Hello Cocoa Vanilla friends, and welcome back to cutfile week! I am not a pro when it comes to using cut files but I have a few tips and supplies to make them a bit more accessible. I’m scrapping a selfie this week that I took on my 29th birthday and I’m using the Happiness collection as well as a cut file from the Cut To You shop for Cocoa Vanilla.

I started but cutting the florals on white cardstock and cutting an offset piece on vellum. I knew I wanted a more abstract look rather than perfect backing, and I knew I wanted to make my own backing paper using watercolor paper and Distress Oxides and the vellum would be perfect to mask any imperfections. I can’t take any credit for this idea – I borrowed it from my friend, Laura Wonsik. So for tip number 1: get to know your design software. I’ve had a Silhouette for years and I’m just learning all of its features like offsetting and print and cut. Watch some YouTube videos and give yourself time to play before you actually sit down to make your project.
After cutting my elements and making my watercolor backgrounds, I traced the floral pieces, roughly cut it and adhered it to my cut file. This brings me to tip number 2: gather supplies. For cutfiles, a sharp pencil for tracing, a fine tipped pair of scissors, a fine tipped glue bottle and some clear vellum safe adhesive will go a long way. My fussy cut scissors are from EK Tools and I keep my glue in an 18 gauge Fineline bottle.
Once my cut file elements were ready, the rest of the layout was easy to assemble. I ripped off some patterned paper to add some interest to my background, matted my photo with some papers from the 6×8 paper pad, and embellished using the die cut ephemera and the cardstock stickers. My title came from the cardstock title pack and I popped a few elements up on foam to add some dimension to the page.
That’s it for me this week! I hope you found some inspiration here as well as some tips to demystify the cutting machine. Till next time, keep it crafty friends.

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