Categories
MAKE TO SELL

Christmas in July

Running a business often means thinking months in advance, and with Christmas just six months away, July is the ideal time to begin the preparations.

The more you can do now, the more prepared you will be for Christmas shoppers! A great tip is to plan ahead so that by Christmas you will already have planned Easter and be moving onto products for next Summer!

What to Think About

Firstly, decide which products will be in your Christmas range. You can then begin your preparations!

Think about your existing range and how you could evolve that for Christmas. For example, could you do Christmas T-shirts or pyjamas, candles, stocking tags, signs, food or beauty gifts with a Christmas theme or scent?

Sourcing and ordering in stock is your first priority, followed by deciding on the packaging and presentation. Once you have decided on this you can order in any Cricut materials that you will need to make or enhance your packaging.

Cricut Christmas Vinyls

Labels, gift tags, stickers, envelopes or boxes are great ideas to make with your machine for personalised and unique packaging solutions.

Next, you should focus on your marketing campaign! Revisit your Social Media Platforms and Website. Schedule in your campaigns and decide if you are going to have themed newsletters for your existing customer base.

Remember to also check whether your terms and conditions/return or refund policies are up to date too.

Pricing Up

It’s super important to take time to calculate the costs of your materials and time vs the cost you will price the product as on your website.

A good idea is to bundle up items! Do you have any stock that you could bundle together with seasonal packing? Providing different options is a great way to sell further products.

You may want to consider offers and discounts throughout the season. Maybe think about ‘Gift One, Buy One’ as this encourages customers to buy a gift for a friend, whilst also treating themselves.

A 5% or 10% discount code may also encourage this, or offering a discount on future purchases could bring in new and returning customers.

The Fun Bit

Get making! It’s time to create your products, packaging labels, gift cards and whatever else you have considered to make the perfect product. The more you can prepare in the coming months the better!

Make sure you have spare mats and blades for your machines as they will be working hard for you!

When Should I Launch?

The answer is simple – now! There are many people who like to shop ahead, so as soon as your products are ready, pop them on sale, and offer them to your existing customers and launch your items on your Newsletter and Social Media Platforms.

You could even have an exclusive offer for your most loyal customers, or offer a prize on your Social Media Platforms to launch your Christmas Campaign.

What Part can my Cricut Machine Play in This?

You can use your Cricut machine to make your products and your packaging! From cutting material for Christmas stockings to making cards or coasters, adding infusible ink or vinyl to Christmas slogan clothing/Pyjamas, adding personalisation, and so much more!

Labels, stickers, envelopes, tags, are just a few of the items that can be made on your machine to enhance your packaging. All of these can be personalised to your business and add that special touch.

Remember, a sticker on the outside of the box or padded envelope will be seen by everyone who deals with that parcel. A great way to gain further exposure for your business!

The list is endless, but what you can guarantee is that whatever you make will be exclusive to your brand.

Virtual Cricut Cocktail Club Kit
Categories
MAKE TO SELL MAKER STORIES

Mother and daughter’s love of Cricut leads to successful business

We’ve learned that thanks to Cricut, sometimes, dreams really do come true. We were humbled to hear about this Mother-daughter combo, where a joint love of crafting led to a successful Cricut business and couldn’t wait to share their story with you.

Where it all began

Mother-daughter duo Sue (56) and Hannah (33), from Buckinghamshire, had been using their Cricut for personalised gifts for friends, work displays and supporting community groups. They saw the joy handcrafted and personalised gifts brought to people and turned their passion into a family business, setting up Strange Magic Crafts. The duo saw their most successful year yet during the pandemic with the quality of gifts produced with Cricut leading to positive reviews and repeat purchases.

Lifelong crafters Sue and Hannah have always been close. They set up Strange Magic Crafts, a successful craft business, together, in 2018. The business, specialising in customised gifts and drinkware, has enjoyed real growth over the last 12-18 months with products available through their Etsy shop as well as local, independent handcraft stores run by the Craft Coop.

Sue has been crafting for over 30 years, trying everything from decoupage to scrapbooking, but it was when she first bought a Cricut Explore™ in 2007 that she realised the potential and versatility the machine would bring to her crafting. She introduced Hannah and they have been fans ever since, now using Sue’s Cricut Joy™, Cricut Explore™ and Cricut Maker to create personalised gifts for friends, displays at work and t-shirts for local community groups. They saw first-hand the joy that creating a handcrafted, personalised item can bring people.

Building a business with Cricut

Hannah, a full-time teacher, suggested turning this joint passion for crafting into a business in 2018. Huge Disney fans, the inspiration for the business came from creating their own personalised t-shirts to take on trips to DisneyWorld.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in 2020, Hannah moved back in with her parents, and this gave an unexpected boost to the business. Sue and Hannah were able to spend more time working together on new designs, creating more products and focusing on developing their social media presence. Coupled with an increase in consumers buying local, buying independent and buying from businesses able to provide products that were current, they experienced their most successful year with a water bottle supporting the NHS, their top-seller.

Sue says: “It’s wonderful working with my daughter, and we’re lucky that we get on so well and are equally passionate about crafting with Cricut and building our business. We recognise each other’s strengths so take different roles within the business. There will always be times we have frustrations or creative differences but being family means we can overcome these more easily.”

For anyone looking to start their own business, Sue has the following advice: “It’s so important to learn by reading everything you can and just being patient – don’t expect it all to happen overnight! Try to find your niche and work within that by developing different ideas and designs to see what works. We’ve found that using Cricut products has given our business and products a quality that ensures good reviews and repeat purchases which is so important for us as a small business.”

Find Strange Magic Crafts Online

Strange Magic Crafts Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/StrangeMagicCrafts

Strange Magic Crafts Instagram:https://www.facebook.com/strangemagiccrafts/

Strange Magic Crafts Facebook: https://www.instagram.com/strangemagiccrafts/

Categories
MAKE TO SELL

Hobbycraft x Cricut Small Business Webinar

Hobbycraft is hosting a webinar to help crafters turn their passion into a business and we’re thrilled to be supporting them.

Click here to book your place.

On Thursday 6th May, Cricut UK & Ireland marketing manager, Kathy, will join Hobbycraft and a panel of experts to inspire crafters to make their creativity their income with the help of Cricut machines, tools and accessories and the Design Space app.

The webinar forms part of Hobbycraft’s ongoing ‘Custom Crafting Live’ event which aims to help customers learn everything they need to know about Cricut.

Crafters will also hear from Cricut ambassador Emma Jewell, Megan Birnie of Lemon and Bear, and Emma Simmonds of Nurture and Cheer.

The webinar starts at 12:30pm and will last for one hour. Each panellist will share their journey to small business ownership with the help of their Cricut machines. They’ll also divulge the top tips and tricks they’ve learned while running their business.

Hobbycraft content marketing manager, Aisha Cluitt, will also be on hand throughout the webinar to help show how Cricut and Hobbycraft can help you in your quest to starting your very own small business.

Up to 500 crafters with a keen eye for Cricut are able to secure a spot through the online booking page and tickets cost £1, with all proceeds donated to Hobbycraft’s charity partner Together For Short Lives.

Meet the Hosts

Throughout the Custom Crafting Live event, Hobbycraft has been offering a range of one-to-one workshops, craft-along’s, product offers and project ideas to inspire customers to embrace a new craft or perfect an existing one.

With searches for ‘Cricut’ on the Hobbycraft Ideas Hub increasing by 452% in January – March 2021 compared to the same time last year, the personalisation phenomenon is continuing to grow.

Some of the most in-demand Cricut trends for 2021 that Hobbycraft has observed are:

Upcycling

As we look ahead to a ‘summer of celebration’, many keen crafters are looking to transform their home and wardrobe for the new season. Cricut offers a creative approach to upgrading old clothes and home accessories and gives them a new lease of life, whether that be designing a personalised flower vase or an Infusible Ink T-shirt.

Home Organisation

The recent launch of the BBC show ‘Sort Your Life Out’ has inspired the nation to start reorganising and decluttering their homes. Through thoughtful storage personalisation, you can add a modern touch to your home décor whilst keeping the interior clean and tidy.

Hobbycraft’s Ideas Hub has several personalisation Cricut projects perfect for both beginners and advanced crafters, including How to Personalise a Trolley for your Kitchen with your Cricut Machine and How to Make Storage Jar Labels.

Sticking to the Brief

Stickers have become an increasingly popular form of personalisation. They can be customised to suit every person’s need, whether it’s a shopping list, urgent to-do list or simple reminders.

Personalised stickers are also a creative approach to designing a personalised notebook or planner, and are a great way to keep the kids excited for when they enter the new school term.

Sign up

You can sign up for the webinar at the Hobbycraft events page here: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/store-events

You can also read Megan’s story, all about Lemon and Bear, in our earlier blog post here: https://officialcricutblog.co.uk/when-you-cant-find-it-make-it-the-story-of-lemon-bear/

Categories
MAKE TO SELL

Selling things you’ve made using Cricut designs – Angel Policy

When starting a creative business, copyright is a really big deal! You need to ensure that you have permission to sell the designs you are using on the products you are making.  

Thankfully, at Cricut, we have your back! Our Angel Policy states that you can sell some of the things you make using designs from Cricut Design Space. But there are a few things to be aware of! Let us explain a little more.    

What is an Angel Policy? 

An Angel Policy is a way of explaining the permissible ways and how many things you are able to sell using another business’ images and designs. Most creative companies will have an Angel Policy as you’ll be making money from content or supplies they have provided you with. The content might be decorative papers, toppers, embellishments, or, as in our case, digital images or cut files.  

What is the Cricut Angel Policy? 

We believe we have one of the most generous Angel Policies in our industry. 

The Cricut Angel Policy allows you to sell things you have made using your Cricut machines, tools, accessories and software. But we do not allow mass production of craft items made with our products.  

That means you are able to sell up to 10,000 finished projects (i.e. cards, T shirts with iron on designs, finished cakes, etc.) per year using cuts made with Cricut products designs and images.   

Your finished projects cannot be made by more than one person, whether that be in an assembly line fashion, in a factory or made by a group of people (including family members). 

The exception to being able to sell your Cricut projects is where there is a third-party copyright. For example a licenced design or an image that has been made available to Cricut under licence. Our full Angel Policy has more information.  

What does the Cricut Angel Policy cover? 

Most images within the Cricut Design Space image library are covered by the Angel Policy. Here is the information you will want to note.

The content within Design Space has been marked so you can quickly see what is available for use on finished projects for sale.  If you look at the images below, you’ll notice one image with a green “a’ in the upper left corner, and one without.   

Both images are available for personal use. But, if you choose to sell your creations, only the image on the right (with the green “a”) may be used.  

The Angel Policy states that any trademarks, copyrights, and patents owned by third parties other than Cricut, made available to Cricut under license cannot be used and sold. 

Fonts within Cricut Design Space are also covered by the Angel Policy.  

Where you can sell your products 

Currently, there are no restrictions in the Cricut Angel Policy on where you can sell your finished products. You can sell on a third-party web site e.g. Folksy or Etsy or you can sell on your own website or via social media channels. You can even sell your items in a bricks-and-mortar store.  

Find out more

You will find the full Cricut Angel Policy by clicking on any of the Angel Policy links in this post.

Categories
MAKE TO SELL

Using Cricut to try new products

When you’re running a small business, it can be quite tricky to try out new products or variations without having to order large quantities from manufacturers. Illustrator and designer Jessica has found that Cricut is the perfect way around this!

Hi I’m Jess, the illustrator and designer behind Jessica Smith Illustration! I love to create fun, colourful and feel good products and illustrations that I hope will brighten up your day or your walls. I work a lot with gouache and last year had my own book published, Get Up and Gouache, which talks you through how to use gouache with lots of fun projects to try for yourself. I also work digitally using my iPad and procreate to create illustrations, book work and hand lettering pieces.

I first came across Cricut while looking on Pinterest at how to make my own stickers at home. I wanted to be able to produce new products in smaller quantities than I could get from outsourcing. While looking into how to be able to make them for myself I stumbled upon the Cricut Explore Air. The mint green coloured one immediately caught my attention and I knew it would be the perfect addition to my studio!

Since adding the Cricut machine to my office I’ve been able to try out so many new products and it allowed me to experiment so much more than I could before. The very first thing that I tried making when it arrived was stickers. Having never had stickers in my shop before I wanted to test the water and see how they sold so I ended up making a few floral ones and popping them up for sale. They went down so well and are now a constant feature on my Etsy shop! I’ve also made cut-out cards, bookmarks, labels, and decals to Iron-On to tote bags!

There are so many more things that I’m yet to try and I honestly wouldn’t be without my Cricut machine now. 

Make sure you visit Jessica’s Shop and connect with her on Instagram!

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MAKE TO SELL Uncategorized

WIN all you need to start your Small Business with Cricut

Starting a business can be equally daunting and exciting! But don’t worry, we’re here to help you kickstart the me-made business of your dreams!

We’ve put together a list of machines and tools that will set you and your Maker-business up for success. All that you need is to add your ideas, creativity, and dedication.

And the best part? When you sign up for our newsletter before midnight (BST) April 4th, you can win the entire bundle! (material colours are subject to availability.) See below for terms and conditions.

So what can you win?

Cricut Explore Air 2

The small business owner’s best friend! Not only can you cut vinyl, Iron-On, cardstock and a plethora of other materials, the Cricut Explore Air 2 also draws and writes for you! And with its print and cut function, you can even make stickers. Goodbye having to bulk order designs. And did anyone say personalised address labels?!

Cricut EasyPress 9×9 & EasyPress Mat

The Cricut EasyPress will make sure that any Iron-On designs will be of superb quality. Just what you need for raving customer reviews! Because it distributes the heat evenly (something your household iron struggles with), designs adhere much better which in turn means they’ll last through wash after wash after wash. While you can use your EasyPress without an EasyPress Mat, we always recommend using the Mat for even better and faster results.

Cricut Tools

What’s a maker without their tools? We’ll equip you with weeding, cutting and application tools to make bringing your creations to life even easier!

Cricut Permanent & Removable Vinyl

Whether you want to make wall decals, personalised hand-sanitiser or water bottles, Cricut Vinyl is easy to weed and comes in a rainbow of beautiful and on-trend colours. Did we mention that there’s also holographic, shimmer and patterns?!

Cricut Iron-On

From solid colours over holographic to glitter and patterns, transfer your designs onto fabric and make them pop!

CLICK HERE and enter your email now for your chance to win everything you need to start your small business!

Terms & Conditions Cricut Small Business Giveaway

Please read these promotion rules carefully. By entering a promotion you are deemed to accept and be bound by these terms and conditions.

  1. To enter a promotion you must be: (a) resident of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland; and (b) aged 18 years or over at the time of entry.
  2. Promotions are not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of the Promoter, its agencies or anybody connected with the promotions.
  3. No purchase necessary to enter.
  4. will run from 28th March 2021 – 23.59pm 4th April 2021 (the “Promotion Period’’)
  5. To participate in the promotion, an entrant should sign up for the Cricut (“The Promoter”) newsletter. Entries must be submitted each day no later than 23:59 pm
  6. The promotion will have one winner and the Prize is one Cricut Explore Air 2, one Easy Press 2 9×9”, one Easy Press Mat 12×12”, one Basic Tool Set, and 3 samplers of consumables (colours subject to availability).
  7. The winner will be randomly selected.
  8. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the winner’s announcement on social media and the prize will need to be dispatched to them via recorded mail within 14 working days.
  9. The winner should be contacted by the Promoter via their email address within two weeks of the Promoter notifying them that they have won a prize. Cricut will attempt to contact the winner three times. In the event that a winner fails to provide such details within this two-week period, the Promoter reserves the right to select an alternative winner from all remaining entries in that promotion, with the originally selected winner forfeiting their right to the prize.
  10. Winner details can be obtained by sending an email to cricutuk@cricut.com to be received no later than 18th April 2021.
  11. the promotion is as stated and no cash alternative is available. The Promoter reserves the right to award alternative prizes of equal or greater value, should the advertised prize become unavailable for any reason.
  12. The Promoter is not responsible or liable for any entries that fail to be submitted or are delayed for any reason. Proof of submitting an entry is not proof of receipt with the Promoter. The Promoter cannot be responsible in the event that it is unable to contact a winner, or a winner fails to receive their prize, as a result of having provided inaccurate or incorrect contact/address details.
  13. winner may be required to participate in future publicity.
  14. The Promoter reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions or suspend any promotion or extend the entry period or disqualify any participant at any time without giving advance notice, in the event that it cannot be guaranteed that a promotion can be carried out fairly or correctly for technical, legal or other reasons or if the Promoter suspects that any person has been manipulating entries or the prize draws or has acted unethically or in breach of these terms and conditions in any way.
  15. Entrants are deemed to have accepted the entry rules set out in all promotional materials and these terms and conditions when participating in a promotion running during the Promotion Period.
  16. If any of the provisions of these terms and conditions are held to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part that part shall be severed from the remainder of the provisions and the validity of the other provisions and the remainder of the provision in question shall not be affected.
  17. These terms and conditions shall be governed by English law and any dispute shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

The winner’s names will be held by Cricut UK for 30 days after the end of the promotion.   The data is held for this period of time to ensure compliance with the other terms and conditions of the promotion. Any winner can request for their data to be deleted before the end of this period by emailing cricutuk@cricut.com

Promoter: Cricut UK

Cricut, c/o 6 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5AH

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MAKE TO SELL Uncategorized

10 things you can make to sell with Cricut

Making to sell makes perfect sense when you have a Cricut machine at your fingertips!

Whether you’re a new business just getting started or an established business wanting to add to your product line, speed up workflow or add a personal touch for your customers, we’ve compiled a shortlist of things you could make to sell with Cricut machines.

Access all images and Angel Policy

If you are thinking about using a Cricut machine in your business, it’s worth considering Cricut Access. This subscription gives you unlimited use of over 100,000 images, projects, and fonts (otherwise purchased individually).

Another vital resource to review when selling your makes is the Cricut Angel Policy. This information includes details of how you are permitted to use Cricut products to generate funds (make money). The handy FAQ which follows the policy is a useful guide to the legal document.

Make to Sell with Cricut

The Make to Sell section of this blog contains lots of advice and examples for using Cricut in your business. Here we’ve rounded up 10 things you could make to sell with Cricut.

T-shirts

Use iron-on vinyl or Infusible Ink to personalise T-shirts! For the best, professional results, we advise using an EasyPress and EasyPress mat and referring to the Cricut Heat Guide for the ideal temperature setting and timings for your materials.

Make-up and cosmetic bags

Make-up bags are the perfect giftable item. Add your own designs with Iron-on or work with Insfusible Ink to craft a beautiful finish.

These also are a great way to hold DIY kits or workshop materials. Simply add your logo to the front for an extra special feel.  

Glassware

Personalised glassware is great for business in the party sector. They’re ideal for occasions such as hen parties, birthdays, weddings and ‘just because’!  

Stickers

Create stickers to sell using your Cricut machine’s Print and Cut feature (Explore and Maker only).

You can make your own sticker sheets or sticker flakes to sell and also create stickers for your packaging too. Your logo adorning the tissue paper wrap that contains your item is the perfect professional finishing touch.

Wedding invitations

Create bespoke wedding invites with touches like foil, perforation or debossing

Party décor

From cake toppers to bespoke décor, you can have every part of the party covered with your Cricut machine! 

Wooden signs

Personalised signs are really gaining in popularity. Whether it be for the first day of school or wedding décor, you can create stunning signage, using vinyl or stencils, that is totally personal to your customer. 

Jewellery

Cricut Maker cuts leather with ease so you can create a line of jewellery pieces.  Both Maker and Explore also cut faux leather. For an extra special finishing touch you can apply vinyl on top.

Water bottles

Whether selling the finished item or the decals, permanent vinyl is your friend here.

Cut a design and add it to a water bottle or hot drinks cup! It’s a brilliant way to add a touch of personalisation or to add your artwork to a new product. 

Keyrings

A popular gift that can be cherished, keyrings will always be in demand. There are so many Maker Tools that will work with keyring designs, from engraving and debossing to cutting balsa wood, you can really get creative with your designs! 

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MAKE TO SELL

Evolving a business using Cricut

Jess and Emily, both from the Forest of Dean, set up their business -Bespoke Bride – several years ago, offering tips and tricks on crafting items for your wedding. However, it was the purchase of the Cricut Maker that enabled them to adapt their business model and begin creating and selling custom products for weddings and hen parties 

As a result, they’ve brought in over £57,000 to their business and have continued to expand their online shop. We spoke to Jess and Emily about their business and how their Cricut is now an integral part of their offering.

Bespoke Bride

Jess and Emily are successful business owners and together make the dynamic duo behind Bespoke Bride, a one-stop shop for bridal and hen parties to source personalised designs and gifts which the pair make with their Cricut machine.  

However, like millions of small businesses, they were forced to adapt their business model when the pandemic hit. “We had to close for two months as no one was having any weddings,” Jess explains. The good news is that Bespoke Bride is back up and running, and sales remain strong despite the pandemic. “This month’s orders have been great,” she adds. “People are definitely trying to embrace the situation a bit more.” 

How Bespoke Bride came to be 

Bespoke Bride wasn’t always in the pipeline; Jess used to be a wedding photographer and Emily used to make eco-friendly wedding stationery. “We actually live near each other in the Forest of Dean and I got in touch with Jess to ask if she could take some photos of my stationery”, Emily explains.  

It was their shared passion for creativity that got them thinking about starting their own enterprise together. “Even though we had different careers we were both DIY crafters through and through,” Jess says.

“I knew that blogging was great for growing a business and that we would work really well together so I asked Emily if she wanted to work with me.” 

And so Bespoke Bride was born.

However, setting up their own business together brought plenty of challenges. “We literally had no idea what we were doing at first and it was definitely a steep learning curve,” Jess remembers. Nevertheless, the two of them managed to get the hang of things. It was perfect timing as Bespoke Bride began to take off meaning that Emily and Jess began running the business full time together. 

Taking the business mainstream with Cricut 

“During the first couple of years we were probably doing one DIY a week at a time”, Emily says. But it was after they were introduced to Cricut that things really started to take off. “When we got the Cricut Maker our minds were completely blown. We couldn’t believe how many things that it could cut, as well as the different fonts that we could use. I remember both of us just saying to each other, ‘the things that we could do with this’!” 

The Cricut Maker has been an essential part of their business for several years. They have even taught workshops in the past so that users can make the most of their machines too. “We get so many people asking us about Cricut and whether it is worth the investment,” Jess says. “I always say to them, ‘absolutely’!” 

Branching Out

Bespoke Bride has marked its 11th birthday, and Cricut has played a huge part in enabling Jess and Emily to successfully adapt their business model.  “Our main income five years ago or so came from advertising on the blog,” Emily explains. “However, we began to see across the wedding industry that people weren’t paying for wedding adverts anymore. We had to diversify”.   

They used their Cricut Maker to create custom cocktail glasses featuring Beyonce. Jess explains: “We uploaded a DIY tutorial on how to make them and uploaded them to the blog and it just completely blew up. We had so many comments from people wanting to buy them. It got us thinking that maybe launching a shop would be a good option for us to get some extra revenue”. 

The pair started using their Cricut Maker to cut stickers out of vinyl. They created different movie quotes and song lyrics for weddings and hen parties . They have gradually expanded their offering to include stationery, games, printables and clothing. The shop is now their main source of income, bringing in over £57,000 to their business.

“Without the Cricut Maker, none of this would have ever happened. We use it three or four times a week now to create new items for our online store,” Jess adds. “We’ve recently started doing custom eye masks and the Cricut EasyPress has been great for ironing on each design. Our customers absolutely love it!”  

Jess and Emily’s advice for growing your business using Cricut

For those looking to start their own business using Cricut, Jess and Emily have some tips. “Following your passion is so important,” Emily stresses. “Make sure that you’re making things you love and enjoy creating!”  

However, it is not just about the products. “Try to take a lot of photos of your creations from different angles,” Jess advises. “You want to really give the potential buyer a great look at how awesome your product is! Even if you’re just using your phone, always photograph your products in a good light. It can also help to get a good quality photo editing app to make your images light and airy.”  

“We also think it’s great to share behind the scenes of you using your Cricut machine on your socials,” Emily adds. “People are always intrigued as to how a product is made and seeing a Cricut machine in action is always fun!” 

Abstract Vinyl Glasses Design

Business investment

If you’re an event planner or organiser looking to level up your business, Jess and Emily see it as a worthy investment. “We truly believe that having a Cricut machine can improve your business in so many ways,” Emily stresses.

“When I got married the majority of decorations were made using Cricut. We made place settings, table plans, glass decorations with vinyl, placemats and stationery to name a few! We can only imagine the possibilities an event planner would have, especially with the range of materials it can cut. It’s literally an event planner or stylists’ dream.” 

“Having the Cricut machine has definitely driven us to grow financially,” Jess says. “But more than that it has allowed us to provide our followers with another element to Bespoke Bride where they can personalise their hen parties and weddings so much more!” 

Jess & Emily created a handy Media Kit Checklist on their blog to help businesses compile helpful content for press. Be sure to also follow them on Instagram and pay a visit to their website: www.bespoke-bride.com.

Abstract Cushion Cover Design

There are three Bespoke Bride Ready-to-Make projects in Design Space. With these designs you can recreate Jess and Emily’s look around your home:

Create an Abstract Cushion Cover: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5af1652dd97ec52825dca9c2

Make Abstract Vinyl Glasses (seen above): https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5ae03e8258fff7443af5fbe0

Abstract Mobile Phone case

Craft an Abstract Phone Case: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5ae042bf9ab659276f25f776

For more information about using your Cricut for business, visit our Make to Sell pages where you will find tips and advice as well as other creative businesses using Cricut.

Categories
MAKE TO SELL MAKER STORIES

Combining a business with your job

For many businesses, juggling other responsibilities, whether that be family commitments or other jobs, is a fine art.

We asked Mike Aspinall, the fabulous creator behind The Crafty Gentleman brand, how he manages to combine his business with his job.

Hello. I’m Mike

Crafter Mike Aspinall - The Crafty Gentleman - in his craft room.

I’m a crafter, blogger, and soon-to-be author! I run a craft business and DIY blog called The Crafty Gentleman, where I share hundreds of free projects you can make yourself at home. I’m also one of the ambassadors for Cricut here in the UK (which is a dream role!).

Alongside my craft business, I also have a part-time day job in digital marketing. I work from Monday to Thursday, which leaves Friday as my main crafting day. Unsurprisingly, it’s my favourite day of the week! It’s also usually the busiest day too. I invariably have a lot to catch up on, and cram into one day…

A (Fri)day in the life

It’s a cliche, but every day is different when it comes to running my craft business! Some days will be spent catching up on admin, like invoicing and taxes, emails, and project planning. Others will be spent creating and photographing new projects for the blog. That could be anything from sewing in my craft room, to woodworking in the garden. And other days are spent at TV studios, having interviews, or doing live recordings. I love how varied this career is – it keeps things fresh and doesn’t leave any room for boredom!

My advice for anyone wanting to combine a business with a job is that it’s all in the planning.

Plan to succeed

The one thing about my crafting Fridays that is constant, is that they actually begin the night before. I always take 10 minutes to write myself a list of what I want to achieve the next day. This helps me hit the ground running as soon as I get out of bed, and allows me to be as productive as possible.

Generally, I’ll set myself 1-2 ‘big’ goals for the day. For example, a project I want to make, or a series of blog posts I plan to write. I’ll then add in a few smaller, quicker items – like emails I need to send, or some admin tasks to get done. I’ll invariably set myself more to do than I actually have time for, but I’m learning to accept that that’s okay!

There’s only so many hours in the day, and it’s impossible to be 100% productive, 100% of the time.

I’m also a big advocate for batch working (grouping together similar tasks and working on them at the same time). So I’ll often have a ‘sewing day’ one week, then a ‘photography day’ the next. Then maybe a ‘writing and editing’ day after that, and so on. Although let’s keep things real: it’s not always this fun, there’s also the ‘admin and taxes’ days…

My book project

Not only am I combining my business with a job, I am also writing a book…

Recently, a lot of my time has been spent working on my very first craft book (exciting!). The book is due to be published in spring 2021 – you can read more about it here.

I’m currently in the thick of writing the book. I’ve designed all of the projects and made half of them. (I can’t wait to share them!)

I’m definitely starting to realise how much time and effort a book demands, especially as I’m designing, making, and photographing all of the projects myself! It’s a challenge juggling it alongside my other craft work, and my day job. But I’m really enjoying the process so far, and it feels like a natural progression from writing a craft blog for so many years.

Cricut x The Crafty Gentleman

I’m fortunate enough to have worked with lots of really cool brands over the years – but Cricut is, by far, the most significant.

My partnership with Cricut goes all the way back to 2017 when I first worked with the team on a few sponsored blog posts. Since then, I’ve represented Cricut on Hochanda TV, run Cricut demos at lots of events across the UK, designed projects for Design Space, and even spoken at the global Cricut conference in Utah (best week ever!).

The Cricut Maker is my must-have craft gadget. It’s no exaggeration to say that my Cricut machines are some of my most-used craft gadgets. I’d struggle to run my business without them. Especially my Maker, which I turn to again and again. It helps me create customised and professional makes for so many aspects of my business. This includes my online shop, where I sell a range of accessories for crafters, as well as props and tutorials for my blog. I’ve also used it for lots of ad-hoc projects, from organising my craft space right through to making a shop window display for a local business!

(I’ve also written a detailed guide to the various Cricut machines, which is now one of my most-read blog posts of all time!)

I’m endlessly thankful to the Cricut UK team for their generosity and support over the years. They really are a great bunch to work with! Going forward, I’m really excited to continue working with them on future product launches and events. (Hopefully, we can start doing physical events soon…) And, even after all these years, there’s still so much more I want to make with my Cricut machines – I’ve got so many more ideas that I can’t wait to share!

More information for uisng Cricut in a business

To see more examples of small businesses using Cricut, head to our Make to Sell pages or this blog post where we showcase a number of creative businesses using Cricut products including Mike’s Iron-On decals and ready-made gifts for crafters.

Categories
MAKE TO SELL

Tools for the job when starting a business

What do you need to start a Cricut Business? 

If you have ever thought of starting your own business using a Cricut machine (and even if you haven’t) you’ll find these tips useful to get you off on the right foot and give you some motivation to just go for it.

Starting a business can be daunting, so we’ve compiled a list of the things you’ll need to get going and make your first sale! Be it a sticker business, T-shirt personalisation, or a business centred around using vinyl, we’ve got you covered! 

Starting a sticker business? You will need: 

Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Maker. To create stickers, you’ll need to use the print and cut feature, and this is available on the Explore machines and the Maker. This feature isn’t available on Cricut Joy (but you can make labels using the pen and writable paper or vinyl).

Print and cut enables you to print out your designs using any standard printer and then use the Cricut machine to cut around them.  

It’s worth noting that the Maker can use this feature on any colour of sticker paper and will handle glossy finishes, unlike the Explore machines that can only use white sticker paper. 

  • Printable Sticker Paper 

You’ll need printable sticker paper that will run through your printer to print your stickers onto. There are lots of finishes available so find one that works best with your style!

  • Light Grip Blue Mats 

One light grip mat comes in the box with your machine, but we recommend having a couple of mats to hand as this will mean you can be preparing your next sheet while one cuts. These mats have a sticky layer that holds your sticker paper in place whilst it runs through the machine. 

  • Brayer tool 

The brayer tool is used to make sure the material is well stuck down onto your mat. You simply roll it over the material on the mat to stick it down and it can really help you get the best results with your cuts.

Starting a T-shirt making business? Your essentials are: 

Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker or Cricut Joy. All three Cricut machines can cut iron-on materials with ease!  

  • EasyPress 2 – available in two sizes: 9×9 or 10×12 

You’ll need an EasyPress to apply iron-on to your T-shirt blanks. We recommend the 9×9 or 10×12 sizes as these will cover your design so that you can press a T-shirt in under 40 seconds.  

  • EasyPress Heat Mat 

To accompany your EasyPress, you will need the EasyPress Heat Mat. This mat sits on a hard surface, protecting the surface from heat and makes sure you get an even press all over your design by dispersing heat back up into the project and helping to remove any moisture which may be in the material you are pressing. 

  • Basic Tool Set – Weeding Tool 

The basic tool set will be the implements you use over and over again, particularly the weeding tool. This piece of equipment helps you to pick away all of the little pieces of iron-on vinyl leaving your design behind.

  • Mats 

You’ll get mats included with your machine, but we always recommend having a few more to hand, this way you can line up iron on for your next cut!  

  • Iron-On Vinyl 

You will of course need Iron-on vinyl to complete your projects, this comes in a wide range of colours and finishes-such as glitter, holographic and foil so there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your product. 

Selling vinyl decals, or adding them onto products? You’ll need: 

Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker or Cricut Joy. All three Cricut machines can cut vinyl. So you might want to consider the size of your vinyl decals or how many you would like to be able to cut at once. Cricut Joy, although the smallest machine, can cut Smart Vinyl up to 20ft in length – but is limited to a width of 4.5 inches. Whereas the Maker and Explore Air 2 have a cutting area of up to 12×24 inches. 

  • Transfer Tape 

This really isn’t an option. Transfer Tape is a must when working with vinyl! We’ve all tried to go without and line up our individual letters or pieces of our design by eye, but it’s never a perfect application. Transfer Tape allows you to take your cut design directly from the backing sheet and onto your product keeping all of the pieces in the exact same position.  

There are two types of transfer tape: Standard Grip which is what you’ll use for most vinyl, and Strong Grip which is what needs to be used for textured vinyl, such as glitters and shimmer.  

Transfer Tape is also reusable, so you’ll get lots of uses from a piece before it loses its stick.  Simple replace it on its backing and keep it sage for next time you do a vinyl project.

  • Basic Tool Set – Weeding Tool and Scraper Tool 

The basic tool set will be at your beck and call, particularly the weeding tool, This tool helps you to pick away all of the little pieces of vinyl leaving your design behind. The scraper tool will help you apply vinyl and Transfer Tape smoothing out any air bubbles in the vinyl.  A larger scraper tool is also available for bigger designs.

  • Brayer Tool 

The brayer tool is used to make sure the material is well stuck down onto your mat, you simply roll it over the material on the mat to stick it down. It will also help remove any air bubbles from your vinyl and helps ensure a perfect cut every time. 

  • Vinyl 

There is a wide range of vinyl to choose from, in many different colours and styles. You’ll also need to choose between permanent and removable. Permanent vinyl is best for products that will be washed, used outside, or need to be hard-wearing as it is long-lasting.

Removable vinyl is great for all other projects, or where it needs to be removed later on, from a wall for example!

We hope that helps you consider some of the things you can make with your machine. You may also find this post helpful, which features a number of small businesses using Cricut machines, tools and accessories.