Skip to main content

My Introduction to Cricut


There was a time when I just did not understand why Cricut crafters loved this machine so much. From what I saw, you just plugged in some lettered phrase or generic clip art, the machine cut it for you, and voilá, a new mug or T-shirt. I didn’t get it. Where was the fun in that? How many snarky T-shirts does the world need?

When I craft, I like to really dive into the process of creating and building something from scratch. Being an illustrator, I also like to use my own designs and artwork. These are probably the main reasons a die cutting machine didn’t appeal to me at first. I didn’t want easy, practically pre-made crafts. I didn’t want to just type a phrase and stick it onto a T-shirt. I didn’t find machine-cut vinyl as enticing as hand-knitting a sweater or sewing a dress or applying embellishments to a scrapbook page. 

Because of my initial disinterest, I never looked into what else you could do with Cricut machines. I thought they were mainly just for vinyl because that’s all I saw it used for. (I basically just thought Cricut was for people who wanted fancy brush lettered phrases on everything, LOL.) Then I stumbled across other types of projects, and I realized it was so much more.

Once I saw a YouTube video of an artist creating her own die cut stickers from her drawings, I was sold. Here was a versatile tool that could really open up new possibilities to me as an artist and crafter. I also came across some beautiful paper flowers and, as you may know, I’m a sucker for all things floral.

So I researched more about the Cricut machines. The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a tool for die cutting not just vinyl, but also cardstock, paper, sticker sheets, vellum, and more. The larger model, the Maker, can also cut a wider range of materials, including fabric, wood, and leather. Heat transfer vinyl for clothing is a popular project, but really there are so many other possibilities from 3D paper crafts, glass etching, stencils, home décor, card making—the list goes on.

Some of my first projects I made when I finally purchased my own Cricut included sticker sheets (of course I had to try it!), intricate paper mandalas, die cut greeting cards, paper flowers, an insert for my clear phone case, a lettering stencil for a wood sign, and a set of T-shirts (turns out they are quite fun after all, hehe). 


Some of my first projects with my Cricut Explore Air 2

Custom stickers with my artwork

Despite my initial disinterest in making T-shirts, they ended up being pretty fun! :)

What I really love is being able to create new uses for my art and design work. I’m starting to dream up new designs specifically with Cricut crafts in mind. It has given me a whole new spark of creativity! I look forward to exploring it further. 

My wish list of future projects is ever-growing. Some include:
  • nail art stickers
  • temporary tattoos
  • pop-up cards
  • paper snowflakes
  • paper dolls and miniatures
  • reusable stencils
  • gift tags
  • cut paper illustrations
  • shadow box or lantern
  • fun garlands and banners
And, yes, there will probably be more T-shirts, decals, and signs as well! Not to mention Cricut’s brand new Infusible Ink system that I’ve been dying to try.

If you’d like to take a look at some of my very first designs made for Cricut (and other cutting machines) please visit my Etsy shop in the new section SVG Cut Files.

Click on the image to check out SVG designs available in my Etsy shop

Please let me know if you are a Cricut crafter as well and tell me what advice you have, what you enjoy making, and any other Cricut-related tidbits!

Niki

Links:

My Etsy Shop (NicoleJonesSturk)



Comments

Popular Posts

New Etsy Shop and Free Pattern

I opened up a shop on etsy.com today. I've posted some sweaters for 11.5-inch dolls (I hope to post other types of items in the future). You can visit the shop here . These miniature sweaters were very fun to create. They are all designed and handknit by myself. Most of the sweaters are knit using size 10 crochet thread and sock knitting needles. I like using the crochet thread because it is relatively inexpensive, comes in a wide array of colors, and is readily available from any store that sells craft supplies. Here is a free pattern for a basic sweater, for those who would like to try making one yourself! **UPDATE - 2015** The miniature sweater knitting pattern has been revised.  View/Download the new pattern here: VIEW DOWNLOAD A gift tag template for creating a Christmas ornament from this sweater can be found on my  Templates and Patterns  page. 

Niki Knits: Doll Accessories (free pattern)

Well, it's November already, and that means a very busy month for me. Not only am I preparing for the upcoming holidays and a baby (!), I am also getting ready for the Annual Keene Holiday Craft Show that I attend each year in my hometown on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. It is organized by my mom, Kellie Jones, and this will be its 10th year! For the past several years, I have been making and selling crafts myself at the show. Each year has been different. I have sold doll clothes, art prints, gift tags, knitting patterns, and Christmas ornaments. This year, I decided to focus on assorted handmade toys for kids. I will be writing a more extensive post later on in the month showcasing some of the products I have made (I am VERY excited about them.), but for now, I am just going to give a small preview, along with a free pattern. As you may know, I've made miniature knitted sweaters for Barbie dolls in the past. This year, I created some new patterns for some kni

Niki Knits: Baby Vests (with free pattern)

As I revealed previously , I am currently pregnant with my first child, a girl. I am due in December, and my husband and I are so excited. In my return to crafting, I've once again been bitten by the knitting bug. This is in large part due to the fact that now I have a new area to explore: baby clothes. And not just for my own little angel... There has been a small baby boom recently in my circle of friends, so there are a few other little ones on the way that I have been busy making gifts for as well. Much of the appeal of making baby clothes (besides the obvious adorableness) is similar to why I like making doll clothes. They are fun to design and execute, and the small scale keeps projects relatively quick and easy, which suits my short attention span. (Case in point: my adult-size fisherman cable sweater that I've been working on for probably 5+ years...not to mention all the other projects I've abandoned altogether because I got bored with them.) I started out