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Cricut Gift Guide: Top 10 Gifts for Cricut Lovers for 2019

It’s holiday shopping time again, and that means we are all looking for gift ideas! If you (or someone you love) are a crafter who loves Cricut, this Cricut Gift Guide is for you! I’m sharing my top 10 gifts for Cricut lovers to help make your Christmas shopping easy this year!

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

 

Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker Rose

If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your earlier generation of Cricut machine, now is the time to go for it! With the release of the latest set of Cricut Maker tools (more on those in a moment), the Cricut Maker has really matured into its promise as a machine. The Adaptive Tool System, which gives the Maker machine 6x more cutting power than the previous generation machines, makes this machine much more expandable than any other Cricut has ever been. It’s truly the most versatile Cricut machine ever, starting right out of the box with the included rotary blade that cuts fabric beautifully!

Cricut Access Annual Subscription

Cricut Access

The first thing I always recommend that new Cricut machine owners do is sign up for a Cricut Access subscription! When you pay annually, it’s only $7.99/month, and you get the ability to use 100,000 images and 400 fonts from the Cricut library at no charge. Plus, as a bonus…you get discounts on purchases of licensed images not included in the subscription, discounts on purchases from Cricut.com, as well as priority access to Cricut support! Access is by far the most cost-effective way to get loads of content for your machine – and the discounts help you get affordable supplies for your machine too!

Cricut Machine Tote

Cricut Machine Tote

This item is on my personal wishlist this holiday season! Your Cricut machine is precious – make sure it is protected when you take it on the go! The tote looks stylish on the outside, but inside, it has soft foam designed to gently cushion your Cricut machine from the bumps and bruises of being out and about. And with four colors to choose from – tweed, purple, navy, and raspberry – there’s one to match everyone’s style. (I’m partial to the raspberry tote myself, but it’s hard to resist that oh-so-sophisticated tweed!) Carry it by the handles, or with the included matching detachable shoulder strap.

To really travel in (organized) style with your Cricut, don’t miss the matching Rolling Tote, which is the perfect size to trolley your machine tote with and holds materials, 12×12 mats, tools, and your laptop or mobile device – everything you need to Cricut on-the-go!

Cricut Maker Tools

Cricut Maker Tools

There’s so many tools to choose from to expand your Cricut Maker by using the Adaptive Tool System! I recommend starting with the Knife Blade, an addition to the Cricut tool box that lets you cut garment leather, balsa and basswood, and chipboard (among other things). Then for papercrafters, the Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel are absolute must-haves for creating professional looking creases on cards and 3D objects. Of course, there’s options like the Wavy Blade and the Basic Perforation Blade for more advanced papercraft projects.

Cricut Wood & Wood Veneer

Cricut Wood Veneer

One of the things that I was most excited about when I first learned about the Cricut Maker’s Knife Blade was the new ability to cut wood with my machine. I do enjoy cutting plain basswood with my machine, and Cricut makes that easier with their 11″x11″ and 12″x6″ packages that are the perfect thickness and sized just right for the Cricut Maker. But if you want your wood projects to have a bit more flair, Cricut’s new natural wood veneer is what you are looking for. Available in Walnut (pictured above), Maple, and Cherry, this veneer will add sophisticated wood tones to your next project!

Cricut Fabric

Cricut Fabric

I’m very picky when it comes to selecting fabric. (Just ask the ladies at my local quilt store where I have been known to spend hours picking fabric for a sewing project…) But Cricut has partnered with one of my favorite fabric companies, Riley Blake, to create their fabric sets, and the results are amazing! The fabric assortments are nicely balanced sets combining different large scales of patterns with smaller scale ones. The result are selections that are easy to put together into projects. And with these beautiful florals and geometric designs…you’ll want to make ALL the things!

Cricut Pens

Cricut Pens

I’ve loved the Cricut pens since I got my first Explore machine in 2014. They are my secret weapon to looking like I have mad drawing and handwriting skills when I really have neither! With such a large variety of them available – metallics, fine point, markers, gel, calligraphy – there’s a pen that matches every project. And by combining pens, you can get limitless possibilities of looks. Choose metallics or calligraphy tips for an elegant look. Gel pens or bright colored fine points make for fun doodles! A great place to start with pens are my two personal favorites, the Metallic Pen Set and the Black Multi Pen Set.

Cricut EasyPress 2

Cricut Easy Press

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the EasyPress completely changed my attitude towards working with iron-on. I’d always loved the possibilities of the material, but I never had the patience to work with it with my regular iron. The EasyPress lives up to its name – it’s simple to use, it’s fast, and it gives me perfect results the first time. I now love working with iron-on! The EasyPress has opened up so many creative possibilities for me!

Cricut Infusible Ink

Cricut Infusible Ink

The EasyPress isn’t good just for iron-on. It’s got the high temperatures needed for working with Cricut’s new Infusible Ink products. This DIY dye sublimation iron-on process embeds ink right in the fabric, for professional looking projects that are washable and last longer. Combine the special Infusible Ink blanks (like coasters, t-shirts and totes) with Infusible Ink sheets cut on your Cricut to make brilliantly colored designs. And you’re not limited to just solid colors with Infusible Ink – try out beautiful patterns like patina, watercolor, or galaxy for an extra special touch on your project!

Cricut EasyPress Tote

Cricut EasyPress Tote 9x9

Another item from my personal wishlist, the Cricut EasyPress Tote is a must-have accessory for your EasyPress! This padded, heat-resistant tote is a secure and stylish way to store your EasyPress or take it with you to craft at events. The tote holds your EasyPress, its base & cord, the matching size pressing mat, and small accessories. A velcro strap holds your machine in position so it stays in place during transport. Pick the size – 6″x7″, 9″x9″ or 12″x10″ – that matches your EasyPress for a perfect fit!

Cricut Gift Guide

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Make a Caring Coupon Book with New Adaptive Tools for Cricut Maker!

Do you know someone who needs a little extra love and care right now? Why not make them a book of caring coupons with the help of the new Adaptive Tools for the Cricut Maker machine?

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

Coupon Book with Cricut Maker Adaptive Tools

When Cricut released the Cricut Maker machine two years ago, the Adaptive Tool System unleashed a whole new world for Cricut users. The system’s ability to provide 10 times more force than the previous Explore line of machines (and its sophisticated system for steering those tools) opened the door to many different types of possibilities for tools – and Cricut promised that users would get many more options. With the latest release of tools for the Adaptive Tool System, Cricut has delivered again on that promise in an exciting way!

Cricut Adaptive Tools

Until now, there was no way to create an “embossed” look with a Cricut machine. Meet the Fine Debossing Tip for the Cricut Maker’s Adaptive Tool System! Now users of the Maker can create sophisticated debossed designs on cardstock and similar materials.

Cricut Adaptive Tool Fine Debossing Tip

The new Basic Perforation Blade for the Adaptive Tool System creates professional looking perforations for beautiful tear-offs and peel-aways. Create coupons, calendars, planner items, and so much more…with no messy tears!

Cricut Adaptive Tool Basic Perforation Blade

The delicate waves of the Adaptive Tool System’s new Wavy Blade are just the right size for versatility. A nice updated substitute for a deckled edge, I expect this blade will become a staple in many Cricut Maker owners’ tool boxes.

Cricut Adaptive Tools Wavy Blade

A fourth new Adaptive Tool that I haven’t pictured, the Engraving Tip, works with materials like aluminum, leather, wood, acrylic, and more to create debossed designs. Use your Cricut Maker to create jewelry, home decor and beautiful gifts!

For my book of caring coupons, I used four of the Adaptive Tools. Three of them – Wavy BladeDebossing Tip, and Perforation Blade – are new, and I also used the Single Scoring Tip.

Coupon Book made with Cricut Maker

Supplies Needed:

If you don’t already have the Cricut Adaptive Tool Quick Swap Drive Housing, it will need to be purchased with one of the adaptive tools.

It’s easy to swap the various tools out of the right hand tool slot on my Cricut Maker. To swap tools, I just open the slot, and remove the drive housing from the machine. Then I pop the top button on the drive housing to remove the tip, and click the new one on. Finally I slide the drive housing back into the machine and fasten the latch. I’m ready to go! (It took me longer to type that than it takes to do the process!)

Cricut Maker using Fine Debossing Tip

When you are done cutting out the coupon book, you should have all of these pieces below ready to go: coupon pages, cover, cover title, and binding.

Cricut coupon book pieces

I cut my title for the cover from vinyl for several reasons. First I love how easy it is to stick down intricate pieces cut from vinyl. Also, I love how flat the vinyl lays, and how “finished” it looks. Using patterned paper for the binding is a great way to add a design element, while using up paper scraps!

Assembling Cricut Maker coupon book cover

The coupon pages are designed very simply with some text and a pen art design representing the item. That makes it really easy to add your own coupon. I even included a blank page in the cut file for making your own coupons! Just find a graphic that will work with the pens, and add your text!

Cricut coupon book pages

If you’d like to customize this coupon book even more, it’s easy to change up the colors for a holiday. Use purple and orange for Halloween, or red and green for Christmas!

To bind your coupon book, stack all the pages together. Then fold the patterned binding piece and line the holes up with the front and back of the stack of pages. Tie it all together with ribbon in a pretty bow!

This coupon book of favors is a great gift for a new parent, a newly divorced friend, someone dealing with an illness, or so many other situations. Show your love with gifts of your time, and small favors!

Caring Coupon Book with Cricut Maker Tools

Who will you give your caring coupons to? Which new Cricut Adaptive Tool is your favorite?

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A New Travel Layout – And Big Announcement!

Today I’ve got a fun new travel layout to share with my readers…and an announcement about something that I hope you’ll love as much as I do!

[Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program. Some links in this article are affiliate links.]

I’ve been working hard behind the scenes around here on a big project that I’m finally ready to share with you all today!

Nally Studios logo

My eagle-eyed followers may have noticed a new logo for Nally Studios appearing on some of our social accounts. It was past time for the old logo to be refreshed but it never got to the top of my “to do” list before now. But this occasion bumped it to the top of the list…

Nally Studios is now on Etsy!

So why an Etsy shop? My scrapbooking has become increasingly focused on travel-themed layouts in recent years. I’ve struggled to find things (especially destination-specific items) that match my style. It has left me frustrated creatively, to say the least. I realized that if I was struggling, there must be others searching as well.

So the Nally Studios on Etsy digital shop was born! Through the shop, I’ll be offering a variety of travel-themed SVG files, and eventually other things possibly as well.

One of the things I’m most excited about is designing pen drawing files. I’ve always loved the pen feature on my Cricut but so few designs are available of that type. My first pen drawing file is already available in the Nally Studios shop – it’s an architecturally proportionate design of the Eiffel Tower! The details have been simplified to allow for shrinking it down to use on smaller items like cards and tags, but the architectural outline is correct to real life.

Eiffel Tower pen drawing by Nally Studios on Etsy

And it comes with a background outline so you can cut it out!

In case the Eiffel Tower didn’t give it away, the first release is Paris themed. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, there’s also a selection of Paris-themed titles. Click here to see them all!

I have been enjoying playing with my new designs, and I hope you do as well! Here’s a peek at what I’ve been creating with some of them:

Paris eiffel tower pen layout

Supplies Used:

This layout is super easy to put together with the new Nally Studios SVG files. I imported the two SVG’s and set up the pen file in the upper left of the page. Then I sized the “Paris” title. I ran my Cricut machine to do the drawing on the background paper (if this makes you nervous, do it on a separate sheet of cardstock and use the background mat that is included to cut it out and then glue it to the background.) Then I cut my title out and glued it down.

I cut a 4.5″ x 12″ piece of natural cardstock for the photos. Four 3″ by 4″ photos fit perfectly on it! Then I made the two journaling blocks by just quickly trimming paper scraps and writing on them. Voila! My page is finished!

Since my style tends towards a vintage look, I personally tend to prefer the copper Cricut pen to get a gold look on my pen projects. The copper is a bit deeper, warmer, and has more depth than the brighter “gold” one. On this layout, the copper was an almost perfect match for the real Eiffel Tower!

I hope you love what you see at the Nally Studios shop! I look forward to sharing more releases soon. To make sure you don’t miss them, sign up for our shop mailing list!

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Project | Travel Pocket Album Pages with Simple Vintage Traveler by Katie Pertiet

Travel is always one of the big themes of the winter show, and it’s also one of my favorite scrapbooking themes! Today I’m trying out another one of the new travel collections to make it into my personal stash – Simple Stories Simple Vintage Traveler by Katie Pertiet.

[Disclosure: Some products in this article were provided to me by Simple Stories as editorial samples. This site participates in the Amazon affiliate program. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the user when a purchase is made after a click.]

Many of my loyal readers may remember that I’ve been gradually plugging away at a pocket scrapbooking album of my 2014 trip to Germany for the Creativeworld trade show in Frankfurt, and the day I spent touring in Heidelberg during that trip. As soon as I saw the new Simple Vintage Traveler SNAP Cards that Katie Pertiet designed for Simples Stories, I knew they would make some great pages to help finish my album!

(Click here to view the other pages from my album.)

Katie has long been one of my favorite designers in the industry, since the days when I was hoarding the products she was designing for Autumn Leaves, so I couldn’t wait to use it when I heard she had a new travel collection coming!

Simple Vintage Traveler Snap Cards

The Simple Vintage Traveler SNAP Cards pack contains 48 double-sided cards in various standard pocket album sizes. For those wanting even more pocket card designs, the paper collection also contains three cut-apart sheets featuring 4×6, 4×4, or 3×4 card designs on one side.

Travel Album Discover Side Streets

Supplies Needed:

I started this two page layout with a pile of what seemed like random photos from my time in Heidelberg’s alt stadt (old city). Two of them were vertical, so I was just going to use the page on the right to hold those and arrange the rest wherever. But then I discovered as I shuffled my photos around that it seemed like three of them did have a theme. They were all views of the city’s narrow side streets. I decided to separate those out onto a page together, and do two single pages instead of a double page spread. But only one of those photos was vertical, messing up my plan for using those two vertical pockets on the page protector on the right side!

discover Heidelberg

The solution was to try a technique I hadn’t attempted before but often admired in other people’s pages: spreading a large photo out over several pockets! I reprinted one of my photos in a 6″ x 8″ size. Its composition worked perfectly to allow it to be cut to fit across 3 pockets without slicing anything critical.

I arranged several of the other photos around it, and was left with just enough room for a title and journaling card.

discover title card

My title card is a 4×6 card from the Simple Vintage Traveler SNAP Cards set. I added some strips of the Simple Vintage Traveler Washi Tape to it to make a background for my title. Then I cut my title out of a sheet of paper from the 6×8 paper pad. I used a pre-designed title on my Cricut Maker. All I had to do was resize it to the size I needed, load my machine and hit go!

To adhere my title, I sprayed the back of it with new Mod Podge Ultra. The amount of handling needed to adhere a die cut with other adhesives has frequently damaged them when I’ve been working on projects. The Mod Podge Ultra spray is a no contact method of applying adhesive, so it reduces the chance I’ll damage the item! Then I can just gently pick it up and lay it in place. And it will adhere without a lot of pressing in place – another way to avoid tears and creases in delicate parts of the die cut.

Simple Vintage Traveler journaling card

For my journaling card, I added a few pieces from the Bits & Pieces die cuts collection to it. Before adhering the stamp, I trimmed a bit of the white off. Then I used the paper distresser on it to give the edges some dimension similar to a perforation.

Even the pen I used for my journaling carries a piece of the story of my trip with it…it is part of a set of Pigma pens that I bought at the airport in Frankfurt on the day I flew home!

Side Streets Heidelberg

The other page in this two page layout went together quite quickly once I had figured out that the photos had a theme. Normally I like to use a 4×6 card for a title but this pocket page has a 3×4 card in the top left. So I made a mini title card!

Side Streets Title Card

I started by fitting the title on the card. (Only I could come up with a title that uses up all the E, S and T stickers on a sheet!) Because the title filled in all the white space on the bottom left, I wanted to fill in the top right to balance it. So I stamped the compass stamp. For similar reasons, I put the Explore die cut on. (That item I raised on foam adhesive for some dimension.)

The final touch was the journaling card for this page. I had a big empty vertical 4×6 slot to fill in my pocket page. But the SNAP pack’s cards were all designed horizontal. So I needed to make a card.

Side Streets journaling card

I started with a 4×6 card base cut from a sheet of paper from the 6×8 paper pad. Then, I layered a 4×4 card from the SNAP pack over it. I wanted to make the card appear a little more “finished”, to fit in better with the other items. Covering the seam at the top with washi tape helped. Then I added a piece from the Bits & Pieces pack to the bottom after using a craft knife to cut off the white edge from it.

I’m really excited to be making progress on this album again, and I can’t wait to make more layouts with this collection! Watch for more pocket page and 12×12 pages coming soon with it!

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Make a 25th Anniversary Album with Cricut Maker!

Every wedding anniversary is special, but the big ones are even more special! Last year, my husband and I celebrated a quarter century of married life. I decided that milestone called for a special 25th anniversary album – and it was the perfect project for my Cricut Maker!

25th Anniversary Album

[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cricut. Cricut and Plaid provided some products used in this post. Some links are affiliate links that pay this site a commission when a purchase is made after a click. This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.]

My album combines basswood with a gorgeous paper pack by Natalie Malan. Its minimalist design lets the memories in our photos take center stage.

Supplies Used:

I started by cutting out the wood parts of my album, four of my pages. (Since I knew I wanted to paint them, they needed time to dry later in the process.) I used 1/16″ thick basswood bought from a craft store, but you can save a few steps because Cricut sells Basswood now that is sized perfectly for using on the Cricut Maker! This means you won’t have to waste time cutting your pieces down to the size of your mat. And they even sell 11×11 sheets, much wider than I could find locally. This means you can increase the size of your album over what I made if you’d like!

Cutting wood on the Cricut Maker is simple if you remember two things. First, you have to slide the white rings on your machine’s roller over to the right, out of the way of your wood. And second, you need to use painter’s masking tape to fasten all the edges of your wood down to your strong grip mat. Other than that, just pop in your knife blade and then the gear that you can see above it (in the tool slot on the right below) does all the work!

Cricut Maker cutting wood

After I cut my wood I out, I wanted to give it a little color so it wasn’t bare. But I also wanted it to still look like wood! (If you’re going to have the ability to cut wood, you want to show it off!) The solution was to use Plaid FolkArt Pickling Wash. By using the Cottage White color, it created a whitewash effect that still let the grain of the wood show through. (Click here if you’d like to see another project made with Pickling Wash that makes a perfect Mother’s Day gift!)

Plaid Pickle Wash

While my two coats Pickling Wash dried, I started to cut the elements for my album’s cover. For this, I got out my Cricut Portable Trimmer and some Cricut Pink Pearl Pastel Premium Vinyl. I didn’t want to waste a single piece of that gorgeous vinyl so I cut a perfect size piece to put on my mat for making my cover frame!

Cricut Trimmer

In case you were wondering if a machine with the power to cut wood can still cut intricate details…I used my fine point blade with the pink pearl vinyl to cut the cover frame.

Cricut Maker cutting vinyl

And this was the result – perfect, intrictate detail, even on the spots that were almost too tiny for my weeding tool to poke into! Even with all this detail, though, the weeding tool from my Cricut Basic Tool set made quick work of removing the waste areas.

Weeding Cricut Vinyl

After adhering the pearl vinyl frame, I cut a photo to fit inside it and adhered it. The number “25” was cut from Matte Adhesive Foil. Inside the album I used regular vinyl, but for layering over the pearl vinyl on the cover the thicker foil I think looks better.

25th Anniversary Album

In addition to the wood pages, I cut several more from paper. The inside pages of the album were scrapped just like mini versions of regular scrapbook pages. I designed several layouts in Cricut Design Space, and then duplicated and modified them to fit my photos and title elements on each page.

25th anniversary album

Since calligraphy is far from my area of expertise, I used my Cricut Maker’s pen feature to create pretty lettered dates for each page of my 25th anniversary album. (Tip for using the pen: Don’t forget to “attach” the text layer you want to write to the paper layer you want to write on!) When I use my Cricut pens, I use the reverse side of the Cricut cardstock. That side is smoother, and gives better results with the pens.

Cricut Maker with pen

To tie the pages of the album together, almost all of them contain the same three elements: the floral patterned paper, a white date block, and a silver vinyl title element. As you can see in the sampling of the pages below, I did deviate from this pattern in creating the page about my daughter’s birth. I thought she deserved a special highlight! But even in doing something a bit different, I still stayed with the white cardstock, black pen, and the same pink pearl vinyl from the cover, so it fits right in.

25th Anniversary Album

25th Anniversary Album

25th Anniversary Album

25th Anniversary Album

It’s way overdue, but thanks to Cricut Maker we finally have an album for our 25th wedding anniversary! I can’t wait to share it with family and friends.

What occasion could Cricut Maker help you make an album for?

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

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A Spring Travel Layout with Authentique’s Dreamy Collection!

We don’t get much resembling spring here in Florida, so it seems a waste to buy a collection that is spring themed. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get the itch to use create some projects with spring colors.

[Disclaimer: Authentique Paper, Buttons Galore, and Cricut provided some products used in this article but this is not a sponsored post. Scrapbook Update is a participant in the Amazon affiliate program. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase after a click.]

Authentique’s new “Dreamy” collection was the perfect solution to that dilemma this year! It’s filled with spring shades, and pretty butterflies and flowers. But the flowers aren’t spring bulbs and the rest of the  designs are various geometrics and graphics. This means the Dreamy collection is usable for a wide range of topics, such as gardens, babies, and cute kids.  Authentique Dreamy collection

I did decide to pair Dreamy with spring blooms for this first layout. These spring bloom photos are from a college spring break trip to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

Supplies Used:

These photos obviously have a lot of color in them. That meant I had to be careful what other colored elements I used with them or it would both drown them out visually and end up looking like a circus.

I decided to use a very neutral blue print for my background and then use more bold prints to create pops of color in certain areas.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I used full sheets to plan the general concept of what colors I wanted where. Then I measured the areas that I wanted to fill and cut pieces. The idea was to fill some of the white space without making it feel crowded, and to balance photos in other areas of the page.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I actually ended up cutting that flower piece twice. After I cut it I decided that I wanted to create the title on it with a pen in my Cricut Maker. So I set up the cut shape in my Cricut Design Space and added the text.

Before I glued down all the paper blocks, I inked the edges of all of them to help the layered patterns stand out from each other.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I no longer have a record of the exact dates of the trip, so I just put the year and “spring break” on the date label. I decided to use the black label because it was the perfect size and added some black to balance the dark photos to the huge expanse of light color in that bottom corner.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I had some awkward blank spaces I wanted to fill – above the title, a square area in the center of the layout – but I didn’t want to be heavy handed about it and compete with the photos. I settled on creating these white and gray stamped flowers as a subtle fill for the areas. I highlighted the title block by using foam tape to apply the flower there.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

Even though I’m a simple scrapbooker, the patterned paper blocks by the top two photos looked a bit bare to me. I selected chipboard embellishments to add to them. The chipboard adds some dimension, and the sentiments add a touch of journaling as well. Authentique Dreamy spring layout

Want to see more Authentique Paper layout fun? Drop by our sister site Chasing Dust Bunnies to see a travel layout I made with their beautiful new travel collection, Quest!

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