Monday, August 2, 2010

Cricut charms made with shrink plastic - Part 1

Before CHA, I made charms for each of my cartridges (and two for French Manor) out of shrink plastic and added them to the Cricut Circle charm bracelet.  I got a lot of compliments on my charms, and I promised to show how I made them on my blog.

Because the process was fairly involved, I'm going to split it up into a few posts.  I thought I'd give you a little break - my last few posts have been quite large!

For once I won't tease you and wait until Wednesday or later before I show you the final product.  Here's the bracelet with the green Cricut Circle charm and my additions:

I used the original Cricut, my Gypsy design tool, and all of my cartridges.  For the shapes that didn't have frames or circles, I used charms from Heritage.  In hindsight, I would have chosen different shapes for some of the charms.  I'll explain in a bit.

The following pictures show a few of the charms in design mode on the Gypsy.  When I draw and cut, I always use page 1 for drawing and page 2 for cutting.  That way I don't get too confused.  I want to draw before cutting, so that makes some sense.

Here's page 1:

The "Time4Fun" is from Cuttin' Up, and its frame is from Heritage.  The other shape is from French Manor.  As I mentioned above, I would have chosen other frames for some of the charms.  As you can see on the "Time4Fun" charm, the part for the hole is pretty small.  It shrinks considerably, and this hole gets very small and easily breaks off.  That has happened to a few charms already, and Steve drills a new little hole and files off the remnant of the original hole.  Yes, I could do it myself, but he likes to feel needed.  :)

In the above picture, the black parts will be drawn, and the gray will be ignored.  I used the Hide/Contour feature on the Gypsy, something I thought I'd never use.  I should have known I'd figure out a way to make it indispensable.  With only the Heritage charm selected, clicking the Hide/Contour button displays this screen:

Each part of the shape can be selected, and you can click the button to hide or show it (the button says "SHOW" in this screen).  The little hole is gray, which indicates it will be hidden.  Those shapes I wanted to cut and not draw, and I wanted to draw the zig-zag line and not cut it, so on page 2, I reversed what was hidden/shown:

So in this screen, the black will be cut, and the gray will be ignored.

I think that's probably good for today.  Check back tomorrow to see what I did to one of my favorite pens...  That will make more sense tomorrow, I promise.


  1. Wow! You kill me with what you can do! Great job, can't wait for the next installment! :)

  2. WOW!!!!I love love love it!! TFS, I have some shrinky stuff and haven't used it, after seeing this i really want to try it, I will let you know how it turns out!!!!