Monday, August 18, 2014

My blog and I are finally out of "retirement" thanks to Cricut! Okay, so I wasn't exactly "retired" from blogging. More like inexperienced, forgetful, Pinterest-ing, you get it.

So here's the deal about the Cricut "Box It Up" cartridge. It is one that requires the Universal Overlay. I bought this several months ago and have had nothing but grief...until this week. Finally, some success!  I searched the internet for MONTHS trying to find some information or tutorials on how to use the cart and the booklet, but to no avail. I found one really nice YouTube video that didn't explain what I needed, which is how to understand the daggone booklet! So, I dove in myself to find out, and with some considerable trial and error, I managed to make 5 boxes and learn a few things.

1. As of Aug 2014, the Box It Up cartridge did not appear in the Cricut Gypsy library despite attempts to update, so it was time to use my Expression the "old fashioned" way and actually insert the cartridge into the machine! Gasp and clutch the pearls!

2. The booklet. 103 pages of confusion for me. Although the inside cover of the booklet implores one to find handbook instructions at, there was absolutely nothing helpful there for this cart.

Right off the bat you will see color pictures of all the boxes (helpful), numbered with odd numbers 1-99 (not helpful) until I  finally figured out that these were page numbers. Doh! (I wonder if all those hours of binge watching OITNB have fried my brain?)  Moving on.

3. Let's explore and cut a box. The first I tried is on page 67 (the pink and green one in my pic).  This box is number 34 on the universal keypad overlay.  Like most of the boxes there are no measurements included, so I kept lowering the number and hitting "cut" until it worked--the largest I could cut was 3.5" which turns out to be a very nice sized box 3.5" tall, 3.5" deep  and @ 7" wide.  

I have never used other box carts so this layout was unfamiliar to me.

Using page 67, box  34 as an example, here is what I eventually figured out:
  • Page 67:
    • There is a pic of the completed box and the number to press on the overlay. When you cut you will get the image at the bottom.
  • Page 68: 
    • The page shows 2 columns and 3 rows. The first image (Col 1/Row 1) showing lines  and boxes labeled "F1+34" refers to the score lines for the main image shown on the bottom of page 67.
    • (Col 2/ Row 1)The image labeled F2+34 is the second piece of the box you need to cut and connect to the piece on page 67.
    • (Col 1/ Row 2) labeled F3+ 34 are the score lines for the image above labeled F2+34.
    • (Col 2/Row 2) labeled F4+34 is the lid
    • (Col 1/Row 3) labeled F5+34 are the score lines for the lid
    • (Col 2/Row 3) labeled F6+ 34 are the inside pages to go behind the cut out images on the box and lid.
Each 2-page layout for the boxes and lids follows the same, weird pattern, although some of the tall boxes do actually include the max height in inches you can cut. For those that don't show the max size box I wrote it in my booklet so I would know for the next time.
  • Page 101 - 103 are not numbered, but they are the last images in the booklet and show you how to glue and put together the boxes and lids.  This is very helpful!

4. Scoring! Now I do not have a Cricut scoring blade, but I do have my trusty Scoreboard, so I thought I could skip the scoring part on the machine and just"eye ball" the lines.  It worked kinda sorta, but it was not exact, and you end up with a wonky box with some strange extra length.  I finally decided to dust off my old Cricut markers and gel pens, and that did the trick! Let me give an example:
  • I first cut out box 34. Then, WITHOUT REMOVING THE MAT, I pushed Load Mat on the overlay so the paper stayed in place and the blade housing returned to the start of the cut. 
  • Next I removed the blade an inserted the Cricut marker or gel pen. I selected F1+34 and cut again, this time drawing the score lines on the box.  I removed the box and scored using my Scoreboard. I kept the ink lines on the inside when I folded the box.
  • Repeat this process after you cut out the other half of the box and the lid. It took a few extra minutes but was well worth it!

Okay--that's it for my first entry in 2 year and my first ever tutorial! Woo hoo!

Maria CraftyMACJ

About Me

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What’s in a Name? I have been affectionately called many names over the years, from MAC, MacGyver and Mama Long Legs to Ria, Ri Ri, Sis and even Craft-o-matic! My favorite names to be called, however, are Honey by my wonderful and creative husband of nearly 16 years, and Mommy by my intelligent, funny and also creative 8 1/2 year old fraternal twin sons. Outside of the home I have been called Attorney and PR Specialist, but I most enjoy being called Craft Teacher and Friend. It is my goal in life to eventually call everyone I meet Crafter, because I believe anyone can be creative, and every little act of creativity enriches your soul. Peace and Blessings, Maria Carey Jackson, A proud Craft Junkie!