DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore

 

 

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then CutProject-Ranking-Format

 

Ever had a craft hangover?

It’s just like a regular hangover, except this one is the result of late, late…late nights of crafting. Oh, and there’s also less of a chance that you end up driving the porcelain schoolbus, but then again, I don’t know how you roll when you get crafty.

I am currently suffering a serious craft hangover. Majorly.

Last week, Cricut unveiled the Print Then Cut feature for the Cricut Explore machine. Now, listen here – if ever there was a skeptic, it was me. I’ve heard lots of stories about how frustrated people get when calibrating certain “other” electronic cutting machines to print and cut. I am also well aware of what happens when new software is released. Things need tweaking. People lose their shizz. Nobody’s happy.

So Saturday morning, I woke up and braced myself of hours of frustation and for the very real possibility that my Cricut might end up taking a swim in Biscayne Bay.

Twenty minutes later – no frustration, machine was calibrated and I’d already printed and cut my first design. Color me impressed. I don’t know what sort of genius computer people they have at Cricut but someone needs to give them all unlimited donuts and free hugs for life.

This was the beginning of my hangover. I spent the entire weekend designing images that I could print and cut. Which is what brings us to today’s project – the cutest little animal blocks you ever did lay eyes on. With this baby swimming around in my tummy, I couldn’t help but design some kid-friendly graphics and this simple DIY is a great way to put them to use. Here’s how it’s done:

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

To make these blocks, the Cricut Explore is going to do a ton of the work for you. It’ll prompt you through the entire printing and cutting process. I don’t know about you, but this option opens up a ton of options for me. I’ve never been one who wants to sit around cutting with scissors all day long. No thank you, ma’am.

Here’s the supply roundup:

{1} A brushable glue. I used Martha Stewart Decoupage but then switched over Aleene’s Brush On Tacky Glue. The Tacky Glue is a bit thicker and works really well with the wood.

{2} Kid-safe paint (e.g. tempura or water-based paint) …although I would make efforts to keep it away from little mouths, which can be tough, I’m sure.

{3} Wood blocks. You can have these cut at your hardware store. The kind people at Home Depot know me well since I’m there every other day, so they were very helpful in getting the materials cut. For my project, I used 2.5″ cubes cut from poplar as well as 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″ blocks which were also cut from poplar.

{4} Paint brushes

{5} Print Then Cut shapes created with your Cricut Explore. You can download them for free right here! Just keep scrolling.

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

I painted each of the flat blocks with white paint. Then, I painted each face of the cube in a bold color. You can get creative here …or you can just use the wood as is!

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

The next step is totally optional. I wanted to add a little more color to the project, so I cut rectangles of colored paper in half. Then I cut each animal in half (not shown) and adhered the animal to the colored paper with glue.

 

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

 

Last up, you’ll just need to apply a bit more glue to the colored paper and adhere each piece to the wood blocks.

The Cricut Explore makes it so very easy to make professional looking cuts from digital images. Honestly, I am still amazed when I look at these! The machine cut to precisely around the edge of each image.

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

 

LAMB | PIG | CHICKEN | COW

GIRAFFE | HIPPO | LION | MONKEY

Resources

A Helpful Guide to Getting Started with Print then Cut

Print Then Cut Basics (video)

How to Calibrate Your Cricut Explore for Print Then Cut (video)

I have a feeling I’ll be sharing a few more Print Then Cut projects with you in the next few weeks. I just love this feature and have been really happy with how it works! Is the Cricut Explore on your wishlist? I know it’s a big purchase, but if you have been eyeing it – I strongly suggest grabbing one! It has added so many more options to what I’m able to create in my craft room.

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Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch

DIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask Love DIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask Love

Pretty sure I’m the world’s worst seamstress. I own a sewing machine and I can sew in a straight-ish line. That’s about it. So when Joann Fabric contacted me about helping them celebrate National Sewing Month, I took it as a challenge to create something easy enough for those of us with remedial sewing skills.

For this project, I combined my papercrafting skills with a little bit of sewing. I pulled out my stamps to create a DIY oilcloth pouch – who knew you could make your own oilcloth!?

DIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask LoveDIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask Love

The key to creating oilcloth is the Fusible Vinyl which you can pick up at Joann’s. The stuff couldn’t be simpler to use – just peel off the backing and use an iron to adhere it to the stamped fabric. It pretty similar to laminating – just with fabric rather than paper.

DIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask Love

DIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask LoveFor the inside of the clutch, I opted for a colorful bit of quilting fabric. It’s inexpensive and comes in a ton of patterns.

DIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask Love

DIY Stamped Oilcloth Carry All Clutch | Damask LoveIf you are feeling inspired to break out your own sewing skills, you can join in on National Sewing Month by participating in the #sewyourstyle competition being sponsored by Joann. You can find all the details HERE. You can also find lots more creative sewing ideas by checking out the #sewyourstyle hashtag on Instagram!

This post was created in collaboration with Joann Fabrics. The project and ideas are all my own.

 

 

 

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask LoveProject-Ranking-Format

I stalk Honeycrisp apples. Every September, I await them like a fiend. Ever other apple pales in comparison. Please tell me I’m not alone on this one.

Today, I think I’ve had three of them. Moderation is not something I do well.

So it’s no shocker that when tasked with creating an autumn-themed party favor, I turned to apples as my muse.

Now typcically, Sundays are usually reserved for “Easy Like Sunday Morning” but today I’m throwing a wrench in the plan with a post that I’m sharing as part of the Cricut Design Star competition. Along with a ton of other crafty bloggers, I’m sharing a party-worthy project using my Cricut Explore. Last month, I gave you this awesome project which ended up being chosen as of the the Top 10 Favorites! Let’s see if these apple-licious pillow boxes are as much of a hit!

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask Love

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask Love

I designed this pillow box template on a lazy day when I really didn’t feel like moving off of the couch. Since the Cricut Design Space software allows you to upload and edit your own designs, it didn’t take long to bring my design to life. Within Cricut Design Space, you can decide how you want to the machine to treat each element of your design. For example, to make a pillow box, I needed the software to recognize some parts of my design as “cuts” and other parts as “score lines.” Once that’s been decided, the machine does the rest, which I love.

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask Love

Now if you’re familiar with Cricut, you already know that it cuts. For this particular design, I really loved that I was able to cut out a window from the front of my pillow box. Without the machine, I would have had to use a craft knife for this, which is totally doable – but you may have a few less hairs on your head afterwards.

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask Love

You can also score with this machine…all at the same time as your cutting. It’s so awesome. The machine will even prompt you when you need to insert the scoring stylus which is so helpful for absent-minded crafters like me.

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask Love

Now this is probably the most mesmerizing part! The Explore will write too – which means you can take any of your favorite fonts and let the machine bring them to life. Watching the pen do it’s work is like hypnosis. I could watch it all day! Just as it does with the scoring stylus, the machine will prompt you when you need to insert the pen – and it’ll even tell you what color to insert!

Since the machine does all the hard work, assembly is really easy.

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask Love

Autumn Apple Favor Boxes with Cricut Explore | Damask Love

Ender

If you want to see the other party themed projects that have been created with the Cricut Explore, jump over to Instagram and take a look at #DesignSpaceStar – you’ll find lots more inspiration!

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Digital DIY with Shutterfly

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

Black & white photos credit: Plan Be Creative

If you’ve been following #cribmeetscraft on Instagram, you know that we are well into the nursery/craft room transformation…we even have a crib…but you’ll have to stay tuned to see the full reveal.

For me, the funnest part of the “renovation” is creating all the little accent pieces that will dress up the finished room. I’ve been crafting like a madwoman to create artwork and such. One of my most recent projects included some fun digital designs that I brought to life using Shutterfly.

I’m pretty sure y’all are familiar with Shutterfly. Back in the day, I used it print out all my digital photos – but honestly, these days, photo printing is a teeny tiny fraction of what you can do with Shutterfly. It’s pretty amazeballs if I do say so myself.

In the spirit of babies and DIY, here’s a peek at how I used Shutterfly to create some beautiful stuff

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask LoveFor our nursery, I’m going for bold, non-traditional colors…I’m just not into the “pink-is-for-girls-blue-is-for-boys” thing. I’ve done a ton of shopping for fabrics that I’ll be use to sew up my own pillow covers…but I also did a little crafty digital designing to create a pillow that I am all the way obsessed with.

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

Did you just die and then come back to life?! With Shutterfly, I was able to turn my digital design into a real life, touchy-feely, fabric pillow. I dunno – maybe I’m too easily amused, but I was beyond thrilled with how this turned out. The paint brushes and the scribbled border coordinate perfectly with #cribmeetscraft!

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

To create this pillow I (1) designed a 16×16 monogram graphic. (2) I then hopped over to Shutterfly and selected the Simple Serif Pillow and personalized it with the graphic image. (3) I left the “Insert Text” box blank which allowed me to cover the entire pillow with my design

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask LoveOf all the things you can DIY with Shutterfly, the Acrylic Photo Blocks are my favorite. They are modern and very much my style. Of course, you can use these to showcase your beautiful family photos, but I opted to create a few acrylic blocks that feature inspirational quotes that fit perfectly with the “artsy craftsy” vibe of the nursery.

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

How much do you love that quote?! It’s something that can inspire just about anyone. The acrylic block stands sturdily on its own and the paintbrush graphics are a favorite of mine.

Crayon

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love…and then there was this quote which I couldn’t help but use. For this acrylic block design, I combined three 5×5″ acrylic blocks so that together they create one adorable crayon image which I personalized with our little man’s name.Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask LoveTo create customized acrylic blocks, just select the size you want (either 5×7 or 5×5) and upload the photo or graphic you’d like to use. For the three-part crayon blocks, you’ll need to create three separate 5×5″ acrylic blocks, each one with a different segment of the crayon.
Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask LoveAs much as I love designing decor for the nursery, Shutterfly is also perfect for designing gifts. A close friend of mine recently had her first little boy and she’ll be finishing up her maternity leave pretty soon. I can only imagine how un-fun it’s gonna be for her to leave that little snuggle face so I designed a trio of pretty stationery that will not only keep her organized, but also feature some photos of the pile of cuteness that’s back at home.

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

 

To package up this trio of goodies, I ordered a print of one of the photos and created a tag with it…afterall, Shutterfly is still all about the photos. A special thank you to Plan Be Creative for allowing me to use her beautiful newborn session photos to complete these adorable notepads and notebooks!

Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask Love

The trio of stationery could not be simpler. For these designs, I personalized the Things to Do notepad, the Seersucker Style notepad and the Chevron Monogram notebook.
Digital DIY for Baby with Shutterfly | Damask LoveCustomizable Monogram Pillowcase Design

(for this design, you’ll need to upload the image to your favorite photo editing/illustrating software and add the monogram of your choice)

Three Part Crayon Design: Left |  Center | Right

Van Gogh Paint Brushes Design

So there you go!  A peek at what I’ve been up to and a little inspiration for how you can transform your own space with a little digital DIY. Happy crafting, friends!

This post was sponsored by Shutterfly. I have received product, payment or both in exchange for sharing my creations and my honest opinions.

Gold Foil Edged Notecards

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask LoveFoil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

Let me get something off my chest.

I would have assumed this would go without saying, but evidently there are some people out there that need the following reminder:

Do not ask a pregnant woman if she is having twins. It will end badly.

Yesterday when I was on my way to check the mail, the doorman asks me “You are eight months?” to which I said, no, I’m six and a half.” (pretty sure you can see how things were going downhill at this juncture).   It was at this point he hit me with the million dollar comment: “Oh, maybe it’s twins.”

It’s moments like this one that make me think that “pregnancy” should be a totally acceptable legal defense for assault.

In the following millisecconds, my brain flipped through my mental Roladex of potential responses:

a. “maybe you are an idiot”

b. “maybe you would enjoy a punch in the face”

c. “do you really want those to be your last words?”

d. “nope, just one in there.” (he is afterall a nice man who probably means no harm)

I went with option D…I was feeling nice, I guess. But trust me, the others would have been equally as satisfying.

Suffice it to say, the twins question is…and should forever be off limits. There. Now we can move on.

Today’s tutorial has absolutely nothing to do with twins, but it does have everything to do with gold foil. (That was the best I could do for a transition…pathetic, I know).

I’ve already given you guys a fair bit of foil inspiration with THIS post, THIS post and THIS post. Now I’ve got another one that uses a pretty cool foil tool: Metal Foil Tape. It’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s perfect for creating simple, pretty stationery. Here’s what I used to create this stationery set:

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

  •  Metal Foil Tape in Copper
  • Cardstock trimmed to A2 size (i.e. 4.25″ x 5.5″)
  • Craft Knife
  • Stamp set with cute greeting – I used the Wplus9 Handwritten Hello
  • Ruler
  • Bone folder – THIS one is my all time favorite, it’s a little pricier than most bone folders but well worth it. It lasts forver.
  • Gold pigment ink like THIS one…best stuff ever.

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

{1} Place metal tape along the edge of the notecard

{2} Repeat this along all edges, allowing a little bit of the tape to hang off each edge.

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

 

{3} Clean up the corners by creating mitered corners with your craft knife and ruler. Place the ruler at an angle at the corner, and gently drag the craft knife against the ruler to cut through the tape but not through the entire notecare.

{4} Peel off any excess tape that hangs beyond your miter cut to get clean, neat corners.Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love{5} Use the bone folder to smooth out the edges and make sure the metal tape is well adhered.

To finish off your notecards, you can stamp a cute sentiment onto the top. To keep with the goldness of it all, I used my Delicata gold pigment ink which is just the best.There are lots of ways to create true gold on your paper crafted projects and most times, you would used heat embossing, but sometimes I’m just too impatient for that!

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

In addition to these easy notecards, I added coordinating, lined envelopes in a rainbow of bold colors. The patterned paper from Pink Paislee  Luxe Collection features beautiful foil patterns that work perfectly here.

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

Foil Edge Flat Notecards | Damask Love

Ender

And before you go, I’ve gotta fill you in on some fun news that I got yesterday! Remember THIS post? Well, I entered the project in the Cricut Design Star competition and it is now one of the Top 5 entries. I would love your vote and here’s why

  • If the Gold & Leather Office Supplies project wins this round, the project will be available on Cricut Design Space for you to download and make the project yourself, which would be so very awesome.
  • The winner of this round advances to the final round where five designers will create an over-the-top project using the Cricut Explore, where one person is crowned Cricut Design Space Star and wins $10,000. Yeah – you read that correctly. $10,000. How nuts would that be!?! Needless to say, with a baby on the way I can think of a bajillion ways to spend that money which surely will include more than a few pairs of these adorable baby mocs.

If the spirit moves you to cast a vote for Damask Love, you can go HERE.

You have until Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 12noon EST to cast your vote so GO, GO, GO!!!
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