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

Leather Tips for Knife Blade

Cutting Leather with the Cricut Knife Blade

June 28th, 2018 • Contributor: Lindsay Fekitoa from seeLINDSAY

The Cricut Knife Blade is essential when you’re cutting thicker leather materials. What better way to utilize your Cricut Maker than to turn it into a money making machine? I’m going to be cutting the same shape out of all different types of leather. I’m here to share with you some tips about selecting your own and where you can find quality leather online and in-person.

How Do I Apply the Leather to My Cricut Mat?

There are two different sides to your leather materials, the grain side which is the smooth side and holds all the hair follicles in place - this side is the most durable. The bottom side (or fuzzy side) is called the flesh.

When placing your leather onto your Purple StrongGrip Mat, there are a few things you can do. The flesh side of the leather will always stick better to the mat just because of its gripping nature. That can make you go through a lot of mats and it gets expensive. You have two options here, either place it grain side down so the smoothness will be against the mat or you can place StrongGrip Transfer Tape on the fuzzy side and then place that on the mat. It all comes down to personal preference and what you’re comfortable doing.

Leather Tips for Knife Blade

You want to use some standard masking tape to secure your edges just like you do when you’re cutting other materials with your Cricut Knife Blade. Some leathers will have a waxy coating on the grain side of the leather which won’t allow the masking tape to stick very well so just be aware of that. The Cricut Brayer also helps with securing your material to a mat that may not be brand new.

How to Tell if It’s Genuine Leather

  • When choosing real leather, you want to see imperfections in thickness. If it is the same thickness and smooth, it is most likely faux leather.
  • Check the label. Look for the label to read “genuine leather” or “full grain leather”.
  • Does it warm to the touch? Real leather should warm up in your hands when feeling it.
  • How does it smell? If you smell plastic, it’s faux. Leather retains its smell after the tanning process so that is all you should smell.
  • What is the cost? Real leather is expensive because of all the resources it takes to tan a quality hide. If it seems to be too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Does it absorb water? This is the one that I like to use. Real leather will absorb the water. Faux leather will obviously not and you’ll just have a pool of water on some material. Just splash a tiny bit on your material and rub. The real leather will soak it right in.

Where Can I Buy Leather for My Cricut Maker?

Cricut has a line of genuine leather that can be cut using the Knife Blade or the Deep Cut Blade. This leather is 3 oz in weight and you can cut up to 6 oz with the Cricut Knife Blade. I would only cut up to 3 oz with your Cricut Deep Cut Blade.

Leather Tips for Knife Blade

Using a Leather Thickness Gauge is a great tool to use when buying leather. They usually cost around $3 and are one of the essential tools that I recommend. Usually, every ounce is 1/64” thickness but don’t guess when it comes to buying genuine leather. Leather can be very expensive and so this is an inexpensive tool that can save you a lot of money. Genuine leather will vary in thickness and that all depends on where from the animal it was cut.

Leather Tips for Knife Blade

Tandy Leather is a nationwide leather retailer that is very reputable. I recommend taking some time to go into a specialty store like theirs and ask questions. They also have scrap bins which are great for smaller projects like bracelets or headpieces.

You can also try online markets like Etsy but because you’re not seeing the product in person, be sure to ask a lot of questions and to buy through a system, like Paypal, that will guarantee your purchase.

What Leather Tools Should I Buy?

The number of tools that you could buy to do one thing can add up quick. There are some essential tools that you want to use when you’re cutting and assembling your leather knife blade project.

Leather Tips for Knife Blade
  • Eyelet or Rivet Setter - these are used to help punch holes into the leather to create snaps on your items.
  • Skiver - This will help shave some of the flesh from your leather to make items as thick or as thin as you need them to be. These are great for when you’re trying to set a snap and the leather may be too thick for it to set properly.
  • Mallet - This is to help use your setter tools so that it can actually punch through the leather.
  • Rotary Cutters - This is to help you cut through the leather smoothly so that it will fit on your mat and not have any hanging pieces.
  • Leather Thickness Gauge - This is probably the most important item you’ll need when trying to find leather for your Cricut Maker. It measures the thickness of each piece so that you’ll know what is too thick for your Cricut.
  • Cricut Brayer Tool - this isn’t just for fabric. I use it to help adhere my leather to the mat so that I can be assured that my leather won’t move while it’s cutting. I also use this for paper on mats that have kind of lost its stick.

How Do I Shape Leather After I’ve Cut It With My Cricut Maker?

Genuine leather has the ability to get wet. You're just going to get it wet and then lay it on the surface of how you want your leather shaped. Let it air dry and then your cut piece will be the shape you want.

If you bought a piece out of a clearance bin, it will most likely be folded. Just wet it and allow it to dry with a book on top or something heavy enough to weigh it down. Be sure that it is completely dry before you adhere it to your mat and cut it with the Cricut Maker.

How Do I Dye My Leather After I’ve Cut My Shapes Using My Cricut Maker?

Dyeing leather should be your last step prior to assembly. There are many different kinds of dyes on the market but I suggest getting an alcohol-based dye. This will keep the colors from bleeding and give you a durable finish.

  1. Use a small amount of dye and rub it along the grain of the leather with a dry cloth. Allow it to dry between each coat. When you apply a second coat, apply it in the opposite direction.
  2. Use a dry buffing cloth to buff your grain side of the leather.
  3. Use a top coat like Super Sheen or Mod Podge for leather. Use a damp sponge to apply the top coat and allow it to dry for 1-2 hours and then use a dry buffing cloth in between coats. You can choose a satin or matte sheen with many of these top coats.

What Adhesives Can I Use on Leather?

I recommend industrial adhesives like E6000. You can buy them online or at your local craft store. This strong bond adhesive will guarantee that your product will last a long time. You can use some hot glue but that will not stand the test of time.

My Main Recommendations for Cutting Leather With Your Cricut Maker

From the start, I make sure that I am using genuine leather. I make sure that my leather is dry and smooth. When I apply it to the Strong Grip Mat, I place it grain side down or you can use Strong Grip Transfer Tape and apply that to the flesh side of your leather. The Cricut Knife Blade will pass through your leather at least 4 times. With each pass, the force is stronger than the last so it is crucial that your leather has adhered correctly. Use some standard masking tape and tape the sides of your leather to the mat.

Load your mat and select your material from the Cricut Maker menu. Be sure that your white rollers are pushed to the right and then proceed with your cut. When your project is done, check to make sure it doesn’t need one more pass. Unload your project and assemble.

So remember that your Cricut Maker and the materials you cut are investments. Try to use scraps and experiment. You’re not going to be a pro the first time you open that box but hopefully, this post will help you to be more comfortable when buying and cutting leather material. Experimenting is what makes your Cricut knowledge grow. The Cricut is very new-user friendly and I highly recommend using/getting a Cricut Maker.

Be sure to visit my blog, seeLINDSAY and visit my Cricut Projects. I will be teaching at this year's Mountain Make-A-Thon and I can’t wait.

 

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

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?

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!

Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade

Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade

May 31st, 2018 • Contributor: Jessica Roe from Everyday Party Magazine

My new favorite thing to cut is Cricut Chipboard! It’s super versatile and works for everything. I have made cake toppers, place settings, and even cupcake stands.

I’m super excited to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned since I started cutting Cricut Chipboard with the Knife Blade.

Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade

The first and most important thing to know before you start is to only use Cricut Chipboard. Cricut Chipboard is specifically made to be cut with the Knife Blade, it is 2mm and made of high-grade materials. Using other chipboard material may damage your Knife Blade.

Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade

Once you have the Cricut Chipboard, decide on your design. It can’t be any larger than 10.5”x10.5” and it can’t be any smaller than .75”x.75”, the cuts should not be any smaller than the diameter of a pencil, and you should keep all of your designs within 1/4” of the edge of the mat.

I love playing with some of the designs in Design Space to create cupcake plates and cake toppers. To make cupcake plates, you need to slice the top and bottom of the design to make a flat surface for the plate and add a circle for the cupcakes to sit on. You will also need to make a stand or duplicate image so there is a stable base.

In order to make the images fit in the base or each other, you will have to slice a 0.08” x 1/2 the height of the image rectangle from the top and bottom of the image or base. Chipboard is 0.08” thick, and this will allow you to slide the base or images into each other to make them 3-D. It needs to be exactly the width of the Chipboard to work properly. So, if you want to cover the chipboard with vinyl, you need to adjust the width of the slice to accommodate the vinyl, scrapbook paper, or card stock. Cricut has an article that shares the width of all of their products in mm, just convert it to inches and add it to the 0.08” slice.

For example, I made an adorable mermaid tale cake topper, but the base was covered with Cricut’s Natalie Malan watercolor vinyl. So, I took the width of the vinyl times two (front and back) and converted it to inches. Then, I added it to the 0.08” slice for the plain Chipboard, so the slice for vinyl front and back was 0.098”. I have found that it is easier to apply the vinyl to the chipboard before it is cut.

Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade
Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade
Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade
Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade

For the cactus cupcake stand, I only made the slice 0.08” and painted a thin layer of spray paint over it.

Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade
Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade

If you use paint on the chipboard you have to seal the chipboard before you apply the paint. You can use something like Mod Podge or even spray sealer. Once it is dry, you can use whatever paint you would like to on it.

3-D Chipboard designs would be fun party activities for kids parties too. Just pre-cut the designs, and seal them before the party and let the guests paint them!

You cannot cover Cricut Chipboard with iron-on. It will cause the Chipboard layers to separate and warp.

Some of my favorite Chipboard projects are:

Cactus Cake Plate

Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade
Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade
Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade
Cricut Chipboard Tips and Tricks for the Knife Blade

What are you going to make with Cricut Chipboard? Leave a comment below and tag with #CricutMade online.

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?