Category Archives: Halloween

Sizzix Village Manor Project Ideas

by Richelle Naeglevillage-manor-haunted

Do you love Tim Holtz Village dies? I sure do, and the more you look at these little buildings, the more you will discover ways to add your own unique modifications. The Village manor die set, for example, could be just a regular Victorian style home if you chose the right cardstock for the job, as opposed to making it a Halloween-themed haunted house. You could also use the Village surf shack die set and make it a love shack for Valentine’s day. Now that I think of it, I will probably do a Christmas twist on that beach theme (stay tuned). You get the idea. You don’t have to use the dies the way the designer intended them.

Since it’s Halloween, I decided to take on the Village Manor and make it a fun Halloween house. We don’t do scary Halloween at my house (yet), The kids are still small and don’t want to freak them out. I came up with a less haunted version of a haunted house!

The first thing to know about this house is you have to have the Village Dwelling die set for the foundation. You have to have this die in order to make any of the other houses, with the exception of the Village Brownstone. So if you want to make any of the houses, be sure to get the Village Dwelling dies, as well.

The most difficult part of making this house was picking out which patterned paper and colored cardstock to use! Isn’t that the truth about most craft projects, though? I have the hardest time deciding which paper to use. The body of this house is from a Simple Stories paper stackThe roof is a corrugated black paper, which was a great choice. It has a little bit of weight to it so that helps with the stability of the house.

I watched this Tim Holtz tutorial on How to make the Village Dwelling. Not only did he help to give me ideas of how to make the house nice and sturdy (hint: cut it out twice and glue them together – use any cheap paper for the interior). It’s a great tip and made the base of the house nice and sturdy without a lot of extra work.

After you get the house together, the rest of the building comes together quickly and easily! Then you decorate however you see fit: cobwebs, bats, whatever.

The fun part about this house is you can place a tea-light under the house and it glows. I tried taking pictures of it, but they didn’t turn out so well. I did find a tip online that suggested cutting out the roof of the house in the middle that way the light can shine all the way up to the top windows. I did that as well. It turned out cool and does make it so the lights shine thought the whole house.

I know you are dying to make one of these houses. So whichever you decide to create, share them with me on Facebook! I would love to see your Sizzix Village Manor Project Ideas! Save on all of our Sizzix dies, as well as Tim Holtz designs.

Check out our Sizzix Village Surf Shack project.

Happy Halloween creating!

October 2016 Free SVG Designs: Halloween Card SVG’s, Calendar SVG’s

Fall is here and it’s time to get ready for Halloween! We have calendar updates, as well as cards so that you can get ready for this favorite holiday. As always, these free .svg design downloads feature the work of the talented Aaron Meyers. Please tell your friends all about these free downloads!

Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find the download links. Use the files with electronic electronic cutters to make these designs come to life with your favorite colored cardstock. If you don’t see the download links, it means you need to click on the blog post title. The links won’t appear in the feed. Here are the free October designs:

jack o lantern card example svg download

To kick things off, this Jack-O-Lantern card seems like a great choice.

what if you fly .svg gallery print example

This makes for a great gallery print or framed decoration. You’ll find it at the bottom of the page labeled What If You Fly print.

happy halloween card svg download example

This unique card design is called Happy Halloween (Bat).

halloween party svg download card example

Get this scary card design that’s perfect for your upcoming haunted house event. This is the Halloween Party card.

calendar october svg example

The October calendar comes with these cute book end images at the top, as well as the Apple icon and the Jack-O-Lantern icon. Come back next month to check out the November Thanksgiving designs and in the meantime, we hope you enjoy these new ones. From, we wish you a happy Halloween and a wonderful fall full of beautiful colors and fun crafts.

While you are here, you might as well save on Halloween Cricut cartridges. We also have a nice selection of cardstock packs, like Core’dinations. Happy creating!

MINC Foil Projects

by Richelle Naegle

One of my favorite products to use is the MINC foil machine. I think this machine helps to add a lot of variety and creativity to my craft projects. I don’t always remember to get it out and use it, so I’ve made an extra effort lately to use it to its fullest. Heidi Swapp has come out with some great new products that make adding foil to anything quick and easy, without the use of a laser printer.paper1

paper2The first of these products is MINC Reactive paint. It works great for quickly adding foil to any place on your paper. I took a regular sheet (pictured to the right) of 6 x 6 paper and a small paint brush along with the reactive paint. Just squeeze a small amount onto a little piece of wax paper and simply paint where ever you want the foil to be. Then let the paint completely dry (in this case it took about 10 minutes). Pro tip: you can use your blow dryer to speed up the drying process.

Once it is completely dry, cover it with foil and run it though your machine. I would suggest using a different MINC transfer folder for this. If not, this project can compromise the next by leaving excess paint and foil on your machine. You can see with the picture to the left how some of the dots have foil on them. I love this helpful product. It will make it so much easier to add that little pop of foil to your next project.

Heidi Swapp also has the MINC toner pen, which is perfect for adding foil to something that you have handwritten, or for touching up a spot that your laser printer missed. We also have MINC reactive mist and you can see Heidi Swapp’s video here on the reactive mist. Watch the pro as she uses it so you can get creative and make beautiful projects with your MINC foil applicator.

Also you can foil your vinyl to create fun vinyl projects with more brilliance using your MINC foil applicator. If you missed the post on how easy this is to do, you can read it: How to Foil Your Vinyl Material!

pinwheelsI have a party coming up and I thought adding foil to these fun pinwheels would be a great idea. They have toner on both sides, which allowed me to add different colors and patterns.pinwheel up close My absolute favorite to make was the one using the houndstooth design with pink and gold ombre reactive foil. I have a close up of it to the right. I put blue on the back and the ombre design on the front. It gave it such a unique look!

You can also see I used some white reactive foil on these, which is always a very popular color. The white doesn’t have the same shimmer and shine that the rest of the foil colors do, but it does have a very beautiful finish.

Next I created a fun Heidi Swapp Halloween banner using the MINC and the Pebbles Boo Banner, the Jumbo Striped Alphabet orange foil and a pack of the toner sheets. First, I cut out the fun little pumpkin from the Holiday Cakes Cricut cartridge at 3″ I cut the top layer using the toner sheets and then ran everything though the MINC machine with the MINC orange foil. I used my Crop-A-Dile tool to punch holes in the corners so that I could string up my banner. I love how this banner turned out! I can’t wait ’til October so I can put it back on the front door! christmas houses

house1Next I wanted to create something for (Heidi Swapp) Christmas and I absolutely love, love, love the MINC 3D Paper Village. For this project I only used the gold foil and the kit.house2 It was easy and no extra supplies were needed. I grouped my material and everything together, which made it easier to find everything I needed for each house during the project. These houses come with the 3D adhesive already adhered to them so it makes it super easy to just peel and stick them together. I found that the adhesive sticks really well and so you want to make sure you take your time and align them up before you stick them down. Once they are down they are down. Then add your stickers and you are done.

Note: this kit also comes with fun stickers like ribbons and wreaths that you could use to decorate your houses. So if you are going to use them make sure you have some green and red foil, and the best way to do that is to pick up our Christmas MINC foil bundle. This kit will also give you silver as well.

I hope you have enjoyed all these fun MINC projects. If I have inspired you to create something new with your MINC machine share them with me on our Instagram page and tag us with #craftdirect so we can see what you are creating!

Happy creating!

Minc Halloween Projects: Party Decorations

by Richelle NaegleHalloween Decor minc projects

I am so ready for Halloween to be here! Last night we had a little crafting party and so I decided I would show off the MINC foil laminating system and the cool things that you can do with it. I came ready with my favorite MINC reactive foil and MINC accessories. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but I chose the:

  • Crate Paper After Dark stickers
  • Pebbles Boo treat Bags
  • Pebbles Boo Gallery Prints
  • Pebbles Boo Banners

When you incorporate themed Orange and Holographic foil, you get a brilliant finish to your designs like with this fun Halloween decor. Sorry for the photo quality: apparently foil does not photograph very well, particularly the holographic material. It kind of gives it a rainbow look.

bannerHere is a shot of the banner. I didn’t like the straight corners so I used a corner rounder to give them a little bit of a softer look.

The hit of the night was the treat bags, I’m pretty sure it was because there were treats in them, but these fun bags are large enough for a big cookie or quite a bit of treats. It’s perfect if you have a kids’ Birthday party coming up. You’ll have enough room to give them just enough goodies!

The MINC Gallery Prints are a lot of fun and a great decoration, I know we have some that are not holiday themed as well as some for Halloween and Christmas (which should be in very soon), these prints are a lot of fun, I just put them up on easels however you could also frame them or clip them on a clip board and you have a fun home decor project that shines.

I hope you enjoy all your Halloween parties and if you are hosting, think of incorporating foil in you decorating, and using the Heidi Swapp system to create amazing MINC Halloween projects. We have tons of Heidi Swapp Halloween products, including the Marquee Love kits (not foil-related).

I made all these fun decorations in about 30 minutes, so they are great even for last minute party decorations.

Happy Halloween creating!

Exploding Box Tutorial: How to Make an Explosion Box

by Richelle NaegleExploding Box assembled

It’s officially Halloween so I hope you are ready to craft! You can decorate whenever you want, but I always wait until October 1st….so I guess I got ahead of myself this year. This project takes a little longer to make than most of my undertakings and requires a little bit of patience, but it was so much fun and I absolutely love how it turned out. Everyone seems to love it and I keep getting questions about how I did it, so I decided to make an exploding box tutorial. In all honesty, it wasn’t as hard as it looks and once you get going on it it will come together beautifully.

Supplies you need:

  • Cricut machines or other die cutting machines such as the CAMEOs. If you are using the Baby Bug or Portrait machines your box will be smaller it will work just you will have a really small box.
  • Mini Books cartridge
  • Flower Shoppe cartridge if you want the flower on the top. There are also a lot of other cartridges you can use to create a flower.
  • Cricut Portable Paper Trimmer
  • CGull scissors (green) – I used the CGull ones they are small and seemed to work better for this smaller project.
  • 5 Sheets of paper for the panels and box lid. I used the October 31st Essentials Page Kit from Doodlebug Design
  • Your own fun Halloween pictures
  • Extra embellishments – the paper kit has some great embellishments in it, so you don’t need more but you can always use more
  • Your favorite glue – I suggest a liquid and a adhesive runner
  • We R Corner Rounder

how to make an explosion boxCreating the box:

I cut my box out of a nice black colored cardstock at 11″ so that it fit nicely on a 12″ x 12″ sheet of paper. Each section will require it’s own sheet of paper. I used the Cricut Explore on the lid. I’m not sure if it’s user error but I kept getting a very large lid that didn’t fit the box. (Pro tip: if your going to fill your box as much as I did, you need to make your lid a little larger than the box. The 6.5″ I did was just right.)

Hopefully that saves you some time, cause I sure wasted some of my own : )

exploding box tutorialTips I found out (some the hard way):

  • Decorate all your panels before you glue them into the box.
  • Now you can order pictures that are 4″ x 4″ from a lot of major photo printing places – this makes it easier to cut down your photo’s to size
  • Using a paper kit made it so much easier (I didn’t have to worry about if things were going to match or not) everything just fits together.
  • If you are doing faux stitching, do it before you glue your box together
  • Add pictures as you go, it’s harder to get the pictures in after the box is together or even after the embellishments are glued.

Then comes the fun part of this project: decorating and embellishing. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. I just used my paper trimmer and cut a bunch of squares to 3.25″ x 3.25″. which gives me just a little bit of black edge around each each one. Most of my pictures were cut at about 3″ x 3″, or a little smaller if I could get away with it. The Doodlebug essentials kit seriously made it easy. I used some stickers for the outside of the box and still had plenty to embellish pages on the inside. It had some ribbon as well as a lot of cute boarder stickers to embellish pages. top view of halloween explosion box

If you are using all three inserts, doing both sides, and and decorating the inside of the box you have 20 sides to do in all! You don’t need a picture for each one, you can just put fun embellishments on it, or if you are using the Doodlebug essentials kits it has fun little cuts that you can trim out to embellish it.

For the flower on the top I used the Flower Shoppe Cricut cartridge, with the largest flower being 4″ and then went down in increments of .25″ all the way down to 2.25″, with a total of 7 flowers. Then to give them have a little more life, I used a spray bottle and then crumpled them up and unfolded them (but don’t straighten them). Then just let them dry. It gives your flower a great dimension without a lot of work.Exploding box top flower

OK, so that’s about it! This project does take a few hours, I think it took me about 3 but that includes a lot of time for cutting the lid, and re-doing it. I hope you have enjoyed this post. Now hopefully you know how to make an explosion box with your own personality and flavor. It wasn’t as hard as it seemed when I was watching help videos.

If you make one or have already made one PLEASE share it with me I would love to see what you have created. Post in on our Google Paper Crafting Fanatics page I can’t wait to see what you have created. If you are looking for cartridges for this project, try our Halloween Cricut cartridges.

Happy creating!

Cricut Halloween Card Ideas

by Richelle NaegleEye of Newt Halloween Cricut Card

I love the fall when the leaves start changing colors and the temperatures start to get cooler…and Halloween! I love to make crafts and decorate for Halloween, mostly because it’s like anything goes for Halloween. Really when else can you create a card with a bunch of wiggly eyes in a jar and it be OK?

Remember to get a great bundle deal here if you are looking to buy a Cricut Explore Air machine.

I love this card. I thought it was so funny, and honestly a little creepy! But that’s what Halloween is all about, right? So let’s talk about how easy it was to create the fun two Halloween cards.

The Eye of Newt card is a 5″ x 7″ design – the jar is from the Home Organization cartridge and was cut out at 6.5″. The phrase “eye of newt” is from the Happy Hauntings cartridge and it’s cut out at 1.8″. The newt is from Potions and Spells and is cut out at 1.5″. For the oval you can use any cartridge that has shapes on it, and cut it out at 2″. The patterned paper that I used for both of my cards is from the Haunted Hallows paper stack. American Crafts paper is amazing. I tied the jar with a little bit of Bakers Twine and don’t forget to add the wiggly eyes! I also used a lot of pop dots on this card because I wanted it to stand out.

happy halloween spirders card - cricutThis second card is quite a bit smaller (4.5″ x 4.5″) and was cut using the Seasonal Soirees cartridge for the web background (at 4.25″) and the spiders are from the NEW Creepy Critters cartridge (cut out at 1″ for the large one and .5″ for the smaller ones). The spider web border is from the Ribbons and Rosettes cut out at .81″ (so the height is 4.5″). The “Happy Halloween” phrasing is from Teresa Collins – Chic & Scary cartridge. I had the Cricut Explore write it on vs cutting it out, and had it printed on the label.

I know that’s a lot of Cricut cartridges to use on two cards! If you didn’t have them you could just substitute different cartridges that have similar images. Try our selection of Halloween cartridges. Both of these Cricut Halloween card ideas are super easy to make and would make a fun card for anyone. I know you all have some creative Halloween cards! So share them inspire me and inspire others this Holiday season. Share them on our Google + Paper Crafting Fanatics Page or on our Facebook page! I can’t wait to see what you have created.

Happy creating

Creepy Critter Cricut Cartridge Ideas

by Richelle Naeglehalloween page 2 layout made with creepy critter cartridge

I know it’s way to early for Halloween, however when you see this new Creepy Critter Cricut cartridge you are going to want to start making Halloween Crafts as well! This cartridge was designed by Nancy Kubo, who also created the original Create a Critter and Create a Critter 2 cartridges and the Create a Friend cartridge. I absolutely love her designs and this cartridge is no different!

For these layouts I started it as a two page layout, but when I was finished I realized it would be good as a stand-alone layout. Remember that if you don’t have this cartridge, you can try to substitute any number of Halloween Cricut cartridges.

This first page: the tree and moon was cut out at 11.25″ and the arrow sign at 4.5″. For the Happy Halloween I just used a font from my computer and had the Cricut Explore system write it on using the silver metallic pen. The ghost border is cut out at 1.38″ making it the perfect length for a 5″ x 7″ photo frame.creepy critters cartridge layout project

For this second page the bat border was cut out at 2.4″ so the border length would be 12″. Oct 31st bat image was cut out at 4.5″ and has 4 photo spots – three 3″ x 3″ photos and one 4″ x 6″. In all, this layout was pretty easy. The paper stack I used is called Haunted Hollow by American Crafts. I love these patterns.

I can’t wait to see what you have created using this fun NEW Creepy Critter Cricut cartridge. Ideas for Halloween crafts are always welcome on our Paper Crafting Fanatics page or on our Facebook page. I can’t wait to see what you have created. Save on all of our Cricut cartridges at

Happy creating!

How to Make A Halloween Wreath

by Richelle Naegleribbon wreath

For this Halloween Ribbon wreath I would suggest gathering some of your crafty (and not so crafty friends) over to make this one together. That’s what I did this weekend. I invited 4 friends over and had everyone bring six or seven of their favorite Halloween colored ribbon, and a wreath. We put all the ribbon in the middle of the table and then just shared that way we had a nice large selection of fun colors and styles of ribbon to work with. Even though we all used the same ribbon, it all turned out completely different. You’re gonna love how the Halloween wreath ideas just come to you when you start looking at ribbon patterns.

Some wanted to maintain a more simple pattern, and one only used the wide ribbons. As for me, I just used what ever someone wasn’t using at the time and made sure that no two orange or blacks were together. Other than that, I just did it as random as I could. Honestly I don’t think that there is a wrong way to do these. The only way you fail is by not taking on the challenge.

The Supplies You Will Need:

  • Wreath – I used a 12″ foam wreath, however you could also use straw or even create your own using the foam noodle or re-purpose an old one.
  • Ribbon – lots and lots of ribbon
  • Scissors

How To Make a Ribbon Wreath

Wrap your wreath in a nice wide ribbon. We did orange just to make sure that if there was a “bare spot”, you wouldn’t see the wreath underneath. Then wrap your ribbon around the wreath to your desired length and tie it in a double knot and trim. Then continue around the wreath until it’s completely covered.

I found that if I did the wide width ribbons first and then came back with the thinner ones to fill it in, it worked best for me. Don’t forget to make an extra long one so that you can hang your wreath. Total time to make this was about an hour and half, granted I was chatting and crafting so it may take longer or quicker depending on how much you chat!

This craft was super easy, and could get expensive if you were doing it on your own. Ribbon cost adds up fast and you definitely need lots of it. If you decide to create a Halloween Ribbon Wreath or any other Halloween Wreaths, I would love to see them. Post it on our Facebook page or on Google+ Paper Crafting Fanatics Page so I can check them all out. Hopefully this was helpful in teaching you how to make a Halloween wreath. Remember to save on all craft tools online.

Happy Halloween creating!

Potions & Spells Cricut Cartridge Ideas

By Richelle Naegle

Potions & Spells ImagesAre you ready for the Halloween season yet? I’m not! It’s only September and I generally don’t start with my Halloween decorations until the beginning of October. But that changed because when I saw the NEW Potions & Spells Cricut cartridge, ideas just started running though my head. I really wanted to create something with this fun cartridge the moment I saw its potential. So I know I’m a little early but if you want this cartridge for Halloween, now is a great time to order it and for a limited time it’s on sale for $20.95! We also carry other Halloween Cricut cartridges.

If you haven’t had a chance to check this cartridge out yet, take the time now and browse these fun images that you can cut with this cartridge and your Cricut machine. Some of my favorite images are the owls ( bet you couldn’t have guessed that) :), and the frogs and newts. I don’t know why those are my favorites, but I just think they are super adorable. This cartridge also has some fun phrases like Once Upon a Midnight Dreary and Eye of Newt. But my absolute favorite thing about this cartridge is some of the shape cards that are on here like the Skeleton holding the sign, and the coffin shaped card, I can’t wait to make some of these fun cards as well.

So Easy To Make Cards with the Potions and Spells CartridgePotions & Spells Cricut Cartridge ideas

OK, now for all the details of this card: the overall size of the colored cardstock base is 4.25″ x 6″, the owls were cut out at 3.75″, and Happy Halloween at .75″. The top layer of the Happy Halloween was just not coming out very well so I changed it to the drawing feature (don’t forget to Attach the images) even though I didn’t ungroup, you still have to attach to have it draw and cut at the same time. I used the Midnight (black) marker out of the Antiquity Fine Point Marker Set to draw the image on, which I think turned out really well, perfect for when you want to have small text on something without having to stamp or draw it in yourself.

That’s it! A super simple and easy card! Did you get this cartridge and like me had to make something right away? if you start your Halloween crafts early, share them with me on the CraftDirect Facebook page, and if you don’t post anything until October I will completely understand. 🙂 But please don’t forget to share with us your Potions & Spells Cricut cartridge ideas, so we can inspire each other. And don’t forget to save on Cricut cartridges online. Remember that your project is only as good as your supplies. Fresh Cricut blades will make all the difference, and save on Cricut mats, too.

Happy Halloween Creating

Martha Stewart Cake Art Projects

by Richelle Naegle

There are actually two cartridges to cover from the Martha Stewart Cake Art line from Cricut. I’ve been able to do a lot more with the Seasonal Cake Art cartridge so if you have completed projects with the Martha Stewart Elegant Cake Art, then please feel free to share your creations. With Christmas just around the corner these two cartridges will make great gifts for the crafter in your life.

Cricut Martha Stewart Seasonal Cake Art

Happy Mother’s Day

seasonal art cartridge mother's day cardFor this fun Mother’s Day card we used the Flower Shoppe Cricut cartridge for the flower. The largest flower petals were cut out from Cricut cardstock at 3 inches and then decreased in size by 0.25 inches to 1.5 inches. The center was cut out at 2 inches and I used a Megan Elizabeth Sparkle Lightz for the center of the flower.

“Happy Mother’s Day” is from the Martha Stewart Seasonal Cake Art cartridge at 1.5 inches. The overall size of the card is 5×7 inches, but with the flower being so large and bulky it won’t fit in an envelope. This is a card that you definitely want to be able to hand deliver.

mother's day card from cricut martha stewartOne wasn’t enough, so I came up with another Mother’s Day card. The one above is probably more geared towards a grandmother, whereas this one to the left is a little “louder” and maybe for a younger Mother. Each card definitely has its own personality.

I cut out the borders at 1 inch and “Happy Mother’s Day” cut out at 1 inch as well.

The overall size of this card is 4 x 6 and was super easy and quick card to make. I love the way Cricut machines make these projects so quick and convenient.

This is such a fun cartridge to make quick cards, scrapbook layouts or even home decor and of course cut out fondant if you have a Cricut Cake Machine.

Various Seasonal Cake Art Cards

This first one was cut out at 6″ for just the two layers. I did use the gypsy to weld the back image together to make a fun shape card, and stamped Easter Joy. Super easy and quick card.

ester bunny card made with martha stewart cricutThis card is a 4 x 6 card. the grass is cut out at 2″ and the chick with her egg is 2″ as well. Happy Easter is 1.5 inches. The phrases on this cartridge is great, I didn’t have a problem with it being to thin and ripping coming off the mat. And it has Happy Easter in a couple different designs.

easter card from martha stewart seasonal cakeThis card I made as a Mother’s Day card. The overall size of this card is 4 x 5.5″ ( not a standard size).  The flower bouquet was cut out at 5″. I did cut each of the images out twice so that I could have green stems and a red ribbon and pink and purple flowers. Inside each of the flowers is a Girls Best Friend Sparkle Light.

flower bouquet card by martha stewart seasonal cake cricut cartridgeCricut Martha Stewart Elegant Cake Art Cartridge

martha stewart elegant cake cartridge happy halloweenAnother Halloween card! I know, I’ve posted a lot of these lately, but some are from years past, so don’t think I’m obsessed or anything. I really love the Martha Stewart Elegant Cake cartridge.

The overall size of the card is 4” x 6”. The fence was cut out at 2.5” (this does make it longer then than 6”) but I just trimmed it down to fit the size.

I was more looking for the height. The pumpkins are just starburst (cut out at 1.25”) that when you add some cute faces and a little ribbon for stems and those starbursts look like fun pumpkins!

Please share your creations because this is the only one I’ve made with this awesome cartridge. Show me what you came up with! Make the most out of your Cricut cartridges and save with CraftDirect. You can never have too many fresh Cricut blades and replacement Cricut cutting mats.

Happy creating