Earrings are the perfect Cricut wood cutting project to start. I made these cute cactus earrings using my Cricut Maker and rotary knife blade and thought I’d share the tutorial with everyone.
One of the benefits of the Cricut Maker is that it opens up the possibility of working with many other materials like balsa wood and basswood. The Cricut Maker not only has a lot more force in cutting but it also has a rotary blade contraption that enables a slightly different technique in cutting.
I actually didn’t use the Cricut brand wood sheets. I couldn’t find any so I had to figure it out on my own with these craft wood sheets I had around. I later purchased the Cricut brand wood sheets and they are slightly easier to work with but it was still possible with the non-branded wood sheets I found at Michaels.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I would do this again. It takes a LONG time for the Cricut to cut these wood sheets and the sawdust kind of gets everywhere.
Plus, most things I could make with wood, I could just make with Wood Veneer, Chipboard or leather. Especially with wood veneers, I can make more intricate designs, there are different finishes I can use. I don’t need a rotary knife blade…
If you’re interested in making these more intricate earrings, check out my tutorial for cutting wood veneer. You don’t need a rotary knife blade to cut wood veneer, just the deep point blade is enough meaning it can be done with the Cricut Explorer too.
In any case, if you’re set on cutting wood with your Cricut, here’s my thoughts…
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Materials for Cutting Wood with Cricut Makers
Wood – I know there’s a setting for 2.4mm balsa wood on the Cricut but I would stick closer to 1mm or less. You will have to do the cut so many more times with the Cricut, you might as well just order the finished product from Amazon and it would get here faster. Here is a set of Basswood sheets that are exactly like the Cricut brand ones but cheaper.
Rotary Knife Blade – You could use the deep point blade but I really wouldn’t recommend it. It just doesn’t have enough power and agility.
Standard Grip or stronger mat – I know you are supposed to use the Strong Grip mat but I didn’t have one so I just used the Standard grip with some masking tape and it was fine. I like using generic brand mats and find they work the same. Here is a cheaper generic brand strong grip mat from Amazon. For other generic brand savings, check out more details here.
Masking Tape – you need to tape down the edges of the wood. Painters tape works as well.
Templates – This Cricut wood cutting project cactus template along with the wood veneer SVG set are all free in my resource library.
Tips for Cricut Maker Basswood Projects
First, it is very important to tape down the wood on all sides. The knife blade uses a lot of force and need the wood sheet to stay still on the cutting mat. Don’t worry about the tape getting into the cutting space. I find it actually helps things along because it keeps the sawdust under control.
You will not get a chance to redo this after the cutting process starts so do it well the first time.
Settings to use for cutting wood with the Cricut Maker
There are multiple setting options. I tried all of them. Even for the thinnest of wood, I had to use the maximum setting which was Balsawood 2.4mm. For cutting wood and other tough materials, the Cricut basically just runs the same cutting path a dozen (or more) times cutting it slightly deeper each time.
Even then, I had to run it 3 times to cut through a 1.5mm sheet. Each run cuts 7 times. That’s a lot of cutting.
Be sure to clean up the sawdust in between the runs. I just use the masking tape and sweep up the crumbs. The whole thing took more than an hour and it wasn’t even that intricate of a design.
I would consider filing down the edges with some sandpaper afterward. The edges can be a little rough. This is another reason why you can’t do super intricate cuts with actual wood sheets, if you can’t reach the edge to file, then you’re going to have a messy finished product.
I finished off my earrings with some acrylic paint and some iron-on gold specks. You can also stain your wood. Regardless, I would finish or seal your wood projects so that they last longer.
If you’re interested in some of my other accessory projects, I have a number of leather earring designs available for free in my resource library as well. Check out my tutorial for cutting leather with your Cricut here.