Batty Halloween Wreath at a Spooktacular Price! Free!

I don’t know about you, but I am going batty this time of year with a packed quilt show/teaching schedule. Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love all the spooky decorations. I designed this Batty Halloween Wreath for my small cutting group using elements from one of my quilting design collections converted to SVG and some bare tree branches from the MTC User Gallery. And I am sharing these files with you free!

While it is a Halloween wreath featured here, you can easily use the wreath base in different colors and add other seasonal cut files to adapt it for any holiday. A brown twig base for fall with leaves, a green one for Christmas. And how about Easter or Valentine’s Day? The possibilities are endless!

Materials

Cardstock – Halloween patterned and at least 4 sheets of black solid.
Foam Core Board – Black about 12” square.
Fuzzy Craft Wire (pipe cleaners).
Glue – Hot glue gun and basic paper adhesives.
Seasonal Embellishments – Let your creativity go wild!
Free Files! – Batty Halloween Wreath

Maxx Air Settings

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade
Machine settings depend on the cardstock papers you choose.

Process Details

Wreath Form – I used foam core board to provide a stiff sturdy base for my wreath. Unfortunately, we cannot cut foam core board in our cutting machines due to its thickness. I did manage to get a piece into my Maxx Air by moving three of the pinch wheels to the far left and was able to lower one partially on the farthest left grit wheel. But you can only score the board with a blade or use a pen to draw the circle base, so it is safer to use the template method. Using the Wreath Form SVG, cut a template out of cardstock or chipboard, and trace onto foam core board. Cut foam core board manually with a circle cutter tool or X-Acto type knife.

Wreath Base – Cut one Wreath Base and glue to the wreath form, centering the form beneath the base.

Branches – Cut at least two sheets of each branch size. Layer branches over the wreath base to form a pleasing twig branch wreath look.

Bats – I cut out lots of bats! I only wanted bats on mine so I cut few from every patterned cardstock I had. (17 to 20) Cut them all from one paper or divide number needed over several different papers. Finger fold the wings as desired for a 3D effect. Glue a short length of black pipe cleaner to underside. My friends Joanne and Karen also cut some cats to add to theirs.

Assembly – Punch holes through completed wreath with a stiletto or ice pick. Thread the pipe cleaner through hole and bend over form back, securing with hot glue. Shape front of wire to position bat as desired.

Add other sparkly or spooky embellishments as desired to make the wreath your own! This is a fun crafting activity for a group. Even though we all cut the same basic wreath our personal design choices made each one different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween is just around the corner! Free File Downloads

I love fall, and the vibrant colors of autumn are blooming here in central Michigan! I already have the house decorated for Halloween but also wanted to bring a few  disposable decorations to my office. I recently started using SCAL 4 instead of MTC and this was a perfect project to exercise my new knowledge. I could not find an SCAL 4 keyboard shortcut list so I made one up. You can download it here. If you know of any shortcuts that I missed, email me at cuttinwithknk@gmail.com and I’ll get it updated.

SCAL 4 shortcuts

I used the spider and web from the library in SCAL. Then all I had to do was create a shadow box and weld (ALT + U) the web to it.

Halloween Light Box:

I used WorldWin CutMates Licorice card stock. This is still THE BEST brand of card stock to cut, hand down! If I was going to keep these boxes for future use I would probably make them with WorldWin ColorMates Smooth & Silky since it is a much thicker material and is also a dream to cut.

Halloween Light Box

No adhesive is necessary for the box, although they may last longer with a little bit on the flaps. The pop dot is white which makes the eyes on the spider appear white.

Materials:

Settings (Maxx Air):

  • f = 42
  • v = 300
  • p = 1

Steps:

  1. Open design file in SCAL 4.
  2. Add additional elements as desired.
  3. Hide cut layer and emboss fold lines.
  4. View cut layer, hide emboss layer and cut out the box.
  5. Fold at crease lines and assemble.
  6. Place light inside.
  7. Use a pop dot to adhere the spider or other embellishment.

Halloween Light Box

Click here to download the box file.

Halloween in July Apothecary bottles – Free File!

My blades, blade holders, tools, and other supplies are still in transit from the retreat last weekend. I had hoped to get them today so I could work on an anniversary card for my DH, but instead I’ll have to do something else for him. And as a result…… I get to post an early Halloween project instead!

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This project took several weeks to complete, and even longer to gather up the bottles before I could even get started. In the end, I am very happy with the results and can’t wait to decorate for Halloween (although fall can hold off, I am still enjoying summer).

The prep work:

The first step was to remove the labels and then carefully wash and dry the bottles. Next, I covered them with Etchall glass etching cream so that the chalk paint would stick to them very well. After letting them set for 15 minutes, I scraped off what I could and returned it to the bottle. Then I washed and dried the bottles again. To completely cover the glass so no light would show through I had to spray paint light, even layers six to eight times. Once the bottles were dry, I was ready to work with my KNK digital cutting machine, the KNK Maxx Air 24″.

I decided to go with two color schemes: white/silver and aged/dark. I found several free Halloween labels by searching the web. Most of them were pdf downloads, rather than images so I used the snipping tool in Windows 10 to ‘take pictures’ of the labels. There were several different sources:  liagriffith.com, Brooklyn Limestone, and Love Manor.

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Materials:

Settings (Maxx Air):

  • f = 31
  • v = 300
  • p = 1

Steps:

  1. Open Make-the-Cut.
  2. Pixel Trace the images.
  3. Apply an inset shadow layer as desired to cut inside the ink area (and eliminate white outlines). If using an inset shadow layer for cutting, add alignment marks so that the print and cut registration marks do not move as the layers are hidden or visible. VirtualMat
  4. “Hide” the cut layer during the print.
  5. Place the printable vinyl in the printer.
  6. Send the images to the printer.
  7. Place the printable vinyl on the mat, tape down if needed.
  8. “Hide” the print layer and “view” the cut layer.
  9. Perform the print and cut alignment process and cut the labels.  PrintView
  10. Apply the labels to the bottles and embellish as desired.

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Now I want to collect more bottles and make some more of these!!! If you would like a quick project, my file is included here.

Halloween Ghoulies are everywhere!

PROJECT 1

Be sure to scroll down for the quick ghoulie eyes (includes free file) project.

When my kids were little, I cut halloween silhouettes from construction paper, poster board, and foam board with a pair of scissors or a utility knife. Boy, am I glad those days are over.

For the window decorations this year, I decided to do something a little different. I used chalkboard vinyl for the silhouettes and faux glass etch for the ghosts in the windows. In keeping with our ‘fun’ theme, I used Monsters Inc. as my inspiration for the living room windows.

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Materials:

Settings (Maxx Air):

  • f = 34
  • v = 350
  • p = 1

Steps:

  1. Create the files in MTC.
  2. Test cut the vinyl using a shape with curves and corners.
  3. Cut silhouettes from chalkboard vinyl and ghosts from faux glass etch vinyl. I hate to waste vinyl, so I filled in all of the spaces with some pawprints and eyes that I’ll be using for a different project. 20151011_120059 (670x1024)
  4. Apply to windows, picture glass, or any other surface compatible with the vinyl.

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This is where my dog likes to sit, so I kept the ghosts above his line of sight.

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PROJECT 2

You can’t quite make it out, but you know something is there because you can clearly see the eyes! Oh, those eyes!

Get ready for Halloween with some quick and fun projects! I saw this idea on Pinterest using t.p. rolls. There’s no way I was going to use a razor sharp blade to cut eyes out of that! But of course I don’t have to because I have my mighty KNK digital cutting systems to do the work for me!

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Materials:

  1. Black WorldWin CutMates or ColorMates Smooth & Silky card stock
  2. Standard (red cap) blade
  3. Adhesive
  4. Glow sticks

Settings (Maxx Air):

  • f = 67
  • v = 350
  • p = 1

Method:

  1. Cut the Eyes! file from 12 x 12 card stock. 20151003_135446 (1024x876)
  2. Cut the card stock into 6 x 6 squares. 20151003_140559 (1024x993)
  3. Place adhesive along the top or bottom edge.
  4. Curve over a tube/cylinder. I start with a large one and shape the paper slightly, then graduate to a smaller one and then one that is the final size. If the paper is stiff, I use a fine mist sprayer with water to soften it. The WorldWin card stock will not be damaged by a fine mist of water, but the color may leak out onto your cylinder. 20151003_141101 (1024x864)
  5. Adhere the top edge to the bottom to create a cylinder. 20151003_141538 (1024x905)
  6. Place the activated glow stick inside the cylinder and place the eyes around the yard or house. 20151003_143335 (1024x632)

How cute are those little ghoulies?

 

Halloween Mason Jar Vase

I started a small group of cutting enthusiasts and we meet monthly to share ideas and craft together. This month we did a challenge involving mason jars. Not surprising that we all did one with a Halloween theme!

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Materials

Smoky Quartz Gemstone Vinyl

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

Clear Transfer Tape

Craft Vinyl for etching mask

Glass Etching Cream – I used Armour Etch.

Mason Jar, Halloween Flowers and Ribbons

Design Work

  • I found a spider web design I liked (Spider Web Lace, Samatha Walker)  and changed the dimensions to fit the circumference and height of the mason jar in Make the Cut!
  • Searched for a spider in the MTC Gallery, I always look here first for new designs! (Spider: MTC Gallery, Halloween Spiders #2900, User ID 8719).  I erased the web string from the spider so I had only the spider.
  • I then duplicated the spider so I had several to place around the jar.
  • I wanted a skull for the front of my vase and I had a perfect design, in my embroidery files. Since it was not an SVG, I used a clipping tool, SnagIt! To create a PNG file of the skull.  Make the Cut! Pixel Trace worked well to create the SVG file for cutting. I would caution that it only worked because the photo of the original stitch-out of the design was all in black and it was well defined. Individual threads were not apparent in the photo.
  • I cut the skull and spiders out of the Smoky Quartz Gemstone Vinyl and the spider web lace from craft vinyl.

MTC Mason Jar

Maxx Air Settings

Blade = Red Blade, Blade height = 25

Force = 45

Velocity = 300

# Passes = Disabled

Blade Offset = .35

 Crafting the Vase

  • When weeding the web etching mask, I weeded out the actual web and left the negative space to apply to my jar as I wanted the web to be etched into the glass.
  • Applied the etching cream over the entire jar except for the lid threads.

Vinyl mask applied on Applied the "negative space' of the vinyl web on to the mason jar. Etching cream spread on jar to create the web.

  • After removing the vinyl etching mask and washing and drying the jar, I applied the spiders and skull to the jar.

CWest_HMJV_ Spiders CWest_HMJV_ Skull

  • Added some black Halloween flowers and ribbons and I now have a new Halloween floral arrangement!

CWest_Autumn_Halloween Still Life