Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some more information about Card Sketches....

Several people have asked me to explain more about making card sketches.  I do this in two ways - using Design Studio or my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 software.  Each has some advantages and disadvantages. 

You can use Design Studio or the Gypsy to plan a card (or a page layout) and determine the correct size for all of your cuts.  By working on the virtual mat you can avoid cuts that are too large or small  - you won't waste any paper and all of your cuts will be "just right."

In Design Studio you can do color previews of the full card but it is a slow process.  This card took eight mats (plus a preview page) to set up.  You need to plan ahead and figure out how many layers of color you need since each mat will only preview in one color.  It can be very fiddly to get everything lined up correctly and then move the layers to different mats so they will preview in the correct colors.  Design Studio will preview the images top to bottom from the first mat so you have to be able to visualize all of the layers in the proper order as you set up the mats

You can put some information on the mat tabs but I find it easier to take a screen shot and then add the notes on the screen shot.

When I use StoryBookCreator Plus 3.0 (Creative Memories) to plan the card, I have the option of changing the color of each element in the design while they are all on the same page.

I can group the entire design and then copy and paste and edit the second design to try variations (such as splitting the scalloped ribbon band and moving the pieces to the top and bottom of the card. 


I can also use digital paper to fill in the various elements.  In Design Studio I am limited to solid colors and I can't easily save any custom colors that I create.

I do not have a digital library of the Cricut shapes to work with in the StoryBook program.  I can take screen shots and create them but this is a slow and tedious process.  I can use elements from the program to represent the types of cuts I might use but I will still have to work with the items in the Design Studio program to get the sizing to be perfect.

When I make a "sketch" or card plan in Design Studio I will have created a file that I can use to cut the elements of the card.  If I create the sketch in the StoryBook program, I can be very specific about the sizes but I will have to "transcribe" the measurements into my Design Studio file.

For either program, It is important to understand how to create precise sizing and placement on the mat.

In Design Studio, you can enter the values in the Shape Properties Box.  This screen shot is for the first mat layer on the Easter card.


In the StoryBook Program, you select the element you want to work with and then right click and choose "Properties" from the bottom of the drop down menu - this screen will pop up. This screen shot is for the second mat layer on the card.

For both methods you need to first create a rectangle in the size of your card as a base (4.25 x 5.5 inches for an A2 card) and then work on adding additional elements of your choice.  In Design Studio you can use any rectangle to create the base that represents the card.  You will not be cutting this from the program but will simply cut an 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of cardstock in half and fold it to form your card base.

Please let me know if you have more questions and I will try to help.  There are definite advantages to working out your designs on the computer, but if it gives you difficulty there is nothing wrong with the" pencil and paper" method - just have fun creating!


  1. Wow Diane, thanks so much for this information, it REALLY helps. I'm printing this one out and I'm checking out the software today.

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us!


  2. Thanks for all the info. I can always count on you to give thorough explanations. You're wonderful!

  3. Thanks Diane, I love those last cards.
    What font is that?
    They are beautiful, I have some Sympathy cards to make and this font would be perfect.

  4. Hi Andrea,

    The words were actually word art within the StoryBook program. I am sorry but I don't know what font they might have started from.

    If you look at there are lots of free calligraphy fonts. One very pretty one is Chopin Script. It looks fairly similar to the "I love you" word art.

    I hope that helps.


  5. Diane -

    Did you make a cut file for the "Believe" card? If you did would you send it to be? It's absolutely fabalous.

  6. Thanks for sharing all the great information. I learn so much from you're posts.

  7. Several people wondered if I would/could make the StoryBook digital sketch into a .cut file - so I did.

    The information and file are in the post for February 25, 2010.

    It isn't identical to the sketch but similar - I hope you like it!


  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this technique. You spend so much time sharing your expertise with everyone and writing the instructions! You are a blessing to the Cricut world...

    linda4_2 (CMB)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love to hear from the people who read my blog. I moderate all comments to keep spam off the blog without making you decode the squiggly letters so your comment may not appear immediately.