April 27, 2022  

How To Make Cards With Cricut Joy | Insert Card & Cutaway Card Tutorial


Making homemade cards has never been easier than it is with the Cricut Joy. With the genius Card Mat, you can whip up custom cards in minutes using Cricut Insert Cards or Cutaway Cards. Here’s a detailed tutorial on how to make them!

Materials for this post were provided by Cricut. This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

One of the very best features about the Cricut Joy is its ability to make homemade cards in minutes. Greeting cards are one of the projects I make most often with my Cricut Joy (they rank right up there with all the labels I use it for!).

Cricut set out to streamline the card-making process with the Cricut Joy and they really nailed it! The Card Mat is pure genius, their card packs have the prettiest paper combinations, and there are so many awesome ready-to-make designs available.

With few required supplies and quick setup, you can literally whip up a card in minutes on your way out the door to a celebration. Or you could make a year’s worth of greeting cards in a single crafting session!

Keep reading for detailed instructions for making a card on your Cricut Joy. They’re so fun to make and they look amazing! I don’t know about you but I’d rather DIY a pretty greeting card than shell out money for an overpriced one at the store any day.

Alrighty, let’s dive in to all things Cricut Joy cards! This is a great beginner Cricut Joy project (even a great first project!) and a fun way to get familiar with using your machine.

More Cricut Joy blog posts:

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What Makes Cricut Joy Cards So Easy To Create?

Cricut Joy Card Mat

The Cricut Joy Card Mat is a specialty cutting mat that has two layers which allows you to load a pre-folded card onto it with the back of the card protected underneath the top layer of the mat so you’ll only cut the front of the card.

Because the Cricut Joy isn’t large enough to cut a card laid completely flat, being able to cut a card while it’s already folded is so brilliant!

With this specialty mat, you can create three different sizes of cards:

  • 3.5 x 5″
  • 4.25 x 5.5″
  • 4.5 x 6.25″

Note: The Card Mat is exclusive to the Cricut Joy and is not compatible with the Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore.

Cricut Joy Card Kits

You can use your own cardstock to make cards (more on that later), but the absolute easiest way to go is to use Cricut’s card kits. They include everything you need to make 10-12 cards: pre-cut, pre-folded cards, coordinating inserts, and envelopes. And it’s all perfectly sized for the Card Mat!

The card kits come in numerous color combinations and they’re all gorgeous! You can also mix and match different colors from different packs if you’d like.

Ready-To-Make Designs

Here’s the best part–you don’t even have to design your own cards! There are all sorts of ready-to-cut card designs available in Design Space for every holiday and occasion you can imagine.

Just do a quick search through the card designs to find one you like and it will be all set up and sized to fit the card kits. All of the settings are ready to go and the whole process is very user-friendly.

There are a wide variety of Cricut Joy card designs available in Design Space and they cover all sorts of occasions. Many of the designs are free to use and you can access even more with a Cricut Access subscription.

To find a design, select the “Free for Cricut Joy”, browse the “Card” category, or use the search bar to search for a specific occasion. You can also find cards in the Cricut Joy app.

Cricut Pens & Markers

Many of the Cricut Joy card designs are made only with cutouts, but others incorporate words or designs made with a pen or marker. To write on cards, you’ll need a Cricut Joy pen or marker in a color that looks nice on your card color.

To see if a design has a drawn design, simply look at the directions for the project in Design Space. You can check out the large selection of Cricut pens and markers here (just make sure you get a pack that’s compatible with Cricut Joy!).

How To Make A Cricut Joy Insert Card

First, let’s cover how to make a card using the Cricut Insert Card Kits. These made-in-minutes cards feature a cutout design along with little corner cuts that allow you to slide in a sheet of contrasting paper (the insert) behind the cut design.

Supplies

Step 1: Select A Card Design In Design Space

Open the Projects tab in Design Space (lefthand toolbar) and select “Cards” from the dropdown menu. Browse the designs and click on the pictures to see what materials you’ll need along with brief instructions. Insert Cards come in three sizes so you’ll want to pay attention to the size of the design you are choosing. You can select a specific card size from the drop down menu to match the card kit you have. You can also toggle between sizes using the “Finished Size” selector after selecting a design.

Once you find a card design, click “Make It”. This will take you through the usual prompts for making a Cricut project. You’ll need to specify that you’re making this “On Card Mat” and choose “Insert Card – Cardstock” as the material.

Step 2: Prep Your Card Mat

Now remove the plastic liner from the top of the Card Mat. Then lift up the top layer of the mat and slide the bottom of the folded card under the mat from the left side so the folded edge is on the left. Align the card with the top of the mat and push it until the fold is flush with the edge of the mat. Then press the front of the card down firmly onto the adhesive front of the card mat.

Step 3: Make Your Design

Turn on your Cricut Joy and connect it to your device via Bluetooth. Press “Go” and follow the on-screen prompts to load the mat into the machine. If your card design uses pens, you’ll insert that into your Cricut Joy and it will draw all of the pen elements first. Then you will be prompted to install the Fine-Point Blade to cut the rest of the design.

This step usually takes just a few minutes but will vary depending on the complexity of the design. If you have intricate cuts or drawn elements, it will take longer. Unload the mat when prompted and you’re almost done!

Step 4: Remove Your Card From The Mat

Gently remove the card from your Card Mat. Be careful not to pull too hard or you’ll risk tearing more intricate cutouts. It usually works best for me to slowly pull back from the top right corner of the card. The negative elements will remain stuck to the Card Mat as you pull so there should be very little weeding to do. The scraper tool comes in handy for gently lifting up delicate designs.

After your card is removed from the mat, use a scraper tool to scrap off all of the excess paper pieces. You can put the plastic liner back on top of the adhesive and it will be ready to go for your next card project.

Step 5: Assemble Your Card

The final step is to add a card insert behind your design. To do this, you simply slide each corner of the insert paper into the cutout corners of the design. The color combinations in the card kits are result in very pretty cards!

How To Make A Cricut Joy Cutaway Card

Cricut Card Kits also come in a newer format called Cutaway Cards. When making a card with the original Insert Cards like I showed above, your design needed to be fully connected as one piece. But with the Cutaway Cards, you can have standalone pieces in your design.

These cards have an adhesive on the inside of the front cover that you use to add a backing paper to. Your design will stick to the backing as it cuts meaning all of the little pieces remain intact.

Supplies

Step 1: Select A Card Design In Design Space

Open the Projects tab in Design Space (lefthand toolbar) and select “Cards” from the dropdown menu. Browse the designs and click on the pictures to see what materials you’ll need along with brief instructions.

Cutaway Cards come in three sizes so you’ll want to pay attention to the size of the design you are choosing. You can select a specific card size from the drop down menu to match the card kit you have. You can also toggle between sizes using the “Finished Size” selector after selecting a design.

Once you find a card design, click “Make It”. This will take you through the usual prompts for making a Cricut project. You’ll need to specify that you’re making this “On Card Mat” and choose “Cutaway Card + Backer” as the material.

Step 2: Prep Your Cutaway Card

Peel off the paper liner on the inside of your Cutaway Card. Then place a backer sheet onto the adhesive with the colored side facing down onto the adhesive. Press firmly so it’s stuck on really well.

Step 3: Prep Your Card Mat

Now remove the plastic liner from the top of the Card Mat. Then lift up the top layer of the mat and slide the bottom of the folded card under the mat from the left side so the folded edge is on the left. Align the card with the top of the mat and push it until the fold is flush with the edge of the mat. Then press the front of the card down firmly onto the adhesive mat.

Step 4: Make Your Design

Turn on your Cricut Joy and connect it to your device via Bluetooth. Press “Go” and follow the on-screen prompts to load the mat into the machine. If your card design uses pens, you’ll insert that into your Cricut Joy and it will draw all of the pen elements first. Then you will be prompted to install the Fine-Point Blade to cut the rest of the design.

Your machine will only cut the front cardstock layer and leave the backing paper in place. It’s so cool! This step usually takes just a few minutes but will vary depending on the complexity of the design. If you have intricate cuts or drawn elements, it will take longer. Unload the mat when prompted and you’re almost done!

Step 5: Weed Your Design

Gently remove the card from your Card Mat and use the weeding tool or your fingers to carefully remove the cutouts to reveal your design. Be careful when using the weeding tool as the sharp tip can leave scratches on the backer paper if you push too hard.

How To Customize Your Cricut Joy Cards

How To Add Metallic Effects Using The Cricut Joy Foil Tool

Cricut’s new Foil Transfer Tool is a great way to add a little bit of shimmer and shine to your homemade cards (among many other fun projects!). This tool leaves a metallic line wherever the tool has pressed. To make these cards, you’ll need the Cricut Joy Foil Transfer Kit plus Foil Transfer Insert Cards.

You’ll follow the same steps as I outlined up for making regular Insert Cards. But before you load the card onto the Card Mat, you’ll add a foil transfer sheet on top. Place the tiny colored side facing up and use the included tape to tape down all four sides so the sheet covers your card.

Once you load your mat, you’ll be prompted to insert the Foil Transfer Tool into your machine. After the foiling is done, carefully remove the foil sheet without unloading the mat. It’s important that your mat stays still in the machine is it can finish cutting out the design!

If you’re interested in using the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool, check out my friend Megan’s detailed guide for tons of information.

How To Write On The Inside Of The Card

The ready-to-make cards add a design to the front of the card. But if you’d also like to write a message or draw on the inside of the card, first create the design in Design Space and size it to the size of your card.

Fold your card inside out and slide it onto the Card Mat just like I detailed above. Make sure the design is oriented correctly on the screen, load one of the Cricut Joy pens into your machine, and then follow the prompts to make it.

How To Make Cricut Joy Cards With Your Own Paper

It’s also possible to use regular cardstock with the Card Mat (instead of purchasing the Card Kits). To make a card, use a paper cutter to cut a sheet of 8.5×11″ cardstock in half and then fold it in half to create a card. Then cut a 4×5.25″ sheet of cardstock for the insert.

How To Make Your Own Card Designs

While the ready-to-make designs speed up your card-making process, you can also create your own design if you’d like custom cards. To do so, open a blank canvas in Cricut Design Space and create a 3×5.25″ rectangle. Click on “Add Image” and search for “Joy Insert Card” and add one to your canvas.

Now you can add your own images or text to the card. Remember that Insert Cards need to use stencil designs where everything is connected. Once your design is ready, make sure everything is correctly set to cut or draw, attach the elements together, and make the card just like the steps I detailed above.

Cricut Joy Card Making FAQs

Can I use the Card Mat with other Cricut machines?

No, it is not compatible with Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machines.

Can I add a design to the inside of Cricut Joy cards?

Yes, you can have your Cricut Joy write a message on the inside of the card if you prefer. I shared a quick overview of how to do this above.

Can I make my own Cricut Joy card designs?

Yes, you can definitely create your own custom designs! I briefly explained how to do so up above.

Do I need to use the Cricut Card Mat?

If you plan to use the ready-to-cut cards in Design Space, you will need a Card Mat because those designs are set up and sized specifically for it. If you’re creating your own original designs, you could make really small cards on the regular Cricut Joy mat or cut out elements and glue them together into a card. But because of the small size of the Cricut Joy, the Card Mat is really the way to go for homemade card s that are easy to create and look professional.

Can I edit the card designs before cutting?

The goal of the ready-to-make cards in Design Space is to make the whole card-making process as foolproof as possible. Because of this, you aren’t able to modify or customize most of the designs. There are lots of options to choose from so I don’t think this is a problem.

Why is my card sliding around?

If your card is moving while the Cricut Joy is cutting, it’s probably because either 1) your Card Mat isn’t sticky anymore and needs to be replaced, or 2) you didn’t press the card down onto the adhesive well enough.

Can I write on the Cricut Joy envelopes?

Yes, you can use your Cricut Joy to write on the envelopes. All of the Cricut Card Kits include envelopes sized just right for the cards!

Can you make cards with the other Cricut machines?

Yes, you can absolutely make handmade cards with any Cricut machine! The Maker and Explore are large enough to be able to handle a full card laid flat on the mat so you can use regular card stock on your cutting mat (you can even add a score line for the fold!) Because the Cricut Joy is so small, the Card Mat was created specifically to make card making possible (and extra easy!) using a Cricut Joy.



If you ask me what my favorite thing is about the Cricut Joy, handmade greeting cards rank right up there with DIY labels! The Card Mat is a unique feature of the Cricut Joy that makes it possible to create a beautiful card for any special occasion in mere minutes.

Whether you need a birthday card, a happy anniversary card, a baby shower card, a wedding card, or a Christmas card, there are so many possibilities! And the recipients of my DIY cards have been really impressed with how beautiful they are!

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Have a fantastic day!

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