Layered cardstock hummingbird in a wreath under the words how to cut intricate designs on Cricut.

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 Learn how to make beautiful layered cardstock hummingbird designs with intricate cuts on Cricut!

One of my favorite features of Cricut cutting machines is the level of detail they’re capable of! These smart machines can cut, draw, and score tiny details on so many materials. Cutting cardstock PERFECTLY for layered designs can take some practice, though. I’m excited to share my best tips for cutting intricate cardstock designs. Tiny details made me think of one of my favorite wonders of nature: hummingbirds! So, an update to my layered Hummingbird seems like a perfect opportunity to share my best tips on making intricate cuts on Cricut machines.

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Watch the full step-by-step tutorial video on my YouTube channel!

Get the free SVG cut file for this project

My intricate hummingbird design really doesn’t require many materials or tools! The most important things when learning how to make intricate designs on a Cricut machine is my #1 tip: high-quality tools and materials.

Five layers of the hummingbird designs with intricate cuts on Cricut laid out on a desk.

The Fine-Point Blade moves very quickly when making intricate cuts on Cricut projects, so we need to help it a little bit! Cleaning your blade before cuts and even between mats can really help it avoid tears. I’ll show you my not-so-secret blade-cleaning material (aluminum foil!) in the video. No, you probably don’t need a new blade!

Also, clean, sticky machine mats are super important to keep your cardstock in place for intricate cuts on Cricut machines. We’ll cover Cricut mat cleaning tips, too!

If you’ve cleaned your blade and mat but still struggle with intricate cuts on Cricut projects, check your paper quality. Choosing the best cardstock for intricate cuts is important! I used two types of good-quality 12″ x 12″ cardstock for my hummingbird. Value cardstock often has shorter fibers, so it can tear easier than higher-quality paper.

I used a base layer of Mirrored Cardstock and then complementary solid colors for my top layers. You can use ANY cardstock as long as it’s of good quality so that it cuts well. I strongly recommend Cricut, Recollections, and American Crafts brand cardstock for intricate cuts, but haven’t had good experiences with Park Lane. If you’re using different materials for the first time, making a test cut is a good idea.

Also, scraper and weeding tools will help you with all the small pieces on mandala designs like this hummingbird.

Shadow box with a layered cardstock hummingbird with intricate cuts on Cricut and paper decorations.

I’ll also share ways to add dimension to your intricate layers — even in the tiniest spots! I really love clear Zots for this strategy, but double-sided 3D adhesive foam will work for some layers. You may need to cut your adhesive to fit in tiny areas, like the beak in this picture. Make sure your craft knife is sharp!

Red arrow pointing to suggested placement of clear adhesive Zots on the hummingbird's beak with intricate cuts on Cricut.

I’ll also show you how to find the right Base Material Settings and Cricut cut pressure for a project with intricate details in Design Space. Hint: have you ever searched the list of materials options for “intricate” and tried out the result? I have!

Layered cardstock hummingbird in a bouquet of flowers and a single layer with intricate cuts on Cricut as a card.

To get the perfect cuts of this layered project, I used my Cricut Maker 3. All you need is a fine-point blade and blue or green machine mat. You can also use the original Maker or any of the Explore series of machines. I’ve also included specially-sized hummingbird cut files for the Cricut Joy! Check the video description for the custom settings I recommend for intricate cuts on Cricut Joy.

So that’s really all you need! Now, let me show you where to get this beautiful layered hummingbird design, and then I’ll teach you how to cut and align it perfectly.

Layered cardstock hummingbird with intricate cuts on Cricut in in a wreath.

Ready to make this intricate hummingbird SVG? This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.

Materials to Make a Layered Hummingbird with Intricate Cuts on  Cricut

View my Amazon shopping list with the exact items we used to make this project!

And to make the shadow box, magnet or flower displays just like I did:

How to Make a Layered Hummingbird with Intricate Cuts on Cricut

Shadow box with a layered cardstock hummingbird with intricate cuts on Cricut and paper decorations.

Intricate Layered Hummingbird Design

Yield: 1
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $6

This five-layered Hummingbird is surprisingly easy to make as long as you use the right settings for intricate cuts on a Cricut!





Get the free Hummingbird SVG (Design #234) from my free resource library (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).

Upload the Hummingbird SVG into Cricut Design Space and add it to your Canvas.

Tip: If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, here’s how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.

This is what the hummingbird SVG file looks like when added to your Design Space Canvas.

Screenshot of Cricut Design Space with the hummingbird demonstrating intricate cuts on Cricut.

Click “UnGroup” to see all five layers. You can either use the colors I have, or select a layer and click on the similarly colored box in the upper menu to change its color. When you're done adjusting the design, click "Select All" in the top menu

You can also resize this design, but we need to adjust all of the layers together to make sure the pretty cutouts and designs match. Click “Select All” in the top menu, then click “Align” and scroll down to select “Center.” The design will return to its original position, layers in a stack. Now click “Group” so that when you resize, all the layers maintain the same proportions. To resize simply drag the resize handle in the lower right corner of the bounding box until you get the size you want.

If you need help resizing this SVG, please see my design resizing guide.


Once you have the 3D layered hummingbird adjusted to your measurements, make sure you have the correct machine selected in the top menu and then click "Make It."

If a window asking how you will load materials pops up, select “On Mat” and hit “Continue.” On the Prepare screen, make sure you have the right number of mats and click “Continue” again.

TIP: On the Make Screen, normally I would select “Medium Cardstock'' and “Heavy Cardstock” since that’s what I’m using for my design.

However, since this design is very detailed and requires a lot of intricate and precise cuts I’m going to use “Cardstock (for intricate cuts).” To find this special setting, click “Browse All Materials” and type “Intricate” into the search window. Select “Cardstock (for intricate cuts)” in the results and click "Done" to reload the Make screen with the new material setting.

I got the best results by still changing my Pressure setting to "More." Also, check the box next to “Remember Material Settings” so the machine will use the same setting for each mat. Always save time when you can!

TIP: Check that your Cricut Fine-Point Blade is clean and loaded in the indicated clamp. Use my tin foil ball tip to clean it if you want! Review my guide for cleaner cuts for directions and even more tips.

TIP: A clean, sticky mat will keep your paper in place, which is especially important for intricate designs such as this. Check out my guide for cleaning Cricut mats for help.

TIP: If you're getting tearing or other issues after following all my tips, the paper may be the issue. Really inexpensive paper often has short, weak fibers, which can lead to choppy cuts. I recommend Cricut and Recollections brand cardstocks.

Load your first layer's paper on the mat and follow the prompts to cut. When it's done, check that the cut is all the way through the paper before unloading the mat. Just gently bend the mat under a cut section so see if the paper is cut. Mine wasn't! If this happens to you, press the Go button again to run the same cut in the same exact spot. The second time should go all the way through.

When each layer is finished cutting, unload your mat, flip it over, and gently bend your mat away from the cardstock to remove it. This helps prevent any ripping or curling of the paper.

Peeling the machine mat away from the cardstock to avoid curling when making intricate cuts on Cricut.

As you cut each layer, you may notice small bits and pieces of cardstock left behind on the mat. I used my extra large Cricut scraper tool to easily remove those pieces.
If small cutouts are still stuck in your design, you can use your fingers or a weeding tool to pop them out.

These are the layers you’ll have when you’re done cutting:

Five layers of the hummingbird designs with intricate cuts on Cricut laid out on a desk.


Now that you have your five pieces cut, you can assemble them. I used clear Zots since my white adhesive foam might be visible in the intricate cuts, but use whatever you're comfortable with.

Layers of hummingbird design with intricate cuts on Cricut with a box of clear adhesive dots to go between them.

Zots are extra sticky! I recommend working with one at a time and only removing one side of the protective film. Use the remaining paper to position the Zot, press it in place, and then peel it off.

A crafter using the backing paper of a Zot adhesive to apply the glue to a cardstock.

Position several adhesive spots on the back of Layer four. The clear Zots are hard to see, so I've pointed to one with a red arrow.

Red arrow pointing to suggested placement of clear adhesive Zots on the hummingbird's wing with intricate cuts on Cricut.

Line it up very lightly over Layer five until all the edges line up. Press down to adhere.

Repeat the process with the remaining layers, making sure your beak and feather swirls line up correctly!

Here is an example of lining up Layer three on Layer four.

Crafter's hands lining up layers 3 and 4 for proper alignment of intricate cuts on Cricut.

Then place Layer two on Layer three.

Crafter's hands lining up layers 2 and 3 for proper alignment of intricate cuts on Cricut.

Finding discrete spots for your Zots or foam adhesive will get more difficult as the cardstock layers get more intricate. The red arrow indicates where I placed a Zot on Layer one, right at the base of the beak. You can cut your adhesives smaller, too, with a craft knife or scissors.

Red arrow pointing to suggested placement of clear adhesive Zots on the hummingbird's beak with intricate cuts on Cricut.

Place Layer one on Layer two and your stack is done! When Layer one is placed on Layer two, the Zot blends in since it's clear!

Close up of completed hummingbird project with intricate cuts on Cricut.

STEP 4: Show it Off

Here’s what my finished 3D Hummingbird looks like. I just love the look of all the layers and how the pretty colors compliment one another.

Completed layered humming bird project with intricate cuts on Cricut.

You could give your hummingbird a home by adding it to a shadow box!. Just use tape or hot glue to mount it to the shadow box backing. I added cardstock butterfly shapes from my Popup Butterfly Card and rolled paper flowers from the Letter with Paper Flowers tutorial.

I also made a smaller version that you can cut on the Cricut Joy. I’ve included the special cut setting in the description underneath the video description on YouTube. Since the hummingbird will be even smaller, you could add a magnet to the back with hot glue to decorate your refrigerator! I also hot glued one to a wooden dowel to dress up a bouquet of silk flowers.


The larger design will create a hummingbird that is about 8" x 9".

The smaller design will create a hummingbird that is about 4.25" x 4.75".

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Questions About How to Make Intricate Cuts on Cricut

Get my free SVG files for the Hummingbird with Intricate Cuts on Cricut!

I’d love to see your layered intricate hummingbirds or other projects you use these tips on! If you make a shadow box or anything else with this design, please share a photo in our Facebook group, email it to me at [email protected], or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.


Want to remember this? Save the How to Cut Intricate Designs on Cricut Tutorial to your favorite Pinterest Board!

Layered cardstock hummingbird under the words how to cut intricate designs on Cricut.

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