Monday, June 21, 2010

A Quick Design Tip

 It can be quite expensive to buy some of the shaped scrapbook papers that are popular now.  If you have a Cricut Expression you can cut your own page size shapes and save some money.  Take a good look at your cartridges and find the ones with shapes that will work.  Be sure to look at the blackout version of a shape if there is one.  If there is not, you can create your own blackout using "hide selected contour" in Design Studio or the Gypsy.

This example is from Blackletter, a solutions cartridge that is on the retiring list.  If you have a chance to buy this one I think you will find some good uses for it.  The font is great for Halloween.

You can create a new shape quite simply.  This background was formed by two copies of another shape on the Blackletter cartridge, one of which was rotated 45 degrees.

This screen shot shows the shape I used.  I start with eleven inches as the size to be certain that the shape will fit the mat.  Sometimes you can make the shape a bit larger.  Mini Monograms is another retiring cartridge that is useful for full page scalloped squares and circles.

A rectangular shape can also be used create a 12 x 12 page background by copying and pasting and rotating the copy 90 degrees and welding the two shapes.

If a shape is not quite symmetrical, you can adjust the values in the shape properties box to make the height and width the same.

Here is how the shape looks after a slight alteration in proportion.  You would want to hide the "tick marks" to use the paper as a background.

If you look carefully at your cartridges you will find many of these shapes and can cut some nice backgrounds for your scrapbook pages at very little cost.

One more tip for today.  If you are interested in the Cricut Lite cartridges, the tri-fold inserts are now available in the Cartridge Library at  Here is a LINK to this great resource.

These inserts are in full color.  I have been looking at the cartridges in Design Studio to try to make a wish list but these inserts make it easy to quickly see how the layers work for an image on the Lite cartridges.

I have been very busy working on something that I think is really exciting - I can't wait to share all of the details soon!

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  1. Also, thank you so much for the link to the cartridge library...fantastic!

  2. Lots of good information....thank you!!!

  3. Great background/shaped layout images! There is just so much that can be done with DS!
    Thanks also for the cartridge library link. The Lites are not available in Canada but I'm hoping to get some in the US this summer. It will be good to have a reference to print.

  4. You always share the best tips! Thanks...and excited for your "announcement"!!

  5. Thanks for the great tips! I don't often think of using the shapes as borders or backgrounds for cards or layouts.

  6. Thanks for the great tip. I will definatly be trying this.

  7. You always come up with the best ideas. Thanks! This sure can save a lot of money. The shaped designed paper is always expensive.

  8. Excellent technique tips, as always, Diane. Thanks so much...

    I will enjoy making shape pages using your helpful ideas.

  9. Thank you for such good information! Once again, just this past weekend, I was at a retreat and told everyone there about your blog. You should be on Provo Craft's payroll! Thanks.
    MCF's Mimi

  10. Diane, you are a DS master and I love you for it!!! These are great ideas!!! Thanks!

  11. Thanks for the tips. I like exploring the cartridges for background shapes and other great shapes.

  12. I love your blog and all the tips I have learned from your posts! Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas with us.


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