In this tutorial, I will show you how to turn photos and mandalas into a single-piece weeding project that you can make in no time.
I understand some people find weeding vinyl therapeutic and relaxing. I’m not one of those people.
It’s part of the reason I do way more paper and other material projects with my Cricut than ones with vinyl or HTV.
And then out of the blue, I was introduced to Spiral Betty. Have you seen it? Check out out at spiralbetty.com.
It’s a site that turns any image into a spiral pattern. It’s free to download the results for personal use.
It’s based on this concept of a single path image. While the result looks a little funky, it’s a really fun tool to create super easy vinyl decals using photos without having to weed. Because the photo is now a single path spiral, there is essentially just a single spiral of vinyl that you need to weed off. Now, this is my kind of weeding!
I tried it with another categories of images that are notoriously a pain to weed, mandalas.
Not quite the same but still pretty good!
I then went further and created my own single line frames.
I have a few tips for make the most out of your Spiral Betty Cricut project so lets get started.
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Materials for Spiral Betty Cricut Project
Vinyl – I highly recommend vinyl sheets. I used several from an assorted set I got from Amazon. It is really important that your blade doesn’t snag the intricate cuts on the vinyl and the rolled vinyl tends to have air bubbles underneath making it more susceptible to snagging.
HTV – I recommend the 12×12 inch sheets for this. I don’t recommend trying to cut this using anything less than 8 inch wide sheet. Ideally it is 10 inches or bigger. I used one in an assorted bundle from Amazon.
Templates – I have 3 mandalas available for free in my resource library along with 300+ other free projects you can try with the Spiral Betty Image tool.
How to use Spiral Betty for the Cricut
This first part is just optional but it does help you product a better end result. I first use Clipping Magic to remove the background of my photo.
It is fully automated so all you have to do is drag and drop your image and it spits out the subject on a white background. Technically, the background can be any color and you can edit it too on Clipping Magic but for the purposes of this Spiral Betty project, we’re just going to do a white background.
Download your find as a .jpg.
Now we want to drag our photo onto the Spiral Betty image processing tool.
As soon as you drag your image onto the site, you will have the option to zoom in. Resize as needed.
After you finish scaling, you will be given options to change the ring size, scale, lightness and contrast. The more rings there are, the more intricate the cutting becomes. So if you are doing a smaller project, try to use the smallest ring size where the picture is still clear. The lightness and contract tab changes the thickness of the black and white bands.
You have an option to chose which color as well. I recommend black and white because it creates the most contrast so later on, when you upload this image to Cricut Design Space, their algorithm there doesn’t have to work so hard (as in it produces better results) with more contrast.
Download your results.
Now we’re going to upload this image to Cricut Design Space using the Upload tool on the Canvas view.
Choose Complex when prompted.
Because the background is all connected in one piece, it only takes one click to erase the entire thing.
Choose “Cut Image” then upload.
In terms of cutting this finished product, as I mentioned above, try not to resize it to below 8 inches in diameter. Anything smaller is really intricate and makes it hard to cut without snagging.
Use sheet vinyl rather than rolled vinyl because it is flatter and reduces snagging as well with the blade because there are rarely any air bubbles.
I put by sheet vinyl or HTV on a light grip mat. After cutting I weed it while it is still sitting on the mat.
If for some reason, you’re spiral lines are super thin, try reverse weeding. Otherwise, the spiral part that is supposed to stay accidentally gets lifted which ruins the whole project.
In any case, give it a go yourself! I’ve never had more fun weeding vinyl.
Adding A Frame Around your Spiral Betty
Ready for more?
I added a couple of different shaped frames to my Spiral Betty base creation. It’s simple to do.
Spiral Betty is based on this concept of single path art. It’s the fact it is a single piece of vinyl that makes it so fun and easy to weed. I just redesigned a couple of frames in the same style that is also a single path piece.
First, upload your spiral better as you normally would.
Then upload your frame as you would with any other SVG template.
Attached the Spiral Betty to the heart frame. Then make it.
Both this single line Spiral Betty Heart frame and Mouse Ears are available in my free resource library.