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Paper Crafting With The Cricut Cutting Machine and Silhouette

Creativity and fun are important parts of living an intentional life.  In this post I explore paper crafts using the Cricut cutting machine and the Silhouette Cameo.  I’ll tell you which I prefer for what and some of the different things the machines can do.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. 

A colorful Spring and Easter paper craft project using the Cricut Cutting Machine

Adding Creativity to Life

Having fun and adding creativity to your life is one of the best things you can do to find your purpose and live with intention. It helps with mood and even increases creativity in other areas of your life.

Have you ever told yourself you don’t have time for fun, you don’t have time to try new things?

Well, when you stop having fun, you become stagnant in other areas of your life. When you’re always focused on work and don’t think about other topics, it’s hard to have creative thoughts about work.

When you branch out and have other life experiences, new thoughts may spark in your head that will help you in the important projects you are working on! Even if they don’t, taking a break can leave you refreshed and able to tackle your to-dos.

I found myself spending way too much time focused on this blog and needed to take a short break to allow myself some down time, and to do some things I enjoy. It’s way too easy to get burned out when working all the time.

One of my goals this year is to become more creative and be more involved in hobbies. I decided I wanted to try paper crafting because I love everything stickers, paper, and stationary as you can probably tell from my focus on bullet journals.

To do papercrafting I purchased a die cutting machine. I totally suck at using scissors. It is to the point where I should probably return to grade school and relearn. I can’t cut straight to save my life!

What is a Die Cutting Machine?

A die cutting machine cuts something precisely for you. I use a digital die cutting machine and it is kinda like a printer, except instead of printing it cuts (among other things). You use a program to tell the machine what you want to cut and it does it for you.

My First Projects

I had no idea what a Cricut cutting machine or a Silhouette was when I first started using stickers in my planner, but I soon learned I could print my own stickers and ultimately save money. This is when I bought a Silhouette Cameo 3.

The Silhouette Cameo 3 cuts sticker paper so that a sticker will peel off and leave the backing. The Silhouette does many other things, but this is what I use my Silhouette for. I find the Silhouette to be the best machine for cutting stickers because the software is complex enough to allow you to change and manipulate the cut lines. (The Cricut software is simplistic and doesn’t seem to allow as much flexibility. That said, it’s great for beginners).

I loved the idea of being able to download a file and print multiple sticker sheets instead of purchasing a small sticker sheet I can use one time. I find it fun to find cool files and make stickers! Here are some of my favorite stores for downloadable stickers sheets that I use with my Erin Condren and in my bullet journals:

BlingBlingPlanner

Design Sticker Store

The Planner Shack

(There are many more but going on Etsy to get the links is costing me money haha).

I was completely hooked on my Silhouette for making stickers and decided to purchase a Cricut Explore Air 2 as well. I thought this would allow me to speed up and print even more stickers, which I love to do. Like I mentioned above though, I didn’t find it as intuitive for making stickers, but I did find something else really fun about it and that is paper crafts and vinyl projects.

Although the Silhouette also does these things, the Cricut Access membership is amazing and gave me a ton of great projects I could start right away. With the Silhouette membership you purchase credits and then spend the credits in a certain amount of time. That kind of membership makes me a little loopy since I get obsessive about spending the credits, so I prefer the Cricut one.

I also like that the Cricut is quieter and doesn’t seem to get slowed down when I use my computer for other things. My Silhouette tends to slow to a snail’s pace when I am doing other things on my computer. I imagine that is my computer’s issue for some reason, but still…the Cricut doesn’t have this problem.

Papercrafting With a Cricut Cutting Machine

Recently I spent some time with my Cricut Explore Air 2 and made a little Easter/Spring box card. Kind of a weird time of year to do an Easter project but I picked it because it was pretty and I wanted to make a project that only involved paper. I found an awesome deal on high quality card stock and wanted to use some.

An Easter Spring Box card make using the Cricut Cutting Machine. I used a Cricut Explore Air to make this.

At first I had a hard time figuring out how to use the files; however, I’m working through a course on how to make SVG files for paper crafting. Sign up to be on the waiting list here. In the first lesson, this course teaches how to use SVG files you get from the internet.

There’s nothing like purchasing something and having no idea how to use it! Haha.

I look forward to learning more from her about using the Cricut and ultimately designing my own files.

Once I got the files uploaded, it was easy to cut out what I needed using my Cricut. A bonus about the SVG files I purchased from this site (including the Easter/Spring box) is that the pages where you purchase the files actually have videos of how to put the things together. Thank goodness, because otherwise it would be complicated haha. There were many pieces.

Here’s the video I followed while creating this. I loved making my project right along with him:

I recommend looking at the bundles on this site rather than individual projects to save some money. It seems you usually get three projects for the price of two.

Here are the supplies I used for this project:

What Else Does a Cricut Machine Do?

The first things I made outside of stickers were a fox and a tiny chihuahua made out of cardstock. My Cricut Access membership included the files. Do a search for “Woodland Animals.” Aren’t these cute?  Don’t mind the tape sticking out.  These were my first projects 🙂 fox and chihuahua papercraft

There are several other things a Cricut machine does (and I am sure I’ll learn a lot more!):

  • You can use a pen insert to do lettering!
  • The pen insert also draws coloring pages
  • Make stickers
  • Make die cuts
  • Make other things for scrapbooking
  • Create file folders, or folder inserts for your planner
  • Make homemade cards
  • Make fabric cutouts
  • Make designs with foam
  • Make stencils
  • Make vinyl designs to place on cups, glass, signs, etc.
  • Make window clings
  • I’ve even seen some projects to make stuffed animals, leather goods, and so much more. The Cricut is pretty amazing.

How Does Using a Cricut Cutting Machine Help With Creativity and Mindset?

When I started making my Easter Egg Card, I was pretty overwhelmed. There were a lot of pieces. I had to slow down and take it one step at a time. I was open to help and following along with the video.

Instead of saying, “that looks too hard” and giving up I decided to take it one step at a time and complete the item. I used a growth mindset by imagining I would improve over time.

I asked myself what the worst thing is that would happen if I didnt complete it? I guess I’d waste some time and paper? But would I have fun? I like to learn new things.

I did complete it and it turned out pretty great if you ask me! I felt accomplished and like I had mastery over something I had never done before.

To me this was a win since accomplishing things increases self esteem over time and is one of the best ways to get out of imposter syndrome thoughts!

I hope you will consider trying out some papercrafts. It’s pretty cool to have a finished project you made yourself with just paper!

Cricut Explore Air 2 versus Silhouette Cameo 3

Since I have both machines I thought I’d briefly let you know what I think of each.

I like both of my machines, but for different reasons. I think the machine you get will depend on what you want to use it for.

If you want to make stickers, my opinion is to get the Silhouette Cameo 3. I recommend purchasing the Silhouette Cameo 3 here on Amazon and getting this bundle because it comes with lots of how to guides and a beginner class. I wish I would have purchased this bundle! The software is much more advanced and allows flexibility when making your own cut files.

On the other hand, if you want to make cards, animals, and other papercrafts with cardstock, I recommend the Cricut Explore Air 2. Cricut Access gives you a bunch of projects in your membership and the program makes it super easy to complete them. The Cricut is relatively quiet and the program leads you step by step in what to cut next.

I found this video on how to use the Cricut Explore Air 2 so you can see how easy it is:

What do you do for creativity?  Leave a comment and let me know.  Better yet, come join me in my new Facebook group and join the discussion.

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