For a crafter who’s always worked with paper, scissors and glue, some of the new cutting machines can be daunting. Many of finished projects look impressively professional, but all that talk about about using files to program the machine may suddenly remind that the reason you love crafting is to get away from computer gadgetry and just work with your hands.
Take a deep breath. Inhale some essential oils, if necessary. Lia Griffith’s new book “Cutting Machine Crafts” talks through the basics, gives tips and has plenty of instructions for clothing and decor projects. In order to make many of these projects, you’ll need to download SVG files that work with most of the major cutting machines.
If you haven’t crafted with a cutting machine before, you may wonder what the difference is between the various brands. Griffith prefers the Cricut Maker, the newest model from the company. (She also occasionally designs for Cricut.) In “Cutting Machine Crafts” she describes the pros and cons of many major machines, including ones by Sizzix and Silhouette. For example, the Sizzix Eclipse2 is one of the fastest machines, she says, but doesn’t cut heavy materials as well as the Cricut Maker.
CraftFoxes emailed with Griffith to get answer some introductory questions about machines, SVG files and. Below are her answers.
What's the best way to judge if an SVG file is what you need before buying it?
When we share an SVG cur file we always share full color photographs from different angles so that you can really see the finished project. We also share step out tutorial shots, measurements and a materials list so that you have a really clear idea before you start. We'd always recommend looking for as much detail as you possibly can before purchasing!
What are some ways crafters can adjust SVG files that they may not realize?
Many people aren't aware that you can adjust the size of a file before you use it. For example, our Fall leaf pattern can be printed and cut at any size you want, which makes it incredibly versatile! Print and cut them at two inches and thread them to make a sweet garland, or print them at 12 inches and hang many of them in vertical lines to make a stunning wall hanging.
Can you describe the some of the projects from “Cutting Machine Crafts” that are surprisingly simple but have a very polished finish?
We strive for surprisingly simple yet elegant and polished in all of our projects. We believe that everyone can be creative, they just lose sight of it somewhere along the line. With simplicity at the root of our designs, our hope is that even those with zero DIY experience can achieve something they’re proud of. The great thing about cutting machines is that it makes it even easier to achieve a polished look. A paper succulent, for example, can be made it just 6 simple steps!
Do you have any favorite sources for SVG files, materials or machines?
We love Blick stores (dickblick.com) for materials - the variety and quality of craft materials that they stock is second to none. For cutting machines, vinyl and iron-on, we love Cricut, we've never had any difficulty using their software or machines. We also love PaperPapers.com for metallic and frosted papers like the ones we use in the book. And how can we not mention our crepe paper line - it's a paper florist’s dream.