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Cricut Maker FAQ (& Paris Pillow Project too!)

Everyday life is just what we do while we are waiting to go on our next amazing adventure, right? I decided to bring my favorite city – Paris – home with an easy pillow project. I’m going to show you how to make it, along the way I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Cricut Maker machine!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions expressed are my own.]

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

I’ve been playing with my new Cricut Maker machine for a few months. Even with all of my experience with previous machines, some things have surprised me. And there’s some things I didn’t learn from the information I gathered about the machine before I got it that I know now.

Here’s some of the things that I wish I knew before I got my new Cricut Maker machine:

  • Fabric Cutting: Even though I was super excited about the fabric cutting ability of the Maker’s rotary blade, I assumed that it would have limitations based on my experience with a rotary cutter for quilting. Boy, was I wrong! I’m still experimenting with its capabilities but as you can see from the flowers on this pillow, it can do way more than a regular rotary cutter.
  • Cartridges: I knew the Maker didn’t have a cartridge slot, but what I didn’t know was that it has a cartridge adapter! The adapter plugs into a USB slot on the Maker or your laptop so that you can load new cartridges into Design Space. All of my cartridges are already loaded in Design Space, but hey, I like to know that I still have the option to load more!
  • Tablet Support: The design of the new Maker machine is really pretty…but I had no idea it was functional too! That groove along the top of the machine, under the cover? It turns out it will hold your tablet in place while you use it with your Maker! And for those all day crafting sessions, you can plug into the USB plug on the side of your Maker to recharge your tablet. (Note to self: Add that to my list of reasons to buy a new iPad!)

Those are some of the things I’ve learned about the Maker in my time with it. But let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about the Maker:

Q: What makes the Maker different from other Cricut machines?

A: The biggest difference between the Maker and the previous generation of Cricut machines is the Adaptive Tool System. That’s the “gear wheel” that you see in the right hand tool holder when you look at the front of the machine. This gives the machine the ability to create 10x more power with new tools like the scoring wheel, knife blade, and rotary blade.

Q: What materials can I cut?

A: The Adaptive Tool System opens up a whole new world of materials that the Maker can cut. It can cut thicker leathers, balsa wood, matboard, and the one I’m most excited about – fabric without a backer!

Q: What types of fabric can I cut (without a backer)

A. The answer is…pretty much anything! Cricut now offers packages of coordinated cotton fabrics to use with its machines, or you can hit the fabric store and grab whatever suits your fancy (and your project).

Q: What kind of DIY projects can I make?

A: A better question is what can’t you make? With vinyl for making seasonal and home decor items, iron-on for tshirts & totes, fabric cutting for quilting…and did I mention that Riley Blake and Simplicity have an entire library of sewing patterns in the Cricut Design Access subscription now? Sew gifts, doll clothes, and seasonal decor without the hassle of hand cutting (and know it will be perfect every time).

Q: Will I use the machine enough to justify the price?

A: From DIY parties to DIY gifts…the Cricut Maker makes it easy to finally do all of those things that you’ve been wanting to do. Impress your friends with handmade gifts, make tshirts for the kids sports team….the possibilities are endless!

So, onto the project! Paris is always a good idea, right? This adorable pillow is way simpler to make than it looks. The best part is that the envelope pillow sham is easy to take off to clean – or swap out for something seasonal.

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

Supplies Needed: 

I love working with coordinated fabric collections for the same reason that I love working with coordinated paper collections! It makes it so easy to do a project with a variety of patterns without the hassle of coordinating. This Sweet Prairie designer fabric by Riley Blake for Cricut is so beautiful! I’m sure I’ll be using the leftovers for other projects!

Cricut Sweet Prairie fabric

With my pink fabric cutting mat and the rotary blade, the Cricut Maker sliced through the cotton fabric like butter. It also cut my wool felt that I used for one of the flowers beautifully.

Cricut Maker cutting fabric

After I cut out all of the pieces of the design (a process that is simple but just requires some patience with the many different colors), I started adhering it all. I worked pretty close to the middle of the 16″ by 36″ fabric strip. I started with the big pieces, and then worked down to the smaller ones. This process went so fast with my Cricut Easy Press 2!

Cricut Easy Press Eiffel Tower pillow

Getting the leaves positioned is a bit tricky since they are kind of floating in the middle of space and their placement needs to be accurate. I positioned them in place with the flowers to get the whole design right, and then lifted the flowers off and pressed them in place.

Positioning Iron-On to Apply

Next I ironed on the center elements of each flower. When they cooled down, I sewed them down using buttons to hold them in place. I could have sewed all around the outside edge to attache them. But by pinning them down in the centers, the outside edges pop up off the surface, giving them some realistic dimension.

After the flowers were attached, I used invisible thread to sew down a few sequins around them. This step is optional but I like the detail it creates!

Close up of finished flowers

With everything attached, it’s time to sew up the pillow! On each short end of the fabric, I rolled the fabric over twice towards the backside and then stitched close to the turned over edge.

side hems on pillow case

When I started laying out my design, I made small marks near the edge of my fabric to mark the maximum width of my design. As you can see below, I accidentally started my design outside the mark on the right. So I found the center of my design, and made new marks on each side to show where to fold the sides so the design would be centered. For this 16″ pillow, I made my marks about 15.75″ apart.

Marking the fold for pillow

Once you have your marks, fold first one side in over the design, and then the other side. (If you look real hard, you can see the word Paris inside my pillow.) Pin the raw edges together. Stitch 3/8″ from the edge along both of those raw edges.

Pinning Envelope Pillow Cover

And that’s it! I turned my pillow cover right side out and stuffed it with my pillow form. (Tip: Don’t forget to get your form all the way down into the corners!) Now thanks to my Cricut Maker we have a beautiful addition to our bedroom!

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

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

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T-Shirt Fun with Cricut Easy Press 2!

I hate ironing. Really, who doesn’t? And because of that, I rarely use Iron-On despite my love of all the cool things that can be done with it. Wrestling with the setting up the ironing board, playing defense against rampaging kids and cats for what seemed like forever until the iron was ready to use…and then the trial and error of trying to get the temperature and time right.

Those days are behind me, because that was before I met Cricut Easy Press 2!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions are my own.]

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt with Cricut Easy Press 2

Now, I want to Iron-on ALL THE THINGS!

And with the new Cricut Strongbond™ Guarantee, I can – because Cricut guarantees that if Cricut Strongbond™ Iron-On is used as directed, I’ll be satisfied or they’ll replace it for free! It’s designed to last 50 wash and dry cycles!

My Cricut Easy Press 2 is the 9×9 size, but it’s also available in 6×7 and 12×10 sizes. When I first read the instructions I was skeptical that it could really complete an iron-on in around a minute. It seemed too good to be true. But I was stunned to discover that in fact, yes, even clutzy me really can finish an iron-on that fast with the Easy Press 2! It’s unbelievable how quickly the Easy Press 2 heats up, and once it does, an iron-on can be applied in only a few seconds.

Here’s a closer look at the logo I created on my t-shirt:

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt Design

Supplies Used:

My file in Cricut Design Space (click here) is sized for a Men’s XXL t-shirt. For smaller shirt sizes, you may need to adjust the size of the design by resizing the group.

Cricut Design Space Scrappy T-Shirt

The patterned elements are made with Cricut Martha Stewart Patterned Iron-On in Wildflower. These coordinating designs are so pretty! I can’t wait to make more projects with the leftovers from my package!

Cricut Martha Stewart Patterned Iron-On

The patterned iron-on has a texture something like a super lightweight canvas. It cut like absolute butter with my regular blade and on the same Light Grip Cutting Mat that I usually use for iron-on.

Cricut Maker cutting Patterned Iron-On

I always use my Cricut Basic Tool Set to work with iron-on and vinyl…the weeding tool is an absolute must for getting out the small inner pieces like the inside of these scissor handles!

Weeding Cricut Patterned Iron-On

The best part about using my Cricut Easy Press 2 is that I could do all of this right in my craft room! My Cricut Easy Press 2 sat in its Safety Base right on my regular craft table while it heated. Then I used the Cricut Easy Press Mat to protect my table while I did the iron-on application to my shirt.

Cricut Easy Press 2

I started my design by placing the center element (the heart) and pressing it in place following the instructions for my Cricut Easy Press 2. With the Cricut Easy Press Quick Reference Guide, I knew exactly what temperature to set my Easy Press 2 at, and how long to press my iron-on. And using the machine’s timer, I couldn’t get the time wrong!

Cricut Easy Press 2 project in progress

Once I had the heart correctly in place, it was easy to build my other design elements around it! The text element was slightly wider than my Cricut Easy Press 2, so I started pressing in the center and worked out to the edges.

Using the Cricut Easy Press 2

In only a few minutes of pressing, I was done! Thanks to the ceramic coated heat plate on the Cricut Easy Press 2, it was easy to get perfect (and secure) application. I look forward to wearing and enjoying this shirt for a long time!

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt with Cricut Easy Press 2

What could you do with the quick and easy iron-on capability of the Cricut Easy Press 2

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

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Project | Travel Album: Wander Heidelberg

It’s hard to believe, but I’m back with another page for my 2014 Creativeworld album. By the time I am done, I think this album covering two travel days, three Creativeworld trade show days and one touring day in Heidelberg is going to be almost full!

[Disclosure: This Project Life kit was provided to me by American Crafts. Creativeworld is a sponsor of this website. Some links to Amazon.com and other retailers in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission to this site at no cost to the user when a purchase is made after a click.Some links included below are courtesy links to our advertisers.]

Heidelberg Project Life travel scrapbook layout

Supplies Used:

  • Project Life “Wander by Christina Herrin” Core Kit (Amazon, SB.com)
  • Heidi Swapp stickers
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology “Small Talk – Occasions” stickers (ACOT)
  • Kelly Purkey Shop “Ready Jet Set by Christina Herrin” kit (stamp set)
  • Project Life date stamp
  • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Black Soot (ACOTAmazonSB.com)
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (Superfine) – Black (AmazonSB.com)

For my first layout of Heidelberg, I chose to use the “Wander” Project Life core kit designed by Christina Herrin. (I previously used this core kit on the closing page of this album – click here to check it out.) It might seem kind of a bright selection for a historic shopping district, but these photos had a lot of yellow tones to them and somehow it works.

This layout is super simple. There simply wasn’t a lot of room for embellishment because I have so many photos! This page is actually part one of at least two pages, because I have so many photos from my walk down Hauptstrasse.

Heidelberg Project Life

For my title card, I dug out a stamp set from another kit designed by Christina Herrin. This one was designed for the Kelly Purkey shop. The great thing about using elements from the same designer is that the “handwriting” style elements all match, since they are both Christina’s handwriting.

To finish the title, I paired the stamp with some glitter alphabet stickers. Since that turquoise color has been so trendy, it was easy to find some that matched the Wander kit cards.

I added the date with the original Project Life date stamp that I’ve had forever. Even when I’m doing a series of pages that obviously belong together, I like to put the date on each page.

Project Life Heidelberg layout

I like to take simple cards out of the Project Life kits and use embellishments to customize and theme them. On this card, I combined a stamp by Christina Herrin, a Heidi Swapppuffy sticker, and a Tim Holtz small talk sticker. Three totally different designers but the bits and pieces – chosen carefully – work together. I tend to create cards like this by just digging through boxes and experimenting until I find a combination that I like.

Project Life Heidelberg close-up

I had to be careful when creating these pages to make sure that I balanced the colors across the two pages. Using strong colors like this, it would really look wrong if I didn’t pay attention to color balance. So on the right side, I had to make sure to include the nice bright “today is awesome” card. It balances out the two really bright cards on the other page.

Project Life Heidelberg layout

Our travel doesn’t always go as we plan. My last day in Germany on this trip, I got sick. Miserably sick with the flu, fever and chills and the whole works. But I pushed on with my touring and still had a good time. You can’t tell from my pictures that I was sick, but it’s an important part of the story to tell. We shouldn’t tell just the good parts! So I used a journaling card to tell that part of my story on this layout.

Project Life Heidelberg journaling

Have you used the Wander core kit from Project Life? What did you scrapbook with it?

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Make a Watercolor Fall Leaf Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel!

Fall is starting to sound really good with the July heat here in Florida! So today, I decided to bring some cool fall weather to my studio with the help of my Cricut Maker and the new Cricut Scoring Wheel.

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Cricut.]

Fall Watercolor Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel

When I first got my Cricut Scoring Wheel for my Cricut Maker, I was going over a list of the materials that the Cricut Double Scoring Wheel will work with: shimmer paper….sparkle paper…watercolor paper…heavy cardstock…. Wait! Back that bus up! Did that say watercolor paper?

It did! Because the new Cricut Scoring Wheel works in the Adaptive Tool slot of the Cricut Maker machine, it has up to 10x the scoring pressure of the previous Scoring Stylus. And that means that it can create scoring lines in materials like 140lb watercolor paper that the stylus just can’t stand up to.

I love using watercolor techniques – and thus watercolor paper – in my card making. But the challenge it brings is that watercolor paper is extremely heavy and doesn’t fold well. So working with up until now meant making a separate card front with it, or having to design my card so that the watercolor was an element not the whole card front. It was limiting.

Being able to create score lines in watercolor paper with the Cricut Double Scoring Wheel means creative freedom from all of those limitations. I really pushed the limits of my new freedom for this card. I created a card that is a watercolor paper base, and has a see-through element as well.

Supplies Used:

Cricut Double Scoring Wheel lines

The Cricut Double Scoring Wheel makes two scoring lines close together. This creates a more gradual fold that doesn’t break the surface of the material when folding heavier materials like foil paper, cereal boxes, kraft board, lightweight chipboard, and more. (Don’t worry if you aren’t certain which Cricut Scoring Wheel is the correct one for your material. Your Cricut Maker machine will tell you which one to use after you select your material in Design Space!)

Cricut Scoring Wheel in Cricut Maker machine

There is one other benefit of the new Cricut Scoring Wheel working in the Adaptive Tool slot of the Cricut Maker machine – it leaves the pen slot open! This means that drawing and scoring can be done in one set-up of the machine (assuming you are only using one pen color). With the Scoring Stylus, you have to do the pen, then the machine stops and you have to swap the pen for the the stylus before you can score. The new process of being able to do them both at once is much more efficient!

To start my watercolor fall leaf card project, I cut the project out on my Cricut Maker. I cut the main part out of watercolor paper, the frame for the front out of shimmer paper, and the back for the window out of foil acetate.

Fall Watercolor Card prep

Once my pieces were cut I used my art tape to tape my card base down to a surface for painting. (Painter’s tape would also work.) I also used the tape to cover the sentiment that was done in pen by my Cricut Maker, and also to create a border around the window to keep my watercolor from migrating. It only takes a few moments to do this, and it is a good way to prevent paint disasters. Also, if the card base isn’t taped down, the watercolor paper will curl when it dries after painting.

Fall Watercolor Card in Progress

My first layer of watercolor was started with an olive green color from my watercolor set. I used my waterbrush and just made random dabs of the olive from the palette onto the dry watercolor paper. Then I spritzed the leaf lightly with water. I grabbed a clean watercolor brush and started filling in between the green with a nice saturated yellow. Then I spritzed again to make it blend well. To speed the drying process, I used a heat gun.

Fall Card marker edges

After the green and yellow was dry, I started my next watercolor layer. The next layer was a reddish-orange color. I used a small waterbrush for applying this color, and then spritzed it to blend it. Then I dried it with the heat gun again.

The final layer was some brown, applied the same way as the red. In addition to making random spots, I also filled in the stem with the brown, and painted along the vein lines with it.

When I was done painting, I used a brown brush marker lightly edge along the leaf and frame to cover the white edges. I also colored just a little bit of the front of the opening. I also did the same thing to the white edges of the shimmer paper frame. All of this provides a more “finished” look to my die cuts, and creates a sort of drop shadow effect.

Fall Watercolor Card assembled

Once my watercolor was all dry, I very carefully removed the tape. Then I assembled the card elements. The Cricut Foil Acetate perfectly matches the Geode Cricut pen I used for the sentiment, and adds a sort of blue sky sparkle to the card. The Cricut Shimmer Paper that I used for the frame picks up the fall colors of the leaf, and makes it a bit more festive.

The final step, of course, is to use the beautiful double scoring lines to fold my finished card! Folding the 140lb watercolor paper was surprisingly easy with the lines from my Cricut Double Scoring Wheel, and I got a perfect edge!

And here is the result!

Fall Watercolor Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel

I chose a “thinking of you” sentiment for my card but the design is suitable for lots of fall uses – a simple hello, happy birthday, and many others. Anna Griffin has a whole bunch of similar sentiment designs to choose from to make it easy to adapt this card to whatever use you need!

Watercolor Fall Leaf Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel

What occasion will use the Cricut Double Scoring Wheel for?

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

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Project | Mixed Media Layout with 49 & Market Patterned Paper

Ever since I first saw 49 & Market at Creativation last year, I’ve been dying to try out their beautiful papers. I finally got around to ordering some of their beautiful goodies, and this is the result!

[Disclosure: Scrapbook Update is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program. This article contains advertiser links and affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the user if a purchase is made after a click.]

49 & Market Remember layout

One of my favorite things about 49 & Market – besides their beautiful vintage design – is the nice heavy weight of their paper. I couldn’t resist putting it to the test on this layout. So I hauled out the texture paste for a mixed media technique.

Supplies Needed:

To get started on this layout, I mixed some texture paste with some Tattered Rose Distress re-inker until I got the color that I wanted. Then I spread the paste through my Mini Damask stencil in several areas of my Vintage Artistry paper, and let it dry.

49 and Market Flowers

Once the background was dry, it was time to create the centerpiece of the layout! First I matted the photo with gray cardstock and adhered it to the center of the page. Then I carefully began arranging my 49 & Market Seaside flowers around the bottom left of the photo, starting at the corner and building out from there.After attaching all the flowers, I went back added the foliage and other elements around them.

Although I don’t normally use one on my scrapbook layouts, I used a hot glue gun attaching the flowers. It is a good way to attach large items like this that don’t have a flat bottom. It also holds firmly almost instantly, allowing me to work quickly.

49 and Market stamp for title

I felt a large title was a bit much for this layout along with all the other large items. So instead I chose to use a 49 & Market text stamp at the top of the layout. It provides something of a title but without being too dominant visually.

Strip Journaling

This is a really old picture and so I don’t remember a lot about the day it was taken. Because of that, there was no real need for a large journaling space on the layout. Instead, I just used paper strips (one of my favorite ways to journal). This gave me just enough room to provide the who-what-where-when with no need for the detail I forgot long ago.

I’m so happy to have this photo in my album now, and I can’t wait to play with more 49 & Market!

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Back to School with Cricut Scoring Wheel!

It’s time to think about back to school time already! With Cricut Scoring Wheel, it’s easy to welcome teacher back from summer vacation with a cute gift!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions are the author’s own.]

Cricut Scoring Wheel teacher gift

The new Cricut Scoring Wheel makes it easy to make 3D items like this adorable schoolhouse box, with your Cricut Maker machine. Pair it with a small plant and a gift card holder and it makes for the perfect back to school gift for teacher! Continue Reading →

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