For the bad unicorn trunk or treat project, I made a big sign out of chipboard that spelled out “WICKED.” And it was wicked cool. I know I keep going on and on about my Cricut Maker, but MAN, it is neat. All those letters were cut out of chipboard with the adaptable tool knife blade. In this post, I’m going to show you the tips and tricks on how to cut chipboard with the Cricut Maker, and make your own WICKED sign in the process.
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how to cut chipboard with the cricut maker knife blade
Here’s your material list to gather before you get started:
- Cricut chipboard, 2mm (buy it here)
- Cricut gold glitter cardstock (buy it here)
- Cricut Maker with installed knife blade (buy them here and here)
- Blue painter’s tape (buy it here)
- Cricut sticky mats – best if they are old and not sticky anymore
- Yard stick
- Black paint
- String or ribbon to hang
- WICKED file in Design Access (find it here)
cricut chipboard cutting hack #1
The first thing I learned cutting chipboard on the Cricut Maker is that it does not matter how sticky your mat is, you’re going to need to use blue painter’s tape around the edges of your chipboard in order to keep it still. You don’t need to go overboard here, though.
The knife blade will cut through the tape with ease. The rollers, however, are NOT going to like the tape. Tape to the top of the mat only, and avoid wrapping it around the edges. The tape is going to rip eventually, gum up the rollers, and then you’ll have to pull out your project and degunk and maybe even have to start your project again. That would really suck, so just keep the tape on the top.
cricut Chipboard cutting hack #2
Remember I just said it does not matter how sticky your mat is? This is a great way to make use out of all those old mats that just do not stick anymore. Since it does take a minute or two to prep the mats with painters tape, it’s good to have a few mats in reserve that you can trade off while you’re cutting big projects–at least ones that have multiple boards to cut.
cricut chipboard cutting hack #3
Cutting chipboard is not a last minute project at all, you’ll need to budget a fair amount of time for the magic to happen. The program is going to want to make somewhere around 20 passes cutting out the chipboard, but I usually stop it around 12. This still takes a bit of time to get through, especially if you have a complicated design. It’s all totally hands-off time, but don’t count on it being done lickety-split.
Making your WickeD sign from cricut chipboard
You can use the WICKED file in Design Access (find it here) or make your own letters to string up. The process is the same!
This what you’ll see when you open up the WICKED file. If you’re doing your own word, just be sure to ungroup the letters before you start cutting.
After you hit “Make It” you will be brought to this screen. If you look at your IE there, you’ll see it goes almost to the 12 inch mark. The Cricut chipboard is 11×11, so you’ll need to make an adjustment!
Under material size on the left hand column, be sure to choose 11×11 so all the letters make it on the chipboard. Hit “continue” in the bottom right of the screen.
You’ll need to choose your material now–Cricut’s variety is the heavy chipboard, 2.0mm.
Before you click the blinking C:
- Painter’s tape your chipboard to the mat
- Move the star wheels on the roller ball all the way to the right
- Load your knife blade into clamp b
- Load your mat into the machine
Once you do all that, get cutting!
Once you start cutting, you can see how many passes the machine is going to take before it thinks the piece is completely cut out. I am WILDLY impatient, so I’ve tested pulling the chipboard out before that, and 10 is too early, but 12 is usually ok. All you have to do is hit the arrow button on the machine once it’s done with a pass and it will unload and go to the next mat.
After all your chipboard is cut, you’ll have to go through the process of cutting out the letters again in gold glitter cardstock this time.
Assembling your wicked letters
This is easy peasy. I used a glue stick to adhere the glitter cardstock to the front of each chipboard letter. That’s it. You can paint the chipboard if you want, but for the use and purposes of this sign, it would have been a bit overkill.
After all the glitter cardstock is in place, paint a yardstick black and let it dry.
Hot glue each letter to the yardstick.
Once the glue has set, flip WICKED over. Shimmy the ribbon around the stick and tie it off so you can hang it up later.
WICKED BONUS ROUND
Our church’s trunk or treat usually happens at night. Remembering that, I always try to add a little bit of a light show to our trunk.
The dollar store sells mini strings of lights. You can tape a few of these to the back of the sign to give it a nice backlight. It looks pretty cool in the dark, and only costs two or three dollars to do.
As I said, this takes a bit of time to complete, but it’s worth it! Making signs this way makes for really durable signage, and makes it look professionally done!