Today is Father’s Day and this article will walk you through how to make this cool hiker Cricut paper art inspired by the hiker Dad in my home. This project is a personal one – my way of celebrating one of the most influential people in our lives, whether you are close to one, or know one. This is for the amazing fathers out there who are always willing to climb mountains for their family, no matter how steep or long it takes. I am fortunate enough to be with one, and for this, I am very thankful.
With intricate pieces that you will notice on most of my designs, I had a fantastic time putting this together. Every project I have done so far has taught me something new, and even when I don’t get it right on the first try, it provides me with the opportunity to make it better. I encourage you to read on for some specific pointers, hopefully, to provide you with more fun and smooth experience.
Things you will need for this Cool Hiker Cricut Paper Art:
- Cricut Maker / Explorer (or any SVG friendly die-cutting machine)
- Cricut Mat
(blue or green depending on the thickness of your cardstock. I usually prefer green unless it is a brand new one. It needs to be “broken” into)
- Cardstock Paper / Cardstock Alternatives
(please read below to elaborate more on this)
- Craft paper glue / double-sided tape
- Double-sided foam / mounting tape
- Cricut weeding tool (for small and intricate pieces)
- Pair of scissors and or Portable Cricut trimmer
- Download “The Hiker” by logging in to my design resource page. You will receive access through your email below, and the password via email 24 hours later (working on getting this quicker).
What type of cardstock do I recommend
The thickness of your cardstock is essential. The grammage (density) of your paper affects the material’s ability to support the weight of the layers, therefore, only use the thin ones if they are not to be “raised” with mounting tapes for that elevated effect. Utilizing thick paper provides better support.
Even with a sharp blade and right settings, the quality of your cardstock also directly impacts the cut. The fibers of the paper can interfere with your blade’s ability to cut smoothly. Lower quality paper tends to have shorter fibers causing it to tear easily.
Another thing to consider is adding texture to your work. It helps accentuate shadows and highlights; therefore, I highly recommend using textured paper as opposed to smooth ones; after all, nature is full of patterns and textures.
As for color, below is a palette for your reference. You don’t necessarily have to stick to these colors. Yes, there are a few, but check out some of my recommendations on the alternative methods below. This palette serves as your guideline if you wish to apply the same hues I used.
I get it, cardstock can get pricey, and this hiker paper art requires a few; however, the colors make this hiker paper art its beauty. When it comes to buying cardstock, I usually purchase them when they are on sale unless I have a deadline to meet. As a maker, it is easy to hoard them, and so, I try to restrict myself to a relatively small wallpaper organizer dedicated to colors I know I will use often, which I will share with you one of these days. You would be surprised how small it is for someone who is a Cricut power user.
So what do you do when you don’t want to spend money on small pieces that require different tonalities and shades of one hue? Here below are some of my go-to resources.
Oh yes, these things are perfect for non-intricate, but relatively small pieces. They are sturdy, right quality colors with a plethora to choose from, and best of all, they are free. Now, I don’t advocate and go clean them out, but if you plan on just choosing a hue or two, or perhaps, purchase pick up a small can for a painting project you’ve been putting off, drop by your favorite home improvement store.
As for the downside, unlike the quality cardstock, the color is only coated on the top of the paper. Because of this, it leaves a white strip along the cut line on the side. This look doesn’t bother me as long as the cut is clean with a sharp premium fine-point blade.
Pastel, Acrylic, and Watercolor
As an art student, I have them in my studio. You don’t have to get professional-grade pigments and brushes. Even having watercolor pencils from Crayola brand can give you enough color for those small pieces you need.
For this hiker paper art, I used pastel for the most substantial part since I wanted to have a graded sky effect. I will be using more of this medium so as watercolors to give my work more depth and character.
Print and Magazines
Look around your home, find mailers, posters, magazine covers that you no longer need that are as thick as cardstock, and utilize them.
In my future posts, you will find my work utilizing these resources, so be on the lookout!
The Process: Cool Hiker Cricut Paper Art
STEP 1: UPLOAD. Upload the downloaded SVG to Cricut Design Space, and adjust the size of your project, however, please note that going too small may cause problems with cutting the tiny pieces. If you wish to go smaller than 10 x 12, try to do a trial cut for the smallest parts before committing.
STEP 2: CUT. Using Cricut DS, proceed with cutting the pieces. Try to be strategic with your method. Here below are some tips.
- TIME. Make sure to allocate enough time to do this project. Because this piece requires a variety of colors, prepping the pieces for cutting, and putting them together with require time and attention to detail.
- SHARP BLADE: First and foremost, I cannot stress enough how much a sharp blade will save you from getting frustrated with intricate projects. If the machine is not cutting well, ask yourself how old is your blade. Secondly, if the fine-point blade is relatively new, check if you have the right type of settings. I recommend using “Cardstock with intricate cuts” for heavy cardstock when it comes to projects like this (the number of passes and pressure will depend on the age of the blade). Lastly, the kind of mat you use could also have an impact. I prefer green mats for most of my cardstock paper; however, a brand new green Circut mat, may not be suitable. It will be too sticky the first time, so instead, use a relatively new blue mat if you have one. If you’re still having problems and have gone through the troubleshooting above, check your cardstock is ideal for this project, and make sure you did not go lower than the recommended size.
- SAVE TIME. I find that using snap mat cuts the cutting time and process in half specifically for the smaller pieces. However, please note that the snap mat feature is only available with the Cricut Design Space IOS app. If you’re interested in this snap mat feature method, please read the snap mat section below.
STEP 3: ASSEMBLY. See the video below to see this step. I used a 10 x 12 piece to try and fit all the pieces on the screen during filming.
Why Cricut Snapmat
This feature allows you to visualize your image placement on the mat by taking a snapshot of the actual Ciruct mat and the material(s). You can then move the pieces around based on the colors you want the images to have. It is best to use the same type of paper grammage (weight) to ensure a successful cut since you will be applying one cut-setting for all of them.
- Upload your image to Cricut Design Space. You may do this step directly on your IOS if you have access to your file by cloud or saved in phon or IPad’s file folder. If you don’t have both, you can use your desktop to upload and save the file to DS, then go back to your IOS (mobile) to proceed and retrieve by going to the UPLOAD icon, then choose “open uploaded images.”
- Place your materials on your mat. Group the smaller pieces on the top left side of the mat. This will help facilitate a more efficient motion when moving the images to their corresponding paper color.
- Once you’re ready to cut, click on MAKE. On the screen, you will find the SnapMat icon.
- Capture the mat. This step can get a little tricky. What seems to work is to place it on a contrasting background. It also requires one to be steady. If you’re having trouble, try placing the Cricut mat on the floor (with good lighting), right below the edge of a table, and utilize it as support for your device while you’re trying to take a photo. The marks have to align for it to work.
- Move your images. Great! You’ve snapped the mat! You will then move the pieces according to the material’s color of your choice.
- Cut. Once done, follow the prompts for the setting and proceed with actual cutting.
Enjoy, and I encourage to tag me on your complete projects for your work to be featured on my blog! 🙂
R i c h e l l e
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