Monday, March 23, 2009

Sometimes the "Baby Bug" is better...

I was working on some tags today for a swap. I found a tag shape that I liked on the Calligraphy Collection cartridge and I set up a row of tags to cut on the virtual mat. My screen had the 12 x 6 or baby bug mat size selected.

Above is a screen shot of the five tags that I carefully fit into the "cuttable area" of the mat. I wanted to add more rows of tags so I switched to the 12 x 12 mat view - suddenly, my tags were outside the "cuttable" area.

Above is the screen shot of the same tags on the 12 x 12 mat (remember, you can click on any photo to see it in a larger view).

These screen shots show a closer view of the slight but significant difference in the cuttable area.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I hate to waste paper and I always try to figure out the most efficient way to cut items. This is yet another of the reasons I like using Design Studio even for "ordinary" cuts where you are not altering the item to be cut.

I decided to use the baby bug to cut the tags so I could maximize the number I could cut from one sheet of 12 x 12 cardstock. In order to do this, I cut my paper into three 4 inch strips. I used my DreamKuts, which cuts perfectly straight thirds in a 12 x 12 paper. If you use a regular trimmer you just have to be very careful to be sure that your cuts are exact.

By cutting each strip independently and placing it carefully on the mat just a bit below the top margin, I was able to cut fifteen tags from one sheet of paper. Below you can see the offcuts on another sheet of paper.

I could have made all of the tags a bit smaller to make them fit on the larger mat but my stubborn streak took over (!) - I wanted to cut the tags in the size I had planned and I wanted them to be cut using as little paper as possible.

By doing the three cuts on the baby bug mat I maximized my use of the paper. I also found out that the smaller machine does have a few advantages! The photos above and below show how close to the edge I was able to cut successfully.

If you have both the Personal Cricut (baby bug) and the Expression, it may be worthwhile to check your design on both sizes of mats and use the one that gives you the best result.

I know I said I would share the lacy flower cut from yesterday's post tonight - but I got a bit sidetracked and haven't finished the card. No one has guessed the right cartridge so far. I do have a few more photos to share showing some of the possibilities with that cut...

ONE MORE NOTE - a few people mentioned they were having trouble with the download link for the 181 circles file. I am not sure what happened - quite a few people had downloaded the file but when I went to check on it, I had a problem too. I have uploaded the file again with a new link so if you had a problem, please try again.

If you want to take a closer look at the file for the tags - here is a download link.

5 Tags on Baby Bug Mat


  1. You are great!! I wanted to know if you had seen the scalloped chipboard books at Michael's. They were in the dollar bins. I a trying to follow your cues and ake a cutfile for the papers. Do you measure and calculate the size of each circle? I would l ove to see more on how you figure out what to use to make things. You are great. Thanks for your instructions and cutfiles! Joanne

  2. Thanks for the compliments!

    Just to be sure - are you talking about a different scalloped shape? I did a file for the scalloped circle or flower a little while ago and shared it - you can click the label for "chipboard" in the side column to go to the posts about that book.

    If that is the one you have - you are all set! If not, I will try to do a post about how to figure these out in the near future - or you can send me an email at if you need help sooner.


  3. Thanx for sharing these beautiful file


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