Cricut Maker and Explore Differences

What Makes Cricut Maker Different From Cricut Explore Machines?

September 27th, 2018 • Contributor: Cricut Blog Team

We know many of you still have questions about what makes Cricut Maker different from our Cricut Explore family of machines. If you’re thinking about questions like…

What can Cricut Maker cut that my Cricut Explore machine can’t cut?

Can I use the new Cricut Maker tools, like the Knife Blade, in my Cricut Explore machine?

Is it worth upgrading from my Cricut Explore machine to Cricut Maker?

We hear you and we want to make sure you as many of your questions are answered. So let’s talk about Cricut Maker compared to the Cricut Explore family of machines. This includes the Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Explore One and Cricut Explore.

More Tools. More Materials. More Possibilities.

Let’s start with the biggest difference between the machines, Cricut Maker’s Adaptive Tool System™. Cricut Maker has a completely different technology built into the machine, that we call the Adaptive Tool System, which allows for us to expand the suite of tools you can use for a number of cutting and scoring applications.

The Adaptive Tool System can control your tools to cut from side-to-side, move up and down, and lift and turn, so you can cut more materials with more pressure than ever before. This is what makes it easy to cut through fabric without a backer (right off of the bolt) using the all-new Rotary Blade. We’ll talk more about the Rotary Blade below. Cricut Maker can cut hundreds of materials from delicate papers and fabrics to denser materials like leather, chipboard and balsa wood. To see the full list of materials you can cut with Cricut Maker, follow this link.

 

Cricut Maker has 10X the cutting power

 

Our Cricut Explore family of machines has a drag blade technology system that moves up, down and cuts side-to-side. While you can still cut a number of amazing materials, they have to be stabilized otherwise the blade will get stuck in the fibers. It also makes it difficult to cut through dense materials like balsa wood, basswood, and leather because the Cricut Explore Family doesn’t have the same pressure as the Cricut Maker.

You can still cut up to a hundred materials like vinyl, iron-on, cardstock, and stabilized fabric, using the blades available with the Cricut Explore family of machines. To see the full list of materials the Cricut Explore family of machines can cut, follow this link.

What tools can be used with what machine?

Now that we’ve explained the technology differences between the Cricut machine lines, we want you to know what tools you can use with what machine.

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?
Cricut Pens, Fine Point Blade, Rotary Blade, Single Scoring Wheel and Knife Blade.

All of the tools you love and use with your Cricut Explore family of machines also work with the Cricut Maker. This includes the Fine Point Blade, Deep Point Blade, Bonded Fabric Blade, Scoring Stylus and Cricut Pens.

The new tools that were designed specifically to work with Cricut Maker, because of the Adaptive Tool System, include the Rotary Blade, Knife Blade, and Single and Double Scoring Wheels.

Rotary Blade

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?

Knife Blade

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?

Single Scoring Wheel

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?

Double Scoring Wheel

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?

Rotary Blade

Rotary Blade brings infinitely customizable, precision fabric cutting to the home for the very first time. Use it to cut cotton, fleece, denim, and more. With its gliding, rolling action, it cuts virtually any fabric quickly and accurately – without backing material. Rotary Blade comes in the box with Cricut Maker.

Knife Blade

The extra-deep Knife Blade cuts through dense materials up to 2.4 mm (3/32”) thick with unprecedented ease and safety, almost like an automated X-ACTO® blade. It’s ideal for thicker materials like balsa wood, mat board, and heavy leather. Check out more on the Knife Blade here.

Single and Double Scoring Wheels

Scoring Wheel makes a deep single-line score perfect for uncoated light materials like crepe paper, light cardstock and even acetate.

Double Scoring Wheel creates two deep, parallel score lines that are ideal for coated, heavier materials like poster board and cardboard.

We know many of you ask why you can’t use these new tools with your Cricut Explore family of machines. You can see at the top of the tools that were designed for Cricut Maker that they have the gold gear-like attachment. That is what directly connects to Cricut Maker’s Adaptive Tool System so it can use the different controlled movements we discussed above. The tools aren’t compatible with the Cricut Explore Air family of machines because the housing technology is simply different.

What else is different between the Cricut machine lines?

Aside from the technology, there are some design differences. Cricut Maker does not have the materials dial like the Explore Family of machines. You now choose your material from Design SpaceⓇ once you get to the cut screen. We’ve also provided more storage space for your tools in the Cricut Maker, added a mobile device dock on the machine - so you can do hands-free designing - and a USB port for charging your mobile devices.

Cricut Maker comes in three colors: champagne, rose and blue.

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?

The Cricut Explore family of machines comes in a number of different colors across the different machine lines. Some colors you can only find at certain retailers like Michaels, JOANN, Hobby Lobby and more, so if you have a color palette you love, keep an eye out for where you can find the right one for you.

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?
Cricut Explore Air™ 2 in mint, rose and glacier blue.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the all-new Bold Cricut Explore Air 2 machine lineup, make sure you learn more here.

To view Cricut Maker compared to the Cricut Explore family of machines and their differences, we also have a comparison chart on shop.cricut.com.

Which machine is right for me? Should I upgrade?

First of all, we have to say we love both of our machine lines. Our best-selling Cricut Explore family of machines have opened up the possibilities of what crafters can make for more than five years. Cricut Maker takes those possibilities to the next level.

If you are a crafter, designer, sewer or really any type of creator, Cricut Maker gives you the possibilities to take on new projects you couldn't imagine you could do from your home.

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?
Cutting and applying chipboard to make incredible 3D projects.
How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?
Like this 3D cake stand that was cut on Cricut Maker and painted over for a premium look.

If you love your Cricut Explore family machine and really stick to cardstock paper projects, iron-on and vinyl, the Explore lineup is a great option for you.

However, if you’re someone who likes to push the boundaries of what you can make - from 3D to sewing and fabric projects - and are looking for the next evolution in cutting machine technology, Cricut Maker is the right choice. We want to bring you more tools, more materials, and more possibilities so you can make anything you can imagine.

We hope this was a helpful guide to what differentiates Cricut Maker from the Cricut Explore family of machines. Tell us in the comments which machine you use and why, and we will answer your questions as they come in. #CricutMade

How is Cricut Maker Different from Explore Machines?
Cricut Maker Turns One

Cricut MakerTM Turns One

August 21st, 2018 • Contributor: Cricut Blog Team

It is hard to believe that we launched Cricut Maker™ just one year ago. The excitement from our members was infectious as our CEO Ashish Arora showcased Cricut Maker and its new, innovative capabilities. Now -- for the first time on the desktop -- makers could cut materials from delicate papers and un-backed fabric to heavier things like chipboard, balsa wood and so much more.

Cricut Maker Turns One
Ashish Arora, Cricut CEO, announcing Cricut Maker on stage during Mountain Make-A-Thon 2017.

 

In one year, Cricut Maker has come even further in delivering on the promise of More Tools, More Materials, and More Possibilities.

Unlike our Cricut Explore™ Family of machines that cuts by dragging the blade, Cricut Maker uses a patented gear system that works with all of our original tools plus the new Rotary Blade, Knife Blade and Scoring Wheels. Make more of everything! Intricate cuts, finer papers, deeper scoring lines, heavier materials, and more. The power of the Maker -- up to 10X Cricut Explore Air 2 -- and its sophisticated steering and intelligent pressure detection systems are what gives makers the unlimited versatility they need to make the projects they couldn’t before.

A New blue Cricut Maker

We are excited to announce on this very special birthday, another addition to the Cricut Maker family of Champagne and Rose machines: Cricut Maker in a beautiful shade of blue. This new Cricut Maker is available on Cricut.com and is coming soon to Michaels.com; it will be available in retailers this fall.

Cricut Maker Turns One
The Blue metallic lid on this new Cricut Maker provides a pop-of color with a sleek design.

 

Cricut Maker Turns One
Cricut Maker in Blue is stunning with its blue lined interior.

Cricut Maker cuts fabric without backing or stabilizer.

Cricut Rotary Blade™

The groundbreaking Rotary Blade brings customizable, precision fabric cutting to the home for the first time. The blade glides and rolls, and can turn within a quarter of an inch to cut through hundreds of fabrics.

Rotary Blade allows sewers and quilters to cut intricate shapes and patterns with accuracy that’s not achievable with scissors. It also does multi-layer cutting: up to three layers of fabric at a time. Check Design Space for hundreds of sewing and quilting patterns.

Rotary Blade opens new doors for anyone who loves to sew, or wants to learn or rekindle their love of sewing. It lets Makers focus on the fun part of the process: the creating and sewing, not the cutting.

Cricut Maker Turns One

Cricut Maker can cut wood.

Cricut Knife Blade™

Yes, that’s right! In May 2018, Knife Blade for Cricut Maker went on sale. With up to 10X the pressure of our Explore family of machines, Cricut Maker cuts balsa wood, basswood, chipboard and different leathers of up to 2.4 mm (3/32”) thick with unprecedented ease and safety.

Knife Blade allows for the customization makers want without looking any further. It is giving new desktop capabilities to woodworkers, leather workers and anyone who wants to use heavier materials the ability to craft without the need to outsource to an industrial-level shop.

Cricut Maker Turns One

Score like never before.

In June 2018, we announced Cricut Scoring Wheel™ and Cricut Double Scoring Wheel™ that improves the scoring experience for paper crafters and artists.

Scoring Wheel makes a deep single-line score perfect for uncoated light materials like crepe paper, light cardstock and even acetate. Double Scoring Wheel creates two deep, parallel score lines that are ideal for coated heavier materials like poster board and cardboard.

Whether you’re a 3D paper artist or avid card-maker, the Scoring Wheel family gives you more pressure than you can imagine to make crisper, dimensional projects.

Cricut Maker Turns One

These Cricut Maker projects will inspire you.

If you are as excited to celebrate Cricut Maker’s first birthday as we are, share this post with your friends that have a Maker machine or want one.

We love to see the things you are making with all of these amazing Cricut Maker tools and more. #CricutMade

Dinner Party Finishing Touches with Cricut Maker and Scoring Wheels

Dinner Party Finishing Touches: Cricut Maker + Scoring Wheel Projects

July 21st, 2018 • Contributor: Cricut Blog Team

The menu is set. Invites are in the mail. It is now time for a few finishing touches that will leave your friends asking, “When are you throwing your next dinner party?”

To leave that lasting impression, we focused on paper projects that used the Cricut Maker and new Scoring Wheels. Using acetate and thicker cardstock, we wanted to utilize the Scoring Wheel’s ability to create crisp scores in just one pass. The deep score lines allowed for effortless folding and a flawless finish.

These projects are exclusive to all Cricut Access owners! If you don't have a Cricut Access subscription you can sign up here.

These clear acetate boxes were filled with chocolate so friends could enjoy some sweets later too! And get this! You don’t need glue to assemble them! They were reinforced with some clear tape, but it is not required.

This 3D gem favor box, when assembled, is about 5” tall and 4” wide.

TIP: This is a 3D shape. It may be resized, but must maintain the same proportions to assemble correctly.

Yep—it is paper! This paper vase is really special and the Scoring Wheel set us up for success big time. After the vase is assembled, you can place a container inside of the paper vase to hold water to keep your flowers fresh for your entire event.

This Geometric Cardstock Vase is about 9.5” tall when finished, and the base is about 3.5” square.

TIP: This is a 3D shape. It may be resized, but must maintain the same proportions to assemble correctly.

We planned on having leftovers—so we provided little to go boxes for everyone to fill before they left. This pun was the hit of the night!

You can also see a step-by-step tutorial here on the blog.

Which is your favorite?

Learn How to Change Cricut Knife Blade

Learn How to Change Cricut Knife Blade

June 21st, 2018 • Contributor: Beth Kingston from Kingston Crafts

Hey everybody – it’s Beth from Kingston Crafts! Hopefully, by now, you’ve had the chance to try out the game-changing Knife Blade for the Cricut Maker. This powerful tool cuts balsa wood, basswood, chipboard and more and has redefined my crafting.

If you’ve been loving yours as much as I have, eventually you are going to need to change the blade. Today I’m walking you step-by-step through this easy process so you can get back to creating in no time. All you need is your current Knife Blade/Housing and the Knife Blade Replacement Kit (the replacement kit comes with a blade and a white changing cap).

To begin, take the clear safety cap off of your current Knife Blade/Housing. Set aside.

 

Change Knife Blade

 

Grab the white cap and slide it over the top of the blade and the housing sleeve. It will completely cover the blade and the sleeve.

Change Knife Blade
Change Knife Blade

Using the ridges on the changing cap to help your grip, firmly squeeze the cap and turn it to the left, loosening the sleeve until it comes off.

Change Knife Blade

 

The sleeve will be inside the changing cap. Leave it in there and set aside.

 

Change Knife Blade

 

Tilt your housing down and the blade will fall out. Set the blade aside.

 

Change Knife Blade

 

Remove the new blade from the packing tube and remove the black safety tip.

Change Knife Blade
Change Knife Blade

Hold the blade by the base, line up with the slot on the housing, and slide blade in to place.

Change Knife Blade
Change Knife Blade

Note that the blade will only line up with one slot on the housing. It will not slide into place unless it is lined up with the correct slot.

 

Change Knife Blade

 

Grab the changing cap (with the sleeve still in it), put back on the housing and twist to the right until sleeve is firmly back in place. Be sure it is on tight!

Change Knife Blade
Change Knife Blade

Remove the changing cap and set aside. Do not throw away!

 

Change Knife Blade

 

Replace safety cap.

 

Change Knife Blade

 

Dispose of old blade by inserting the tip in to either the changing cap or the black safety tip to dispose of safely.

Change Knife Blade
Change Knife Blade

I hope this quick tutorial makes replacing your Knife Blade an easy process so you can get back to creating. Happy Cricuting!

Let’s stay connected!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KingstonBeth

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/kingstoncrafts

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/craftykingstons

Website: www.kingstoncrafts.com

Youtube: www.youtube.com/kingstoncrafts

Scoring wheel for the Cricut Maker

Seeing Double? Meet Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel for Cricut Maker

June 18th, 2018 • Contributor: Cricut Team

Introducing the latest in Cricut Maker’s expandable suite of tools: Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel! For all you paper crafters, home decor enthusiasts, prototypers and 3D makers, these tools will make your DIY dreams come true: magically make crisp folds with thick, thin and coated materials.

 

Make Amazing Dimensional Projects

We’ve designed two new Scoring Wheels that let you add dimension to any project. Make everything from cards, gift tags, and name plates with Scoring Wheel to boxes, 3D structures, jewelry and wall decor with Double Scoring Wheel.

  • Scoring Wheel makes a deep single-line score perfect for uncoated light materials like crepe paper, light cardstock and even acetate.
  • Double Scoring Wheel creates two deep, parallel score lines that are ideal for coated, heavier materials like poster board and cardboard.

With up to 10X the pressure of our best-selling Cricut Explore family of machines, Cricut Maker + Scoring Wheel makes crisp creases in one pass for pro-level precision on every possible crease-and-fold project. You’ll no longer have to worry about whether your score lines are deep enough, and you can say goodbye to cracks when folding coated materials.

Here are some beautiful celebration projects to get you inspired that you will be able to access in Design Space in the coming weeks.

Scoring wheel release - 3D cardstock to-go boxes

3D cardstock to-go boxes

Scoring wheel release - Light cardstock geometric vase

3D acetate treat holders

Scoring wheel release - Light cardstock invitations

Light cardstock invitations

Scoring wheel release - Light cardstock geometric vase

Light cardstock geometric vase

More Tools. More Materials. More Possibilities.

Score more materials such as acetate, glitter cardstock, foil poster board, kraft board, mulberry paper and even heavy cardstock, to give you a few examples. Check out the full list of materials recommended for Scoring Wheel on cricut.com.

When we launched Cricut Maker, our vision was to bring you a new technology that expands the boundaries of what you can make.

From the innovative Rotary Blade, which cuts unbacked fabric, to Knife Blade, which gives you precision cutting on heavier materials like balsa wood and leather, we’ve been working tirelessly to deliver on our promise to give you more Cricut Maker tools.

This is why we’re excited to announce today Cricut Scoring Wheel, a new tool -- in fact two new tools!

Scoring wheel release

Scoring Wheel is here

Scoring wheel release - Light cardstock invitations

Cricut Maker's expandable suite of tools

Scoring Wheel is a tool designed specifically for Cricut Maker; it is not compatible with the Cricut Explore family (or earlier) of machines.

 

Scoring wheel release - Light cardstock invitations

Achieve amazing scoring projects like these 3D paper vases with Cricut Scoring Wheel

 

Availability & Pricing

Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel are available on cricut.com and on other major craft and fabric retailer websites. Watch for it in stores in the fall. Packaging options include:

 

Help With Scoring Wheel Projects

You can find helpful FAQ on how to use Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel on cricut.com here. Learn how to swap your Scoring Wheel tips here. You can also make all of the projects from this blog post in Design Space in the coming weeks.

IMPORTANT NEWS IF YOU'RE A CRICUT MAKER OWNER

Starting today, Design Space will default to the new Scoring Wheel setting when you're making a project with score lines. Click here to learn more. You can still use Scoring Stylus by choosing the Scoring Stylus setting. Check out this article on how to use Scoring Stylus until you get your new Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel.

Stay tuned to the blog for more Scoring Wheel project inspiration, tutorials, and news.

We can’t wait to see what you make.

Using Knife Blade to Cut Balsa Wood and Basswood

Tips for Using Knife Blade to Cut Balsa Wood and Basswood

June 15th, 2018 • Contributor: Pam Dana from Over the Big Moon

Hey friends! I am Pam from Over the Big Moon! I have been a long time Cricut user and have been lucky enough to be a Cricut Maker Ambassador this last year as they launched their newest machine and products -- including the Cricut Maker, Cricut Rotary Blade and now the Cricut Knife Blade! If you're a Cricut consumer, then you know that these products were game changers for creators of all levels!

The newest of these tools, the Cricut Knife Blade, has opened the doors to creating in a whole new way! A few weeks ago, I shared some basic tips and tricks that you'll want to know about the Cricut Knife Blade. So, if you're new to the Cricut Knife Blade or you're thinking of ordering one, then make sure and check out this article -- Cricut Knife Blade 101!

 

Knife Blade tips and tricks for basswood and balsa wood

Today I am wanting to focus on how the Knife Blade can cut both Balsa Wood and Basswood! Being able to incorporate these two materials into your projects are going to open the doors to a whole new world of creating for consumers!

Project Shown Above: Balsa Wood Plane

 

What Can I Make With Balsa Wood and Basswood Using My Cricut Maker?

Models, signs, cake toppers, mobiles, drink coasters and more! Really whatever you can dream up, you can create!

Both Basswood and Balsa Wood are mainly known in the world of making models. But, I personally am excited about being able to add depth and texture to the signs I make!

 

What's the Difference Between Balsa Wood and Basswood?

Balsa Wood: A very lightweight wood that is mainly known for creating models. It is generally cheaper and easier to find. Balsa wood will generally break a little easier than Basswood. With the Cricut Maker using the Knife Blade you are able to cut Balsa Wood that is one of the following thicknesses:

  • 1/32″
  • 1/16″
  • 3/32″

Basswood: A good hobby craft wood. A little denser (therefore heavier), tighter grain and tends to be stronger than balsa wood. However, it can be harder to cut and sand. It can be painted or stained easily without having to seal it first. With the Cricut Maker using the Knife Blade you are able to cut Basswood that is one of the following thicknesses:

  • 1/32″
  • 1/16″

When choosing Balsa Wood or Basswood to cut, you'll want to check that the materials to be as flat as possible. Look for wood sheets that aren't warped or have noticeable imperfections.

Also, composite pieces of these woods are not ideal. They tend to jam your machine easier. You'll know it's composite because you'll be able to see the seams where they've put the wood together. Look at the grain -- you'll be able to see it's pieced!

 

Where Can I Buy Basswood and Balsa Wood?

Check your local craft stores first! It's always best to be able to inspect your wood in person if possible! I have bought mine at Hobby Lobby! I have seen it at Michaels, however, their selection wasn't quite as good! JoAnn.com also has it, but from my experience, it's hit or miss in their stores.

 

How Do I Cut Balsa Wood and Basswood?

The tips on how to cut wood are similar to how you cut all materials with the Knife Blade. You can reference this article for a more detailed explanation, but here's a quick recap!

1. Make sure your Knife Blade is calibrated to your machine.

2. Make sure your star wheels are pushed all the way to the right!

3. Make sure your wood is no more than 11" wide. You need to leave clearance for the star wheels to move to the side of the wood.

4. Use a StrongGrip Mat.

5. Tape down the sides of the wood onto your mat for extra support.

6. Keep an eye on your project periodically when you're cutting. If you see any debris, pause your cut and clean out the debris. You can remove the knife blade, but make sure you don't unload the mat. That will make it so you can't resume the project where you paused it.

7. When the initial cutting is done, prior to unloading the mat, check the project to make sure the cuts are all the way through the wood. If an additional cutting pass is needed, press the C on your machine! Check it again and repeat if needed.

8. When removing the wood cut from the mat, be very careful. Both Balsa and Basswood can easily break. I find it easiest to peel the mat from the project.

Now it's time to get creating! What's the first thing you're going to create with your Cricut Maker and Cricut Knife Blade?

DIY Daddy + Me Matching Bowties

DIY Daddy + Me Matching Bowties

June 12th, 2018 • Contributor: Jenny Alger from Everyday Jenny

Hi! It’s Jenny from Everyday Jenny. With Father’s Day around the corner, these darling matching bow ties are easy to make with Simplicity’s patterns and your Cricut Maker. I chose the Men’s Bow Tie and the Boy Bow Tie, but there is also a Toddler Bow Tie if you need a smaller size. The projects cost $3.99 each, but once you purchase them you can cut them out as many times as you would like.

Each bow tie project has full assembly instructions available in a PDF that you can read over. I will also go over the steps of assembly, but I recommend reading the PDF instructions as well. Both bow ties are constructed the same way; the boy’s tie is just smaller.

I chose the Cricut Fabric Rockstar sample pack and I was able to squeeze both ties on the blue fabric, but it did make the band a little shorter for the boy tie. If you want to be safe and are worried about possible mistakes I recommend two of the sampler packs.

Related: Fill in the Blank Father's Day Card

Supplies:

Supplies for Daddy + Me Matching Bowties

1: Cut Out Your Fabric and Interfacing

Cut Out Your Fabric and Interfacing for Matching Bowties

Click on Make It and select “Fusible Interfacing” as your material for the first mat and “Cotton” as your material for the second mat.

Cut Out Your Fabric and Interfacing for Matching Bowties

I chose to turn off the fabric marking because this was a fairly simple pattern and I didn’t want to wash it off later. If you choose to leave the fabric marking on, insert your fabric pen into Slot A. Cut out both mats.

2: Apply Interfacing to Bows

Apply Interfacing to Bows for Bowties

Use your Cricut EasyPress to apply the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric bow (marked number 1 in the pattern). Do this with both bow pieces.

3: Sew Bows

Sew the Bows

Fold the bow in half, matching it at the notches with the interfacing facing out. Sew the notched edge with a 1 cm seam, leaving an opening at the center to turn it out.

Sew the Bows

Next, bring the seam you just sewed to the center and stitch the upper and lower edges with a 1 cm seam. Turn the bow right side out and press with your EasyPress. Repeat with the other bow piece. If desired you can slip stitch the back of the bow where you turned it out. I chose not to because it was going to be covered by the bow center.

Sew the Bows

4: Sew Bow Center

Sew Bow Center for Bowties

Fold the bow center (marked number 2 in the pattern) in half lengthwise matching up the notches with the right sides together. Sew with a 1 cm seam and then turn right side out and press with the seam in the middle.

Sew the Bow Center

5: Sew the Bow Together

Sew the Bow Together

Place your two bow pieces on top of each other, pinch them in the center and place the bow center over the top of the bows with the ends reaching to the back of the bow. Slip stitch the back together.

6: Sew the Band

Sew the Band for the Matching Bowties

Fold the band in half lengthwise with the right sides together. Sew with a 1 cm seam leaving the ends open. I used a chopstick to turn the band out. It took me a few times (and a couple of breaks because I was getting frustrated) but I found using the chopstick to be the easiest method for me.

6: Insert Band and Attach Bow Tie Kit

Insert Band and Attach Bow Tie Kit for the Matching Bowties

Insert your band on the underside of the bow tie center and center it. Follow the directions on your bow tie fastening kit to attach it to your bow tie. (There are also great instructions in the Simplicity PDF.)

Repeat all the above steps with your other bow tie. Now the men in your life can rock those matching bow ties! Happy Father’s Day!

Be sure to share this post on Pinterest or Facebook!

Let's stay connected!

Knife Blade Inspiration

Knife Blade Inspiration to Get You Crafting

June 7th, 2018 • Contributor: Sarah Desjardins from The Simply Crafted Life

I’m Sarah, the creative mind behind The Simply Crafted Life (which was Becoming Martha until a recent rebrand).  I have been partnering with Cricut since the days of the Cricut Mini, and Knife Blade has been one of the most exciting releases in all of that time. It really opens the doors on what you can do with your Cricut Maker and enables you to have many more options.

Over at The Simply Crafted Life, I shared an overview of Cricut’s Knife Blade, and I have been working through various materials that it cuts.  I have shared tips and tricks for cutting chipboard and basswood so far, and the basswood project has definitely been my favorite.

Knife Blade inspiration

I cut this welcome sign using the Cricut font, Chloe.  I cut one design in basswood and a replica in Patterned Iron-on.  After it was cut, I applied the iron on using my Easy Press.  I just love the finished results. It really looks like it came from one of those cute home decor stores!

Basswood can also be used to create a banner, like this Adventure pennant that seeLINDSAY shared on Everyday Party Magazine.

Knife Blade Adventure

Basswood isn’t all that you can cut. Chipboard is definitely one of the most popular products to cut with Knife Blade. So many people have been hard at work creating personalized puzzles, which make a great gift!

Knife Blade Adventure

Chipboard can also be used to make many great party decor items.  I just love these ice cream cone cupcake stands that Mariah from Giggles Galore created.

Knife Blade Adventure

Speaking of cake, you can also use chipboard to create cake toppers, like this one from Kim at The Celebration Shoppe.  She also used printable vinyl to easily jazz the chipboard up for the Fourth of July.

Knife Blade Adventure

If fabric is more your thing, you will love to hear that Knife Blade cuts through both garment and tooling leather (up to 4-5 oz for garment and 6-7 oz for tooling).  This means you can cut adorable earrings, like these from Stephanie at Crafting in the Rain, and then emboss them using a Cuttlebug!

Knife Blade Adventure

Leather may lend itself to accessories quite easily, but Mariah at Giggles Galore also used leather to whip up these adorable luggage tags.

Knife Blade Adventure

I used both chipboard and leather to create these maple leaf keychains, which are easily adapted to any design, or even a monogram!

Knife Blade Adventure

Cricut’s Knife Blade also cuts through mat board (up to 4 ply).  This is a great option for creating custom mats for photo frames.  Think of the gift giving possibilities, like this fabulous DAD matted frame by Angie at The Country Chic Cottage.

Knife Blade Adventure

And if you want to pull it all together, try your hand at a gallery wall like Cricut designer Karley Hall did.

Knife Blade Adventure

I saw a lot of these pieces in person at the Cricut headquarters, and they are even more stunning in person - especially that map wall art! Isn’t it amazing what you can create with your Cricut Maker now that Knife Blade is available?

So now that we’ve inspired you, let’s hear what you are excited to create.  Will you make one of the projects above, or do you have an exciting idea of your own to try?  Whatever your #MakerGoals, the Cricut Maker, with its adaptive tool system and Knife Blade, is surely able to make it a reality!

What have you made with Knife Blade? Tell us below!

DIY Leather Luggage Tags with Cricut Knife Blade

Cool Materials You Can Use With the Knife Blade

May 24th, 2018 • Contributor: Mariah Leeson from Giggles Galore

Hello Cricut friends! It’s Mariah from Giggles Galore and like you, I am so excited about the arrival of the Cricut Knife Blade. I’ve been playing around with my Knife Blade for about a month now, and I've been having lots of fun trying out all kinds of new projects and materials, it's amazing what this new tool can do!

Today I thought it would be fun to talk all about the different kinds of cool materials you can cut with the Knife Blade. The Knife Blade was specifically designed to cut thicker materials that cannot be easily or successfully cut with other machines or blades. But, before we talk materials and projects there are a few important details we need to discuss.

First, the Knife Blade is for use with the Cricut Maker™ only and requires the use of Design Space® software on a desktop or laptop.

Second, when using the Knife Blade it is not recommended for cutting images or details smaller than ¾”.

Finally, it's important to note that thicker materials require multiple cut passes with gradually increasing pressures to cut through successfully. This means that Knife Blade cuts will take significantly more time than when you are cutting thinner materials with other blades. The duration of the cut will vary depending on the size and intricacy of the images being cut, so make sure you remember to plan ahead and be patient.

Cricut Knife Blade

Ok, now let's talk about all of the cool materials you can use to start making your own one-of-a-kind projects. The Knife Blade is capable of cutting the following approved materials:

* Balsa wood, up to 3/32”

* Basswood, up to 1/16"

* Tooling leather, up to 7 oz

* Garment leather, up to 5oz

* Cricut® Chipboard, 2mm

* Matboard, 2-ply or 4-ply

* Craft foam, up to 3mm

With all of these fun materials the possibilities for party decorations, home decor, and gifts are endless. Let's take a closer look at some of my favorite materials and what you need to know before you begin.

Leather

The Cricut Knife Blade can be used to cut both garment leather and tooling leather.  What's the difference you ask?  Garment leather is often softer and more flexible than other types of leather because it has been treated with softeners.  Cricut offers a variety of garment leathers in 12" x 12" sizes.  Tooling leather is stiffer and may have patterns or designs worked into the leather using leather tools.  The key is to look for leather with a uniform even surface.

When cutting leather you need to use a StrongGrip mat and use a brayer to create a firm bond between the material and the adhesive surface. Be sure to tape down all four edges of your material to the mat, blue painters tape works great.  I made DIY Leather Luggage Tags with both the Cricut garment leather and tooling leather and they both cut beautifully with the Knife Blade.

Chipboard

This is one of the materials I couldn't wait to try with the Knife Blade.  I think this is one of the most versatile materials that can be used for everything from custom cake toppers to home decor.  I just know you are going to love creating projects with chipboard so let's talk about what you need to know before you get started.

The Knife Blade works with 2 mm Cricut chipboard, which is made of high-grade materials and specifically designed for use with the Knife Blade. The maximum size of cut for chipboard projects is 10.75" x 10.75" and the cut can't be smaller than 3/4".  Just like the leather you need to use a StrongGrip mat and tape the top and bottom edges of the material to the mat.  Once it is done cutting, before you remove the mat you will want to examine your project by pulling up a corner or edge piece to make sure all pieces have been completely cut, if not Design Space will allow you to select and add one more cut pass to complete the cut.

One of the things I love most about the chipboard is how you can personalize your design for any occasion by covering it in paper or paint.  If you plan to paint your chipboard make sure you paint it with an acrylic sealer, Modge Podge or Gesso first.  I used one coat of spray paint to finish off this simple patriotic anchor cake topper and love how it turned out.

Balsa Wood and Basswood

Balsa Wood and Basswood

When I first learned about the Knife Blade and heard that you would be able to cut wood my mind was blown.  Just like the chipboard, I can see lots of versatility with this material, especially when it comes to creating on-trend home decor.  I can't wait to create my own one-of-a-kind gallery wall, just like this one the creative team at Cricut designed and made.  Just look at that incredible basswood World Art!

Cutting balsa wood and basswood is easy with the Knife Blade, but here are a few important things you need to know.  Boards should be single pieces and not composite pieces or pieces that have been glued together.  Look for wood with no bow or warp and minimal blemishes like knots.  You can purchase and use wood with 1/32", 1/16" or 3/32" thickness. You will want to place the wood on the StrongGrip mat with the grain running either horizontally or vertically and be sure to tape all edges of the material to the mat.

In addition to these approved materials, I've also been experimenting with other cool materials including mat board, plastic sheets, cardboard boxes and cork board.

What type of materials are you most excited about trying with your Knife Blade?