Cricut Tutorial: Merbaby Onesie

Is there anything cuter than a baby?!  How about a baby in an adorable handmade onesie?!

For Mermaid Week, I wanted to create a simple baby onesie – something that was adorable, but simple enough for Cricut beginners to attempt.  After playing around in Cricut Design Space, I came up with a cute and simple design.  To “mermaid it up” I used Siser Glitter HTV in the shade Mermaid (how convenient).  Always remember to mirror your work when cutting HTV.  This design will weed very quickly.  Some glitter will remain on the protective layer.  The displaced glitter will not transfer onto or affect your completed project.

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If you are using the Cricut Easy Press, set your machine according to this chart.  I used Gerber 100% cotton onesies for this project, so my Easy Press was set to 340°F/171°C.  Always warm or pre-press your onesie prior to pressing the HTV.  Place the HTV onto the onesie, approximately 1 inch from the neckline, or eyeball the design to where you feel it looks best.  If you take too long doing this step, you may want to reheat the material surface.

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Press your onesie for the recommended about of time (30 seconds for my project).  When pressing onesies it is important to avoid the shoulder and neckline areas (I will have an in-depth blog post about this in the near future).  If you press directly over the shoulder folds you will not get a full seal and your vinyl will not stick (it will likely fall off after a few washes).  With this design, I was able to put my press on a slight diagonal to avoid the excess fold material.  After removing the protective layer I usually press again for about 10 seconds with a pieces of parchment paper over it.  Turn your entire project over and press it again from the back. Be sure to note the shoulder folds again.

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In the future, I hope to offer more files and in various formats.  At this time, the files are in PNG and SVG only.  By downloading any files from A Crafty Cupcake, you are agreeing to these terms.  You may use these files to create items for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  Please do not share, resell or claim any of these files as your own.

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Bring on the Mermaids!!

Tips on Tuesday will return again next week… this week we are focusing on Mermaids!!

Two weeks ago, on the Facebook page, I polled the fans to see whether they would be interested in Mermaid or Unicorn crafts.  Although it was a close race, the Mermaids won the vote and this week will be dedicated to crafting with a splash!

Mermaid3It was obvious to me that I would be doing a mermaid amigurumi but I was unsure which pattern I would be using.  If you are a fan on the Facebook page, you may remember the pattern link I posted at the beginning of the month from Neogurumi.  I had planned on making this adorable mermaid to showcase, but she was a bit bigger than I had originally thought.

The search for the perfect mermaid began… I wanted something that was relatively small and worked up quickly – with summer approaching, there is a lot of yard and housework that has to be done, so a quick project was a must have.  I also wanted to find a free pattern that I could share with my readers and fans that they could make easily if they wanted.  Thanks to Pinterest, I stumbled this adorable mermaid from Black Hat Llama.

Alterations to the Original Pattern

Mermaid1As with every pattern I use, I tend to make slight alterations and this one was no different.  I was recently gifted new crochet hooks… and I must say – I absolutely LOVE my new Clover hooks.  Previously, I had been using bamboo hooks – which I preferred over basic metal hooks.  I have every size imaginable of the bamboo hooks and they have lasted me over 8 yrs (apart from the occasional loss when the puppy decided to use my hooks as a chew toy).  I currently only have 10 sizes of the Clover hooks… and of course, I did not have the required 3mm hook that this pattern called for.  I used the 3.25mm hook and my completed mermaid measures close to 6 inches in length.

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I used 9mm Safety eyes which I placed between rows 12 and 13 with a spacing of 7 stitches.  Unlike the pattern suggests, I place my eyes prior to stuffing the doll and before the neck opening gets too small – I believe I inserted them when I reached row 10 of the pattern.

The hair for this project was a bit of a challenge.  In all honesty, I have never created a doll with this much hair.  Although I used the technique suggested in the pattern (pictured above, right) I found the coverage was not as I had anticipated and I added in single strands underneath the “cap” (pictured left).

A small wooden flower button and felt “cheeks” glued in place helped to complete this look.  When all is said and done, I am super happy with this little mermaid and will definitely be making more of her in the future!

Happy crocheting!!

Tuesday Tips: Jogless Stripes

By far, one of my favourite things to crochet lately is Amigurumi.  I love these cute little

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Amigurumi with colour changes, crocheted in the round.

characters!  There are so many patterns and unique creations to make.  As a creator – and perhaps a bit of a perfectionist,  one of the most frustrating things about amigurumi is making stripes that join uniformly.  As you may remember from my first amigurumi post, these characters are created in the round, meaning there is not visible beginning or end to rows.  While this technique makes your creation seamless, it creates a distinct disjoint when changing colours.

The solution to avoid the jagged stripe look is a technique called Jogless Stripes.  Although it does not create a perfectly symmetrical stripe line, it is very close.

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Amigurumi with colour changes, crocheted using the Jogless Stripe Technique.

Simple manipulation of the stitches can create the desired jogless stripe. Crochet Ever After has an excellent instructional video on creating jogless stripes in single crochet.  It is definitely one of the best videos I have seen on the subject: easy to follow and an easy technique to master.

Tuesday Tips: Priming Cutting Mats

One of the most important accessories with any Cricut machine, is the cutting mat.  These mats – which are colour coded and have varying degrees of tackiness are used to hold your project material while the machine cuts/scores/writes the designs.

MatsWhen I first opened my Cricut Explore Air 2, I bubbled with excitement.  I didn’t bother to attempt the practice project that came with my bundle.  After all, I had been watching YouTube videos of unboxings, tutorials and projects for weeks.  I wanted to dive right in!  I wanted to make a shirt!  I slapped a relatively design up in the Design Space – but the cautious crafter in me thought it would be best to test the design with cardstock before using my Heat-Transfer Vinyl (Also known as Iron-On).

Turns out my hesitation paid off…  I forgot to mirror my image – a necessary step for using any Heat-Transfer Vinyl.  Rookie mistake.  I also discovered the importance of de-tacking or priming your Cricut mat – especially if you will be doing a lot of paper crafting.  Even though I was using the Standard Grip Mat, the cardstock was difficult to remove and the process actually destroyed my test project.

 

Using the Correct Mat for Your Project

  • Light Grip Blue Mat: This mat is intended for scrapbook paper, vellum, crepe, and tissue paper.  In Other words – thin materials.
  • Standard Grip Green Mat: Depending on your main projects, this will likely be your main mat.  It is used for cardstock, vinyl, heat-transfer vinyl and any other mid-weight materials.
  • Strong Grip Purple Mat: One of the more heavy duty mats that is used for  thick cardstock, glitter cardstock, poster board, leather, felt, backed fabric and any other heavy materials.  I have not yet used this mat for any projects,
  • Fabric Grip Pink Mat: Fabric, felt, leather (do not cut paper or vinyl using this mat). This mat is designed to be used with the new Cricut Maker.

It is important to note that not all Cricut machines will cut all project mediums.  The Cricut Maker is necessary for the most variety in projects, as it has the capability of using various blades.

 

Priming Your Mats Before Use

Learn from my mistakes… prime or detack your mats before using cardstock or making paper crafts.  The process is quite simple – remove the plastic protective sheet from your mat (set this aside, as you will want to reapply it after each project to protect your mat from dust, pet hair and other possible household contaminants that may transfer to your projects).  Using a clean piece of fabric or a shirt, press it onto the mat.  Remove the fabric and repeat the process a few times.  And that’s it – your mat is now primed.  I also suggest using a separate mat for paper crafts that has been primed/detacked more – this is by no means a requirement, it is just my own personal preference.

Crafting a Mother’s Day Gift

It’s that time of year again… time to show your love, admiration and appreciation for the woman who gave you life — Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!!

Since purchasing my Cricut Explore Air 2, I have really been enjoying the creative process for several different crafts.  It really did not take long to decide what I would make my mother for her Mother’s Day Gift.

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The first step to creating the best Mother’s Day gift was to find the perfect frame. I found this shadow box mirror style frame at a local Dollar Store for $4.99. Great deal!

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This project could have easily been completed with card stock – in actuality, that was my plan… until I discovered that my children had used ALL of our cardstock during their last History project. After finding the perfect design that my mother would love, it was time to send it to the Cricut and start the cutting process.

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Since I would not be using cardstock, I had to clean and prepare the mirror surface for the vinyl application. After this I completed the weeding – which was quite time consuming.

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After the vinyl application.

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And the project is complete!  It never occurred to me how difficult it would be to take a picture of a mirror. And this picture really does not do the final product justice.  I love how this turned out… so much so, that I have a similar project in mind for Father’s Day!

 

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Here is a closeup of the intricate design…  I simply love this!  If you are interested in this, or similar designs, please check out one of my favourite Etsy shoppes: Fox Sister.

Friday Freebies: Mother’s Day SVGs

The internet is a fantastic place… full of crafting inspiration and files for you to use in your crafting projects.  The important thing to remember is that the original creator maintains the copyright to their creations.  Even thought many items can be found free online, it is important to respect and abide by the original creator’s rules.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching I have assembled a few of my favourite free SVG files.  I do not receive any sort of commission when you visit these sites or download these files. Be sure to read the regulations set in place by each creator prior to downloading any files.  The majority of free files are for personal use ONLY (this means, you cannot sell items made from the files you have downloaded).

If you use any of these files, be sure to thank the original creator (if possible) and I would love to see your creations on twitter!  Simply click on the images below to be taken to the file site.  At the time of posting, all of these links were free and active.

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This fun SVG is offered by LoveSVG. It is for personal use only.

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This file not only includes the “Mom” file, but has been updated to add “Nana”. This one is from Lilly Ashley of Make It Create.

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This is a wonderful file from Burton Avenue. It is only free for a limited time. Burton Avenue offers their freebies for download for personal use but there is an option to purchase a commercial license for each file.