4 craft project I’ve made recently!

2023, crafting

Hello!

The start of 2023 has been a unique one, that’s for sure – I’m still unemployed, so it’s my first year in a while that I’m not getting back into the swing of work and just a couple of weeks into the year, my husband managed to have an accident on an electric scooter going 15 mph (which doesn’t sound fast, but resulted in seven stitches in his eyebrow, a fractured elbow and a lot of bruises and swelling!).

So it’s been a much slower start to the year – I’m back in therapy and I’ve just started working with a career coach so I have no doubt that I’m giving myself the right tools to get back into the workplace in the best frame of mind. As well as making the most of the time I have at home at the moment to work on lots of crafty projects and doing some offline activities -reading, learning to play the piano again and completing a 1000 piece puzzle! I’m putting a picture in because it was incredibly satisfying.

Figuring out where all the frame pieces went is way harder than it looked!

But having really got into using my Cricut at the end of last year, I’ve already made a start on some exciting new projects this year! Having shared the exciting potential with friends and family, two of these projects were requests from other people and two were personal projects. They’re all really easy, as I’m definitely still a beginner, so if I can do them anyone can!

1 – Kitchen Jar Labels

My first request came from my mum, who wanted labels for the jars in her new kitchen – she sent me a photo of the jars, I asked a few questions about the kind of font she wanted and colours and together we came up with the following.

The photo doesn’t show it very well but there are two layers of vinyl – a white drop shadow with a royal blue offset on top. They’re not perfectly aligned as it was my first time trying using vinyl this way (and I had a slight mishap with the vinyl cutting that missed the top of the ‘C’ in ‘Coffee’) but I’m so pleased with how these turned out and I think they’re going to look amazing when they’re put on the jars!

I’ll probably post a picture on my Instagram next time I visit my mum and transfer the stickers to their new homes!

2 – A Lunchbox Decor

My friend uses a tin ammunition box as a lunch box, mostly because it’s funny but also conveniently practical and hardy. He messaged me around the new year asking if I could make labels for his box that said ‘L.U.N.C.H’ in a stencil font with an acronym underneath and I’m absolutely thrilled with how these turned out.

I just bought myself some new fine point blades on Amazon because mine was so blunt and I was totally invigorated by how easy these were to make now that I was working with a sharp blade! I’m so pleased with how these came out and I think they really suit the vibe – the font goes really well with the army green and they genuinely look like they’ve been spray painted on!

And considering I completely eyeballed the placement I’m honestly thrilled with how it turned out and so was my friend!

3 – A Mood Board of my 2023 Goals

I made one of these in 2021 and I really loved it – I had it on the wall in my office and I loved having a nice selection of pictures that were all aesthetic and pretty and reminded me of the things I was working towards and I was passionate about. It was the year I went back to dance classes and started my bookstagram account and I included a bunch of nice Pinterest photos from my favourite franchises – some Doctor Who, some Spider-Man some space stuff, it brought me great joy.

The beginning of 2022 was a bit chaotic so I never got round to making another one, but this year I was determined! With my newfound Cricut skills I was so read to make it pretty and artsy.

Honestly? I prefer the design of my 2021 board, but I like the little titles and I got to use some pretty patterned paper that I’ve had saved for ages so I like the general vibe, I just think it would look better if it had more pictures and less gaps. The patterned paper hurts my eyes a little bit but I’m glad I tried something new and I’ve learnt for next time

(note: I did not tear up an innocent book just to use in this project – it was a well read book that had been water damaged so I’m using it to the best of my crafty abilities)

4 – A Galaxy Rocket Jacket

I used some vouchers I’d built up through my many Hobbycraft purchases to buy my first sheets of Infusible Ink, which is essentially a step up from Iron-On Vinyl as it actually bonds with the fabric rather than sitting on top of it (if that makes any sense at all).

It won’t surprise anyone who knows me that I got the galaxy infusible ink, because I’m a basic white girl with a space aesthetic and I’m not ashamed.

I chose to add a little rocket to my denim jacket because my husband and I, at one point, were considering merging our names when we got married and becoming ‘Rockett’ – we decided against the idea but have still kept it as a little thing for us. It also goes well with my space aesthetic.

So now I have a galaxy rocket jacket!

It’s a little bit faded and hasn’t transferred very evenly, but I think it looks kind of retro and worn in and I love it!

I’m seriously considering doing a bigger space themed piece on the back with some stars in a silver glitter iron on vinyl I have, but I’m definitely not going to rush into it.

I’m over the moon (lol) with how this came out and can’t wait to customise literally all of my clothes now.

So considering we’re only three weeks into the year, I’m pretty pleased with everything I’ve made so far! I’m seriously tempted to open a little Etsy store for custom items, but I don’t think I’m good enough at it yet. For now I’m going to stick with my own practice projects and making things for my friends!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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getting started with my Cricut!

2022, crafting

Hello!

My husband (still getting used to that!) bought me my cricut for my birthday in 2021 and honestly, it sat untouched for over a year before we decided together to figure it out and use it for some crafts for our wedding.

Now, we are headfirst obsessed with it – I’m now much more confident in using it on my own (I get very easily overwhelmed by new things, so he helps me figure it all out) and I’ve got so many ideas for projects! I keep resisting the urge to buy everything cricut related (I need vinyl in all the colours).

So I thought I’d collate a few of my tips for starting out with the Cricut! Because the whole world of cricut can be incredibly overwhelming at the beginning.

I have a Cricut Explore Air 2 – I don’t know much about the machine models, I know the ‘Maker’ series can work with a lot more complex materials but I don’t know the difference between the ‘Explore’ and the ‘Explore Air’ series, but so far I’ve not had anything that my machine can’t do.

For the wedding in particular, we used the cricut to make our seating plan.

I found that starting with a drawing and cutting paper project rather than vinyl was much less intimidating, both because it wasn’t a brand new material and because the vinyls are quite expensive so I didn’t want to waste them. We started by choosing a font for writing everyone’s names, then by cutting out the white and green circles. It took us a little while to get used to Cricut Design Space, but honestly between Google and random YouTube videos, any questions we had were incredibly easy to answer. We ended up choosing a font that didn’t need ‘filling in’ (so it was just a single line, if that makes sense!) and the cuts were very basic, so it was a really good place to start.

What we ended up making the most of with the cricut, was using the precision drawing to actually draw a line on the green card so we could line up the white circles exactly in the centre when we got round to sticking them together. It was so easy to line up two circles in Design Space, set one as draw and one as cut and then off it went! It was such a tiny thing to do but having the cricut made it so easy.

The next thing we did was make the vinyl stickers for the titular wording – it was so easy to choose a font, cut it out, weed off all the excess vinyl and line it all up. Initially we thought we could just peel off the stickers and line them up but we massively underestimated how useful the transfer tape would be – being able to transfer everything in one go (especially in the words where some of the letters weren’t connected!) made it all much smoother.

Having such large font for our first vinyl project definitely made it easier, as some projects I’ve worked on since that have been much smaller have been incredibly fiddly and frustrating so starting bigger was definitely less intimidating.

The next thing we used the cricut for was stencils for our welcome sign.

We’d already been through a whole process in dismantling a couple of pallets, putting on multiple layers of wood stain and gluing it all together, that when it came to painting the lettering on I was actually really anxious of messing it all up.

At first, we used white paint that my mum had lying around but it turned out to be primer paint so it was much thinner and runnier than we needed it to be. We had some wedding themed stencils I’d picked up from Hobbycraft and the first version we did looked awful. Luckily, my husband worked through my frustration to wipe it all off (still not sure how he did it tbh) and we tried again much more carefully. It wasn’t perfect, but it would do.

Then when it got to writing our names, I didn’t feel confident enough to do it freehand so we used some of the leftover white card from the seating plan to make stencils which I then filled in with an acrylic paint we picked up in one of our numerous trips to Hobbycraft. Using a little masking tape to hold everything in place made this such a simple process, the only thing was I couldn’t figure out how to make a stencil that would work with letters with holes in (for example, the ‘o’, ‘p’ and ‘e’ in Sophie) so I had to improvise with those but I think it turned out okay in the end! I also found a love for painting in this time – I’m no artist, but give me one colour to paint over and I’m golden. It was so therapeutic!

I then used a staple gun my mum leant me (a bold move, if I do say so myself) to attach some foliage to make a border and honestly, I love how it turned out. I’d love to repurpose it to use again for any other events we may host in the future!

The last project we did for the wedding using the cricut was a much more complicated one – we took a generic white postbox (again from Hobbycraft), painted it blue with acrylic (that I was incredibly lucky it was such a good colour match!) and added the windows, the black sign and the writing of the TARDIS from Doctor Who!

This was surprisingly challenging on two fronts – the text on ‘POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX’ was incredibly fiddly so making sure I weeded all the excess vinyl away correctly and didn’t move anything was tricky, but then the windows (which were just six boxes!) were more difficult to transfer from the vinyl sheet to the box because making sure they had properly stuck to the transfer tape was more challenging than anticipated!

But we are actually ridiculously proud of how this one turned out – to know we made this basically from scratch ourselves was so satisfying and it’s now sat in pride of place in our living room as a wedding memory box with all our cards and some other bits and bobs from the day.

It’s mad how what is essentially a few stickers can really bring a project together!

And now, we’re full on obsessed with all the things we can make with the Cricut – we attempted making some confetti out of old book pages, I attempted to make some stickers for a wedding scrapbook (though the transfer tape stuck too much to the cover!) and I made these Christmas tree decorations that I’m so, so proud of.

As a joint Christmas present to ourselves, we’ve just invested in the Cricut Heat Press, so now we’re experimenting in the world of heat transfer vinyl to make t-shirts, tote bags and anything else we could possibly iron some vinyl on to so watch this space for any more creations! I’m seriously considering starting an Etsy store, but I definitely don’t think I’m at the level yet where what we’re making is good enough for people to pay real money for. Maybe one day!

If you have any questions about starting out with a cricut or have any tips for someone who’s still figuring it all out, please let me know! I’m spending a lot of time on cricut tiktok at the moment!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx