Make printable die cut blanks
I have been experimenting with using transfer tape as a carrier to make pre-cut blanks for printing. It is great for printing on odd-shaped cards, for making Avery-compatible blanks and, I’m sure, for other stuff I haven’t thought of yet.
To do this with 12 x 12 stock, here are the (very) general steps. Put tape on the back of your paper, load it onto the mat tape side down and kiss-cut your design along with an 8.5 x 11 rectangle surrounding it which will be the outer edge of your printer page. Remove the new page (with diecuts and tape intact) and use it to develop or verify a matching print template. When you are satisfied with the print design, load the sheet of die cut blanks into the printer and print. Peel the printed die cut off of the tape backing.
An odd-shaped design from Wild Card:
Page of Doodlecharms bus shapes made to print on with Avery business card templates:
The process is a little more labor intensive up front than other methods of cut and print, but less so for subsequent runs any time in the future. Accuracy is excellent this way because you take advantage of the tight tolerances of your printer and eliminate the sloppy tolerances of the Cricut. You do need commercial transfer tape because contact paper or painters tape can damage your paper. I had success with both clear and paper transfer tape and was able to reuse it several times.
You may be wondering if this will work with a Xyron to make die cut printable stickers. Well, possibly, but the backing on the Xyron sheets is too slippery to stick to the mat so you’d have to tape it down. You would also have to recut the rectangle after you remove it from the mat to trim off the backing that extends beyond the page boundary. Guess you could cut it in 2 passes, with kiss cut settings for the design and again with cut through settings for the page boundary.