Saturday, November 1, 2014

CRICUT: Creating Swing cards in Design Space

This tutorial was originally published on the 1st November 2014. It has been updated to show the use of the new Insert Shapes tool and the Align tool. 

If you don't have a Cricut cartridge that has a swing card on it, it's easy to create your own using the slice feature.

In this tutorial I'll be showing you how to make a swing card that when folded measures 4.25" x 5.5".

Let's get started...

Select Insert Image and select a decorative shape to add to your canvas. I'm using the Note Card with the image number #M3F06D from the Cricut Craft Room Basics image set. This image is free to all Design Space users.

Click the Insert Shapes tool, then click on the score line and the square shape to add them to the canvas. Click anywhere on the canvas to close the Insert Shapes box.

Click on the Note card shape and from the bottom of the Layers panel, click Duplicate.

Move the duplicate off to the side as you'll need it later.

Select the square, then from the Edit box click the Keep Proportions (the lock) button to unlock it.

Resize the square to 6.75" width and 5.5" height. (Tip: Use the Tab button to move between the width and height boxes. The same applies to the X & Y boxes.)

Move the rectangle to the top left of the canvas (X 0.00" and Y 0.00")
(Why do I do this? It makes it easier to work out where the score marks need to go.)

To make the score lines more visible you can change the colour of the rectangle if necessary. Click on the square in the Layers box then select a colour.

Please note: As this tutorial has been updated since first posting, some of the shapes in the new screen shots will be a different colour. 

Click on the score line and move it to X 2.75" and Y 0.00"

With the score line still selected click Duplicate. Your score lines will go missing at this point. They are just hidden behind the rectangle.

Click on the rectangle then from the top toolbar click Arrange. Click Move to Back to move the rectangle behind the score lines.

Move the second score line to X 4.00" and Y 0.00"

Use Ctrl + click to select both score lines from the Layers box then click Duplicate.

Position them at the bottom of the rectangle and at X 2.75 and X 4.00. (Don't worry about the length of the score lines at this point as we'll change them after we have added our decorative shape.)

Select your decorative shape then click the Show button in the Layers box. The shadow will appear.

Select the shape and its shadow and resize the width to 4.2". Leave the Lock Proportions button locked unless you want to manually resize the height.

Note: The size of this shape cannot exceed the width of the finished card. In this case the finished width of the card is 4.25" which is why I'm making my shape 4:20" wide. 

Click Ungroup from the bottom of the Layers box.

Click on the top layer and change the width to 4.15".

Select both layers of this shape and click Align, Center.

With both layers of the decorative shape still selected click the Slice button at the top of the Layers panel.

Your image will change colour.

Move the top (black) layer of the image off to the side and delete it. You'll be left with just the frame of your image.

Next we need to centre this image on the rectangle.

From the Layers box use Ctrl + click to select the rectangle and the four score lines.

Click Group from the bottom of the Layers panel.

Move the rectangle away from the top left corner of the canvas then click Ungroup.

Select the sliced shape and move it over the rectangle. (Click Arrange, Move to Front if you can't see the shape.)

Select both the shape and rectangle. (Not the score lines.)

Click Align, Center.

Next we need to remove the centre section of the shape.

Add a square to your canvas using the Insert Shapes tool and move it over the rectangle.

Position the square so that it is vertically higher than the note card shape.

Drag your mouse around one of the left most score lines and take note of its X position from the Edit panel.

Click on the square and change its X position to the same as the score line.

Drag the bottom right handle and stretch the square so it's taller than the sliced out decorative shape.

From the Edit panel click on the Unlock button on the square and change the width to 1.25"

The new rectangle should now fit inside the two vertical score lines and extend above and below the decorative shape.

Select just the small rectangle and the decorative shape. (Select them using Ctrl+click in the Layers menu if you have trouble.)

Click Slice. The shape will change colour.

Drag the two pieces from the middle of the large rectangle over to the side. You can delete them as you won't be needing them again.

If you accidentally move the decorative shape click Undo and try again. (Click towards the top of the small rectangle.)

Select what's left of the decorative shape and the large rectangle and again click Slice. (Check your layers box to make sure just those two images are selected.)

Click inside the decorative shape and move it to the side and you're left with....

You can delete the sliced piece (the piece on the right in the image above) as you won't be needing it again.

Your score lines will probably have gone missing again. Just send the rectangle to the back again using the Arrange button.

Adjust the height and position of your score lines so the top ones touch the top of the decorative shape and the bottom ones touch the bottom of the shape.

Drag your mouse around the rectangle to select both it and the score lines and click Attach. (Or you can select them from the Layers panel.)

That's the base layer done... now we'll create the panels for the sides and centre of the card.

Click the Insert Shapes button and add a square to your canvas.

Turn off the lock in the Edit box and change the dimensions to width 2.63" and length 5.38"

Duplicate that rectangle twice.

Change the width of one of the rectangles to 1.13". (Unlock the proportions first by clicking on the lock.)

Place the two wider rectangles on the left and right sides of the card and the other rectangle in the middle section of the card. (I've change the colour of the large rectangle at this point to make it easier to align the other rectangles.)

Select the three new rectangles then click Align, Align Top.

Move the rectangles left and right so they have equal space between them. Use the X position in the Edit box if necessary to move them .01" to the left or right.

(Make sure your DS screen isn't zoomed at this point. It's a known bug that if your screen is zoomed and you change the number in the X or Y box it won't move the object to the correct position. You must have your zoom at 100%.)

Select all four rectangles then Align, Center Vertically

Select the remaining decorative shape from the Layers panel and click on the eye next to the shadow layer to show it.

Resize it to a width of 4.37". (Don't unlock the proportions.)

Select Ungroup from the Layers menu.

Move the top layer off to the side then move the shadow layer over the rectangles of your card base.

From the Layers box select the decorative shape and the large rectangle. (Not the three smaller rectangles. You may have to click on a blank section of the canvas first to get this to work.)

Select Align, Center. The decorative shape will now be perfectly centered over the rectangles.

Click anywhere on the canvas then click on the decorative shape and the left rectangle then click Slice from the Layers menu.

Click the decorative shape and the middle rectangle and click Slice.

Click the decorative shape and the right rectangle and click Slice.

Drag your mouse around the sliced shapes (start to the left of the large rectangle) to select them, move them to the side then delete them.


Select your remaining shape and resize it to a width of 4".

Click Duplicate from the Layers panel.

Use these two shapes on the front and back of the swing section of the card.

If you want panels for the back of the card select the three existing panels and duplicate them from the Layers panel.

And call it done!

Happy crafting!  ♥


Janis said...

Thank you Narelle...Love all your help. Your awesome. I made the swing card & posted it on the FB page.

Rose Polanco said...

I can't wait for part 2 as I already have the card base cut and ready to complete. Thanks for this post.

Joan Smith said...

OMG Thanks so much for your awesome swing card. You are so smart .... gosh I just noticed too that you have cut files to share so thanks ever so much for this WOW how generous of you....I am wondering do you have video tutorials? I do have the Explore obviously and love it but not techy enough to just figure things like this out on my own...but love creating on it so thanks for everything! YOU so ROCK

Elaine said...

Thank you so much for your tutorial on the swing card. I did create one with a scalloped circle but with it closed it looks more like an oval. Is it better with rectangle cards?
#/canvas/project/ 21909343

Bonnie "Sam" Garrett said...

Since I got my Explore a few months ago I have joined quite a few groups/blogs and what nots trying to learn the in's and out of this machine - not being a newbie, I still found there was quite a learning curve for me. In any event, I wanted to tell you that I just found your site this evening and signed up. This post is the first of all I have read that actually gave me step-by-step instructions on how to complete something. This is exactly what I have been looking for! I learn so much from you this evening that all the you tube videos out there and I think I have watched everyone of them. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such great instruction, along with the photos it is more helpful than anything. I look forward to learning so much more from you.

Sandra said...

Hello Naralle, I really enjoyed this tutorial. I can't find Part 2. Is it on fb?


Narelle said...

Hi Sandra,

I completely forgot to finish part 2!!!

This week.... for sure. :)

Sandra said...

Ooh, thanks Narelle. You rock!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for this - a brilliant tutorial that was very easy to follow.

Tammy Mauer said...


You need to change your name from Non-crafty because you are AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing instructions on how to do this. I was able to walk right through it with no problems at all. Your instructions are the best! Blessings to you for sharing your talent!

Tammy Mauer said...

Hi Narelle,

Just wondering where I can find the Part 2 to this card? I am so excited to finish this project and try to cut my card out. I never would've dreamed I would be able to create this..thank you so much for the amazing instructions.

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