Crafting Tips: Things You Wish You Knew When You First Started Crafting
Ever wish you read up on crafting tips before starting your crafting journey? You’re not alone! Read on as our favorite Bright Star Crafters share their top crafting tips and tricks.
Grab your pen and paper, and get ready to turn pro!
I’m Sophia from Art by Sophia Yeppoon. I am an avid crafter, creator, and painter and have been for as long as I can remember. I have tried it all and loved every craft I’ve found, but my current passion and business lie in vinyl, sublimation, and novelty earrings.
Art by Sophia Yeppoon began around five years ago as my art and craft brand. Fast forward a few years and I swapped my Cuttlebug for a Cricut and was instantly in love. I have cut every material possible and every day I am still amazed by what the Cricut Maker (presently using a Cricut Maker 3) can do.
I am relatively savvy with computers and programming, so the box was opened the second I got home, and off I went. I know for many the fear of failing, breaking the machine, being overwhelmed, or just not understanding is real and to the people whose vinyl cutter is still sitting in the box, I say, you’ve got this! Open the box, plug it in, and follow the instructions for the first project and you’ll be creating confidently in no time.
Some of the things I have learnt on my journey:
- Harness the power of social media. There are several vinyl cutter-specific Facebook groups around and a quick search of these groups usually answers a question or identifies an issue I’ve been having within a few minutes. This is especially useful for learning new techniques.
- Every cutter is different. Remember every cutter is different, so cutting is trial and error to some extent. Always start with the machine’s recommended settings and then go from there. I know of a few people that cut vinyl with their Cricut Maker 3 on the Washi Tape setting; this doesn’t work for me, so I use the Premium Vinyl setting.
- Ask an expert. Your supplier will generally be experienced in vinyl cutting and application so if you have a question reach out to them and see what they recommend.
- Wet application. If you’re struggling with vinyl application and getting lots of air bubbles, try the wet application method it can make a massive difference, especially if you’re new.
- Hobby or business. With so many crafters turning a hobby into business, my biggest piece of advice is to practice, practice, practice. Too many times I have seen posts from people who have made a sale but are asking for advice on how to fill the order or are producing sub-standard work mainly due to a lack of practice or knowledge, like incorrect heating times for HTV. Take the time and perfect the item before you think about selling it. Yes, it takes time and costs money, but it’s worth it for your brand’s sustainability.
- The most important thing is to have fun, explore the endless possibilities and love what you do. If you would like to find out more about Art by Sophia Yeppoon or have any questions about vinyl cutting or running a small business, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or visit my Website.
Hi! My name is Tarrah. I am 44 and have 2 sons who are 16 and 11. I work full time in administration for a local radio communications company.
My outlet is my crafting and I have been doing this for 16 years now, ever since my first son was born. I absolutely LOVE scrapbooking! I mostly create 12′ x 12′ size pages and love to use my Silhouette Cameo machine to cut out designs to add to my pages. I also love to create cute t-shirts using heat transfer vinyl as well.
See more of my awesome crafts on Instagram!
Tarrah’s Tips and Tricks for Beginners:
- Start out with small projects first to get used to playing and applying vinyl. You don’t want to have too much wasted vinyl. Work your way up to doing bigger projects.
- Purchase more vinyl than what you think you will need. Chances are there might be a mistake and you will have spare vinyl to re-make anything that isn’t perfect.
- Make sure to use transfer tape so that you can easily apply your design in one go.
- Clean ceramic and glass with rubbing alcohol before applying vinyl, this helps the vinyl to stick.
- If you need to, you can remove vinyl from things like mugs. Take a heat gun or hair dryer and while the vinyl is warm, take your weeding tool and peel up the vinyl from the surface.
- When creating/loading the design in your software, make sure the design is inside the cut lines. If the image is too big your blade won’t cut the entire design and you will waste vinyl.
- Once heated, always allow your Heat Transfer Vinyl to cool a littlebefore peeling off any protective sheets.
- Make sure you mirror ALL heat transfer projects. You want it to be backwards after you cut it out.
- Always load heat transfer vinyl shiny side down to cut.
I am Megan, the owner of MJK Creations – est. Jan 2020. I originally started this business as an outlet and it has grown so much in the last 2 years beyond my wildest dreams. I live in Brisbane West, and I thoroughly enjoy making unique gifts customized to your needs.
Here are some of the Cricut hacks I have learned over the years:
Use a bit of masking/sticky tape for your weeded bits.
Use old-school snap bands on your vinyl. Makes storing them so much easier. And neater.
Don’t want to waste vinyl? Use bobby pins to keep your roll in position. Once your vinyl has been cut only remove the section that you need and save the rest.
I hope you like these hacks!
Hello, friends! I am so excited to introduce myself and show you some of my most favorite tips and tricks when it comes to crafting.
I am Corinne Blackstone, and I teach crafting tutorials. You can find me on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. I have been crafting my entire life, but have been using a Cricut for around four years now. I feel like there are always new things to learn no matter how long you have been doing something, so I hope you will pick up some new things from this blog!
One of my favorite and most used tricks is how to load the Cricut mat without struggling with a whole sheet or large roll of vinyl and an entire sticky mat! The key to this trick is having your Cricut fully open! You are going to slide the mat under the front door of the Cricut, leaving about two inches of sticky mat poking out.
Then you will take the roll or sheet of material you are working with (this trick works with all materials, which is why it is my favorite) and lay it over the open Cricut, letting it rest on the door and the back of the machine.
Now all you need to do is simply line up the end of your material with the top of the mat that you have just sticking out. Get it good and straight and then slowly pull the mat out from under the machine while using your hand to guide the material onto the mat. This is going to be a game changer when you struggle with a super new mat or material that may be static-y.
We know this craft can get pricey, and I love to save as much as I can, so this next tip is one of my favorites to avoid wasting materials.
Instead of cutting the vinyl to the size you need before you cut, load the entire piece of material onto your mat. Of course using the trick above and allowing it to cut. Then use an X-acto knife or scissors to cut the design out much closer to the edge than you otherwise could. While this may not seem like a huge material saver but it does add up over time.
Still on the subject of material saving tips and tricks, let’s talk about moving items on Design Space.
You can do this two ways: The first being to make a template in the size of the material or mat you are using. For this example we will use 11.5 inches x 11.5 inches, which is how large your cricut can cut on the 12×12 mat.
In Design Space, open up a square from the shapes tool on the left side of the screen. You can input the size you want your square at the top of the screen using the numbers under the W and H for width and height.
Once you have the square, you can arrange your designs onto the square, so that they all fit without overlapping. This works best when done for each color of your design separately.
Once you have everything arranged the way you want it to be, you can delete the square. Then select everything you had in the square and click attach. By attaching them you are telling Cricut to keep them in place the way you have them. Then all you need to do is hit make it and you will see all of your designs exactly the way you laid them out, so that you can fit more onto your material. This is also great when you are using smaller scraps of material.
The other way to save materials when working with Design Space is to move items after you hit make it. This is really easy to do. All you have to do is drag the design around on the mat and you can move it that way. If something is put on a different mat and you want it to fit on the same mat as something else, click the three dots in the upper left hand corner and choose “move object.” It will then open a screen that will ask where you want to move it to. Choose the mat you would like to move it to and then simply fit the design in without it overlapping anywhere.
Now here are a couple little bonus things for you as a thank you for reading this blog:
One of the most important things you will learn when working with your Cricut is that it is OK to make mistakes! No one is perfect and we all have to learn. I still, to this day, make mistakes.
Also there is no reason to fear your machine. I know a lot of people buy it and then are scared to take it out of the box, because they don’t want to break it or mess up materials. It’s important to know that it takes A LOT to break the machine and you are going to mess up materials for the rest of your life using Cricut. It’s just part of crafting. So it’s important to give yourself time and forgiveness when working with the machine.
No one is going to be an expert right out of the gate with this, and that’s OK! That is why you have blogs like this, YouTube videos, TikTok, and Instagram posts to help you out.
And one last little tidbit that I think is really important. You do not have to use only Cricut materials with your machine. I think this is a common misconception for a lot of people.
You will find so many beautiful materials you can use all over, including here at Bright Star Crafters. They have customizable vinyl patterns, adhesive vinyl, HTV, and more and they all work with your Cricut, Silhouette, Brother ScanNCut, and the Starcraft Solo. Be sure to browse around and see what you can find!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this blog. I hope you picked up a few tips and tricks for working with your Cricut and materials. Remember it’s OK to make a mistake! It’s all part of the process.
Hola! I’m Claudia, Latin mummy bee crafting to put a smile in little and grown-up people.
Here are my 10 Tips for Beginner Crafters:
- Sit down and think about why and what you want to craft? maybe is just a hobby or you are thinking in starting a small business
- Have a budget. This will help you to realize what supplies you can really afford.
- Investigate your own possibilities. Facebook groups, YouTube, and Instagram are my go-tos to find answers to some of my questions about products and how they work. Have in mind that you will be getting lots of information and what works for one person might not work for you.
- You might not realize that there is more than one option for cutting machines for example. This happened to me. You will notice that some brands are more popular than others but will have differences in software and/or quality of cuts. Get back to #3 before expending any money.
- You don’t have to buy the tools or materials offered for the brand of the machine you are buying. Normally they are very expensive. You have others brands to choose from and cheap alternatives out there.
- For cardstock, it is recommended to work with papers that have 70lb grammage onwards. You will be able to make sturdy projects.
- Have 2 or 3 different blades to use depending on the material to cut: Fine point blade for cardstock or foil paper, Deep point blade for glitter cardstock or acetate, etc and another fine point blade for vinyl. Also, you can buy just the blades if you already have the housing and keep them separate and label for your materials. Amazon has some good options.
- When cutting, take notes about which cut worked for you with a specific material. This will help you next time you have to cut the same type of paper a few weeks or months later. Finding the perfect setup and material might take some time. Be patient. This is key.
- If your idea is to start a business, look for options like Facebook/Instagram ads. You don’t have to spend tons of money on this. $15 – $20 will do and will get you an order and if you are thinking big, create an online store. Check your options.
- It is ok if the place you are working at the moment doesn’t look like the craft rooms from magazines. It is your happy place, treat it as this.
Ready To Get Crafting?
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With a combination of 36 different colours and patterns across 12 different sheets, the crafting possibilities and combos are almost endless. Check it out at the button below.
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