Today I am doing a beginner-friendly Cricut project. If you have been thinking about getting a Cricut or have one and just haven’t used it a lot, this is for you! I'm taking a rather bland notebook and pencil case and am going to turn them into lovely, personalized items using my Cricut Explore Air 2.
To watch step-by-step check out the video:
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Start by grabbing a notebook or something you want to add a little sparkle to and then we will create a design. The design does not need to be intricate - some of my favorite things are just really minimal and simple. I started with the text ‘notes and stuff’. You can hand letter it or just use a text editor and then I drew a wreath around it. I am using my iPad to do a digital illustration but you can do this with a sharpie on a piece of white paper too. With a simple leaf motif, I created a matching design for the pencil case with ‘Shayda’s Stuff’.
I am sending the images over to my computer; if you drew it out on paper you can just take a photo with your phone and send that as a jpeg file. In the Cricut design space on my desktop, we are starting a new project and importing our two images. By clicking ‘Select & Erase’, I can select the white backdrop and remove it from the image. You really don’t need an iPad to do this since you could remove the white page from behind your sharpie in the same way.
Tip #1 When you pull both images into your canvas make sure that they are the right size. Measure your notebook and pencil case beforehand!
Now the Cricut does the rest of the work. You can see how it will be laid out on the mat - remember to select the ‘mirror’ setting since it is iron-on and then it is time to get the machine ready. I have cut a piece of the vinyl to the size of my mat and placed it shiny side down. I am using black but it comes in all sorts of colors. Open up the Cricut, select ‘iron-on’ and when your mat is in place, hit ‘go’. It will take a couple of minutes to cut out the designs so it's the perfect time to take a break and grab a cup of tea.
Once it is finished, I removed the mat and peel the vinyl off. Next, I am peeling away all the positive image from the vinyl, also called ‘’weeding’. There is a tool that comes with the Cricut to help you with the more intricate parts like the inside of the letters. The iron-on vinyl has a nice clear side so it’s easy to work with and makes the design very easy to transfer.
Now I need to use heat to apply my designs. I am using the Cricut EasyPress 2, but you can use an iron as well. There is a Heat Guide online so you can tell it the material and it will tell you the temperature and how long you need to apply the heat for. On the EasyPress you can set the temperature and a timer.
Tip #2 Put the EasyPress or your iron on your notebook and apply pressure for five seconds. Before you start you want to get rid of any moisture or wrinkles in the fabric.
With the clear vinyl, you can line up your design perfectly and see exactly where it will be. It is slightly sticky so I am pressing it down lightly. Before I apply the heat again I am covering it in a towel or piece of clean fabric and then applying the EasyPress for the allotted time. Once it is cool you can peel the vinyl away and the design stays. If any little pieces lift back up you can smooth them down and cover it up with the towel before applying heat again.
Tip #3 For the pencil case I put a piece of cardboard inside so that the surface I was working on was the highest. That way I could apply pressure without the zipper getting in the way.
I am so happy with how it turned out. It is a simple and lovely little stationery set so I am sure it will show up in future videos. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has quickly become one of my new favorite crafting tools. If you are thinking of getting one, I highly recommend it. It makes things simple and is just really fun.
This video is sponsored by Cricut.