DIY: How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

March 7, 2016

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

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Let’s talk leathuhhhhhhhh. Specifically, let’s talk about how the heck you should cut leather using your Cricut Explore…because you should cut leather with your Cricut Explore, you really, really….really should!

Your Cricut Explore will cut over 60 materials, but leather is my fave so today I’m taking you to school and giving you the precise play by play on how to use your machine to cut leather. Follow along and you’ll have everything you need to create your own leather projects  – like a personalized monogram leather keychain. Are you ready? Because craft is now in session!

HOW TO CUT LEATHER WITH CRICUT EXPLORE

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

To cut leather with a Cricut Explore, you’ll need to have:

Before we tackle the technique, here’s a quick rationale for how to cut leather with Cricut Explore. In most cases, with most other materials, you will place the material directly onto the cutting mat. In the case of leather (and other fibrous materials for that matter), do not…I repeat, do not, place your material directly onto the cutting mat. This will quickly ruin the cutting mat and your precious dollars will be wasted.

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

Instead, we’re going to use the Cricut Transfer as a buffer between the leather and the cutting mat. It’s a simple, quick adjustment that will save you money and frustration.

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore |damask love

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

Cut the transfer tape to the size of your leather, then adhere the transfer tape to the back of the leather. Last, place it onto the cutting mat with the transfer tape serving as a buffer.

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

Once you’ve loaded the leather into your machine, be sure to turn the dial to “Custom” where you will then be able to select “Heavy Leather” from the drop down menu.

For my project, I a few leather keychains by using my own fonts along with free shapes from Cricut Design Space. I simply created to letters, mirrored one of the letters, then welded them together with a rectangle shape.

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

Once the cutting is done, you’ll be able to peel back the transfer tape and reveal a clean cutting mat beneath. No more little leather bits ruining your cutting mat!

HOW TO MAKE A LEATHER KEYCHAIN

Now that you’ve cut your leather, it’s time to assemble the keychains!

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

You’ll need:

  • Leather monogram shapes
  • keyrings
  • leather glue
  • bull clips (not pictured)

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

Thread one side of leather monograms through the key ring, then bend the leather in half and glue each side together with leather glue. Use bull clips to hold the sides together until the glue has fully dried.

Last up, is the fun part. Add a little color to your key chains with acrylic leather paint. I created a color-dipped effect by taping off a diagonal strip with washi tape.

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore

And now you know how to cut leather with Cricut Explore! So easy – so cool and so fun.

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16 thoughts on “How to Cut Leather with Cricut Explore”

    1. hello:

      I have been trying for weeks to cut leather. I have used transfer tape, and taped the leather down as well. I still get the leather lifting after it has been cut and jamming machine before the shape can be completely cut. What am I doing wroing.

  1. I have not cut anything other than paper/cardstock/vinyl with my Explore. Thank you for this information. The tip on using a transfer sheet seems especially helpful! And your key-chains are really cute!

  2. I am having a hard time cutting light weight leather. The center design gets stuck on the blade as the machine moves back and forth. It drags and rips off the leather. It cuts the outside layer well, but the center is always a problem. I am using a deep cut blade on a strong grip mat. You are so right about the residue left by the leather on the mat. It destroys it. It removes all the adhesive. The transfer tape sounds like a dream come true! Does it work with 1 mm thick leather was well? Thank you so much for your help.

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. The transfer tape is such a great idea. I bought the exact products you listed, but the Cricut won’t cut all the way through the leather. I even tried creating a custom setting with 7x multicut and the maximum cut pressure 340. I’ve tried a deep cut and a regular blade. It seems like the Cricut just can’t handle this tooling leather.

    1. I am not sure of the actual thickness, but I always use Tandy Tooling Leather. It comes in a 8×10 sheet and it works beautifully in the Cricut Explore!

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