A Cactus in a Box


I was fortunate to be one of the instructors at the recent Light Your Fire with KNK retreat in Chandler, Arizona.  As part of the planning for the retreat I wanted to create a little memento that we could give to each of the attendees.  I suggested a 3D saguaro cactus cut from acrylic and it was approved by the other instructors.


To create the cactus and a box to hold it, the following materials and equipment were used:

Grafix 0.020 Craft Plastic

Blue painter’s tape

Blue tip/Thick Material Blade

Engraving Blade

Bazzill Cardstock

Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate! glue

KNK Maxx Air

A sticky cutting mat for the Maxx Air

The designs for the cactus and box were created in my KNK Studio software and converted to the Make the Cut and PDF formats.

The plastic is supplied with a protective film of blue plastic on both sides which needs to be removed prior to placing it on the mat for cutting.  The plastic also needs to be taped to the mat on all four sides.  Consult the user manual for your particular cutter for the recommended settings for engraving and cutting of the plastic.  In order to get the detail lines to show up more, I used 2 passes with the engraving tool.  Be sure to use either the “Pen” option or “no offset” when using the engraving tool.  Also remember that you want to use the “WYSIWYG” or “Sign Blank” option when performing more than one procedure on a particular design.

The box was cut from cardstock, assembled, and then flattened so it could be transported safely without being crushed in my suitcase.  Since the cactus is made with two pieces, it’s assembly was delayed until after I had gotten to Arizona.  The two pieces of the cactus are easily assembled using the slots cut into the pieces.  The box was sized to fit the cactus ornament.


When all of the ornaments and boxes were assembled, I had my own saguaro forest or maybe a condo.


The files for the cactus and box and the instructions for assembling and flattening the box can be downloaded from the link below.

Saguaro Cactus Ornament & Box Cutting Files_Judy_Kay




14 thoughts on “A Cactus in a Box

  1. This is very cool. I never thought of cutting plastic with a cutter. They turned out really well.

  2. In person, this is the sweetest box and cactus you would ever want to meet…and I was one of the fortunate ones to actually meet Judy and to get one of these little darlings!! Judy is meticulous in her work and you’ll see that her designs reflect that very same meticulous-ness!! (I know, its a new word) Thanks for sharing your talents with us, Judy!!

  3. I feel sooooo privilieged to own one of these little cactus in its own specially designed box by Judy! I got mine at the retreat and am personally challenging myself to cut acrylic with a fraction of the skill that Judy does. Thanks so much for sharing the files and details, Judy. This design is great in every way for sharing with my Arizona friends.

  4. Judy,
    I love my cactus and what a perfect memento of the retreat! Thank you so much and thank you for the files.

  5. What a fabulous idea! Love you cactus and box! Thank you so much for sharing your files. Have a great day!

  6. Judy, these were a PERFECT theme-based gift for all of the retreat attendees. Thank you so much for making them AND for the rest of your teachings and Make N Takes at the retreat; : )

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