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Cricut machines are used to create amazing designs using vinyl. This creates easy and fun projects that anyone can do alone, with friends or even the little ones. Working with vinyl may seem like a huge step. However, vinyl is not that hard to work with when using these easy instructions and tips.
At first, it can be a little intimidating to use a new machine. As people become more familiar with their machine their imagination soars. These types of projects make great gifts as well.
There are many different materials or platforms vinyl is used on. These include candles, cups, mats, wood and more. Although this is an easy to use vinyl design, some prefer heat transfer vinyl projects. There are some other essential things needed to complete this project.
- Cricut Machine
- Adhesive vinyl
- Cricut tool kit
- Cutting mat
- Transfer tape
After all the materials have been acquired, the project is started.
1. Design Your Work
First, think of a few words to put on the platform or material. Projects should be designed the way they are wanted to be seen. This is done by using different fonts and colors. Imagination and creation are essential in this step.
2. Laying Out the Vinyl
The next thing to do is to layout the vinyl. There are different kinds of vinyl to choose from. The type of vinyl chosen depends on the project. The options are endless.
There are glitter Cricut vinyl, chalkboard Cricut vinyl, outdoor Cricut vinyl, glossy Cricut vinyl, holographic Cricut vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, waterslide decal paper and more. After choosing the best one for the job, lay it out on a mat.
Do not cut the vinyl. Instead, leave it on the roll as it’s laid out. This will save more vinyl for the next use. Use a slight gripping mat so that the vinyl stays in place better.
3. Cut Your Vinyl
Although this may seem like the easiest step, it can also be tricky. It is important to have all cutting settings accurate and adjust to the type of vinyl being used. This is important because each material is different in thickness.
After adjusting the settings, send the design to the Cricut machine for it to cut it out.
4. Weeding Your Vinyl
This is a step that some people find tedious. Other people find it relaxing and enjoyable. Either way, it is a step that’s required.
Weeding is done using a weeding pick or tool to remove the excess vinyl from around and between the design. Once the weeding is completed the design should look as it did on the screen when it was designed.
5. Applying the Transfer Tape
In the next step, cut out a piece of transfer tape for the design. The transfer paper with gridlines is easier to use. It helps to keep designs and lettering lined up. Peel the backing from the transfer paper and place it sticky side down. This will put the sticky side directly onto the vinyl design.
6. Applying Your Design
The last step is to apply the design to the platform. As stated before, vinyl is something that applies easily to almost any type of material. This is an easy way to personalize something for a home or a gift for someone.
Holidays aren’t the only times for gift giving. Think of birthdays or Mother’s Day. Even a personalized mug to a teacher is a great idea. Make sure that the platform is clean and ready to use. The last thing anyone wants is dust collected into their design.
Flip the design upside down and remove the back part of the transfer tape. This will leave the vinyl on the tape itself. Next, find the perfect spot to place the design and place it on the project.
Using the tips of the fingers or a tool, rub the design onto the surface. The last part is to remove the transfer tape. The design will stay on as long as it was rubbed into place. The design has been easily and quickly created.
Cricut Tips and Tricks for Easier Crafting
Some tricks and tips can help when using vinyl. Let’s face it, there are always going to be hiccups at one time or another. It saves a lot of headaches to be prepared ahead of time.
- There can be times when the vinyl isn’t sticking to the mat the way it should. Use some masking tape to tape down the edges.
- Try testing out designs on cheaper materials first before using the good stuff. This will save time and money. Somethings don’t look as good on the material as they do on the screen.
- If the material is thick, then it may take a few times to cut through it. Don’t eject the material. Instead, press the button to cut it again to make sure it cuts through all the way.
Print and Cut
- If needing a large image use certain web browsers. Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer are browsers that allow the largest images.
- If using heat transfer paper use an inkjet printer. Laser printers tend to blur the registration marks so that the Cricut has a hard time reading them.
- Cricut pens can be a little expensive. Try other replacements like Crayola Fine-Line Markers or American Craft Slick Writers. There is also the option of the Bic Round Stic Ballpoint Pens.
- If the pen is too thin to use, then try placing tape around it. This will make sure it fits snug and tight into the machine.
- Different fonts that look great to use are online. Try using different sites online.
Scoring and Embossing
- There is also an option of purchasing a separate scoring stylus. The stylus is then placed in the area for the pen. This will make certain projects such as cards easier to fold.
- Embossing is something that can make a design stand out. This requires users to buy an accessory adapter. This will replace the machine’s blade housing. Next, insert the scoring stylus in the pen holder and then cut.
Blades for Your Cricut
- If the blades on the machine seem to be a little dull or aren’t cutting as well as they used to, then use this trick. Cover the mat with a piece of aluminum foil. Cut a design into the foil using your machine. This will sharpen your blades.
- Have different blades for different materials. Use a different blade for cutting paper. This will keep the blades sharper and will help them to last a lot longer.
- We all have designer blocks sometimes. This is when different websites come in handy. Look up different designs to install on Cricut Design Space.
- Any design can upload into the system to use as long as it is using an accepted file type.
- When removing the design flip the mat upside down and peel it from the mat. This will prevent the design from curling up. This trick helps a lot when using waterslide decal paper.
There are many other tips and tricks to help with weeding and other steps. Try a stick pin for weeding small details. There are great videos online too. The art of Cricut and vinyl is something that is getting bigger. It is easy to do and creates a gorgeous looking product.