Cutting Custom Materials with Cricut Explore - DIY Necklaces!

You know why I look a little delirious (and happy) in this photo? Because I had just finished the LAST of my jewelry projects for the Cricut Explore Air Gold being sold at Jo-Ann Fabrics! And I'm wearing about half of them! :) This week I've been sharing these patterns and projects that are exclusive to Jo-Ann, and today is all about necklaces and bracelets. 

On Tuesday I shared a tutorial for cutting leather with your Cricut Explore (hint: TRANSFER TAPE - life changing). And while these specific images/projects are exclusive to the Jo-Ann Gold Explore Air, you can take almost ANY single layer image in Design Space and turn it in to a leather necklace (or a bracelet!) with just a few tools:

·       Cricut Explore® Air and Design Space software
·       Cricut Explore® Deep Cut Housing and Blade
·       Cricut® Strong Grip mat
·       Cricut® Transfer Tape
·       tooling leather
·       awl or small hole punch
·       gold or silver necklaces (buy the pre-made ones!)
·       jump rings
·       wire cutters
·       pliers
·       foam brush
·       Folk Art Paint

Simply cut your image using the "Leather, Heavy" option under the Custom setting on the Smart Set Dial (it also has an option for "Leather, Medium" and "Leather, Light" but for tooling leather you definitely want the heavy setting). Once you've cut out the image, punch a hole in either side with the awl or small hole punch, paint (see below) and add to your chain!

(left) - reversible leather statement necklace with gold foil accents, (Center) - gold painted birch heart necklace, (RIGHT) - tri-color leather pennant necklace

(left) - reversible leather statement necklace with gold foil accents, (Center) - gold painted birch heart necklace, (RIGHT) - tri-color leather pennant necklace

I like using tooling leather for two reasons. It is easy to find online or in any mass craft store, and you can paint it! I cut the bold, brave and beautiful words from the same piece of tooling leather, then painted them each a vivid bright color. That gold metallic paint! I want to slap it on everything!

I repeated the same process for these love you heart pendants out of birch "paper" using the "Wood, Birch" option in the Custom setting on the Smart Set Dial. I'm telling you - the Cricut Explore cuts EVERYTHING! I was even able to use the Folk Art paint on the wood to customize the colors. So so so easy!

I have had such an amazing week with the Cricut and Jo-Ann Fabrics teams...I hope you all have enjoyed seeing what goes on around here. If you've already got a Cricut Explore I hope you will take the leap and start cutting materials you'd never thought about before - including that Adhesive Gold Foil I am crazy about! If you DON'T already own a Cricut I hope some of these projects have inspired you to think about getting your own. Mother's Day is just around the corner (hint, hint)! 

and now...

Behind the scenes photo #1 - my fabulous friend Kelly of Kelly Goree Photography came over to give us a hand with some of these shots. She is tiny. I am a giant. So this is how it went down.

Behind the scenes photos #2 and #3 - Thank goodness for fellow Army wives - I needed a "young neck" model so my friend Angelina came over for a glass of wine and a quick photo shoot. Her mom came with her and was a fabulous styling assistant, and when we couldn't figure out a good way to show the word bracelets and necklace in the same shot I got in the photo with her AND FORGOT I WASN'T WEARING ANY MAKE UP OR JEWELRY. Hey - at least I'd remembered to shower. ;)

Wanna see some other fun Cricut jewelry projects? Check these out!