Browsing Tag:

Crafts

The Benefits of Creative Hobbies and Why You Should Have One

woman doing origami - creative hobbies
Photo by cottonbro studio

Do you have hobbies that you like to work on in your spare time? If not, you could be missing out on something that really enhances your life in so many different ways. Having hobbies can bring a whole host of benefits. Hobbies come in all shapes and forms. But one of the most popular types is creative hobbies. 

In this blog post, we’ll examine the many benefits of having a creative hobby, and we’ll even provide you with some creative hobby inspiration to get you started. So, keep reading to find out why having a creative hobby can be so beneficial:

Reduces Stress

Modern life can be super stressful. So many of us find ourselves juggling a wide range of responsibilities and being pulled in multiple directions. So it’s no wonder that many people suffer from chronic stress and permanently feel anxious and on edge.

One of the great things about a creative hobby is that it’s an excellent way to shift your focus from feeling stressed and to bring your attention to your hobby instead. So instead of having your mind feeling scattered and worrying about your to-do list and the many jobs you need to complete, you can simply enjoy the distraction of working on your fun hobby.

Helps You Learn New Skills

As adults, it can feel like our days of learning are left behind. However, while your formal education may be complete, there are still plenty of opportunities to learn a new skill or two. Taking up a new creative hobby is a perfect example of this. 

Challenging yourself to learn a new skill is such a rewarding process. Spending your spare time mastering something new ensures you feel like you are accomplishing something in your downtime, and is far more productive than simply sitting in front of the television binge-watching the latest must-watch series.

Seeing your knowledge and skills develop with practice is rewarding in itself. Noticing that you are gradually improving and making progress with your new creative hobby is really satisfying. Knowing that you’ve started with no knowledge at all and have acquired a new creative passion is definitely something worth celebrating.

As well as helping you use your time productively, learning new skills also helps you to keep your mind active and engaged. This can help you to improve your memory and could even help you to keep conditions such as dementia at bay.

Encourages a State of Flow

Learning how to perform your creative hobby takes concentration and perseverance. You will need to nahe both your mind and body in the task to really master your new skill. Whether you are learning to play a musical instrument or how to make dollar bill origami, you still need to connect your mind and your physical activity to successfully achieve this. 

When you’re fully immersed in your task, you can enter a state of flow. Flow states often bring joy and happiness. They also bring satisfaction, the feeling of being fully absorbed in what you are doing right now without your mind wandering off to other thoughts. In a world where we are constantly being inundated with information, achieving a state of flow can be an extremely welcome way to spend your time.

Enables You to Connect With Others

Another excellent benefit of having a creative hobby is that it allows you to connect with others. Meeting like-minded people who share your passion for your creative hobby can be a useful way to make new friends. You may find that your new creative hobby has online forums where you can chat with others. This feeling of connection can be really beneficial in many ways and help you to feel like part of a wider community.

Creative Hobby Ideas

If you’re keen to enjoy all of the above benefits, you may feel ready to get started with a creative hobby. But which one should you choose? Here are some creative hobby ideas to inspire you:

  • Origami
  • Knitting
  • Embroidery
  • Paper crafts
  • Painting
  • Sketching
  • Photography
  • Pottery
  • Woodworking
  • Sculpture
  • Jewellery making
  • Collage
  • Colouring
  • Pyrography
  • Calligraphy
  • Screen printing
  • Tapestry
  • Candle making
  • Musical instruments
  • Baking
  • Sugarcraft
  • DIY crafts
  • Upcycling
  • Crocheting
  • Quilting
  • Sewing
  • Diamond painting
  • Needle felting
  • Macrame
  • Creative writing
  • Wood turning

As you can see, there are a huge number of potential creative hobbies you can start. Each of them has the potential to enrich your life in so many ways and help you make the most of your spare time. All you need to do is pick one!

How to boost your creativity with paper-based crafts

Image by PIRO from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post

Are you looking for a new hobby in 2024? Perhaps you’re searching for something to spark your creativity, like the 25% of Brits focusing on self-improvement this year. If so, then crafts can be a great way to grow new skills and create fun items to keep, gift or sell!

Paper-based crafts are among the easiest to get started with. Ideas range from simple scrapbooking and cardmaking to complex origami, giving you plenty of scope to explore. And with over 80% of us now concerned about climate change, it’s good to know it’s a sustainable option too.

Below, discover five ways you could get your creative juices flowing with a paper craft.

Scrapbooking

paper-based crafts - scrapbooking
Image by Jan Kosmowski from Pixabay

Would you like to store your memories somewhere beyond your phone or social media profiles? If so, then scrapbooking could be perfect for you!

With little more than paper, scissors and glue, you can begin creating aesthetically pleasing displays of your favourite activities or interests. Think photographs, tickets, recipes – anything you end up collecting along the way!

Origami

origami
Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

Origami could be ideal if you’re looking for something a little more complex. With roots in ancient China and Japan, this iconic art involves folding paper in creative ways until they become finished sculptures.

You could create recognisable shapes such as animals, plants or objects. Alternatively, channel your inner modern artist and go abstract!

Handmade cards

handmade Birthday card

If you get tired of picking from the same card selections for every birthday, Christmas or other event, then making handmade cards might be the craft for you. This way you can create more tailored designs and messages for your loved ones to brighten their day!  

How you decorate the front is up to you of course. You could use simple drawing or painting or go wild and add texture with stick-on materials, for example.

Gift wrap

wooden stamps
Image by Pieternella Busink from Pixabay

Sticking with the theme of giving, creating your own gift wrap helps add an extra personal touch to your birthday or Christmas gifts. Plus you won’t end up with something that can be found in the shops – helping your gifts stand out from the rest!

You can use a stamp technique to customise the paper itself, then go one step further with homemade gift tags.

Papier-mâché

papier-mache masks - paper-based crafts
Image by izako77 from Pixabay

For something a little different, papier-mâché sets hard overnight to create a host of projects such as party pinatas, bowls and masks. It’s also an extra fun option to get little ones involved with!

You can use almost any old paper you want too, making it a great way of recycling items that would otherwise go to waste. Combine it with paper, plain flour and water and you have your papier-mâché mix!

Have any of these paper crafts piqued your interest? Try your hand and see what you can come up with!

Have A Creative Christmas With Design Bundles

merry1

This is a collaborative post.

When I got my Cricut in February 2019, my first project was to make a wedding gift for my cousin and his wife.
I didn’t really know what I was doing, having never used a Cricut before but I managed to figure it out, eventually!
The first SVG file I ever used was from Design Bundles; as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for what I needed.

Butterfly Bouquet Cutout Framed personalised wedding gift

Early Christmas Decorating

We put our decorations up on November 29th. We’ve never put them up in November before and I always said I never would! However, after the year we’ve all had thanks to Covid-19, we all needed something fun to do and something to look forward to.

Gnome tree decoration from Design Bundles
I love these gnomes. They’re super easy to make.

Everyone in the country seems to have gotten into the Christmas spirit a bit earlier than usual. We’re grabbing hold of it like a lifeline and even though it’s not going to be a normal Christmas, it can still be a brilliant one.

A Design Bundles Crafty Christmas

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year and one of the things I look forward to is crafting with the children.
We used to do lots of different crafts when they younger and I loved spending the time with them. Nowadays they prefer social media to crafting with mum but I can sometimes cajole them into crafting with me!

I downloaded loads of Christmas svgs from Design Bundles. They have so many you’re spoilt for choice! I use Design Bundles a lot so I decided to sign up for the Plus Membership. I can now choose new files every month using my Plus Credits 🙂

We’ve made tree decorations, 3D layered scenes, Christmas cards and Christmas t-shirts.

3D layered deer scene from Design Bundles

You can find tutorials below for some of the things we’ve been making.

3D Layered Penguins Scene Tutorial

This 3D layered penguin scene is simple and fast to make. All you need is a Cricut or other cutting machine, the 3D Christmas SVG papercraft bundle from Design Bundles, your choice of coloured/glittered card for each layer and some glue.
An optional extra is to add some wired fairy lights that you can put inside the scene behind the first inner layer. The finished product looks lovely when the lights are on.

3D layered penguin scene

Step 1 – Cutting

Cut all the pieces using your cutting machine. If you’re not sure how to use an SVG file, I have an in-depth tutorial here.

I used:

Black card – 2 outer layers
Silver glitter card – inner layer 1
Cream card – inner layer 2
Light blue card – inner layer 3
Dark blue card – Inner layer 4

Design Bundles penguin 3d scene

Step 2 – Assembling

Glue the 2 out layers together using the flap on the front piece.

mmm

Step 3 – Insert inner layers.

Starting with the back layer, insert all inner layers by slotting the tabs into the holes.

Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Design Bundles - Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Design Bundles - Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers

Step 4 – Closing the frame

All you need to do now is to apply glue to the tab on the outer back piece and stick the front penguin layer to the back.

Glue the flap

Christmas Tree Decorations Tutorial

This is a great project to use up all those card scraps; if you’re anything like me, you’ll have boxes of them!

We made our bauble decorations to go in the kitchen window rather than on the tree and they look lovely when they spin and catch the light.

All you need is scraps of card, glue, ribbon/string and adhesive gems.

Step 1 – Cut your pieces

I resized all the bauble files when I got them in Design Space because they were huge!
I resized them to around 10cms and changed the colour from black, making each design a different colour so they would be placed on different mats by Design Space.
If we were going to hang them on the tree, I’d have made them smaller but ours are going in the kitchen window so we need them a bit bigger.

Bauble files in Design Space

Step 2 – Duplicate and Flip

Now click on each bauble in turn, right click and duplicate then with the duplicated piece selected, click on Flip and flip the ornament horizontally.

Flip the duplicate piece horizontally

Once you’ve saved your work, click the Make It button in the top right corner of Design Space and cut all the pieces.

Step 3 – Assembling and Decorating

Put glue on the back of one the pairs of ornaments then stick the other piece to it, making sure they’re lined perfectly.

Using adhesive gems or any decorations you choose, decorate both sides.
If you’re using glitter card like me, it’s a good idea to put a dab of glue on the card where you want a gem to go, even though they’re adhesive, they sometimes fall off when put on glitter card.

Hang them using ribbon or Christmassy string.

Iron-On Vinyl T-Shirts Tutorial

My last tutorial today uses iron-on glittery vinyl to create some Christmas Movie watching t-shirts for KayCee and Ella.
Now before I start, I have to say I’m no expert when it comes to working with iron-on vinyl. I was really excited to try it when I first got the Cricut but I didn’t enjoy it the way I did when working with card.

I haven’t mastered layering yet so this is a one colour vinyl tutorial. I have to say, though, I do love the glitter and the svg files I got from Design Bundles made this a quick and easy craft.

KayCee and Ella wearing thier Christmas movie watching t-shirts

Step 1 – Choose Your SVG file

Go to Design Bundles and in the search box, search for Christmas Movie. This search term is enough to give you hundreds of results.

Choose your design and add it to Design Space.

Set the size and click Make It.

Step 3 – Cutting Your Design

The most important thing to remember at this stage is to MIRROR your design. I totally forgot with the second t-shirt and I wasted a whole sheet of glitter iron-on!

Design Space glitter iron-on settings

Click Continue then select Glitter Iron-On for the material.

When the cut has finished, weed away the excess material and your design is ready to be put on the t-shirt.

Step 4 – Applying The Iron-On

I used the Heat Press 2 with the following settings for Glitter Iron-on, a Cricut t-shirt and using the Cricut Easy Press mat:

Heat press 2 settings 1

Centre your design on the t-shirt and use the Easy Press to stick the design to the t-shirt. Let it cool before trying to peel off the carrier sheet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorials. I’ll be back tomorrow with some free Christmas printables I made using gorgeous artwork I bought at Design Bundles 🙂

5 Must-Know Tips That Make Sewing Easier For Beginners

sewing tools, ribbon, zip, buttons, scissors

When you decide to take up a sewing project, or you’ve just started picking up this skill, you’ve got a lot to learn. This is a magnificent craft, but the skills don’t just come to you in your sleep. It takes a lot of determination and effort to learn how to become a master of this craft, with the accent on the determination. If you are one of those who develop a certain interest and then get bored after seeing that there is a lot of work to do, then sewing is definitely not for you.

On the other hand, if you are determined enough and willing to learn, you’ll be really happy after your accomplishments. Just imagine being able to call yourself a sewing expert a couple of months from now. I understand that picking up these skills might seem difficult in the beginning, but believe me when I say it; it does get a lot easier.

It gets even easier when you find the right sewing tips and tricks. There are a lot of those online and, frankly, the Internet has made learning everything much easier. The technological developments have made everything possible, so there’s no need to worry too much about where to find the tips I am talking about. All you need is an Internet-connected device and you’ll have everything right there at the palm of your hand.

You simply open your browser, find a website or two which are abundant in these tips and tricks and you’ll be able to pick up quite a few useful skills. Finding these websites won’t be that difficult, just make sure that you end up learning from reliable sources. Let me give you a few must-know tips myself and hopefully make sewing much easier for you.

sewing machine

Learn How To Quickly Thread The Needle

Anyone who has ever tried to thread the needle knows how much patience you need in order to do it successfully. That might be a good thing, because it prepares you for the fact that sewing is a craft for patient people. It’s soothing at the same time, but you can’t deny the fact that you can get rather frustrated after not being able to thread the needle for some time. I know that you might think it’s completely unnecessary to talk about this, because everybody can do it with some determination and patience.

When you learn the right way to do it, though, there will be no need for you to spend too much time trying to do this successfully. Consequently, you won’t get frustrated every time you need to do it and you won’t delay your decision to start sewing just because you cannot bear the thought of wasting your time on threading the needle. Here’s what you need to do. Instead of moistening the end of your thread, you should moisten the back of the needle. Try it out and see how big a difference it makes.

Don’t Watch The Needle

The biggest reason why people aren’t able to improve their sewing skills is that they keep watching their needle and it distracts them. Since you are a beginner, you might be shocked by this idea, but the truth is that you should never, ever watch the needle while sewing. Think of it this way. The first rule of learning how to dance is not to watch your feet.

This might be easier to say than to do, though. What are you supposed to look at? How are you to divert your attention from the needle when you need to know what the needle is doing at all times. The solution is quite simple. Watch the marks on your throat plate guide. That will help make sure that your lines are straight and precise.

sewing machine

Check The Presser Foot

Don’t forget to ensure that the presser foot is up while threading. If it’s kept down, the tension will lock and that’s not what you want. If you are a complete beginner, you might not even know what I am talking about right now, but don’t worry. After you get the hang of it, everything will become much clearer. As it usually goes, things that seem completely strange to you turn into completely simple and clear ones after a while.

Here are some more tips for when you get the hang of everything and get some more advanced skills: https://sweetredpoppy.com/sewingtips/

Magnets Come In Handy

Why would you possibly need a magnet while sewing? That was your reaction right now, wasn’t it? While this is not directly connected to the sewing skill, it is a really useful tip that will definitely come in handy and save you a lot of trouble. Let me ask you a question. What will you do if you lose one of your needles and can’t seem to find it?

If you have ever dropped a needle on the floor, you know how frustrating searching for it can get. It’s as if it falls from the face of the Earth. This is not only time-wasting, but it can also pose a real danger to you or anyone in your household. Having a little magnet next to you will make the process of finding the needle much easier and much quicker. You just go over the area with the magnet and the little sneaky needle will stick right to it.

Measure Everything And Then Do It Again

Picture this scenario. You want to cut some fabric, you quickly measure it and proceed to cut. After the cutting is complete, you realize that you have made a huge mistake. Things might be uneven, or the dimensions might be completely wrong. The worst part is, there’s no turning back.

I’m pretty sure that everyone has been there, so don’t get to angry at yourself. You should, however, remember to be more careful next time. Measure once, measure twice and then measure everything all over again if necessary, but don’t cut anything until you have checked the measurements a couple of times.

This is a collaborative post

Cut and Fold Book Art

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!

cut and fold book art pattern

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.

cut and fold book art spelling the word, Inspire

Charity Shop

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.

All In The Folds Facebook Group

Rolled Roses Box Frame Cricut Tutorial #Ad

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.

to the world you are a mother but to your family you are the world. Box frame with paper roses

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 🙂

trolley on wheels from Hobbycraft with my Cricut maker on

  • 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.
  • White vinyl
  • Cricut transfer tape.

box frame, glue gun, yellow card, cricut tools

Design Space

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.

Design Space - file for creating rolled roses

 

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.

files opened in Design Space

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.

Selected layers in Design Space

Click Save and name your file.

save project in Design Space

Cutting The Roses

Click Make It. Design Space will prepare the mats and you can change some options here before starting to cut.

Design Space prepare the mats

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.

Design Space select project copies

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.

 

Design Space prepping mat for multiple copies

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.

choose your material

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.

load mat

Assembling The Roses

When all the spirals have been cut, it’s time to start assembling the roses.

spirals ready to roll

Using a quilling tool, slide the outer end of the spiral into the tool.

rolling paper rose

Roll the spiral gently and try to keep the edge of the spiral lined up.

rolled paper rose

When it has all been rolled, slowly let go and let the flower unroll until it’s the shape you want it.

rolled paper rose

Hold the flower and turn it upside down. Apply hot glue to the last circle of the spiral.

using hot glue to glue the flower together

Press the circle onto the bottom of the rolled rose.

glued paper rose

Your first flower is now finished. Only another 30 or so to go!

finished flower

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.

framed paper roses

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.

upload image

Click on Browse and browse to the folder where you unzipped your file.

choose file

Click Save

click save

Select the file by clicking on it and then click on Insert Images

load file onto canvas

The image will open on the canvas in Design Space.

svg file opens on canvas

You can resize the image by clicking and holding the circle with the arrows and dragging it to the required size.

change size if needed

Make sure all the layers are selected and click on Attach at the bottom of the layer palette.

select all layers and click attach

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.

image will change to all one colour

Click Make It.

prepping the mat for cutting

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.

select vinyl

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.

cutting in progress

Attaching The Vinyl

Unload the machine when the Load button starts to flash again and remove the vinyl from the mat.

cut vinyl

Peel away the excess vinyl.

removing 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.

weeded vinyl

When it’s all weeded, cut a piece of transfer tape big enough to cover your design.

using ransfer tape to transfer vinyl onto frame

Stick the transfer tape to the design and rub over it using the Cricut scraper tool.

transfer paper attached to vinyl

Remove the backing from the vinyl and place the design on the glass.

sticking vinyl and transfer paper onto frame

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.

rub over design to ensure it has stuck to the glass then peel off the transfer paper

And that’s it!

Cricut rolled roses and vinyl frame

Your new rolled roses box frame is ready to hang where ever it will give you joy 🙂

Cricut Maker Review By A 1st Time Cricut User #Ad

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.

Cricut Maker

Total Newbie

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.

Cricut maker with loaded mat ready to go

Cricut Maker

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.

Cricut maker adaptive tool system

Materials

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.

Cricut rotary blade

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.

cricut deep blade and housing

Tools

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

Cricut essential tool set

And the paper crafting set:

Cricut 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

Mats

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

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.

Cricut Design Space Cricut Access

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!

Butterfly Bouquet Cutout Framed personalised wedding gift

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!

personalised wedding gift using the Cricut

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.

Design

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!

Cricut storage
This magnetic strip is great for storing Cricut TruControl knife blades.

Cricut storage

Cricut Maker storage

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

Cricut Maker storage

Cricut Maker storage

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!

Shaped Love card made by Ella using a Make it now project in Design Space
Ella made this for her Dad 🙂

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 🙂

10 Things To Do On Rainy Days

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 doing when it’s rainy outside.

Activities For Rainy Days

  1. Family Board Game Day – KayCee collects Monopoly games so we have plenty of different kinds to choose from.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. Baking – A rainy day activity list wouldn’t be complete without baking of some sort, whether it be cakes or cookies.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Make Gloop – Cornflour, water and some food colouring can keep children entertained for hours with homemade gloop.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 🙂
Ella loves rainy days
We got caught in a downpour on the way home from school. Everyone else was running, we were taking our time and enjoying the feel of the rain on our skin 🙂

What kind of things do you like doing on rainy days?

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

#Blogtober18

Top 5 Craft Ideas For The Family

DIY craft ideas are a wonderful way for the families to bond well and enjoy some fun time together. Whether it is about making voguish decorations for celebrating Christmas, renovating your kid’s room or learning a new fix, craft projects pack in a lot of thrills and excitement for kids and parents alike. Use the following interesting project ideas to engage your spouse and young ones in a fantastic art session where you will enjoy unleashing your creative potential and aesthetic prowess.

Fun Snowman From Plastic Cups

Have fun building a snowman with only plastic cups. This DIY activity is even more fun than creating customized family photo albums through Mixbook.com/Photo-Books or planning a road trip to one of the exotic beaches in the Caribbean. You do not really need snow to make your own personalized artful snowman. It is an easy-to-do craft project, which only requires inexpensive plastic cups. You will need some glue, a stapler, coloured paper, and some clear plastic cups. Use these materials and a little bit of your creative prowess to create splendid snowman decor with your loved ones.

plstic cup snowman
Image Source

Peppermint Christmas Ornament Candies

Did you know that peppermint could actually be used for making your own customized peppermint candies? These candies will have just the perfect flavoring to spice up your noshing or binge eating sessions. Use some nice candy brand and peppermint for this amazing DIY activity to create sweets that you can use as birthday embellishments, Halloween giveaways, or party decor.

Peppermint candy Christmas ornaments - craft ideas
Image Source & Tutorial

Stylish Candy Sleighs

Your kids will absolutely adore this amazing DIY craft featuring vibrant candy sleighs, which you can easily use as Thanksgiving souvenirs or New Year decor accessories. While you might find these cute little candy sleighs with colourful ribbons tied around a bit hard to build, they are actually easy to design. Just use a handful of kit kat or Hershey’s chocolate bars and a few multicoloured decorative ribbons to create your own handy sleighs. Apt for a Christmas giveaway as well, these will need candy canes, some glue, and a few candies.

candy cane sleighs
Image Source

Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

Are you thinking of getting a bit creative this winter season? How about some cool handprint ornaments made right out of salt dough? You will need some flour, water, and salt. Put them together in a bowl, make cute shapes and decorate them using good quality acrylic paint. Think of nice colourful patterns to paint on your salt dough accessories. Do not forget to cover them up with a sealant. It will allow you to use these as decor items for a long term.

salt dough handprint Christmas ornaments from Olive Juice Mama
Image Source & Tutorial

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

You may like eating Cinnamon doughnuts but know that you can create marvellous decorative cinnamon accessories with only these four ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, and water. Your kids are sure to have a great time making these fancy ornaments that require no cooking. This kid-friendly craft project keeps you engaged for hours of creative play while you think of artistic patterns and shapes for these cinnamon embellishments. You will enjoy the fragrance once these ornaments are done. You can show this decorative artwork to your friends and relatives and I am sure they will definitely appreciate your creative flair.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments
Tutorial

This is a collaborative post

Verified by MonsterInsights