A House of Chipboard

Each year in August I eagerly search the magazine racks at stores looking for a publication titled “Holiday Crafts” by Better Homes and Gardens.  It contains craft ideas for Halloween through Christmas.  Some years I like the projects better than others but I usually find something in there that grabs my interest.  This year it was a house and a church constructed of “lightweight cardboard”.  It sounded to me like the perfect application for the chipboard from KNKUSA.  Since my 15″ Maxx Air had recently arrived this was going to be a good project to use to learn my new machine.

The first challenge was to get the diagrams from the pattern sheet included in the magazine into the format I needed for cutting.  That process involved scanning the pattern pieces into Adobe Photoshop Elements, combining pieces that wouldn’t fit in one scan, enlarging the pattern pieces to 150%, and saving the pieces in PDF format.  I attempted to use the pixel trace feature of the Make The Cut software but found that even though the drawings of the pieces looked square and straight on the pattern sheet, after they were scanned and enlarged, they needed some adjusting.  Using my KNK Studio software, I manually traced the pieces and adjusted them until I was satisfied with them.  Then, since the Maxx Air can only cut from the Make The Cut software, I copied and pasted in place all of the pieces for the two buildings.

Finally I was ready to cut my chipboard.  Using a blue cap blade (thick material blade) in my Maxx blade holder, a force of 165, a velocity of 85, a blade offset of .35, and two passes, it was done.  After cutting all of the pieces from chipboard, I decided that I would like the look of the windows if they were cut from cardstock instead of the chipboard.  So those were cut with a red cap blade (standard material blade) in my Maxx blade holder, using a force of 60, a speed of 150, a blade offset of .35, and one pass.

When everything was cut, this is what I had.

The pieces on the left side of the picture are for the church and those on the right side are for the house.  At the top right of the picture are several long strips that have been scored down the middle.  Those are pieces that I added to be use as ‘joining strips”.  The pattern was drawn such that in most cases pieces would be glued together with only the thickness of the chipboard for gluing surfaces.  To me that was courting disaster and frustration big time so I created the “joining strips” to be glued inside of the joins to reinforce them.  The “joining strips’ were cut to the desired length and folded in half lengthwise so they were rather like angle iron inside of the building.  Some of the areas I used them in are shown in this photo.

The chipboard pieces needed to be covered with patterned paper.  I decided it was going to be easier to do that manually rather than attempt to create a cutting file that would accurately fit the pieces after they were assembled.  Actually, the paper was applied during the assembly process for the 4 sided pieces such as the house, the chimney, the church, and the steeple.  This is because when putting the paper around the piece, there needs to be additonal paper to go around the corners.  So I glued paper on one side, folded the piece at the correct angle, glued the paper to the next side, and continued until all sides were covered.  Then after the gule dried, I used a craft knife to cut out the openings using the openings in the chipboard as a guide.  I would recommend using a “dry” adhesive rather than a water based glue when applying the paper.  The water based glue soaks into the chipboard and it can end up warped a bit out of shape when it dries which doesn’t help when fitting the pieces together.  Been there done that!

The edges of the pieces and the openings were darkened with some Walnut Ink by Tsukineko on a felt pad.  The windows were glued into the openings and backed by pieces of velum.  The buildings were assembled using a quick dry adhesive rather than the dry adhesive because I believed it to create a stronger bond.

Each building sits on a platform with sections of fence cut from the chipboard at the two front corners.  These platforms are also covered with patterned paper before the buildings are glued to them.  I added joining strips to the bottom edges of the buildings before gluing them to the platforms.

A little snow on the roofs (grated styrofoam stuck to some dry adhesive), some minature evergreen trees, and a tissue paper garland and the house and church were complete.

The tissue paper garland was created by cutting strips of ordinary tissue wrapping paper into 1″ strips, stacking 6 strips on top of one another, and using a sewing machine to stitch down the center over a light weight wire using a narrow zig zag stitch.  The edges of the strips were cut like fringe almost up to the wire.   The strips were applied to the edges of the platforms using very tacky double sided tape.  The fringe was then fluffed out so it resembled snow.

There is an opening in the back of each building so a light can be inserted giving the structures a glow as in this picture.

This was a labor intensive project.  The chipboard cuts well and is easy to work with.  Maybe by next Christmas I will have found or created some patterns for different buildings so I can have a whole village.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!


It’s Early but, not too Early

I know it is still August and there are two months plus before Halloween.  However, if I get my mind  started thinking about holidays and get some things done ahead of time, it can eliminate some of the last minute panic and rush.  Or it can just make me think that I have some time left so why not do more.  A bit of crazy logic but that is usually how my mind works.

This post is about some cute items for Halloween.  The files are available from the My ScrapChick site.  There are three items in the set of files; a lidded box, a treat bag, and a card.  They were so cute I had to make one of each of them.

I started with the lidded box.  Since I didn’t have any card stock that I thought was sturdy enough, I used some of the chipboard from KNKUSA to make the base for the box and lid.  You can see the various parts of the lid and box in the photo below.  For the lid there is a top, 2 side pieces, and a liner for the inside of the lid.  For the box there is a bottom, 2 side pieces, and a liner for the inside of the box.  The liner pieces have been sized so the are just a bit smaller than the top and the bottom and they fit perfectly inside of the lid and box.  The chipboard is very sturdy but still cuts easily and cleanly using two passes and a very sticky mat.

Because the chipboard is so heavy, I decided to do the scoring by hand.  I have a tool which I got from KNKUSA that has interchangable tips.  One of these tips has a small ball on the end and works great for scoring chipboard and paper also.  I believe it is currently being sold as a Double Ended Burnishing Kit

I cut a second set of box and lid pieces from patterned scrapbook paper to cover the box and lid.  Since I wasn’t going to line the box, I didn’t cut the liners for the lid and box from the patterned scrapbook paper.  In addition I cut the spider web and spider that are included in the file.  A few embellishments, some ink and chalk for the edges and spider web, a bit of Glossy Accents and Perfect Pearls for the spider, and my box was ready to be filled with treasures and surprises.  You can see in the photo that the spider web is raised above the lid by using adhesive foam squares.  The spider was also mounted on the web using the foam squares.

Next I cut the pieces for the Treat Bag.  I used some heavy card stock for the base of the treat bag and using the same file, cut two sets of pieces out of patterned paper to cover the base card stock both inside and out.  This is a photo of all the pieces for the treat bag.

After assmbling and embellishing, I ended up with this for my treat bag.

I decided that the spider on the Treat Box should have some bling.  I used green glitter and green rhinestones in 6ss and 10ss sizes from KNKUSA.

Finally, I cut the pieces for my card using the same heavy card stock that I had used for the Treat Bag plus I cut a second set of pieces from the same file out of patterned scrapbook paper to cover the outside of the card.  For the inside of the card, I borrowed a copy of one of the side pieces from the Treat Bag and resized it to 98%.  I cut the newly sized piece from white cardstock to use inside of the card to stamp a sentiment.  The cutting file for the card includes a spider web, two spiders connected by shadow layer for the word “creepy” and the word itself.  This photo shows all the pieces for the card.  The white circles go behind the spiders’ heads for their eyes and mouth.

When assembled and embellished, the card looked like this.

I used a clear acrylic stamp to add a sentiment to the white card stock on the inside of the card.  In this photo you can see the adhesive foam pieces used to mount the spider web to the front of the card.

All of the cutting for these items was done on my 15″ KNK Maxx.  Following are the settings I used:

Chipboard: V=150, P=135, 2 passes, Thick Material Blade (Blue Tip), and a sticky mat

Scrapbook Paper: V=150, P=85, 1 pass, Standard Material Blade (Red Tip)

Heavy Card Stock: V=150, F=110, 2 passes, Standard Material Blade (Red Tip)

Kitty Party Favor Wand

Hello Kitty, KNK, This is a Kitty Princess Wand that I made as a party favor for my granddaughter’s birthday. It is really simple to make.


12″ x 12″ Chipboard, Skewers, KNK Groove-e, Ribbon, Glitter, Fun Foam, Paint, Glue, MTC File (The Hello Kitty is a file from the MTC online gallery)

Download and open the Hello Kitty file in MTC. Cut the background/shadow layer from chipboard and the rest of the shapes from Fun Foam. Paint the chipboard as desired. I painted mine pink. Once it is dry, cover the entire piece with glue and paste the Fun Foam shapes onto the chipboard, using the file in MTC as a guide for placement. Next, apply glitter to all areas that do not have Fun Foam but still have glue exposed. Cover the skewer with ribbon and glue to the back of the chipboard piece. Make a separate ribbon bow and glue to the front of the skewer.

Chipboard, knk, Kitty, Chipboard, knk, groove-e, KNK, groove-e, chipboard, fun foam




Engraving a Dog Tag on a KNK

After a near scare with our beloved 12 year old Llasa-Bichon, Chibi, we decided we needed a little more info on her dog tag. Chibi had wandered off one Saturday morning and the man who found her was responsive and dialed the number on the county-registered tag on Chibi’s collar. However, the number had been discontinued! Fortunately, my husband found a web site called Lost My Doggie and was able to have their automatic service call every home phone within a two mile range of our home. One of our neighbors received the call and knew right away that this must be the dog HER next door neighbor had found earlier that morning. Within a short time, Chibi was reunited with her family.

Needless to say, we were quite unhappy that the phone number on her collar had been discontinued by the government agency which issued it! My husband suggested we get her tag engraved with our home phone number. Bingo! A perfect application for my KNK Maxx!

The first step was to measure the tag. It was 1-1/8″ in diameter, so I created a circle in KNK Studio, just slightly larger – 1.15″. I wanted it large enough so that when I cut out that circle in chipboard, the tag would fit within the hole I cut. You’ll later see why.

Next, I designed the text I wanted to engrave. KNK Studio comes with a selection of single line and multi-line engraving fonts. I selected one that I felt would create easy-to-read text. I made sure the text was positioned so that it would be engraved exactly where I wanted it to be on the tag. The following screen shots show the text with both the fill turned on and the fill turned off:

I needed to make sure the engraving would be made in the exact place on the tag I needed. I set the cutting mode in KNK Studio to Sign Blank. Then, I taped a sheet of chipboard to the cutting mat. After doing a test cut to make sure I had the correct blade length and cutting force, I set the origin and cut out the circle only from the chipboard:

Important… right after the circle was cut, I did NOT lift the pinch wheel levers. Instead, I went Offline and used the lower “-” key to move the mat forward until I could lift out the cut circle with a paper piercer. I then placed the tag into the hole and put small pieces of tape along the very top and bottom to hold the tag in place during the engraving. I’m not sure that’s absolute necessary but I didn’t want the tag to shift during the engraving process, so it seemed like good insurance:

Then, I pressed the Online button so that the blade carriage would return to the same origin. I then switched out the blade for the engraving tool, set the cutting force to 150, and the number of passes to 3. I then sent the text only to the cutting window and the text was engraved EXACTLY where I needed it:

So, having our dog’s name and home phone number on her dog tag gives us a lot more reassurance that if she were to wander off again, anyone finding her would be able to contact us directly.

My thanks to Michelle Hessler for posting on one of the KNK Yahoo groups this method of aligning an engraving. It worked great and is perfect for non-rectangular shapes, such as this circular dog tag.