One of the Cricut Maker tools I’ve been having lots of fun with lately is the engraving tool. I will show you how to turn your handwriting into an engraving in this tutorial.
Does anyone write with a pen or pencil anymore? ha.
Sometimes it feels like we all just type away our thoughts making long-form writing a thing of the distant past as if the turn of the Millenium didn’t just happen. We’ve somehow gone backward as a species in our mode of communication by reverting to pictographs (also known as emojis) like we’re some ancient tribe living in caves.
Spelling is no longer an everyday skill, it’s only remnants are in a competitive sport where young kids get up in front of a bunch of people and spell words that they would otherwise never use.
I thought before this art form becomes completely extinct, I’d capture its existence in the form of Cricut engravings.
*this article contains affiliate links for your convenience, see full disclosures here
Materials for Engraving Jewelry with the Cricut
Jewelry Blanks – I’d advise searching for “Stamping Blanks”. The absolute minimum size you want to use is 1cmx1cm. It is too hard to tape down otherwise. The only other thing to keep in mind it has to lie flat/flush against the mat so that there is some grip friction from the stickiness. My personal favorites are the rectangular flat pendants.
Strong Grip Mat – I think they say to use the strong grip but I don’t have one on hand so I just used a Standard green mat and managed to get away with it with some masking tape.
How to Turn Handwriting into an SVG
Lets start with the easiest way to do this using only Cricut Design Space.
Cricut Design Space does have some vectorization functionality although it is not ideal.
This just means it will only work with relatively simple clear text with high contrast and a clean background.
In this scenario, I knew I was going to do this so I wrote with a black marker on white paper.
After you write your text, take a picture with a good, even lighting.
Upload the photo.
Select Complex for the image.
Use the “select” icon in the upper left corner to indicate the background by clicking on it. You may have to go into the enclosed areas (like the “B” in the image above) to mark that as the background.
Then we want to “Save as a cut image”. What that does is it saves it as a vector file (SVG). The Print and Cut Image keeps the pixel information within the outline which you do not need for this project.
For more complex handwritten images, say, Grandma’s Apple Pie Recipe or a note from your husband, I would recommend a dedicated tool.
My favorite tool for creating custom vector images in a snap is Clipping Magic.
It is so easy to use. I just upload my image. Sometimes I just copy and paste something on another screen.
I don’t even have to click anything and it just automatically find the text shapes.
The best part of this and the part that differentiates this product above all others is that you can make edits after this automated outline detection.
The automate algorithm is so accurate I never actually have to make edits to correct. I only use the editor when I intentionally want to take out some of the image.
After the automated outline is complete, you can download the image. I download as a SVG.
If you are interested in giving this a go but don’t feel like jumping through the image editing hoops, I’ve created an engraving starter set here if you are interested:
This Engraving Set is free and available in my Resource Library along with tons of other fun projects.
Tips for Engraving Small Jewelry Blanks
The most important thing about engraving with the Cricut is the size of the blank. You really need at least one dimension of the blank to be greater than 1cm. This allows some excess space for the masking tape to help with the grip.
I also find placing the blank where you want the text to be centered on a grid intersections is most helpful. You can always use snap mat if you are using the app but I find I like the desktop client interface the most.
This helps when you are “making it” so you can edit the placement of the image relative to the grid lines.
In terms of base material, I chose Brass which seem to work fine.
Some people prefer to make their engraving darker. One recommendation to do this is Rust-Oleum.
I didn’t have any so I just used a Sharpie and wipe it off quickly. (if you mess up just get some alcohol to clean up).
I also tried black eyeliner and that worked well too.