Wednesday, October 30, 2019

DIY Personalized Stockings with Cricut Maker

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

So I know that we haven't even gotten to Thanksgiving (or even Halloween) yet but it's my baby's first Christmas so I'm already in full on Santa mode over here. After becoming a "grown up" (if I can even call myself that) I definitely lost my Christmas cheer. Christmas became more about stressing over what gifts to get for everyone and trying to squeeze in family time with all of the family possible (which gets even harder when you get married because then you have twice as much family). But THIS year... I get to see the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a little one and the thought of it literally makes me a little misty eyed, not gunna lie. 


If you've known me for any period of time you know that growing up I loved stockings. My grandma was the ultimate stocking stuffer(er?) and would fill our stockings with the most wonderful little trinkets and treasures. Our stockings were knit stockings and were seriously like Mary Poppins' bag, the more stuff you'd put in them, the bigger they'd stretch so it felt like it was never ending! It's because of those wonderful memories that stockings, to this day, are still my absolute favorite parts of Christmas. 

Several years ago I made some stockings for my husband Sam and myself. I painstakingly cut the pattern by hand and sewed them all together. And then, I went to the Cricut Mountain Makathon where they announced the Cricut Maker, and that it was able to cut FABRIC! My very first thought was, "I'll be able to make stockings so much easier!" And boy was I right. Obviously now with our new little, he needed a stocking of his own because even though my grandma is no longer with us, I have to keep her wonderful tradition alive!
Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!

Supplies

Post contains affiliate links
Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!
 Begin by opening THIS PROJECT in Cricut's Design Space. *NOTE* I tweaked a few elements of the original project but I will share with you what I did (spoiler alert, I actually made it easier). 

Trim your fabric down to size to fit onto your mat. If your fabric has a pattern, be sure to pay attention to the direction of it so that you don't end up with a sideways pattern on your stocking. Load your fabric onto your fabric mat (pretty side down, if it has a pretty side). Use a brayer to get your fabric onto your mat. Then you simply choose your material when Design Space prompts you to and the rotary blade will work its magic and cut through the fabric beautifully!
Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!
 Look at that crisp cut!
Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!
Because I personally don't care for the toe and heel detail of the original Design Space project I simply went ahead and cuts mats 1 and 2 twice (once for the outside of the stocking and once for the lining of the stocking) and skipped mats 3-5.

So you'll end up with four pieces, two liners and two outer pieces.

Another element of the original project that I decided to tweak was, that it had no hanging loop! How can you "hang the stockings by the chimney with care" without a hanging loop?! So I added one. I simply took a piece of ribbon (about 8 inches long) folded it in half, and pinned it at about a 45 degree angle facing down four inches down on the back side of the lining and then sandwiched it between both lining pieces (right sides together) before sewing them. (Step 5 in the Design Space project instructions)

Aside from those couple tweaks, simply follow the rest of the instructions given in Design Space and you'll have an adorable (and super easy) new stocking! 

But... you can't just end there... you have to personalize them of course! Cricut is the greatest tool I've ever had for personalization. Having a unique name, I was never able to get any personalized items "off the rack". A keychain with my name on it? Forget about it. Maybe that's why I love personalizing anything and everything with my Cricut, these stockings being no exception. Using some iron on vinyl and the new EasyPress Mini, I added my little mans name to his new stocking.
Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!
 I love the new EasyPress mini. Because of all the seams in my stocking, it was ideal for this project. (Plus, I love any excuse to use it, it just so stinkin' cute!) Follow the EasyPress Heat Guide settings to be sure you use your EasyPress at the correct heat and time.
Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!
 Remove the carrier sheet and voila! A totally personalized stocking! I can't wait to add this stocking to the mantle this year!
Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!

Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!

Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!

Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!

Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!

Create a personalized stocking in no time with Cricut Maker!
What holiday traditions do you have in your family? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

DIY Personalized Ribbon with Cricut EasyPress Mini

If you're a Cricut fan, I'm sure you've seen the exciting news that they have a new product that they've added to the EasyPress family, the EasyPress Mini! It's so stinkin' cute! I thought the 6" x 7" size was cute but the Mini is even smaller and more adorable! (Why are small things so cute?) It's the perfect companion to the ever growing family of EasyPress machines.
When I first saw it, my mind started racing with ideas of ways to use it, (the first of which I'm sharing with you today). 
The new mini is perfect for small and unique projects that previous EasyPresses maybe couldn't accomplish (or that might have just been a little more challenging) like hats, shoes, shirt sleeves, cuffs and even stuffed animals! Like the EasyPress 2, the Mini offers an even heat plate (unlike a traditional iron that can vary in temperature by 200 degrees, crazy right?) and easy to use heat settings for effortless heat transfers. 
If you've known me for any amount of time, you know that I love giving gifts and a huge part of it is that I LOVE wrapping gifts. I think because my love language is receiving gifts, it's also my way of showing my love. The adorable new EasyPress Mini is perfect for personalizing your ribbon for gifts!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
Post may contain affiliate links. This means if you buy the cool stuff I recommend, you still pay the same price, but I get a small commission. Everybody wins!


Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!


Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
It's a super fun way to add that little personal touch to your gifts. Not only can you add a fun sentiment, you can also use this technique in place of a gift tag as well! I've never been a fan of traditional gift tags, especially holiday ones because they usually clash with my wrapping paper and as a (self proclaimed) gift wrap aficionado, that just won't fly for me. (It's also a great way to add that "special" touch to gifts that come from the North Pole if you know what I mean ;) )

Supplies

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
Start by designing your file in Cricut's Design Space. Measure the height of your ribbon and make sure that your design fits before cutting. If you'd like to use any of my designs, HERE is my Design Space file.  
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
Once you are ready to cut, lay your iron on material shiny side down on your mat. I find it easiest to roll it on. Select the correct material (or if you're using an Explore machine, set your dial) and don't forget to mirror your project before cutting!
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
Then let your machine do it's thang. 
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
Weed (or remove the negative space from) your design. I cut most of the designs several times so that I could have the sayings repeat on the ribbon but that's totally up to you. I also like the look of it just being on the tails too. 
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
Using your weeding tool, remove all the little insides of the letters. Not gunna lie, this was a little time consuming, and I maaaaay have lost some (or all) of the dots for the i's, but the final result was just as cute, so it's all good. 
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
Now time for the fun part!
The new EasyPress Mini is a little different from previous EasyPresses. It only has three settings and no timer so you'll want to check the Cricut Heat Guide to find out what setting to use for your project. It takes all of the guess work out of it! Because I was using glitter iron-on on a polyester ribbon, I used the medium heat setting on the EasyPress Mini for 25 seconds. It also told me to use constant movement and light pressure. 
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
The design is so ergonomic, it feels great in your hand!
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
The heat guide recommended a warm peel, so, while the project was still warm, I removed the carrier sheet and the results were perfect!
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
I had so much fun creating all these ribbons and can't wait to use this technique on all of my future gift giving! 
Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!

Create your own Personalized ribbon with Cricut's NEW EasyPress Mini!
I'm so excited to add the new EasyPress Mini to my crafting arsenal. I can't wait to keep testing the limits of this mini but mighty little guy! Let me know if you have any questions or any ideas for new ways I can use it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

DIY Advent Calendar with Cricut

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


You guys! We are officially less than a hundred days out from Christmas! I've never really been the type to get super excited about Christmas because with it, also comes tons of added stress but this year... I get to celebrate the first Christmas with my little! The thought of being able to experience Christmas again through the eyes of a child literally has me giddy. So, that being said, it's not too early for a Christmas craft right? Truth be told, this DIY could really be used for any occasion, traditionally the advent calendar is used for Christmas but you can countdown to anything really... a birthday, a wedding, a graduation, the list goes on! But let's get to it shall we?
So, if you haven't heard, Cricut recently released four new tools for their incredible Maker machine. I was fortunate enough two years ago to be at the Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon where they announced the Maker, and with it's announcement came the promise that with its Adaptive Tool System would come even more incredible features and they weren't lying! I actually met with Ashish the Cricut CEO at a meet and greet recently and he asked me "Well, did we keep our promise?" and he certainly has. The revolutionary Adaptive Tool System brings together three major technologies that give the Maker machine professional class cutting versatility and performance. It delivers 10 times (4 kg) or more cutting force than the Explore line. It uses a sophisticated steering system to actively control the direction of the blade at all times. And it tests to be sure you are using the correct blade before it starts cutting, and tells you to change it, if not, so intuitive!

If you're unfamiliar with the new tools, allow me to fill you in:
We've got the Basic Perforation Blade - With this blade you can create finely perforated lines for any design. You know those little lines that help you tear a ticket perfectly? Now you can create them yourself with this awesome new blade! (Spoiler alert, I used this bad boy for todays project and I LOVE it.) The tip simply snaps onto the QuickSwap Housing and your Cricut Maker does the rest! It's perfect for tear-out booklet pages, raffle tickets, homemade journals, or for any project that calls for a neat tear. 

Then there's the Wavy Blade - A wavy finish was always doable with the standard fine tip blade but it would take much longer. Now with the new wavy blade you are able to get a decorative edge in half the time! This blade is perfect for vinyl decals, iron-on designs, envelopes, cards, gift tags, collage projects, or any time you need fabulously finished edges and stylish design accents. Perfect for iron-on, vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and more! (I also used this blade for todays project!)   

There's also the Fine Debossing Tip - There is something super elegant and polished about debossing. It definitely has a professional look that screams custom. Unlike the folders that most crafters are used to for debossing, this rolling debossing ball, with a wider range of motion, gives you free reign to customize, personalize, and design with incredible intricacy. It's the perfect tool for the ultimate personalized touches. It helps create a stunning effect on foil cardstock, coated paper, shimmer and glitter paper, basswood, and much more.   

And lastly the Engraving Tip – This is one I really can't wait to try and is something I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed I couldn't do with my first Explore machine (there are some tutorials online but they seemed a bit dodgy to me). With this tip you are able to write personalized text or create monograms, draw decorative flourishes and embellishments, or inscribe your favorite quotes on a keepsake! I can't wait to engrave the new Cricut Metal Sheets! Speaking of Christmas... I've already got some gift ideas brewing using the engraving tip!

So now that I've filled you in on the new tools, let's get into the DIY!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
If you're new around here, I have two favorite Christmas past times, stockings and advent calendars. After the Cricut Maker was able to help me create my own stockings, I really wanted to try my hand at making my own advent calendar with some of the new tools and I love the way it turned out! 

 Supplies:


Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
Open the project in Cricut Design Space. I've already done all of the work for you! All you have to do is click Make It! Some things to note: I have created the file so that you can make up to 8 segments (24 boxes, like a traditional advent calendar). I decided I preferred the look of 12 thought, more like the 12 days of Christmas, totally up to you though. s
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Hit make it and watch the Cricut do it's magic! The first thing it will prompt you to do is print the first page (I prefer to do this on cardstock for a more polished look, it also will cut better for you than standard copy paper.) Once printed, place your paper on your cutting mat and watch your Cricut do its magic, reading the sensor lines and cutting your printed items perfectly!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Remove the printed numbers from the mat.
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
(If you're extra like me, I printed my numbers on my laserjet printer so that I could foil them using my Heidi Swapp Minc machine. This is totally optional, but I am afflicted with the Midus Touch and prefer for everything I touch to be gold.)

After the numbers have been cut using the fine tip blade, you will then be prompted to use the single scoring wheel (If you don't have it, you can also use the scoring stylus for this). The Quick Swap Housing makes swapping the blades a breeze, simply push the plunger on the top of the housing and it will release whatever blade is on it, while it's down, add whichever new one you want and voila! Easy peasy!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Then it's time for the Basic Perforation Blade! The Cricut Maker is so smart and tells you what blade you should be using and even checks to make sure you have the right one in there!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
One last swap to the wavy blade and you'll be all done! Time to remove your next mat! (Pro tip: remove the mat from the paper instead of the paper from the mat to avoid curling.)
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
As I perviously mentioned, my Design Space file can be cut to make an advent up to 24 days. Mine for this project will only be 12. 

Now it's time to prepare the boxes! These boxes come three for a dollar at the Dollar Tree and are perfect for this project! Start by laying the boxes in the same format as they are in the design space file (long box on the left, medium box on the top right, and small box on the bottom right). Using your hot glue gun, glue them all together, being sure they are placed the same as the file. 
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!

Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!

Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Repeat as many times as you'd like (again, I did 12, but you can do as many as 24!).
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 And now for the fun part! Time to start really assembling!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
This is also when you want to fill your boxes with goodies! (After this will be too late and you'll be opening empty boxes so don't forget!)
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Fold on the scored lines. Because the perforated lines are SO good, you're going to naturally want to fold on those, but don't! Be careful as you fold and only fold on the scored lines.
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 I love using the XL Scraper tool to get a crisp fold.
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Lay the folded piece on your box, it should fit like a glove! (I did some serious math-ing for this project so I hope ya'll appreciate it haha.)
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Using your tape runner (this one is my all time fave) attach the paper to your boxes, again being mindful of where the perforation lines are and what boxes are where so they all line up.
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!

Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Perfect!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Repeat as many times as you'd like! (I went with 4, which gave me 12 total.) I liked the look of four different patterns for my paper but that's totally up to you! You can do all of them the same if you prefer!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Now it's time to assemble the numbers.
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Use your tape runner to attach the numbers to the circles. I just had to test out the new Wavy Blade for this project, and I decided to use it on the patterned circles. How 'bout those wavy lines! So cool right?
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Then use your tape runner once more to adhere the numbers to each perforated box. Feel free to place them wherever your heart desires, the order is totally up to you!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Once you're done, hot glue all of your boxes together and you're done!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!

Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 Check out those perforation lines.. and the wavy lines! 
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
 The perforation lines make opening each box a breeze! I can't wait to dream up some more projects I can do with all the new blades!
Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!

Make your own custom advent calendar with your Cricut!
I can't wait to see what's next from Cricut but until then, I can't wait to keep playing with all of these new tools!
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