If you are brand new to using the Cricut, I feel that papercraft projects are the best ones to start with. You can use any paper or cardstock you like, it will not cost a lot of money to get started and you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment for completing your first project! After you have the first project done, you can move on to some other beginner Cricut projects and start to advance your Cricut knowledge!
For this papercraft project all you will need is some paper or cardstock, some sort of adhesive or glue, suckers or lollipops (that is for the finishing touches), your Cricut machine with the fine point blade and your Cricut cutting mat. If you have a crafting spatula tool that will be helpful in lifting your papercraft off of the cutting mat, but it is possible to do it without that tool.
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Designing your Papercraft Project in Cricut Design Space
When you open a new project in Cricut Design Space on the computer version of the software, you will see a screen like the one in the image below. On the far left hand side there is a button called Shapes. I have it circled in blue in the image below. Click on that button and you will see a variety of free shapes that you can use to design your projects, like this papercraft project.
From the free shapes, click on the heart. I have it circled in the image above to help you find it. Now you can see the heart inserted on to the canvas of Design Space, as shown in the image below. I like to make the colors of the shapes match the colors I will be using for my papercraft projects. This will help me later on when I get to the Make It phase of the project. Let me show you how to change the color of this heart now.
Click on the heart and then go to the gray box just to the right of the word Operation. I have it indicated with a blue arrow in the image below to help you find it. This is the color selection section of Design Space. When you click on that little box it opens up to allow you to pick a color for that shape. I am going pick pink for this heart.
Next we can adjust the size of this heart. For this papercraft project I have already determined the size of heart I will need. On the top panel of Design Space there is a section where you can type in the size you want your shape to be. I have that indicated with the blue arrow in the image below. With the heart selected, I simply type 1.75 into the width cell of the size section.
Next I want to make a second heart so that I can layer or stack these hearts on top of each other. I am going to select the original heart I made and then click on the Duplicate button in the upper right corner of the screen. I have circled the Duplicate button for you in the image below. Duplicate is the same as using a copy and paste function, only it does it all in one step. You can see that I now have two hearts on my screen.
Since I want the second heart to be a different color, I am going to click on just that one heart and go back to the the color selection box and change the color to purple. Next I will go over to the size section and make this heart 2″ wide. Now I will be able to stack, or layer, these two hearts on top of each other to give my papercraft project more interest than just a simple heart.
You might notice that as you try to slide the pink heart on top of the purple heart, the pink heart seems to want to hide behind the purple heart. Don’t worry! That is easy to fix! Click on the pink heart and then from the top panel click on the Arrange button, which I have circled in the image below. From there you will get a pull down list of choices. Choose Move Forward from the list. I have indicated this with the blue arrow.
Now that you have moved the pink heart forward, your design should look like the one in the image below. Now we are ready to click Make It in Cricut Design Space. This can be found in the upper right corner of the screen. I have it indicated with a blue arrow in the image below.
Cricut Cutting Mat Preview Screen
Before we get to cutting this papercraft project, I want to take a minute to look at the information in the Cricut cutting mat preview section of Design Space. After you click Make It is when you will see the mat preview screen. If you look at the very top of the screen on the left hand side you will see that is says Prepare (2 mats). I have this indicated with a blue arrow in the image below.
This means that you will need to load two separate Cricut cutting mats into the machine to complete this project. First, you will load one with purple cardstock and it will cut the first heart. Then you will unload that, remove the cardstock, place pink cardstock on to the same cutting mat, load that into the machine and cut the pink heart.
This screen even shows you exactly where on the cutting mat the Cricut will cut your heart. In this case it is in the upper left corner of the cutting mat. If you want to change the position of where the heart cuts, you can click on it and drag it around on the mat to any location that you would like. I show that in a video that you can watch HERE.
I decided that I wanted to cut this same papercraft project five times, so on the upper left side of this screen where it says Project copies I changed the number to 5, and clicked on the Apply button. I have both of these items indicated in blue for you in the image below. Once you hit Apply you will see that there are now 5 hearts on the purple mat and 5 hearts on the pink mat. Now I can click the Continue button in the lower right corner of the screen.
Once you click Continue the next screen you will see will look like the one in the image below. At the top of the screen, indicated by the blue arrow, you can choose how you want to connect to your machine. You can see that I currently have mine connected with the cable going directly to my computer. I do this when the Bluetooth does not want to connect for me.
The next section you will see that I have my material set to Cardstock +, which I use for a firmer or heavier weight cardstock. I have a Cricut Explore, which has a dial on the machine that I have to turn to set the material. If you have a newer machine that does not have a dial, the area in the image below where I have a blue star would be where you would be able to pick the material you want to use.
Below the materials section is where the Design Space software is telling me which blade I need to have in my Cricut. This is determined by the material that I have selected. Then it tells me that it is time to load my first mat into the Cricut machine using the double arrow button, which should be blinking on the machine.
Cricut Papercraft Video
The rest of the process is better shown with a video, so that you can see the mat being loaded into the machine, and see the Cricut cutting the cardstock. Luckily for you, I like to combine written tutorials with short, easy to follow videos like the one below.
After I have cut the hearts, I placed the stick of the lollipop between the two hearts and applied glue to attach them together. I show you all of the steps in the video below, which can also be found on my YouTube channel.
I really believe in learning one thing and then you can move on to a new Cricut topic. That is why I want to build on what you learned in this project with my NEXT project which will show you how to use the Slice function in Cricut Design Space. Click HERE to go to that project now.
Other Papercraft Projects
If you are looking for ideas of other papercraft projects to make I have some suggestions for you below. All of these are linked directly to project tutorials so that you can continue to learn to make new things with your Cricut!