Cricut Cutting Letters

Decorating By kodeblue Updated 25 Aug 2010 , 8:24pm by erin12345

kodeblue Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 1:36am
post #1 of 17

My wife is trying to cut out a single letter but about 100 of them for cookies for a wedding. the problem is, we cannot get the cricut to cut them without ruining them. i have tried the freezer method. I have changed the speed from fast to med to slow. I have changed the pressures and nothing seems to be working. We have only used this a few times since we have had it and have the same problem every time. Anyways, about the letter. The size is 1 1/2" if that makes a difference.

16 replies
erin12345 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 2:32am
post #2 of 17

I have cut 1 1/2" letters. I always keep my speed on low and pressure on medium. Make sure to roll your material out so you can see the grid on the mat through it, about the width of a dime. Roll it directly on the mat before you load it into the machine. If you use the freezer method you must work quickly as it melts fast and starts to slide.

I have tried kneading tylose into fondant (about 1/4 tsp. per egg size ball of fondant) and let it sit out for awhile to dry and firm up before cutting. You can also try 50/50 fondant gumpaste. Some one on CC said to roll out fondant on the mat the night before and keep it in a bag overnight to let the moisture in the fondant equalize. I'm going to try that next. I do have several mats so I can keep rolling material and then cut all at once. I am also going to try just straight gum paste.

If you have a choice, go with wider, fatter letters, the really narrow letters are more difficult to cut. Most of all, be patient! It takes time to get the hang of it. Hope some of this info. helps.

Crimsicle Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 12:26pm
post #3 of 17

I've done more lettering with my Cricut than anything. It's a challenge! icon_smile.gif

The smaller the letter, the harder it is. The fancier the letter, the harder it is. The softer the material, the harder it is. So, if you're doing a smallish letter with lots of detail to it, in my brief experience, it's going to be not much fun.

Gumaste and modeling chocolate have worked best for me, with gumpaste being THE best. I had rotten luck with fondant and have given up on it for now. I haven't tried it with MMF yet. I'll do that before giving up entirely. Anyway...

I've had best luck when I rolled the gumpaste directly onto the mat - and could see the lines through it. THEN, I put the whole mat into a ziploc bag overnight (yes, there are bags that big - but they're hard to find!). Next day, the gumpaste has kinda firmed up (but not dried out) and it cuts much cleaner. I no longer put gumpaste in the fridge, but I DO put modeling chocolate in the fridge. JUST FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES! Too long and the stuff gets crunchy and just crumbles.

I have bought scads of flexible plastic food-cutting mats from the dollar store. They have to be cut so that they fit the Cricut, but that's easy to do. Anyway, this gives me lots of mats to roll out and store on. They work perfectly in the Cricut.

The other thing I do is remove and wipe my blade every time before starting cutting on a new mat. It just takes a few seconds, and I believe it makes a big difference.


therese379 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 5:46pm
post #4 of 17

kodeblue... I feel your pain.. I have a cricut, and I have the same problem, can't cut small letters.... really makes me want to give it away... icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif I hope some day there is a video from cricut showing more help for all the non
professionals.. If you master the machine, please share your wisdom... icon_wink.gif therese

tiggy2 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 6:46pm
post #5 of 17

Crimsicle is right about rolling it thin and letting it sit in a zip lock bag overnight. I roll it to #8 on my KA pasta machine and leave it in the bag over night and it cuts perfect every time (if you're using gum paste). I've had better luck with that then anything else. You could try adding tylose to Wilton fondant and prepare it the same way and see if it works for you.

julzs71 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 7:49pm
post #6 of 17

do you have the deep cut blade

iluvpeeks Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 8:28pm
post #7 of 17

Try a 50/50 blend. Also it helped me by rubbing a little corn starch on whatever you are going to cut. As others have said, roll it onto your mat. Also, if it won't work by rolling very thin, try it a little thicker. I found that the smaller you want to cut letters, the thicker the better. I also like using Fondarific fondant, and Cutting Edge gumpaste recipe.

kodeblue Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 12:39am
post #8 of 17

Thank you all for the great tips. We have been using the 24" mat and the fondant is rolled out where we can see the lines on the mat. My wife is using fondant from McCall's, which she has been using since she started doing cakes. I know she mixed some gumpaste in it but I don't know how much. Would mixing in tylose powder be any better? We have never used that powder before. The letter she is trying to cut out is actually on page 82 I think it is in the elegence cartidge, letter "E".

iluvpeeks Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 12:55am
post #9 of 17

I would definitely try some tylose, or better yet, sign up for CuttingEdgeCakeArt newsletter, and they will send their recipe for the gumpaste they use. It really works great. Also, I looked up the letter E in the Elegant Cakes Cartridge, and I would try cutting it at no less than 3" to start. Some designs and letters cannot be cut cleanly if you cut them small.HTH

tiggy2 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 1:16pm
post #10 of 17

McCalls is pretty soft and I'm guessing that is your problem. Adding tylose will make a difference. But you also need to let it sit overnight to get a clean cut.

Crimsicle Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 1:22pm
post #11 of 17

The softer the material, the less success I've had. And then there's the removing it from the mat issue! So far, I have been working at my own pace - just experimenting. So the failures have been merely learning experiences. I have a "real" cake tomorrow - but I did the chocolate silhouettes DAYS ago so I could go into the baking knowing the decorations are set. I hope that as I get more confident with my machine and its capabilities, I don't have to plan so far ahead.

But, I can tell you...the successes are really, really nice! It's worth the learning curve, IMHO. icon_smile.gif

Mangagirl Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 2:19pm
post #12 of 17

How do you remove the material from the mat? For the first time a few days ago, the cricut perfectly cut a heart out of fondant, but then... I damaged it when I tried to remove it. Haven't used it since, I'm a little discouraged. Any help would be lovely!

Crimsicle Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 3:38pm
post #13 of 17

I've done three things. I've put the Crisco down and then laid a piece of waxed paper over that. Put Crisco on the waxed paper and then rolled the gumpaste out on that and cut through the waxed paper. Sorta works, but the waxed paper isn't very strong.

I've also done the same thing with freezer paper - putting the shiny side up. That works better - but the freezer paper doesn't stick to the Crisco as well as the waxed paper does.

And I've frozen the cutouts for a few minutes - after I've removed all the excess from around them. Then...turn the mat over and start curling the edge in toward the center. The stiffened pieces usually come off pretty well.

I'm currently working with some dancer silhouettes - lots of skinny little arms and legs sticking out. I used the frozen method. But...after they came off the cutting mat, I slid them onto small pieces of plastic mat and gently pressed on them. They're stuck just a little and come off pretty well. This gives me something to "handle" them with as I'm placing them on the cake.

I'm buying up all the plastic cutting mats from the dollar store. They're two for a dollar. A 50 cent mat is not too much to sacrifice to have my cutouts on their own little plastic piece. And, of course, they're reusable - so it's really not a sacrifice. Those same dollar store plastic mats can be cut to fit the Cricut and work just fine for cutting shapes, too.


iluvpeeks Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:21pm
post #14 of 17

Those are some really great tips. I only hope the Dollar Store here has those mats too!

DefyGravity Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:37pm
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by Mangagirl

How do you remove the material from the mat? For the first time a few days ago, the perfectly cut a heart out of fondant, but then... I damaged it when I tried to remove it. Haven't used it since, I'm a little discouraged. Any help would be lovely!

Do you have the spatula for Cricut? I've had good luck with that.

kodeblue Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 2:23pm
post #16 of 17

Just an update on how things are going with this. We actually left the fondant rolled out on the mat but had it covered over night. We went back the next day to try and cut again. The fondant had set a little nicer and was able to do a nice cut with the settings set as mentioned from an earlier post here. I did buy seom tylose powder and we have a few more cuts to do today so I will try it out with the powder. Thanks again everyone for the great tips. By the way for the ones who asked about removing the characters after cutting, we also use crisco on the mat before rolling the fondant out and it just lifts right off after the cut.

erin12345 Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 8:24pm
post #17 of 17

Glad it's working better for you!

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