Joanna Anastasia

DIY

Your most common Cricut questions answered

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut for Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

Your most common Cricut questions answered

Ever since I bought my first Cricut machine last year I became pretty much obsessed with it. So much that I made most of my hand made gifts with it for Christmas last year, followed by updating my and my kids wardrobe in the winter months followed by a plan to open an Etsy shop with my hand made creations later this year!

Yes, I’m a Cricut obsessed blogger now, and a proud owner of two beautiful machines- Cricut Air 2 and Cricut Maker. And while there’s still so much I can learn, I have become acquaintance with them pretty fast- and today I want to answer all of your questions!

Let’s start with the most common one:

1.Is a Cricut Maker worth the price?

I bought my first Cricut machine- cricut Air 2- in early December last year as a gift from me to me – and I can honestly tell you that yes it is! Why? Because the possibilities of crafting (or making products for sale) with your Cricut Air 2 ( or Cricut Maker) are ENDLESS. The end result always looks professional. And crafts that used to take me hours, or where way beyond my skill level, now take me fraction the time and I can make all the things I used to buy at Etsy before!

2.What kind of DIY projects can I make?

If you get yourself a Cricut Air 2 you can make beautiful cards and paper goods: from banners, to fancy cake toppers to paper mobiles to cardboard projects to giant paper flowers. You can make all sorts of vinyl projects: like wall decorations, organizing etiquettes, wood signs and decorative pieces. You can put vinyl monograms on glasses and tumblers, or personalize water bottles. You can make iron on projects: t-shirts with quotes, personalized baby onesies, matching mommy and me t-shirts. You can also use it to cut out felt for hair bows or felt flowers for decor projects ( like wreaths, personalized banners or mobiles).

And if you get yourself a Cricut Maker than you can do ALL THAT plus: you can use your machine to cut patterns out of fabric for sewing ( from dolls, to kimonos, to dresses, here the possibilities are endless). You can use your Maker to cut through faux leather and make baby moccasins , leather earrings or hair bows. You can use it to cut through thin wood and make personalized puzzles, 3D sculptures, state wood signs, coasters etc. You can cut through thin metal and make jewelry! Thanks to an engraving tool, you can cut out your own jewelry pieces and monogram them! I will repeat myself, but again, the possibilities are endless!

3.Will it be easy for me to learn the software to make projects?

Yes. It’s very intuitive in my opinion. It took me one afternoon of trial and error and I was able to make my first projects with it. There’s tons of great step by step videos on the Cricut platform too, for anything from the basic vinil project to more complicated crafts, all with step by step explanation. And there’s a ton of youtube videos too!

And, you can have access to the Design Space ( Cricut software) from your laptop, ipad or your phone- so even if you’re on the go and want to make a last minute birthday card, you can access the software from the application on your phone and have a card ready in minutes!

4.What materials can I cut?

As I mentioned before, the list is really long! You can cut through:

  • paper
  • thick paper
  • cardboard
  • vinyl
  • iron-on vinyl
  • felt

And if you get a Cricut Maker you can cut through all that AND:

  • material
  • faux leather
  • thin wood
  • thin metal

5.Is it easy to use a Cricut?

Yes. It took me one video to understand the steps. Basically they all go down to:

  1. Choose a project you want to work on in Design Space ( Cricut software)
  2. Choose your material ( let’s say it’s vinyl)
  3. Put your vinyl on a loading mat
  4. Load the mat into your Cricut
  5. Choose a right cutting setting ( the software will guide you)
  6. Press ON ( machine will start cutting)
  7. Unload the mat ( press a button)
  8. Pull out the cut material from the mat
  9. Transfer it on the project / finish your project

Depending from the material used ( vinil, paper or wood) you’ll use different mat, different cutting tool and different cutting option. But the good news is that the software will guide you through all the steps and after one -two projects you’ll remember which material goes with which cutting tool.

I hope I have answered all your questions today! And if you’ll be looking for me you know where you can find me- by my Cricut in my crafting space, creating and making new things!

Disclosure- this post was written in collaboration with Cricut, however all of the opinions, enthusiasm and thoughts remain entirely my own and are based on my own experience.

Printable Christmas gift tags & wrapping paper set

Christmas is only a month away and in my books it means that it’s about time to start the preparations! I know there’s still time for the cooking and baking, but when you’re an usually busy adult then during the holiday season ( full of activities, obligations, parties and extra magic- and much more parenting effort then usually!) then you’re basically on the edge of a breakdown! Unless of course your start early, get your gifts ahead of time, wrap them and tag them right away and hide away before the real holiday rush starts!

So this year I decided to make my own printable Christmas gift tags- and some wrapping paper that goes with it, in an effort to :

  • always be ready to wrap a gift ( just press print and voila)
  • be more eco friendly ( I already have lots of paper at home, and I don’t need to buy any new wrapping paper or tags!)

I couldn’t be happier with this little printable set I created- it’s cheerful, joyful and perfect to mix an match! I made two shapes of tags for you, 9 different designs of tags, and 4 different wrapping paper sheets!

I printed everything on regular paper, and I just love how it turned out! My girls where helping me cut out the gift tags, we have put on some holiday music and with the snow outside it felt like christmas is only days away!

Clearly I’m obsessed with red, white and blue this season- also, everything hand lettered and cute! I hope you’ll like my little wrapping set as much as me and my girls we love it!


You can get the PDF file HERE – simply download it, print at home, cut out the tags and get wrapping with the wrapping paper sheets!

And make sure to share with me how you wrapped your gifts with my set – just tag me on your Instagram photos ( @joanna.anastasia_ ) I can’t wait to see how you’ll be using them!


DIY painted ceramic

One of my biggest life obsessions is collecting all sorts of ceramics – from colorful coffee mugs, to vintage tea cups, cute plates and statement bowls, I really love them all!

One day I’ll finally attend a ceramic class and then I’ll make my own ceramic collection, but for now you can find me in the studio customizing simple white pieces with a pop of colour!

And believe me when I say that painting simple white ceramic pieces is really the easiest DIY that will turn a dollar store cheap find in to one of a kind piece!

Here is what I had – a simple white pot from a second hand store, and two old cups. All white, boring and not very special.

And with the sun out and flowers out my window I feel like updating my life to match the summer weather- and I want to be adding colours everywhere! So it’s only natural that I decided to add some colours to these simple pieces.

And do here I mixed two super easy techniques- spray paint for the cups and painting with sharpies for the pot. Yes you can spray paint ceramic and glass, and yes you can use a sharpie- and it’s all really easy!

Here’s the simple step by step on how to spray paint ceramics:

  • Using washi tape cover everything that you don’t want to be covered in paint ( I would suggest covering the part that you will be drinking from- touching with your mouth, and where you will be pouring liquids in)
  • Prepare an empty cardboard box, and place your item inside- now spray paint it with one layer.
  • Let it dry
  • Remove the washi tape and enjoy
  • Wash by hand only


As for painting the ceramic I have actually published a blog post on the technique here! So with this pot I have simply painted my pattern and then followed as usual!

But I did spray paint the pot cover! I feel it really looks as if it was always yellow!

So next time you wander if you should buy new mugs or cups only because you’re tired of your white once, remember that you can always update them like I did!

Last minute DIY gifts

 3 Last minute DIY gift ideas that take less than 5 minutes to to make each

If you feel like you don’t have time for DIY gifts, but you would love to make something hand-made for a family member that has everything, then I actually have an answer for you: these three super simple last-minute DIY gift ideas that each take less than 5 minutes to make!

Every year I try to make at least one simple DIY gift because we all like to receive mindful gifts right? But since I’m a busy working from home mom, well you won’t see me embedding anytime soon! Instead, I have made a simple coffee mug cozy, an all natural pink grapefruit sugar scrub, and a festive holiday chocolate bark!

First off, the coffee ( or tea) mug cozy: all you need is a pair of scissors, and an old sweater !

Simply cut out the sleeve, pull it on the mug, roll on top and wrap with a pretty festive string.

If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can cut out a ‘pocket” for a tea bag!

My second easy last-minute DIY gift idea is chocolate bark!

I’m, sure you have some leftover chocolate chips in your pantry – why won’t you put them in the good use? I do however suggest you using the best quality chocolate, since this is main ingredient. Melt it in batches, pour on the parchment paper, and top with whatever you have on hands!

  • Here’s what I’ve used:milk chocolate chips
  • dark chocolate chips
  • white chocolate chips
  • dulce de leche chips
  • popkorn
  • sprinkles
  • crushed candy cane

last minute DIY gifts

After pouring the chocolate on the parchment paper I’ve let my kids to take care of the rest – aka sprinkle half of toppings on the chocolate bark and eat half.

last minute DIY gifts

last minute DIY gifts

last minute DIY gifts

Once it’s all set and hardened simply pack it in festive christmas cookie cans and offer as a thoughtful gift!

And the last of my ultimate easy DIY gifts, is sugar scrub. I’ve been making them for year now, and they make for a great gift to any lady in your life!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • an essential oil ( I used grapefruit oil)
  • couple of drops of beet juice for the pink colour

last minute DIY gifts

Mix it all together, and pack up in a metal tin or a mason jar.

last minute DIY gifts

And that’s it, your last minte DIY gifts are al done! Now you can sit down with a mug of hot chocolate and rest !

DIY calligraphy coffee mug

DIY calligraphy coffee mug

“All you need is love and a cup of coffee”

Are you a coffee lover like I am? Would you like to have a new coffee mug every month? I know I do! And with each season kicking in, I automatically feel the need for an adequate and new coffee mug. I’d love to have a different mug for a different state of mind, like the ” Hello gorgeous” and “Great things will happen” mugs for the days when I need encouragement, and the “Nope” for the days when I need to send out a clear message to the universe. Also, let’s not forget the monogrammed mugs, as they make for a great littlle gifts!

And with mothers day arunf the corner, I’m sure you started thinking about diy gift ideas, didn’t you?

So with a clear addiction to pretty mugs I needed to find a way to save my budget from this craziness. And here’s where the DIY sharpie coffee mug saves the day! They are really easy to make, and the possibilities are simply endless!

easy calligraphy style diy coffee mug

So I have made the “Hello”, “Bonjour” and a monogram “M” coffee mugs as gifts for my mom and my sweet friends, and a “#bosslady” and “sip” for me. Here’s how:

What you’ll need:

– white mug
– sharpie
– paper

For a more natural feel of your handwriting, try writing down your word on a paper a couple of times first. That way once you’ll start tracing on a mug, your hand will be more steady.

After writing down your word , try tracing it over to give it a more calligraphy-like feel. In real calligraphy the letters are a bit thicker on one side, so you can try imitating that.

Mug

 

Mug

Mug

Mug

image

So for my self, I wanted one mug with the bosslady hashtag on one side, and a set of closed eyelashes on the other side: seriously, closed eyelashes are the easiest to paint even if you have zero artistic skills! And my second mug got a “sip” on one side and ” coffee” on the other one.

Once you’re done, leave your mugs to dry for 24 hours. I know it seems like a long time, especially they feel dry almost right away, but that’ll make them more resistant after baking.

Bake them at 300F, for 30 minutes. After that time turn the oven off, but leave your mugs in the oven so they cool down gradually.

Don’t ever put them in the dishwasher, as that will wash down the sharpie. Wash them just like a delicate porcelain, by hand, and they’ll last that way!

Mug

diy calligraphy coffee mug

So, do you know what will you write on your mug?

Winter gallery wall

winter gallery wall

I strongly believe that Christmas decorating doesn’t have to be over the top expensive nor difficult! And I think that one of the easiest ways to add interest to any room, is by simply adding some new and fresh prints to the gallery wall and transforming it in to a winter gallery wall! And I really love it when not only the textures, pillows and accessories change with seasons, but also these visuals, prints and wall decorations. And so for me Christmas decorating means not only dressing up our small Christmas tree, but also updating my gallery wall.

Honestly, visuals in the room are almost as important for me as the furniture themselves, since they can add the vibe and the atmosphere to the space like nothing else really. They can transform a boring and uninteresting wall in to a stunning and inspiring one, and best part, is that it’s so much cheaper to change prints then furniture!

But of course, since I don’t poses unlimited decorating funds, I had to find a way to make these gallery wall changes affordable, and easy.

winter gallery wall

winter gallery wall

So I came up with some simple, and mostly free ways to change your gallery wall and make a winter gallery wall like I did! Including a free to download, calligraphy style printable, ” Baby it’s cold outside” ( do you know this Christmas classic song? It’s one of my favorites!). And there’s even one surprise print in french!

You can read my step by step guide and get the printables by visiting your Hello Holiday Christmas guide! Just click on the “free printable” on the page 10! It’ll take you directly to it!

And if you’re looking for more festive ideas, simple DIY projects and decor inspirations, I’m sure you’ll find them all you need in our guide! Happy festive preparations!

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