Learn how to cut basswood with cricut knife blade and create this colorful welcome sign using the new patterned iron on! This tutorial will walk you through the entire process and give you helpful tips to make sure your project is a success!
Show of hands – how many of you have had a chance to play with the new knife blade yet? (If you haven’t and want the full scoop on this awesome new tool, check out my post from last week that talks about everything you need to know about the knife blade!) I am in love with this blade and all of the possibilities it provides, so make sure you grab it as soon as you can – and while you are at the craft store, grab the materials needed to make this cute welcome sign as well!
How to Cut Basswood with Cricut Knife Blade
Here’s what you need to follow along with this project:
- basswood (I used 3/32″, which we will discuss in a second)
- patterned iron on (I used Cricut’s In Bloom)
- Cricut knife blade
- Cricut EasyPress (optional, but makes life much easier)
- StrongGrip mat
- masking tape
Okay, let’s take a quick second to discuss the thickness of the basswood before we go any further. The Cricut knife blade has been qualified for use on 1/32″ and 1/16″ basswood. This means it has undergone rigorous quality testing and was determined that the knife blade can cut these thicknesses of basswood. However, all I had on hand was 3/32″, so I thought to myself, “Self, let’s give this a try anyway.” (What you see below is the results I was able to achieve using this thickness, however Cricut makes no guarantees about this being successful, so you might want to try cutting two 1/16″ pieces and using wood glue to layer if you are uncertain.)
To start, create your text in Design Space. I used the Cricut font Chloe, and enlarged it to 10.5″ wide, which is the maximum width you can cut with the knife blade (more on that in my knife blade info post here). Next, prepare your machine by moving the star wheels to the right, and if you haven’t already, calibrating your knife blade to your Maker.
Mat Tip to Cut Basswood with Cricut Knife Blade
Here’s a tip for using basswood, and other thick, inflexible items with the knife blade. Whenever possible, use the least amount of vertical space on your mat as possible. So if you have a piece of basswood that is 18″ x 4″, cut it down to 11″ and place it horizontally across the mat, rather then vertically. Then, use a brayer and making tape to secure the basswood to a StrongGrip mat.
When you hit make it, and type in basswood, you will notice the only options are the qualified thicknesses. There is no ability to set custom settings with the knife blade, so if you are using 3/32″ basswood like me, you can try 3/32″ balsawood. Balsa is much softer than bass, so you will need additional passes (at the end of every cut, DS will ask if you are happy with your cut or if you would like to do one more pass. For this thickness, I used 3/32″ balsawood with 11 additional passes, for a total of 18 passes.)
As you can see in the image above, the longer mat has quite a bit of overhang, which drapes down in the front. This is why I mentioned using the least amount of vertical space as possible. If you have a 12″ mat, use that when possible (I should have but was out of them!) and if you need to use more vertical space, try to set something up to support that mat. Otherwise the material won’t bend with the mat and start to come apart.
Another Tip When You Cut Basswood with Cricut Knife Blade…
As you are cutting, you may notice small pieces come apart from the design. Pause the cut when possible and remove them so they don’t cause an error in your cut. Also, to check the cut, simply pull up a piece of tape and check underneath. It will become obvious when the cut is all the way through. Don’t remove the mat until you are certain you are finished!
When I was taking my design off the mat, I cracked a piece of the first e. I simply used a bit of adhesive (wood glue or even e600 will work) to adhere it back in place. To avoid this though, make sure you are pulling your negative space pieces (the excess basswood around your design) away from your text, as opposed to pulling the text away from the excess. That way if something cracks, it is much more likely to be the garbage pieces.
Cut the design once again, but this time, cut it from the patterned iron on. When complete, line it up over your wooden design, and heat your EasyPress. (Again, patterned iron on isn’t qualified for use on wood, so I used the iron on lite settings, and did short passes, checking each time to see if it was fully adhered. I did 300 degrees for 20 second intervals, and I think it took 3 passes, but I didn’t want to melt the iron on.)
Now you know how to cut basswood with Cricut Knife Blade!
Isn’t it beautiful when it’s all completed? You could even paint or stain the edges to give it even more dimension (I would do this before applying the iron on, if you choose to.)
I placed my finished design inside a wreath that I grabbed at Ikea last Christmas. If you plan to place it outside, don’t forget to seal it!
Have I mentioned how much I love my knife blade? Yeh, I might be a little excited! Leave me a comment if you have made a project with it yet, or tag me on instagram – I’m @simplycraftedlife. I can’t wait to see!