Thursday, May 16, 2019

Cricuts (and other vinyl cutting machines) are amazing. I love the ability to create amazing designs for friends, family, and myself, but buying fonts and designs can be expensive! As someone who will find any way to make a project cheaper, I refuse to buy fonts and graphics and found a better way. How can you create an amazing design without spending a penny?

Let me introduce you to your new best friend. 
Image result for canva
*I have no affiliation with Canva. I just love them :)

Canva is an incredible, easy-to-use website that creates beautiful designs on a phone or computer. It's truly my secret weapon. Stop buying fonts and clip art images from the Cricut Makerspace. Instead, let Canva make your life easier and your projects cheaper. Here are a few features that make Canva the perfect partner for your Cricut.


1. There are a ton of fonts to choose from AND you can upload your own. The Cricut Makerspace only provides you with around 10 fonts that are free. So when you want to type up a word or group of words in different fonts, you can design it on Canva, download it, upload it to the Cricut Makerspace, and have the perfect design!

2. There are a ton of "clip art" style images that you can add to your designs. You simply search for images and choose one of the free options. There are tons of choices! If you find an image you like that costs money, it's usually only a dollar.

3. You can upload your own images as well! Simply search for the image you want on any search engine and upload it into Canva. That way, you get exactly what you want without having to fork over any cash.

4. Canva saves all of your designs and uploaded images. If you're like me, you get in such a hurry to finish a project that you forget to save them before exiting! Canva saves every design and image so you can go back to it any time you need it. That means, you can save designs and come back to edit them anytime you want! No recreating. No redesigning. No wasted time.

5. You can share designs with members of your "team." Anyone else who has Canva can be added to your team and images can be edited and shared instantly! Group projects have never been easier.


Those are just a few of the amazing things Canva can do! Of course, there are many other uses for Canva that don't involve your Cricut. I make every flyer, post card, Pinterest pin, and blog photo on Canva. So stop wasting money and start designing like a champ! 



Monday, April 15, 2019

I'm an idealist. This fact often makes shopping an impossibility for me. I have the exact idea of what I want to buy in my head and lament when the item doesn't actually exist or costs an unreasonable amount. This fact is what has made me the creative person I am. I'm forced to create the items that I can't find in stores or that I'm unwilling to spend my life savings on! My Cricut has made it possible for me to take the exact item I love and turn it into a vinyl pattern that I can use for much less.

First, take a photo/screenshot of the image you want to use. This is much easier if the image is going to be one solid color. Also, the more solid the background, the better. For this project, I used a picture of a sign I took on one of my favorite days in England last summer. To attempt to recreate this on my own would never be possible, and it's a great way to bring memories home.
Next, upload your photo to the Cricut Makerspace.
Go ahead and crop as much of the background out as you can. It will leave you less to have to remove manually.
Around the edge, use your erase tool to clear out the back ground as much as you can. You don't have to try to get in between the spaces of the image or right up against it. You'll use the remove tool for that in the next step.

The next piece of this process is the most tedious. Use the remove tool to remove the space you don't want in the image. This will be where the Cricut will cut, so make sure to remove all empty space.
Go back and forth between erasing and removing until you have a crisp finished product.  In the right-hand corner of the app, you can tap the small box to see your progress and if you missed any spots. Don't forget the spots in your letters!
After you've removed the background, you just have to save the image to be cut/sized later.

If you are choosing to do multiple colors, you may want to isolate each color independently.

So is it possible to do this with photos of people or animals? Yes! Here's a tutorial on How to Turn a Photo into and SVG.

So simple! Now you can create anything you find without having to redesign it yourself!



Tuesday, April 2, 2019



My Cricut has been one of the best birthday presents I could've asked for! And, honestly, the only thing I love more than my Cricut is my dog. So when I decided I wanted to turn him into a decal, I knew it would take some work. Here are the steps I used to turn my pooch into an SVG file and how you can do it with any photo!

First off, here's my adorable dog, Chewie. He's a rescue and the most fantastic doggo of all time!
Your first step is to choose or take a picture that has a relatively solid background. The more solid it is, the easier it is to single out the exact silhouette you want for your SVG.

Next, get rid of the background of your photo. There are many websites and apps that can do it for you, or you can do it manually on the Cricut Makerspace by using the erase tool. Here is the wesite I used to take away the background image: https://clippingmagic.com/
Once you have your floating head, upload it to the Cricut Makerspace. You'll want to make your photo have all of the original colors, so you'll need to make a new SVG for each color so you can layer them on top of each other. Since Chewie is black and white, I had two pieces to give me the final result.
 
The first layer is the bottom silhouette. This will be the biggest piece and I will layer my other pieces on top of it. Use the remove tool to take out all of the empty space behind his head. For the second layer, upload the picture again and use the remove tool to get rid of the color you've already used for your base layer. In this case, I'll remove all of the black coloring because I already have that in my first layer. You'll do this for every different color in your photo.

In the Cricut Makerspace, start by uploading the base layer first and layer the others over each other to get the correct size. Clicking the layering button will let you choose different colors for your pieces. This will help you be able to see your final result. When you have the size, colors, and layering you need, you're ready to cut!
        
As you get ready to cut your vinyl, you'll cut out each layer on the different colors that you want the final image to be. For mine, the base layer will be on black vinyl and the top layer will be on white.

Once you have your pieces cut out, it's time to layer your vinyl. There are many ways to do this, but I prefer to do it on the transfer tape so it all goes onto the surface in one single motion. You can also layer each individually on the surface.

So now it's time to start turning all of your favorite photos into one of a kind vinyl decals! Leave us a comment with any tips or tricks you learned along the way!


Friday, January 18, 2019

*Disclaimer: Not all of these fabulous ideas are mine. Some of them come from other amazing bloggers. If you want to see their original post, just click the picture! 

If you're like me, staying organized is akin to giving up coffee. It isn't going to happen without some serious intervention. I am a "make piles and shove it in a cabinet" kind of organizer. Pathetically, my classroom follows suite. However, there are a couple of really simple ways to set your life up to make staying organized a breeze. Here are a few of my favorites for the home, office, and classroom!

1. Straw dispenser turned pencil dispenser

2. Pen/pencil board

3. Mason jars for EVERYTHING

4. Spray paint everything to make them match and look fancier

5. Gumball machine turned eraser machine

6. Organize your cords with binder clips

7. Beautify your clothespins with decorative tape

8.  Cardboard boxes for storage
 


9. DIY desk organizer

10. Spice rack organizer 

For more great ideas, follow Ordinary Royalty on Pinterest! 
And don't forget to save these ideas for later!


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