My Step By Step Cricut Technique & Tips

Decorating By shearpamela Updated 17 Jun 2013 , 4:46am by Coob

shearpamela Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 2:55pm
post #1 of 24

I have read so many stories of frustration on here that I was hesitant to buy a Cricut at all, but I found the small personal size on sale for 99.00 so I got it. I took notes from many fellow CC members and watched Linda McClure's DVD, as well as the Provo Craft Cricut Cake video on YouTube. Then I set out to conquer my Cricut! I had surprising success my first time out, and although I am by no means an expert I wanted to share exactly what I did since it worked for me, and hopefully it will help someone else.
I replaced the blade that came with my Cricut with the blue, deep cut housing blade.
I moved the gray rubber rings on the bar to the side rather than cut them off, that way it is in its original condition.
I used my homemade gum-paste first, but also used Wilton fondant successfully. I did not roll the fondant to # 5 on my pasta roller, but instead rolled it to #3 or # 4. You can see both on my first Cricut cake, the black is gum-paste and the yellow is the fondant:

1. I kneaded 1 lb. Satin Ice with 1 1/2 teaspoons Tylose for 3 to 5 minutes. Homemade fondant will need 1/2 teaspoon more Tylose added. Double wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge until ready to use. A small amount of Crisco can be used to grease your palms if it is too sticky at first. It will keep for 4 to 6 months in the fridge. It can be used right away but works best after 24 hours. (I used mine immediately)

2. Use a pastry brush to spread a super thin amount of Crisco onto the Cricut cutting mat, barely any at all. If you can see white you used too much.

3. Pop the gum-paste in the microwave for 5 seconds to soften it, but be careful because it gets very hot very fast. All microwaves vary so it may need to go back in a 2 to 3 second intervals until it is soft enough to roll easily. Keep covered with plastic wrap if you stop for any reason to keep it from drying out or getting stiff. It can be reheated to soften again.

4. Form a sausage roll the same width of your pasta roller and roll it out width wise with your rolling pin so it will be about 5 inches or so in width, and thin enough to go through the pasta roller at the largest setting. # 1 on my KA pasta roller.

5. Starting a # 1 on the pasta roller, run the gum-paste through, then drop to # 2 and run it through again. Lower it each run through until you get to # 5 or even # 6. The thinner the better, it is supposed to only be about 1 to 1 1/2 millimeter thick. A DVD, CD or a paper clip are good examples to help visualize that thickness.

6. On the Cricut cutting mat place the gum-paste at the arrow end of the mat, within the white section. Keep it within the larger squares away from the edges of the mat.

7.Take your fondant smoother or a rolling pin and rub or roll lightly to remove any air bubbles and to help press the gum-paste to the mat. It should not slide around on the mat. If it does you may have too much Crisco. I let my gum-paste rest for 10 minutes before I cut the first few times, but it didn't seem to matter. (You can also freeze it for 30 minutes to make it firmer, but I did not try that tip myself.)

8. Using the directional arrows on the machine, move the cutting blade 1/2" in from the top and side of the gum-paste. For best results cut detailed designs at sizes 3" or larger. Simple shapes can be cut smaller, but intricate designs works best at a larger size.

9. Set the speed to #1, pressure #3, blade #5. (Pressure can be adjusted to # 4 and the blade to #6 if needed)

10. Cut! I used a thin palette knife to remove my designs from the cutting mat. I held it upside down over parchment paper and gently removed them, letting them drop to the parchment dry side down so they could easily be moved around. Dab the grease from the top side to remove as much as possible. I stored my designs on a tray, layered between parchment in the freezer and thawed for 30 minutes once I was ready to add them to my cake. They stayed pliable and easy to work with.

Notes: Clean the blade after a couple of cuts, the gum-paste tends to build up on the blade and the blade needs to be kept clean to cut sharp edges. Gum-paste scraps can be reused and stored in the fridge for several months.
The thin flexible cutting mats can be used in the Cricut as extra cutting mats.

23 replies
conchita Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 3:17pm
post #2 of 24

Shearpamela, thank you so much for doing this I will try this method, I have heard of many people using satin ice to cut with the CC I just don't know what to do. when I cut small items or word phrases the gumpaste starts to tear.
I really want to make this work for me thumbs_up.gif

shearpamela Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 3:32pm
post #3 of 24

You are welcome! I was taking notes from videos and websites all over the internet to keep beside me while I worked with my Cricut. To have success with it will make it worthwhile - don't give up! Let me know how you do with it.

Here is a link of some videos that really helped me too:


alvarezmom Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 3:47pm
post #4 of 24

I saw the personal CC's for $99.00 at the Michael's by me! I'd be interested in getting a small on for now. Thanks for the tips!

shearpamela Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 4:09pm
post #5 of 24

The small one works just as well as the larger ones for the home baker, the only draw back is you are limited in size. For instance, I wanted to do a round medallion for the top of my cake but of course I can't cut anything that large with the Personal size Cricut. But great for letters and all the designs for the sides of the cakes!
I wanted to make sure I could get it to work before spending more money on the Cricut Expression or the Cricut Cake. I was even afraid to take the small one out of the box - it had the potential to be a 99.00 regret!
I even saw the red Cricut Cake at Michaels for 199.00, but thought the small one would work just fine for now. With Sure Cuts a Lot or Make the Cut software the possibilities aren't limited to the cartridges.
I can't wait to try cutting chocolate, cookie dough and even cheese with it. I read somewhere that you can use it to cut out edible cupcake wrappers.
I can definitely see a Cricut Cake in my future at some point icon_smile.gif

makyta Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 12:14am
post #6 of 24

thank you very much for the instructions.....I also bought the personal at a very low price......and haven't use it I'll give it a try.

alvarezmom Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:09pm
post #7 of 24

I also see that Overstock has them for $99.00 right now.

shearpamela-The deep cut blade that you mentioned in your OP do you buy that seperate?

shearpamela Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:06pm
post #8 of 24

Yes, it is separate - I bought mine at Hobby Lobby because Michaels was out of stock when I bought the Cricut.

alvarezmom Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:08pm
post #9 of 24


shearpamela Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:12pm
post #10 of 24

I also had my hubby work the sticky stuff off the cutting mat with crisco and elbow grease icon_smile.gif
Then I lost my mat and had to run to get a replacement quick and did not have time to mess with the removal of the sticky adhesive, so I turned the mat upside down and used the smooth side - it did not affect the operation at all, no drag going through the machine.

almageane Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:42pm
post #11 of 24

Thank you for the instructions, I purchase one through HSN, this will be so helpful.

greengyrl26 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:02pm
post #12 of 24

The cricut cake is 1/2 off at Michael's now, just FYI...

Spuddysmom Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:28pm
post #13 of 24

Thank you for posting this, shearpamela! My DH just surprised me with the small one he saw for only $79 a couple of weeks ago. Maybe there will be a fw more bargain prices - aren't they introducing a new mini cricut cake?

shearpamela Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 11:34pm
post #14 of 24

I hear they are coming out with it in November I think. It sounds like it may be the same size as the personal electronic cutter I have, but dedicated food safe. For now, I use mine for family only, and they don't eat the gum-paste or the fondant it decorates.
I wanted to try it out before jumping to the larger Cake Cricut size, but I will be wanting more options in size before long. I figure I can use the small one I have now for paper etc when I do splurge on the Cake Cricut icon_smile.gif

makyta Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 2:08am
post #15 of 24
Originally Posted by shearpamela

I also had my hubby work the sticky stuff off the cutting mat with crisco and elbow grease icon_smile.gif
Then I lost my mat and had to run to get a replacement quick and did not have time to mess with the removal of the sticky adhesive, so I turned the mat upside down and used the smooth side - it did not affect the operation at all, no drag going through the machine.

Thanks for the tips.... thumbs_up.gif

shearpamela Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 11:40am
post #16 of 24

You are welcome! I hope someone can make their Cricut work with the tips I used, it can be overwhelming and discouraging. It seems there isn't one right way or one secret to its success and that can be confusing. I did find the YouTube videos very helpful. Plus the Cutting Edge Cake Art blog was very detailed and informative as well.

Kahlua Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 11:59am
post #17 of 24

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm nearly feeling brave enough to pull it out again icon_smile.gif

debster Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 12:23pm
post #18 of 24

I've tried everything and for some reason can't get it consistant. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't , I'll try your method next. Thanks for the tips and the time to share!!!!

shearpamela Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 12:31pm
post #19 of 24

Gotta keep that blade spotless - after one or two times it would start to bunch or drag on me too if I didn't check and clean my blade icon_smile.gif
Plus that gum-paste I made was so firm it was almost difficult to roll out by hand to get into my KA pasta roller. I had to microwave it, and roll it out pretty quick or it firmed up too much on me. Firm and sturdy but yet still pliable too.
Good luck!

cricket0616 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 12:50pm
post #20 of 24

I followed all of your steps with the exception of changing the blade. I will try that and hopefully there will be success.

shearpamela Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 1:44pm
post #21 of 24

I will keep my fingers crossed! Keep us posted icon_smile.gif

tiggy2 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 2:13pm
post #22 of 24

The easiest way to remove the sticky from the mat is with 90 proof alcohol. I use 101 grain alcohol and it wipes right off icon_smile.gif

shearpamela Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 6:27pm
post #23 of 24

That a great tip! I will do that to the other two I bought icon_smile.gif

Coob Posted 17 Jun 2013 , 4:46am
post #24 of 24

great tips thank you for the notes!

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