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Cut File Tutorial: Valentine’s Day Garland with the Cricut Maker

I don’t know about you, but once the Christmas decorations are packed up I find the house feels drab and empty. The whimsical decor and twinkling lights lend their magic to the household and brighten the spirits of those within…then suddenly, they’re gone. I’ve never really decorated for Valentine’s Day but now with a tiny human at home I have the perfect excuse to invite some of that magic back.

Don’t let the title of this post fool you, you can totally make this garland on any Cricut or without one at all! I happened to cut mine with my Cricut Maker but the instructions apply to any machine compatible with Design Space. If you’re up for some good old paper cutting, ditch the Cricut and grab some scissors, cutting mat and a craft knife!

“Alright Sades, give me that SVG! Where’s the template?” Not so fast! This is a TUTORIAL, friend. I’m going to teach you how to make your own. I created this Design Space file in literally 5 minutes, still in my jammies. I’ll walk you through each step. It’s so easy, I promise.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cricut machine and Design Space downloaded on a device (you shouldn’t require a Cricut Access Membership for this)
  • 1 standard grip (green) mat
  • 5 12”x12” sheets of cardstock in coordinating colours ( I used reds and pinks from this American Crafts cardstock pack and this pink glitter cardstock from Cricut)
  • Approximately 1.5 yards of ribbon, string or yarn
  • 1 small safety pin
  • If doing by hand, you will additionally need a cutting mat, ruler, scissors and a craft knife, scrap paper and a pencil

If you’re doing this by hand: begin by using your scrap paper and pencil to draw out a heart which will be your template. I find this easiest to do by folding your paper in half and drawing half a heart on the crease to make it symmetrical. I chose to make my hearts about the size of my hand which is roughly 5” tall. Now, trace and cut out 4 hearts per sheet of cardstock for a total of 20 hearts. Get going on that and we’ll catch up in a bit.

Okay my Cricut users, all of your supplies are gathered and it’s time to launch Design Space. Whether you choose to use your phone, tablet or desktop it doesn’t matter, the instruction will be the same. I will be showing you from my iPad. We are going to open up a new project.

Cricut Design Space App Home Screen February 9 2021

Let’s dive right in! Stay with me here, you’ll be a pro in no time at all! Select the “Shapes” tab and open up the basic heart. Now we are going to change the colour to make it easier to see the slits for our garland’s ribbon. Click or tap the heart to select it. Open up the “Edit” tab and select “Linetype” make sure the dropdown menu says cut and then select a colour that corresponds to one of your cardstock colours. Click “apply” to apply the changes.

Here we can also adjust the size of our heart. Make sure your shape is locked (pictured circled in yellow) so your shape will resize proportionately. You can either drag to resize (circled in blue) or enter your exact measurement (pink rectangle). My exact measurements are pictured here. I entered 5.1 inches into the width box and the height adjusted itself accordingly thanks to the handy lock feature.

If you’re doing this by hand, pull out your cutting mat, ruler and craft knife. Cut two slits lengthwise in the middle of each heart using the ruler, at least the width of your ribbon, about an inch apart. Do this on every heart. The length of your slits will vary based on what size ribbon you have and how large or small you have cut your hearts.

Cricut users, time to add the slits for the ribbon! Open the “Shapes” tab and choose the line. It will appear as a broken score line which we don’t want. Click on the line to select it and open up the “Edit” tab. Go back into the “linetype” function and from the dropdown menu select “cut” then click “apply”. Your line should now be a solid black line that your machine will now cut instead of score.

Still in the “Edit” tab, resize your line (mine is 0.39”) like we did with the heart. Drag the line onto the heart where you want the machine to cut the slit. Remember, we need 2 of these slits. Click on the line to select it then open the “Actions” tab. Click “duplicate” to…. well… duplicate…the line and then drag it parallel to the other line as pictured.

Final step in creating this, are you ready? Drag your mouse or finger down and over the entire image to select all three components. Select “attach” (still in the actions menu). You did it, you’ve created a NEW cut file using Design Space.

We want 4 hearts in 5 colours for a total of 20 hearts. Use the steps above to duplicate your heart and re-colour each group. When you’re done, it should look something like this:

Press make it and cut those hearts out! The reason I prefer using my Cricut to cut for me is simple- I am an awful cutter! I’m impatient and try to rush through leaving me with sore hands and inconsistent shapes. My Maker is quick and easy and I can drink my coffee while watching it do my heavy lifting. Some people find cutting things out relaxing and I applaud them, in fact I may even envy their enjoyment of cutting things out. Alas, I am who I am.

Moving on! Time to construct our garland. Take your pile of hearts, ribbon (yarn or string) and safety pin to a comfy cosy spot. Pin the safety pin securely to the end of your ribbon. This will make it easier to thread the ribbon through the slits while creating the garland. I threaded mine starting from the back, over the front and down through the next slit. Then I slid the hearts down the ribbon as I went.

I ended up threading 13 then cutting my garland into two because of space restrictions. I used the remaining cut hearts to decorate the space around the garlands. The slits for the ribbon hardly show on the unthreaded ones!

I’m so happy with how this garland turned out- I think it’s really livened up my daughter’s play space. I hope they bring her the same sense of magic everyday that they bring me. AND I hope you learned a thing or two! Let me know in the comments how you’re going to be decorating this Valentine’s Day.

Keep creating that everyday magic,

xoxo Sades.

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