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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Cardstock Cutting Tips With Cricut

 The Cricut cutting machine is a very popular tool that is used to create and cut all types of materials. You can create customize your settings to get the best cuts when you are using cardstock. 

Cardstock is one of the easiest materials to work with. There are so many different types of cardstocks available, And the best part is of all the materials you can cut, cardstock is the most reasonably priced.

Taking the time to understand how to create custom settings for your materials makes all the difference in the world, especially with different types of cardstocks. 

Types Of  Cardstock Cricut Will Cut

There are lots of different papers cardstocks that you can cut with your Cricut. Cricut has a line of cardstock that has been developed to work with their cutting settings. This makes it easier to get the best possible cuts because they developed these papers to specific settings. 

There are other really quality papers that will also work well with your Cricut cutting machine. Quality paper is important to get the best cuts and results for your projects. If you opt for inexpensive paper, you are going to do be doing a lot more tweaking with your settings to get  the right cuts. 

Cardstock For Use With Your Cricut

  • Colored Cardstock
  • Glitter Cardstock
  • Deluxe Patterned Paper
  • Sparkle Paper
  • Shimmer Paper
  • Foil Paper
  • Foil Embossed Paper

Solid Core Vs White Core

Cardstock either has a solid core of the same color or a white core with color over the top. For my projects, I prefer the solid core. I like to see the same color without any white showing. Make sure to check the packaging of your paper so that you get exactly what you prefer.

Textured Or Smooth?

There are times when you will want to add some texture to your projects. Texture is a great way to add dimension to any cut. The only thing to remember is that you will have difficulty with textured paper if you plan to write or use Cricut pens over the paper.

Settings On Different Cricut Machines

The Cricut electronic cutting machines have different setting options for different machines. 

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy has a group of default boxes on the Make It Page of the program. You can select one of the default buttons on the page or use the Click Browse All Settings to get the exact material that you need. 

Cricut Explore

The Cricut Explore has a dial setting where you can adjust the setting for your type of cardstock. Or you can use the custom setting to select the exact cardstock setting for the material being used. 

Cricut Maker

The like Cricut Joy, the Cricut Maker has a series of boxes that has preselects for your convenance. Again, you can select Click Browse All Settings to get more selections.

Popular Settings For Cardstock

Here are some of the most popular settings for cardstock in the custom setting of Design Space,
  1. Cardstock For Intricate Cuts Setting (best for any SVG design that has small details and numerous intricate cutouts, such as layered mandala designs).
  2. Light Weight Cardstock Setting (tex-weight paper or 50-pound weight cardstock)
  3. Medium Weight Cardstock Setting (The most popular cardstock setting. Works well with 65-pound cardstock)
  4. Heavy Cover Weight Cardstock (heavier weight papers like cover weight or 80-110 pound cardstock).
  5. Glitter Cardstock setting (use with glitter papers or textured glitter cardstock)
  6. Pearl Paper Setting (use with light-weight shimmery frosted metallic papers)
  7. Scrapbooking Paper Setting (use for any lightweight patterned scrapbooking papers with printed images).
  8. Poster Board Setting (ideal for any heavier metallic foil textured cardstock)
  9. And there are loads more! Browse them all by searching the keyword “cardstock” or “paper” in the material options of Design Space.

Blade Tips And Ideas For Cutting Cardstock

For the most part, you will be using the fine point blade for cardstock. There are some heavier cardstocks that require a deep point blade, but the machine will prompt you to change it when needed. 

You can get a lot of cuts from your blades if you do some maintenance on them on a regular basis. If your blade is old, has had a lot of use, or has debris on it, the blade will drag and rip the cardstock as you cut your project. You might be surprised at the amount of debris that will collect on your blade over time.

Tin Foil Cleaning

This is one of the easiest maintenance tips that you can do to prolong the use of your blade. 

  1. Grab some tin foil and squish it together to form a medium tight ball.
  2. Remove the blade housing from your machine if your blade is installed,
  3. Push on the top of the blade so that the blade is exposed. 
  4.  Push the exposed blade in and out of the tin foil ball. several times.
The tin foil may not only clean the debris, but also may sharpen the blade. If the blade is too far gone, however, the tin foil may not sharpen the blade. 

Replacing A Fine Point Blade

Placing a blade correctly is essential to the function of your machine. 

  1. Remove the fine point blade housing from the clamp B (there is only one clamp on the Joy machine.)
  2. Press the top button down and carefully pull out the blade with craft tweezers.
  3. Remove the plastic top for the new blade and place it into the housing while holding the button at the top. 
  4. Release the top button to retract the new blade into the housing.

Cutting Cardstock With Cricut

Choosing The Right Cardstock

The first step to getting the best cut with your Cricut is choosing the right cardstock. When you use a good quality, dry cardstock, you are bound to get better results. If your cardstock is ripping or tearing and you have a clean mat and a clean bade, it may be that you need to change to a different weight or brand of cardstock. If your cardstock is damp because it has been stored in humid conditions, you could try heating it with something like an EasyPress to remove the moisture. 

Using Your Mat

It is important to use the right mat to cut your cardstock. The blue light grip mat is the best mat to use on lighter cardstock. The green mat is the best choice for heavier cardstock. I know that there are a lot of knockoff mats out there that are cheaper, but quality does matter. I still tend to stick with the Cricut mats as the best choice for my cuts. 

Choosing The Right Mat

For most paper and cardstock projects, you will use the light grip, blue mat. You can use the standard green mat for medium and heavier weight mats. Once you have used the green mat a few times, it can be used for the lighter cardstock. 

How To Remove Cardstock From Your Mat

We have all faced the problem of getting out project off the mat. It is frustrating and a pain when you finally get the right cut, but the project will not come off the mat. 

If you are using a new mat, it is important to prime it. Just remove the plastic covering off the mat. Then just press the mat against your shirt. You only need to do this once. It helps to keep your project in once piece. The stickiness of the mat is very strong when it is new. 

Never pull or yank a piece of cardstock off of your mat. It will most likely curl and may rip. 

Instead, lay the project with the cardstock face down on a clean workspace. Now gently bend the mat back to remove it from the paper. Use a scraper to help remove the paper from the mat. 

Clean Your Cricut Mat

  1. Use dish soap and lukewarm water to clean your mat.
  2. Remove any surface debris before washing your mat. Use a scraper tool.
  3. With a soft sponge work the soap and water over the mat.
  4. Rinse with slightly warm water (not hot)
  5. Pat dry with paper towels. 
  6. Let the mat air dry before further use. 

Using A Brayer Tool

When you are cutting materials on your mat, a brayer tool is a useful tool to help you get a better cut. Brayers are inexpensive tools that come in different sizes. The tool helps you make sure that the material is securely on the mat to get a better cut. It extends the use of your mats.

The rolling brayer tool helps push the material on the mat, especially if the mat has some wear and is not super sticky. 
  1. Place the material on the mat.
  2. Firmly roll the brayer tool back and forth over the entire surface of the mat. 

Replace Your Mat

There are times when your mat will need to be replaced. Consider these:

  • The mat has been actively used regularly for the last 4-6 weeks.
  • The mat appears bent or bumpy.
  • Or if the mat has deeply cut lines covering the majority of the surface

Using The Right Pressure Settings

Using the right pressure settings can make your projects a success or a mess. 

Here are a few settings to try for your next project. These are found in your Design Space Program once you select the custom setting on your cutting machine dial. 
  1. Light Weight Cardstock-50 lb. weight paper
  2. Medium Weight Cardstock-65 lb. cardstock
  3. Heavy Cover Weight Cardstock-80-110 lb. cardstock
  4. Glitter Cardstock-Glitter paper or textured glitter cardstock.
  5. Pearl Paper-Lightweight shimmery cardstock.
  6. Scrapbook Paper-Lightweight patterned scrapbooking papers with printed images.
  7. Foil Poster Board-Any heavy metallic foil textured cardstock.
Another option for pressure setting allows you to tweak the setting when you need to get a more custom cut. 
  • Once you have selected your base material, Cricut will prompt you to load your mat.
  • On the screen you will see a dropdown menu with pressure options,
  • The pressure option dropdown allows you to customize (fine tune) how much stress the blade is putting on the cardstock. 
  • It always starts with default automatically. But you can select More or Less pressure according to your needs. So, if you were cutting heavy cardstock and it is not cutting through you might and the More setting.
  • As you work with different materials, you should keep a list or a little book noting the brand of paper, the weight of the paper and the best cutting settings.

The Size Of The Design

One other thing that can affect cardstock when you are cutting with the Cricut is the size of the design, or the design itself. Every cutting machine out there has its limitations. Trying to cut a 1-inch delicate detailed design is simply not going to work no matter what setting you use.  

If your design is very small, and keeps tearing, you may need to increase the size by a couple of inches to get the best results, If your project needs to be a certain size, you may have to use a less complicated design. Some designs may not work well on cardstock but might be perfect on other materials like vinyl. 

To keep your mats, stay in the best condition possible make sure to store them with the plastic liner over the top. That way dust, pet hair or other material will not collect on the mat. Dirt and dust will cause a bad cut. 

If you are using a new material in your cutting machine, it is always best to do a sample cutting before cutting the actual project. That way you will be able to tweak your settings before you actually go to cut the project.

Sime thicker papers like glitter cardstock may require two cuts to get through the paper. You could also adjust the cutting option to more rather than default on the Make It page of Design Space. As always, we recommend that you do a test cut if you have not used a particular cardstock. 

After you chose your paper settings on the Make it page, you have another option of you are using the Explore 3 or the maker version. There is a Fast Mode button that can be used on simple shapes and designs. It will cut your design 2 times faster. This setting is one your Make It screen in Design Space. Do not however use this function on more intricate designs. It will make a mess of your project.