What to Do With Your New Cutting Machine

If you have recently acquired a craft cutting machine, you may be excited to create masterpieces but unsure where to begin. Here are some great beginner crafts to break in your new device.

Mastering Vinyl Is Rewarding but Tricky

While you are probably excited to start cutting beautiful vinyl designs and sticking them on everything, you may want to hold off until you’ve tried the next few projects on this list. Cutting vinyl requires more skill with your cutting machine, so it’s probably best to start with paper. If you are too excited to wait, a few projects are suitable for beginners who are new to the machine. Keep in mind that your cutting machine probably came with software that has some designs you can use, and there are lots of free and low-cost pre-made projects on the internet.

Simple designs that only involve a single layer are a good starting point, such as simple script or line designs. Once you decide on a design to try, you will need to figure out what you want to put it on, whether that be fabric, wood, glass or another surface. Depending on your desired end product, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct type of vinyl before you start cutting. For example, if you are going to be making a custom t-shirt or tote bag, you will want to use Heat Transfer Vinyl that you will iron on after running it through your machine. Just be sure to educate yourself on how to weed and apply your vinyl so that your design will stay in place for a long time.

Layered Paper Art Is a Great Way to Get Comfortable

Once you’ve unpacked and set up your cutting machine, you’ll probably want to start by doing a few paper projects to get familiar with all the parts and processes. Paper is easier to cut and cheaper to replace if you mess up; therefore, it can be better for the beginner. While creating a layered paper design yourself may take some time and patience, you can find premade designs that are just as beautiful to try out.

By layering a paper design, you can get the hang of cutting multiple layers of paper separately, which is a skill you’ll be happy to master. These unique artworks can be used as stand-alone pieces that can be framed as part of a larger project or add exciting touches to journals or cards. Typically, you’ll want to invest in colorful cardstock sheets for paper projects, but it may be wise to save your fanciest paper until you feel confident using your machine.

Greeting Cards Are Fun to Create

There are many perks to creating your own greeting cards to give your loved ones, including saving money, avoiding having to choose the perfect card at a store and crafting unique designs your friends and family will love. You can create your own designs or use pre-made ones, sticking to just paper or branching out to adding foil or vinyl accents. Many cutting machines can also be used, with added pens, to write, making them perfect for crafting your cards. Once you get comfortable with simple designs, you can start branching out to pop-up cards or hidden images tucked into perforated pockets. Your loved ones will cherish your thoughtful cards, and you will appreciate having personalized paper gifts to share with them.

Investing in, or being gifted, a cutting machine opens up a whole new world of handmade crafts. The above projects are great starting points, but the options for exciting ways to use your device are limitless.