Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Written tutorial for Creating luminaries
Written tutorials you can refer to when you’re a beginner to Cricut Design Space, are helpful.
That’s why I’ve written this step-by-step guide to creating luminaries.
Use this tutorial as a guide to creating your own beautiful luminaries.
Design them for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, weddings.
In fact, any celebration would look that bit better with a luminary designed to suit the occasion.
The list of possibilities is endless.
Remember, there’s a video tutorial too
I love a good video tutorial.
That’s why I always start with a video. You can find my video tutorial to help you begin creating luminaries here.
This short video will give you a taster.
Let’s start creating luminaries
Vellum for translucent panels
Step 1 Create your luminary template
Begin by opening a new blank canvas in Cricut Design Space.
Now, we’ll create your luminary frame. Using the measurements from your battery-operated candle, select the square from the ‘Shapes’ menu on the canvas’s left.
Click on the lock symbol at the corner of the square so you can change the size as you need.
To determine your luminary’s cut size, double the width measurement and add a further 1/2″. The 1/2″ you add on will be the tab you use to connect your luminary pieces later.
Make the height whatever you want it to be for the finished luminary.
As a guide, I like to create my luminaries an inch wider than the battery candle. I also add around an inch to the height as I don’t want to see the candle’s top when the luminary is in place.
It’s really a personal choice.
Step 2 Create the score lines
The option for creating score lines is also in the Shapes menu.
Click on the scoreline, and CDS will put the scoreline on your canvas. Move it into place 1/2″ in from the right-hand edge of your template.
Now, right-click on that scoreline and create a duplicate that you will move into place at the template’s halfway point. To know where that is, place the line at the width of the candle you measured. For example, if you want your luminary to be 4″ wide, place your score line at the 4″ point.
Step 3 Make the cut out sides of your luminary
It’s time to create the windows in your luminary template.
These ‘windows’ are the cutouts you will fill with your chosen design and back with transparent paper to allow the candlelight to shine through.
Use the square shape again for this step.
Size the square, and be sure to overlay it on your template to allow enough of a border around all 4 sides. The frame needs to be wide enough to apply glue to attach to your transparent windows when you create your luminary after it’s cut.
Now, align your two windows using the ‘Align’ drop down box in the top menu bar.
Step 4 ‘Cut out’ your luminary windows
Before you cut out the windows of your luminary, remember to hide the score lines. See picture 1 below.
Next, select the windows and the frame of your luminary and use the ‘Weld’ command in the screen’s bottom right. See picture 2 below.
When you have completed the weld, you can now select the windows and the frame and use the ‘slice’ command. You’ll find that in the lower right next to the weld command.
Move your frame to the side and delete the cut outs leaving your luminary ready to add your designs.
Note: there is no un-weld command in CDS. If you want to undo a weld action, use the Undo command on your keyboard before doing anything else. That’s cmnd+z on a Mac and ctrl+z on a windows PC.
Your new slice result will now be showing in your layers panel.
Step 5 Create additional frames by duplicating and resizing
At this stage, if you’re making more than one luminary, make life easier by duplicating the frame you just created and resize it.
On the video tutorial, you’ll see me attach the score lines at this point too. It’s optional; you can connect them now (you need to hide them again later when you weld your designs onto your frame) or leave them until your design is complete.
Step 6 Choose your designs
It’s time to choose your design and start creating luminaries.
I find ‘Images’ is a great source of inspiration. Just type in the occasion you’re making your luminary for and start your search.
For example. When I was making a luminary for Valentine’s day, I searched on cupid, then hearts, and found some great heart frames to use. I used the text option to add the word Love and chose a font that I liked.
For a birthday gift, I used images of balloons and a wrapped gift, plus a happy smile and the words Happy Birthday.
With wording and fonts, make sure the letters are connected or they won’t cut out as you expect.
You can connect letters for words you create yourself. See this short video to show you how.
But this is a written tutorial.
So, to edit the spacing of the letters in a word, you can use the letter space option that you’ll find just below the top menu bar in CDS.
If that doesn’t work, select the word or words, and then ‘ungroup.’ Now, you can move individual letters and then group them again when you’re finished.
Remember: once you have ungrouped and edited letters within a word or phrase, you cannot then amend them by double-clicking.
Step 7 Move your images into the luminary frame
Decision point. Before you move your images into place, decide if you want to have all 4 sides showing different pictures. Or if you’ll add a design to just two sides and then duplicate them for the remaining two sides.
The image shown above is my birthday luminary where I duplicated two sides rather then design all four sides differently.
If you want to have four different sides, duplicate your frame now and then add in your images.
Begin to resize and move your chosen images and/or phrases into the windows of your luminary frame.
The main thing to watch out for here, is that your images connect to the frame.
I would suggest that they connect at a minimum of two points, although three is better.
Ideally, the image will overlap the frame a little.
Play with the size and placement of your images until you have something you’re happy with.
Feel free to discard images and find others. Alternatively, duplicate the images you’ve chosen and position them differently on the other sides of your luminary.
Step 8 Creating your cut file
Before you go to ‘Make It’ in CDS, you must Weld your luminary.
If you don’t , your Cricut will cut around each of the designs within the frame and you’ll just end up with a mess. And wasted materials.
The image above is, as far as your Cricut machine is concerned, 4 separate objects. Not one object to be cut.
Remember: if you attached your score lines earlier, you’ll need to hide them for now.
Select the slice layer – your luminary frame – and the images and then ‘Weld’ them together as in the next picture.
Next, choose a colour for your luminary.
Finally, show your score lines on your frame and attach them to make sure they transfer to your Cricut.
If you are duplicating the two sides, do that now.
Step 9 Make the translucent windows for your luminary
This final step is simple.
Choose the square from the Shapes menu and resize it to fit the window of your luminary, with some overlap at each edge sufficient to glue it to the back of your frame.
To help you get the size right, move the shape over the window of your luminary.
Now chose ‘send to back’ from the ‘Arrange’ drop down menu at the top of the screen.
When you are happy that there will be sufficient overlap to glue the transparent window in place, you can lock the shape’s size and duplicate it 3 times.
You’re now ready to send your design to your Cricut.
Take a minute or so to check the mats and the layout and you’re good to go.
Tip: I selected tissue paper as the material for my translucent windows. My Cricut used the rotary blade to cut those out, and it worked brilliantly on my vellum sheet.
Step 10 glue your luminary together
To assemble my luminary I used spray glue, which was my favourite for this project.
I also got results from using a glue stick on the valentine luminary. I used the glue stick’s edge to apply just a little glue to my design’s primary shapes.
Finally, I used double sided tape on the overlaps.
Your luminary is complete
Creating luminaries is satisfying and simple, once you get the hang of it.
I hope you enjoy creating your own luminaries and that you’ll join me for future tutorials in The Beginners Guide to Cricut series.
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