5 Little Monsters: Snowflake Mandala with Cricut Maker 3

Snowflake Mandala with Cricut Maker 3

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When I got my Cricut Maker 3 I knew I wanted my first project to be using some of the new Smart Materials, and the one I was the most excited to try was the Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock. I thought it would make paper crafting so much easier because there wouldn't be a need for glue or other adhesives.

One of the cool features of the Maker 3 and Explore 3 machines is their ability to cut the compatible Smart Materials without needing a mat. The 3 Smart Material options include Smart Iron On, Smart Vinyl, and the Sticker Cardstock. I have tried Smart Materials before with the Cricut Joy, and the biggest bonus to the iron on and vinyl, besides the meatless cutting, is the fact that you can cut longer than the 12 or 24 inches you are limited to with the mat. 

For this project though, like I said earlier, I wanted to use the sticker cardstock. I have wanted to try one of these layered cardstock designs for a while, but I don't love projects that require a lot of gluing. I feel like I always make a mess, though that may be more of a me problem than a problem that most people have. But regardless, the idea of having to glue together lots of layers of intricately cut cardstock was not very appealing to me. The thought of just sticking them together without any extra work on my part sounded a lot better. 

Cutting the layers went really smoothly. Not needing a mat made the process even smoother because not only did it save the time of switching out materials, but the biggest plus I found is that normally when you are pulling cardstock or paper off of the mat it curls up. You can help prevent a little bit of this by pulling the mat off of the paper rather than the paper off of the mat, but it can curl a little bit. Taking away the need to stick the cardstock to the mat completely does away with that problem. 

I was a little bit nervous about how easy it would be to get the placement just right, but that part also was no problem at all. I think the fact that you are working with cardstock, so it is a little stiffer, made it really easy to get it lined up right where you wanted it before you stick it down. 

All in all this was a really fast and easy project, and fun to make. The one downside I would say there is is that there is not a huge color selection. A lot of the layered paper/mandala style projects ask for multiple shades of one color and you don't really have that option here. You can get black, white, a pack of bright colors with 5 colors (red, yellow, blue, green, and orange), and a pastel pack with 5 colors (green, blue, pink, purple, and yellow). That can make it a little hard to find all of the colors you need for this type of project. The design that I used called for 3 shades of blue and white, but since I only had 2 shades of blue I used purple for my 3rd color. I think it worked and the purple is pretty with the blues, but that is the one complaint that I have. 

How to Make a Layered Snowflake Mandala

You will need:


Paint the inside of the back of the panel white, and the raised edge (which will become your frame) brown. When I am painting a frame I like to have more of a stained look and the easiest way to do this using regular acrylic craft paint is to paint on a layer and then with a baby wipe or a damp rag wipe it off. This gives kind of a thinned, stained look, where you can still see some of the wood grain, rather than just a solid color frame. Set your panel aside to dry.

Open the Mandala Snowflake Sign Design Space File, or search layered mandalas in Design Space to find the design that you would like to use. 

Measure the area inside of the frame of your panel and resize your design as necessary to fit in that space. 

Cut the layers following the prompts on the cut screen. Select no mat and then Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock as your materials. 

Once your pieces are all cut out cut off you are ready to assemble your pieces. Starting with the back piece  (purple) pull of all of the excess paper leaving only the snowflake cutout left on the backing. Then take your second layer (blue) and place it carefully on the back layer, lining up all of the points and edges. Repeat with the next layer (light blue), placing it carefully on top of the second layer. Repeat one last time with the top layer (white) placing it on the center of the snowflake, lining everything up with the layer below. 

Peel the layered snowflake off of the backing and place carefully in the center of your frame. Make sure the paint is fully dry before applying. 

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