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Create Perfect Chalkboard Lettering

February 16, 2017 • Contributor: Lydi from Lydi Out Loud

Hi there! I’m Lydi from Lydi Out Loud and I’m so excited to share one of my favorite tricks with you today. I’m a big fan of chalkboard signs, however I’m not a big fan of my handwriting (neither are the unfortunate folks who have to (try to) read it). My chalkboard sign goals came to fruition when I realized I could fake perfect chalkboard lettering with my Cricut and I’ve been a crazy chalkboard sign lady ever since.

Here is how you can create your own perfect chalkboard sign:

Supplies:

Instructions

Cut chalkboard vinyl to desired size.

Upload your image in Design Space (or create your own). Feel free to grab my “Brunch so hard” image here if you’d like (hey it’s free!)

 

Upload Image

Erase all negative space by clicking in white areas.

 

Areas to Erase

Save as a cut file and cut. Weed negative space from the design, pick up lettering with transfer tape and apply to chalkboard.

Scribble chalk on chalkboard vinyl on and around the lettering; rub most of it off with a paper towel (this gives it a more authentic chalkboard look).

Prefer to use actual chalk for your lettering? Cut your chalkboard lettering design out of stencil vinyl and fill in the stencil with chalk or chalk marker.

 

Vertical Brunch Image

Well my secret is out… it’s that easy to create perfect chalkboard lettering with your Cricut!

 

Brunch Image

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Quick Card Making Tips & Tricks

February 10, 2017 • Contributor: Product Marketing Manager Cortney Haymond

So you need a quick card, but you have some quick questions … I have received several questions lately on card making. What are the two biggest obstacles you ask?
  1. How do I work with the scoring tool?
  2. How do I use fonts with writing styles?

If either of these questions have crossed your mind, even for a moment, keep on reading (even if they haven’t crossed your mind you should keep going, this is good stuff, if I do say so myself. Also there are pictures, just saying).

First order of business is picking the card you want to make. Whether it is from our awesome “Make it Now” project collection, or one you are starting from scrap, there are a few things you will want to know.

Most cards have fold lines, if the card you’re making has one you will need a scoring stylus. It looks like this…

 

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Today I have chosen a “Make it Now” card project to work with. However, I am going to customize it to fit my personality a bit more.

 

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This card has four score lines (folds) in it, which I love because it sets it apart from the bi-fold cards outs there. Another thing I love about this card it that it combines cutting and writing/drawing. Once I have hit the customize button I can start to get creative.

The first thing I want to do is change the phrase. While I like this phrase, I want something a little curlier to match the fun embellishments on the sides of the card.

 

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I will need to detach the writing layer from the heart in order to change the font.

 

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Once I have done that I am going to delete the text and create a new text box. Now I can write whatever saying I want. After I have written out my phase, I am going to click on the edit tab and choose a font. Now because I want this to be written instead of cut, I am going to want pick a font that has an associated writing style. I can do that by clicking the first drop down menu and clicking “Has a Writing Style.”

 

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All you have to do now is pick the font you like the best. If you read my last post about fonts you will know that I have a lot of favorites, today I think I will use one called P.S. Post Script.

 

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You will notice that the letters aren’t connected at this point. If you would like to connect them, there are two different ways. First, in the edit tab there is a place for “Line Spacing” and “Letter Spacing.” I think that I will use both.  By decreasing both the line space and the letter space, I am able to get the letters and words exactly where I want them.

 

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Want to know your second option? Of course you do!!! *In my announcer voice* “Okay, lets show our viewers at home what is behind door #2 ...”

 

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“It’s the ‘Isolate letters’ button!” By isolating the letters, you can move them independently of each other to achieve the look you desire.

WARNING

Once you isolate the letters you cannot, I repeat, cannot change the font. I often make a duplicate of my phrase or word before doing this, just in case I change mind my mind (it happens a lot okay!).

After you have them in your desired configuration, draw a square around them with your mouse (or finger if you are on the app) and attach or weld them to one another (we will go over the difference of these two in another post, stay tuned).

Make sure you reattach your phrase to your card, or else it won’t write where you want it to. Now just hit the go button and head to the cut screen. The biggest piece of advice I can give you (and this goes for more than just cards) is to follow the prompts on your screen. They will tell you when you need a scoring stylus and when you will need a pen. They both go in the same spot (clamp A, the one that doesn’t have a blade) so you will only use one at a time.

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I have another tip for you. Remember that first picture I showed you of the scoring stylus (it’s okay, you can scroll back up and look at it)? Did you see the arrow (you can go look at it again)? Well, when you put the scoring stylus or the pen for that matter into the clamp, if you don’t see that arrow disappear, then you don’t have it in all the way. For those of you with scoring stylus and pen frustrations you may want to try this ...

 

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Hold up the clamp with your finger as you push the Stylus or Pen into place. This will help you to feel when it has clicked in correctly. From there just cut, assemble, and give to someone you love!

Did this post answer some of your questions? It did? Let me know in the comments below. You still have more? Well don’t hesitate to ask, just do so in the comments section. Hugs and high fives all around!

 

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Top 10 Ways to Say “DIY Love You”

February 2, 2017 • Contributor: Cricut Social Media Specialist Shelby Jones

V-Day is fast approaching and the pressure is on to send the perfect message to your loved ones to show them you love them … but not in just the typical chocolates and roses kind of way. We’ve got our top 10 favorite ways to say “DIY Love You” … just go with it guys it’s Valentine’s Day so of course we had to be super cheese!

Besides the fact that it’s totally adorable – this banner is perfect for a subtle touch of lovey dovey without trying too hard!

 

Sheet Music Heart Garland by Bespoke Decor.

Sometimes the best nights are the cozy nights in! Stay in, get those pj’s on and have a movie night for two!

 

 

Movie Night Ticket by The TomKat Studio. Make it in Design Space!

Please cue the heart eye emojis! Is this clutch not perfect for your hot date night?! Show the world your taken! Or if you're looking to celebrate with the gals, they've got a super cute #single pouch too! 

 

#Taken Pouch by Oleander and Palm.

Nails deserve love too!  Don’t forget to give yourself a fresh mani! Betcha never thought to use vinyl on your nails - this is nail art at its finest!

 

V-Day Nail Art by JGoode Designs. Make it in Design Space!

#Mantlepiecegoals – seriously we could just stare all day! Part of the fun of Valentine’s Day is filling your home with pinks, reds, chocolate, and of course heart everythings!

 

V-Day mantle project by Crafting Chicks.

This has to be our favorite Valentine we have EVER seen! Take your gal pals out to lunch and gift them what is soon to be their favorite card they have ever received.

 

Vintage Pin-up Girl Card by Rob & Bob. Make it in Design Space!

Send your littles off with a kiss, a hug, and the cutest handmade tees you ever did see! ... we might need twinner shirts for our self as well!

 

Modern kids V-Day shirts by Lemon Thistle.

Search no more for the perfect Valentine’s for your kids to give to their friends! We love a classic punny Valentine and these are perfect!

 

Owl V-Day card by Cricut Designer. Make it in Design Space

Because nothing says, “I love you” quite like a giant heart piñata does. Okay … this one might be a faux piñata, but still we are completely obsessed and we MUST add this to our DIY list immediately!

 

Faux V-Day Piñata by Artsy-Fartsy Mama.

One of our favorite totes of all time – because the most important thing of all is to love yourself!

 

Love Your Selfie Tote by Cricut Designer. Make it in Design Space

Feeling inspired? Pick your favorite show to binge watch and get crafting! You still have 12 days to get all your Valentine’s projects done! Share your projects with us – just use the hashtag #CricutMade and tell us what you're making in the comments below!

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Tutorial: Making the Perfect Dresser Vinyl Accent

January 31, 2017 • Contributor: Jennifer Rizzo of Jennifer Rizzo Design Company

Hi There! I’m Jennifer Rizzo from Jennifer Rizzo Design Company. I am so excited to be a part of the collaboration with Cricut and Hayneedle and to share with you how I contributed to transforming the space into a dreamy and fun bedroom!

Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about how I embellished the Hayneedle wood dresser. I worked on coming up with a design that would work with the rustic industrial style, and would also enhance the awesome dresser from Hayneedle.

 

Vinyl Dresser Image

I knew I wanted to do something that had a faux inlay feel, which I always think feels expensive. It reminds me of custom handmade, artisan furniture. When I found the vine pattern in Cricut Design Space (literally you can click in the image bank to find thousands of pre-made images), I knew it would work out perfectly. I used the silver vinyl, a 12” x 24” cutting mat, scissors, and the weeder tool. That’s literally all you need!  

 

Design Space Image

I decided on using the silver vinyl because I thought that would work the best for the look we were going for, though I think gold foil, bronze or even copper foil would be beautiful as well. Cricut has an amazing array of metallic adhesive foils that are absolutely gorgeous. This is such an easy project to add such a beautiful detail.

Silver Vinyl Image

I started by measuring the edge of the dresser, and decided to make the inlay about an inch wide. After I had the size I wanted, I cut the pattern to my size on the Cricut Explore Air 2 using a 12” x 24” mat. I then used the weeder tool to remove the excess vinyl from around the edges.

I did find it works better to pull the excess vinyl away carefully. I went a little too fast and ended up slightly ripping a few vines.

 

Silver Vinyl Image

As you can tell, working with shoes on is optional. :)

I measured and drew a line in the direct center, around the dresser, to make sure I placed my vine as straight as possible.

At the edges, I trimmed and matched them up. I decided to keep my vines and leaves going in the same direction as I moved around the dresser.

The finished project ended up looking amazing! I think it really adds a nice, creative touch and highlights the beautiful wood. And the best thing about using vinyl on furniture is if you decide you want to change your room design, no problem, just peel it off!

 

Vinyl Dresser Image

It was such an amazing experience, and the room is just beautiful and dreamy! Now is your chance to make your own space.

Make sure you enter here for more home decor inspiration, and a chance to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 bundle, a $2,000 shopping spree on hayneedle.com, plus a consult with a room stylist (me!) to pull it all together!!

Leave a comment and let us know what you think and if you LOVE this project, make sure to share it with a friend! 

 

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Creative Spotlight: Kim Byers of Celebration Shoppe

January 26, 2017 • Contributor: Scarlet Letters Copywriting

Kim Byers of Celebration Shoppe is one of those bloggers who always has the perfect project at the right time. Not only is she an inspiring maker, blogger, stylist, wife and mom, but she also finds time to design incredible Cricut cartridges and best-selling images. We’ve featured her here before (see that blog post) because she’s just that fabulous, but we wanted to check in again to see what she’s working on now. And, of course, she had some amazingly perfect project ideas ready to share with us for a jump-start on Teacher Appreciation Week (May 1-5) or anytime the mid-school-year crunch hits!

We’re curious about the journey of your blog. How did you get started on it, and what have you learned along the way about keeping it current with fabulous ideas?

I started my second career, designing paper goods, about eight years ago. As part of that process, my social media and blogging career was born. It was the best way to promote my designs in the marketplace. Since then, I’ve since fallen in love with blogging and with my readers. Blogging can be very personal and having great friends to take along on that journey is key. As for inspiration and keeping my articles current, I do watch the industry trends. However, I watch what is being discussed, liked and shared in my communities of paper goods, party and food even more. Those places are where you find the “next” industry trend. Those are the projects and ideas that real people are commenting on and reacting to.

We’re thrilled to be focusing on one of your DIY teacher gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week. Do you have a favorite teacher who made an impact on who you are today?

I had many amazing teachers growing up, and each influenced me in their own way to work hard and dream big for all the things I want out of life. Honestly though, it is my sons’ teachers and the teachers I’ve become friends with as an adult that make me want to go that extra mile throughout the school year. In addition to all the boys’ teachers, I have five friends who teach various ages and each has shared heartfelt stories about the day-to-day struggles and triumphs they encounter in the classroom. Teaching is a difficult career, one that requires a lot of passion, love and hard work. If I can do something small throughout the school year, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week, to encourage them, then I want to do that for them. The crafts in my Rule the School cartridge are easily personalized, too. There’s nothing like personalization to make someone feel extra special.

 

Kim Byers Project Image

This personalized tote bag designed by Kim is sweet enough to be used inside or out of the classroom. Filled with thoughtful treats, it’s an A+ gift for every deserving instructor. Find out how to make it here

We’re always intrigued about the inspiration behind a project like the one above. Can you tell us how it came about?

I noticed that my youngest son’s teacher was in need of a new tote so I used the apple and apple core designs in my Rule the School cartridge to make her a personalized glitter iron-on tote. I filled it with little bits of encouragement like the large red candies, coffee mug, post-it notes and a few other goodies.

What do you appreciate most about using a Cricut for a project like this?

My Cricut allowed me to take a seemingly ordinary gift--a bag of candy and a tote--and make it special and thoughtful. In just minutes, I was able to add my son’s teacher’s name to fabric and paper with one machine and a printer. The tote was only $4 and with less than a fourth of a roll of glitter and white iron-on, I made the tote for about $8. Buying a personalized tote would have cost me at least $20. I was then able to personalize and craft the other items in the tote as well. The entire project didn’t’ take long, and his teacher was so grateful for the thought and work that went into it.

Check out a few more projects that use Kim’s Rule the School cartridge….

This easy Print Then Cut tag can be used on nearly any kind of goodie and is extra fun because it’s personalized. Find it on Kim’s blog.

 

Kim Byers Project Image

Of course, we can’t forget the kids! This personalized DIY backpack is created with printable fabric. Discover how to make one for your favorite student here on Kim’s blog.

 

Kim Byers Project Image

Check out some of our other favorite school projects from Kim in Design Space here

What other projects are you working on now?

Right now, I’m designing some fun projects for Valentine’s Day. I love a great pun and it’s the perfect holiday for it! This year I’m designing some die-cut cards that should make the kids smile. In the old days, I would be cutting or punching out shapes for hours. Now, I can just load my designs to my Cricut Explore Air 2 and cut, or Print Then Cut, my designs in minutes!

Thanks, Kim! We love how easy you’ve made it to personalize items for the unique people in our lives. We can’t wait to see what you design next!

Check out Kim’s blog at blog.thecelebrationshoppe.com. Have you found happiness at the Celebration Shoppe? Show us by sharing on social #CricutMade!

 

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What’s New: We’ve Got a Font Fetish

January 25, 2017 • Contributor: Cricut Product Marketing Manager Cortney Haymond

One Font, Two Font, Red Font, Blue Font…

Okay, we all have that small secret thing that we obsess over. Something that we are constantly looking for or at. For instance, my husband’s is cars and car parts. For me, it’s fonts.

  • Small Fonts
  • Big Fonts
  • Plain Fonts
  • Fancy Fonts

I love them all. They each have their own personality and style. I can say the same thing several different ways depending on the font I use.

 

Hello Beautiful Font Image

See what I mean? You can say it softly, boldly, sassily, lovingly or many other ways. Hence why I am crazy about Cricut Design Space. No matter how I want to say something, they have a font to match and they are continually adding more.

Fabulous Fonts

My favorite fonts this month are:

  • Loop-Di-Loop, this one is kind of curly and sassy. It makes me think of ringlets and bubblegum (I never said it was a great combo, that’s just what I think of.)
  • Pen and Ink has a more sophisticated look. It seems like something you would use for special occasions or just because you want to be fancy.
  • Kyden reminds me of the handwriting I always wished I had and now I do. (Shh, don’t tell anyone. I just write everything via my Cricut.)
  • Confetti + Sprinkles is just downright crazy which is what makes it so awesome. It literally is a party in a font.

Last, but by no means least, our newest one…*Drumroll Please*

 

Neon Lights Font Image

Neon Lights is the newest addition to the Cricut Font Family and we couldn’t be happier. This boldly electric font is just the type of uniqueness you were looking for this New Year. But wait there’s more…

Neon Lights is the first in a long line of fonts that will be hitting Cricut Design Space this year. You will have to check back each month to see whether we have released one or many. All I can say right now is that they are going to be AMAZING!

Finding Fonts

I honestly can say I have never met a font I didn’t like, and that holds true for all of the Cricut fonts. One question I get asked a lot is “How do I change my fonts in Design Space?” I have got your answer right here.

It is actually pretty simple. After you have added your text by clicking “Add Text” on the left hand side of your screen, you will head over the right side and click edit.

 

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After you have clicked the edit tab (make sure your text is selected) you will see three drop down menus. The middle one has all the fonts your heart could desire.

 

Hello Beautiful Font Image 1

From there all you have to do is scroll through and select your favorite font.

 

Hello Beautiful Image 2

And there you have it. Pretty simple right?

Were any of my favorite fonts your favorite as well? I would love to hear what your favorite type of font is. Comment below and tell me how much of a font fetish you have.

Now go make something, you crazy craft animal you!

 

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Tips & Tricks: Getting That Perfect Phrase Project in Design Space

January 18, 2017 • Contributor: Cricut Marketing Director Tiffany Isbell

Whether it’s a cute phrase for a t-shirt, a motivational sign for your office wall or a funny saying for dad’s coffee mug, phrase projects seem to be high on everyone’s list. Design Space has countless (well, I’m sure we could count them, but we haven’t) phrases in the Image Library, but sometimes the task of finding one can seem a little daunting. I’m here to show you the ropes! Let’s navigate Design Space together and find some really great phrases to use on your next project.

I’m going to give you 3 easy ways to look for some great images, and then how you can use them when you’re making something. 

1) Filtering

Just one click to the filter and you can start to narrow down the choices.

Filtering

After I hit the filter in the top right and click the Phrases box, I scrolled down until I found these cute phrases. The range of styles is endless, from classic looks to the trendy hand-lettering. 

Filtering continued

And in less than an hour, I had cut, weeded, and ironed on all these phrases. The weeding was the longest part of the making process for these projects. Fast gifts are always fun. Now, I’m ready for baby showers, birthdays, mother’s day, housewarmings, and just about anything!

2) Searching

Sometimes, I have a better idea of what I want to make or say on a project. Let’s check on options for a phrase with “amazing” in it. Just go straight to the search bar and type it in! Here’s what came up for my word:

Searching

And I selected one, cut it out, weeded it, and ironed it on. Voila!

You're Amazing Image

3) Inspiring

If I am just looking for inspiration, my go-to thing is perusing the Make It Now Projects. The Cricut Design Team are master navigators for finding great images so I’ll scan through there to see what has been designed. I find the BEST phrases, saying, and even images I like. I don’t always make the project as I see it. For example, I found this awesome good morning wall vinyl and decided to put it on a mug instead:

Photo Credit: Rad & Happy

You can also just go into Insert Image and search for “phrases” too.  You never know what will appear that might inspire your next great project!

I love how inspiring creative people can be. Show me some of your favorite font & phrase projects below or share them on Instagram using #SayItWithCricut - we're always re-sharing our favorite phrase projects! Let’s learn again together soon.