Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Chinese Thank You Card

One and a half hour to go before we leave for the kids' last Chinese class for the year, and I realize that I forgot to make a card for the teacher. I did buy her a gift card but how dare I space out on handmade card!

Almost instinctively, I flipped open my laptop and while Cricut Design Studio is taking its own sweet time to load up, I started to look for my Pagoda cartridge. I found the box while CDS was still loading, and finished looking through the handbook just before CDS finally loaded up. I thought this card would be a breeze to make. Just a simple thank you card for the Chinese Teacher and I had assumed that the Chinese character for "Thanks" would be on Provo Craft's only Asian-themed cartridge. I was flabbergasted that I was not able to find it on the handbook. I even went through the book twice and searched through the Keyword feature on CDS. No Chinese "Thank You" on the Pagoda cartridge? Epic fail, Provo Craft!

Annoyed, I closed CDS and opened Make-The-Cut. I found the "Thank You" character online and traced it in MTC. Sized it for a quarter-fold sized card and clicked on the "Cut" button.

I needed the negative image to make the card but I was not willing to waste the positive image. I had some scrap pieces of clear Contact Paper from my canvas project so I placed it over the character-cutouts and rub it until they stick onto the contact paper.

Using my spatula, I gently coaxed the cutouts from the mat.

So now I have the positive cutouts ready to be used for another project.

For the sake of those who are not familiar with Clear Contact Paper, this is how the backing looks like. You can buy a roll at most mass merchandisers (e.g. Target, Walmart) for a couple of dollars.

Just to illustrate in this blog that the positive image cutouts can be used, I peeled off the contact paper backing and applied some glue to the cutouts while they are still stuck on the contact paper.

Once I decided where I want to place them, I lay down the contact paper and gently rubbed down the cutouts. When I am confident that the images have stuck onto my cardstock, I slowly peel away the contact paper.

This is a simple but effective method to save cutouts that cannot be welded into a single piece. I had also used the same trick to save the words left behind from cutting the "Campground" label from my last classroom project.

So, what did I do with the negative cutout from the Chinese characters? Well, I layered it onto a piece of black cardstock and adhere the whole thing to a card front that was previously embossed with Sizzix's Three Dots embossing folder. To finish the card, I adhered a 2-inch Create-A-Critter panda onto the card with mounting tape to give it some dimension.

There were 2 corners of the Chinese characters that I had missed putting some glue on, so I reapplied some glue carefully on the red layer and voila! A Chinese Thank You Card is done. :-)
To download the MTC file for the Chinese Characters for "Thank You", 

Please note that you will need Make-The-Cut program to open the file. This file will not open in Cricut Design Studio.

Enjoy. :-)


  1. What a great card, it came out fantastic and Im sure that the teacher will love it. Your so talented! I thought the same thing when I went through the Pagoda handbook, I thought for sure there would be some lettering or phrases of some sort, I too was pretty bummed there wasnt any.
    Have a wonderful week and looking forward to some more wonderful cards from you.

  2. Thanks, Gina. I've had the Pagoda cart for a few months now and today was the first time that I had gone through the handbook. I couldn't believe it when I was not able to find "thank you" on the cart. I mean, isn't that like one of the most used sentiments on cards? I was quite disappointed indeed. Thanks for your comment, Gina! Hope that you have a great week too. :-)

  3. OMG, thank you so much for this absolutely wonderful tip with the contact paper! Absolutely genius!!! And your card is great!

  4. Love this technique!! What a great idea and thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. OMG - I love how you got the words "Thank You" - NO kidding........a BIG BIG miss for Provo Craft - maybe they will come out with Pagoda 2: they need all the horoscope animals and some basic asian words......I was really disappointed after all these years waiting. Love how you "solved" this problem........thanks for sharing this idea......I just don't know what the system used is but will have to do some research.

  6. Oh, Patti! I was so frustrated when I saw what PC has missed out on this cartridge. You are right, I can't believe that they did not include the horoscope animals too. I love the MTC program a lot. To find out more, go to to download a free trial or you can check out the forum at

    :-) Jin

  7. What a CUTE card... the panda really topped it off!
    I love your detailed explanation of how you went about finding the phrase! Too bad for PC...
    one more notch in Andy's belt!
    And the contact paper is SUPERB!! Thanks for the tip!!