Natalie Shaw from Doodle Craft Blog is an incredible crafter and Cricut expert, and we are lucky enough to have interviewed her recently. In this interview, you’ll discover insightful insight, expert tips, and lots of inspiration to elevate your crafting projects. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or new to the art, Natalie’s interview is sure to be an inspiring and interesting read for all who love Cricut. There’s a reason she made our top Cricut bloggers list!
How did you get started with Cricut?
I connected as a craft blogger to Cricut at Pinner’s conference in 2017. I signed up with Cricut as a Brand Ambassador right after that in November. They sent me a Cricut Explore Air 2 to post about in March of 2018 and it’s been a wonderful relationship since.
I have used many different Cricut machines and they keep getting better.
How did you develop this passion?
I’ve always been a crafter. My mom had a box of fabric scraps and a full room of supplies for crafting. I began with hand sewing little toys and it branched out exponentially since then.
I love the versatility of the Cricut machine family. I have used my Cricut for school projects, home decor, Halloween costumes, handmade gifts and much more.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out with a Cricut machine?
Don’t let your Cricut sit in the box like a giant guilt paperweight. Open it up and start using it immediately. Start with the Cricut tutorial/walkthrough during set up or pick an image and cut it out of paper. They’ve designed these machines with the beginner in mind, so it’s easy to get set up and started…then the ideas start flowing. You’ve got this!
What are your favorite types of DIY projects?
I love budget-friendly, upcycled and personalized projects. I love iron-on vinyl and Infusible ink or Sublimation.
What tips do you have for making tumblers with a Cricut machine?
Start simple by just adding adhesive vinyl to a tumbler. That can build into adding glitter and resin to a tumbler, then adding adhesive vinyl and more resin. Or use Infusible Ink on a sublimation tumbler for the perfect seamless finish.
Do you have any advice for getting started with infusible ink?
Infusible Ink is magic! The first time I tried it I was in awe! It was absolutely seamless, which means no peeling edges ever! Infusible Ink is pre-printed designs that are made for sublimation, a process where the dull ink solids are heated into a gas and instantly adhered to the sublimation blank forever. It opens a whole new world of crafting, so I would definitely say, try it.
Oh, best advice!? The Infusible Ink does not work well to heat in multiple stages, there is inevitably some amount of shifting that takes place, making it misalign and ruin the print. So, my best advice is do not cut anything out of infusible ink that is larger than the heat press. I love my 12×10 heat press for that reason!
What are some easy homemade gift ideas you can make with a Cricut machine that you’d recommend?
I love the adaptive tools of the Cricut Maker family, especially the engraving tool. It’s perfect for engraving right into acrylic blanks and metal jewelry blanks, making these really high quality handmade gifts without the big price tags.
Handmade cards are another fun gift idea that is a breeze on the Cricut, especially now with the 2×2 Card mat, so you can do 4 cards at a time on the Maker. Give a stack of handmade cards to someone as the perfect thoughtful gift that will be used throughout the year.
What types of Cricut projects are easy for kids to get involved with?
I always start with cutting paper for beginners, it’s inexpensive and a great way to familiarize anyone with the machine. There are lots of drawing files that make great coloring pages for kids, and it’s fun for them to watch the Cricut draw the image right before their eyes.
What Cricut machine would you recommend for a teenager/child?
All of the Cricut machines are awesome and can be used by any age group, but some have their limitations. I think that the learning curve for a Cricut is pretty easy, so after cutting paper, vinyl and iron-on, it’s fun to expand and think outside the box. With that, I always recommend getting the Cricut Maker, if budget allows. It’s so fun to cut and draw, but the possibility of cutting leather, foam, engraving metal and acrylic, as well as scoring, cutting fabric and much more. I’ve never met anyone that got the Maker that wished they had bought a smaller machine…but I’ve met a lot of people that got a smaller machine and wished they had just sprung for the Maker.
I’m a big advocate of making the Cricut machine pay rent and I have lots of posts about starting a side hustle or small business from home, and making those tools pay for themselves.
What is your favorite Cricut machine?
I absolutely love my Cricut Maker 3, hands down, best investment return. I also love my 12×10 Cricut EasyPress. I think these 2 tools together are a match made in heaven. They don’t take up much space and give me so much creating power.
Where do you think most beginners struggle the most with their machine?
I think people allow overwhelm to fill their minds. I have friends who paid for their machine and got too overwhelmed by learning something new, that they’ve let it sit in its box for years, unopened. Tell yourself that this is something that will take study and some learning, and to be okay if it doesn’t work the first time. It’s a tool that needs practicing to get skilled at, and to be patient with the learning phase.
Cricut machines are definitely perfect for beginners and the software is pretty easy to navigate. I tell my readers that they should push all the buttons, find out what everything in the software does, and that they won’t break anything by trying all the settings. Thankfully there are lots of amazing resources and millions of people are loving their Cricut machines, so you should be too!
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.