How to press flowers in 3 methods

I’m so excited to share this tutorial on how to press flowers with Beci Orpin, one of the most inspiring creatives I know. She’s an artist and illustrator who makes incredible crafts, and I feel lucky to get to share some of her expertise with you.

Press Flowers with Beci

I am an avid collector of many things, but old books are one of my favourites – I rarely walk out of an op shop without one. Quirky typesetting and old-school printing aside, one of the things I love about second-hand books is the chance of discovering a little surprise inside them. I’ve found many treasures tucked inside those yellowing, musty pages, including some flattened Easter-egg wrappers from the 1940s, a birthday note from an aunt to a favourite niece and, best of all, several books containing some beautiful pressed flowers.

When I was a child I used to press flowers with my grandma, and I remember never having enough patience to wait the weeks and weeks before the flowers were completely dried and pressed. Luckily for me, while I was researching this project, I discovered that there are several methods of pressing flowers, some of which allow you to cheat, so you don’t have to wait forever and ever before they are ready. This is good news for me, as I still have as much patience as a five-year-old.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci OrpinYOU WILL NEED:

  • flowers/foliage: ones with flat petals are best (see a list here. I like pansies, geraniums, flowering weeds – anything pretty and dainty
  • book/iron/microwave: what you use will depend on which method you choose.
  • paper or a card: try blotting paper, coffee filter paper, printer paper, several layers of tissue paper

NOTES:

  1. Flowers should preferably be freshly picked, to prevent browning.
  2. Don’t pick your flowers too early in the morning, as they will still have dew on them. The extra moisture from the dew may cause them to go mouldy during the pressing process.
  3. Flowers should have just bloomed or be about to bloom. If they are too mature, they will lose their petals.
  4. If the flowers have obvious stamens, remove them before pressing.

Method 1, Pressing in a book:

(This is the easiest but slowest method; I found it produced the best results.)

Open up your book and place a sheet of paper on one side of the book. Liquid from the flowers can leach into the surrounding pages, so use an old book or several sheets of paper to prevent this. TIP: Don’t use a phone book, as the paper is too flimsy.

Arrange your flowers on the piece of paper, making sure the flowers aren’t overlapping (unless you want them to). Cover with another piece of paper (or fold the first piece of paper in half) and close the book.

Weight down the book by placing some heavy books or bricks on top of it.

Change the papers after 1 week, then leave for a few more weeks until the flowers are completely dry. Try to resist the temptation to check them (unless changing the paper), as this can disturb the flowers.Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Method 2, Ironing:

Flatten the flowers between pieces of paper in a book, following steps 1–3 (left). Leave the flowers to dry for however long you can manage (I recommend at least 1 day). Empty any water out of the iron (you don’t want any steam), and set the heat to the lowest setting.

Remove the flowers from the book, leaving them sandwiched between the two pieces of paper, and press them with the iron for 10–15 seconds. You don’t need to move the iron around, just press it on the paper.

Method 3, Microwave:

Arrange the flowers in the book between two pieces of paper, following steps 1–2 (left). Make sure that your book has no metal in the spine or type before putting it in the microwave. Place in the microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Take the book out and let it cool by opening the pages to let the steam out (don’t open the pages that have the flowers enclosed). TIP: Have a couple of books on the go at once, so you can have one heating in the microwave while the other one is cooling down.

Once the book is cool, zap it in the microwave again. Repeat until the flowers are almost dry (you may need to do this about four or five times: smaller flowers will dry out quicker), taking care you don’t overcook them, as the flowers will turn brown.

What To Do With Pressed Flowers

Learning to press flowers is just the beginning! Once you’ve pressed your flowers there are so many great crafts you can do with them.

Adding pressed flowers to a handmade card or invitation adds a whimsical touch. You can also place pressed flowers between two sheets of glass and then frame them for a garden-inspired wall decoration, as pictured here.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

This gorgeous pressed flower tray made by Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop is an unexpected and delightful project to make the color from your garden last.

And don’t forget about pressing flowers when next Easter comes around! Then you can use our tutorial for dried flowers on Easter eggs. The possibilities are limitless.

Another floral project I love is this DIY flower pounding on fabric. It makes such beautiful design and the way the flowers transfer their color is delightful.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

If you use this tutorial to press flowers, I would love to see what you make! Share with us with the hashtag #LarsFlowerMonth.

You can purchase Sunshine Spaces here 

Keep reading! See more of our book recommendations here.

Photography by Chris Middleton  |  Book by Beci Orpin 

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Printable Retro Ornaments

I’m in love with a decor with a bit more jazz to them, so we designed some paper ones that look adorable printed off and cut out! We embellished ours up with jingle bells, tassels, and wooden beads. You can even include a lip balm in the center for an extra gift! These printable retro ornaments look beautiful on the tree, adorable on a door handle, or even as a gift topper.

Printable Retro Ornaments

Let’s take a look at how to make them!

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro Ornaments

Materials:

Printable Retro Ornaments

Instructions:

  1. Print off the ornament templates and cut them out using scissors and a craft knife for the center hole.
  2. Paint your wooden beads in similar shades to the ornaments. Let dry.
  3. Make tassels with embroidery floss. See our tutorial HERE.
  4. Punch holes at the bottom and top of the ornament and the center hole, so you have 4 punched holes.
  5. With bakers twine, weave your thread in and out of your punched holes, placing a jingle bell or lip balm in the center of the ornament.
  6. At the top and/or bottom of your printable, add beads and tassel.

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro OrnamentsPhotography by Jane Merritt

DIY ornaments to decorate for the holidays

If you loved these printable retro ornaments, take a look at some of the other DIY ornaments we’ve created in the past! Whatever your style is, we’ve got a range of ornaments you can create. These DIY paper honeycomb ornaments are a Lars favorite, and you can create them in whatever colors you’d like! Hang them on your tree, in your windows, or any other place in your home that needs a bit of decoration! For a fun and festive DIY, these clothespin people ornaments are great for decorating your tree or giving out as gifts. These DIY ornaments in the shape of fruit will take you to a tropical place this winter! Plus, you can use those shapes to create an origami cornucopia. You’ll be set for any holiday!

You can find more printables and whimsical ornaments in the Lars Christmas shop.

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Although throwing a dinner party can seem daunting, let alone Thanksgiving, we’re making it easy for you this year! With our Friendsgiving Printables, you can (1) Send out invitations, (2) Set the table with placemats, (3) Set the table with place cards or invite guests to bring a dish to share and label it, and  (4), Send them away with leftover boxes. The key here is going potluck style: you be in charge of the turkey and perhaps a dessert, and then delegate the rest. This allows guests to contribute and bring a taste of their home to the party. Easy as apple pie!

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Leftover boxes are a genius addition to any Thanksgiving feast because there is always so much food! And let’s be honest, those turkey cranberry sandwiches you make the day after are one of the best parts of the holiday!

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

What’s better than adorable and disposable placemats? These will make such a lovely and festive tablescape without breaking the bank!

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

And if you’re looking for a different style, try this one from two years ago! 

Photography by Clara Jones | Illustrations by Ashley Isenhour

DIY geometric cardboard piece tower

How to make a 3D geometric cardboard structure

The fun with this game/art piece is to go wild making shapes and put them together. First, we took the existing pieces from this mobile:

bauhaus inspired tablescape

Then, we added in some cardboard pieces that we painted solid colors with house paint. And then we added slits into them with scissors.

Then got to stacking them in this way or that.

To learn about how we painted the original pieces, you can read the original post here.

We’d love to see how you make your own cardboard structures. Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can see them!

DIY Gold Foil Star Crown

We could have bought one for her as our gift, but what’s the fun in that when you can make it yourself and then have that added special sentiment? We made a template just for it so you can either hand cut it or put it into your craft cutter.

DIY Paper Gold Star crown

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Using the template cut and out as many stars as you will need. The amount of stars you need will vary depending on the size of the head you are creating the stars for. All of the large stars have 3 stars stacked and the small stars are stacked with two.
  2. We used a craft cutter to cut out stars but you can do this with scissors or an x-acto knife.
  3. Once you have the right amount of stars cut out you will gold foil them.
  4. To gold foil the stars you will apply a small amount of gold leaf adhesive, allow 10 seconds to dry and apply a sheet of gold leaf.
  5. Allow 2-3 minutes for the gold leaf to set and then gently brush away using your soft bristle brush.
  6. Repeat step 5 on the other side. If you feel it looks okay you can just cover one side, however, Later on you will turn the edges up slightly which may reveal more color than you would like to see of the back. We covered both sides.
  7. Once all of your stars are foiled you will begin to stack them.
  8. To stack your large stars you will use a variation of three sizes of large stars and to connect them you will use a small dab of hot glue. Be sure you are placing them correctly because if you have to pull it off to replace it it will pull off the gold leaf.
  9. For the small stars you will repeat step 6 however you will only stack 2 of the small ones.
  10. Once all of the stars are stocked correctly you can begin laying them out on top of the string so you can adjust the placement and check that you have enough to make sure you have enough of the stars.
  11. Once they are all positioned correctly you can apply them to the ribbon with a small hot glue dab to the gold ribbon.
  12. Once all the stars are attached you will use a dab of hot glue to connect your ribbon ends, try to strategically place your stars so that the stop where the ribbons overlap is covered by a star.

Would love to see if you make it! Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can take a lookie! 

DIY Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

We love the mid-century modern vibe of paper ornaments, and the jewel-toned colors complement any Christmas tree. We especially like that they’re non-breakable—if you have a toddler in your house, you understand.

Plus everyone loves a handmade ornament. They are sweet and sentimental, just like Christmas should be. Though these DIY paper ornaments are quite the level up from popsicle stick reindeers and laminated school photos, ha!

How to Make your DIY Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

These DIY paper honeycomb ornaments are easy to make, you’ll get the hang of it super quick. And like all of our paper crafts, you can reuse them next year! Just make sure to store them in a box where they won’t get crushed by heavier objects.

Materials:

DIY paper honeycomb ornaments

Instructions:

Read all instructions before beginning your project!
  1. Download our ornament templates here
  2. Use your cutting machine or scissors to cut out 66 pieces for each ornament.
  3. Once all of your pieces are cut, you will start glueing them together.
  4. Carefully place 2 thin lines of super glue separate from each other, and perpendicular to the flat edge of the shape. Take care not to spread the glue anywhere else. Your line of glue does not need to go all the way to both edges of the paper, start and end in a little bit to avoid glue spilling over the edges.
  5. Place the next shape on top of the one with glue, carefully lining up all the edges.
  6. On top of this new piece, carefully place one line a super glue, in the middle of where you placed the 2 lines on the last piece.
  7. Place a next pieces on top of top of that, again aligning all edges.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7, alternating between 1 line of glue and 2 until all of your cut shapes are stacked on top of each other.
  9. Now you will seal the flat edges of your ornaments shapes together using bookbinding glue or any other flexible glue.
  10. While holding the shapes together tightly, use a small paintbrush with a flat edge to spread flexible glue along the entire flat edge of your stack of paper shapes.
  11. Before the flexible glue has dried, use it to attach a ribbon to the flat edge, on the side you want as the top of your ornament. This is what you will use to hang it up later.
  12. Let your work sit until all of the glue is completely dry. Now it is time to open your ornament!
  13. Starting at one side, start to carefully open the individual shapes in your stack, carefully unsticking any edges where the super glue might have spilled over if needed.
  14. Your paper shapes should open up to form your ornament, meeting on the opposite side. You’ll see the ribbon is now tucked in in the center of the ornament.
  15. Carefully align and glue together the 2 sides that meet when the ornament is open. Ta da!

Extra Tips

Here are some extra notes that will help you avoid mistakes your first time around!

If you are having a hard time opening your ornaments that is most likely because glue spilled over the edges in places it shouldn’t be. That is why it is important to take care to make your lines of super glue and thin and straight as possible. And avoid glueing all the way to the edge of your paper. Just take your time!

You may experiment with where you places you lines of glue to achieve different end looks – as long as you use the same pattern for one entire ornament. These lines of glue effect where the “honeycomb” effect shows up on finished ornaments. For all of the shapes included in our templates, I still used 2 lines of glue alternating with 1 line between them.

DIY paper honeycomb ornaments

More Paper Ornament Ideas

Need more DIY ornament ideas? Check out our tutorial for printable retro ornaments, paper candle ornaments, or a head to toe Swedish Christmas tree.

If you’re not in the mood for a DIY, browse through our whimsical Christmas ornament selection, introduced in this post from a few weeks ago.

Paper Ornaments Available For Purchase

 

DIY Valentine Fruit Piñatas

DIY Valentine Pinata from The House That Lars Built

DIY Valentine Piñatas in Fun Fruit Shapes

I’m thinking that these guys would be great to leave at a door for a friend or even send in the mail. And then match up the fruit with candies of the same flavor–can you imagine?! So cute! You can choose from an orange (orange you glad we’re friends?), peach “you’re a peach!”, a strawberry “you’re berry special”, a pear “you’re pearfect”, and a honeydew melon “HoneyDEW you want me to be your Valentine?”.

+ Printable Fruit Sticker Valentines

Complete your DIY Valentine Fruit Piñatas with these printable fruit stickers! Just download the file here and print them out on sticker paper. It’s just the touch your special someone will love.

DIY Valentine Pinata from The House That Lars Built

How to Make Your Own DIY Valentine Fruit Piñatas

Supplies:

DIY Fruit Pinata from The House That Lars Built

Instructions:

  1. Use our templates to trace the shape of the fruit onto cardboard. You’ll need two shapes per cardboard.
  2. Cut 1.5″ strips going against the grain of the cardboard for the sides of the fruit shapes. Glue or tape them onto the fruit shape.
  3. Cut 3/4″ fringe of crepe paper or tissue paper.
  4. Apply the fringe to the bottom of the fruit and then work your way up to the top of the fruit.
  5. STEM: Add on a stem by rolling a piece of tissue or paper around in a circle. Glue in place.
  6. LEAF: Cut a leaf out of paper or crepe paper and glue in place.
  7. Top it all off with one of our adorable fruit stickers (you can find them here).

DIY Valentine Pinata from The House That Lars Built

Other DIY Valentines

A Valentine with a handmade touch is the best way to show your crush, your gal pals, or your loved ones you really care. Check out our Valentine’s Day archives for more DIY ideas for the crafty Secret Admirer, or click any of the photos below.

 

Honeycomb Easter Eggs

Longer Days and Hope for Spring

Making these honeycomb Easter eggs feels therapeutic after what has felt like the longest Winter ever. Spring in Utah is laughably capricious and I haven’t seen the end of snow days, but now I am absolutely REVELING in longer, warmer days. Between these honeycomb Easter eggs, the balmy weather I have been enjoying, and receiving the first dose of the COVID vaccine, I am feeling hopeful. And it’s about time! Something I love about Easter is the focus on growth and light after a time of darkness and fear, and this year it is really hitting home. 

honeycomb Easter eggs on a blush pink background

Sitting down to make these honeycomb Easter eggs is a great opportunity to practice some mindfulness. Here’s to the renewed hope that comes from both Spring and science.

DIY Honeycomb Easter Eggs

Mixing paper colors while building these eggs makes me feel excited to dye Easter eggs soon, but these paper honeycomb eggs have the added benefit of never going bad. I love a project that you can do once and then toss into storage to take out year after year. No rotten egg smell here!

A hand reaches for honeycomb Easter eggs on a blush pink background

This is a great project to do with your Cricut or other cutting machine, but if you don’t have one you can still make these honeycomb Easter eggs. Just get your scissors ready!

Supplies:

Cardstock Paper, our honeycomb egg template, super glue, hot glueglue gun, Cricut machine (or else scissors and an increased time commitment), ribbon for hanging

Thanks so much for checking out these materials! When you buy through these links we get a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps us keep up the crafting.

Step-by-step photos of a honeycomb Easter egg DIY

Instructions:

  1. Download the honeycomb egg template from our shop
  2. With your Cricut machine, cut out the paper pieces. We used 54 pieces per ornament, which we were able to cut from 3 pieces of 12×12 cardstock.
  3. Sort your egg pieces into a pile for every egg, with 50-60 cutouts in each pile. This is when you will put together colors and patterns. We did a few variations of simply alternating colors, but the sky’s the limit here (a kid-curated, random-looking egg would be beautiful, too)!
  4. With your super glue, draw a line from the curved outside edge of a cutout to the straight inside edge about halfway up the egg. 
  5. Place the next cutout on top, taking care to line it up on top of the first one. 
  6. Similar to the way you glued the first cutouts together, draw two lines from the outside edge to the inside, one toward the bottom of the egg and one toward the top.
  7. Place the next cutout on top. 
  8. Repeat steps 4-7, alternating between one and two lines of glue, until you have glued together your entire stack.
  9. Seal the spine of your egg by putting a line of hot glue along the straight inside edge and spreading it with the warm metal tip of your glue gun. Repeat this until the spine is held together. 
  10. Using your hot glue, attach both ends of a ribbon to the spine so that it can be hung up.
  11. Bend the beginning and end of your paper cutout stack so that they meet and secure with glue. Sometimes a few pieces of paper will separate at this step. That’s okay! Just dab a little more glue between them and hold them together to secure them again. 
  12. Tadaa! You have finished a honeycomb Easter egg! Make as many as you please and fill your home with Easter joy. 

Printable Cookie Box with Arlo’s Cookies

These Christmas cookies might (might!) be too pretty to eat! I mean, can you even tell that they’re cookies?! Arlo’s Cookies is the BEST! She has an awesome holiday workshop happening right now. You can also find her Guide to Mixing Colors here. If I wasn’t such an inept baker, I’d be right there with you!

We did a adorable Valentine’s Gift Box collaboration with Arlo’s back in February (doesn’t that seem like years ago?!).

This year we are making a set of cookies inspired by our DIY mid-century nativity. We’re even launching a printable gift box to match the cookies which folds into a house shape. You can safely deliver these to your neighbor’s porches and spread some Christmas cheer!

Printable Christmas Nativity Cookie Box

This cookie box is awaiting to be made. Here’s how to do it!

Materials:

See above (the printable you can find here)

Instructions:

  1. Cut out the template
  2. Cut in between the two pitched lines at the top of the house (see second photo on right. There’s a solid line indicating where that is).
  3. Start scoring all the dotted lines.
  4. Once the lines are scored, fold back all the lines.
  5. Start gluing the tabs to the walls.
  6. You can either glue the tops of the pitched gables in place or secure with a light double sided stick tape so that it can be opened by the receiver.

Optional: Use a hole punch at the top for the tabs and secure with a ribbon!

Head on over to our Shop to see more cute printables and templates!

If you liked this project, you might like the following

Make your own Holiday Nesting Dolls
DIY Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Printable Santa Lucia crown

This project was done in collaboration with Arlo’s Cookies,

DIY Dried Flower Pumpkins

Today we’re bringing you a DIY fall project with dried flowers, but this one is a little different than our DIY Rainbow Pumpkins we posted last month. However, both projects could be left up year-round to add a little charm and cheer to your front porch.

I love our pumpkin projects because they involve no carving. That’s right, no scraping the inside of a pumpkin for hours until your arm gets numb. No sifting through pumpkin goop to get out the seeds for roasting. And no more planning out an elaborate design, only to accidentally cut off a huge piece of pumpkin and ruining the whole thing! I’m really making a case for a no-carving Halloween, aren’t I? Well it turns out, there are other ways to dress up pumpkins, and I’d argue they let you be even more creative than a carving set!

Unlike our colorful painted gourds, this pumpkin DIY relies on natural adornmentspreserved flowers, to be precise! You don’t need a perfectly round pumpkin for this DIY fall project with dried flowers. In fact, you could even dress up some acorn or butternut squash if that’s what you have on hand. How gorgeous would these pumpkins be as a Thanksgiving table centerpiece?

Even though we’re using preserved flowers for this project, that doesn’t mean the colors have to be tone down. You know which blog this is, right? Bring on the brightness! Choose jewel toned flowers that hold onto their hues after drying, like dried globe amaranth or strawflowers. How perfect is the name “strawflower”?! It evokes those beautiful red berries we all know and love and the “straw” makes me think of fall harvest.

Here are some of our favorite preserved and dried flowers from around the web!

DIY Fall project with dried flowers and pumpkins!

Materials:

See above!

Instructions:

  1. Pick out your flowers (we got ours from Terrain) and pumpkins. We went with a monochromatic scheme because…elegance!
  2. Plan your pattern.
  3. Start gluing! Use extra glue to make sure they stay on!

That’s it!

It’s really an easy project, but you can get super intricate with the design and style of the pumpkin. Again, how lovely would it be as a wedding centerpiece. I’m definitely showing these off ASAP!

Yes, summer is over, and it’s taking the beautiful flowers with it, but don’t fret! This DIY will help you preserve the colorful blooms all through the fall season.

Thank you Terrain for providing the beautiful preserved flowers! You can shop their collection here

Last Minute Easter Printables

Easter gift tags and cards

For the final touch even the Easter bunny himself would approve of, print off these cards and add them to baskets and gifts. You can make it simple, and add a punny carrot tag. Or add a handmade touch with our Danish Easter letters template.

carrot easter gift tagsFunny and sweet compliment cardsEaster gift cards to pair with hair clipsDanish Easter Letters template

Add a hair clip to these printable “Here’s to a good hare day” cards. Or sprinkle in happy compliments for an easter basket for a friend!

Sugar-free Easter egg fillers

Printable Easter Gift coupons to put in sugar-free easter eggs

During social distancing, I have been doing my best to fill Jasper’s easter basket with fun activities to keep his little hands busy. The last thing I need is a sugar frenzy! (for him, or for me when I sneak his cadbury eggs.) These coupons above were made to be printed off, and take the place of candy filling your eggs for the hunt. Your kids will be extra surprised this year when they find coupons to cash in for a movie night of their choice, family karaoke, and more fun! There are blank coupons provided you can fill in with your own activity ideas too! It’s truly the Easter gift that keeps on giving, to the whole family!

You can find the coupons here
You can find the plastic gold Easter eggs here

Easter coloring pages

Easter Bunny coloring page

Easter egg hunt coloring pageChocolate bunny and Easter Candy coloring page

Print off copies of our exclusive Easter coloring pages for the whole family to enjoy!

Easter activities

Bunny and chick paper dolls

We could not be more excited about the addition of these whimsical Easter bunny and chick paper dolls to our shop this year! You can print off multiple outfits, and even a tablescape scene for the dolls to enjoy. Available in a colorful option OR a blank one to color in and make the fun last even longer!

Easter paper dolls and coloring pages activity pack

The set above includes all our paper dolls sets and Easter coloring pages. Complete your fun-filled Easter basket with this activity set!

Explore our full Easter shop here and get all ready for Sunday!

 

 

 

Why use a Cricut? A Q&A

Do you need a Cricut machine?

As professional crafters, we love to get our hands on any type of tool or machine and the Cricut is no exception, but the next natural question is, do YOU need the machine. And the answer depends on what you’re trying to use it for. 

One of the main reasons we love using our Cricut is the ability to design AND cut our own projects. Cricut has a library of thousands and thousands of templates and patterns in their Design Library, which is amazing, BUT we love doing our own thing. And I suspect that you might as well? I’ve had a number of designers reach out over the years about this topic and I think if you like to design in Illustrator, it’s totally worth it. You can take any design you make and have it cut in the machine. Then the magic is up to you!

To handcut or to Cricut

Of course, we also love to cut things by hand. There’s a quality that you just don’t get with a machine. If you’re going for perfection and quantity, I’d recommend the machine, but if it’s a hand-cut quality, it might be best to stick with your scissors.

Now, HOW to use the Cricut. I demonstrated how to do our paper flower cake topper as a Live a few weeks ago. You can see it here

How to Make Crafts with Cricut

  1. Plug in your Cricut and place it on a flat surface (if you don’t have a designated craft room, your kitchen table works, too!).
  2. Make sure you have a laptop or phone nearby so you can load the design into the Cricut via Bluetooth (oh, and turn your Bluetooth on whatever device you’re using).
  3. Connect your device to the Cricut machine via Bluetooth.
  4. Set up Cricut Design Space if you haven’t already by going here.
  5. Get your design ready! For Cricut, you will need SVG files. Cricut has a library of designs in Cricut Design Space, which is included with your machine, or you can use one of ours
  6. Choose a material. If you have the Cricut Explore Air 2, you can use the Smart Set Dial, which adjusts the cut settings according to the material you’re using. Nifty! Options include iron-on material, cardstock (both light and heavyweight), fabric, poster board, and more. If you’re using the Cricut Maker, there is no dial, but the machine will adjust the blade settings for you–just select the material you’re using in Design Space.
  7. DesignSpace actually runs through a beginner project with you after you set it up. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect—this is just practice, after all!
  8. You can create your own designs in Design Space or upload them. Once you do that, the rest is quite intuitive. Design Space will show you what to do as far as measuring and cutting a piece of material, and from there, you simply load your material (cut according to Design Space’s measurements) onto the sticky mat, and then load it into the Cricut much like you would a printer. 
  9. If you are using the Cricut Explore Air 2, make sure the dial is set to whichever material you’re using (if it’s not listed on the dial, hit “Custom”). The Cricut Maker will automatically adjust to the material you’ve chosen in Design Space.
  10. Hit the start button (the Cricut logo button, which will flash when it’s ready to go). 
  11. That’s it! 

Which Cricut machine do I need?

That depends on what you’re trying to achieve and how often you think you’ll use it. Let’s look at the options:

Cricut Joy

If you like making small projects or greeting cards, they just came out with the new Cricut Joy. Admittedly, I haven’t tried it out myself so I can’t speak to it, but I just saw that it’s sold in stores at Target so it’s accessible and looks like a great option for quick projects.

Here’s what you would need with the Cricut Joy:

Cricut Joy
Replacement blade
Cricut Joy Lightgrip Mat or Standard mat
And some fun materials like vinyl and such to experiment with

Cricut Maker

This is the most expensive option, but it’s also the most versatile machine so personally, I like using this the most. The interface is easy, it cuts a variety of materials, and it’s just so great.

It comes in a variety of color options, but they’re basically all the same!

Cricut Maker

Here’s what you would need with the Cricut Maker:

Cricut Maker
Cricut basic tool set
Cricut standard mat or the variety pack

Cricut Explore Air 2

That said, as much as we use our Maker, we mostly just cut paper so we’d be fine using the Explore. And it comes in a few options like the Explore Air 2, which doesn’t require cords.

Here’s what you would need with the Cricut Explore Air 2:

Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut basic tool set
Cricut standard mat or the variety pack

What Can I Make with A Cricut?

The real question is what can’t you make? No really, the possibilities are seemingly endless, and with the number of materials you can use, you could be crafting forever (and that’s not a bad thing). Some of our favorite things we’ve made with a Cricut are:

DIY stuffed whale with free templates

iron on your costumes with vinyl decals for Halloween

This is the Easy Press from Cricut, which allows you to iron on vinyl!

Green house Halloween costume

Other Supplies to Use with Your Cricut

Besides an outlet, a flat surface, and a good internet connection, you will need a few other things to create, print, and finish your design.

As you can tell, we love using our Cricut and I’m betting most of us need a good creative distraction from all the stuff that’s happened this year! Try one of our fun crafts with Cricut to start, and we promise you’ll be hooked.

We’d love to see how YOU use your machine. Tag us in your projects!

This post is not sponsored by Cricut, we just really love our machine. This post does contain affiliate links.