Have you ever needed a journaling card to complete a layout, but either didn’t have the right size or one that matched your layout? This tutorial walks you through the steps to create a 3″x4″ journal card in Cricut Design Space. Using these steps, you can create any sized journal card to complete your project. First, you’ll create a basic journal card and then I’ll show you a few variations to it.
There is a video at the end of this tutorial showing the steps to creating the journal card. If you’re more of a visual person, please skip ahead and watch the video. There is also a step-by-step printable available for download in the Resource Library. Simply sign up for the newsletter and you’ll receive the password to the library.
To begin, select Shape from the left menu and then Square. Change the color of the square to a lighter color by selecting the colored square in the Operation box in the top menu. Any color is fine and doesn’t affect the end result. A lighter color simply makes it easier to work with.
The square is locked, so you can drag on the arrows in the bottom right corner to resize it, but it will keep it’s proportions. To unlock it, either select the lock in the bottom right corner of the square or the lock in the size box above the dimensions. Then change the Size to 3×4 (w=3, h=4).
Now that you have your text box, you need to add the lines. From the Shapes menu on the left, select Score Line. The line will show up vertically on your page. Use either the rotate handle (arrow going in a circle) in the top right corner of the line to drag it to a vertical position or type 90 into the Rotate box in the top menu bar. Using the rotate in the top menu bar is a better option for this because it needs to be turned exactly 90 degrees. Also, change the size of the line to 2.75″ using the Size box in the top menu (H=2.75).
The line is set to score, not to draw. To change that, use the arrow drop down menu in the top tool bar and select Pen. The box to the right will change to black. You can select any color you want. If you select multiple colors, your Cricut will draw one color at a time and pause for you to change the pen.
How many lines do you want on the journal card? How much spacing do you want between the lines and how much spacing do you want at the top of the card? For this tutorial, we are going to have a 1″ gap between the top of the card and the first line and approximately 1/2″ between each line. Therefore, we need 7 lines. Select the line and then click on Duplicate at the top of the Layers panel on the right 6 more times.
Once you have all of your lines, select and drag the top line to the correct position, about 1″ from the top. Use the grid on the Design Space canvas to help with placement. Select and drag the bottom line so it is close to the bottom edge of the card. I left one to two grid lines between the bottom line and the bottom edge of the card. Select your rectangle and drag it out of the way of the lines so it doesn’t accidentally get selected. Now select all of your lines by either click and dragging around all lines or holding down the shift key as you click on each line to select it. With all lines selected, in the top menu select Align and then Align Left from the drop down menu. All lines should now be left justified. Keeping all lines selected, now select Distribute Vertically from the Align drop down menu. Now the lines should be evenly spaced. Keeping all of the lines selected, select Group at the top of the Layers panel on the left. Now, you don’t have to worry about a line getting out of alignment as all lines act as one piece.
Now that you have all of your lines created and perfectly spaced and aligned, select them and drag them onto the rectangle. If the lines disappear when you do this, they are simply behind the rectangle. Select the rectangle and in the top menu, select Arrange and Move to Back. Select and drag the lines so the top and bottom line are the correct distance from the top and bottom. Then, select the lines and the rectangle by holding the shift key and selecting each and select Center Horizontally from the Align drop down menu. Now your lines are perfectly aligned on your journal block.
While it now looks like you have completed the journal block, you still have one final step. With the lines and the rectangle selected, click on Attach (paper clip icon) in the bottom of the Layers panel. This tells Cricut that the writing is “attached” to the paper.
Now, make sure your pen is loaded into tool holder A on your machine and the proper blade is in holder B. You are now ready to draw and cut your journal card. Congratulations!
As I mentioned at the beginning, there are some variations you can do to your journaling cards.
The first variation is to make sure everything is selected and resize it. You will need to unlock it by selecting the lock in the bottom right corner or the lock in the top menu bar above the dimensions. You may want to make it smaller so you can mat it with a paper that matches your layout.
A second variation is add a line art drawing to the card. To do this, select Images in the left menu panel and then search for the line art item you want on your card. In this example, I searched for flip flops. Select the item and the Insert Item and it will appear on your canvas. Resize the item to the desired size and make sure Pen is selected in the Operation box of the top menu bar. You can select a different color if you prefer. If you have multiple colors of pens on your journaling card, Cricut will do one color, pause until you change the pen and then continue when you select the flashing Cricut button on your cutter.
Now that you have your line art in place on your card, you will see that you have lines going through your item. You will need to work backwards and then re-do a few steps to fix this. Start by selecting the card and lines. At the bottom of the Layers panel, Attach now says Detach and the paperclip is broken. Once you select Detach, the lines will be free to be resized. I suggest using the Size box in the top menu to resize the lines and only the ones that interfere with the design. Now that all of the lines are resized, go through the steps of selecting the lines, Align and Align Left and then Center Horizontally to give them proper alignment and spacing. Move them onto the rectangle, the proper distance from the top and bottom and select Center Horizontally. Move your line art into place, select everything and then Attach at the bottom of the layers panel. Now you are good to go.