DIY Floral Dog Collar & Engraved Pet Tags Using New Cricut Maker Tools
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I have not been shy at all about the fact that I absolutely love my Cricut Maker. It’s mostly because it’s very versatile with lots of materials I can work with. But I also love my Maker because Cricut manufactures a lot of these materials so that they work perfectly with my machine. Using materials made to work with my machine saves me money. I have a tendency to be cheap (it’s genetic) so this warms a special place in my frugal little heart.
But probably the biggest reason I love my Maker is the innovation of Cricut. They are always adding something cool to their catalog and I’m super excited about the 4 new Cricut Maker Tools. Like, last year, I think it was when you could suddenly cut wood with it? Gah! I fell in love a little bit more with my machine on that day. And the thing is, Cricut just keeps making fun new stuff for their Maker line including 4 new Maker Tools. Want to see what they are?
The new Cricut Maker Tools are for Engraving, Debossing, Perforating & Wavy Cuts.
Back when the Maker came out 2 years ago-ish the company said they would be bringing new tools on board regularly. And they’ve really been keeping up with that promise big time with their 4 new Maker Tools. Basically back in the day when they invented the Cricut Maker they thought ahead and designed an “Adaptive Tool System”. But what exactly does that mean? It means that you can adapt a single housing to accommodate multiple tools.
And that’s what we have here with these new Maker Tools. There is an Engraving Tip, Debossing Tip, Perforating Blade and a Wavy Cutting Blade that all work with the same housing. Buy 1 housing with a tip and then just buy the other tips that you want and swap them out as necessary. And to keep things easyy the swappable tips tools are numbered for easy quick reference. #11 is for perforation, #21 is for debossing, #31 is for making wavy cuts, and #41 is for engraving.
First up, let’s check out #11, the Perforation Blade.
I’ve perforated quite a few projects for myself personally over the years. When you need help a flyer on the corkboard at the local library can source you some awesome new leads. When a pet goes missing you can put information out to the people out there who might find them. And when you add your contact information in a tear-away fashion at the bottom of that flyer, you’re far more likely to get that call.
But apparently the Maker Perforation Blade is good for more than just flyers… You can even perforate leather! Now I’m not sure why I’d want to do that but now that I know I can, I’m certainly going to try and dream up a way to use it! To read 39 other materials other than leather the Perforation blade will perforate, head over to the Cricut Perforation Blade FAQ. You can purchase the Perforation Blade with QuickSwap Housing here or just the Perforation Blade here.
#21, the Debossing Tip is pretty much the boss… (I just didn’t know it until recently).
So far this is the only new Maker Blade I haven’t played with. Since I haven’t been much of a paper crafter debossing isn’t really something that I have utilized in my projects before. In fact, I didn’t actually know what it meant until I googled it.
Debossing: stamp (a design) into the surface of an object so that it is indented.
A little more educated after my deep dive down the crafty rabbit hole that is the internet I decided to check out the Debossing Tip FAQ over at Cricut. Over there I read about the 40 different materials that you can use wit the new Debossing Tool some of which vary very much from paper, the wheels are spinning in my crafty brain. I’ve embossed leather before and heck if I can’t deboss it now, too! You can buy the Debossing Tip with Quickswap Housing here or just the Debossing Tip here.
Next up, #31 the Wavy Blade.
Truth be told this tool was the one I was just all “meh” about. But after I got my set of new Maker tools I was super surprised to realize that it was probably my favorite. In all honesty, at first, I just didn’t see the value of making wavy cuts. Until I started using it, that is. Suddenly things look just a little bit different, a little bit fancier without any more effort by me. So far I’ve only really utilized my Wavy Blade on felt but I have some big ideas to also use it on paper and HTV.
It will be a long, long time before I can think up ways to use it on all 72 of the materials it will work on, though. For more information (including that list of 72) visit the Cricut Wavy Blade FAQ right here. You can buy the Wavy Blade with Quickswap Housing here or just the Wavy Blade here.
Let’s check out #41, that bad boy Cricut Maker Engraving Tip:
Engraving is such a nice detail when you’re giving somebody a gift. It’s like engraving turns a gift into a keepsake because it can memorialize a special time, place or event. But sometimes having something engraved can be kind of pricy. And there are practical uses for having things engraved but we might not want to spend that kind of money on ourselves. In comes the Cricut Maker Engraving Tip that means we can suddenly engrave things at home and that is plain awesome.
I must admit out of the 4 tools this is the one I was absolutely looking forward to the most and it does NOT disappoint! It engraves easily and really fairly quickly and the results are stunning. You can currently engrave 21 materials including anodized aluminum… and be sure to keep on reading because this tool will be used on just that in just a second… You can read a lot of helpful information about this tool in the Cricut Engraving Tip FAQ Page over here. Buy the Engraving Tip + Quick Swap Housing or just the Engraving Tip here.
So there are our new tools… want to see how I used 2 of them?
Let’s use that new Engraving Tool to make DIY Pet Tags at Home
Pet tags are something I very often forget to put on my dog’s collars. For one thing every time I go to the pet store to have one made up I forget and come home with something else. I mean the cats definitely new crack sticks and the dogs simply must have like 15 chew toys apiece, right? :) Gah!
For real the only other time I had a pet with an informative pet tag on it was way back in the day when I hand stamped some. What does that tell you? Since I forget to buy being able to DIY my pet tags at home is a game-changer! Let’s see how to do it.
What supplies do you need to engrave collar tags at home?
- Cricut Maker Engraving Tip ( Tool + Quick Swap Housing OR Engraving Tip only )
- Cricut Maker
- Bone-Shaped Aluminum Tags
- Bone-Shaped SVG Template
- StrongGrip Machine Mat
- Masking Tape
When purchasing the Engraving Tool you have 2 options. You can buy the engraving tip with a quick swap housing OR you can purchase just the engraving tip by itself. If you already have a quick-swap housing you can save money buying just the tip this time around.
For this project, I am using bone-shaped aluminum tags that I purchased at Amazon. I’m really very happy with the quality and price of them, plus there are some really pretty colors here, too. Know that the darker blanks will look the best. The silver and light pink versions are pretty but once engraved the silver beneath isn’t nearly as noticeable as it is on the darker colors I used (the blue and green). I’ve created a bone-shaped SVG template that works for this specific listing I have linked to on Amazon. Just upload the SVG file to Cricut Design Space and you can easily make sure that your design will fit on the tag prior to engraving. Delete the bone-shaped template prior to sending your job to your Cricut.
How to set up your design to engrave it in Design Space.
Engraving is still pretty new to Cricut so I wasn’t able to find a font I loved in Design Space that would not only trace the letters but also fill them in with engraving. Instead, I used one of my own fonts called Monster Rumpus (system fonts in options when you go to look for a font to use). When using the “Spunky Two” variation in caps you’ll have the letter outlines and in lowercase the lined letters. But they don’t match up exactly when you use the text tool. And this might happen for whatever font you choose to work with. No worries, we can fix that.
Create each outlined letter individually and then place them on top of the hatched letters for a design that will engrave beautifully.
With all of the design selected, attach all of the letters together to have everything engrave in the right place.
How to engrave collar tags at home with the Cricut Engraving Tip.
Firmly press your tag onto a StrongGrip Machine Mat. When I say firmly, you don’t need to make your finger change colors as I did but it’s hard to do and take pictures at the same time :)
Take care with placement. Try to center your tag as best you can in 2 squares of your mat. Try to get that line in the middle, that the 2 boxes share right in the middle of the tag’s hole. You’ll see why care here helps in the next steps…
When engraving your dog tag visually take notice of where the tag is on your mat. Mimic that exact location as best you can in Cricut Design Space (edit the mat) before sending the job to your Maker.
To help better place your design, you can hit the “control” button on your keyboard and scroll UP on your mouse wheel to zoom in and better see what you’re doing.
Boom! Perfectly centered! But see all of that dust from the engraving? This stuff will make a mess of your mat and it will quickly become less sticky in the areas you attach your blanks. Before moving your mat take a piece of masking tape and place it on top of the tag, rubbing it down. Peel away to remove the dust and save your mat for yet another engraving :)
How to Attach your Tags to Your Pet’s Collar.
The tags I used and shared here don’t come with a way to attach them to your collars. Since I didn’t notice until I was ready to attach them I had to get creative.
A quick trip to the toolbox for galvanized wire (I used 18-gauge), a pair of wire snips and needlenose pliers will see you through. Simply wrap the wire around your needlenose pliers to form a loop. Snip the excess and then snip away at any pointy or sharp edges.
This is a DIY alternative to using jump rings. Jewelry jump rings typically are nowhere near as strong as you might need, especially if your pet is very active or just plain crazy :) In the end, I’m very pleased with my DIY “jump rings” because they weren’t all that hard to create and they won’t easily come undone.
Open your loop with the pliers (you might need a second pair to help twist it open if your wire is very sturdy) and then run it through the hole in the tag and then through the metal ring on your collar. If this is a tight squeeze, make 2 rings and attach one to the collar and the other to the tag. Then connect those 2 rings together to form a chain and get a little more length and wiggle room.
Want to pretty up that collar with some felt flowers?
Now I have to admit this part of this project is a weensy bit silly. But I love dressing up my best girl and she doesn’t seem to mind it one bit. Right now I’m going to show you how to make a bunch of gorgeous little felt flowers and then how to attach them to your pet’s collar.
If you are wondering why one might want to make such a fancy accessory for their pup I have a few reasons. Firstly you might have a special occasion that your pup is invited to. I’ve seen lots of videos on the internet to know that people love a good doggo ring bearer these days. The second reason is a little sad, but even more important than the first. There are so many pets out there that don’t have homes. Any leg up they can get to find their forever homes is a good thing, right? So if you know of a rescue group or a no-kill shelter, these adorable collars might be something that the dogs can wear to stand out in their photos or when at pet adoption events. My Carly is just gonna wear hers around the house because that’s who we are. You do you :)
You’ll need these supplies to make your collar flower fascinators:
- Wavy Blade (with QuickSwap Housing OR just the blade)
- Cricut Maker
- StrongGrip Machine Mat
- Cricut Felt
- Straight Pins
- Hot Glue
- Silicone Craft Mat (optional but might save your worktop)
- Cricut Design Space File Cut File
You don’t need a lot for this project, the bulk of what you will need is felt. I strongly suggest using the Cricut brand felt simply because it cuts like a dream. You can use other, less expensive felt sheets, but I promise you’re not going to get the nice clean cuts with as little effort. For this project, I used mostly felt from the Carousel sampler, but I did use the green from the Sky sampler.
Ready to make a whole mess of felt flowers?
Since a lot of the images in the Cricut Design Space for 3d flowers doesn’t have any directions on how to put those flowers together, I’ve made a step by step for the ones used here and in that Cricut DesignSpace link that I shared above. All of these flowers are available in the Cricut Design Space. Simply cut the entire file and then put your felt pieces together as pictured with hot glue.
These daisies are a staple in the Cricut Design Space image gallery. But we’ve made them something a little more special with those frilly edges. Aren’t they so fun and lovely and girly? And all it took was cutting it with the wavy blade instead of the regular blade. Awesome, right?
I actually created this odd little yellow flower when I was first playing around with the Wavy Blade and I loved it enough to use it in my final project :)
Pins placed through the flower once rolled will help keep it together without any stress or effort. Once rolled, apply hot glue liberally on the backside to hold it together. Try to keep the adhesive from running onto your pins, but if you think that it has, remove that pin before the glue sets completely.
Flowers made? Let’s put them together.
How to create the flower collar fascinator.
Cut a piece of felt that is 3x the width of your collar. Fold it over your collar in half and then carefully glue just the edge down, avoiding applying glue to the collar itself.
Begin applying the flowers where you please to the collar piece with hot glue.
Glue the flowers close together to create a look similar to a corsage…
As you work, bend the collar and the felt around your hand. When the hot glue has set, this will help it to stay together even when circling your pet’s neck.
Now, I know my Carly gal looks sad or bored or something in most of the photos I take of her. But I swear she’s hardly sad. Most of the time she’s concentrating :) In order to keep her where I need her for photos I bribe her obedience with copious amounts of treats! She’s a really good girl and we’ve been working very hard on “leave it” so she’s aware the treat is nearby. In fact, it’s usually on her paw or just beneath her nose! But to be rewarded with the treat she must look away from it like she doesn’t want it. She must “leave it” before she gets it. Here she is being rewarded with the treat that has been sitting on her paw for a few snaps. Isn’t she adorable?
And with that lip stuck on her teeth she might be adorable with a little dash of scruffy :)
Now that we’re all done with the crafting, which of the new Cricut Maker Tools are you the most excited to check out?