Monday, May 14, 2012

Direct printing: Graduation card

I guess in a recent post I confused a lot of people with the term "letterpress". To be specific, letterpress cards use soft paper, debossing and ink. I would have to purchase plates, special paper, ink and a way to apply the ink. Lifestyle Crafts has one such home item; and I still gaze upon it with desire. But, until I save some money, it will have to stay at my Archiver's.

So, in an effort to be less confusing, I will call what I am doing with my cards direct printing. Using my home printer, I print directly to my card or card parts. I use Make the Cut software for my setup; I don't need any extra plates or inks. However, there is no debossing--yet. (I am working on that one!) I like the look. It is clean and crisp. Perfect for a graduation card!

White cardstock for card layout
Word art: Graduation word list available here:
Lettering Delights Thinfont scrip set 1: cursive (OPF)
Graduation cap (with mat) available here: 
Make the Cut or similar software
Amy Chomas pen Holder
Glaze Pen (black)
Zing or other paper cutter
Assorted glues

  • Card is based upon a 4.25 x 5.5" card front
  • I set up my Amy Chomas pen holder to work perfectly with my Zing and my Glaze pen. For more information please see my video
  • First, I created the word art that was to print. I did this in MS Word, font: Engraver's, size 12. I changed select words to size 14 and bold type. I then aligned the entire selection to square. A screen capture created the graphic image that I could bring into Make the Cut and Trace. 
  • In MTC I selected Import: Trace and opened the word art file. I used settings: alpha: 155, threshold 255 and apply texturized path so that I could trace the entire image. I then selected import: no to finish.
  • I selected the font from the Lettering Delights Thin Font Script 1 (Cursive) and added the sentiment: Congratulations. 
  • I set up my card in MTC: 
Note: the largest rectangle is a "bounding box". It helps to stabilize the registration marks when turning many layers off and on. It is simply a basic shapes square sized large enough to surround the parts of the design.

Now it is a matter of selecting the correct layers to accomplish what I want to do!
  • I selected the layers that will be sent to the printer. (They are the ones with the open eye.) Note the yellow lock on the very bottom layer--it is the bounding box and will remain open for all processes!

  • I removed the blade holder and inserted my Chomas pen holder and black Glaze pen. Because the ink smears when wet, I slid the white feed gaskets to the margin of my page. (For more information be sure to watch the video.) I then selected the following layers to be sent to the Zing.  

  • When prompted I set my Zing to the following settings:
  • When the mat ejected, I selected the MTC layers to cut:

  • When prompted I returned my Zing settings to print and cut for my particular cardstock. 
  • I assembled the card quickly by stacking the layers and using pop-dots behind the hat. 
Please note: the free files are my design. They are for your personal use only. I love to share, but refer your friends to this blog. Designs will be available one month from post day. Thank you. 

The photograph does not show the shiny outline of the hat nor the writing well. That's sad because it looks really cool in person! Perhaps this will help you imagine what the finished hat looks like! 
I hope you enjoy the free files and look forward to visiting again really soon!


  1. Great card and just in time for this year's graduation season... This is the first year that I don't have any graduations.... isn't that amazing? or it could be I haven't got an invitation yet! I will keep this in mind for then. TFS

  2. I love the writing behind the cap! Thank you so much for the cap file too. Your card turned out great!

  3. Like the idea and the info..i would like to keep it in mind and will use when i need Plastic Cards Printing service..thanks for sharing it.