Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to School at Cuttlebug Challenge

This week the theme for the Cricut Design Team at the Cuttlebug Challenge Blogspot was "Back to School" - believe it or not it is only a month away for some people.  You can click HERE to go to the Sweet Treat Thursday post and see what each designer created.

We have a lot of families with young children moving to our street - as some of the "older" folks are downsizing and moving on.  Our boys are grown but I remember years of packing lunches - the only reprieve I had was when we lived in England and they attended a school with mandatory school lunch (and uniforms too - so simple for Mom!). 

To make lunch a little more special and to remind the children that you care about how their day is going, it is nice to tuck a note inside.  You have to be the judge of when this will become "embarassing" - it probably depends on the child!  You can add a little handwritten note on the back of the tag.

I used the tag from Plantin Schoolbook and set it up to cut six as large as possible on one mat.  The maximum size is 5.5 inches in order to use the shadow layer with the tag. 

You have to be very careful to avoid the "uncuttable" edges of the mat but they just make it onto the mat!

Next, I created a rectangle to use as a sizing guide for sentiments.  It turned out to be 3 x 4 inches.

I had some fun browsing around my cartridges for some appropriate phrases.  This was the first time that I used such a large number of cartridges in one file - there were ten.  I probably should have used the gypsy to cut the file but it only took a minute or so to insert them in the machine as the software asked for the cartridges it needed. 

The sizing rectangle was very handy to help me adjust the various cuts to fit the tags comfortably. I then nestled the cuts together to maximize the use of my paper - another advantage to working with Design Studio or the Gypsy.


I did one full mat and another half mat and cut them in a few colors so I would have options.  I have lots of leftover phrases now for other projects.  One tip - I set multi cut at 2 times to be sure I'd have clean cuts on some of the smaller items.


I added some quick pen stitching and accents with white and glitter gel pens.  The cardstock i used was just inexpensive smooth cardstock - these will probably end up in the rubbish so it doesn't make sense to use your best paper!

Since this is one of those Desigh Team projects where I made something that I probably won't use (!) I made a gift bag to give these to someone with young children.

The bag is the same one I used for the Beach project earlier this month - once again from Plantin Schoolbook - one of the most versatile cartridges of all.

The "abc123" label on the bag is from an ATC swap I did quite a while ago - it was a spare top (I didn't like the way the pen stitching turned out) that was in my box of "random things to use someday"...  It was made with Mini Monograms.  Here is a LINK to the original post.  I will try to find the file to post - for some reason I didn't link it in the original post over a year ago - it may be buried in the thousands of files in my DS project folder!

I hope you enjoy this simple idea and can spread some love along with the peanut butter in the lunches of your little ones.

I am posting the file I used so you can use the tags at the maximum size without having to figure it out again.  You will probably want to find your own words and phrases and may not have some of the cartridges I used so go ahead and delete and substitute in what suits you.  You can check the cartridges used in the Cartridge Library window - use the drop down menu and choose "This Project."

Lunch Box Notes

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  1. I LOVE THIS!!! My two guys are just the right age (8 & 9) to still appreciate a little note from mom!

    Unfortunately, I don't have DS or a Gypsy, so I can't use these files, but I love the tags!
    I'll have to figure out how to set it up in Inkscape or SCAL, because this really is a super cute idea!

  2. You don't need to use Design Studio or the Gypsy - just do autofill for a page of tags - try 5 inches and see if it will give you six per page.

    You could also use fit to length or set paper size to get the words to fit in the tag area.

    Have fun - I hope your kids enjoy these!

  3. That is such a great idea!!! My oldest is in 2nd grade so she's still young enough to enjoy lunch box notes...I'll be sure to try this great idea! supercute :)

  4. What a neat project. Love all the tags. TFS

  5. Fantastic project - tfs (even if I'm not ready to admit that it will be time to go back to school before we know it).

  6. Thanks for sharing your file Diane! I downloaded it and even though my kids mostly eat hot lunch at school, I think I might make these and occasionally pop one into their planner. That's sure to put a smile on their faces!

  7. Such a great idea for those with little ones! Wish I had a Cricut when my kids were young!

  8. Great post as always!! Love all your HELP! Sheila Courts

  9. Thank you so much for making my life easy with the cut file. I am going to make a couple sets of these for my Nieces to use for their daughters lunches. They are so darn cute.

  10. Love this idea, lovely and bright with some beautiful sayings too. I saw something similar on another U.S site and I think it is a great way to boost a child confidence, I think we should have something like that over here in the U.K as I am sure that might be the only few words some children get from their parents some days.
    Kim xXx

  11. I made hand notes for my kids about 20 years ago. I too wish I had a cricut then. I love your cards. I am going to see if I can get my daughter-in-law to use these for my grandson, then I can make him some cards.

  12. Diane...Those are adorable! Thanks for sharing the file!

  13. I really like this idea! My son is 7 and sooo I know he will appreciate it.... my 2 older boys in H.S. would think I'm NUTS! LOL

  14. Oh how fun for the little ones. I copied this since we are "grandparents" to the 39 little ones in our cul de sac. Their Mom's will love to get these.

  15. Diane,

    I love the lunch box tags!! What a great idea- you are always coming up with the best stuff. At a suggestion in one of your recent posts I did get the wild card cart- on ebay for $23 being as all my walmart carries now is the lite carts. I really want the lacy labels. May ask for that for my bday next month. Thanks for all your detailed pictures and instructions. I am going to do more with my ds when school starts and have book marked many of your posts to try out!


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