A few years ago I tried book folding for the first time and really enjoyed it. I made a simple Christmas tree using Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol book. While browsing Pinterest for ideas for book nooks, I saw pins for cut and fold book art. I’d always wondered how they made more elaborate designs so I Googled cut and fold book art and came across All In The Folds website.
Free Cut and Fold Book Art Masterclass
I took advantage of the free cut and fold masterclass and printed out my first pattern. I was going to order a T shaped ruler from Amazon but decided I’d make my own for my first try in case I didn’t like it! A piece of glitter card taped to the top of my ruler worked well!
It was a bit intimidating at first glance but after watching the video tutorial it turned out to be really easy! I’m now hooked on book art and I can’t wait to learn the other methods.
You may know that I volunteer at the charity shop where I run the book section. We currently use CD cases with letters on the spine to separate the paperback books alphabetically. They’re ok but they can be hard to see so I’ve decided that with my new-found knowledge, I’m going to get hardback books that have been donated and make letter dividers using an alphabet I’ve seen on All In The Folds 🙂
I’ll share photos when they’re all done and in place.
As usual, there’s a great video of Leo showing you how to put all the pieces together. My tutorial is for those of you who prefer written instructions and lots of photos 🙂
Load the makeup sponge with ink and wipe the excess off on a piece of scrap paper. Apply the ink to the middle of the petals. How dark the ink is, depends on how you want your flower to look.
Ink the first 3 sets of petals for the first flower. Two of the sets have pointed petals and the third has rounded petals.
Using a dowel, curl the edges by holding the paper between your thumb and the dowel and gently pull the paper down between them.
Put your first set of pointed petals on to the dowel. If you’re using a 4mm piece of dowel, the petal should fit nicely. Don’t push it too far down the dowel, just enough to leave room for the other petals and the stamens to be added.
Put a little bit of glue around the dowel on the first pointed petal.
Stick the second pointed petal to the first. Make sure you offset the petals.
Add the third set of petals, the one with the rounded ends and again, offset them.
Using the dowel, curl the first stamen like you did with the petals.
Do the same with the second stamen piece and glue it to the first, making sure to offset it.
Add the third stamen piece, shaping it as before. Don’t worry about the little bits of hot glue, you can remove them with some tweezers.
Place the black circle piece on to a folded teatowel and use a ball tool to shape it. Press on the circle with the ball tool and use a circular motion to shape it. You want it to have a slight bowl shape
Using a hot glue gun, put some glue on the end of the dowel. Don’t worry if you get little stringy bits of glue, you can remove them using some tweezers.
Stick the black circle to the flower stamens.
Using a dowel, shape the small leaves piece that are going under the flower. The leaves need to bend down, away from the flower. Add some hot glue to the base of the flower and slide the leaf piece down and stick it to the flower.
This is how it should look.
Cover the dowel with some green florist’s tape. You don’t need to go all the way down because you’ll be adding more when you add each new leaf.
Ink your first leaf piece.
Shape using a dowel then curl it around the dowel to help make it easier to attach to the flower dowel.
It needs attaching to the dowel so that it sits just under the leaves under the flower without touching the small leaves.
Ink and curl 3 leaves.
Attach them to the dowel using florist’s tape where you think they look best.
Repeat the above steps for the other 2 flowers before moving onto the vase assembly.
Get the 5 identical vase pieces and bend all the score lines.
Glue the the bottom side tab to the next vase piece, making sure you glue right to the edge of the tab and line the pieces up as precisely as possible.
Continue gluing the bottom tabs to the next vase piece until all 5 pieces are glued together
Next, glue the 3 small tabs on the left hand piece and stick it to the next piece.
Glue the top tab, making sure the glue goes right to the edge and stick it to the next piece.
Always be as precise as possible when lining up the tabs to glue them.
Continue gluing and sticking all the side tabs to their neighbour pieces.
Fold the base flaps and get the piece of base card ready to stick to to the tabs.
Start by gluing one tab and stick the base piece to the tab. Again, be precise.
Glue the remaining tabs and stand the vase up. Use a piece of dowel to put inside the vase and press the tabs down until they stick.
Get the patterened vase pieces ready to stick o the vase.
There’s a little scoreline at the top of each long vase piece. This is to help you position the patterned piece to the right place on the vase.
Stick the first piece into place; it’s the piece with the decorative cutout.
Continue sticking the other long pieces onto the vase then stick the smaller pieces around the bottom of the vase.
For the top of the vase, there are 5 decorative pieces that need curling into shape. I wrapped them around my Cricut score tool.
Curl all 5 pieces.
On the curled pieces, you can see little cuts. These are to help you stick the curls in the right place. Line them up inside the top of the vase, with the rounded end on the long patterned piece.
Get creative and apply the gems where you like.
Ink the long leaf pieces
Use the dowel to shape the leaves.
Glue the leaves inside the vase to four sides, leaving the front without a leaf.
Put some sand or shredded paper inside the vase and use it to position the three flowers you made earlier.
Here’s another one I made 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you make this flower vase, I’d love to see your result; you can post in the Dreaming Facebook group, of which I’m a member 🙂
I love this little high heel greeting card from Dreaming Tree. I have lots of girly friends and family members who would love to receive one of these cards for their birthday. A great bonus is that the SVG files to make this card are totally free from Dreaming Tree 🙂
High Heel Greeting Card
If you prefer video tutorials to written tutorials, you can find the Dreaming Tree tutorial video here.
Before I begin the tutorial, I just need to let you know that in the first image below, it shows a white piece of cardstock. When it came to using the white card, I decided I needed a stronger colour and changed to a dark purple cardstock. I’d already cut some files before I decided on the change so I couldn’t retake the photo!
For this tutorial, you will need:
Cardstock in a design of your choice for the shoe – I used glitter cardstock
Co-ordinating cardstock for the shoe embellishments – I used adhesive foil
Cardstock for the flower embellishments, the card insert and the envelope embellishment
Card/paper of your choice for the envelope
Cutting machine – I used a Cricut Maker
Cricut cutting mats – I used a green and a blue mat
1 – After you’ve clicked Make It in Design Space, you’ll be taken to the Prepare screen.
Choose your material by clicking on All Materials.
I’m using Glitter cardstock.
When you’ve set your material, you will be taken to the following screen and on the Cricut machine, the Load button will be flashing.
Load your card onto a mat – I used the green mat because it holds the glitter cardstock well – then place the mat under the guides on the machine and while holding the mat in place, press the load button.
Press the Cricut Go button when it flashes.
When your first piece has finished cutting, carefully remove from the board and set aside.
Load the next piece of card onto the mat. I used Adhesive foil and the blue mat. Remember to change your material settings.
Load the mat into the machine and press the Cricut Go button when it flashes
Unload the mat and remove the embellishments carefully, from the board.
Load your envelope card/paper onto the mat and then load into the machine. Press the Cricut Go button when it flashes.
Unload the mat and carefully remove the envelope and excess card/paper from the board.
Load the mat with the card for the next piece then load the mat into the machine and press the Cricut Go button when it flashes.
Load the mat for the final time and load into the machine.
Remove the card from the mat and fold along the score line.
Glue the high heel piece to the card ensuring it all lines up along the edge then glue the embellishment piece onto the shoe piece.
Using a piece of dowel or similar, shape the flower embellishment petals by holding the flower and dowel together then pulling the flower down between your finger and the dowel while slightly bending the card as you pull it.
Glue the flowers to the card.
Stick the flower middles onto the flowers.
At the bottom of the heel, you’ll see two tiny cuts. These are there to help you with placing the heel piece in the right place.
Glue the heel piece into place.
There are also tiny cut marks to show you where the sole needs to be placed.
It should look like this:
Add gem embellishments.
Fold all the score lines on the envelope piece then apply glue to the inside envelope flap.
After receiving my shiny new Cricut Maker a few of months ago, it’s fair to say I’m now a little bit addicted to paper crafting!
One of my favourite sites to download SVG files from is Dreaming Tree. I stumbled across them while Googling for free SVG files.
I’m now a member of the Dreaming Tree Facebook group and I love looking through all the results. Each person puts their own creative style into the projects so no matter how many ‘exquisite eggs’ or ‘darling dress’ cards are shared, they’re all different and provide me with lots of inspiration for my own projects.
SVG files are used by Design Space, which is the online design software for Cricut. You upload the files to Design Space and it then sends instructions to the machine, telling it what you want it to do.
Dreaming Tree has many videos on their site to help you learn. If you prefer videos to written tutorials, the videos that show you how to unzip and upload the Dreaming Tree SVG files can be found here.
I don’t much care for video tutorials personally, especially on my phone. I find myself having to rewind the video often as I get behind and miss bits. It’s harder to rewind on my phone because of the smaller screen and my chunky fingers!
With a written tutorial, I don’t need to do anything except scroll to the next instruction when I’m ready 🙂
Dreaming Tree Tutorial – How to download, unzip and upload files to Design Space
With this in mind, and knowing I’m not the only one who prefers written instructions, I’m going to show you today how I download an SVG file from Dreaming Tree, how to unzip it when you have it on your Windows machine and how to upload it to Design Space.
I created an account at Dreaming Tree because I plan to be a long term customer! The following tutorial assumes you’ve created an account and are logged in.
We’ll be using the High Heel greeting card file. This is a free download.
Click the following link to be taken to the download page – High Heel Greeting Card
Add the file to your shopping cart.
Click on your shopping cart and click Checkout
Click Place Order
You will receive an email confirming your purchase and there will be a link in it which will take you to the download. Alternatively, go to your account and click on Downloads
Find the file and click the blue button to download it.
I created a new folder in my Documents folder and called it Dreaming Tree. When you’ve picked your folder, click Save
Open the folder that contains your file and right click on the zip file. On the dropdown menu, click Extract All
A window will pop up telling you which folder the files will be extracted to. On my laptop, it always chooses the folder I’m already in so I never change the file destination.
You will now have the extracted folder and the empty zipped folder.
Right click on the zip folder and click on Delete
You will now have the folder containing your svg files. Click on it to open it.
Inside this folder, you have another folder titled SVG. Click this folder to open it.
Inside the SVG folder, you’ll see two more folders and the SVG files. You need to upload all the SVG files to Design Space, including the SVG files in the envelope folder.
For the purpose of today’s tutorial, I won’t be using the extra files. The Extras folder contains a solid scorelines file and a Caption file. I’ll cover these in a later tutorial.
Open Design Space and click New Project
You will now have a blank canvas. Click Upload
Click Upload Image
Browse to the folder that contains your SVG files and click elements_peapod.svg
When it opens in Design Space, click Save
Your new file will now show on your Recently Uploaded Images.
Repeat the process until you have all 4 SVG files uploaded into Design Space.
Don’t forget, like I did when making this tutorial, to go back and upload the envelope file in the same way! You should have 5 files, not 4 as in the screenshot.
Click on each of the five(!) files and click Insert Images
You will now have the files on the canvas of Design Space. Down the side, you can see the layer palette.
You now need to look at each layer in turn and see if any of them need attaching. The attach button is kind of like a paperclip; it clips 2 layers together so when you move them, they stay together and remain in the right place. If you didn’t attach the layers, the machine would put both layers on separate mats or on the same mat but not in the correct place.
The elements_peapod, elements_salmon and panel_black_pattern are single layers and don’t have any parts that need attaching. When you click on these layers, the actions at the bottom, including Attach won’t be available.
The main_white has a separate cut layer. This cut layer is in place of a solid scoring layer. This means that those who don’t have a scoring wheel or scoring tool will have tiny little cuts in a straight line in the place where the card needs to be folded.
If you click on main_white and look at the bottom of the layer palette, you’ll see that Attach is now available to click.
The Attached layer will now move to the top.
You need to do the same with the envelope layer because it has a layer that needs attaching so the score lines are in the right place.
You can now click the save button and save your project. It will then be available in your projects every time you want to make a new card.
Just click save and give your project a name.
Click Make It
You will now be taken to the Prepare Mats screen.
That’s it for this tutorial. If you’d like to carry on and see the cutting and assembling process click for Part 2
Since receiving my wonderful Cricut Maker in February, my blog has been very neglected! I’ve hardly done any recipes, I’m behind on my reading so I’m behind on my book review posts and I’ve gone days every week without posting. For someone who usually blogs daily, it’s been a little strange not blogging. However, I love being creative with the Cricut and I just want to be making things all the time!
I spent all day yesterday making my lovely mother-in-law some pictures to hang on either side of her bathroom door.
I purchased SVG files from one of my favourite websites, Dreaming Tree and made six 6×6 inch box frame pictures.
I’ve also made a cute paper bunny rabbit that can be filled with Easter goodies!
I’ve made cards and box frames for mother’s day presents and I’ve bought loads more files from Dreaming Tree and SVG Cuts that I can’t wait to make!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
We’ve just celebrated Mother’s Day here in the UK and this year we made my mum, Ant’s mum and Aiden’s step mum a rolled roses box frame. We used the Cricut Maker to cut the roses and vinyl for the front of the frame then personalised them for each person, like the one below.
We loved how nice they looked so I decided to make a small one for us, to celebrate the coming of Spring. The following tutorial is picture heavy to make it easier for beginners to follow along.
Rolled Roses Box Frame Cricut Tutorial
You will need:
A Cricut Maker – here’s mine on my shiny new trolley from Hobbycraft! The super wonderful husband added the storage baskets on the side for my vinyl rolls and we’ve ordered a magazine rack for the other side that will store my 12×12 papers 🙂
A box frame. I used a 6×6 white frame from The Range.
Medium Cardstock in your choice of colours.
A glue gun and glue sticks.
A quilling tool.
Cricut transfer tape.
Open Design Space and click on Images. In the search box, search for #M3D7E1.
This file is free for me because I have Cricut access. I’m not sure if you have to pay for it if you don’t subscribe.
Click on the image of the spiral and click on Insert Images.
The image will open in Design Space. Click on Duplicate and move one spiral underneath the other.
While holding the Shift key, click on each layer so that they’re both selected and click on Attach at the bottom of the layer palette. This will keep your images in the right place when you click on Make It.
Click Save and name your file.
Cutting The Roses
Click Make It. Design Space will prepare the mats and you can change some options here before starting to cut.
I wasn’t sure how many copies I would need but I estimated around 30-36 should do. Set the number of copies you will need for your frame and click apply.
Click Continue. Design Space will work out how many it can fit on a 12×12 sheet of card and will tell you how many mats you will need to cut.
I wanted to cut mine on A4 paper because I didn’t have enough of the same colour sheets in 12×12. I went back to Design Space and duplicated the image until I had 6 flowers and arranged them vertically rather than horizontally.
When you’ve set your number of copies, click Continue and select your material type. I’m using a light cardstock. I’m using the green mat throughout.
The Load button will start flashing on the Cricut Maker when your material type has been selected. Hold the mat and apply gentle pressure while pressing the Load button then let go and let the mat load.
When the machine is ready, the Go button will start flashing. Press the Go button and let the machine do the job.
Assembling The Roses
When all the spirals have been cut, it’s time to start assembling the roses.
Using a quilling tool, slide the outer end of the spiral into the tool.
Roll the spiral gently and try to keep the edge of the spiral lined up.
When it has all been rolled, slowly let go and let the flower unroll until it’s the shape you want it.
Hold the flower and turn it upside down. Apply hot glue to the last circle of the spiral.
Press the circle onto the bottom of the rolled rose.
Your first flower is now finished. Only another 30 or so to go!
When all the roses have been made, cut a piece of white paper to the same size as the inside of your frame. Attach the roses, using hot glue, in any design you wish. We did 3 lines of different colours on the first ones we made for Mother’s day, but this time I wanted it to look a bt different so I placed them on randomly.
Cutting The Vinyl
It’s now time to cut the viny for the front of the frame.
I used a free download from lovesvg.com for the spring vinyl design. Download the file and unzip it.
In Design Space, click on Upload file.
Click on Browse and browse to the folder where you unzipped your file.
Select the file by clicking on it and then click on Insert Images
The image will open on the canvas in Design Space.
You can resize the image by clicking and holding the circle with the arrows and dragging it to the required size.
Make sure all the layers are selected and click on Attach at the bottom of the layer palette.
The image will turn to all the same colour. Clicking Attach tells the software that you want it to keep the image as it is. If you don’t click Attach, the software will rearrange the image on the mats to save materials.
Click Make It.
If your laptop is still connected you can just choose Vinyl for the material type. If not, connect your laptop or phone to the machine.
Follow the instructions to load the mat and start the cut when the machine is ready. There’s a progress circle to show how much cutting is left to do.
Attaching The Vinyl
Unload the machine when the Load button starts to flash again and remove the vinyl from the mat.
Peel away the excess vinyl.
Weed the tiny areas in the letters with the weeding tool or a pair of pointy tweezers. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I missed a bit in the F on Life. Don’t worry if this happens, you can weed it using the weeding tool of tweezers once it’s been applied to the frame glass.
When it’s all weeded, cut a piece of transfer tape big enough to cover your design.
Stick the transfer tape to the design and rub over it using the Cricut scraper tool.
Remove the backing from the vinyl and place the design on the glass.
Using the scraper tool again, rub over the whole design. Whilst you need to apply pressure, make sure you don’t apply too much and break the glass.
I’ve found the easiest way to remove the transfer tape is to pull it back on itself, keeping it flat on the glass. Go slowly and use the scraper for any stubborn bits that didn’t stick.
And that’s it!
Your new rolled roses box frame is ready to hang where ever it will give you joy 🙂
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
After getting to grips with the Cricut Maker, I turned my attention to the EasyPress 2.
Again, this is my very first time using a machine like this so I can’t compare it to any other, but I can say, it’s brilliant and I’m very impressed!
The EasyPress 2 comes in 3 different sizes:
Small – 6″ x 7″
Medium – 9″ x 9″
Large – 12″ x 10″
I have the 9″ x 9″ medium version.
Getting Set Up
The EasyPress 2 is so easy to use I didn’t need to read the instructions, however, I did read through the booklet just to make sure I was doing everything right! It’s always a good idea to read the instruction booklet thoroughly whenever you buy a new product like this.
In the box, there’s the EasyPress 2, a base to stand it on, an envelope containing the paperwork and a canvas bag in which to store it if you wish.
Like the Cricut Maker, there’s a mini project for you to try so you can see how it all works.
In the envelope, amongst the paperwork, you’ll find a green glittery Cricut logo and a leaflet with instructions to help you with the mini project.
I switched the machine on and changed the temperature and time to the recommended settings for glitter iron on as shown on the instruction leaflet.
After following the project instructions I now have a lovely glittery Cricut logo on my storage bag 🙂
My First Project
For my first project, I asked my 11-year-old daughter, Ella, to pick one of her favourite quotes. I asked Ella rather than KayCee because I only had pink glitter iron on when I started the project and I knew she wouldn’t want pink glitter on her t-shirt!
Ella LOVES anything pink and especially anything pink and glittery so it was perfect for her 🙂
She picked the following quote:
Sometimes I pretend to be normal, but it gets boring so I go back to being me.
EasyPress 2 Glitter Iron On Tutorial
I’ve taken loads of screenshots for this tutorial so any beginners to the Cricut Maker, EasyPress 2 and Design Space should easily be able to follow along.
First, you need to open Design Space and click New Project
The Design Space canvas will open
Click on the Text tool
Above the canvas area, you will see a toolbar appear with the different settings needed to change your text.
You can now click anywhere on the canvas and a text box will open.
If you want to use different fonts on your quote, just type the first word into the text box
Go to the toolbar and click on the Fonts down arrow. If you want to use the fonts you have on your computer, click on the System button and choose your font.
Your text will look like this on the canvas. Depending on the font you’ve chosen, you might need to rearrange the letters, especially if they’re supposed to be joined up.
Click on the UnGroup button.
This puts each letter on its own layer which means each letter can be moved independently.
You can see each layer on the layer palette down the side.
If you have eyes like mine, you may need to zoom in to make the letters bigger and make it easier to place them in the correct position. Just click the + button on the zoom until it’s big enough for you to see comfortably.
Click on each letter in turn and move them into position.
This is what your word will like once all the letters have been moved into place.
Select all the letters by dragging a box around them using your mouse. Alternatively, you can hold your shift key down and click on each layer on the layer palette.
Click on the Group button. This keeps the layers intact, but allows you to move the whole word together without disturbing the placement of the individual letters.
Repeat the above steps until you have all the quote in position.
With all the layers selected, set the size using the toolbar.
When you’re happy with your design, make sure all the layers are selected and click on the Weld button at the bottom of the layer palette.
You will now have just 1 layer with all the text on it.
Save your design then you’re now ready to click Make It
You will be taken to a preview of the mat with your design on and it will show you where your design is going to be placed when cutting.
Glitter iron on is different to regular vinyl as it’s placed on the mat with the glitter side down. The back of the glitter iron-on isn’t sticky like vinyl. The glue on the glitter iron-on doesn’t stick until it has been heated. You have to remember to click on the Mirror button so your design will be mirrored to allow it to be placed on the t-shirt with the glitter side facing up.
Design Space Ap
I use Design Space on my laptop for doing the design, but when I want to move over to the Cricut Maker I use the Design Space ap on my Samsung phone. It’s more convenient to use my phone than it is to move my laptop so all the following screenshots are taken from the ap.
Open the Design Space ap. This is what you should see:
Click the down arrow next to the All Categories button and click on My Projects
Select your quote and click Make It
When the mat screen appears, look to the top left of the screen. It will say 1 of 1 and there’s a down arrow next to it.
Click on the down arrow and as before on the desktop version, you need to make sure Mirror (for iron-on) is switched on.
Choose the material by clicking on All Materials if Glitter Iron-On isn’t showing.
Scroll down the list until you get to the Iron-On section.
Select Glitter Iron-on from the list. I clicked the little star next to it so it will be added to my list of favourite materials.
Attach your glitter iron-on to the Cricut mat. I used the standard grip green mat. Press the Load/Unload button when you’re ready.
Follow the directions on Design Space. The Cricut logo button will flash once the machine is ready to cut.
Now you just need to let the machine do its thing!
Press the Load/Unload button to unload the mat and remove the iron-on from the mat.
The tricky bit now is to remove all the excess iron-on. This is called weeding and whilst I usually enjoy weeding, I didn’t feel the same trying to weed the glitter iron-on!
It’s quite hard to see the cut lines so you need to be careful and go slowly.
I did a Google search to see if there were any tips to help make weeding easier with the glitter iron-on and I found that you can buy a Cricut Bright Pad Light Box. Something to keep in mind if you have real trouble with weeding.
This is what it should look like when all the weeding has been done.
It’s now time to transfer that glitter onto the t-shirt using the EasyPress 2.
Set the temperature and time. If you’re not sure what temperature and time you need to use for your own chosen material, you just need to visit cricut.com/ep-settings.
These are the suggested settings for Glitter iron-on that is being applied to a cotton/poly blend fabric:
While the EasyPress 2 is warming up, get your EasyPress mat (or a fluffy, folded towel) and lay out the t-shirt. Make sure the mat or your towel has been placed on a strong surface such as a table rather than an ironing board.
When the machine is at the correct temperature it will beep.
Place the press on the fabric for 5 seconds. This removes moisture and heats the fabric. Never skip this step, it’s very important.
Now position your design on the t-shirt with the glittery side facing you. Put the press on the design and press the Cricut button to start the countdown.
If your design is bigger than the press, repeat the above steps until all of the design has been pressed.
Turn the t-shirt over and apply the heat to the back of the design for 15 seconds.
This helps the iron-on stay put no matter how many washes the t-shirt has 🙂
Turn the t-shirt back over and allow to cool slightly. Carefully peel the clear plastic from the design.
Enjoy the fruits of your labour 🙂
Ella is delighted with her new t-shirt!
When Ant saw the finished t-shirt, he said it looked like it had been professionally made 🙂
A friend at the charity shop where I volunteer mentioned she had a hen night coming up and they all wanted personalised t-shirts.
I’m going to take Ella’s t-shirt to show her tomorrow and see if she wants me to make them all for her!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when the new Cricut Maker and EasyPress 2 were delivered to me a few weeks ago.
Whilst I’m not completely new to crafting, I don’t class myself as an experienced crafter. The children have always enjoyed crafting and I enjoy doing it with them, but our creations are totally amateur compared to the things I’ve seen other people make!
As I’ve never used a Cricut machine before, I’m not able to compare it to any of the older Cricut machines or any other cutting machine for that matter. I’m a completely new user and as such, I’ll be telling you how this total newbie got started.
From researching the new Cricut Maker online I’ve found that it has an Adaptive Tool System which controls the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match your chosen material.
This is what makes the Maker different and better from older models, especially if you’re wanting to use it for fabric cutting.
This wonderful machine can cut everything from regular paper and cardstock to delicate papers like tissue and crepe.
Using the rotary blade, it can cut all kinds of sewing materials without having to back the fabric and using the washable fabric pen, it also marks the fabric at the same time. This appears to be one of the features all the other Maker users are really excited about! I’m sure I’ll be the same when I start making things out of fabric. I do love sewing and I’m really excited to try some of the patterns that are available in Design Space.
Using the washable marker and rotary blade, you just attach the fabric to the fabric cutting mat, choose your fabric in Design Space and let the machine do the rest.
A deep cut blade is also available which enables the machine to cut through balsa wood, matt board and heavy leather, to name just a few.
As well as the Maker and EasyPress 2, I also received the Essential Tool Set which includes:
Weeder to remove tiny negative cuts
Scissors with protective blade cover
Spatula to lift cuts from the mat
Scraper to burnish material and clean all cutting mats
Scoring stylus to add fold lines to cards and envelopes
High-quality trimmer for materials up to 12″ wide
Replacement blade for the trimmer
The scoring blade allows you to add score lines to your projects
And the paper crafting set:
Piercer allows accurate placement of fine cuts and embellishments
Quilling Tool makes smooth, tight, decorative spirals
Edge Distresser creates textured edge effect on paper
Craft Mat features multi-use piercing and self-healing surfaces
There are 4 different coloured mats.
Blue – Light Grip
Green – Standard Grip
Purple – Strong Grip
Pink – Fabric
They come in two sizes; 12″ x 12″ or 12″ x 24″ and they’re totally reusable. If your mat starts to lose its stickiness, you can find out how to bring it back to life with a quick Google search.
Design Space is the web-based software that is used to create designs. It allows you to create your own designs or choose from hundreds of make-it-now projects.
Cricut Access is a subscription service which gives you access to fonts, images, make-it-now projects and lots more. You don’t have to subscribe to be able to use Design Space.
You can use your computer, tablet or smartphone to connect the Maker to Design Space. It can connect via Bluetooth or USB and there’s also a charging point for your phone or tablet.
When I first opened Design Space I felt a little overwhelmed, however, it didn’t last long. There are lots of tutorial videos to help you and I managed to download an SVG file (keep in mind I had no idea what an SVG file even was before I got the Cricut Maker!), import it into Design Space and create a gorgeous wedding memento for my cousin and his new bride!
I’ll be honest and say that I did have to try 2 or 3 times to get to the finished product. I didn’t know about working with vinyl yet so when the tiny letters and numbers didn’t work out very well using the card, I gave up (the wedding was the next day and I was running out of time!) and bought some silver letter and number stickers instead!
If I’d have started the project earlier and checked out more of the tutorial videos on the Cricut website, I would have found my first project much easier!
I’ll be talking more about vinyl in a future post as now I’ve seen the things you can create with it, I can’t wait to get making! Using vinyl to make personalised gifts is the thing I’m most looking forward to learning.
I love the design of this machine. It’s so smooth and shiny!
The storage areas are one of my favourite features because I like having a place for everything and everything in its place!
The storage cups on the side have a soft rubber base which protects the blades. One cup is deeper than the other, making it a great place to store pens or tools
Family Crafting Time
KayCee, (13) and Ella (11) both used to love crafting. However, now they’re getting older, they don’t ask to craft as often because they want to be out with their mates.
The Cricut Maker has changed all that. They both want to be making things all the time now since we set it up and they learned how to use it!
Mother’s Day is approaching here in the UK and we’ve already made cards for my mum and Ant’s mum.
Ella wants to make a card for me tonight and she’s going to have to make it on her own because I’m not allowed to see it until Mother’s Day.
We’ve also decided on the gifts we want to make for each mum. I can’t tell you what they are, however, because we don’t want them to have the surprise spoiled!
Lots More To Learn
Because this machine can do so much, it’s going to take me a while to learn about everything. It’s a journey I’m so excited to embark on and I hope to be sharing many Cricut tutorials with you in the future.
Now I have to go figure out what the EasyPress 2 can do. I’ve not even taken it out of the box yet, but I’m so excited to make something for KayCee and Ella 🙂
We’ve rounded up some Christmas craft ideas for children of all ages from the craft advent posts we did a couple of years ago.
KayCee and Ella had great fun making all these crafts and did an excellent job.
You can find links to all of the Countdown To Christmas 24 advent Crafts on my Pinterest board
We had the hottest Summer this year than we’ve had for a long time. Just about everyone loved it. I didn’t. I’m not a Summer lover and have to say I was glad when Autumn arrived!
Autumn, however, brings with it rainy days and if we don’t have some ideas to keep everyone occupied, we all end up watching too much TV.
Here are some things we enjoy to do when it’s rainy outside.
Activities For Rainy Days
Family Board Game Day – KayCee collects Monopoly games so we have plenty of different kinds to choose from.
Design A Family Board Game – KayCee and Ella had great fun making a Very Hungry Caterpillar board game when they were younger. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day and at the end, you can all play the game together.
Make Your Own Moon Sand – I’ve never tried this, but I really want to. I think I’d have as much fun playing with this as Ella would!
Baking – A rainy day activity list wouldn’t be complete without baking of some sort, whether it be cakes or cookies.
Rock Painting – We did this last year and everyone enjoyed it, including me. We still haven’t varnished our rocks yet so we’ve not been able to put them in the garden. We’ll have to do it soon because they’re too nice to be stuck in a box!
Indoor Treasure Hunt – Ella and her friends often make treasure hunts for each other. They choose a prize and hide it then write a series of clues for the other one to follow. You can also get loads of printables from Google if you wanted to create one for your children but didn’t want to write all the clues yourself.
Washable Stained Glass Window Painting – The lady who writes this blog put the tape on the outside but obviously, that won’t work if it’s raining. This can be done indoors as long as you protect the floor under your window.
Make Gloop – Cornflour, water and some food colouring can keep children entertained for hours with homemade gloop.
Make Some Story Sacks – Ella loved bringing home a story sack when she started nursery. I’d never heard of them before, but thought they were a brilliant idea.
You can make them for all ages and stages of development.
Get Outside & Play In The Rain – When I was a child my friend and I used to go outside in bare feet and squelch our toes in the mud when it rained hard! We loved it when the rain was pounding so hard it bounced when it hit the floor!
A rainy walk in the woods can be great fun for all the family 🙂
What kind of things do you like doing on rainy days?