November Pop 'n Cuts Card Class (w/instructions)
2013 Countdown to Christmas - Day 1!

Get Started with Pop 'n Cuts - A2 Base + Circle Stitched Framelits

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Today I want to talk to the folks who haven't yet taken the plunge with Pop 'n Cuts. I often read comments on blogs where people say they have been "resisting" the Pop 'n Cuts dies. Why resist? They're so fun!

The A2 Pop 'n Cuts Base comes prebundled with your first insert, the Circle Label, and right out of the box you can be making some wonderful dynamic pop-up cards. Add in one accessory die - the Circles & Labels Stitched Framelits, and you've got everything you need to make awesome cards.

Patterned paper is a great way to fill space quickly and economically. Most scrapbooking papers are double-sided and there is usually at least one or two papers in every collection that include cut-out embellishments - tags, captions, borders, etc. 

Another comment I hear a lot is "I don't have the (time/skills/patience/die collection) to create the elaborate cards you feature on your blog, Karen."

Good point. I do sometimes cram a lot of dies and techniques into one card and/or video. What can I say? I crave attention. Ha ha.

OK, so here's what I set out to do today. I wanted to convince people that by purchasing just the A2 Pop 'n Cuts Base with included Circle Label plus the companion Circle & Labels Stitched Framelits, that it would be easy to make a pop-up card using just a few sheets of patterned paper and a little ribbon. 


All of my supplies are linked at the bottom of this post, by the way. The patterned paper is from Bo Bunny's Elf Magic collection.

OK, let's get started on the card. I cut a 5" vertical strip from one of the papers with a great graphic in the lower right corner. What a great way to let the patterned paper do all the work for me with my interior decorations. 


When using any Pop 'n Cuts insert, just make sure that the tick marks on the insert are aligned with the tick marks on the base. This ensures that you have the insert placed correctly for a centered card. I often use washi tape on my Pop 'n Cuts bases to show me where the edges of the cut blades are. Makes for easy placement of the paper plus I can identify my different Pop 'n Cuts Base Dies very quickly by just looking at the color/shape of the tape.

You'll need Extended Cutting Pads to use Pop 'n Cuts dies, since they are long dies. After placing the paper over the die cutting area, make a sandwich between the two long cutting pads and roll through the Big Shot. Notice how beat up my cutting pads are - they will etch the image of the dies every time you use them, until eventually they have to be replaced. This is normal!


The Circle Label is a simple box pop-up. Simply get your thumbs into the "box", slide them up to find the fold across the back, scissor your fingers around the card and this will allow you to easily work that fold across the back that brings the circle label forward into the card. Find where the "box" turns down (on both sides of the label) and then close the card to find the final fold, where the circle label touches the card.


To create a backing card (to cover the hole in the pop-up card) simply remove the insert from the die and place a piece of paper over the die with nothing in it. After die cutting using the extended cutting pads, you will have a plain A2-sized card with rounded corners. Fold the card in half.

Typically with Pop 'n Cuts cards you'll want to trim down either your inner pop-up card or your outer backing card so you are not trying to align two of the same-size card, which usually results in the outer card "shifting" when you close the card. 

For my card today, I wanted to preserve a full backing card AND a full pop-up card, so the secret, in that case, is to trim the pop-up card on the center tick marks.



Use scissors to shave just a little paper out of the center tick marks on both sides of the card. This will separate the back part of the card into two halves, but the pop-up itself will keep the halves joined together. Now use a tape runner on one half of the pop-up card, align the outer rounded corners of the pop-up and the backing cards and adhere. Then add tape runner to the other half of the pop-up card (always avoid the pop-up areas with adhesive) and line up the other end's rounded corners. You'll be left with a perfectly-aligned card (no shifting!) with a little stripe of backing card visible at the center line. 


Now I'm switching to the accessory die, and my first step is to cut a frame around one of the cute little Santas in the patterned paper. After die cutting the frame using two cutting pads and the Magnetic Platform, I then switch to the Silicone and Impressions pads to do the embossing step. For this card I did a pressed-down Debossed Stitch. Learn how to do this technique in this video:



You'll see in the photo on the left the way the debossed stitches look without ink. Add a little ink to them (right photo) and they are much more visible. Since the edges of the Framelits die are also debossed during this technique, they will also be highlighted with the ink.



To finish the card's interior I used pop dots on the back of the label and stuck it to the pop-up label. I also added a border strip (cut from the patterned papers) to the card up next to the fold and behind the pop-up. For the top half, I wrapped a ribbon around the card and tied in a decorative knot.


The card front was desperately simple. I simply cut out the greeting block from a piece of the patterned paper and attached it with pop-dots.



I thought this would be the end of my blog post, but as I looked at the pile of remaining supplies it struck me that I could surely get another basic card from the leftovers.



I am not going to walk through all the steps of this card, but I did want to show how you would align your paper and die when you want to make a horizontal Circle Label pop-up card.


Still align your tick marks on the Pop 'n Cuts Base, but then arrange the die so the fold line in the insert is toward the right. Also align your paper face up as shown. After die cutting, you'll have a pop-up that works as a horizontal card:



For this card I did have to add a piece of white cardstock. I didn't have a big enough leftover piece of patterned paper that would work in the horizontal direction needed for this card's backing card. I used one half of the white cardstock as a backing card and then used the Circle Label Stitched Framelits to make a large white decorator label from the leftover cardstock for the front of the card. On this label I tried something new - doing BOTH the debossed and the embossed stitches. After inking it gave an interesting effect where the raised stitches turned red and the debossed stitches stayed white.


 For decorating the pop-up I kept it very simple, with just raised stitch lines and a present (from the patterned paper) cut with the smallest Framelits die in the set.



This is a great illustration of how patterned paper can do all the heavy lifting in a card. Simply die cut, fold and you're practically done!




I definitely thought this would be the end of my blog post, but as I looked at the meager pile of leftover materials I thought . . . could I squeeze one more card out of them?



For this card I did not use the Pop 'n Cuts die to make the backing card. Instead, I was able to get half of an A2 card from leftover patterned paper and the other half from the leftover white cardstock. Before adhering the pop-up in the card I cut two parallel slits on the upper fold line to create an extra little stair-step pop-up inside the card. I affectionately refer to those little extra stairstep platforms as "chunky" and by making one, you get an extra platform for animating, in this case, my patterned paper present and postmark.



At the end of this card I was left with only these scraps. Not too shabby!





Can you believe it? Three quick, easy and affordable cards using just the Pop 'n Cuts Base Die and Circle Label Stitched Framelits plus three sheets of double-sided paper, one sheet of cardstock, some ribbon, ink and a few pop-dots. 

Well I hope I've convinced you that Pop 'n Cuts cards do not have to cost a fortune or take a lifetime to create. If you've been "resisting", it's time to take the leap and get started! Pop-up cards are like a little bit of magic and everyone loves to receive them!

Here are some shopping links: