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My Step by Step Cricut Technique & Tips

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have read so many stories of frustration on here that I was hesitant to buy a Cricut at all, but I found the small personal size on sale for 99.00 so I got it. I took notes from many fellow CC members and watched Linda McClure's DVD, as well as the Provo Craft Cricut Cake video on YouTube. Then I set out to conquer my Cricut! I had surprising success my first time out, and although I am by no means an expert I wanted to share exactly what I did since it worked for me, and hopefully it will help someone else.
First:
I replaced the blade that came with my Cricut with the blue, deep cut housing blade.
I moved the gray rubber rings on the bar to the side rather than cut them off, that way it is in its original condition.
I used my homemade gum-paste first, but also used Wilton fondant successfully. I did not roll the fondant to # 5 on my pasta roller, but instead rolled it to #3 or # 4. You can see both on my first Cricut cake, the black is gum-paste and the yellow is the fondant:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1845720&done=2

1. I kneaded 1 lb. Satin Ice with 1 1/2 teaspoons Tylose for 3 to 5 minutes. Homemade fondant will need 1/2 teaspoon more Tylose added. Double wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge until ready to use. A small amount of Crisco can be used to grease your palms if it is too sticky at first. It will keep for 4 to 6 months in the fridge. It can be used right away but works best after 24 hours. (I used mine immediately)

2. Use a pastry brush to spread a super thin amount of Crisco onto the Cricut cutting mat, barely any at all. If you can see white you used too much.

3. Pop the gum-paste in the microwave for 5 seconds to soften it, but be careful because it gets very hot very fast. All microwaves vary so it may need to go back in a 2 to 3 second intervals until it is soft enough to roll easily. Keep covered with plastic wrap if you stop for any reason to keep it from drying out or getting stiff. It can be reheated to soften again.

4. Form a sausage roll the same width of your pasta roller and roll it out width wise with your rolling pin so it will be about 5 inches or so in width, and thin enough to go through the pasta roller at the largest setting. # 1 on my KA pasta roller.

5. Starting a # 1 on the pasta roller, run the gum-paste through, then drop to # 2 and run it through again. Lower it each run through until you get to # 5 or even # 6. The thinner the better, it is supposed to only be about 1 to 1 1/2 millimeter thick. A DVD, CD or a paper clip are good examples to help visualize that thickness.

6. On the Cricut cutting mat place the gum-paste at the arrow end of the mat, within the white section. Keep it within the larger squares away from the edges of the mat.

7.Take your fondant smoother or a rolling pin and rub or roll lightly to remove any air bubbles and to help press the gum-paste to the mat. It should not slide around on the mat. If it does you may have too much Crisco. I let my gum-paste rest for 10 minutes before I cut the first few times, but it didn't seem to matter. (You can also freeze it for 30 minutes to make it firmer, but I did not try that tip myself.)

8. Using the directional arrows on the machine, move the cutting blade 1/2" in from the top and side of the gum-paste. For best results cut detailed designs at sizes 3" or larger. Simple shapes can be cut smaller, but intricate designs works best at a larger size.

9. Set the speed to #1, pressure #3, blade #5. (Pressure can be adjusted to # 4 and the blade to #6 if needed)

10. Cut! I used a thin palette knife to remove my designs from the cutting mat. I held it upside down over parchment paper and gently removed them, letting them drop to the parchment dry side down so they could easily be moved around. Dab the grease from the top side to remove as much as possible. I stored my designs on a tray, layered between parchment in the freezer and thawed for 30 minutes once I was ready to add them to my cake. They stayed pliable and easy to work with.

Notes: Clean the blade after a couple of cuts, the gum-paste tends to build up on the blade and the blade needs to be kept clean to cut sharp edges. Gum-paste scraps can be reused and stored in the fridge for several months.
The thin flexible cutting mats can be used in the Cricut as extra cutting mats.
post #2 of 24
Shearpamela, thank you so much for doing this I will try this method, I have heard of many people using satin ice to cut with the CC I just don't know what to do. when I cut small items or word phrases the gumpaste starts to tear.
I really want to make this work for me thumbs_up.gif
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
You are welcome! I was taking notes from videos and websites all over the internet to keep beside me while I worked with my Cricut. To have success with it will make it worthwhile - don't give up! Let me know how you do with it.

Here is a link of some videos that really helped me too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ypINioSgWI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhl50MMcyU0&feature=related

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpq_bXhD3c4&feature=related[/url]
post #4 of 24
I saw the personal CC's for $99.00 at the Michael's by me! I'd be interested in getting a small on for now. Thanks for the tips!
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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
The small one works just as well as the larger ones for the home baker, the only draw back is you are limited in size. For instance, I wanted to do a round medallion for the top of my cake but of course I can't cut anything that large with the Personal size Cricut. But great for letters and all the designs for the sides of the cakes!
I wanted to make sure I could get it to work before spending more money on the Cricut Expression or the Cricut Cake. I was even afraid to take the small one out of the box - it had the potential to be a 99.00 regret!
I even saw the red Cricut Cake at Michaels for 199.00, but thought the small one would work just fine for now. With Sure Cuts a Lot or Make the Cut software the possibilities aren't limited to the cartridges.
I can't wait to try cutting chocolate, cookie dough and even cheese with it. I read somewhere that you can use it to cut out edible cupcake wrappers.
I can definitely see a Cricut Cake in my future at some point icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 24
thank you very much for the instructions.....I also bought the personal at a very low price......and haven't use it yet.....now I'll give it a try.
post #7 of 24
I also see that Overstock has them for $99.00 right now.

shearpamela-The deep cut blade that you mentioned in your OP do you buy that seperate?
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post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is separate - I bought mine at Hobby Lobby because Michaels was out of stock when I bought the Cricut.
post #9 of 24
Thanks!
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post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
I also had my hubby work the sticky stuff off the cutting mat with crisco and elbow grease icon_smile.gif
Then I lost my mat and had to run to get a replacement quick and did not have time to mess with the removal of the sticky adhesive, so I turned the mat upside down and used the smooth side - it did not affect the operation at all, no drag going through the machine.
post #11 of 24
Thank you for the instructions, I purchase one through HSN, this will be so helpful.
post #12 of 24
The cricut cake is 1/2 off at Michael's now, just FYI...
post #13 of 24
Thank you for posting this, shearpamela! My DH just surprised me with the small one he saw for only $79 a couple of weeks ago. Maybe there will be a fw more bargain prices - aren't they introducing a new mini cricut cake?
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I hear they are coming out with it in November I think. It sounds like it may be the same size as the personal electronic cutter I have, but dedicated food safe. For now, I use mine for family only, and they don't eat the gum-paste or the fondant it decorates.
I wanted to try it out before jumping to the larger Cake Cricut size, but I will be wanting more options in size before long. I figure I can use the small one I have now for paper etc when I do splurge on the Cake Cricut icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by shearpamela

I also had my hubby work the sticky stuff off the cutting mat with crisco and elbow grease icon_smile.gif
Then I lost my mat and had to run to get a replacement quick and did not have time to mess with the removal of the sticky adhesive, so I turned the mat upside down and used the smooth side - it did not affect the operation at all, no drag going through the machine.



Thanks for the tips.... thumbs_up.gif
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