Great crafting from scratch is all about finding a cohesive way to incorporate various elements into a project. Adding a Cricut® shape to your artwork is a quick and simple way to elevate the aesthetic of your artwork, and to make this easier than ever, we’re going to show you a few ways to create a little mix and match Cricut action for your projects, using a handful of shapes from the Stars & Sparklers collection and the adorable papers, stickers, and shapes from the Hillside Cottage suite!
To supplement the paper collections in our bi-monthly catalogs, we’ve partnered with Cricut® to create a coordinating collection of shapes for each suite! These mini Cricut collections are designed to pair seamlessly with the patterns and designs in the papers, stickers, Picture My Life™ pocket cards, and stamp sets that make up the paper suite itself.
The Stars & Sparklers and Hillside Cottage paper collections are available now in our July–August catalog. Click here to check out all the amazing papers, stickers, stamps, and Cricut shapes included in these exclusive suites (along with all the other amazing products available in this catalog 😀).
Now, let’s take a look at a few fun combinations that we created through this fusion of Stars & Sparklers Cricut® shapes and various components of the Hillside Cottage suite!
To start things off, we took the “good TIMES” title and a handful of flowers from the Stars & Sparklers Cricut collection and cut them out of coordinating cardstock from the Hillside Cottage collection.
Similar to the scrapbook page above, this “We Are Family” layout also includes a few of the Stars & Sparklers flowers, and with these scattered throughout the pages alongside the Hillside Cottage patterns, stickers, and shapes, it’s easy to create beautiful artwork and make it unforgettable!
For an absolute treat of a card, we paired the ice cream cone from the Stars & Sparkles Cricut collection with the few Hillside Cottage patterned papers and coordinating cardstock. This sweet card is a great example of how an everyday Cricut shape can be paired with a few papers for a gorgeous finished effect!
Even a simple shape can be a great way to dress up your crafts—just check out the awesome texture on this cone!
For this last card, we took the cute pick-up truck from the Stars & Sparklers Cricut collecion, layered all the pieces on top of a few strips of Hillside Cottage paper, and finished it off by filling the truck bed with a beautiful Hillside Cottage floral sticker! We’re left with a whimsically beautiful card that can be created in minutes!
With a little bit of time and some outside-the-box thinking, it’s easy to create gorgeous cards in minutes when you get creative with your Cricut® shapes! By mixing and matching the Stars & Sparklers Cricut truck shape with the Hillside Cottage suite, we ended up with a beautiful card, where the pieces pair so well, it looks like they were made for each other!
Even though our kit-coordinated Cricut® collections are designed with specific paper collections in mind, they’re incredibly versatile and can be used with any paper suite! As you can see, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do with Cricut shapes!
Do you have a favorite Cricut® collection? Leave a comment below to tell us which one, and how you love to use it!
Halloween may look a bit different this year than what we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun! To keep the tradition of offering treats where treats are due, we’ve designed a few tags in Cricut Design Space™ using our festive Got Candy? paper collection and we’re sharing our designer’s file with you free, here!
The spooky themes of the Got Candy? patterned papers and stickers paired with the versatile shapes of our Art Philosophy Cricut® collection are a scream-of-a-treat all on their own! To access our free file, you will need your own access to the shapes of the Art Philosophy collection. If you do not own this Cricut® collection and would like to make the tags from this project, contact your Close To My Heart Maker to learn how.
Four of the seven pieces are tags that come together quickly with a few cut shapes, stickers, and some ribbon. If you take a closer look at the remaining three, you’ll notice that there’s a little something extra about them.
These remaining few pieces also come together easily, but they do have some extra features! There’s a tag that has a pocket to carry a gift card, a tag that opens up to a card, and a hanging door tag that can hold a small treat (perfect for ding dong ditching!).
Whether you choose to make just one or all of these delectable handmade tags, we hope you continue to find ways to enjoy sharing the festive Halloween spirit this year. If you have any questions about these projects or would like to share ways that you’ve been using the Got Candy? paper collection, leave us a comment below!
For additional crafting fun with our Got Candy? collection, don’t forget to join us later this week, October 21 and 22, at 2 p.m. (MDT), on our Facebook page where we will be hosting a free live workshop, making scrapbook pages and treat toppers! (Visit our events page for more details.)
There’s nothing like a well-placed Cricut® cut to give your projects that extra pop! When you bring Cricut into the mix, your crafting possibilities are endless. In order to offer even more creative options, we’ve partnered with Cricut to create coordinating mini collections for the paper collections featured in our bi-monthly catalogs!
Although we recently said goodbye to our May–June catalog, along with the Aurora and Stitched Together suites, you can still access their coordinating Cricut® collections. These mini Cricut collections, will be available exclusively through your Close To My Heart Consultant for a whole year!
Today, we’re giving you an exclusive look at the Aurora and Stitched Together Cricut® collections and introducing you to the new Summer Vibes and Timber collections from our July–August catalog. These collections are designed to coordinate seamlessly with the patterns, stamps, stickers, and embellishments included in their corresponding paper suites. However, these versatile Cricut shapes can also be used on their own as you branch out and open the door to new avenues of creative possibility!
With rugged designs and a rustic feel, you’ll be ready to embrace the call of the wilderness with the Cricut® Aurora Collection.
Just look at how these simple pine tree and wolf shapes coordinate with the Aurora paper patterns and stamps to create beautifully unique background elements, while this adorable airplane creates a perfect focal point for this fun card!
Good times are made even more memorable when paired with the delightful Stitched Together Cricut® collection!
When the shapes in this collections are combined with the vibrant designs and color palette of the Stitched Together suite, you’ll be amazed at the artistic possibilities you’ll find!
You can use the Stitched Together Cricut shapes to create eye-catching accents like the miniature floral bunches, fun butterflies, and cute title banner you see below!
Sunglasses and sandals set the tone for the exuberant Summer Vibes Cricut® collection! With so many fun, summertime shapes to choose from, you can create the perfect title, accent, or background piece to coordinate with your Summer Vibes artwork.
Using Cricut shapes in your artwork is a great way to cultivate a unique, polished look. Because these shapes coordinate flawlessly with the other elements in the Summer Vibes paper collection, you can create stunning page elements, like this innovative combination of a Cricut shape, Thin Cuts die-cuts, and a Summer Vibes acrylic shape! (Can you tell which is which?)
Prepare to get lost in a rich and rewarding crafting adventure as you explore new territory with the Timber Cricut® collection! Let your creativity run free as you discover all the fun options the Timber Cricut collection has to offer and blaze new trails as you create your own stunning combinations with the Timber Cricut shapes!
By using the Timber Cricut shapes in conjunction with the exclusive stamps in the Timber collection, you can create stunning textures and movement within the shape itself. These pine trees are a great example of how a simple pattern and a simple Cricut shape can come together to make something great!
Feeling inspired? Great! All of these collection-coordinated Cricut® shapes can be yours today! For our readers in North America, you can add these fun collections to your Cricut account by visiting your Close To My Heart Consultant’s website and clicking on the Cricut icon at the bottom of the page. From there, you’ll be able to view and purchase any of the four collections we’ve shown you today. Once you’ve completed your purchase, you’ll be able to go into your Cricut Design Space™ account and search for these shapes in the “Image Sets” section on the “Images” tab.
Our readers in Australia and New Zealand may view and purchase these collections through your Consultant’s website. You will then be emailed a redeemable code.
We can’t wait to see how you use these awesome Cricut® shapes in your own creations! Leave a comment below to tell us about your favorite collection and how you’re using these designs in your own artwork!
Just in time for the fourth of July, follow along with us in this DIY décor session and whip up some red, white, and blue Americana, and celebrate all patriotic holidays using a little bit of texture paste, a stencil, and a free Cricut Design Space™ file!
This tutorial uses shapes from the Close To My Heart Cricut® Artistry collection. The necessary shapes needed to complete the wreath exactly as shown are available as a project file in Cricut Design Space, here. If you do not have this Cricut® collection and would like to purchase it, contact your Close To My Heart Consultant (or find one here).
Step 1: Cut Your Paper
From the provided Design Space file, cut the shapes shown above first. Once you’ve cut these shapes, lightly trace the chipboard four with a pencil onto the remainder of your Sapphire cardstock sheet. Cut the shape out with scissors and then, to age the appearance of your project, distress the edges with a fine grit sandpaper.
Step 2: Add Mixed Media
One of the Cricut® shapes that you will cut using the provided file is a star patterned stencil sheet. Before attaching the Sapphire cardstock layer to the chipboard four, use this stencil with texture paste to create a raised star patterned on the cardstock.
Once the paste is dry, use an adhesive runner to attach the cardstock to the chipboard.
Step 3: Assembling the Tags
Most of the pieces you will need to assemble the tags are included in the Design Space file provided. What you will have to cut on your own are the Sapphire, silver glitter, and Candy Apple pieces used behind the “USA” cutouts in the first tag and four 5½” x ⅜” white stripes to attach to the second, red tag. The third tag is simply the Sapphire tag with the cutout stars attached on top of the solid White Daisy cardstock tag.
If you prefer a more vintage look, use the sandpaper again and also the Espresso pigment pad to lightly rub along the edges of the tags to achieve a distressed, weathered appearance. Add as little or as much pigment as you’d like to make this look just how you want it.
Step 4: Put It All Together!
Using your handy dandy glue gun, attach all of the pieces to the wreath. (Even though our tags may look like they are attached to the chipboard four, they are not. These are glued to each other and to the wreath.) Embellish with some ribbon and glitter gems, and you are all set to proudly display your Americana décor!
Scrapbooking is more than just a hobby—it’s a way to preserve your legacy, memories, and personality. Each page you make is infused with your own creative identity and is a unique form of self-expression. From color selection, creative design choice, and the techniques you favor, your pages are a part of who you are. No matter your crafting preferences or experience level, your scrapbook pages are the perfect way to exercise your own creativity.
One way to really put your crafting prowess to use is to combine several different elements into a single layout.
One of the most striking elements displayed in this “Happy Days” 12″ x 12″ layout is the use of a large Cricut® shape as an overlay for an entire page. The sunburst effect on the left page was created by using a large sunbeam shape from the Cricut® Artbooking Collection with smaller pieces of cardstock and patterned papers behind it.
By using a large Cricut® shape as the primary element on this page, it was quick and easy to make it stand out. Finding new and innovative ways to use Cricut® shapes in your layouts is a great way to make your mark and create beautiful, unique pages. You can customize this type of background even more by stamping small patterns to peek through the overlay.
Another fun way to add to some distinction to your pages is to use die-cuts or hand-cut images to decorate your pages. Using these types of elements in your artwork allows you to exercise your creative freedom to a greater degree, as you can choose your own colors, how often they are used, etc.
Here, you can see how a simple die-cut and stamped sentiment create a beautifully simple accent that’s unique to this page.
One last way to set your layouts apart is to make your own pocket cards. Pocket cards are a great way to create a distinct, patchwork effect in your layouts, and making your own yields an even more striking result, like the page you see here.
By using small stamps, sequins, a few of the die-cut or hand-cut shapes we showed you earlier, or even a few small photos to craft your own pocket cards, you’ll be able to tailor the feel of your layout to be even more personal and unique. Just look at the striking effect this row of pink die-cut flowers adds to this custom pocket card!
These are just a few ideas you can incorporate into your own scrapbook pages, and we hope you’ve been able to draw some inspiration. Leave us a comment and share with us what unique scrapbooking ideas you are incorporating in your own projects!
Heat transfer vinyl is one of the newest products to join the Close To My Heart ranks. We are absolutely loving working with it and are eager to help anyone who may be new to vinyl discover practical tips, tricks, and uses for this awesome material! Whether you’re applying it on an album cover or directly onto your cards or scrapbook pages, heat transfer vinyl is an awesome, multi-use medium, and it’s definitely one of our favorites. To address some tricky questions or to simply just get you started on the road to using heat transfer vinyl in your own crafts, we’ve put together a list of ten tips for vinyl beginners.
1. Keep the carrier sheet intact. The carrier sheet is the film backing on the vinyl that is there to keep your vinyl designs together. It is important that you do not cut through it. If you do, you may end up with various separate pieces that make up your design, which will make it a lot harder to position and apply to your project. To keep the carrier sheet intact, always make sure that the shiny side of the vinyl is facing DOWN when you position it on your cutting mat and that your cutting machine is set to vinyl.
2. Use a scraper tool to remove any bubblesand smooth your vinyl on your cutting mat. Having bubbles in your vinyl will potentially result in messy application. As you apply vinyl to your cutting mat, gently glide a scraper tool over the surface for a flawlessly smooth cutting surface.
3. Always cut the mirror image of your vinyl designs. When applying heat transfer vinyl onto a project, the carrier sheet will be facing UP. That means, when you cut your designs with the carrier sheet facing DOWN (as discussed in tip #1) you’ll want to cut a mirror image of how you want the final image to appear on your project. Otherwise, you’ll end up cutting all your project pieces backwards. This is mostly a problem if you’re using words in your design.
In Cricut Design Space™, you can accomplish this by inserting your images or text on your Design Space canvas, and selecting the “Flip” option, located on the toolbar at the top of the page. By flipping your image horizontally, you’ll be able to cut the mirror image of each desired shape without jeopardizing the carrier sheet.
4. Once you’ve cut your image in the vinyl, you’ll need to remove the excess vinyl from the carrier sheet before applying it to your project. This process is called weeding. To make weeding easier, heat your work surface for a few seconds, then weed over the heated surface. The heat will loosen the vinyl from the carrier sheet, making it easier to peel off the excess.
5. For better results, heat your project for a few seconds before placing the vinyl on it. To ensure that you don’t scorch your project, use a protective sheet between your heat source and the project surface. You will need to purchase a protective sheet separately from most heat presses. If you don’t have ready access to a protective sheet or you don’t wish to purchase one, you can use a thin t-shirt or towel to shield your project. If desired, you can also use this protection as you apply the vinyl to your project.
6. When you get ready to apply the vinyl to your project surface, use a little bit of pressure on the heat press for better and faster application. You don’t need to put your entire weight onto your press, but a small amount of pressure is recommended.
7. Don’t over-press your vinyl by keeping heat on it for too long. Start with 10–15 seconds and add more time if needed. Most heat presses come with an adjustable timer to help you keep track of your time.
8. If you’re using an iron, you’ll need to keep a closer eye on your project to prevent scorching. Since heat settings vary, start on a lower heat setting and work up as needed.
9. After applying heat transfer vinyl, you can peel the carrier sheet away from the project’s surface while it’s still hot. If you’re working with glitter vinyl, however, it’s best to peel it when it’s warm. (Just be sure you don’t burn your fingers!)
10. If you want to layer your vinyl, you can! However, we recommend that you don’t put any layers on top of glitter vinyl. The surface of the glitter vinyl will prevent any other vinyl placed on top of it from adhering and sealing properly. You can layer glitter pieces over other types of vinyl, but if you’re incorporating glitter vinyl into your projects, leave it on top, as you see in the photo below.
We hope this closer look at vinyl has helped you get excited about this awesome material! As a special treat, we’re giving away a custom vinyl pack to three lucky readers! These custom packs will include one 11.8″ x 12″ sheet of each of the four different heat transfer vinyls featured in today’s blog artwork (1 White, 1 Black, 1 Silver Glitter, and 1 Galaxy Black Glitter). For a chance to win, make sure you’re subscribed to this blog and leave a comment below telling us what you are creating or want to create with heat transfer vinyl! All entries must be in by 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 29, MST. Contest winners will be notified via email. Good luck! 😉
If you haven’t gotten down and crafty yet this year, now is the perfect time to start. For our second week celebrating National Papercrafting Month, we created this beautiful, large scale, floral wall décor and are giving you our Cricut Design Space™ file, FREE, to recreate this very same project at home!
(Click on the individual images for a closer look!)
In order to keep things simple, we manipulated shapes from just one of our Cricut® collections, Flower Market, while designing our arrangement. If you don’t own the Cricut® Flower Market Collection, contact your Close To My Heart Consultant (or find one near you, here) to get started.
To give you an idea of the physical size of this project, the center French Vanilla flower is 20″ in diameter, both Peach flowers are 17″, the Lilac flowers are 14″, and the smaller Mint flowers are 13½” each.
When you open the file in Design Space, you will find some hexagon shapes among the petal shapes. These are your bases for each of the flowers. Attach the petals of each flower, layering them from largest to smallest, to these bases. You will also notice that the eyelashes are quite large. They are so large, in fact, that when you attempt to “make it” the program will tell you that you need a 12″ x 24″ mat. We did not use a longer mat to cut these, so there is a way around it! When the prompt comes up, all you need to do is select the image and rotate it to make it fit diagonally in the 12″ x 12″ square.
Christmas time is officially here, and in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, most of us still have some last-minute holiday prep to take care of. Everyone wants to have the perfect Christmas; whether you’re still trying to find a gift for your neighbors, come up with favors for a Christmas party, or searching for the perfect stocking stuffer, we want to help out with a few last-minute Christmas treat ideas!
To create these fun projects, we used shapes from our Cricut® Art Philosophy and Artiste collections. These collections include a wide variety of shapes for any project and are available for purchase through your local Consultant.
Before you start on these projects, make sure you have all the tools you need to complete them. A few of the Cricut® shapes will require a scoring tool. If you don’t have a scoring tool, you can add your own scoring lines with a bone folder after the shape has been cut.
The first treat idea we’ll be showing you today is an adorable Christmas mouse. This treat idea is great for all ages! After all, who wouldn’t love a cute little mouse with a candy tail?
To make your very own Christmas mice, cut out an egg shape (#M4462D) for the body and two droplet shapes (#M462B8) for the ear pieces, both from our Art Philosophy Cricut® collection. When cutting the body, be sure to include two small slits in the middle of each body piece. This allows you to easily attach and remove the candy cane tail. To form these slits, insert two small lines (#M369889) from the Basic Shapes tab to your design before cutting. (If you’re going to cut these pieces by hand, use a crafting knife to make these two cuts.)
Once you’ve got all your pieces cut, gently thread a candy cane through the slits on each mouse and attach the ears. For the finishing touch, add some black and white dots to create a nose and eyes. We colored our noses red with an alcohol marker.
With a few of these mice, you’ll have a gift or party favor that is sure to delight!
The next treat idea we have for you today is a mini gingerbread house treat box, made to hold all kinds of yummy surprises.
With white embossed “icing” on the roof and tiny stamped candies flanking the door, this gingerbread house looks good enough to eat, right along with the tasty treats inside!
Before you start making your gingerbread house, note that this particular cut includes score lines. You will need to adjust the cutting tools on your machine accordingly.
To create this too-cute gingerbread house, cut a pyramid box (#M440E0) from our Artiste collection using Kraft paper. Fold along the score lines included in the Cricut® shape and then, attach the sides of the box together with adhesive. Tie the top with some of your favorite ribbon and embellish it with layers of embossed icing and some stamped images from the My Acrylix® From Candyland stamp set.
The last treat we have for you today is a Santa-hat inspired box. This little box packs a whole lot of cheer and makes a fun and festive party favor or stocking stuffer. Just like the gingerbread house, this treat box includes a few score lines and will require you to adjust your cutting tools to create them.
To make your own Santa hat treat box, cut out a pinwheel (#M38DAA) from our Artiste Cricut® collection and fold along the score lines provided in the shape. Once you’ve made your folds, tuck the pinwheel arms behind each other to form the box.
Once you’ve got your treats inside and the box is fully formed, stick a pom-pom on top for a festive finishing touch. This treat box is the perfect size to slip into a stocking and cute enough to give out all on its own. No matter how you gift it, or to whom, it’s sure to be a hit! 🙂
We hope you’ve enjoyed these quick Christmas treat ideas and wish you the sweetest holidays!
There are only 15 days between now and Christmas day…EEK! Is anyone else bursting with anticipation? By now (crossing our fingers), all if not most of the gift shopping is done and taken care of, and it’s time to start thinking of gift wrapping and accessorizing these sought after treasures into the decorative masterpieces that we’ll place under our trees or personally hand deliver.
With our love for paper, ribbon, and celebrating anything that allows us to apply both in a meaningful way, we could not help but create some beautiful gift tags using shapes from our newest Cricut® collection, Complete Creativity.
If you’re not familiar with the Complete Creativity Cricut® collection, this collection is divided up by whole card and scrapbook projects, providing all the shapes you need to create complete cards and scrapbook pages for a variety of themes and occasions. Each project is made up of components that can also be used independent of the layout or card they were designed for.
To illustrate the flexibility of this collection, we pulled individual icons, shapes, and sentiments from several of the projects, manipulated their orientation and size, and then grouped them to create the 15 delightful tags you see here!
All of the shapes, including the tag bases, come from separate projects in the Complete Creativity collection. As a special Christmas treat from us to you, we’re giving you our design space file so you, too, can create these little beauties and can use them in your holiday gift decorating!
To give you an idea of their size, the “Merry Christmas” tags are approximately 5¼” x 3⅛” and the “tis the season” tags are 4½” x 1¾”. If you look closely at each of the pictures above, you will see that there is a total of five tag designs created with three different sets of patterned papers and cardstock. The Design Space file provided will recreate all 15 tags, so you will see 19 different paper requests from your machine as you go through the “Make It” process. (Take a look at our “recipe” below for a complete list of the papers we used in our tags.)
In the provided file, you may also notice a green stand-alone T-shape only in the middle set of tags. This shape is the background ribbon for the small present in the tag next to it. Both, the “Merry Christmas” tag and the T-shape are cut from the same patterned paper in all three sets of tags. Since the patterned paper used for these two shapes in the middle set of tags is a plaid pattern, we wanted to cut it straight in the tag base but not in the ribbon, because we liked the effect of cutting the pattern at an angle better. Therefore, we straightened the tag shape out on the Design Space Canvas Grid and removed the T-shape from the present at the angle shown. This way, the ribbon will be cut with the pattern at the preferred angle as well.
We hope you enjoy putting this fun Christmas project together and sharing it with friends. As always, make sure you let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below! Happy Holidays!