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:
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!

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