Circut Maker 3 Crafting Project: Party Time 3D Letter

Circut Maker 3 Crafting Project: Party Time 3D Letter main article image
Posted on July 7, 2021 by Naomi Garcia

I am totally loving my new Cricut Maker 3. It cuts so smoothly and runs so quietly. It also does cut faster, just like it was advertised. There are several articles about using the new Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Explore 3. You can find my personal unboxing story here. You can also search to find articles helping you set up your new Cricut. 

But enough technical stuff. Here’s what I want to know: Who is ready to make something fun with the fresh, new, Cricut Maker 3? I know I have a list of projects I can’t wait to try. I’d love for you to join me on my first big (kind of) project with my new machine.

Party decor is always a big hit among my friends and family. Many crafters I know who work with paper have made at least a few party favors. One of the trendy items right now is the 3D letter. They look so cute sitting on cake and gift tables.  

I created an “N” for my own name. The file that I used from Creative Fabrica includes all capital letters of the alphabet as well as numbers. The download includes 4 different file types, including SVG, which is what I used.  Let’s jump into creating our letter.

3D Letter

Materials and Supplies

  • 3D Letter file download
  • 2 sheets of 12” x 12” patterned cardstock
  • 1 sheet of letter-sized glitter cardstock
  • Craft glue
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Foam dots (to add dimension)
  • Scraps of cardstock for your name (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Scoring Wheel or Scoring Stylus
  • Cricut Maker 3 or other cutting device
  • Cricut Design Space or other design software
  • Cutting mat for your machine 
    • If you are using Cricut Smart materials, you will not need the cutting mat

The Process

Creating Your Letter in Design Space

  1. Purchase and download the 3D Letter file  from Creative Fabrica
  2. Unzip the folder
    1. Select the folder labeled “SVG”
    2. Select the folder labeled “Letters”
    3. Select the letter or letters you would like to use
  3. Upload the file(s) into your cutting software (Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio, etc.)
  4. Insert the letter onto your canvas.
  5. Before ungrouping, size your letter to your desired size.  
    1. Turn on your grid and line up your letter to one of the grid marks
    2. Use your mouse to size the entire file using the bottom right corner handle
    3. While dragging to resize, keep an eye on your letter until it the size you want
  6. Ungroup all of your pieces
  7. For the basic letter we are making you will need the front, the back, and the top outline
    1. There are 2 different sizes of outlines to choose from
    2. Delete the remaining outline letter and solid letters
    3. You should be left with the front, back, and outline.  Note that if your letter is not symmetrical, you will want to flip or mirror the back letter piece.
  8. Let’s add the score lines
    1. The small rectangular pieces will be the edges to help create the 3D effect
    2. Select one of the rectangular pieces.  It will turn gray in your layers panel
    3. In your layers panel, select the grayed out piece that is only lines, not the solid piece
    4. Go to the top left of your screen and select the drop-down menu below the tap marked “Operation”
    5. Select “Score”
    6. Repeat these steps for the remaining rectangles

Cutting Your Letter

  1. Click “make it” to send your letter to cut
  2. Choose your machine and select whether you will be cutting with or without a mat.. Or both
  3. Using the on-screen mat as a guide, prepare your mat by placing the appropriate materials on your mat
    1. You will be cutting your front and back out of the patterned cardstock
    2. The outline letter will be cut from glitter cardstock
  4. Choose the correct materials for your mat on the screen
  5. Next, be sure to select the correct tool.  You will need either a scoring wheel or a scoring stylus
  6. When prompted, load your mat
    1. The new Cricut 3 machines will take in your mat or material and roll it through to make sure you have enough material or a long enough mat for your cut
    2. A short pause at this point is normal. (I thought my new Cricut was messing up. But it wasn’t).
    3. Next, the triangle button will flash, indicating that you’re all clear and ready to cut.  
    4. Push the button and watch your Cricut work
  7. When it is time to cut any of the rectangle pieces, you will need to insert your scoring stylus in the “A” clamp or switch out the blade for the scoring wheel. This is completely up to you. I usually prefer to use the scoring stylus for light and medium cardstock.

Glitter cardstock on Maker 3 (Naomi D. Garcia)  Patterned cardstock on Maker 3 (Naomi D. Garcia)

3D Letter Pieces (Naomi D. Garcia)

Assembling Your Letter

To be honest, this is the part that I was most intimidated by at first. But in the end, it’s just like putting together a puzzle. Actually, it was lots of fun. Let’s get it done.

  1. Glue your glitter outline to the front letter and set aside
  2. Using the score lines as a guide, crease each of the rectangles
  3. Place the back letter flat on the table with the inside facing up
  4. Take your rectangles and place them along the outer edges of the letter
    1. Check that the edge of the rectangle lines up perfectly with the letter
    2. Each rectangle will have a flap on one of the short ends
    3. Be sure that 2 flaps are not placed together
    4. Take your time and double-check that your pieces are all laid out correctly
  5. One by one, use a glue pen or glue gun to attach the rectangles to the letter. I found it easiest to add the glue to the narrow flap on the rectangle and then to line it up on the letter
  6. Continue gluing until you have glued all pieces to the letter
  7. Don’t forget to glue your small flaps to the adjoining rectangle
  8. Now you can glue on your top letter

Assembling 3D Letter (Naomi D. Garcia)

That’s all that’s to it. You made a 3D letter! Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I went back into Design Space and added my name using a pretty font. Then I added an offset to my name and offset to that offset. I grouped all 3 layers together and then used my letter on the canvas to determine the size. I cut the back offset in white cardstock, the middle layer in black cardstock, and the top layer in the same glitter cardstock I used for the letter. To give it some more dimension, I attached each layer using foam dots. Much better!

Adding dimension with foam dots (Naomi D. Garcia)   Layered Name ndg

Completed 3D Letter (Naomi D. Garcia)

This 3D letter is complete. But this is not the end of this adventure by far. I have plans for using the same files to make shaker letters. The extra layers included are perfect for setting up to cut the acetate sheet and other layers needed to make a professional-looking shaker piece.

These letters are also great for decorating bedrooms and classrooms. If you’re up for it, you could even make a set of miniature letters for your preschooler to play with and enjoy. I’m thinking of gift boxes, proposal boxes, project backgrounds…  

What do you think? Have you tried making 3D letters? I’d love to see what you make. If you make these letters, please tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. I am EJsFunCrafting on all platforms. Make something fun!

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October 26, 2022

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