Friday, December 6, 2013

Using Cricut Craft Room to create great Christmas gifts.

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Well... with less than three weeks before Christmas have you finished your Christmas shopping? Me too... NOT! I've never really been one of those people that could get everything done early. I keep telling myself that I will "next year". But I still haven't managed to get that accomplished.

Well... I've been playing with my Cricut and made me a few signs for Christmas gifts... and of course a few for myself as well. So I wanted to share with you what I did.

Here is what I started with. I am also a woodworker so I have a woodshop out in my garage. I had a 1x4 piece of poplar that a friend had lying around and asked if I could use it. So of course... I was glad to take it off his hands. I simply cut them down on my miter saw to be about 7" long each. I then painted them. The panels you see underneath are from a load of scrap that I picked up. These were panels from old kitchen cabinet doors that someone was throwing away. I simply sanded them down and re-stained them. The bottom one I painted black as well, like the smaller boards.

This also was an old cabinet door that I resized, sanded and then stained. I love the way it turned out. 

Next I came in from the shop and started designing. I knew that I wanted to use vinyl on these signs. What better way to design these signs than to use Cricut Craft Room. 

Using CricutCraft Room to design the signs made it super easy. Here is a link to one of my CCR YouTube video on how to use fonts. Of course... it's an older video. So it looks like I need to make a new one to update things so that you can see how to use it with all the changes that have been made since then. But the basics of the video are still the same. Just the layout of the tool bar is different. 

Here are the signs that I've made so far. And again... all the lettering was done using my Cricut and some self-adhesive vinyl. I used my Expression 2 but could have easily used any of the others as well, including the Imagine. Interesting thing that I found out during these projects.... the Cricut brand vinyl was much easier to use than the off brand that I bought at Hobby Lobby. The white "Pray" sign and the pink "Hope" sign were done using the Cricut brand. The red and the black were the off brand. I do have to admit that I didn't have any problems with the black "Family" sign. But when I did the large sign... it was a disaster. In fact.... all my letters fell off and I have to start all over again. 

This was another fun sign to make. You probably can't tell from the picture but the vinyl lettering on this one is brown and it was the Cricut brand. Worked great.

On all of the signs above I did use the Cricut transfer paper as well. Made lining things up WAY EASIER!

When I created these designs CCR made it super simple. I simple added text to the screen and manipulated the font sizes till I had something I liked. You may notice that on both the "He's no just my dad..." and the "Good morning... " signs that there are actually two different fonts used on each sign. On the "Good Morning..." sign I used Close to My Heart Art Philosophy and Gypsy Font. I mention this because I was recently asked this question on my YouTube channel. Here is a screenshot of the file I created. 

I added a square on my page matching the size of my wood sign. I then added another layer to the project and added my text. I simply moved things around until it fit nicely on my sign. I welded the cursive font letters together to cut out as one piece. This actually was quite easy and went by pretty fast. So yes... you can have multiple fonts or multiple images cut on the same project. Although I didn't on these projects, you would also be able to weld fonts or images together from two different cartridges as well. 

Applying the letters to the sign... not quite as easy. LOL. I do think that the red vinyl of the off brand may have been a defective roll since the black had no problems. But Hobby Lobby said that I could bring the product back for a refund or exchange for something else. I will see how well the rest of the black vinyl works before I make my final decision. But for now... I'll stick with the Cricut brand. 

I have a few more signs that I want to make. So I'm looking forward to creating a step by step video. I realize that this post is not much as far as a tutorial. So if you are newer to CCR and would like to know how to create your own signs follow my blog and also subscribe to my YouTube channel. And as always... if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. 

Hope you are have a wonderful weekend!

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