Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad (with 9 BrightPad Projects)

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is the first post in a series about the Cricut Maker BrightPad, a portable tool that illuminates your projects and makes weeding, tracing, and other tasks easier while reducing eye strain. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing an overview of the BrightPad along with a roundup of nine projects with tutorial you can make with your BrightPad right away.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter

So, What’s a BrightPad Anyway?

The BrightPad is a newish accessory from Cricut that creates a portable and lightweight illumination surface. (If you ever used an old-school lightbox, you will be pleasantly surprised by the ease of use and weight of the BrightPad.) Basically, it provides lighting from the back of your project so you can more easily and quickly complete tasks that require detailed handiwork. It also eases strain on the eyes while you are working on these kinds of projects.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with Cricut BrightPad box

The BrightPad’s illuminated surface is a bit larger than a piece of letter paper at 9” x 11.5”. Inside the box, in addition to the BrightPad, you’ll find a short manual with instructions for use and craft project ideas.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with Cricut BrightPad and box

Although it’s portable, you do need to plug the BrightPad in while it’s in use, so it also includes a 6-feet long power cord that fits into a standard US power outlet. The power cord is connected using a USB that you can disconnect from the BrightPad when it’s not in use.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with Cricut BrightPad and box

The BrightPad uses an LED light that turns on with the power button on the front.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with illuminated Cricut BrightPad

With the + and – buttons on the side, you can adjust the brightness to 5 different settings from 400 lumens up to 4,000 lumens.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Hand touching adjustment buttons on illuminated Cricut BrightPad

If you have a Cricut Maker, you may have noticed a slim line on your machine. It is actually the spot where can put your BrightPad while your Cricut is cutting, scoring, or writing so you can have more workspace available to you.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with illuminated Cricut BrightPad

Although the Maker has a storage spot for the BrightPad, it’s a great crafting accessory to use with any Cricut machine… or even without a Cricut!

What Kind of Projects Can I Use the BrightPad For?

As I mentioned, the BrightPad is ideal for working on a project that requires more lighting than your typical craft project — basically anything with details you don’t want to miss. Here are some ideas for projects where a BrightPad would come in handy.

  • Weeding iron-on or vinyl, especially projects with small pieces, intricate cuts, or when your ambient lighting isn’t ideal.
  • Tracing coloring pages or lettering, or fine stenciling.
  • Embroidery or cross stitch projects.
  • Hand sewing or hand quilting.
  • Making jewelry, especially with small beads or fine wires.
Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with Cricut BrightPad, vinyl, weeder and scissors

Because the BrightPad is lightweight and thin, it’s portable enough to carry with you for a craft night. If you have a Cricut Maker, you can store it on the machine, or it’s slim enough to fit in the box on a tall bookshelf.

I was first introduced to the BrightPad at a Cricut Crafternoon in May, 2017. At that time, it hadn’t yet been released! But my friend Jessie from Jessie At Home used it to create an intricate iron-on bag.

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it’s so pretty! #cricut #cricutrocks #crafternoon

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9 BrightPad Tutorials from Your Favorite Bloggers

I’ll be sharing a project using the Cricut BrightPad next week. It’s an iron-on project that I wouldn’t have had the courage to weed without the BrightPad because I would have been worried about missing pieces or worse — pulling away iron-on that I actually needed because I couldn’t see the details of the cuts.

Until next week, check out these nine projects from some of your favorite bloggers. Each one uses the BrightPad and includes a photo and/or video tutorial to guide you through the project.

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut BrightPad with 9 BrightPad Projects via Underground Crafter | Collage of 9 BrightPad projects from your favorite bloggers
  1. Water Bottle with Time Markings with Vinyl by The Country Chic Cottage (with video)
  2. Skyrim Fandom Iron-On T-Shirt by Doodlecraft
  3. Star Wars Squad Goals Iron-On T-Shirt by Hello Creative Family
  4. Decorate a Notebook with Iron-On and Watercolors by Fleece Fun
  5. How To Use Coloring Pages on Fabric with Foil by Sew What Alicia (with video)
  6. Custom Flask with Vinyl by 30 Minute Crafts (with video)
  7. Decorate Your Cricut with Vinyl by Tastefully Frugal
  8. Etched Glass Casserole Dish with Stencil Vinyl by Hello Creative Family
  9. Geometric Heart Paper-Piecing Sewing Pattern by Sew What Alicia (with video)

Still have questions about the Cricut BrightPad ? Leave me a comment so I can answer it in a future post.

Cricut Basics: Modern Quilted Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter

This is the second post in my series about the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade. The Rotary Blade makes using your Cricut Maker for quilting, sewing, and other fabric crafts super easy. It can cut fabric very precisely and without wear and tear on you and your back and joints. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing a project for a Modern Quilt Pillow that I made with the Rotary Blade.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World.

If you missed the first post in this series, don’t forget to read Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade (Part 1).

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | supplies

I’ve been doing much more sewing since I got my Cricut Maker, and the Rotary Blade is the main reason why! It’s one of the tools that can be used in the Maker’s Adaptive Tool System, and it allows you to use your Cricut to cut fabric without a stabilizer. You’ll also need the FabricGrip Cutting Mat. Both the FabricGrip Cutting Mat and the Rotary Blade are included in the box with your Maker,  so as soon as you take it out of the box, you’ll just need some fabric and you are ready to go!

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | Rotary Blade

I used to do a lot of strip quilting back in the day, but in my current apartment, I don’t have lots of space to set up a cutting table, or a large, unused surface that I can use for cutting. And, let’s be honest, my back is not as it once was, so the idea of bending over cutting fabric for hours is not really something that makes me excited! Today’s project is a Modern Quilt Pillow. It’s a simple project that doesn’t require a large amount of cutting, but with the Maker and the Rotary Blade, it definitely works up faster and with less back and wrist strain than cutting by hand.

I’m sharing a link to this project in Cricut Design Space. You can use my pillow design or create your own! (If you do create your own, be sure to add 1/2″ to each side of each piece for a 1/4″ seam allowance.) And, if you just want to try out the Rotary Blade without doing any math (which is fine by me), you can use my project or any one of the great sewing projects that are included with your Cricut Access Standard subscription.

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow flat lay on couch

Modern Quilted Pillow

Tutorial by Underground Crafter

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter

I used a simple, geometric design and the “quilt-as-you-go” method to add some depth and softness to this pillow. Use colors that coordinate or contrast with your room for different looks. This pillow would add some brightness to your home decor. It also makes a great gift for a housewarming, wedding, or baby shower.

Tools

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | supplies

Materials

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | supplies

Instructions

Prepare Your Fabric

  • Prewash and press your fabric to remove wrinkles using your EasyPress 2 with EasyPress Mat, or an iron with ironing board.

Cut Your Fabric and Batting

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | fabric on mat
  • Using your fabric scissor or rotary cutter and cutting mat, cut a 20” square of the fabric you will use to back the inside of your pillow. This will not be seen, so it can be made with orphaned quilt blocks, muslin, or scraps. Cut a 20” square of batting. Neither needs to be perfectly square because you will trim both pieces down to 18.5” later.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | cut fabric

Sew Your Pillow

  • Start by sewing the 2 sets of 3 short rectangles into strips using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Once you have 2 strips of short rectangles, set aside the 2 large rectangles (for the pillow back) and the 2 long, narrow strips (for the sides of the pillow front) and arrange your remaining fabric strips in the order you will sew them together.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | positioning strips
  • Create a “quilt sandwich” for the front of the pillow. The 20” square of fabric will go on the bottom, the 20” square of batting will go in the middle, and your first 2 strips of rectangles will go on the top layer. Align your rectangle strips with the top of your quilt sandwich with the first strip facing right side up and the second strip on top of it, facing right side down. Both strips should be centered relative to the sides of the quilt sandwich.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | positioning strips
  • Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the rectangles together along the long edge, working through all layers.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | sewing strips
  • Finger press the rectangles flat. Place the next rectangle in your series face down over the last rectangle you sewed. Continue adding rectangles in this fashion.
  • One you have the main set of strips sewn, position the first of the long, narrow strips. It should be face down, perpendicular to the rest of your strips. Sew into position using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Position the second of the long, narrow strips face down on the opposite side of the pillow and sew into position.
  • Press or iron the front of the pillow with all the sewn strips using your EasyPress 2 with EasyPress Mat, or an iron with ironing board. Trim the front of the pillow to 18.5” square.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | quilted front of pillow
  • Press or iron an approximately 1/2″ strip down on the wrong side of the long edge of each of the larger rectangles for the pillow back with your EasyPress 2 with EasyPress Mat, or an iron with ironing board. Using  a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew down these strips to create a hem.
  • Create another sandwich. Place the pillow front right side up. Place the 2 hemmed rectangles over the pillow front, with right sides facing (wrong side up).
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow sandwich for final sewing
  • Sew a 1/4″ seam around the entire pillow case.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow with Baby Lock Jubilant
  • Pull the pillow case right side out and insert pillow form.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow back

Enjoy your pillow!

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow on couch

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Modern Quilted Pillow is also featured on AllFreeSewing.com. Sign up for their free newsletter to get free patterns sent to you daily!

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade (Part 1)

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter

I’m kicking off a series of posts about the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade, an awesome tool that makes combining sewing, quilting, and other fabric crafts with your Cricut very easy. If cutting fabric is one of your least favorite parts of sewing, if you have a tendency to make cutting errors, or if you’d like to try some sewing projects with unusual shapes and intricate cuts, then you’ll love the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.

One of my crafty New Year’s Resolutions is to sew more. I’ve mentioned a few times now that my Cricut Maker is one of my favorite crafty tools and that I’m particularly fond of its amazing ability to cut fabric without a stabilizer using the Rotary Blade and FabricGrip Cutting Mat. In today’s post, I’m going to share some more information about the Rotary Blade, along with a sneak peek of a sewing tutorial that I’ll be sharing on the blog soon. (Update: Here’s the link to the finished project!)

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | Patchwork Pillow Project supplies

About the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade

When Cricut first announced the release of the Cricut Maker, the feature that instantly drew me in was the ability to cut fabric without a stabilizer. As you may know, I’m not the biggest fan of ironing, and I’m also not the biggest fan of bending over for hours to cut out pieces of fabric. It’s not all that easy to cut pieces of fabric that aren’t square or rectangular, either, especially when you have to cut lots and lots of them, which is why when I was quilting a lot I always made projects using strips or squares.

Enter the Rotary Blade. It’s one of many tools that are part of the Cricut Maker Adaptive Tool System. The Rotary Blade fits into Clamp “B,” and it can cut up to three layers of fabric at a time without a stabilizer. Besides cutting out squares and rectangles faster than I can (and certainly with less strain on my back), it can also cut out all the unusual shapes for appliques and curved quilts quickly and accurately.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | rotary blades with text overlay

The Rotary Blade, along with a FabricGrip Cutting Mat, are included with your Cricut Maker so there’s no extra expense and you can get started with sewing projects right away! There are quite a few sewing patterns and projects that are available for free with a Cricut Access Standard subscription, and there are over a hundred that you can purchase.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | Design Space screenshot

You can also make your own sewing projects, like I did, using the features Cricut Design Space — adding shapes that you’d like to cut and then editing the shapes to fit specific measurements of your existing quilting or sewing patterns. Cricut even sells fabric now, like this Riley Blake Designs Ocean Solids Baby Size kit.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | flat lay of fabric, cutting mat, rotary blade, and washable marker

By the way, if you plan to do a lot of fabric cutting with your Maker, you may want to get a Washable Fabric Pen. It doesn’t come with the Maker so you’ll need to purchase it separately. Many of the patterns that are in Design Space include marking lines to help you with placement, and the Washable Fabric Pen (as the name suggests) washes the marks off, so it’s perfect for using with fabric.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | fabric coming off cutting mat

If you’ve been using a standard rotary cutter for your fabric, you know that over time, the blade will dull and need replacement. The same is true of the Cricut Rotary Blade, so there is a replacement kit for you to safely replace the blade. You’ll know when it’s time to replace your blade because you’ll start seeing uncut threads when the blade dulls.

Next week, I’ll be sharing the tutorial for a pillow pattern I designed with all the fabric cut using the Cricut MakerRotary Blade, and the FabricGrip Cutting Mat. Here’s a sneak peek! (Update: The Modern Quilt Pillow tutorial and cut files are now available here.)

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | cut fabric

Do you have any questions about the Cricut Maker or the Rotary Blade that I can answer in an upcoming post? Leave me a comment and let me know!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Gift Wrap Tutorials | Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas Week 12

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Gift Wrap Tutorials via Underground CrafterThis is the twelfth in a series of 12 weeks of roundups for the handmade holidays! I hope you’ve found some great project inspiration for the holidays in the past few weeks. In this last roundup, I’m sharing 38+ free tutorials and patterns for handmade gift tags and gift wraps. Whether you’re gifting handmade or store-bought gifts, trying to be eco-friendly or thrifty, or just looking for creative gift wrap, you’re sure to find some great ideas in this roundup.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. Photos are copyright the respective designer/publisher and are used with permission.

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Wrap Tutorials

Roundup by Underground Crafter

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Gift Wrap Tutorials via Underground CrafterYou’ve made (or bought) your gift, but before it gets to the recipient, you’ll need to wrap it (and perhaps to tag it). I’ve found 38+ great ideas — all free — including printables, yarn crafts, fabric crafts, and more!

13 Printables

These printables include gift tags with Christmas, winter holiday, and general themes; guessing game tags; care labels for your gifts made with yarn; and more!

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Gift Wrap Tutorials via Underground Crafter - collage of 13 free printablesTop row, from left to right:

Second row, from left to right:

Third row, from left to right:

Bottom row, from left to right:

7 Yarn Crafts

These projects include free crochet and knitting patterns, and yarn embellishments for gifts. Shown clockwise from top left corner.

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Gift Wrap Tutorials via Underground Crafter - collage of 7 free crochet and knitting patterns and yarn tutorials

5 Fabric Crafts

These tags, bags, and wraps include no-sew and sewing projects. Shown clockwise from top left corner.

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Gift Wrap Tutorials via Underground Crafter - collage of 5 sewing and no-sew fabric crafts

13 Paper Crafts and More

These projects include Cricut crafts, log slice crafts, paper crafts, upcycled projects, and more!

38+ Handmade Gift Tags and Gift Wrap Tutorials via Underground Crafter - collage of 13 free craft tutorialsLeft column, from top to bottom:

Second column, from top to bottom:

Third column, from top to bottom:

Right column, from top to bottom:

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground CrafterDo you love all things “ugly sweater?” I’m showing you how to make your very own ugly sweater holiday cards using fabric and iron-on scraps and your Cricut Maker!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.

As my regular readers know, I’ve been in love with my Cricut Maker since I received one back in May.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Cricut MakerIt has a ton of features, but my absolute favorites are its ability to cut fabric without a stabilizer using the Rotary Blade and FabricGrip Cutting Mat (both of which are included in the box)…

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker materials for first projectand the amazing score lines you can make with ease using the Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel (which you can learn more about in this post). The fabric cutting I love because it makes it fun to sew more since I don’t have to worry about “messing up” intricate cuts. And, the score lines I love because I can finally make cards that actually look good! Both of these features highlight the Adaptive Tool System that the Maker has, which tells you when to load different tools based on your materials and your project. My third most favoritest (is that a word?) feature is the lack of a Smart Dial. I just tell Design Space what I’m making, choose my materials from the drop down menu, and bam!, all the settings are optimized.

I used to be one of those people that always sent out holiday cards (and on time) but the past few Decembers have been really busy and I haven’t quite made it happen. This year, I wanted to do something different and I was inspired to put together a project that I could make quickly on my Cricut Maker to get me back into the swing of the holiday spirit: ugly sweater cards.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater card going into envelopeAs a crocheter and knitter, I’ve always found the act of creating an ugly sweater to be totally pointless – I mean the amount of work required and then to make it ugly? Explain! But mini ugly sweaters – where you can make several cards in one day – I am totally down for. I hope you enjoy this project and I can’t wait to see your version!

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker

Tutorial by Underground Crafter

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground CrafterI gathered up some pieces of “what was I doing when I bought this” fabric along with fabric, paper, and iron-on scraps to put together my very own ugly sweater cards. You can customize your version by adding more embellishments using fabric paints, beads, and other findings.

Tools

Materials

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Supplies for ugly sweater cards

Instructions

Score and Cut Your Cards and Envelopes

I searched the Ready-to-Make projects until I found a matching card and envelope set that I liked. Then, I customized the project by removing all of the card decorations so that I was just scoring and cutting blank cards and envelopes. I made several, using a mix of colors of cardstock for the cards and foil poster board and cardstock for envelopes. Be sure to change your materials in Design Space so that you will be using the correct blade and scoring wheel!

Remove your cards and envelopes from the cutting mats. Fold your cards and envelopes along the score lines. Use your adhesive to seal the envelopes (and set aside to dry, if necessary).

Cut Your Sweaters and Embellishments

I searched for sweater in the image menu in Design Space and choose one that is included with a Cricut Access Standard subscription.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Design Space screenshotOnce I had the sweater image on my canvas, I resized it so that it would fit on my folded card. I added a star shape and resized it to fit on the sweater. (You could also search for another image, like a Christmas tree, instead.) Then I duplicated the resized sweater and star. I edited these images in 4 different colors (one for cardstock, one for fabric, and one for each type of iron-on) so that Design Space would know which to put on a mat together and I could select the appropriate tools before cutting.

Choose the right material in Design Space for each mat and it will let you know which tool to use. Remember to use the Fabric Mat when cutting fabric! Also, even though you are using iron-on, it isn’t necessary to mirror your mats because the star shape is the same on front and back.

After your pieces are cut, remove them gently from the mats. Use your weeder to peel off the excess iron-on around your stars or to “poke out” the little cuts in your sweaters.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater cards before assembly with tools and materialsAssemble Your Ugly Sweaters

Preheat your EasyPress 2 to the temperature required for your materials and prepare your pressing surface. (If you’re new to the EasyPress 2, you can find out more about it in this blog post.)

Press the stars or other iron-on embellishments onto your sweaters.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | ugly sweaters ready for assemblyOnce your sweaters are embellished, use an appropriate adhesive to attach the sweaters to your cards.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater card ready for assemblyWait for the adhesive to dry if necessary, and then you’re cards are ready!

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater card against background

Write out your notes on the inside and you are ready to include your ugly sweater cards with a gift or send them off to a new home.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater cards with tools and envelopes

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.