Using Cut Files as Masks & Stencils

Hello fellow KnK-ers!

In my last post I demonstrated how I use cut files for embossing and I thought I’d look at another use for cut files today so I will show how cut files can be used for masking or stenciling.

You can use a large patterned panel such as these designs as a one-piece stencil to spray or ink through to create a great background for your peojects. Today though I will use smaller pieces to build up a scene and as Halloween is fast approaching I will create a spooky graveyard picture for the front of my card. The cut file is available at the end of this post ūüôā

These are the Materials I used:

  • My wonderful KnK Zing
  • Make the Cut Software
  • Copic Markers & a Copic Airbrush set (sponging with ink works great too)

These are the Zing Settings I used:

  • Blade = Standard
  • Blade Height = 25 post-it notes
  • Offset = 0.30
  • Speed = 10
  • Force =¬† 80
  • Passes = 1

Pic 1. I cut the pieces I will use as masks (the pieces which will protect my card and keep it white underneath) from some paper and added temporary adhesive on the back of them:

Halloween Scene 1

Pic 2. I cut my stencil pieces ensuring that there was plenty of paper around them to protect my card from over-spray (or over-sponging). I added temporary adhesive to the back of these too:

Halloween Scene 2

Pic 3. I placed my masking pieces, except for the clouds, onto my card front:

Halloween Scene 3

Pic 4. I placed the first cloud piece at the bottom of my card and sprayed along the top edge and slightly upwards with a light purple marker. You could also use ink sprays or your regular ink pads and a sponge to achieve similar results:

Halloween Scene 4

Pic 5: I continued to spray the clouds with 4 different colours of purple gradually getting darker towards the top alternating the 2 cloud pieces as I went:

Halloween Scene 5

Pic 6. Now the the masking is done we can do the stenciling, I placed the graveyard stencil piece at the bottom of my card and sprayed with a dark grey marker:

Halloween Scene 6

Pic 7. As I wanted my bats to look like they are flying in front of the moon I needed to remove my moon mask before I stenciled my bats, I used a black marker this time:

Halloween Scene 7

Pic 8. Once all of your masking/stenciling is done you have the fun of peeling any remaining masks from your card to reveal the bright white card underneath. I added the cloud pieces back over my moon and gave it a subtle cloudy look with a pale lilac marker:

Halloween Scene 8

Pic 9. To complete my card I backed my Halloween scene with some black card. I cut my sentiment from some more black card and adhered it to a strip of vellum which I wrapped around my scene panel and stuck to the back of it with tape. I then popped my panel onto a purple card base with 3d foam pads:

Halloween Scene 9

If you would like to see more projects I have created with my Zing, access my Free Cut Files and read my Terms of Use, you can find my blog here:

Here is today’s Cut File:

Halloween Scene by Bird

Halloween Scene Cut File by Bird

Cute Witch {Layout}

“You had the power all along my dear” – Glenda the good witch


Today our project is a themed Halloween layout!  For me, the creative process works like this:

Step 1:  Using a pencil and paper Рsketch my layout.

Step 2:  Recreate my sketch in the KNK Software.  This helps me determine the scale of my die cut shapes.


Notes:¬† I love to “frame my layouts and choose a sheet of 12×12 cardstock as the foundation for my page and layer a 11.5×11.5 cardstock as my “canvas.”¬† I’m a big fan of die cut titles…if the project is something that I need to recreate many times I will choose a font that can be welded.¬† This is a ONE and DONE layout, so I opted to work with individual letters.¬† A brewing¬† caldron with witch shoes was the perfect compliment to my cute witch photo.¬† I create all my cutting files by scratch using a node by node method (please review my prior posts if you need direction on how to do this.)

Step 3:  Add photo(s) and embellish!  I used a striped straw as witch legs and tucked them into the separate top piece created for the cauldron.  I glued witch shoes to the front and back sides of the shoes and tied bakers twine around them. 


Step 4:  Embellish more!  I cut doubles of each bat and secured the first to the page and added the second one directly on top using a foam pop-dot.  I bend the bat wings and added bling for eyes.




Blue cap / thick materials blade


I keep my 15″ KNK Maxx settings at Overcut 15 & Trailing Blade 20 because I only use my machine to cut paper.

Please visit the KNK Gallery on my website to see more projects that I have created using my Klic N Kut.

Photo:  Courtesy of Petrini Photography

Thank you for visiting TeamKNK!  Your comments and feedback are appreciated.


Halloween Witches Hat – Embroidery Pattern made with my KNK

Halloween Witches Hat РEmbroidery Pattern: I love finding new ways to use my KNK digital cutting systems! (Lynn C. РI thought of you the whole time I was making this!)

My mom was visiting recently and we spent a day shopping and eating in Le Claire, IA – home of Antique Archaeology, otherwise known as American Pickers. Mom and I spent a couple of hours in the local shops, as well as a couple of dollars! Since retiring from 35 years of teaching she’s picked up Quilting and spends hours and hours every week on her new, and beloved, hobby. While we were shopping I found a needle punch embroidery project and thought it might be something I could do while traveling because its pretty compact. Some day when I have more time, I’d love to learn how to embroider – Team KNK Designer, Judy, creates such fabulous things with embroidery!

Crafting is currently a challenge!¬†I am in between houses, and traveling back and forth between Illinois and Michigan every other weekend. Because of that, I have carved out a little corner of mom’s family room to do my crafts. Thank goodness she’s okay with this – I can’t go too long without my KNKs!

CraftArea And……back to the project. Finished needle punch items can be added to quilts, pillows, or books as an accent, or they can be used in many other craft projects. The thread is colorfast, so they can even¬†be used as coasters!


I purchased a couple of yards of the weaver’s cloth, and some nice fall color threads to make other projects. I made the Halloween Witches Hat with a dark purple thread, the spider with black, the bittersweet with olive thread and red thread, and the star and moon with a harvest gold thread. The background is a thread that is variegated in off whites.



  • Speed: ¬†200
  • Force: 80
  • Passes: 1-2


  • I used the brayer to adhere the fabric to the mat and to remove all of the fold lines. My material was a little wider than the mat, but by only using the center 3 pinch wheels it had no effect on the task.


  • I used a ball point pen, simply because my fabric pens are all packed and traveling on a truck somewhere. It worked just fine!




I only used a single pass on the Moon and Star – since there isn’t a lot of detail I figured it wouldn’t make much difference. The weaver’s cloth accepted the ink very well.

  • Next, I use the needle punch to craft the Halloween Witches hat design.


I can’t wait to ‘draw’ my next needle punch design with one of my KNKs! I am going to use this method to make Christmas patterned designs for everyone in my family. If nothing else, it will be a great way to spend my time in the car!

Halloween gifts

I suck at coming up with post names. I’m sorry, but I do.

How are ya? Well, by the time you’re reading this, I will have loaded my car up with 471 tests and delivered them to the education center. They will be gone. Out of my office. What are these tests, you ask? (If you didn’t, just skip on down to the next paragraph, I won’t be offended). I’m in charge of testing kids who speak another language other than English to find out what their English proficiency level is. I’m not sure how other states do this, but I have to do this by law or our school is out of compliance. It is a huge undertaking as the Kinders and 1st graders have to be tested one to one and it takes at least a half hour to administer the tests. My school has around 170 K’s and 1st graders so…. when you try to do the math, your eyes roll back into your head. At least mine do. Anyway, since this is a HUGE job, I have three helpers that really rock and help me get this done. So I wanted to do something special for them. Were you beginning to wonder if there was a point to all my rambling here? Don’t forget I told you to move to the next paragraph.

So I made them these:


I love stores like Dollar Tree and 99 cent store. I went there and managed to spend a bunch of money, but I came home with a ton of cool stuff!! I get a lot of my ideas wandering the aisles of these places because I think about what I can create with the neat things I see.

I bought some plain orange plastic trays and decorated them with black vinyl (cut with Maxx) so they look like this:



Just as an aside, do you see that pumpkin decoration in the top left corner? When I first got my chihuahua mix dog Duke, he fit in that pumpkin so I took a picture of him in it. When I uploaded the pictures from my camera, I noticed I didn’t pay attention to the nose of the pumpkin and a certain appendage was sticking out of it. I’d post the picture here because it’s really funny, but I don’t want to offend anyone.



This time I apparently didn’t notice the hard water stains on the tray before I took the picture. I considered photoshopping the spots out and then decided, “nah, I keep it real here.”

Then I saw these cute little orange buckets so I knew I could do something cool with them so I did their name on one side and a cute pumpkin face on the other.

20131015-IMG_0330 20131015-IMG_0329

Are you wondering why I use the Maxx for vinyl and the Zing for cardstock? Well, I’ll tell you: I’m extremely lazy. I have the Maxx set up so perfectly with vinyl that I do not want to change it. I don’t even have to do test cuts, I just stick it in and go. The other thing is once you start cutting paper, it dulls your blade faster and you won’t get as clean cuts for vinyl. So I definitely recommend getting a blade holder and a blade that you use exclusively for vinyl. I put that blade in Maxx over 6 months ago and have cut a ton of vinyl, but since I haven’t used it for paper, it still cuts beautifully.

Finally, I wanted to make them a set of Halloween cards, so I cut out some of those same shapes in paper and put together some cards:

20131015-IMG_0337 20131015-IMG_0338 20131015-IMG_0340 20131015-IMG_0342

I don’t understand their love for candy corn, but those three were eating it constantly. I personally hate candy corn. It’s disgusting. It’s right up there with Peeps. There are very few candies I won’t eat, but candy corn and peeps are…. ewww. I just shudder thinking about them. So I bought them some candy corn to fill the buckets at the bottom.

I hope they like their stuff. I sure appreciate everything they did, and while they got paid for it, I wanted to do something extra special for them to show them just how much I appreciate them.

20131015-IMG_0343 20131015-IMG_0344 20131015-IMG_0345

Materials Used:

I got the graphics here: They might not be free anymore, but any graphics will do.

Cool Halloween fonts

(I used LD Frightmares) Which is currently $1.

Worldwin Cutmates Paper


Make the Cut


black vinyl




force: 100

speed: 10/10

.35 offset


force: 40

velocity: 250


1. Find graphics you like.

2. Find cool stuff  you want to decorate.

3. Cut out vinyl.

4. Get beverage of choice.

5. Apply vinyl to objects. I can’t say enough about using the masking tape method to make a hinge and make your vinyl easier to apply. I have a post somewhere that talks about that and has pictures!, but not sure which one. I will look it up though.

(You really don’t have to get your beverage of choice. I felt like getting two or three or four of them when my Mac kept crashing Parallels the other night.)

Well, I think that’s everything. See you next month!

The cards are 4.25×4.25 with handmade envelopes (4.5 x 4.5). I’m really digging that size cards because I like the square format and they are fun and different from the normal A4 size.

Stay Classy KNKers!

Decorating Sam’s Classroom for Halloween

Halloween Montage

This is the first time I’m posting a project that I didn’t have much to do with. However, I did volunteer to write up the post. ūüôā

My assistant, Gabriella Lex, was asked by a friend who teaches a 5th grade class, to help decorate the classroom for Halloween. Gabriella pulled out her KNK Zing, opened up Make The Cut and had a great time creating some fun Halloween decorations suitable for a classroom.

Materials Used
KNK Zing
Make The Cut
Cardstock – black, orange, purple, yellow, green, white
POW Glitter Paper – black
Patterned Paper My Mind’s Eye – “Happy Haunting”
Various Adhesives
Googly Eyes
White Uniball Signo pen
Thin ribbon for hanging

Cutting on a Zing:
F = 90; Speed = 10/10; Red capped Zing blade, 1 pass, Offset: 0.35

Drawing with white pen:
F = 30; Speed = 10/10; 2 passes; Offset = 0


1. Gabriella used MTC’s Pixel Trace function to convert various images into cutting files. Here is a link to download the file (in MTC and KNK formats) for the various shapes shown above.

2. She then sized and cut out all shapes (except for the bones) using the Zing. The bats wings were cut from POW Glitter paper.

3. For the lettering on the bones, Gabriella used the free font Kristen ITC. Then she used a Uniball white pen mounted in a pen holder made using Michele Harvey’s technique in this prior Team KNK Post. She used the Zing to draw the lettering first and then had the bone shape cut out around the lettering. In this case, it was necessary to use WYSIWYG mode so that the bones and the lettering remained aligned.


4. Finally, after photographing all of her pieces here, she gathered up these dozens of items and headed over to Sam’s classroom on Friday at lunchtime to get everything put up!









Again, here’s the file with the various Halloween shapes for cutting! Hope you can use them in your Halloween decorations this season!

Halloween Shapes in MTC and KNK Formats