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Tips for Cutting Basswood on the Cricut Maker

Here are my tips to cut basswood on the Cricut Maker while making a lovely 3D Family Tree bursting with small magnolia flowers!

Cut Basswood

3D Basswood Tree decorated with names on hearts and 3D Magnolia Flowers.

Supplies Needed to Make the 3D Family Tree

Please note: Some affiliate links may be used in this post. I am affiliated only with products that I use. When you purchase products using my affiliate links, it does not cost you any more, but I will share some commission. Thanks!

One Basswood sheet 3/32″ x 8″ x 24″
Cricut Maker
Knife Blade holder and blade for Cricut Maker

Cricut Strong Grip Mat
Blue painters tape or masking tape
3D  Family Tree design by JenniferMaker.

Glue that dries quickly.
Heartfelt Creations 3D Rose Shaping mold 
Magnolia Flower Cutting File from the Free Resource Library
Cricut Printable Sticker Paper

Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks

 

Cricut recommends using basswood no thicker than 1/6″, but all I had was 3/32″ basswood. I used it to cut a lovely free 3D  Family Tree design by JenniferMaker.

Tips for Cutting Basswood on Cricut Maker

3D Basswood Tree

Preparation for Using the Knife Blade to Cut Basswood

First, If you have the Cricut Maker, order the Knife blade, and an extra blade. Basswood was hard for me to find locally. You may have to order some online. The other thing that would be good to order is the 2mm chipboard for the Maker. I noticed that this is an excellent quality chipboard. Not all chipboard is created equally. Some shreds easier than others, and cuts poorly. This chipboard is thick, firm, and a good cutting quality. It measures only 11″x11″ . Thicker media for cutting with the knife blade needs to be no wider than 11″.

After you receive your new knife blade, be sure to follow the instructions for its proper use. You need to calibrate the knife blade in the Cricut Maker machine. This process is easy  and quick. Then, move the white star wheels on the roller bar over to the right. I neglected to do this, and the wheels marked up the length of my wood. Do some small test cuts! See my post on how to make test cuts.

Cuts using the knife blade need to be no smaller than 3/4″, or about the width of a pencil. A few pieces of my 3D tree broke after removing them from the mat because they were on the thin side. Basswood is more sturdy than balsa wood, but it can split if you are not very careful handling it while removing it from the mat.

Use the heavy tack mat, and use painter’s tape or masking tape on the edges to keep the wood in place during cutting.

Cut Basswood with the Knife Blade

Heavy media takes many passes, and may take a very long time. Thick basswood required about 14-15 passes. The 3D tree took two hours to cut. There were two  large pieces to cut, and each piece took an hour. Stay near the machine during the cut, as the blade did get stuck about 4 times on each of the pieces. When the blade runs into tiny pieces of “dust”, cutting stops, allowing you to brush away the debris. You click on the C button to resume the cut at this point. No time is lost, and the machine does not miss any steps in the process. Since I was cutting media that was thicker than what was recommended, that may have been part of the reason for the blade getting stuck so much. But the cuts were still perfect!

You do have the option to add extra passes, one at a time, after the cutting is done, in case the wood is not cut all the way through. You simply press on the C button on the machine to have it cut again. Do not do this too many times, as the knife is capable of cutting all the way through the mat.

To remove the cut pieces from the mat, remove the tape first. Then roll the mat away from the wood. You don’t want to bend the wood, because it can crack and split.

Assemble the 3D Basswood Tree

You cut two pieces. One of them has a slit at the top, and the other has a slit at the bottom. Handling very carefully, slide the piece with the slit in the bottom as far as it will go over the other piece that has the slit at the top. The pieces will fit together very snugly if you are using Basswood with 3/32″ thickness. The cut pieces are fragile. The tree will stand on its own if the two pieces are aligned correctly.

Cleaning the Mat

Using a scraper tool on the mat after cutting wood is not a good idea. The bits of wood can get caught in the grooves of the cuts in the mat, ruining it. It is recommended that you wash the mat and use a brush with a circular motion to get the tiny wood pieces off of the mat. Then you can let the mat dry, or wipe it down with a soft cloth or paper towel. My mat cleaned up nicely. The knife blade did produce some pretty deep cuts on the mat, though.

Decorate Your Cut Basswood Tree

You may decorate your cut basswood tree according to your plan for its use. I decided to make my tree into a 3D Family tree, with names of family members printed on sticker paper, cut into heart shapes. To do this, you can print the names on Cricut Printable Sticker Paper, and use your electronic  cutter to cut around the printed names in the shape of hearts. Be careful not to cut through the backing sheet of the sticker paper. Performing a test cut on the sticker paper before proceeding is important.

Next,  adhere the heart stickers to the assembled tree. There are 72 small hearts onto which you may place stickers. Add  small  magnolia flowers on the tree branches. This is  a smaller version of the flower used on the lovely peony gift basket. Assembly of the small magnolia flowers is very similar to the peony flowers on the gift basket.

Instead of shaping the small flowers as a peonies with small beads in the centers, shape them as  more open Magnolia flowers. To do this, Instead of using the 3D Floral Basics  Shaping Mold from Heartfelt Creations, use their 3D Rose Shaping Mold. Use two petal layers and one leaf layer for each flower you wish to place on the tree. I used 32 flowers on my 3D tree, so I needed 72 petal layers. Use quick drying glue inside of one of the petals, and insert the other with petals alternating. Shape the leaf layer, add some glue to the center, and place the petal layers in the center of the leaf layer. Adhere the flowers to the tree branches so that they do not obscure any of the printing on the heart stickers,  using a dot of  hot glue on the back of each flower.

 

Cut Basswood

3D Basswood Tree decorated with names on hearts and 3D Magnolia Flowers.

 

You can use this lovely 3D Family Tree design as a nice table centerpiece, or decor for a special event. It can be a part of a 3D village, or it can be a special gift. For weddings you could have each guest sign a blank heart sticker, then you can place the stickers on the tree later. This idea would also work for baby showers or wedding showers. Another idea is to use this as a necklace organizer. Use colors and decorations to match the theme of your special event!

Get the FREE CUT FILES FOR THE Small Magnolia Flower 

You can get the SVG cut files for the Small Magnolia Flower as well as  some of my other FREE SVG projects from my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

Love,

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

Easy DIY Tool Organizer

You can make an Easy DIY Tool Organizer to keep your most used tools for cutter crafting handy on your desk next to your cutter. This is a great first project to try after you have set up your cutter  and  finished performing some test cuts.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer

You will find the cutting files for this project in the Free Resource Library. There is also a special file in the Free Resource Library with a list of Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools  which you likely have around your home already. This Easy DIY Tool Organizer will provide a place to keep these important tools so that they don’t get lost, and they remain handy while you cut and craft!

Supplies Needed to Make the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Two sheets of heavy 12″x12″ cardstock
Glue that dries quickly.
Cutting File from the Free Resource Library
Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools 

Assembly Instructions for the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

To make this Easy DIY Tool Organizer, use the heaviest cardstock that you have that your cutter can cut. Be sure to do a test cut to determine the best pressure and blade extension for the cardstock that you have chosen. Since the cardstock is heavy, it is important that you use a brayer or other similar implement to press the cardstock firmly on the cutting mat. Heavy pressures can cause the paper to move around the cutting mat during cutting if the cutting mat is not sticky enough.

 

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer2-cuttercrafter

Adhere cardstock firmly to the cutting mat.

Cutting the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Download the zipped cutting file from the Free Resource Library and Extract All. Open your cutting software and import the appropriate file. Most cutter software can use the SVG file, but there are other formats included for those who need them. Follow the instructions for using SVG files with your cutter. If you are using Cricut Design Space, see How to Use SVG Files in Cricut Design Space. If you are using Scan N Cut, open the FCM files. There are two files for Scan n Cut users. See also How to Use SVG Files with Scan N Cut. Open the MTC file to cut the design from Make The Cut. Or see this video tutorial on how to find and use SVG files with Make The Cut. Open the PVGC file to use with Pazzles InVue software. If you are using a Silhouette or Cameo machine, open the Studio2 file. If you are using Sure Cuts A Lot, open the SCAL4 file.

Once you have the file open in your software, send it to cut. There are two design sections, represented by two different line and fill colors. Select one portion of the design and cut. Remove the cut pieces for that cut. This piece may require a 24″ long mat. However, if you place your 12″x12″ paper strategically on your cutting mat, you may get it all to cut on the standard cutting mat.

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Cutting file part 1 pieces.

Now you are ready to cut the pieces for the second part of the Easy DIY Tool Organizer.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer4-cuttercrafter

Second part of the box.

Fold and Glue First Box

Fold on all of the score lines using mountain folds, folding towards the back of the pieces, for the first part of the Easy DIY Tool Organizer.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer5-cuttercrafter

Fold towards the back on all score lines on this piece.

Put glue on the outside of each of the glue tabs for the main box. Fold up the side pieces, and hold the tabs in place until the glue is dry to form a box.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer9-cuttercrafter

Glue the tabs to the end pieces of the box

Add glue to the outsides of the tabs on the dividers, and place inside of the box, about 3/4″ from the ends of the box, or wherever you wish to place them to fit your tools.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer10-cuttercrafter

Glue the dividers inside of the box.

Fold and Glue Second Box

Fold on all of the score lines using mountain folds, folding towards the back of the main box piece. The long narrow strip has folds that alternate between mountain and valley folds, as shown in this photo. From left to right the folds are as follows: valley, mountain, mountain, valley, valley, mountain. The partitions on the left side of this box are larger than those on the right.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer6-cuttercrafter

Fold tabs for Box 2 as shown.

Glue the tabs on the main box piece to the end pieces. Hold in position until the glue is dry, forming a box.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer7-cuttercrafter

Glue the second box together.

For the inside partition piece of this box, place glue on the two flat sections where they will line up against the front and back of the box. The small tabs need glue as well, where they attach to the main box. Make sure you have the narrower compartments on the right side. Place the right side into the box, lining up the tab with the front right corner of the box. Make sure the the sides of the compartments are straight. Then hold in position until the glue is dry.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer8-cuttercrafter

Partitions inside of the second box.

Assemble the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

You may use the two boxes separately, one on either side of your cutter. I like to use strong double stick tape to adhere the boxes securely to the cutter end caps.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer11-cuttercrafter

Use a box on either end of your cutter if you like.

But my current setup makes it easier to access my important cutting tools by having them both on one side of  my cutter. To make the two boxes into a single unit, glue the back of the smaller box to the front of the taller box. Be sure to line up the bottoms of both boxes against your desktop.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer12-cuttercrafter

Glue the two boxes together to make a single Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Now you can fill your Easy DIY Tool Organizer with the tools you use the most in your crafting. Be sure to see the special file in the Free Resource Library with a list of Five Must-Have Cutter Crafting Tools  which you likely have around your home already. This Easy DIY Tool Organizer will help you to organize those Must-Have cutter crafting tools.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer13-cuttercrafter

Place your most used tools in the Easy DIY Tool Organizer

Decorate Your Easy DIY Tool Organizer

I used one of the large peony flowers that I made for my Lovely Peony Basket. You can decorate yours with any number of beautiful ornaments from your supplies.

Easy-DIY-Tool-Organizer16-cuttercrafter

My Easy DIY Tool Organizer on my desk.

Completed Project

Here is my finished Easy DIY Tool Organizer. I would love to see yours! What are you going to put in it?

Julie, cuttercrafter.com

Would you like to see some more of my FREE SVG projects? Check them out in my FREE Resource Library.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

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>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below. If you already have your password, enter the resource library here. Forgot your password? I put the password at the bottom of nearly all of my emails. But if you can’t find one of my emails to you, you can either fill out the form above again or email me at hello@cuttercrafter.com Password Tip: I recommend you copy and paste the password in to avoid any accidental mistakes. If you ever forget your password, please email hello@cuttercrafter.com Not working? If you enter the password and the same page refreshes, without any contents, that means you put in the wrong password. Double-check your email, copy the password, and paste it in to the link above. Still not working? I promise the password works—I haven’t changed it since I opened the library.   Try the copy/paste method again and make sure the URL you are going to has https at the start of it (that’s a secure page and it makes a difference). If that still isn’t working, try a different web browser.
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