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

Large Flower Card – 3 ways!

Hello fellow KnK-ers!

Today I will use one Cut File (supplied at the end of the post) to create 3 different card looks armed with just my Zing and a few basic supplies.


These are the Materials I used:

These are the Zing Settings I used:

  • Blade = Standard
  • Blade Height = 25 post-it notes
  • Offset = 0.30
  • Speed = 10
  • Force =¬† 100 (65 on vellum and lightweight card)
  • Passes = 1

Card 1: This is a super quick yet effective card to whip up when you need a card asap.

I lined up one of the oval shapes onto the card base in Make the Cut, I chose one of the fonts to form the word ‘Hello’ then cut both pieces from some kraft card:


I folded my card in half then placed the ‘Hello’ inside the oval window and glued it to the inside of the card:


Card 2: I used white vellum for my large solid (sandwich) piece to add some softness to this card but coloured vellum or acetate could be used for different looks.

From yellow card I cut the card base, the extra flower outline piece, the label outline shape and the word ‘Mum’. From vellum I cut the large solid layer and the larger label shape:


I glued my vellum to the back of the front outline pieces:


These pieces can now be flipped over and glued to the card base sandwiching the vellum between the layers, this ensures that the inside of your card is as neat as the outside:


As I didn’t create a window in the card base this time I can add my sentiment to my label shape without it looking messy on the inside of the card:


Card 3: Inside the cut file you will find smaller solid (sandwich) pieces which allow you to use different colours for your flower and leaf pieces:

From black card I cut the card base, the extra flower outline piece and the banner outline shape. From pink card I cut the solid flower piece and the larger banner shape. From green card I cut the solid leaf pieces:


I glued my coloured pieces to the back of the front outines then added a sentiment to my banner:


I flipped my flower piece over and glued it to the card base and sandwiched it between the black card layers to keep my card neat inside and out. I added my banner to the card with 3D foam tape:


The middle of my flower was calling out for a button, as I’m not using vellum here it won’t show through:


Negative Pieces: Do you usually throw your negative pieces away? How about saving them to make some tags? Here is the tag cut file I used:


If you would like to see more projects I have created with my Zing and access my free cut files you can find my blog here:

Here is today’s Cut File:

Large Flower Card Cut File by Bird

Large Flower Card Cut File by Bird

A White Wedding

Good Morning Fellow KnK-ers!

I have a family wedding approaching so today I have a wedding card to share with you, I chose a wedding cake design and although it is an all white card I picked card and paper with lots of shine and texture. I have included the cut files I created for today’s card at the end of the post if you would like to re-create it ūüôā

The picture below shows all of the pieces you will need to cut with your chosen KNK machine, I cut mine with Make the Cut and my Zing:

  • 1 sheet of A4/letter sized card scored down the middle
  • 1 copy of swirly frame 9 and its backing layer (cut file below) sized to fit the folded A4/letter card base
  • 1 rectangle panel and backing layer to fit inside the swirly frame
  • 1 copy of the wedding cake and stand (cut file below)
  • Several copies of the flower and leaf (cut file below)

wedding cake & stand card 1

I cut my flowers and leaves from vellum to make them look delicate, I shaped each petal with an embossing stylus on a soft mat which encourages them to curl upwards:

wedding cake & stand card 2

Once I have shaped the petals I run the stylus around the center of the flower and it magically cups the flower:

wedding cake & stand card 3

To finish my flowers, I tuck one of the flower layers inside another with a little wet glue then pop a flat backed pearl in the middle. I ran my embossing stylus down the center of each leaf and glued them behind some of my flowers:

wedding cake & stand card 4

I stuck my swirly frame to it’s backing layer with some tape in the middle and some wet glue at the edges. For the top layer of my rectangle panel I chose a patterned vellum, I attached it to its backing layer with a small piece of double sided tape being careful to place it behind where the cake will sit then I stitched the 2 layers together:

wedding cake & stand card 5

I folded my card base and glued all of my wedding cake pieces together, I chose some shimmery card to represent the ribbon sections:

wedding cake & stand card 6

As all of my elements were prepared, my card came together in moments. I attached my 2 panels to the card base with lots of 3d foam tape then I attached my cake directly to the rectangle panel as the flowers give a lot of dimension. Here’s how my cards looks when it is finished:

wedding cake & stand card 7

Although this is an all white card, I hope this close up shows how using different textures, translucency and shimmer can add a great deal of interest to a project.

wedding cake & stand card 8

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, if you would like to see more projects I have created with my Zing and access my free cut files you can find my blog here:

Here are the Cut Files for today’s project:

Swirly Frame 9 by Bird

Swirly Frame 9 Cut File by Bird

Wedding Cake & Stand by Bird

Wedding Cake & Stand Cut File by Bird

Flower & Leaf by Bird

Flower & Leaf Cut File by Bird

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!


Bee Witching and Just Hanging Out

It is never to late to begin seasonal cards and if you are waiting for an idea, maybe this is it.¬†It began with me cutting all the cardstock and vellum elements on the front of the card with my 15″ KNK Maxx (red-capped blade, 2 passes, F=110, V=150) and the vinyl “Bee-witching” cut on a KNK Zing (red-capped blade, 1 pass, F=10, V=10, Blade offset 0.35).

Card Front Details:
Core’dinations, Black Magic Collection Cardstock
Paper Pizazz, Dark Blue Sponged, HTP20423, paper
Yellow, black, and dull green Cardstock for card front design
Tissue paper for moon
Vellum for bee wings
3D broom by Darice
Fun Foam to shim bee
Complementing fine glitter
Accugraphic’s¬†Gold Metallic Vinyl¬†for greeting

The foundation for this card is Core’dinations, Black Magic Collection Cardstock, cut 7.25″ by 10.5″; folded to be 5.25″ tall by 7.25″ wide.¬† The dark blue background on the front is Paper Pizazz, Dark Blue Sponged, HTP20423, cut 5″ x 7″ and glued to the folded cardstock.¬† All outside edges were gently sanded to bring some the orange in the Core’dinations cardstock to the front of the card.

To subdue the moon a bit and have it look like it could be ‘out there somewhere’, I¬†pulled some tissue paper from my stash and crumpled it up. This crumpled tissue was then carefully laid on top of the moon, which had been sprayed with glue, maintaining the rough crumpled look. Next, I¬†cut away the tissue that was extending beyond the edges of the moon and glued it in place on the card front.¬† The edges were further softened with chalk that extended beyond the edges of the moon, creating a halo effect around the moon.¬† The final step was to lightly rub a glue stick across it and dust it with ultra fine glitter.¬†

The branch was cut from a textured, dull green cardstock, chalked  for some dimension and embellished with ultra fine glitter.

There is a cut design included for a broom, if you are making a card that fits in a flat envelope.  But for this card I wanted a broom with a little more humph.  The broom used is made by Darice (#282095). Initially the size was overwhelming for my little bee.  So I trimmed it down to size and colored the string with a black Sharpie, and then dusted it with a bit of glitter. 



The ‘Bee-Witching Bee’ is cut from layered black and yellow cardstock.¬† The wings are vellum.¬† Lines, creating definition to the wings, were drawn in free-hand with a ball-ended stylus and the final touch was to add a bit of glitter to the wings and the band on her hat .



To balance the left end of the broom with the bulk on the straw end, a shim consisting of 3 layers of  Fun Foam glued together did the trick.  This worked great and the color blended with the background.

The last touch in completing the front of the card was to add “Bee-Witching”, cut from Accugraphic’s¬†Gold Metallic Vinyl¬†on the KNK Zing and applied with Clear Transfer Tape.¬† I love this vinyl!¬† When applied, it looks just like glitter applied with a heat gun.¬† Font used was Poultrygeist.

The card as created, doesn’t fit into any envelopes that I have and it surely wouldn’t go through the mail without being destroyed.¬† When I first made this card for a card exchange, my solution was to purchase boxes designed to mail DVD cases.¬† They are the perfect size and their durability has been tested by actually¬†sending it¬†through the mail.

For this posting,¬†Judy Keating has created a box/envie free file, sized for this card.¬† I recommend cutting it from poster board, which is very similar in weight to the DVD mailers that I purchased originally.¬† To keep the embellishments from being crushed in either of these mailers, spacers need to be added.¬† After much research, I have concluded that dense Styrofoam is the best choice. The depth of this box/envelope is 3/4″ deep. I recommend using 1/2″ Styrofoam, cut 3/4″ wide, and glued on each side as shown in the picture below.¬† Placement of additional spacers, cut from the same Styrofoam,¬†depends on where the embellishments are on the card.¬†

Envelope/Box ready to mail:

The inside of the card is decorated with Scrappy Dew’s “Just Hanging Out” set, cut from vinyl, and applied, using Accrugraphic’s Clear Transfer Tape.¬† The small pocket design¬†is included with the Bee-Witching files.¬† My grandchildren love See’s candies, so some purchase power is included in their pocket. Other uses for the pocket might be a personal note to a friend…or, if you prefer, leave the pocket off and write your own message.¬† The operative word is Enjoy!

Bee-Witching Card Files

Box Envie Files