Tag Archives | Cricut

That of a Giant Sloar!

During the rectification of the Vuldronaii the Traveller came as a very large and moving Torb. Then, during the Third Reconciliation of the Last of the Meketrex Supplicants, they chose a new form for him, that of a giant Sloar! Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of a Sloar that day, I can tell you!”  -Louis Tully [Ghost Busters, 1984)

This is a quote from Rick Moranis in the movie Ghost Busters.  It always cracked me up when he said “that of a giant Sloar!” in a way that we would know what he’s talking about.  The phrase is ambiguous enough in its raw format to make it sound strange.  But those who recognize the quote (many of my friends certainly would) would get a huge kick out of it.  So I thought I’d do a little paper-cutting of the phrase.

I really wanted a primitive/folk artsy feel to the piece similar to the way Hans Christian Andersen’s papercuts would have.  I knew I wanted the internal bits of the letters to be solid.  I also wanted a rough feel to the lettering.  So I drew out the design quickly with a sharpie marker.  Then I scanned it into the computer and cleaned up the lines with Inkscape.  I  had to shift a couple letters to make it balance better, but for the most part, the design is the same as the drawing.

I could easily cut the design by hand, but I wanted to use my new Cricut cutter.  So I imported my Inkscape file into SCAL and let the Cricut do the work.  I ended up with a really neat piece of papercut word art.  What will I do with it?  Heck if I know.  Maybe I’ll bring it into work and decorate up my dungeon office.


Category: Craft, Geekery

St. Patty’s Day Decorations

My son, Gavin, and I decided we needed some St. Patty’s Day decorations for the house.  I’ve been trying to do some sort of art/craft project with him every Saturday morning.  So I thought this would be a good project.  I was thinking of some sort of shamrock garland and a pot of gold.  I wanted to use the Cricut cutting machine to cut out my shapes, but I needed a way for Gavin to do a bit more than glue things together.  So I thought this would be a good way to practice his letters, one for each shamrock.

The shamrocks were cut from 4 different sheets of paper.  I went to the craft store and found green patterned sheets.  I used the stock shamrock design from Sure Cuts A Lot software.  I cut 8 shamrocks from each of the papers.  This gives me 32 shamrocks, which is a few extra in case we goof up.  Then I just piled them up in stacks and let him draw his letters on whichever he chooses.  I let him choose if he wanted to do uppercase or lower case letters.  Most of them he knew.  For the ones he didn’t know, I used a magna doodle pad to show him how to make the letters.  I was pleasantly surprised he knew as much as he did.  I think I only helped him on 3 letters!

After we were done with the letters, I grabbed some green yarn and taped it taunt (not tight) to the table.  I slid each of the shamrocks under the string face down and let him put a bit of glue beneath the string.  While that dried, we worked on the pot of gold.

The pot of gold was designed by me using Inkscape.  I’ve provided the SVG file for importing into Sure Cuts A Lot below.  The background is dark green.  The foreground is a lighter green.  I used a green Cricut marker to write the words “Happy St. Patty’s Day”, then cut out the foreground.  The coins were on a yellow card-stock.  First I used the green Cricut Marker to make the design, then I cut each of the circles.

To assemble the pot of gold, I glued the foreground to the background myself, since it required a more precise alignment.  Then I let Gavin glue each of the coins to the pot.  I pretty much let him put them wherever he wanted.  To finish off, I glued one of the left-over shamrocks to the side of the pot.

When everything was dry, we hung up the garland over a door way.  I must have been a bit dyslexic, because I put the letters on backwards.  Oh well.  Then we hung the pot of gold over the garland.

There we have it; our  St. Patty’s Day decoration!  We both had a lot of fun and it took maybe an hour.  Perhaps a half-hour prep.  It might have been a bigger project than 4yo can pay attention to.  But adding the letters to the shamrocks seemed add that extra element of fun.  He was very proud of his creation and is sure to show everybody that walks through the door.

[Download the Free SVG project file here]

Category: Craft

Chuck e Cheese Frame

Last Sunday, I took my son to Chuck E Cheese to attend a birthday party. They had a mechanical car/ride where you can sit next to Chuck E Cheese. At the end of the ride, the machine took a picture and printed it out for you. It was really a horrible picture. It looked like a security camera picture printed on receipt paper. But my son thought it was pretty neat. The next day, I was feeling the creative itch. But I didn’t have a whole lot of time to devote to any one project. So I decided that it would be easy to make a nice frame for that picture out of some colored cardstock. Plus, it would give me a great excuse to use my new Cricut cutting machine.

I used Sure Cuts A Lot software and used the included shapes to put this project together. It was a rounded rectangle for the frame, a simple rectangle for the picture window,  a swirl for the frame decoration, and some fonts on my computer for the lettering and shadow. This project honestly took about 45 minutes from design to finish. While this project isn’t necessarily an amazing expression of creativity, it goes to show you how easy it is to put something together with stock shapes and scrap paper. My son thought it was pretty neat and immediately posted it on his bulletin board. This project made a nice memento of his time with the giant rat. 😉

Category: Craft

Cricut Expressions Personal Cutter

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I bought the Cricut Expressions personal cutter. Basically, this is a cnc cutter used to cut paper, vinyl, and other thin materials. Scrapbookers use this machine to cut shapes and stencils when putting together scrapbook pages.

By using a program called Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL), you can hook the Cricut up to our computer.  It works just like a printer.  But instead of printing, you’re cutting your own designs.  SCAL can use any font (including dingbats) and can import a number of different graphic files.  I use Inkscape to create my designs and import the SVG file directly into SCAL.  Then I organize the layers so I can cut the appropriate papers.  Then I click the Cut button and away it goes.

This is a really cool machine. It is so much fun to play with. I spent the weekend trying out different things. I’ve designed a couple cards (Valentine’s Day is coming up), cut name tags, bookmarks, some of my scroll saw patterns out of paper, and even cut some stencils so I can etch glass. I’m always getting new ideas on elements I can incorporate into my projects. This is really a neat tool to add to your crafting arsenal.  I look forward to sharing some projects where I used the Cricut in future posts.  Hopefully that will spark a few ideas for yourself.

We bought our Cricut on Amazon for $225. While the cartridges are ridiculous, spending the extra money on Sure Cuts A Lot pretty much frees you from spending your hard earned money on those cartridges. But if you decide you want a few anyway, I found eBay is the best place to find them at decent prices.


Note: SCAL no longer supports the Cricut Personal Cutter.

Category: Craft