A few years ago I splurged and got myself a Cricut machine. I'm not sure you know what they are, but the first time I had seen them was in Joann fabrics. I frequent Joanns alot because I love sewing. I had a coworker when I was teaching who had used one to make the cutest invitations once and I had always thought it would be fun to get one.
I had also used a laser cutter when I was working at a consulting firm and we used it to cute all sorts of stuff: paper, plexiglass, wood, you name it! I liked creating patterns and then using the machine to etch out my design.
After several years, I decided it would be my Christmas gift to myself and I got one. I got the Cricut Explore, which I believe was one of the first ones that required you to be hooked up to a computer to use. That was fine with me because I wasn't really about using cartridges or clip art - I wanted to create my own designs and then cut them out with the machine.
The first things I made were some signs for around the house. I just used construction paper which was a challenge because the paper is so lint-y that it stuck to the cutting mat adhesive which was fresh and sticky. I of course eventually got schooled in the cricut world to know that you don't use construction paper - you buy special paper for the Cricut! I made one for the bathroom as we often had guests come over and instead of them wandering into all the rooms, a sign seemed like a good idea. Then came signs for our garbage situation - not sure if you have this problem, but people get really confused about how and where garbage lives and what to put in what. Even with these signs, we also have those sensor cans that also really stress people out. It was annoying to dig into the recycling and fish out chicken bones or napkins, etc. The signs eventually helped!
Over time, I would use it for different crafts and things. I do a lot of activities with my kids or at church and so, I was a bit zealous with the Cricut for a while but I've sort of learned when it's a good time to use your Cricut and when it's sufficient to just bust out those scissors and cut like normal people LOL. Here is a craft I really loved which was these buttons I printed AND cut with the Cricut of course (they have this print/then cut function). I made the button with this button maker I bought and then I cut out the template below to create the look of a sunflower. This wsa one of my favorite projects.
This one is a cake topper that I created on my daughter's birthday. I didn't go in advance to buy a cake or order one and she really likes Red Velvet cake. And who has the best Red Velvet cake around? Well, it's a tie between Nothing Bundt Cake and Costco. This year we went to Costco and got this really stunning cake in their bakery. Then I made the toppers with the cricut. I even tried this cake paper stuff that Joanns had - it's cuttable sugar that you can use with a cutting machine. I made some hearts and bows. Not sure I would do that again as they looked kind of flat, but overall I enjoyed this project. It also had a hedge of little birthday candles I cut out that went around the outside.
I also used the Cricut to experiment with other mediums such as vinyl that you can cut out or that you can print then cut. I created a series of decals for tinted window cars. I put one on my own car and I sold some on Etsy. Unfortunately, I didn't really put much effort into scaling that up as I found that the detail work of cutting out the negative space and transferring to a film was a bit tedious. I did some one piece stencil types to alleviate this but it was also a bit tedious.
This one did well because people do like to get a sign to display when they are expecting as aggressive drivers tend to ease off the gas when they know the person in front of them is pregnant.
I also experimented with the drawing pen function. I really enjoy this feature. You can use a marker and have the Cricut draw out anything you like and then you can follow up with cutting. I used it below to create a custom business card holder or offer card holder for my business. Because my logo isn't able to be cutout completely, I enjoyed using the marker to complete the look of my logo with the marker. It was also very rewarding to make the card holder and assemble it.
I also created a set for my daughters and their friend where I used the marker to trace out their names. Here is the template I used. I love that the Cricut can both score and draw and cut so that you can make professional folds.
I've also used it to experiment with cutting foam and creating some designs with fun foam, I've also made decals for my logo that I put on mugs and tiles that I use in my flatlays.
There are so many things you can use the Cricut for and I'm looking forward to more creations that work both for personal and business use!
Third day spent trying to get the Cricut up and running. Multiple crashes in Design with Chrome and inordinate slowness of the software took hours to format five images for a magnet project. Firefox seemed to solve the crashing issue but still ridiculously slow. After all that it simply will not connect with my printer. Printer works perfectly with all Microsoft products. I work across many IT platforms as a commercial drone pilot and Cricut has compromised their product by not having standalone design software. It is evident the business model is to drive additional dollars by tethering the hardware to cloud based software they control. This exploitation will backfire in the long run but not before mugs such as I purchase the product. Hopefully Cricut will lift their game or perish.
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Always A Parent is my blog about parenting, business, entrepreneurship, pregnancy, and motherhood. MULTIWEAR® is my product design business selling products for busy moms, nursing and breastfeeding moms as well as diaper bags and gym bags.
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