Personalized Pencil Wall Art Tutorial

May 23, 2016
pencil wall art
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Instead of getting an end-of-year gift for Gabe’s teacher, we generally make a craft type project during Teacher Appreciation Week. This year Teacher Appreciation Week coincided with our wedding week, and I couldn’t get around to it. Last year, I made Gabe’s preschool teacher a Monogrammed Wall Canvas. I had made several wood projects for my wedding, and that inspired me to try my hand at another wood project for Gabe’s kindergarten teacher. A friend of mine showed me some wall art from somewhere like, so I thought it might have been a good idea to give something like that a try. Jeremy had some sassafras planks laying around that had already been planed; I believe a tree fell on the farm, and he likes to salvage everything. I decided it would be fun to create a pencil shape, paint it, and add her name using permanent vinyl. I absolutely love how this Pencil Wall Art turned out, and I doubt this will be the last one that we make. If you don’t count drying time, this project took about 30 minutes of actual working time to complete and a few dollars in craft supplies.

pencil wall art

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Top 10 Reasons to get a Cricut Explore

November 26, 2014

I don’t consider myself to be “crafty”. I was surprised when Cricut approached me about working on the Design Space campaign; I thought to myself, “I can’t make all those pretty things that craft bloggers make.” I quickly discovered that with the Cricut Explore I can be crafty. I have only had my machine for a few short months and now it is hard to imagine crafting without it. I thought I would share my top 10 reasons to get a Cricut Explore, and a little Black Friday surprise!

Cricut Explore

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O Holy Night Christmas Craft

November 19, 2014
Christmas craft

I have seen lots of pallet art projects and I was inspired to make something for my home. I loved the idea of making a christmas craft with pallets, but currently we are using all of our pallets as a walkway. We moved into the new house in September, and we don’t have grass. We are still unpacking boxes, and I haven’t been able to find my nativity scene figurines. I thought I would make a nativity themed piece of wall art from some leftover sassafras boards instead of pallets, along with some paint, a few battery operated tea lights, and my Cricut Explore.


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Fashion & Aztec-nology with Cricut Explore and Design Space

August 21, 2014
Cricut Explore

I was giddy when FedEx dropped off my new Cricut Explore nearly 10 days ago. I am not a craft blogger but I love doing crafty projects. I have never owned a machine like Cricut, so I was excited to explore all of the features. The Cricut Explore is different than previous models, it doesn’t require cartridges (but you can use cartridges if you have them). You can buy projects or create projects using their software called Design Space.

I will openly admit, I get a little jealous when I see my girlfriends and their daughters dressed in “mommy & me” matching outfits. I have a son and there are very few unisex prints or designs that you can use. I decided it would be fun to coordinate our clothing on occasion before he was too old to refuse (he is 4.5, so my time is ticking away). My current fashion obsession is aztec and ikat print items. I thought it would be fun to create slightly matching shirts for Gabe and I using a general neutral pattern.
Not a flattering photo of me, but he sure does look cute!

Here is what you need:

  • Cricut cutting mat
  • good quality, pre-washed cotton shirt (or a thrift shop find denim jacket would be gorgeous too!)
  • Cricut iron-on vinyl
  • aztec print design image file
  • Cricut Explore
  • Cricut Design Space software
  • iron
I browsed around the internet looking for aztec print inspiration. Many of the prints I found were too busy for me (and I thought they were too intricate for a first project). Luckily I am handy in photoshop so I created a design and replicated it (I had a second project in mind).
I uploaded the design into Cricut Design Space. A program on the software will help you convert basic jpg files to vector files.
Once you have the image uploaded, you need to clean it up. You need to make sure that you click on all the white areas which will become void space in the design.
cricut aztec
If you look at the image below, you can see that I have most of the image cleaned.

Once the image is completely cleaned you can resize it.

You need to place the iron-on vinyl shiny side down on your cutting mat and load it into the machine.

Make sure you click “mirror image” on the final page before you cut the image.

When the Cricut is finished cutting your design, unload the machine.

You need to weed out all the excess vinyl carefully, you don’t want to ruin an entire design because you pulled too fast or too hard.

Preheat your iron and then iron the shirt. You can measure your shirt (or other material) and center your design.

Iron-on your transfer according to manufacturers directions, and then peel off the clear backing.

I made a smaller one and added it to Gabe’s shirt sleeve.

cricut and aztec

If you notice the leather bracelet in the above photo on the right, I made that using the same pattern and my Cricut Explore. I just cut the design into a leather bracelet that I picked up from a local craft store, and then slightly stained the leather to accentuate the cuts. The possibilities are endless with the Cricut Explore.

It was a relatively quick and fun way to create a stylish pair of shirts for Gabe and I. I spent less than $20 in materials for both shirts and my bracelet.
If you are considering purchasing a Cricut Explore I highly recommend it. I have so many projects dreamed up that Cricut could help make a reality. Here is a sneak preview of my next project.

You can search for more projects like this using the hashtag #DesignSpaceStar.
Interested in ordering a Cricut? You can use the code FREESHIP35 to get free shipping off any Cricut order over $35.
Check out other great posts from my Team 10 teammates in the Cricut Design Space Star challenge.
What are you creating today?