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Fold & Tuck Cards using your Silhouette

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Have you seen the latest batch of Fold & Tuck Cards by Lori Whitlock in the Silhouette Design Store? They are SO cool! Although they look really complicated, they are surprisingly easy to make…once you get them set up correctly in Silhouette Studio. And today I’m going to show you exactly how to do just that – plus a few ways to change them up a little!

Are you new to the Silhouette world and need help getting started? Check out my online course Getting Started with Your Silhouette: First Steps to Silhouette Success! It will boost your crafting confidence and get you well on your way to creating beautiful things with your Silhouette!

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What You’ll Need

Choosing Papers

When making a Fold & Tuck card, you can mix and match papers to get a variety of looks. The main thing to keep in mind is that the paper you choose for the fold & tuck portion of the design should be the same color on both sides. If you’re using solid color cardstock, this isn’t a problem, but many patterned papers are either white on the back or have a different pattern than what’s shown on the front. Those do not work well.

The background piece (the part that shows through the cutouts) can be cut from either solid or patterned paper/cardstock. If using patterned paper, choose one that has enough contrast for the cutout to take center-stage. I had several different patterned papers in mind that ended up not working well because the cutout more or less blended in with the background.

The best way to “audition” your background paper is to complete the tuck and fold section first and then place it over the background option to see how it looks before cutting the background paper to size.

Combining pattern paper with solid cardstock

Other good choices for the background are vellum or specialty cardstocks such as glitter or metallic.

Setting up the file in Silhouette Studio

All screenshots are from Silhouette Studio, version 4.3.370.

Lori’s files (even the ones sold in the Silhouette Design Store) can be used with a variety of different cutting machines, so they often include pieces that you don’t need for the Silhouette.

The example I’m using here is the A2 Insert Card Tuck Fold Happy Birthday, Design ID 319856. You may find some variation in pieces included with other designs but they all should be similar.

When the file is opened in Silhouette Studio, it looks like this:

Page Size: 8.5 inches x 11 inches
Orientation: Portrait

Silhouette Studio Fold & Tuck Card

Some pieces are stacked on top of one another but once they are separated out, you’ll see:

Silhouette Studio Fold & Tuck Card

Note: “A2” refers to a standard 4.25 inch x 5.5 inch card, which is 1/4 of a letter-size sheet of paper/cardstock.

  • A – A2 card front
  • B – sentiment
  • C – 4 inch x 5.25 inch background piece
  • D – Cutout design only
  • E – Card base with cutout design and score line (folds to A2 size)
  • F – Plain card base with score line (folds to A2 size)

Depending on which version of Studio you are using, the cut lines may appear very faint. If so, check to see if the Line Weight is 0.10 (or anything other than 0.0). If so, change the Line Weight to 0.0 and the cut lines should look darker.

Silhouette Studio Line Weight
Silhouette Studio Line Weight

The pieces you can delete will depend on how you want your finished card to look. There are several different combinations you can try, but I’ll show you three that I made.

Option 1: Basic Fold & Tuck Card

The basic Fold & Tuck card is so simple that it doesn’t even require glue!

Delete pieces A, B, D, and F. Move piece C into the grey holding area to use later.

Rotate piece E by 90 degrees and position within the cut borders of the design page.

Silhouette Studio Fold & Tuck Card

To print the sentiment:

  1. Turn on Registration Marks.
  2. Ungroup the sentiment from the cutout. (You may need to ungroup twice – once to ungroup the score line from the card base and a second time to ungroup the sentiment from the cutout.)
  3. Select the sentiment. Change the Fill Color and Line Color to the desired color. Change the Line Weight to 1.0pt.
  1. Print the page onto cardstock.
  2. In the Send Panel, select the sentiment and choose No Cut. Select the cutout design and choose Cut.
Silhouette Studio Send Panel
  1. Cut the page on your Silhouette.

To sketch the sentiment, use the Cut by Line Color feature to assign a Sketch action to the sentiment and a Cut action to the card base. Be sure to add a pause in between the actions if you are using a Silhouette machine with only one tool holder or a machine that requires the sketch pen to be used in the same tool holder as the blade you are using to cut.

Silhouette Studio Send Panel

Cut the background paper on your Silhouette using piece C or use a paper trimmer to cut by hand to 4 inches x 5.25 inches.

Assemble the card (see further instructions below).

Fold & Tuck Card

Option 2: Fold & Tuck Card with Contrasting Card Front

With this option, the cutout portion is cut slightly smaller than the card front and adhered to the card base.

Delete pieces A, B, and E. Move pieces C & F into the grey holding area to use later. (Be sure that the score lines are grouped with piece F before you move it.)

Silhouette Studio Fold & Tuck Card

To create the card front:

  1. Select piece D and ungroup the sentiment from the cutout portion.
  2. Select the cutout portion and release the compound path. (Don’t panic when you see all the tiny little bounding boxes!)
  1. With all the individual pieces still selected, hold down the SHIFT key and click on each of the four small corner cutouts to deselect them.
  2. Group the remainder of the individual pieces together.
Silhouette Studio Fold & Tuck Card
  1. Delete the corner pieces and group the cutouts with the sentiment.
  2. Center the cutout/sentiment portion within piece C. If you are going to make the sentiment into a Print & Cut, be sure to change the Fill Color of piece C to transparent.
Fold & Tuck Card

Print or sketch the card sentiment and cut the design following the same directions as Option 1.

Cut the card base on your Silhouette using piece F or use a paper trimmer to cut a piece of cardstock 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches and fold in half.

Fold and tuck the cutouts and adhere the cutout design to the front of the card base, adding a layer of patterned paper between the cutout and the card base if desired.

Fold & Tuck cards

Option 3: Add a Print & Cut Design

A few of the Fold & Tuck card designs lend themselves to adding your own sentiment using the Text Tool or a purchased design.

In this example, I used Design ID 319893, Insert Card Tuck Fold Circle and Design ID 92866, Happy Birthday phrase.

Once you’ve set up your cutout portion (the card base), open your Silhouette Library and double-click on the thumbnail of the Happy Birthday phrase.

Resize the design and position it on the card base. Change the Fill Color and Line Color as desired. Be sure that no portion of the design overlaps the cut lines of the fold & tuck section.

Turn on Registration Marks and rotate the card design to fit within the cross-hatched areas and print border of the page.

Silhouette Studio Print & Cut

Print the page onto cardstock.

In the Send Panel, select the sentiment and choose No Cut. Select the cutout design and choose Cut.

Silhouette Studio Send Panel

Cut the page on your Silhouette and assemble the card.

Fold & Tuck Card

Assembling the Fold & Tuck Card

To assemble the card, you’ll need a tool with a flat, straight-edge such as a squeegee or a small spatula.

Slip the tool under a single cutout section and fold the cutout over, making a sharp crease along the score line.

Fold & Tuck card

Tuck the folded piece underneath the neighboring tab. I find it easiest to work in a clockwise direction for round designs and from the outer edges toward the center for horizontal designs.

Fold & Tuck card

When all the pieces have been folded & tucked, use your squeegee or spatula to burnish the fold lines once more for a nice, smooth finish.

Place the background paper behind the cutouts, tucking each corner of the background paper into the corner slots so that the background paper shows through on the front.

For more detailed instructions, check out Lori’s YouTube tutorial. The assembly portion begins at approximately the 12:00 mark.

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I hope this tutorial has made it easier to understand how to set up a Fold & Tuck card design in Silhouette Studio as well as the many possibilities there are when using these designs. If you decide to create some on your own, I’d love for you to share them in the Silhouette Crafters by Design Facebook group. It’s a great way to inspire others!

Until next time,

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