As lockdowns across our biggest cities continue, and kids are stuck at home-school with parents struggling with ideas of what to do – one pastime is taking a leap forward: Crafting.
One machine is at the centre of that revolution and I've witnessed this first hand with everything from lockdown birthday gift bags to personalised clothing updates taking shape in our household thanks to one machine. The Cricut.
Pronounced like the bat and ball sport Aussies know and love over summer, the Cricut is a pretty amazing bit of technology which allows you to cut paper, cardboard, vinyl or even thin wood to any design you can come up with. Plus, throw the Cricut markers in there and you've got drawings or inscriptions inside your cards done like they came from the printer like that.
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There are three Cricut Machines, the Joy, Explore and Maker, with the Maker 3 being the latest of them all. While the Joy is cheapest, and suits almost all average uses, the Maker 3 does it all, and it does it fast.
Wide strips of vinyl over 3 meters long can be cut into letters and shapes – essentially like sign writing. However in your average home, there are some practical uses just asking to be put to the test.
Over the years in our house, my wife has crafted up player names and numbers for soccer shirts for a whole team, personalised names on drink bottles, super personalised gift cards, keyrings, bags, t-shirts and so much more.
If it's a hard material, use a sticky vinyl. If it's fabric, use an iron-on vinyl.
There's hours of crafting time to be killed using the Cricut, and the Maker 3 being the latest iteration is faster than before and able to cut those longer lengths.
How easy is the Cricut Maker 3 to use?
It looks rather complex frankly. If you stumbled across a YouTube video of one of these in action you'd think it's complex. But in reality, the printing or cutting is easy, it's the next steps that are harder.
You can grab any logo or design and import it into the Cricut software, or use the many Cricut fonts to just type what you want to make.
Once you've done that, the machine really does do it all for you.
But once cut out, you then need to learn the tricks of the trade including the use of transfer paper, the weeding tool and a high level of patience to get your design ready to iron-on or stick on.
However, once you know how it's done, it really does come quite easy.
Lockdown Cricut Craft Ideas
- Make Personalised Lockdown shirts for the next class Zoom
- Take any existing shirt or order some new ones online – and put names or logos on them
- Cards to send to classmates or friends
- Kids missing their friends? Use the Cricut Card stock to pick out a card colour and have the Cricut cut designs out and even write a message neatly on the inside
- Personalise drink bottles for now and ready for back to school
- Too many drink bottles in the kitchen? Put names on them so you know who left their out.
- Iron-on names for School Uniforms ready for return
- A bit of life admin before things go back to normal – make sure their uniforms don't go missing
- Lockdown Birthday Gift Bags
- If like us you've got kids celebrating birthdays in lockdown, organise a Zoom Party and deliver a gift bag to all the attendees. Personalise the linen or cotton bag with an iron on name, even personalise the gifts inside
You will need a laptop or iPad to put together your designs and then connect with the Cricut and the software is pretty good at guiding you through the process.
The new Cricut Maker 3 will set you back $668, while the smaller entry level Joy is just $288 and is a great way to get started learning how to use this cutting craft machine.
And, all these things from the machines to the accessories and material can be bought online and delivered in lockdown!