Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cricut Techniques

This post is the 3rd in a series of 3 posts about Cricuts. To read the first installment, Cricut Basics, check here. The second post is Cricut Beginnings. Here is the third and final installment. Enjoy!

Cricut Techniques
Once I started researching a little for this post I realized how little I know how to do! I do have a few helpful hints from the experience I have that will help you get started. I have included some websites at the bottom for even more advanced techniques such as cutting out fabric, how to make a mat re-sticky, etching glass, etc.

Paper:
  • If you have paper you're nervous about cutting (ie you only have one sheet of the exact right shade), try it on a test piece of similar paper first.
  • You paper can be any size. Someone asked me once if it has to be the same size as your sticky mat and the answer is no. It only needs to be bigger than the image you're cutting. Sometimes if a paper is really thick and small it will move though while the blade is cutting.
  • The best advice I have for what pressure to use is to use your Cricut! You will get a feel for what pressure is best. If it leaves deep marks in your mat- too much pressure. If it doesn't cut all the way through- not enough pressure. Don't be afraid to speed it up either. Don't neglect your blade depth either.
Mats:
  • Try buying them online (Amazon!) they're much cheaper.
  • If your mat is becoming unsticky on one side rotate it around it will work exactly the same going in backwards into the machine.
  • I hate wasting paper so I always try to squeeze more cuts onto a piece of paper. Use the arrows around the "cut" button to position where to start the cut.
Vinyl:
  • It's called "Kiss" cutting and it's not as intimidating to cut as it seems. Kiss cutting is when you cut vinyl lettering with your Cricut without going through the backing.  I would suggest watching a YouTube video
  • On my machine I use Speed 3, Pressure 2, and Blade Depth 3. I have seen other suggestions. You made need to play with your machine to see what doesn't cut through the backing.  
  • You don't really need to get transfer paper. You can use clear contact paper or masking tape to line up letters. 
  • Always cut the letters out on scrap paper first to you can see if the letter size needs to be adjusted.
I hope you have enjoyed my Cricut series! It's not huge but it will get you started! Here are the websites I was talking about with more information with some advanced techniques:

5 comments :

Just Jaime said...

Great tips! The links are awesome too!

Becky said...

This was a great series of posts. Very informative!!! Thanks for the links!

Mom said...

I didn't know you could do all that with your Cricut-- or that you personally used it so much. Cool!

Jordan McCollum said...

Etching glass? Cool!

Flannery @ Three Sisterz said...

I just bought a Silhouette! I hope I can find similar tips to follow!

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