PCS Tutorial Videos


Today’s post is definitely a technical post… nothing cute, nothing whimsical, nothing Pinterest-worthy here! lol But I still hope this post will be a valued one!

In the last post I made on February 12, I showed off a popup card I made for a swap. While I received a lot of nice comments from readers here and from my local card-swapping friends, it was apparent that most of you had missed my link to a video I made for designing single word cards in the new Popup Card Studio! (That was my fault for having a subtle link that said click here. lol)

So, to be a little more bold this time, I’m going to re-announce that first video by giving it a line of its own:

Free Video for Designing a Simple One Word Popup Card

AND… for today’s post, I put together a sequel which shows how to add a second word to the same card design:

Free Video for Designing a Two Line Popup Card

Now at this point, I want to share a list for those of you new to PCS. This is kind of like a list of reminders about what you’re most likely to forget to do when working with this fun and powerful design program:

  • Hold down the D key when clicking on shapes that might not be on the current plane. This is how you select them. If you need them on a different plane then click on the icon at the top to Cut them to the Clipboard, go to the new plane, and then click to Paste them onto that plane.


  • When you find you’re unable to select anything (and you ARE holding down the D key), you are probably in the wrong mode! I often do this! I’m still in the Text mode or I’m still in the Bezier mode! Click on the Arrow icon on the left side to return to the Selection mode.


  • Certain functions work better if you have the right Snap selection. If you need to use the Crop Tool or Resize shapes or Move shapes, make sure Snap is really low… as in 1/256. If you need to use the Bezier tool to create those really cool two point rectangles, make sure you’re using a higher Snap, such as 1/8″.


  • Before adding two point rectangles, you need the shapes to have flat horizontal lines so that those all-important mountain or valley fold lines will be automatically added. The Crop tool makes this simple to do! Just pick either external or internal and then marquee select what you need to exclude or include from the selected shape.


  • Also, before adding those two point rectangles, make sure you’ve aligned your shape to the bottom plane! Simply select it and then click on the appropriate icon under Align and Distribute (it’s the middle icon in the second row). Also, there’s a left-to-right centering icon you might want to use just to the left of this bottom alignment function.


  • File>Print Preview will save you time and headaches! Use this function often to make sure you see those needed dashed lines indicating that you have shapes and two point rectangles properly positioned.


  • Remember that if you’re more comfortable editing in MTC, then do that! Just use File>Export>Project Rendering>As SVG File to save your project in a format that will then import into MTC. Once imported, RIGHT click on the Layer Bar thumbnail and select To Each Its Own. The Cut Lines, Mountain, and Valley folds will be put onto their own layers. You can then use the node editing tools, such as Knife, Erase, and Bezier to further perfect the design.


  • Just like with ANYTHING, don’t get frustrated, get help! My knowledge increases as I am forced to research PCS AND answer questions. Please don’t hesitate to challenge me. Of course, I may end up simply referring you to Susan Bluerobot’s videos! lol But I do enjoy helping and I do benefit from being asked questions! So go for it!

If you’d like to try out the demo version of PCS:
Demo Version (scroll to the bottom to find a link for the trial version).

If you decide to buy PCS use this link and remember that your MTC registration code saves you 15%!):

Buy PCS Here!

My First Card Using Popup Card Studio

Know who’s MY new BFF? A software program called Popup Card Studio! If you’ve been following Team KNK the past few weeks, you’ve seen some of the cool cards created by our Team KNK designers. I’ve also been “playing around” with PCS during my spare time and have just been amazed by the features of this new program. It removes so much of the trial and error designing and has allowed me to really step up my popups!

For anyone interested in making popup cards, this IS the tool to have! With so many features AND so many videos being released every week, learning to design a popup card has never been easier! If you’d like to see my demo video on how to make a simple card, click here. If you’d like to try out the demo version of PCS, then click here and scroll to the bottom to find a link for the trial version. If you decide to buy PCS, order from here and receive my free support for any questions or issues you may have. Remember that if you already own MTC, you get a 15% discount at check out.

So, here’s my first published PCS popup card (message reads, “I’m not ‘lion’ when I say…”):


And then the inside (message reads, “You’re my ‘beast’ friend forever!):


I did make some simpler popup cards, as I was learning PCS, but since this card was for an animal-themed card swap due last Thursday, I knew I wanted to make something that would match the standards of the other participants! (What I lack in elegance in my card designs, I try to compensate with “a wow factor!” 🙂 )

  • Cardstock: gold, green, red
  • Glossy photo paper
  • Popup Card Studio
  • Make The Cut
  • KNK Maxx Air
  • Maxx Air/Zing Embossing Tool
  • Font: 2Peas DW Sidney
  • Lion and Lamb images from Doodle Dragon Studios
  • Bone Paper Folder and Artist’s Palette Knife (tools for folding popup)
  • Various Adhesives and a pop dot

    • Instructions

    (1) I designed the popup in Popup Card Studio and then exported as an SVG file to import into MTC. I apologize for not sharing the file, however I used copyrighted images from Doodle Dragon Studios. Note that I design my popup cards to be slightly smaller than the planned base card so that there’s a small border around the popup on the inside.

    (2) I prefer scored folds, so I used the small end of the Zing/Maxx Air Embossing Tool for the job. I set the force to 180, speed at 350, and multi-cut at 3 passes. I turned off blade offset and used WYSIWYG mode so that my cut lines would align with the score lines.

    (3) After scoring, I hid the fold layers and turned on the cut layer. I set the force to 60, the speed at 200, and multi-cut at 2 passes. (Even though I probably didn’t need 2 passes, I always use it when cutting LOTS of repeats for swaps… as insurance!)

    (4) For the colored images of the lion and lamb, I did a print and cut using glossy photo paper. The same cut settings were used.

    (5) The messages were created using 2 Peas DW Sidney font and a print and cut performed on the gold cardstock.

    (6) The jungle leaves are from the MTC Users’ Gallery database… just search on the word “jungle”. (Yes, I do realize that lions don’t live in the jungle, but hey, I grew up with the original Tarzan movies and they always had lions living in the jungle! 😛 )

    (7) The red pieces on the stage were designed by making a copy of the popup shape and then breaking it up into the separate pieces needed. (I probably should make a video for this part! I’m sure some of you will be wanting to do the same with your future popups!)

    (8) Then I just glued everything together! I used a pop dot for the lion on the front. If you’ve never glued a popup card before, remember to do the bottom first and press closed. Open and check for wrinkles. Then apply the glue to the top part and press closed. Again, open and check for wrinkles.

    As I posted earlier, if you interested in Popup Card Studio or if you’ve purchased it and need some help, let me know! I’ll direct you to videos made by others or I’ll make one for you myself. As always, the best way to master something new is to start helping others with it… or just sign up for a swap!

    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. 🙂

    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

    KNK Studio or MTC… When To Use Which Program

    Since purchasing and learning Make The Cut several years ago, I’ve relished in having both it and KNK Studio at my disposal. On several occasions I’ve referred to the two programs as the “perfect software combination” because each program has its own particular merits. The purpose of this post is to provide some guidance for when to use Make The Cut for your designing/cutting and when to use KNK Studio. For those of you who own both programs, this should very helpful. For those of you who own one or the other, this post will provide you some information on what you might be missing by not owning both.

    To begin, here’s a quick table I put together to show, in my opinion, which program excels in specific areas. Click on the image to make it larger and then you should also be able to zoom, as needed.


    To learn more about the differences, I’ve detailed some of the features that would impact customers I’ve taught or helped.

    Basic Facts

    • Both programs can be used to design what you need. Therefore, it’s not a requirement to own both; it’s just enjoyable to own both!
    • Both programs have specific features that make one more preferable to use over the other, depending on what the user needs at the time.
    • Files created in MTC can be exported as PDF, EPS, or AI to import into KNK Studio. Then just a few menu clicks will have the programs ready to edit. File created in KNK Studio can be copied and pasted to MTC. There are videos which cover this available here.


    KNK Strengths:

    • Customizable Interface – You can modify toolbars or create new ones with icons for your most commonly used functions. Add guidelines at any location and even have angled ones. You can set the grid spacing to whatever you choose and the horizontal and vertical spacing of the grid need not be the same. You can even create your shortcut keys or change the existing ones.
    • Works better with color – You can select shapes by color, cut by color, hide by color, and add colored borders of any thickness, to your shapes for printing. There’s a palette of almost 200 colors readily available at the bottom of the screen plus the option to add more using an eyedropper tool or by manually entering color values.
    • Superior segment and node editing – Know how you sometimes get those little unwanted bumps or notches in your curves? In KNK Studio it’s just a matter of clicking on either side of the imperfect segment and then clicking the curve icon to smooth it out. KNK Studio editing also allows multi-node selection and a terrific method for manual tracing imported rasters.
    • Professional cutting options – For those needing some of the professional cutting functions, KNK Studio offers automatic weeding, power weeding (additional cut lines within the weeding area), defaults for mirror and cut by color, nesting, and repeats.
    • Kerning feature for text – While MTC does have a shortcut for reducing or expanding the spacing between letters, KNK Studio goes one step further and users can select any letter and then move all of the letters to the right of that selected letter. This makes for a much easier and faster spacing of your letters in a title.
    • Easy toggle between metric and inches – Customers outside of the USA have as much need for a metric interface when designing and editing, as we Americans have a need for Imperial. Users can set up KNK Studio in metric and even create a shortcut key to toggle between inches and mm, if desired.


    MTC Strengths:

    • Superb Auto-tracing – MTC has an easy-to-learn and extremely powerful pixel trace function that opens up a world of free cutting files for any user. It also has several features missing in KNK Studio: preview of results before accepting settings, multiple tracing methods available in one window, and a special tracing feature for images with transparent backgrounds.
    • Easy to use layers and page functions – The Layers Bar in MTC makes it easy to organize the shapes within any given file. It’s also easy to add pages within a file for further organization of big projects. While KNK Studio has both features, they are not easy to learn and adapt to one’s needs.
    • Fun designing features – MTC has lattice, rhinestone, jigsaw, conical warp, and stretch object to path which are, like other features in the software, easy to learn.
    • Easy print and cut – This is where MTC really shines! All of the KNK’s can make use of this feature and it’s so much easier to learn and faster to use due to auto movement to reg mark locations. The user just needs to tweak the alignment device a few steps to make sure it’s dead center on each mark. Also, based on how PNC was designed, users have the option to print from other programs or even add registration to an existing printout.
    • Importing of more popular file formats – MTC can import GSD, WPC, and files. TTF, OTF, and OPF fonts can be opened without prior installing into Windows.
    • Easy installation onto a new or reformatted computer – MTC has been a lifesaver for quite a number of KNK Studio owners who have been locked out of the software due to registration issues.
    • MTC can be installed on Macs (version 10.6.3 or newer), however only the Maxx, Maxx Air, Zing, Groove, and Groove-e models will cut from the Mac version.

    If you interested in testing Make The Cut, you can download the trial version from here. To purchase an activation pin, click here.

    If you do not own KNK Studio, you can purchase the dongled KNK Studio GE to use for designing and then copy/paste files from KNK to MTC for cutting. If you are a recent buyer of a Maxx Air, then you can purchase the dongle-less KNK Studio Maxx version and cut to your Maxx Air directly. To purchase, please contact KNK USA at 800-268-3672 or send a message to them at this link.

    User manuals and tutorial videos for both KNK Studio and Make The Cut are available at my site. Please email me if you have more questions about the two programs and how either could improve you designing experience.

    Halloween Diorama Card – Free MTC Cutting File!


    Recently, I participated in a Halloween card swap and it was during the sign-up period (several months prior) that I happened to see Brianna’s challenge over on the Make The Cut forum:

    Diorama Card Challenge

    I was immediately inspired to design a diorama card for this swap. Above you can see the front of the card. This inside had a surprise:


    And here’s the recipe:

    Materials / Tools

    KNK Maxx Air and KNK Zing
    KNK Embossing Tool
    Worldwin Black Ice Dust Cardstock
    Brown, Orange, Green, Purple, and White Worldwin Smooth and Silky Cardstock
    Halloween Diorama Cutting File in MTC Format
    Double sided Adhesive Tape
    Googly Eyes
    Bat Brad
    Pop Dots
    Glue Dots


    (1) I was at a crop when I first started cutting the various pieces for this card. So, I had the Zing with me. For the score lines in the Black Ice Dust cardstock, I used a force of 160 and three passes. For cutting I used a force of 90 and speed of 9 to cut the 105 lb Black Ice Dust cardstock. The next day, at home, I finished up using the KNK Maxx Air with a force of 65 and a speed of 200. This cardstock is heavier than most and ideal for making a strong durable card of this type. The Smooth and Silky was cut at a force of 75 on the Zing and 50 on the Maxx Air.

    (2) Note that I had to use WYSIWYG to score the lines with the Embossing tool and then switch to the blade holder for cutting. The scores lines and cut lines are on different layers in Make The Cut and this is one of those “stop and think” procedures because it’s important to make sure the correct layer is turned on for each process, as well as making sure you reset the force, number of passes and blade offset before you send the cutter to either score or cut. Also, note that I did not cut the base card on the cutter… only the cutout part. This is because the base card is a 12″ rectangle. So I used my paper trimmer to precut a 12″ x 5.5″ rectangle and then positioned that rectangle in the corner of the grid where I set the origin.

    (3) I used an embossing template in the Fiskar’s Fuse to provide a textured background on the purple background piece behind the ghost. Popdots were used to adhere the ghost to that background.

    (4) Print and cut was used to do the lettering pieces on the front and on the inside.

    (5) The various cardstock pieces were attached using tape runner or glue. The Googly Eyes were attached with regular glue. I cut off the “metal” parts of the Bat brad and attached with a glue dot.

    (6) When folding the card, remember that all folds are valley folds. This makes it easy to then see where to apply tape to attach and form the box part of the card. I used the newly released double sided adhesive tape from KNK USA and I have to say… this tape ROCKS! It is very strong and far less expensive than the double sided tapes sold at local craft stores.

    I think that’s it! Please let me know if you have any questions!