So I learned a lot from this experience. Let's start with the actual card layout.
If you choose a card layout with a lot of detailed cuts like this one, be prepared.
- Make sure you use good card stock. I used Bazzill Cardstock Basics. Buy in bulk. In you're in a craft store, you can pick these up for .60 cents a piece, but if you buy in bulk, you can pick up 25 sheets for as little as $9 or 100 sheets for as little as $26 plus shipping. Shawna selected Majestic Purple Dark and Wisteria for her color scheme. Be sure you have extra card stock. You will waste some.
- Have extra blades and mats on hand. Change the blade and/or mat as needed. You will still be able to use the older blades for other types of cuts, but a good clean sharp blade is essential to making detailed cuts with lots of fretwork happen with minimal issues. Chances are that if you start to notice a lot of tearing or the card not completely cutting out all the way through to the mat, you need to change the blade.
- Place the textured side of the card stock face down onto the mat. This will minimize the amount of scratches and make it easier to pull the card up from the mat.
- Once the cut has been completed, lift the large pieces by hand. Be careful when lifting so you don't accidentally tear the card. Use the spatula to clean the smaller pieces.
- Have a exacto knife with plenty of fresh blades and a craft cutting mat on hand. This will help you finish cuts that weren't cut all the way through. Don't be too hard on yourself here. Cutting a little off the decoration to deal with the tear will not be all that noticeable in the scheme of things when you're sending out cards. Use your judgment. This is a diy craft project and you're not using a laser cutter. You can still do a neat job while getting an overall great appearance.
- Bend the card along the perforations over the side of a hard stiff surface like the edge of your table or desk. Use a bone folder to assist with the bend.
- Test your initial design on cardstock you don't need or don't intend to use. This is how I got rid of my least favorite colors. I ran several test versions to make sure that I knew exactly where the card would print as well as the additional accessories.
- Printing on card stock can be problematic. I had both laster and ink jet and in both cases, even when feeding by hand, there were occasions when the ink would smudge slightly. Another reason to have extra stock on hand.
- Make sure when you're working this project that you have a totally clean area, and clean hands.
Here are some pictures of the work in progress.
As you can see there was a slight tearing of the design when it came out of the cutter. In most cases, there was only minimal tearing if any at all. Nothing that I couldn't deal with using an exacto knife.
However in this instance there was more than a little bit of tearing and this told me that it was time to change the blade.
Here are the pieces that were cut as part of the card.
Just used a little glue stick to apply the frame to the invitation and I actually ended up making the frame a little chunkier in the end product since we had so much on the printed invitation which we printed on vellum.