In this project tutorial, I’ll describe how to use Cricut Design Space to make a hearts-themed greeting card with multiple cut out layers. This technique doesn’t rely on any external files!
Use the card for Valentine’s Day or any day you want to send someone some love. Or, follow the tutorial to learn my technique for creating a layered project just with Cricut Design Space shapes.
When folded, the finished card measures 5.25 inches square and fits into a standard 5.5 inch square envelop. Here’s an example of the finished heart card:
What You’ll Need
- A Cricut Machine
- A Standard mat
- Scoring tool (optional)
- Cricut Design Space
- Cardstock (3 different colored sheets at least 8.5 x 11 inches)
- Tape and glue dots (or other type of glue)
Anatomy of the Card
The layered card consists of three pieces. You’ll cut each piece from a separate layer in Design Space then assemble the the pieces.
Main Card: This piece is the outside of the card. In Design Space, it includes a score line if you have a scoring tool. You can also score this piece by hand after it’s cut.
Backing: This piece is adhered behind the the cutouts of the main card piece.
Liner: This is the inside piece of the card. It’s where you’ll write your message. In Design Space. It has a score line as well.
Set Up the Project
Launch Design Space and create a new project. From the Shapes panel on the left menu, select the Square.
Unlock the square and set the size to 10.5 inches wide and 5.25 inches high. This rectangle will become the main card piece.
From the Shapes panel, select a second square. Make this one 5.25 X 5.25 inches This is size of the card when folded. This square will act as a guide to help you design the front of the card. Click the Linetype swatch drop-down palette to give the square a color.
From the Shapes options, select Circle.
Resize the circle to be 4 inches by 4 inches. In the Layers panel select the Circle, hold down the shift key, and select the Square. On the top menu, click Align and center them horizontally and vertically.
With the circle and square still selected, click Group at the top of the Layers panel.
Select both the grouped Circle/Square layers and the rectangle. Click Align –>Center Vertically Then click Align –> Align Right.
Your shapes should now look like this.
Select the rectangle layer and click the eye next to it to turn off its visibility so we can concentrate on designing the front of the card.
Design the Front of the Card
Note: As you design the front of the card, don’t move the circle/square shape. It needs to stay lined up with the main card layer.
Select the square/circle group and click Ungroup at the top of the Layers panel.
Create the hearts design
From the Shapes panel, select the heart. Use the Linetype swatch drop-down palette to give it a color. Make the heart about 1 inch wide.
Position the heart inside the circle. Then duplicate the first heart. You can click Duplicate at the top of the Layers panel or use the copy / paste keystrokes on your keyboard. (Mac command – C then command – V; PC ctrl – C then ctrl – V).
Resize and rotate the duplicated heart and position it in your design. Use these two hearts as your sources for the rest of the hearts. Continue to add hearts inside the circle. Make sure some hearts overlap the edge of the circle. When cut out these edge shapes will define the circle shape. Here’s what my design looks like now:
When you’re happy with the way your design looks, select all of the heart layers. Since there’s so many of them, here’s an easy way to do this;
- Turn off the visibility of all layers except the heart layers. (Use the eye icon.)
- Click command-A on a Mac or ctrl-A on a PC to select all the hearts layers at once.
Once all of the hearts are selected, click Group at the top of the Layers panel. Click the small arrow next to the group to collapse it. Turn the visibility of the circle and square layers back on.
NOTE: If you want a backup of your design, select the hearts group then click Duplicate. If necessary, move the hearts so they line up with those in the original group. Click the eye icon next to the duplicated group to hide it and drag it to the bottom of the layer stack to hold it in reserve.
Select the original hearts group and click Weld at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Select both the Weld Result layer and the circle layer and click Slice at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Notice the slice process resulted in four layers. You only need the top Slice Result layer. Delete the other three.
Your design should now look something like this:
Slice the hearts design from the main card layer
Click the eye next to the 10.5 x 5.25 rectangle (the main card) layer to make it visible. Make sure that the rectangle and the square are still aligned correctly then turn off the visibility of the square.
With both the hearts and the rectangle layer selected, click Slice at the bottom of the Layers panel.
The slice produces three layers. Delete the top two Slice Result layers and keep the third Slice Result layer.
The main card layer is complete! It should now look something like this.
Later we’ll add a score line, and it will be ready to cut. But first, let’s create the second piece.
Create the Second Piece of the Card
Now you’ll create the backing piece that peeks through the cutout hearts of the main card.
Select your main card layer and give it a color using the swatch drop-down palette next to the Linetype field. I made mine a light violet, but it doesn’t matter what color you select.
We’ll be filling the hearts with small circles for a polka dot effect. Start by selecting a circle from the Shapes panel. This will be the first dot.
Use the Size fields in the top menu to make the dot .25 X .25 inches. Position it inside one of the cut out hearts.
As you did when you created the hearts, duplicate or copy/paste dots and position them to create a polka dot design inside the hearts cutouts. Overlap the edges of the hearts but don’t let the circles overlap each other.
Note: If you grab the rectangle and move it by mistake, just click command-Z on your Mac or ctrl – Z on your PC to undo the move.
Here’s what my polka dot design looks like.
Once you’re happy with your design. Turn off the visibility of all layers except the dots layers. On a Mac hit command-A and on a PC hit ctrl – A to select all the dots. Then click Group at the top of the Layers panel.
Note: If you like you can duplicate the group to save as a backup. Make sure to line up the duplicated group’s dots with the ones on the original group. Move the duplicated group to the bottom of the layers stack and turn its visibility off.
Select your original group of dots and click Weld at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Create a square for the backing piece of your card
You’ll create a square for the backing piece and cut the dots out of it, but first, let’s set it up so it’s aligned correctly.
Turn off the visibility of the welded dots and the main card layers.
Turn on the visibility of the original square. From the Shapes panel, select a new Square. Give it a color and resize it to 4.5 X 4.5 inches. Move it roughly into the center of the original square. Select both the new square layer and the original square layer and click Align –> Center Horizontally then Align –> Center Vertically.
Once the two squares are centered, click the Linetype drop-down menu and select Draw. Group these two layers.This will let you see if they’re still lined up with the main card. If the squares are off slightly, you can manually move them into position at the top right edges of the main card. (Note: don’t use the Align options for this. Doing so may ruin the alignment of the dots and the main card layer.)
Turn on the visibility of the dots and the main card layers.
When everything is lined up. Ungroup the two squares and turn off the visibility of the larger one. Change the Linetype of the remaining smaller square to Cut. Give it a color using the swatch drop-down palette. Then, in the Layers panel, drag it underneath the dots pattern layer.
Select the dots and the Square layers then click Slice at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Delete the top two Slice Result layers and keep the one with the dots cut out of the square.
The backing piece of the card is complete. Once it’s cut, you’ll adhere it to the inside front of the card. If you want to get an idea of how it will look, drag the sliced dots layer under the main card layer. Here’s what mine looks like now.
Create the Liner Piece of the Card
The card liner is easy to make. It’s just a rectangle that’s slightly smaller than the main card. From the Shapes panel, select the Square. Unlock the square and give it a height of 4.75 inches and a width of 10 inches. Give it a color if you like.
The liner piece is done.
Prepare the Card for Cutting
If you’re using a Cricut scoring tool (a stylus or a wheel), you’ll need to add score lines to the main card and to the liner. If you’re not using a scoring tool and are planning to score it by hand, all three layers are ready to go.
Add a score lines to the project
Turn off the visibility of all layers except the main card layer. Select the Score Line in the Shapes panel. Use the Size fields to change the height of the score line to 5.3 inches, a little taller than the 5.25 inch card.
Select both the card layer and the score layer and align them using Align –> Center Horizontally and Align –> Center Vertically.
Note: Don’t worry if the card and the score line layers no longer line up with the other parts of the card.
When the score line and card are centered, click Attach at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Repeat this process for the liner layer.
The card is ready to cut.
Cut the Card Layers
You’ll cut the card as you would any Cricut project.
Turn on the layer you want to cut and hide the visibility of the rest of the layers, then click Make It at the top right of the screen. Design Space will step you through the process to select a material (cardstock in this case), and if you’re using a scoring tool, it will prompt you to insert that tool into the machine.
Choose the right scoring tool
If you’ve never used a scoring tool, pay special attention to the Make screen that appears after you’ve chosen your material. It defaults to the scoring wheel tool. If you’re using a scoring wheel, replace your cutting blade tool with the scoring tool in your machine and process the cut. If you’re using a scoring stylus, click Edit Tools.
On the Tool Options screen, select Scoring Stylus then click Apply.
Once you’ve selected your tools, cut your piece. If you’re using a scoring wheel, your Cricut machine will pause after it scores your piece and will prompt you to replace the wheel with your cutting blade.
Assemble the Card
The card is really straight forward to put together.
Fold your main card piece backwards along its score line.
Lay the piece face down on your work surface. Center the backing piece over the cutout hearts. Because this piece will be covered by the liner, you can simply tape it in place.
Fold the liner piece backward along its score line. Lay the backing piece face down on the main card lining up the score lines.
I use glue dots to glue the liner to the front of the card. I find that they warp the card less than regular glue.
With the liner still positioned on the main card, close the liner. Put glue dots around the edges and beside the score line of the liner. Try to avoid putting glue dots where they might show through the cutout hearts and dots of the other card layers. Also put some glue dots in the center areas of the backing.
Once the glue dots are in place, make sure the score lines on the liner and the main card are lined up and the liner is centered vertically then press it into place.
I only paste the front of the liner. If you paste the back, the card often won’t open and close correctly.
The finished card!
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