If you've spent more than ten minutes in the craft world over the past year, chances are you've seen one of Heidi Swapp's adorable light boxes (or some variation of it). But... did you know you could use your cutting machine to make custom inserts for it? It's so easy!
First, because I have two (the mini and the full-size) lightboxes, I took out an existing insert I had and measured it. This is the size that I'll cut my transparency sheet to. Remember transparencies?! Overhead projectors were so much fun years ago-- now you have a use for those sheets you stashed! Don't worry if you didn't save any, I got a pack of 6 on Amazon for around $5.
After measuring the proper size for the insert, create a rectangle in Silhouette Studio (or whatever cutting software you're using) of the same size. Replicate it as many times as you can for the size of your transparency. I was able to make 4 rows for my size lightbox on one sheet.
After I had my rectangles ready, I cut mine out. Using the preset for Vellum, I increased the thickness just a bit. Since this is an odd material, you'll want to do a test cut to make sure the cut is deep enough to get through the sheet but not your cutting mat.
Carefully peel off the transparent insert. Try not to lose it. (Then proceed to lose it amongst your craft pile)
Now is the fun part! Use fun fonts, icons, or even hand drawn artwork to design your lightbox inserts. Keep in mind the height of your rows. The designs you create should be about .25" shorter than the inserts you made first, just to give yourself some room for application.
If you're feeling advanced, try making a taller design and cutting it up with the knife tool to fit each row insert. When you put them all into the lightbox you'll have your full design.
I went with a handlettered design that you can get here (it's a .png you can trace in whichever software you use). I also opted to do a two colored design and found that the layers worked really well! What a nice surprise.
I'm really excited about how the beautiful black glitter Expressions Vinyl looks both with and without the lightbox on. What will your custom lightbox say?! The possibilities are endless...