Day 21 of the 24 Days of Christmas Crafting!
The goal for these 24 days is to give you ideas for hand-crafted Christmas decorations for your tree and home. Come back each day to try the next craft. 24 Days of Christmas Crafting!
This winter scene can be rearranged throughout the holiday and stores flat until next year. I cut it from chipboard on my Cricut Maker. You could also cut them using a saw that will get around the smaller curves.
This was my first attempt at using my Cricut Maker to cut chipboard. I did it on the first try so you can too!
Materials and Supplies
- 2 sheets of Heavy Chipboard (2.0 mm thickness). I used the Cricut brand of chipboard.
- Strong grip cutting mat for your craft machine
- Pattern from my Resource Library
- 1 Basswood blank 1/4″ x 4″ x 12″
- 5 Basswood strips 1/8″ x 1/4″ x 24″
- Various colors of craft acrylics
- Paint brushes
Preparing to Cut Chipboard
Cutting chipboard on the Cricut Maker is a different process than cutting paper or vinyl. There are things you will have to do before you can begin. This information is from what I read on Cricut’s website and what I experienced.
Use the strong grip cutting mat. The reason for this is when pieces get cut all the way through, you want them to stay stuck to the mat until everything else is done. Having a piece pop out and getting into the mechanism would be bad for your Maker.
Tape Chipboard to Mat
While the strong grip mat is strong, it is not quite strong enough to hold that chipboard in place while cutting under those forces. It is okay if your tape ends up within the cutting area. You can just peel that tape off of the cut pieces when the project is done. Do not fold the tape under the mat as this can interfere with the traction the rollers have on the mat.
Until I did this project, I did not even know what those were things were called or that you could move them. I am learning a lot about my Cricut Maker in these projects. The Star Rollers are the white rollers that are bumpy. Slide them all the way to the right side of the Cricut. Otherwise, they can leave tracks on your chipboard. I found them very had to move but I assume it is because it was the first time I ever moved them.
Of all the Cricut machines so far, you can only cut chipboard on the Cricut Maker. The other models of Cricut machines do not have the ability to use the Deep Knife Blade. The housing for this blade has a toothed gear at the top that fits into the Cricut Maker. This was the second project I used with the Deep Knife Blade (the first was the veneer JOY plaques). My knife was still pretty new for this project. If you use the Deep Knife Blade a lot, you may want a new blade.
It took my Cricut Maker just over two hours to cut the first set of designs and about an hour-and-a-half to cut the second set of designs. While it takes a while to cut, you do not want to leave it unattended all the time it is cutting. I started the cut and then worked on other things in my craft room. That allowed me to go check on the cut every couple of passes. This turned out to be good plan because one of the small cutouts started to produce debris that I easily brushed off. So, be patient and keep an eye on your cuts.
Making the Chipboard Scenery
There are two separate .SVG files in the ZIP file in my Resource Library. Each one contains different figures for cutting.
Read the section above on preparing to cut the pieces.
After cutting, keep the scraps until the end of the project. You will use a couple of the scrap pieces later.
Paint the individual pieces to suit your style. I painted them all solid colors to be silhouettes. If you have more time and want to get creative, you could do detail painting on them.
Making the Slotted Stand
The base for the scenery pieces are pieces of basswood I picked up at the craft store. You should be able to find these at any craft or hobby store. If you do not have ready access craft stores and have to buy online, the dimensions of the wood pieces are in the list of Materials and Supplies near the top of this post.
Cut the basswood strips to fit the length of the base board. I did this by laying the strips on the base board and marked them with a pencil. I used just a regular ol’ hand saw to cut them. A carpet knife probably would have worked.
After cutting, sand the rough cut ends. Lightly sand all edges of all the wood pieces and wipe off the dust left from sanding.
Making the Slots
Draw a pencil line half an inch from the front edge of the base board.
Apply glue to the narrow edge on one of the strips and place it against the pencil line. Lightly press the wood pieces together. Wipe up any glue that seeps out. A damp cotton swab works well for this. Make sure the strip is still aligned to the pencil line. Set aside and let the glue set. Depending on the glue you use, it could be set in just a few minutes. I used a wood glue.
Use some of the scraps from the chipboard cuts to act as spacers. Set these pieces against the first glued strip and place another strip against it. Do not make this a snug placement. You will need some space for the chipboard pieces plus the layers of paint that will go on the chipboard pieces and on the completed slotted base. Mark this position with a pencil line and glue the second strip in place.
Here is a video of me setting in the second basswood strip.
Keep adding strips in the same manner.
Repeat the above steps until all the strips are in place. When the glue has dried, paint the base. I chose to paint mine white (using two coats of paint), as if it was a snow-covered ground. For the first coat of paint, I watered it down to help the paint flow into all the corners.
I then repeated with a second coat of paint that was not watered down.
Time to Decorate!
When all the paint is dry, you can start arranging the chipboard scenery figures.
Have fun with your new winter scene!
- Invite guests to make their own arrangement
- Give the kids their own day to rearrange the figures
- Hide a piece of the scenery in the house and the first one to find it gets to make a new arrangement
- Or, just set it the way you like it and enjoy!
Come back each day for a new project in the 24 Days of Christmas Crafting!