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Make Geo Heart Wall Art with Cricut Explore Air 2!

A lot of what I cut on my Cricut Explore Air 2 is cardstock for my scrapbooking projects. But there are so many other materials that it can cut, and it’s fun to play with those – and often exciting to see what the machine can do, with the right blade, mat and setting. When I was working Scrapbook Expo shows for Cricut, we had a keychain in the booth with samples of material that had been cut on the Explore machine. It was downright amazing to see some of them, such as leather, craft wood, and acrylic. I’ve actually cut acrylic on my own machine – I just had to try it after seeing that key chain! I’ve also cut fabric (with an iron-on stabilizer backing), and wood veneer paper. Cricut advertises that the Cricut Explore Air 2 will cut over 100 materials…I’m not even sure that I could name 100 materials to try to cut! Perhaps instead of asking “what can I cut with my Cricut?” we should ask – “what can’t I cut with my Cricut?”

Projects like this Geo Heart Wall Art are so fun because it gives me a chance to play with a couple of different materials, in this case Holographic Vinyl and Glitter Cardstock, neither of which I had worked with before. It’s always exciting to see what my machine can do with a new material!

Cricut Geo Heart Wall Canvas

Supplies Needed:

Not on the supply list, but an important tool to completing this project, is the Cricut Essential Tool Set. Over the course of completing this project, I used virtually every tool in this kit: the trimmer, scissors, scraper, spatula, and weeding tool. I even used the scoring tool, despite there being no scoring on this project, because it is the perfect size and so smooth for rolling flower petals on!

And bonus – it perfectly matches my Mint Cricut Explore Air 2 machine! (It’s also available in Rose and Blue.)

Cricut Tool Kit

To create the background for my wall art canvas, I used a 12″ by 12″ pre-primed canvas from a major craft chain store. Then I used a large brush to swipe green acrylic paint back and forth across it, but stopping short of the edges by about an inch. Once that paint was dry, I used a stencil to dry brush a design on top of the green in white acrylic paint.

Cricut Wall Canvas background

I’ve been a bit obsessed with geo hearts lately, so I decided to make one in Cricut Design Space for this canvas! The Vintage Revivals cartridge had just what I needed, a geo shape that I could slice. Then I searched and chose a heart that had an outline of about the same thickness. I laid it over the geo shape in a way that I liked, duplicated it and set the duplicate aside (this will be important later), and then used the slice tool to cut the geo shape.

Cricut Geo Heart Construction

Next I removed all of the sliced pieces that I wouldn’t need in my finished piece. This was followed by using the basic shape tool to lay another (this time solid) heart over the remaining geo structure and slicing again. Then I took that heart that I had set aside, and laid it over the geo design, selected the heart and the geo design, and hit “weld” to create my geo heart!

Cricut Geo Heart construction

This ability to experiment and try things (and hit the undo button if they don’t work and then try again) is one of the things I love about Design Space. But if all of that seems like a lot of work to do…here’s the link to my completed Geo Heart file that I’m sharing in Design Space.

Cricut Geo Heart construction

Once I had created my geo heart, I made it 7 inches high and added some 3D flowers from the Flower Shoppe cartridge to my design. If you’d like to be able to replicate my design, here’s a link to the design I created in Cricut Design Space.

Cricut Holographic Vinyl

I’ve worked quite a few times with Cricut’s regular vinyl, but the Cricut Holographic Vinyl is more like foil than vinyl in appearance, and weight. It cut beautifully and just like vinyl on my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, by using my Smart Set dial on the “vinyl” setting. This pink is dark pink and, depending on the light and angle that you look, will turn almost burgundy. (There’s also a gorgeous lighter pink color that is called Opal.)

Cricut Tools for Vinyl

I’ve always found weeding to be a bit of a zen experience. It can be challenging, for sure (especially when there are small details in a design), but there is something immensely satisfying about the sort of reverse jigsaw puzzle effect of watching the design reveal itself.

Weeding Die Cut Vinyl

Once the design was completely revealed, I laid a piece of Cricut Transfer Tape on top of it and peeled it up and transferred the heart to the upper right corner of my canvas. To press it down on my canvas with my tape, I laid a book underneath the area of the canvas the heart was going onto so that the canvas was better supported and was flat.

Cricut Geo Heart

The Holographic Vinyl is thin enough that it will take on the texture of the item is it applied to, so surface preparation is important! The material is delicate, but the transfer tape held it tightly and then released it perfectly without ripping the vinyl or damaging the painted surface. (I also recently used the Cricut Transfer Tape to apply vinyl to a kraft paper notebook cover and it released from the paper cover perfectly without damaging it when I was done applying my image.)

Cricut Glitter Flowers

Next, I used Cricut Glitter Paper to cut my 3D flowers. I’m normally not a huge fan of working with glitter paper, as it sheds and is difficult to cut without it losing a lot of glitter. This glitter paper is none of those things! The glitter on this Cricut paper seems to be finer than most other glitter papers that I’ve tried, and is extremely well adhered. It cuts absolutely beautifully, and having tried it I will now be looking for excuses to cut glitter things on my Cricut. (Luckily I have a teenage daughter so it won’t be hard!)

Cricut Glitter Flowers

I used a hot glue gun to assemble the flowers and then also to adhere them to the canvas. Before I glued them in place, I rolled the ends of the petals around the Cricut Scoring Tool to give them a nice curve. For the smaller flowers, the small point of the tool was used for rolling the petals around. I finished the flowers with buttons hot glued into their centers.

Cricut Geo Heart Wall Art

This Geo Heart Wall Art is great for a teen girl’s room. I used my 14 year old daughter’s bedroom wall for some of the photography for this article, and I’m not sure that I’m getting this project back!

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

Project | Travel Album: Auf Wiedersehen

Sometimes, for workflow reasons, I like to do things in an album project out of order. That’s the case with the Frankfurt trip album that I’ve been plugging away on for quite awhile. I recently completed what will be the final page of the album, even though I still have a massive section of it to do that deals with the day that I spent in Heidelberg.

[Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links or advertiser courtesy links.]

So why would I choose to do it this way? When I ordered my photos, I actually planned to do it this way. I took a massive number of photos on this trip, so I decided to edit and order them in two batches. The first batch was all of the ones that I took while flying and in Frankfurt itself. This included my photos from the last day at the airport. Then the second batch will be the Heidelberg photos. My reasoning for breaking it down this way was that I planned to scrapbook these two groups of photos with fairly different styles, so it made sense to order and scrap them in batches, even if they weren’t entirely chronological.

travel album back page

Supplies:

This page is pretty simple. All of the cards are from the Project Life “Wander” Core kit, although I embellished a few of them. The today journaling card had a stamp from the Kelly’s Food Coma set added to it that said “#delicious” to make it more food themed. Then I used the Kelly’s Outline alphabet set to stamp “Auf Wiedersehen”  – German for goodbye – on the title card. Hey, that high school German comes in handy sometimes (the three words I remember, anyway).

Besides the stamping, the only other real embellishment was a few phrase stickers from a Tim Holtz sticker set. I used the stickers to create a bit of mini journaling on two of the photos.

travel album back page title

The biggest design feature on this page was actually a functional feature. I used my Fuse tool and added an extra pocket as a flap on the bottom left of the page. On the front, my boarding pass from my flight is visible. But if you flip if up, there is a white card with typed journaling telling the story of my trip home while I battled an unwanted souvenir – the flu.

travel album hidden journaling

In addition to hiding the journaling, the add-on pocket also hid the photo that I had put on the bottom left. While I enjoyed the novelty of my German chicken nugget box and wanted to record it, it really didn’t match the rest of the layout. So obscuring it behind the pocket for the boarding pass was a good way to include it without it looking too out of place.

Now that the Frankfurt section of my album is done, it’s time to move on to the Heidelberg section…I guess I better make that photo order!

Check out the rest of the album so far:

3

Telling A Story With A Must-Scrap Picture

Every so often one of these pictures comes along that you know you just must scrapbook. For me, this relatively ordinary looking image of my daughter is one of those pictures. There’s a story behind this snapshot!

[Disclosure: Graphic 45 provided some of the product that was used in this layout, and my company is the social media manager for 28 Lilac Lane’s manufacturer. Some links in this article are affiliate links that provide a commission to this site when a purchase is made after a click.]

Our daughter has always had really long hair. But recently, it had become very dry due to her medical treatments. Her hair being so dry led to really nasty tangles that were virtually impossible to get out, especially since one of her autistic sensitivities is having her hair brushed. Many battles were fought and tears shed. We finally decided that long hair was not worth the trouble and reluctantly took her for a haircut.

We weren’t prepared for the result…our little girl grew up right before our eyes in just a few minutes! She adores what she calls her “Taylor Swift hair” and there’s no more tears when it comes time to do her hair!

A couple of days later, I had her model a t-shirt for me that I’d made for a website project. My normally awkward and shy in front of the camera child flashed a rock star smile and posed like a pro. Where did this grown-up kid come from?

I’ve been dying for a reason to use this Portrait of a Lady collection that Graphic 45 sent to me, and this seemed the perfect reason! It’s even covered in roses, and Rose is my daughter’s middle name. The pink on the t-shirt was a bit bright for this collection, but since this image isn’t about the t-shirt, I just printed the photo in black & white. Problem solved!

Hello Beautiful scrapbook layout

Supplies:

Patterns like the large roses are gorgeous but can be visually overwhelming. I prefer to use them in small doses, like this vertical strip that takes up 1/3 of my layout. The roses are carried over to the right side of the layout in the borders of the two cards that I used on that side, to create balance.

The secret to layering visually busy papers is to create the pattern version of contrast. Layer a pattern with a light base over a pattern with a dark base (such as the pink text paper in the photo mat being layered over the rose pattern). Or layer a more open pattern over a more dense pattern (such as the green text paper that is over the tan background pattern). And of course you can layer different sizes of patterns to create visual contrast, as well.

Hello Beautiful scrapbook layout

To enhance the visual divide between busy patterned papers, I like to ink my paper edges. Sometimes I just barely run an ink pad along the white edge of the paper to darken it. Other times, such as on the photo mat on this layout, I shade more in from the edges to create more of an edge.

What’s your favorite trick for working with busy patterned papers?

6

Easy Happy Father’s Day Shaker Card with Cricut Explore Air 2

One of my favorite things about the new generation of Cricut machines is the way that Cricut Design Space makes it easy to visualize what I am cutting on my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, and to place your cut shape precisely where you want it in relation to other elements. Without that ability, this Father’s Day Shaker Card would not be possible. With it, the card can be created and cut perfectly in a matter of minutes!

Cricut Father's Day Card

Supplies:

This card is created from several colors of Cricut cardstock, along with two other specialty items from the Cricut supply closet. One (which I am totally in love with) is the black 0.8 gel glitter pen from the black Multi Pen Set. And because that just wasn’t enough glitter, I also decided to use the gold sheet from the Classic Sampler of Cricut Glitter Cardstock!

Cricut Father's Day Card supplies

I designed this card from scratch in Cricut Design Space, and it’s surprisingly easy! It’s simply a series of basic shape and text elements layered together and with their properties set to make them behave a certain way to create the design I want. Below on the right side, you can see all of the layers of the design.

Since I wanted to make a 6×6 card with a 1/4″ border showing all of the way around this blue center part, I started by setting my canvas to be a 5.5″ square. I colored it cream – that is what you see peeking through the large star.

Cricut Design Space screenshot

To create my background “paper” I first drew a square exactly on top of my canvas, and colored it blue. Then I added my 3 stars to the top of the card front’s design, making two varying smaller sizes and one larger. (We’ll get to that really big blue star in a minute.) I colored the smaller ones a bright yellow to signify the gold glitter paper.

Once I had the three stars in place how I wanted them on the card front, I turned off the visibility of the smaller ones. Then I drew a box with my mouse around the blue paper and the large star on the card and hit the “slice” button. This cut the star out of the blue background, and I moved the blue star that it created off of the card front and to the side. Once there, I enlarged it quite a bit to serve aa a backer for my shaker box.

Finally, I added my text elements. For the “one of a kind” I made sure to choose a “writing” style font and set my text to writing. I chose a nice clean sans serif Cricut font in a deep red color to cut the text for DAD. Then I turned off the visibility of the “DAD” letters, drew another box around the blue background, the star cut out, and the “one of a kind” writing, and clicked “attach”.

I made the yellow stars and “DAD” text visible again, and the card design was done. I hit my “Go” button and started feeding my different papers into my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine. I almost forgot to insert my pen in the machine before cutting the blue piece, but fortunately Cricut Design Space is smarter than I am and reminded me!

After my pieces were cut, I just assembled them into a shaker box. A piece of scrap page protector went on the back behind the star opening to serve as the front of my shaker card. Then I began cutting pieces of foam adhesive tape to place two layers around the edges of the star shape on the back of the card (with the page protector scrap between the cardstock and the foam tape). After building my foam tape “walls” for my shaker box, I filled it with the metal colored sequin mix, peeled the backer tape from the foam tape, and pressed the large blue star down on top of it to seal the sequins in.

Cricut Father's Day Shaker Card-1371

Once the shaker was done, it was easy to adhere the rest of the elements (DAD text, glitter stars, and a few star sequins) to the front of the card. Then with a little more foam tape put along the edges of the back of the blue cardstock, I adhered it to a brown card base. (I made the 6×6 card base by folding a 6×12 piece of cardstock in half).

Cricut Explore Air 2 Father's Day card

This fun and easy Father’s Day shaker card will delight Dads and Granddads (and the kids too)! This same technique can be easily adapted to working with other shapes to make shaker cards for a variety of occasions and I can’t wait to see how many other variations I can make. I also look forward to trying this technique to write titles and make “peek a boo” windows in elements for my 12×12 layouts.

Don’t underestimate the basic shape tools in Cricut Design Space. They may be “basic”, but with some imagination, their possibilities with your Cricut machine are limitless!

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

Quick Card | Stamped Watercolor Butterfly Hello Card

Sometimes when I’m working on a project, another one will happen by happy accident as I’m playing and experimenting with materials. This stamped watercolor butterfly card is one of those happy accidents, a bonus project that grew out of work I did while creating another butterfly card that I made for Buttons Galore awhile back.

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay a commission at no extra cost to our readers when a purchase is made after a click.]

Watercolor Butterfly Card

Supplies:

  •  card blank
  • Bazzill “Walnut Cream” Smooth Cardstock [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Amy Tangerine “A Sweet Life” 6×6 paper pad
  • Hero Arts “Newsprint Butterfly” stamp [Amazon]
  • Hero Arts “Layering Butterflies” stamp set [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Abandoned Coral” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Worn Lipstick” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Faded Jeans” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Foam Adhesive [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • water spray bottle

This card has a super simple background – it’s just three strips of patterned paper, with the sentiment stamped on one of them.

The centerpiece of the card is the butterfly, which the card was actually designed around. I created the butterfly while playing with my stamps and inks to see what effects I could get while creating the other card . When I created this particular butterfly, I first dabbed the stamp with a combination of Abandoned Coral and Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. Then I spritzed it with water before stamping it. The effect was a blotchy liquid look that eliminated the newsprint design filling the butterfly but I thought was still really cool. So I decided to cut out the image and ink the edges and create a card base for it.

Sometimes happy accidents are the happiest way to create! This fun little butterfly will be flitting someone’s way to say “hi” soon!

Stamp a watercolor butterfly card in 15 minutes | from www.scrapbookupdate.com

3

Getting Started with Make It Now on the Cricut Explore Air 2

Because it requires using software on a computer (or a phone app), a lot of people are intimidated initially by using the Cricut Explore family of machines. But Cricut Design Space has a built-in shortcut for learning how to do almost anything with the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine: the library of Make It Now projects!

Cricut Design Space

The Make It Now library of projects, which is what you are looking at when you open the main screen of Cricut Design Space, is like having training wheels for your Cricut Explore machine. Whether you are trying to use the machine itself, or trying a new material or accessory tool (like the stylus) for the first time, a Make It Now project will hold your hand while you do it. The Make It Now projects have been set up by the expert designers at Cricut to create an entire project flawlessly from start to finish. It takes the guesswork out of working with new tools or materials. There’s no guessing, so you can get perfect results the first time!

One very popular use for the Cricut family of machines is to cut iron-on material to create custom shirts, bags, and other items. Cricut sells an extensive palette of iron-on materials that the machine’s built-in settings are calibrated to cut. Working with iron-on, though, has a bit of a learning curve. Make It Now projects to the rescue!

Probably my all time favorite Make It Now project is the “C’est La Vie” t-shirt designed by my friend Anna Rose Johnson. This fun t-shirt features two layers of iron-on that together create the phrase and a glittered heart.

Cricut Make It Now t-shirt project

Remember, just because you are using a Make It Now project, doesn’t mean that you have to make it look exactly like the Cricut sample! Changing the color scheme is as simple as feeding different colors of material into the machine. Cricut Design Space does allow you to edit a Make It Now project – or any other one – to change the colors of elements. But on a simple two color project like this one, it’s not worth taking the time to make the change in the software. Just feed the colors you want into the machine when it’s time for each cut!

For making my t-shirt this time, I chose to make the design with white lite iron-on and pink glitter iron-on. My 13 year old daughter, who the shirt was for, is all about the pink glitter.

Cricut iron-on cutting

The Smart Set dial on the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine makes it easy to set the machine to cut Cricut Iron-On material. Just spin the dial to “Iron-on” to set it and you’re done!

Cricut Explore Air 2 Smart Set Dial

The other key to cutting iron-on material is that you have to cut your images in reverse. There is a handy checkbox alongside each layer of your design in the first cut window that you can check to have Design Space reverse the design for you. If you proceed to the final cut window with your machine set on “Iron-on”, but have forgotten to check the “mirror” box for your layers, the machine will yell at you with a bar that pops up to remind you!

Cricut Iron On WarningWhen your material comes out of the machine, and your design has been cut in reverse, it will look something like this. The plastic is underneath it on the mat, and then becomes the transfer tape to carry your design to the item you want to iron it on.

Cricut iron-on

The weeding tool makes it 100x easier to weed (remove the waste from) designs cut from iron-on material. Just use the hook part to stab a piece that you want to remove, and then pull to remove it.

Cricut iron-on weeding

To iron on your material and get good results, it’s important to pay close attention to the package instructions. Before your begin, make sure to pre-wash your item (and don’t use fabric softener) so that your iron-on will stick well.

Cricut iron-on t-shirt

It only took a few minutes to cut my Cricut Make It Now design and iron it on, but the results were gorgeous! My fashionista was very happy with the results and the new addition to her wardrobe!

Cricut iron-on t-shirt on model

Tips for Using Iron-On Material:

  • Iron-on material goes plastic side down on your cutting mat
  • Don’t forget to check the “mirror” boxes when cutting
  • Items being ironed on should be 100% cotton if possible and pre-washed with no fabric softener before ironing designs on
  • Make sure to turn the steam off on your iron
  • Use a nice firm ironing surface

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