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One File, Three Projects – Stretching Your Resources

One File, Three Projects – Stretching Your Resources main article image
Posted on March 18, 2021 by Naomi Garcia
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I always love browsing through and looking at cut files. There are so many!  Between clipart and cut files, I can’t even guess how many files I’ve purchased and downloaded. I see one file and think, “I’d love to make a card with this.” I see another and I just know it would look great on a t-shirt. Then one pops up that I can use on a mug. Of course, there are times I just cannot decide what I’d like to do with a particular design. I just know it’s pretty and I want it.

That’s how I feel about mandalas. Mandalas have become very popular recently. At first, I only saw them as flower-type designs in coloring books. Then I began seeing them being layered and used in wall hangings and shadow boxes. I even came across layered mandala alphabet files! How could I ever decide how I’d use such beautifully designed files?

Fortunately, as creatives, there is never really only one way to use something. Whether it’s paper,  a certain tool, or fabric, there are varied uses. The same is true about files. Did you know that you can take one file and make several different types of projects from that one file? It’s true!  I’ll prove it to you. I am going to show you how I used this Layered Mandala SVG from Creative Fabrica to make 1) a layered card; 2) a shadow box display; and 3) an HTV pillow design.

Layered Card

Layered Mandala Card

Materials and Supplies

  • Layered Mandala File
  • Blank greeting card or 1 sheet of cardstock to make the card
  • 5 different colors of cardstock
  • Paper trimmer
  • Cutting machine 
  • Cutting mat
  • Glue
  • Double-sided tape
  • Dimensional adhesive dots

The Process

Basic Card

Use paper trimmer to make your card

  1. Use the sheet of cardstock you chose for the card.
  2. Use the paper trimmer to cut the 11-inch (landscape orientation) down to 5 ½ inches.
  3. Fold in half to make your card.
  4. Set aside.

Mandala

  1. Purchase and download the Layered Mandala file from Creative Fabrica
  2. Upload the file into your cutting software (Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio, etc.)
  3. Insert the Layered Mandala on your canvas.
  4. Be sure all 5 layers of the design are selected and size to 3 ½ inches
  5. If you’d like, change the colors on each layer to match the colors of cardstock you will be using.
  6. Send your design to cut.
  7. Starting with the bottom layer, glue each layer to the other.
  8. Add double-sided or dimensional tape to the back of the mandala.
  9. Adhere to the front of your card.

How easy was that?!

Shadow Box Display

Layered Mandala Shadow Box

Materials and Supplies

  • Layered Mandala File
  • Shadow box, your choice of size (I used a 5 x 7 inch box)
  • 3-5 sheets of cardstock for the mandala (all the same color)
  • 1 sheet of patterned cardstock or scrapbook paper for the background
  • Paper trimmer
  • Cutting machine 
  • Cutting mat
  • Glue
  • Double-sided tape
  • Dimensional adhesive dots

The Process

Shadow Box Preparation

Cut background to fit shadowbox

  1. Use your paper trimmer to cut your background sheet of paper to fit your shadow box.  My piece is cut to 5 x 7 inches.
  2. Use flat double-sided tape to adhere your background to the shadow box backing if desired.
  3. Set aside.

Mandala

  1. Purchase and download the Layered Mandala file from Creative Fabrica
  2. Upload the file into your cutting software (Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio, etc.)
  3. Insert the Layered Mandala on your canvas.
  4. Be sure all 5 layers of the design are selected and size according to the size of your shadow box.  I sized my mandala to 4 ½ inches.
  5. Send your design to cut.
  6. Starting with the bottom layer, glue each layer of the mandala.
  7. Use double-sided tape or dimensional foam dots to adhere the mandala to the background of your shadow box.
  8. Add any other embellishments you would like to the shadow box before closing.

You now have a beautiful shadow box display.

HTV Pillow Design

Mandala on a pillow case

Materials and Supplies

  • Layered Mandala File
  • Pillow form
  • Pillow case or cover
  • 5 different colors of iron-on vinyl
  • Cutting machine 
  • Cutting mat
  • Iron or heat press
  • Parchment paper or teflon sheet
  • Scissors

Mandala

  1. Purchase and download the Layered Mandala file from Creative Fabrica
  2. Upload the file into your cutting software (Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio, etc.)
  3. Insert the Layered Mandala on your canvas.
  4. Be sure all 5 layers of the design are selected and size according to your pillow measurements.
  5. If you’d like, change the colors on each layer to match the colors of iron-on vinyl you will be using.
  6. Send your design to cut.
  7. Be sure to MIRROR your design before actually cutting.

Adding Mandala to Pillow Case

  1. Preheat your pillow case for a few seconds.
  2. Place the bottom layer of the mandala on the pillow case.
  3. Press for 3-4 seconds, just enough to activate the adhesive.  
  4. Be sure to check the iron-on instructions so you know whether it is meant to be a warm peel or a cool peel.
  5. Gently remove the plastic liner and line up the next layer on top.
  6. Cover the design with a piece of parchment paper or teflon sheet.
  7. Press for 3-4 seconds.
  8. Repeat this process until you get to the final layer.
  9. On the final layer, press for the entire time indicated on the directions for the vinyl you are using.
  10.  Turn over the pillow case and press from the back for the full amount of time.
  11. Place the pillow form into the pillow case.

NOTE:  Alternatively, this project can be made using printable heat transfer vinyl or iron on t-shirt transfer paper. That’s what I did. Simply choose your colors while your design is on the canvas. Select all layers and “FLATTEN.”  Size it and send it to print. You can then cut it out using your cutting machine or your scissors. Apply it to your pillow case following the instructions for the transfer paper you are using.

You are done!

Can you believe how easy it can be to stretch your resources?  You probably noticed that many of the steps are identical or very similar. That’s what makes it so easy to use the design in different ways. In fact, once you’ve uploaded the file to your design software once, you won’t have to worry about doing it again.  

There are many more ideas I want to share with you about using this exact file to make different items. Think about it: t-shirts, notebooks, stickers, notecards…The list can go on and on. What will you make?  I’d love to see what you create. If you make this, please tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. I am EJsFunCrafting on all platforms.


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Comments
2 Comments
Valentina24

March 19, 2021

Really cool ideas!

Naomi Garcia's profile picture
Naomi Garcia

March 19, 2021

Author

Thank you!


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