got the software (I finally did get the circle - see post from March 16th).

I went to the company website to see what the logo looked like and, fortunately, the typeface looked pretty similar to the upright version of the script font on the Opposites Attract cartridge. I first tried to just get the company name and "20" inside an oval frame - but I just couldn't get a satisfactory oval. Here is a screen shot of that attempt

I posted that and Michelle liked it but it bothered me - the outside was too uneven, so I decided to sleep on it. The next morning I had a thought - the inside of the oval looked pretty good so why not try to build a card around it which would eliminate the problem of the uneven outer oval shape.

So - back to the drawing board (or rather the laptop!) and I started working on this - adding shapes to build out the sides of the card and trying to get all the welds to work correctly. I finally succeeded and this photo shows the card I created

Michelle thought that was a fine card and I was pretty pleased with it but did not like the way the 20 looked - I thought it was hard to read. So I thought I'd "quickly" change the "20" in the Opposites Attract font to the "20" in the Plantin Schoolbook font. Well...that did not turn out to be a quick substitution - I could not get the welds to work correctly to produce a final card.

I had saved the file from the first version and was about ready to give up when I got it - and found the secret to making this sort of card. I was so frustrated by deleting and adding back elements to "burp" the design that I thought of a new strategy - I started a new page and added elements one by one - checking the the welds each time.

Here is the final version of Michelle's card - the "20" is much clearer - I did not weld it side to side - just to the word above and the oval below.

So I started to experiment and try new versions of cards using this concept. Many message board members were interested in this design and directions of how to make the cards. I realized that my first file required both George and Plantin Schoolbook and some people would not own both of these so I set to work to find a way to make this work for as many people as possible.

The end result is one file that requires only Plantin Schoolbook and one the requires both George and Printing 101 (unfortunately the parentheses on George are not suitable for forming an oval).

Here is a sample card made with the Plantin Schoolbook file - the first photo shows the cut out as the card is open and the second with a white liner so you can see the design better.

Here is a sample card made with the George and Printing 101 file

Once again it is easier to remove these delicate cuts using a large scraper and leaving the offcuts on the mat.

Once you have your card cut you can embellish it as you please -


Here are the directions for using these files. Each file has three pages - the template page, the card building page and the blank page for previewing as you go along. Do a "save as" of the file and name it to suit your project - this way you will preserve the template for future cards.

Start by deciding what you want to put in the center of the oval. Using the first page, get those items sized appropriately and be sure that you check weld on each element (eliminate the design that I left in the center - "Spring" or "Birthday Blessings" - so you can see more clearly where to put the items). When placing your elements it can be helpful to use the 200 size view to see if the elements are touching the edges of the oval.

Next, copy the design elements from that page and paste them on page two (the card assembly page). Continue this process adding elements step by step from the center - first the parentheses, then the small ovals, then the rectangles and squares that form the edges of the card. Check your welds as you go along but if you do it in this order you should not have a problem.

Good luck and enjoy making these cards!

4 x 5 Oval Aperture Card - Plantin Schoolbook

4 x 5 Oval Aperture Card - George and Printing 101


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your files. I do not have all these carts but did download the files. Maybe I will have to purchase the carts! Thanks for the instructions also.

  2. Thank you so much for teaching all of us! You are truly amazing! These are so beautiful and classy looking.


  3. I think the notecards look awesome and it's even more awesome that you've got such a great handle of DS. I'm still learning and I don't even know how to use the files that you're so kind to share with us! Just wanted to say that I thought they looked great!

  4. Great job!!!

    Thanks for the nice comment on my blog!!

  5. i love all your creations i check your blog everyday for nmew stuff.
    Ann W

  6. All this time, I've been looking for monograms and it was staring in my face. Sometimes you just have to re-read blogs...especially if you've been on medicines for a long period of time. LOL


  7. TFS. This is a great gift idea for alot of circumstances which include both genders.

  8. I love your blog I plan on folowing it everyday. TFS


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