Cricut: DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore

September 30, 2014

 

 

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then CutProject-Ranking-Format

 

Ever had a craft hangover?

It’s just like a regular hangover, except this one is the result of late, late…late nights of crafting. Oh, and there’s also less of a chance that you end up driving the porcelain schoolbus, but then again, I don’t know how you roll when you get crafty.

I am currently suffering a serious craft hangover. Majorly.

Last week, Cricut unveiled the Print Then Cut feature for the Cricut Explore machine. Now, listen here – if ever there was a skeptic, it was me. I’ve heard lots of stories about how frustrated people get when calibrating certain “other” electronic cutting machines to print and cut. I am also well aware of what happens when new software is released. Things need tweaking. People lose their shizz. Nobody’s happy.

So Saturday morning, I woke up and braced myself of hours of frustation and for the very real possibility that my Cricut might end up taking a swim in Biscayne Bay.

Twenty minutes later – no frustration, machine was calibrated and I’d already printed and cut my first design. Color me impressed. I don’t know what sort of genius computer people they have at Cricut but someone needs to give them all unlimited donuts and free hugs for life.

This was the beginning of my hangover. I spent the entire weekend designing images that I could print and cut. Which is what brings us to today’s project – the cutest little animal blocks you ever did lay eyes on. With this baby swimming around in my tummy, I couldn’t help but design some kid-friendly graphics and this simple DIY is a great way to put them to use. Here’s how it’s done:

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

To make these blocks, the Cricut Explore is going to do a ton of the work for you. It’ll prompt you through the entire printing and cutting process. I don’t know about you, but this option opens up a ton of options for me. I’ve never been one who wants to sit around cutting with scissors all day long. No thank you, ma’am.

Here’s the supply roundup:

{1} A brushable glue. I used Martha Stewart Decoupage but then switched over Aleene’s Brush On Tacky Glue. The Tacky Glue is a bit thicker and works really well with the wood.

{2} Kid-safe paint (e.g. tempura or water-based paint) …although I would make efforts to keep it away from little mouths, which can be tough, I’m sure.

{3} Wood blocks. You can have these cut at your hardware store. The kind people at Home Depot know me well since I’m there every other day, so they were very helpful in getting the materials cut. For my project, I used 2.5″ cubes cut from poplar as well as 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″ blocks which were also cut from poplar.

{4} Paint brushes

{5} Print Then Cut shapes created with your Cricut Explore. You can download them for free right here! Just keep scrolling.

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

I painted each of the flat blocks with white paint. Then, I painted each face of the cube in a bold color. You can get creative here …or you can just use the wood as is!

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

The next step is totally optional. I wanted to add a little more color to the project, so I cut rectangles of colored paper in half. Then I cut each animal in half (not shown) and adhered the animal to the colored paper with glue.

 

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

 

Last up, you’ll just need to apply a bit more glue to the colored paper and adhere each piece to the wood blocks.

The Cricut Explore makes it so very easy to make professional looking cuts from digital images. Honestly, I am still amazed when I look at these! The machine cut to precisely around the edge of each image.

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

 

LAMB | PIG | CHICKEN | COW

GIRAFFE | HIPPO | LION | MONKEY

Resources

A Helpful Guide to Getting Started with Print then Cut

Print Then Cut Basics (video)

How to Calibrate Your Cricut Explore for Print Then Cut (video)

I have a feeling I’ll be sharing a few more Print Then Cut projects with you in the next few weeks. I just love this feature and have been really happy with how it works! Is the Cricut Explore on your wishlist? I know it’s a big purchase, but if you have been eyeing it – I strongly suggest grabbing one! It has added so many more options to what I’m able to create in my craft room.

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14 thoughts on “DIY Animal Puzzle Blocks with Cricut Explore”

  1. Cute blocks Amber! They realy look cute with the different colored backgrounds!! I almost spit out my soda when you mentioned driving the porcelain schoolbus!!! Your posts are so entertaining to read! Things are way different for me now, but when I was first married and our son was born I did ALL of my crafting late night – while they slept it was the only time I had for “me” time. (Just me, my craft supplies, a Dr. Pepper and late night episodes of 21 Jump Street)!!! Even now some of my best work is the product of an all-nighter followed by a crafty hangover!!!

  2. So cute! I hope to get an Explore someday. Thanks for all your posts, I’m sure you may need to slow down a little after the baby arrives so enjoy it now while you can!

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  7. “driving the porcelain schoolbus, but then again, I don’t know how you roll when you get crafty. rcelain schoolbus, but then again, I don’t know how you roll when you get crafty.”

    L. To the OL.

    The end.

    1. What happened up there, exactly???

      “driving the porcelain schoolbus, but then again, I don’t know how you roll when you get crafty.”
      L. To the OL.
      The end.

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