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Cricut Maker

EasyPress 2 Review And Glitter Iron-On Tutorial #Ad

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!

Sizes Available

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.

Cricut EasyPress 2 and EasyPress mat

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.

Cricut EasyPress 2 machine and stand
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 🙂

cricut easypress 2 canvas bag and cricut logo

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

Design Space landing page
I’ve covered some of my projects as I don’t want mine or Ant’s mum seeing the designs and spoiling their Mother’s Day presents!

The Design Space canvas will open

Design Space canvas

Click on the Text tool

Design Space menu

Above the canvas area, you will see a toolbar appear with the different settings needed to change your text.

Design Space toolbar

You can now click anywhere on the canvas and a text box will open.

Design Space add text box

If you want to use different fonts on your quote, just type the first word into the text box

Design Space type in text

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.

Design Space choose 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.

Design Space text added

Click on the UnGroup button.

Design Space ungroup

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.

Design Space ungrouped letters

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.

Design Space zoom in

 

Design Space position letters

Click on each letter in turn and move them into position.

Design Space move letters next to each other

This is what your word will like once all the letters have been moved into place.

Design Space all letters in position

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.

Design Space drag to select

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.

Design Space word selected

Repeat the above steps until you have all the quote in position.

 

Design Space complete quote

With all the layers selected, set the size using the toolbar.

Design Space set size

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.

Design Space weld

Save your design then you’re now ready to click Make It

Design Space 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 mirror image

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:

Design Space ap - landing page

Click the down arrow next to the All Categories button and click on My Projects

Design Space ap - my projects

Select your quote and click Make It

Design Space ap - choose project

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.

Design Space ap - mirror image

Click Continue

Design Space ap - mat preview

Choose the material by clicking on All Materials if Glitter Iron-On isn’t showing.

Design Space ap - choose material

Scroll down the list until you get to the Iron-On section.

Design Space ap - glitter iron on

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.

EasyPress 2 glitter iron-on 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.

Cricut Maker - load mat

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.

Glitter iron on - weeding excess material

This is what it should look like when all the weeding has been done.

weeded glitter iron on quote

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:

EasyPress 2 settings for glitter iron-on 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.

EasyPress 2 heat and time settings

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 🙂

EasyPress 2 pink glitter iron-on quote on a white t-shirt

Ella is delighted with her new t-shirt!

Ella wearing her new t-shirt made with the EasyPress 2 and Cricut Maker

Professional Results

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!

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 🙂

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