Playing Cricut

I couldn’t resist this, as “cricut” is pronounced “cricket” and I know people who actually think I am playing the game! Of course I’m playing with my Cricut cutting machine and I have had a great deal of fun. When I got it I thought the majority of my making would be with fabric and felt, and, although I have done some of that, the majority of my makes so far have been from cardstock, because that’s what has been mostly covered in the classes I enrolled in. I received some with the machine, found some in various op shops and have even – gasp – bought some!

I’ve made quite a few things since I got it. I’ve completed several online courses and have found some exceptional Scalable Vector Graphic (svg) designs and designers. Cricut themselves have thousands of designs which are available with a subscription.

My cutting machine is a Cricut Maker 3, but there are several other brands, each of which seems to bring something interesting to the table. I chose the Maker 3 with a rotary blade as it cuts fabric without needing to bond it.

I found a website called Jennifer Maker and I did some of her courses prior to making a decision on dropping hints that this is what I’d like for my birthday. I also looked at some of her projects, and she has about 500 of them, including quilts, cards, pop ups, as well as lots of vinyl based projects, which I was not interested in at all.

Once I had the machine I began working my way through a paid course and the first thing I made was a pop-up card which was a pot of marigolds.

This card folds completely flat for posting, but pops up when opened. It has a little card inside for a message. I sent it to an IG friend in the US, for whom marigolds held a special meaning.

Then one of my neighbours lost her husband and I sent another one to her, as I felt it was better than flowers that get thrown out a few days later.

I think I improved a bit between the two. The thing to note is the accuracy of complex cuts. I could never make something like this by cutting out by hand.

I received the machine a couple of days before we went to Hobart to celebrate my birthday and I had a happy time planning projects whilst I was there. Tom and I “designed” a key ring to give to Miss G as she always steals everyone’s keys and plastic keys don’t cut it for her. The design made me laugh, although we worked out how to slice, weld and attach. I just made the keyring today and it’s a bit horrific. It’s a dog, but it worked out much larger than I had realised and I thought it might scare Miss G, but she loves it! The keys came from an enormous bunch of unidentified keys Mark has in a drawer. I chose nice shapes and colours.

Please don’t laugh! We did have a vision, but couldn’t quite get there. Yes, the Cricut cuts leather too.

I saw that Jennifer Maker had a fairy house and I thought I’d really like to make it. I’m not very nimble of finger, but I don’t think this was too bad for a first effort.

There’s a lot of detail in this card. It’s a pop up which is why it looks a little wonky in the middle photo. Can you see the staircase, rocking chair and tea set in the first photo? and the mouse in his house in the third one? I love these micro details.

This is what the little flowers looked like when I had cut them out. Picking them off the sticky mat is called “weeding” and I’m not sure it’s my favourite activity.

It was Archie’s 30th birthday and I had to make him a pop up card!

He loves making things so this card seemed perfect. There’s a lot of detail in this. I also had a couple of small gifts for him so I made a little bag to put them in. I received a set of pens with the machine, so I can write on the cardstock. I created the message myself. It is easy to curve text. I was able to make a matching envelope as well.

I really like these bags and have made quite a few. Some are for gifts, and others contain a mixture of lavender oil and bicarbonate of soda for hanging in the wardrobe.

I didn’t photograph them all, but I have been able to use the machine to draw suitable images on the front. The needle and thread is for a sewing friend and the other two are for non-sewing friends.

I made a friend a pop up butterfly card. What’s lovely about this card is that when it’s opened the butterfly flaps its wings. I actually made two of these, which is why there are two on the left.

I have done very little original designing but I wanted some embroidery thread holders, and although they are cheap to buy, how much more fun to create my own, from recycled materials.

I published this design on the Cricut Design Space and have got quite a lot of likes for it, which is a bit thrilling!

The cricut cuts fabric really well and one of my friends wanted a denim wreath like one i have hanging near my front door. It’s a lot of work to cut it by hand so I did it on the cricut. I had to redesign the flowers and leaves, and I think I did a pretty good job.

I have previously blogged these two makes, but I thought I’d add them to this post, to show that felt is really easy to cut on the Cricut. I just love that these are so precisely cut.

Am I allowed to mention Christmas yet? I’m getting organised! Making the gift bags for friends, but also making decorations.

I’ve had a lot of fun making houses and things like snowmen.

Having made these I got a bit of an urge to make some hoops. My first attempt at a shelf was a bit of a disaster, I used cereal packet cardboard and it wasn’t strong enough, so Mark made me some papier mâché shelves, which are wonderful. I could have used balsa wood as the Cricut cuts that too, but it’s not cheap to buy, whereas papier mâché uses recycled materials.

the first hoop I made was a metal one, which I ringed with wooden beads. The ribbon at the top hides the weld spot holding the hoop together. I glued the shelf in and added a reindeer, santa and tree. I then added “snow” which I made from bicarbonate of soda and heavily watered down wood glue. Once it was nearly set I sifted more bicarb onto it to give it a powdery look. I just needed some LED lights and I had a really cute decoration. This one has gone to Miss G.

I obtained a large embroidery hoop from the Fibres West garage sale, and decided I needed a big one of these. I used the inner hoop and planned for two shelves which Mark again made from papier mâché.

I provided him with paper leftover from pdf patterns – you know all the bits that get cut off and thrown away? Well I keep them all! There was also some green paper that he had been using for lists. He started with the cereal packet cardboard, added green layers and then the white. The photo on the right shows us fixing the shelves into the embroidery hoop.

Meanwhile I made houses and more festive things – a snowman, tree, santa and reindeer. I did want to put in a ski slope and use my Mum’s Christmas cake decorations which included skiers, but ran out of space. I’ll try and do this on the next one!

We drilled holes in the shelves to poke LED lights through into the houses, and the rest were inserted round the hoop. I lined the houses with tracing paper to diffuse the light, but am now collecting cereal packet insides for this purpose. The tracing paper was left over from when my kids were at school, so it’s good to use it.

This photo amused me as Mark decided that piping the “snow” on to the shelves might work better than scooping it on with my fingers. It actually worked well, but in the end I was able to deliver the right amount quite accurately with a knife. It was wet outside when I made this, so it had to be done in the kitchen, with the hoop clamped to the kitchen table. By the time I sifted the bicarb over the top we had “snow” from one end of the room to the other!

I have to say I’m rather delighted with my hoops. The houses show just the right amount of light and there is quite a whimsical air to it all. I am enjoying it every night.

Remember me saying that I wasn’t at all interested in using vinyl? Well, some came with the machine so I thought I might as well try it. I began with a Mary Quant daisy on my pocket and a little heart on the back. I am strangely in love with the vinyl, it feels so nice when it’s welded to my fabric.

I’ve also been playing around with making labels. This one is poorly weeded but it’s inside my Issey Miyake jacket, not yet blogged.

I plan lots more labels of various sorts.

Finally, your reward for ploughing to the end of this post. We took Miss G to the Cuddly Animal Farm. It’s such a cool place to visit, although I suspect her favourite activity was being hung upside down by her dad!


6 thoughts on “Playing Cricut

  1. Very tempting! I’m infatuated with the denim wreath. How did you make it without the Cricut?
    I would love to be a mouse on the floorboard of your car, and listen to all of your planning and plotting!

    1. Haha, love the mouse comment! Purl Soho has a pattern which I bought when I was in New York, but if you found some flower and leaf shapes you could do it easily.

  2. You look like you are having lots of fun – I must come and see these creations.
    Love the family pics.xx

  3. That was a fun enabling read! My local library has one. Better test it out 😁, Your little Christmas houses are just so cute.

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