WEEKEND CRAFTING ADVENTURES

Creating A Seasonal HOME Sign Using Basswood

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

Creating a seasonal HOME sign where you can switch out the letters every time the season change is an exciting Cricut maker project. In this episode, I tried making one for my family wood mantle with the help of an incredible video tutorial from everydayjenny.com. I decided to cut basswood… and the experience was not what I expected. Tune in as I share some tips I learned cutting basswood and how I discovered how to put the heat transfer vinyl on wood.

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Creating A Seasonal HOME Sign Using Basswood

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign
Seasonal HOME Sign: The completed HOME sign project

 

I am super excited to share this crafting project with you. I have been waiting a long time to do this project. The project that I’m going to share with you is c with a Knife Blade on my Cricut Maker to create one of those seasonal home signs where you have the letters H and then images that you switch out for every season where the O would be, and then an M and an E.

Let me tell you a little bit about the inspiration behind this craft project. First of all, I have been intrigued about cutting wood with my Cricut Maker ever since I learned that the Cricut Maker could cut wood. I have been looking forward to trying that process of cutting out wood and creating something individualized with this machine, the basswood and the Knife Blade.

You need to tape down the basswood to a strong grip mat. There's no way around that. Share on X

The other inspiration behind this project is that, in our family room, we have a very large stone fireplace area with a dark wood mantle. The mantle is huge. It’s a big open space family room, and it’s hard to find things that don’t look tiny on that mantle that brings some energy into the room. Over the years that we’ve lived here, I keep trying to find different ways to utilize the mantle but also get things that could hold their own in that large space.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

I thought that this seasonal sign that I could make using the Cricut and the basswood would be a perfect thing to put on the mantle because it could stay there all year. All I’m going to do is switch every season where that O is for HOME to a different image that represents that season. For example, I would have the pumpkin up there where the O would be. In my search on the internet to find out how to make this seasonal home sign with my Cricut Maker, I actually came across on Pinterest a video tutorial specifically to make this seasonal home sign with the Knife Blade, so it could not be more perfect.

EverydayJenny.com’s Video Tutorial

This is a video and blog tutorial. I found this perfect video tutorial on Pinterest, and it is called the DIY Seasonal Home Sign with the Cricut Knife Blade. It is from EverydayJenny.com. The best part about this tutorial is that all the materials that pretty much I used and that you will need for this project are all listed right there in her blog post and in this video tutorial, and there is something that I had never tried before. It is a link to this project in your Cricut design space. I will talk a little more about that when I get to the experience of this project but is that a cool function that I get to use for the first time in this project?

Before I share my experience with this project, I want to mention that I bought a brand new Cricut Knife Blade for this project, and I also bought the Cricut brand Basswood. I did that because I had never cut wood before with the Cricut Maker, and I did not know what I was getting into. I figured the best way to start would be to use the actual materials and tools from Cricut to use in the Cricut Maker. They were not cheap but I was excited to make this sign and to cut the wood.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

I did take a lot of time waiting to get to the right time so that I could purchase the Knife Blade and the Cricut brand Basswood. I also figured that I probably would have a better outcome if I used those brand-name materials. I did purchase an already-made sign that ended up being about 29 inches long, pretty big, and 8 inches tall. I did that because I did want to save some time. It was already painted white behind, and I knew I was going to use stain, as Everyday Jenny shows in her blog post and tutorial.

I stained around the outside of that pre-made sign where I was going to place my letters and images to make sure that the stain was dark enough that it was going to look good in my family room, where we also have dark wood after gathering all of the materials that I needed for this project, which is a lot. It’s a complicated project, but again, I was super excited to make this sign and add it to our home decor.

It was fun collecting everything but there are some important tips that are mentioned in the blog and video tutorial that talks about things you need to do when you are going to be cutting basswood with your Cricut Maker. There is definitely an important tip of those little white ring stars that are on the metal rod of your Cricut that roll.

When you put your materials in and out on the mat, all those need to be moved all the way over to the right so that when your material and wood are going into your Cricut machine, it doesn’t get caught up on those rings.

 

 

You also need to tape down the basswood to a strong grip mat. There’s no way around that. To keep that wood in place, you have to make sure you are taping it down onto the mat. The last tip that she mentions in her informational tutorial is that you want to have Cricut do one extra pass with the Knife Blade over those images cutting them. These projects take a lot longer because when you cut the basswood with Cricut, once you press that go button, Cricut is automatically going to do fourteen passes before it tells you that it’s ready to come out and for you to remove the material.

We are talking a good 20 to 30 minutes for your material to be cut out on Cricut, and that’s a lot different than vinyl and a lot of other materials that I cut on Cricut. Keep that in mind. This project is definitely going to add some time. Those tips are extremely important and need to be followed because you don’t want to damage your machine, and you want to make sure that you get the best outcome.

Cutting Basswood

I’m going to start sharing with you my experience cutting the basswood. I followed all of the instructions and got everything ready to go. One of the coolest parts of this project was clicking that link to her Cricut design template. I have a laptop computer, and that is what I use when I’m using my Cricut Maker and design space. I do think you need to have a laptop computer for this link to work for the Cricut design space.

In her blog, she has a little link that says, “Click Here for Cricut design space template.” Sure enough, you click that, and on my laptop, a little popup window shows up that says, “Allow to open your Cricut design space.” I clicked it, and once you do that, your Cricut design space opens and right there pops up Jenny with her template for this seasonal home sign.

Can I tell you what a time saver that is for somebody that’s working full-time that wants to do this project on the weekend? All you have to do is go in and say, “Click edit and copy.” A new project in your Cricut design space opens with every single image she used for the HOME sign. All of the vinyl sayings and the sizing are already done. All you have to do is have the materials prepared in there, and then you can hit the make it button.

That was super cool. I’m excited to cut the wood. I get it all taped down to the mat and follow all the instructions. I go ahead and get my Cricut Maker going to cut the wood. The other important thing you need to do before you use your Knife Blade is to make sure you calibrate your Cricut Maker for the Knife Blade.

 

 

It pops up in that little lined options on the left side of the Cricut design space. If you go into that, they will be an area for calibration, and you do want to make sure you calibrate your machine for that Knife Blade before you start. I am watching my Cricut cut away at the basswood and start with letters instead of images. I thought, at first, I might try to do the word WELCOME because it is a longer word. I thought that with having a big mantle, I could still use that O for all of the different images I was going to make but it would give me a little bit of a larger outcome for my project. The first two letters that I cut were a W and an E, and it did take about 22 minutes for 14 cut passes of each letter.

 

 

I followed the tip to do one extra pass. The important thing about this is that you have to leave your Cricut mat with the basswood tape to it in your machine and press that go button again to get another cutting pass.

 

 

Don’t remove your mat with the wood out of it. Keep it right there on the Cricut and hit cut or go again. I did that. That only takes a couple of minutes, and I’m super excited. I untaped the wood, and I’m trying to, for lack of a better word, weed the wood. I’m thinking at this point that the letters are going to pop right out because everything I had read in the blog post and online said that if you do the one extra cut pass, your wood is pretty easy going to pop right out. That was not the case for me.

 

 

I could not believe it but when I flipped over my basswood on the back, I couldn’t even see any indentation that the Knife Blade had made it all the way through the wood. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I got out my Exacto Knife and started weeding my letters out of the basswood, following those cut lines that my Cricut Maker had started and trying to gently cut down. I then realized I had to use a lot more pressure, and I am now weeding out basswood.

Not what I thought this was going to be like so that took a lot of time. As I’m coming down on the E, all of a sudden, I hear a snap.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

My letter broke. Here I am, my first time making this using the basswood, and my letters don’t pop out like I thought they would.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

I’m using my Exacto knife following the cutlines to get my letters out and the basswood snaps. I trashed that letter, had to go on, use another piece of basswood, and get going again with the cutting process. I did that. I taped it down. This time, I did an E and another letter. I did 4 or 5 extra passes.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign
Seasonal HOME Sign: The second “E” cut with 4 extra cut passes

 

I figured if one pass was not going to get this woodcut the way that I thought it should be or the way that I thought it should be popping out, then let me try five passes. For sure, that’s going to make a huge difference in this project. That takes a lot of time because those first 14 passes take about 22 minutes. I did five extra passes and got the tape off. I flip over the basswood, and there are no cutlines all the way through the basswood.

 

 

Now I think that I’m doing something wrong. “I must be missing something. This cannot be right. This cannot be the experience of cutting wood on the Cricut machine. There’s no way.” It is not enjoyable. It takes a long time to cut, and then on top of that, it’s taking a long time to weed with my Exacto knife. I’m wondering. Maybe I missed a setting. “Is there a way that I could do more pressure?” I tape up the next wood while trying to figure this out.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

When you are about to start your project, usually, there’s a dropdown box for pressure. It’s either default, more, or less are your options. There is none of that option when you are using the Knife Blade and cutting basswood. It is one level of pressure. I go ahead and decide I am going to keep pressing that go button after the original fourteen passes of cutting while I’m weeding out the letters that I finished.

I’m going to keep pushing that go button until I had finished weeding out the other images that had come out of the Cricut Maker. I want to tell you that by the end of this, I was doing fourteen extra passes and still was not getting my Cricut Knife Blade to cut all the way through the basswood.

 

 

I can’t tell you how much basswood I broke and the frustration in weeding it. The basswood definitely would snap when I was using my Exacto knife on the skinny areas.

On the curves was a challenge. It was not the experience that I thought it would be. I was so disappointed. I wanted to love this project and say, “This is awesome. Cutting the basswood with the Cricut Maker is a must-do.” I can’t say that. I completed cutting out my letters and my images but I did not get to use the word WELCOME for two reasons.

One, because the letters that I did come out, by the time I tried to fit them on my sign, weren’t going to fit. That’s my bad. My mistake is that I should have been a little more careful with the sizing of the letters but I didn’t have enough letters that I weeded that didn’t break to make the word WELCOME. I had already purchased two sets of the Cricut basswood. You get 4 pieces of basswood that are 12 inches long by 6 inches.

I went through both of those sets, so it’s all eight pieces, and I still had to order more. To get the word HOME with the images for each month or season that I wanted to switch out on the sign, I couldn’t do it because it kept breaking. I was super careful, using an Exacto knife and taking my time around the corners. I don’t know why it did not work for me.

Not Giving Up

There were definitely a couple of times that I thought that I was not going to finish this project. I am going to give up. That is not my personality. I wanted this sign and got past the cutting of the wood part, which I thought was going to be fun. That was not fun at all. I wanted to get to the staining part, the painting, and the decorating with vinyl. I was looking forward to that, so I did not give up. What I ended up doing is I had an E and an H that split.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

I ended up taking some Gorilla wood glue and gluing where those letters split together because I wasn’t going to give up and cut any more wood. I used that wood glue, let it dry overnight, and decided that it was time to move on to the staining, painting, and decorating with vinyl, and this was going to make up for all of that ridiculous part of cutting basswood on the Cricut.

That’s what I did. Once I got HOME, which is what I ended up doing because those were the letters that I could get cut out. As I said, the H and the E both had to have wood glue on them. I did cut out a pumpkin, a round circle that was going to put some white heat transfer vinyl on for a snowflake, a heart for February, a four-leaf clover for March, a bunny for April, a watermelon slice for summertime, and a star for July.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

Those were the images that I did get cut out. I had all of those pieces. I had the H, M, and E. I got to staining, and that was fun.

 

 

I did use a bit of a darker stain than what she talks about in her tutorial. I stained all of the pieces, the different images, the letters, and the little edge of my sign.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

My sign was already painted white in the background, so I wanted to leave that. I made sure I did the edge with the stain and let those dry overnight. That wood glue did leave some discoloration.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

It did not stain up and looked the same as the other letters. I took some of the brown acrylic paint that I was using for the other images that I was going to paint. I touched up those little discolored areas, and you can’t even tell that it was discolored at all.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

At least, I was happy that I salvaged the H and E. I still used them even though they did split. After the stain was dry.

 

 

I got to paint and did the same colors that she showed in her tutorial. I thought they looked cute with some different colors on those different images. I did leave the H, M, and E with the dark stain, and then on top of those painted images, I put some heat transfer vinyl. I didn’t know you could put heat-transfer vinyl on wood. That was a cool part of this project. It’s something that I wasn’t expecting, and it worked well.

 

 

All of those got done very easily. I put a little white pom-pom on the back of the bunny to be the little tail for April. It was the fun part of the project.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

Crafting Keepers

Let me give you my crafting keepers for this project. If you are going to cut your basswood with your Cricut Maker or decide to take on that challenge, make sure you do extra passes. Leave your material taped onto your mat, and do not push that unload button. I would definitely push the go button at least five more times. If not, more than that, depending on what kind of result you have gotten throughout your project but do more than one extra cut pass for sure.

 

 

I think that will make a difference for you. The other crafting keeper is putting the heat transfer vinyl on wood. That is pretty cool. I am going to find some project where instead of using permanent vinyl, I’m going to use heat transfer vinyl. It worked great with my Cricut EasyPress and the heat transfer vinyl that I had hanging around in my craft corner.

That brings me to my satisCRAFTion rating for this project. I am sure you can guess no big surprise that this is going to get a two. I was disappointed in the wood-cutting process with my Cricut Maker. I will take full responsibility. It could be something that I did but I had a brand-new Knife Blade that I bought from Cricut. I took it out of the packaging and put it in my machine. I calibrated my machine and used the Cricut basswood.

Knowing that I did all of those things and that I was having to do fourteen extra passes of cutting and it still was not cutting through the basswood, that was so not enjoyable. It took way too much time, money, and frustration to be enjoyable. I craft because it is fun and enjoyable, and when that fun factor goes out the window, it doesn’t do it for me.

WCA 10 | Seasonal HOME Sign

 

With the staining, painting, and decorating, the outcome is beautiful. When you see the sign, it’s a great fun project but here’s what I would say. If you don’t have a Cricut Maker, so you don’t have the option of cutting wood or you want to save some time, money, and frustration, I would get the little plain wood letters and images at a craft store. You can still stain them, paint them, add heat transfer vinyl or permanent vinyl to those pieces and create a seasonal sign.

 

 

You don’t have to go through the frustration and pack your patience, which every time I put that wood in, I’m like, “Pack your patience,” because it wasn’t fun. Knowing that being my experience, Crafties, let me know if you have cut basswood and had a completely different experience than I did. Maybe I did something wrong but maybe this is the way it is. Email me. I would love to hear about your experiences with projects that you’ve done cutting with your Maker and the Knife Blade into the basswood. You can email me at Hello@WCAPodcast.com. Until our next crafting adventure, take care.

 

SatisCRAFTion Rating: 2

 

Important Links

 

Material list:

  • Crafting Keepers
  • Cricut Knife Blade: approximate price $30
  • Cricut Basswood: 4 pieces 6X12 approximate price $15 (I used 3 packages)

 

Materials I used that were different than what Every Day Jenny posted in her blog:

  • Gorilla Wood Glue
  • Apple Barrel Satin Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Gator Fine Sanding Sponge
  • Blank sign 29 X 8 
  • Minwax Wood Finish Red Mahogany 225
  • Velcro Dots
  • Rubber gloves (for stain)
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Painters Tape
  • Strong grip mat
  • Exacto knife

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