Whatever the occasion, if something needs to be decorated, gifted, or celebrated, pretty much the first thing I think is “what can I DIY with my Cricut?” My Cricut really is my secret ninja weapon of creativity…whether it is t-shirts for an event, new pillows and wall decor for the living room, holiday decorations, labels for storage containers in the kid’s room, or a last-minute card, my Cricut can whip it out fast, easy, and gorgeous. It’s the little black dress of my craft room – it goes with everything! (Now, if only it could whip me up a perfect little black dress, it really would be the perfect gadget!)
To get an idea of the full potential of what you can make with the Cricut Explore Air 2, I suggest paying a visit to the “Make It Now” section of Cricut Design Space. Even after all my time working with the Cricut Explore machine, the talented designers at Cricut still continue to surprise me with the diverse ideas they come up with for the regularly updates to the project library.
Today’s occasion that has me pulling out my Cricut is the birth of a friend’s new grandchild. A card didn’t seem like enough, so my Cricut to the rescue…a baby mini album that the proud grandma can be fill with pictures is the perfect solution!
- Cricut Explore Air 2 machine
- Cricut Scoring Stylus
- Cricut Mini Books cut file (click here to open this project sized perfectly for 4×6 photos)
- Cricut 12×12 cardstock pack in White
- Cricut Washi Sheets – Anna’s Pretty Prints
- Cricut Cuttlebug Mint Machine
- Cricut Cuttlebug 5×7 Embossing Folder & Border – Poppy
- pink cardstock scrap
- pink ink pad
- Ranger Liquid Pearls in Silver
- white ribbon
I resized the cut file in Cricut Design Space so that the full sized pages in the baby mini album would be the perfect size for putting 4×6 photo prints on without cropping. Use the link above to access the perfectly sized file for your own use!
The cut file had pages in a variety of colors but I wanted the base of my album to be white. I just kept feeding white sheets into my Cricut Explore Air until everything was cut. It maybe wasn’t the most efficient way to cut the album but I used a lot of the scraps that were left from the cutting to create embellishments and some special pieces that I cut later.
When I was done cutting out all of the pieces, I was left with a big pile of white cardstock. How would I know how to put them together? A quick search found me the assembly instructions for the Mini Books cartridge on the Cricut website!
After it was all assembled, I was left with this simple album that can have photos and notes added to it by the new baby’s grandmother! Along the way, while I was assembling the album, I added just a few embellishments.
A few pieces, like the binding piece for the spine above, I decided that I wanted to create covered in decorative washi tape. Rather than cut a duplicate piece from washi and try to align and adhere it, I decided it would be easier to put a layer of washi down on cardstock and then cut a new copy of the piece from scratch. To avoid wasting washi, I cut pieces very close to the size of the finished piece, and positioned them carefully.
For the full sheets pages, there wasn’t room to embellish if a 4×6 photo is going to be placed on them. But rather than just leave them plain, I used the Cuttlebug with an Anna Griffin embossing folder to give the pages a decorative look. Since the pages were slightly larger long wise than the folder, I just made sure that they binding end was the end that hung out of the folder and didn’t get embossed.
This was my first time using a Cuttlebug, and I was highly impressed at how easy it makes embossing. I have another die cut machine and I rarely use it for embossing due to the complexity of set up and tear down, plus its size means it must be stored far away from where I sit to work. This Cuttlebug folds up small enough that I can store it within arm’s reach, and there’s no complicated sandwiches to make for embossing. Just throw your folder between the plates and crank!
The quality of the embossing is stunning as well! The detail in this Anna Griffith pattern was perfectly crisp, even in the fine details. I will definitely be using embossing more often with my new Cuttlebug around!
For decorating this pocket page, I cut a strip of the washi paper to wrap around the pocket as a decorative border.
Next in the baby mini album comes two sets of four pages that are stair stepped in size. For these, I tried to alternate the backgrounds between textured and flat paper. The first (smallest) pages were cut from washi covered paper, just like the album’s binding.
The pink border on one of the pages in each set is an embossing border folder from the same set with the Anna Griffin background. I embossed it on pieces of scrap paper, trimmed down the edges close to the design, and brushed a pink ink pad across it to highlight the design.
For the text on the cover, and the flower that embellished the flap of this envelope page, I used another decorative technique. First, I cut the shapes out with my Cricut Explore Air 2 like normal. Then, to create the texture, I put the cut shapes in an embossing folder and ran them through my Cuttlebug.
The last set of assembly was to thread the ribbon through. I folded mine in half and threaded it from the back through the center hole. Then I took the ends still hanging on the back, and threaded one through each remaining hole to the front. Then I hooked them through the loop that was coming up through the center hole and tied them in a pretty bow to secure the binding. It’s decorative and functional!
So next time you have to do something decorative…grab your Cricut machine and ask “what can I DIY with my Cricut?” You might be surprised at what you create!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.