Free files for Cricut

I’ve written before that I have the amazing machine Cricut Explore Air 2 to help me with paper crafts. It’s an electronic paper cutting machine where you can select shapes digitally in the software. You could say, it’s like my mini version of a CNC bench.

What files does Cricut support? In the screenshot below, you will see the official instructions from the software. While this list is generally familiar, DFX and SVG were completely new terms for me. As I found out in Wikipedia, DFX is a term used in engineering and refers to Design for all desirable attributes (X). Although I was joking about my “CNC bench”, I haven’t had success with this file format. I tried to import a few, but they were too large and resizing them didn’t have usable results. When looking for good quality files for Cricut, the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) extension comes up very often and that is what you should loo out for. This suggests that the image can be resized without losing quality. Where can you easily find good files?

The easiest option is Cricut’s own software – Cricut Design Space. Creating an account and the software are prerequisites for setting up and using the machine. In order to be able to use it immediately, Design Space offers free basic designs, fonts, images and even some projects. Some files can be purchased for a one-time fee, and if you are more curious, you can also purchase the Cricut Access subscription, where additional files are available for a fixed monthly fee. A new user can join a 30-day trial period to try out the paid content.

Jennifer Maker has been a great help on Youtube. She has so many useful videos about various tricks for the Cricut user that I initially considered her to be an official representative of the brand. I made the connection also due to the fact that Cricut’s newer model is called Maker. In reality, she is an independent crafter who works a lot with Cricut and has turned it into a successful business for herself. By subscribing to her newsletter, you get free access to many of the projects she has created for Cricut – both cut files and video tutorials. I was afraid of that at first because I generally don’t put myself on mailing lists to avoid spam. She usually sends emails once a week – for some upcoming campaigns, emails increase temporarily due to reminders. Among other content, she has also a specific video about finding and uploading SVG cut files.

While searching for cut files, I came across Dreaming Tree at some point. Dreaming Tree in itself is an online design store, but they also offer exciting projects for free. I think that joining the mailing list is a prerequisite for receiving gifts there as well. I’m currently looking at my inbox and I get a message from them a few times a month. The good thing is that they also send you a notification when a new free design is available. The picture of this post is my version of their Sun, Sand and Sea Card – since I used Mintay Suntastic papers for the cut, I simplified the design. Dreaming Tree is also hosting my current favourite Facebook group for paper cutting machine designs. Of course it is all about their designs, but the posts are very friendly and informative.

If you want to create your own projects and are just looking for images, then you might be interested in Creative Fabrica, which I read about in Cricut Facebook forums. I downloaded a few files to see how they work and they are very versatile – you get different file formats in good quality, also available in multi-colour.

I will probably update this post, when I discover more exciting resources. Feel free to help out in the comments. As with design papers, there are whole Cricut communities in Facebook, who are sharing information. At this point I don’t have a specific recommendation, as I haven’t discovered a favourite one yet. There are many groups (mainly in Cricut’s homeland USA) with a different focus. I have left a few groups, because the posts often take such a dramatic direction, that the technical part gets completely lost and sometimes the whole thread even gets deleted.

Tasuta failid Cricutile

Ma olen eelnevalt kirjutanud, et minul on paberiga meisterdamisel abiks selline imeline masin nagu Cricut Explore Air 2. See on elektrooniline masin paberi lõikamiseks, kus saab kujundeid valida digitaalsel kujul tarkvaras. Võib ka öelda, et mul on nagu väike CNC pink.

Milliseid faile Cricut toetab? Alloleval kuvatõmmisel näeb tarkvara ametlikku juhendit. Kui üldiselt on see nimekiri ilmselt tuttav, siis minu jaoks olid DFX ja SVG täiesti uued mõisted. Nagu ma Wikipedia-st teada sain, on DFX mõiste inseneride maailmast ja tähendab Design for all desirable attributes (X). Kuigi ma naljatasin, et mul on “CNC pink”, ei ole mul selle failiformaadiga väga õnne olnud. Ma proovisin mõned importida, aga nad osutusid liiga suureks ja peale suuruse vähendamist ei olnud tulemus eriti kasutuskõlbulik. Kui otsida hea kvaliteediga faile Cricutile, siis tuleb SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) laiend väga tihti ette ja seda tasubki otsingutel jälgida. See viitab sellele, et pildi suurust saab muuta, kaotamata kvaliteeti. Kust leiab kergesti häid faile?

Kõige lihtsam variant on Cricuti oma tarkvara – Cricut Design Space. Konto loomine ja tarkvara on masina seadistamise ja kasutamise eelduseks. Et oleks võimalik kohe tegutseda, pakub Design Space tasuta baaskujundeid, kirjastiile, pilte ja ka mõnda projekti. Osasid faile saab osta ühekordse lisatasu eest ja suurema huvi korral on võimalus soetada ka pakett Cricut Access, kus kindla kuutasu eest on saadaval lisafailid. Esmakasutajal on võimalik liituda 30-päevase testperioodiga, et tasulist sisu proovida.

Youtube’i avarustes on suureks abiks olnud Jennifer Maker. Tal on nii palju kasulikku videomaterjali erinevatest nippidest Cricuti kasutajale, et ma alguses pidasin teda brändi ametlikuks esindajaks. Seos tekkis ka tänu sellele, et Cricuti uuema mudeli nimi on Maker. Tegelikkuses on ta täiesti iseseisev käsitööline, kes tegutseb väga palju Cricutiga ja on sellest enda jaoks eduka äri teinud. Tema uudiskirjaga liitudes saab tasuta ligipääsu paljudele projektidele, mis ta Cricutile loonud on – nii lõikefailid kui ka videoõpetused. Ma alguses pelgasin seda, sest ma üldiselt ei pane ennast meililistidesse, et spämmi vältida. Tema saadab kirju tavaliselt kord nädalas – mõne läheneva kampaania puhul tihenevad meilid meeldetuletuste tõttu ajutiselt. Muuseas on tal ka konkreetne video SVG failide leidmise ja üleslaadimise kohta.

Failide otsingutel sattus mulle millalgi juhuslikult ekraanile ka Dreaming Tree. See on iseenesest disainide veebipood, kuid nad pakuvad tasuta ka põnevaid projekte. Ma arvan, et ka seal on kingituste saamise eelduseks meililistiga liitumine. Vaatasin praegu kiiruga oma postkasti ja mul tuleb paar korda kuus nendelt kiri. Hea on see, et nad saadavad teavituse ka siis, kui on uus tasuta disain saadaval. Selle postituse peapilt on minu versioon nende projektist Sun, Sand and Sea Card – kuna ma kasutasin Mintay Suntastic pabereid, lihtsustasin natuke disaini. Dreaming Tree haldab ka minu praegust lemmikut Facebook-i gruppi paberilõikamismasinatele. Muidugi keerleb kõik nende oma disainide ümber, aga postitused on väga sõbralikud ja informatiivsed.

Kui sa soovid ise projekte disainiga ja otsid lihtsalt pilte, siis võib sulle abiks olla Creative Fabrica, mille kohta lugesin Cricuti Facebooki foorumites. Ma laadisin alla mõned failid, et neid proovida, ja nad on väga mitmekülgsed – sa saad mitmes formaadis hea kvaliteediga faili, mis võivad olla ka mitmevärvilised.

Ma ilmselt täiendan seda postitust veel, kui midagi põnevat avastan. Võid ka kommentaarides abiks olla. Nagu disainpaberite puhul, on ka Cricutil Facebookis olemas kogukonnad, kes omavahel infot jagavad. Siinkohal mul ei ole kahjuks konkreetset soovitust, sest ma ei ole veel leidnud meelepärast. Neid gruppe on üsna palju (enamjaolt Cricuti sünnimaal USA-s) ja erineva fookusega. Ma olen mõnest grupist lahkunud, kuna seal liiguvad postitused tihti nii dramaatilises suunas, et tehniline pool jääb varju ja vestlused lausa kustutatakse.

Back to basics – chocolate pocket card with 20 cm design paper

Why back to basics? Chocolate pocket cards were my first attempts on the paper crafts journey – I have written a bit more about it in my first paper crafts post . They are still close to my heart because they have a very simple structure and are practical at the same time. I decided to get my nose out of YouTube for a change, just pick up some nice papers and create something. This is probably the first time I have done something without anyone specific in mind. I will write in more detail this time – if you are interested in trying it out, it is a good exercise.

What materials do you need?

  1. Each card requires one sheet of thicker A4 cardstock – preferably at least around 200 gsm.
  2. When I was twisting the chocolate (100g) on the cardstock to get the measurements in place, I discovered that 20×20 cm design paper is the perfect size – one sheet can cover exactly all sides. I went for the romantic “Tenderness and Love” from Fabrika Decoru. Instead of design paper, you can use other beautiful pictures that are stronger, such as old postcards or beautiful pictures from some cardboard packaging.
  3. You need a ribbon to tie the chocolate pocket – it can be any ribbon that you would also use to wrap gifts (satin, tulle, etc.).
  4. All elements require either craftng glue or thin double-sided tape to secure them.
  5. To fold the cardstock, the ideal option would be a scoring board, where you can draw scoring lines with the help of grooves and a special stick. If not available, you can also use a ruler and a tool with a finer edge that is not too sharp to cut through the paper (such as the blunt side of scissors or a butter knife).

How to make the chocolate pocket card?

  1. The first thing I recommend is to select and match all the materials – cover pictures, cardstock of suitable color and ribbon.
  2. Then it’s time to pick up the tools and get the card base ready. I made a simple blueprint with dimensions – the dotted line indicates the scoring lines, the solid line shows the cut sections. NB! Do not use it as a template – the scale is not in place! As you can see in the layout, the wider cut strip can in turn be used for the fastening strips for the pocket.
Card base

3. Continuing with the selected 20×20 cm sheet of design paper, you can cut exactly three cover panels for both sides of the card and the pocket. The sides of the panels are all 5 mm smaller than the card base, so that the folding lines stay free when attaching the pictures.

Cover panels

4. Now it’s time to find the ribbon and cut a piece (or two) of suitable length. To keep the edges from branching, I hold the cut edges close to a lighter’s flame until they melt slightly.

When all the elements are ready, you can start gluing. There is no specific order, but I will leave some suggestions here.

  • Since I like to hide the ends of the ribbons under the panels, I usually cut two pieces and stick the ribbons on the cardstock first. However, you can also leave the ribbon on top and attach it last – then I recommend cutting one long strip that would extend around the card, and be sure to glue it to the closed card.
  • I suggest attaching the cover panels when the pocket is not yet closed up and the cardboard can be fully unfolded – then the panels can be pressed without damaging the card.
  • Once the visual elements are in place, it’s time to attach the small side strips on the pockets – they should fit between the back and the shorter side of the pocket so that the card holds together nicely.

Happy crafting and happy munching (we all know what will happen to the chocolate)!

Tagasi minevikku – šokolaaditasku 20cm disainpaberiga

Miks tagasi minevikku? Šokolaaditaskud olid mu esimesed katsetused kaartide teekonnal – kirjutasin sellest natuke lähemalt oma esimeses paberikunsti postituses. Nad on mulle ikka südamelähedased, sest nad on väga lihtsa ülesehitusega ja samas praktilised. Otsustasin oma nina vahepeal YouTube-st välja pista, lihtsalt mõned ilusad paberid kätte võtta ja toimetada. See on vist ka esimene kord, kui ma teen midagi, ilma kedagi konkreetset silmas pidamata. Ma panen seekord detailsemalt kirja ka – kui on huvi kaasa teha, see on hea käeharjutus.

Mis materjali vaja läheb?

  1. Iga kaardi jaoks on vaja ühte lehte paksemat A4 kartongi – soovitatavalt vähemalt 200gsm ringis.
  2. Kui ma šokolaadi (100g Kalev) kartongi peal keerutasin, et mõõte paika saada, avastasin, et 20x20cm disainpaber on ideaalne suurus – 1 lehega saab täpselt kõik küljed kaetud. Mul läks sel puhul käiku romantiline “Tenderness and Love” Fabrika Decorult. Disainpaberi asemel saab kasutada muid ilusaid pilte, mis on tugevamat tüüpi – näiteks vanu postkaarte või ilusaid pilte mõnelt papp-pakendilt.
  3. Šokolaaditasku kinni sidumiseks on vaja paela – see võib olla igasugune pael, mida ka kingituste pakkimiseks kasutaksid (satiin, tüll, jms).
  4. Kõikide elementide kinnitamiseks on vaja kas käsitööliimi või õhukest kahepoolset teipi.
  5. Kartongile voltide tegemiseks oleks ideaalne variant voltimisalus, kus saab spetsiaalse pulgaga soonte abil jooned ette tõmmata. Kui seda ei ole, saab edukalt kasutada ka joonlauda ja mõnda peenema servaga tööriista, mis ei oleks liiga terav, et paberit läbi lõigata (näiteks kääride või võinoa tömp pool).

Kuidas šokolaaditaskut teha?

  1. Esimese asjana soovitan kõik materjalid välja valida ja kokku sobitada – kattepildid, sobivat värvi kartong ja pael.
  2. Siis on juba aeg tööriistad kätte võtta ja kaardi põhi valmis teha. Tegin sellise lihtsa joonise koos mõõtudega – katkendlik joon tähistab voltimisjooni, täisjoon näitab lõikeid. NB! Mitte kasutada šabloonina – mõõtkava ei ole paigas! Nagu joonisel näha, saab laiemat ära lõigatud riba veel omakorda kasutada tasku “kinnitusteks”.
Kaardi põhi

3. Jätkates seekord valitud 20x20cm disainpaberi lehega, saab siit lõigata täpselt kolm kattepaneeli mõlemale välisküljele ja taskule. Paneelide küljed on kõik 5mm väiksemad kui kaardi põhi, et voltimisjooned oleks vabad, kui pildid peale liimida.

Kattepaneelid

4. Nüüd on aeg leida pael ja see sobiva pikkusega (kaheks) tükiks lõigata. Selleks, et ääred ei hargneks, hoian ma lõigatud servi tulemasina leegi lähedal, kuni nad kergelt kinni sulavad.

Kui kõik elemendid valmis, saab liimima hakata. Siin ei ole kindlat järjekorda, aga jätan siia mõned soovitused.

  • Kuna mulle meeldib paelaotsad paneelide alla peita, lõikan ma tavaliselt kaks tükki ja kleebin esimesena paelad kartongile. Paela võib aga ka kõige peale jätta ja see hoopi viimasena kinnitada – siis ma soovitan lõigata ühe pika riba, mis ulatuks ümber kaardi, ja see kindlasti liimida kinnisele kaardile.
  • Kattepaneelid soovitan peale liimida siis, kui tasku pole veel kinnitatud ja kartongi saab täies ulatuses lahti laotada – siis saab rahulikult paneele kinni suruda, ilma kaarti vigastamata.
  • Kui visuaalsed elemendid on paigas, on aeg taskutele küljekinnitused kleepida – need tuleks sobitada kaardi tagumise ja lühema taskukülje vahele, nii et kaart ilusti koos seisaks.

Head meisterdamist ja maiustamist (me kõik teame, mis selle Kaleviga juhtub)!

Discovering the pop-up world

When I was writing about different types of cards, I wasn’t very familiar with pop-up cards yet. I had seen mainly pop-up books and some layouts in design paper inspiration groups, but I was under the impression that it is a complicated mechanism.

Now that there are several kids birthdays coming up, I figured I would take up the challenge and try something new. I was browsing through different tutorials on Youtube and I found one which got me hooked – The Pop-Up Channel. Already after the first video I pulled some papers from my printer and started testing around. I have been watching more of the videos and the second one also has some useful information to get the logic right – but after those two you can already start creating some simple pop-ups! I love this channel because the tutorials show the basic rules, different variations of pop-up folds and there are always many examples from books for inspiration.

Once I figured out the base, I started digging through my papers to find suitable pictures to pop up. I discovered some papers I had actually bought specifically considering children – Scrapboys “Fairy Land” (I have the sheet 1 and 5). Once I was playing around with the images, I started to regret I didn’t have the whole set. But I found another sheet from a Scrapboys collection – I think “Dream Garden” made a good match in this case. I also had some cut out butterflies, but I don’t know where they came from anymore.

Pop-up folds
Pop-up folds

Ironically the harder part was to figure out the outside of the card. Since the focus was on the pop-up design on the inside, I wanted to keep the cover simple. I also decided to add a ribbon to keep the card closed – due to the many layers it is quite thick and doesn’t close on its own. I ended up using another sheet of design paper on the cover to have a clean finish and cover up the ribbons.

Pop-up card cover
STAMPERIA 20.3 x 20.3 (8″ x 8″)
House of Roses

As you can see from the pictures – while I was writing the post, another card was born.

Fairy pop-up card

Pop-up maailma avastamine

Kui ma kirjutasin erinevat tüüpi kaartidest, polnud ma pop-up kaartidega veel eriti kursis. Olin peamiselt näinud pop-up-raamatuid ja kompositsioone disainpaberi gruppides, kuid mul oli ettekujutus, et tegemist on keerulise mehhanismiga.

Nüüd, kui päevakavas on mitu laste sünnipäeva, mõtlesin, et võtan väljakutse vastu ja proovin midagi uut. Sirvisin Youtube’is erinevaid õpetusi ja leidsin ühe, mis mind köitis – The Pop-Up Channel. Juba pärast esimest videot tõmbasin printerist mõned paberid ja hakkasin katsetama. Olen rohkem videoid vaadanud ja teises osas on ka kasulikku infot, et loogikat paika saada – kuid pärast neid kahte saab juba looma lihtsaid pop-up’e püsti panna! Mulle meeldib see kanal, sest õpetused näitavad põhireegleid, pop-up-mehhanismide erinevaid variatsioone ja inspiratsiooniks on alati palju näiteid raamatutest.

Kui ma alustalad paika sain, hakkasin oma pabereid läbi kaevama, et leida sobivaid pilte, mida lisada. Avastasin mõned paberid, mis olin tegelikult ostnud spetsiaalselt lapsi arvestades – Scrapboys “Fairy Land” (mul on lehed 1 ja 5). Kui ma piltidega mängisin, hakkasin kahetsema, et mul pole kogu komplekti. Kuid leidsin Scrapboysi kollektsioonist veel ühe lehe – ma arvan, et “Dream Garden” sobis antud juhul hästi. Mul olid ka mõned välja lõigatud liblikad, aga ma ei tea enam, kust nad pärit on.

Pop-up voldid
Pop-up voldid

Iroonilisel kombel oli raskem osa hoopis kaardi väliskülje kujundamine. Kuna fookuses oli pop-up tüüp sisekülg, tahtsin kaane lihtsana hoida. Kaardi suletuna hoidmiseks otsustasin lisada ka paela – paljude kihtide tõttu on see üsna paks ja ei sulgu iseenesest. Lõpuks kasutasin kaanel veel ühte disainpaberi lehte, et oleks puhas viimistlus ja paelad kaetud.

Pop-up kaardi kaas
STAMPERIA 20.3 x 20.3 (8″ x 8″)
House of Roses

Nagu piltidelt näha, sündis kirjutamise ajal juba veel üks samas stiilis kaart.

Haldjateemaline pop-up kaart

Amigurumi spring bunny by lilleliis

I haven’t crocheted anything in a long time. Lately, I’ve been rustling in my pile of papers. When I saw this rabbit on social media, I immediately attacked my yarn box – you can’t miss out on such a cute thing! And what’s better – this pattern is available on lilleliis‘ website for FREE.

This time I made the cutie for my little one. She is always watching me with great interest when I make something for others and I wanted to surprise her with that bunny egg. She observed me again every evening and occasionally provided me some feedback. At her request, I tried to make the bunny smile because she said that there was a grumpy rabbit in the original picture of the guide. Since I haven’t had much success with pompoms and they tend to break, I decided to leave out the tail and gain more space for flowers. I also changed the flowers more to my liking. Instead of embroidering, I crocheted small six-leafed flowers, which I attached to the body with a few stitches and pearls. The flowers I made without a pattern:

  • magic ring,
  • first round with 6 single crochet,
  • second round in each single crochet: 1 slip stitch, chain 2, 1 double crochet, chain 2.

For a change a nice project, which can be a good target to invest ending yarn. My my little one is in 7th heaven and ready for Easter!

Amigurumi spring bunny
#lillelis

Amigurumi kevadjänku lilleliisilt

Ma pole juba ammu midagi heegeldanud. Viimasel ajal sahistan pigem oma paberihunnikus. Kui ma sotsiaalmeedias seda jänest nägin, läksin oma lõngakasti kallale – nii armsat asja ei saa ju tegemata jätta! Ja mis veel parem – see muster on tasuta saadaval lilleliisi kodulehel.

Seekord tegin loomakese oma tibule. Ta vaatab alati suure huviga, kui ma kellelegi midagi meisterdan ja selle jänkumunaga tahtsin temale üllatuse teha. Ta elas jälle iga õhtu kaasa ja suunas mind vahepeal. Tema soovil proovisin jänku naeratama panna, sest tema ütles, et juhendi originaalpildil on kuri jänes. Kuna tutid ei ole mul seni väga õnnestunud ja kipuvad lagunema, otsustasin saba ära jätta ja säästsin sellega ruumi lillede jaoks. Lilled muutsin ka käepärasemaks. Heegeldasin tikkimise asemel väikesed kuuelehelised õied, mis paari nõelapiste ja pärliga keha külge kinnitasin. Lilled tegin ilma mustrita:

  • võluring,
  • esimene ring 6 kinnissilmusega,
  • teisel ringil igasse kinnissilmusesse 1 aassilmus, 2 ahelsilmust, 1 ühekordne sammas, 2 ahelsilmust.

Vahelduseks väga mõnus projekt, kuhu saab edukalt ka lõngalõppe investeerida. Tibu on seitsmendas taevas ja Lihavõteteks valmis!

Amigurumi kevadjänku
#lilleliis

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