These cute little Christmas Tree Hanging Decorations are the result of a whole new area of crafting for us using a Cricut Mini machine we were sent to try.
The Cricut Mini connects to your computer and has a range of shapes and images that you can ask the machine to precision cut out of card. There are a limited amount free with the machine but further cartridges can be purchased to broaden the range.
It did feel a bit daunting taking it out of its box as I really didn’t have a clue about how to set it up and use it, or what it was capable of. But actually I was worrying about nothing as it comes with really clear step by step instructions to get it connected to your computer and it even guides you through your first craft using the card that comes with it.
Once it’s connected to your computer, finding your way around the menus is pretty straight forward. If you are used to using a computer you should be able to familiarise yourself with the tab menus really easily. My ten year old was able to find his way round the software without any guidance from me.
Once you’ve decided what shapes you want to cut out you simply click and drag them to your screen cutting mat. Here you can rearrange, rotate, flip and resize them as much as you like. Once you’ve got your design on screen you set the machine to cut at the correct speed and depth for your card choice. (It gives you guidance about what settings to use.) Then you pop your card onto your real cutting mat, feed it into the machine and tell it to start cutting. And hey presto its little blade zooms around cutting out all the shapes you’ve detailed.
We choose these simple Christmas tree shapes and then inlaid them with various other shapes to leave some cut outs.
We then backed the Christmas trees with colourful tissue paper that shows through the cut outs and attached some hanging thread.
We think they’re bold, bright and really pretty.
Despite my reservations I can see that the Cricut Mini could be a useful addition to family crafting sessions. Although we could have drawn and cut out these shapes by hand there is no way that we would have been able to achieve the neatness and uniformity that the Cricut Mini has managed, especially with those intricate and small cut outs. I can also see that it would be a great machine to use if you need lots of the same design cutting out. You can find out more about the Cricut Mini here.
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