After I did the fairly extensive set of reviews of the Cricut Mini and Craft Room, I was told I could keep the machine. That was a bit of a surprise, as I had already disconnected it and gone back to using my ancient original Cricut. It’s pretty much stayed in the box till now. But I wanted a stencil of a particular shape and I thought I remembered there was something suitable amongst the images so I dragged it out again and plugged it in.
I’m not going to lie – the process is a little fiddly, but as a few visitors commented they quite liked the resulting stencil I though I would take a moment to explain how I made it, what image I used (and what cart contains it) and maybe give others the idea of how they can create their own unique tools.
This is called DOILY 12 from the Cricut Alphabet cart – here you see it in its original form:
I know that text is small but at the bottom you can see the cart from the list and the image (circled in blue) and I’ll explain the red items as I go.
First, open your new file and add the original image – the big blue scalloped circle.
Click the double circles in the red box top left. This is what locks the aspect ratio of the image so it doesn’t go oval as you try to scale it up or down. That looks like this close up:
Increase the size to as big as you want. Click on the box that says HIDE CONTOUR (in the red circle)
That shows you the outline of the image. Anything you click on will be hidden and will NOT cut. In this case I simply hid the scalloped circle . It grey’s out so you know it’s hidden.
The darker lines are the cut lines and the greyed out lines will disappear when you Exit.
One complaint I have about Craft Room is the couple of useful commands that don’t appear. Maybe it’s there and I just don’t have it triggered in some TOOL menu or another, but it would be REALLY helpful to have a SCALE option, so you can scale things by a percent. Instead I copy the cut-selection and duplicate it then scale it so the circles nest, by eye by dragging in the corner. The + in the red circle denotes the exact centre of the image. This is critical to line things up absolutely and keep your circle from looking wonky – although that might be the look you want and if so, just line it up off center how you want. This is where I would LOVE to have an ALIGN option to centre each circle at the absolute middle with a click. Since I can’t do that, I instead make use of the grid of the mat. I simply line up that + at a grid-intersection. If you have it lined up exactly, the + will totally disappear, as the lines are thinner that the bold grid lines. Can you get that from this shot?
If you cut if from fairly heavy cardstock, as I did, you should be able to easily use it as a stencil, either for spray inks or modelling paste. As it isn’t washable, with paste I just scrape it really well – so long a there is not clots of paste that harden on it, you should be able to use it again and again. And if it does get ruined, just make sure you save the project in Craft Room and you can quickly cut another at a later date.
Obviously you could easily group your selection and scale it back then scatter smaller circles across the entire sheet:
And if you group the series of circles then SKEW the shape, using the corner than does that (top right maybe?) you can get a more oval shape, like so:
And again, easy to repeat that and scatter the ovals across the page. The point is you can easily design unique-to-you tools for use in your mixed media projects. It’s just a matter of looking at the images you have available to you and considering how you can adjust them to suit your purposes. There are SO MANY images available via Craft Room and the ways you can alter them are endless.
I’m ALL about getting the most from stuff you already own AND about making things for MY work that is unique to me. I do get that not everybody is willing to take the time to do this, but if it interests you, give it a go. A side benefit might be that if the stencils you cut have a limited life you won’t be lazy (like me sometimes) or fall into a rut of using the SAME “favourite” images over and over again. When one of my hand-cut stencils falls apart, there is at least the CHANCE I’ll create a totally new one rather than just cut the same one again LOL! Keeping it fresh…