ScanNCut Feed

Creating An Inspiration Board

Faber Castell came out with a Vision Board Kit recently and asked me to create something with it and then to blog about it on the Design Memory Craft blog (you can check that out HERE).  So I made a board that would be inspiring to me yet useful and interactive.

Inspiration Vision Board by Erin Bassett

One of my favorite things about this kit is that it comes with everything you need to get started creating and if you want to add in more things or use more products you can easily mix those in.  I created this video showing step by step how I created the actual bulletin board and each of the pieces I added to it:

After making the board and inserting it into a frame I had at home I took the 6"x6" piece of printed paper with the flowers on it and decide I'd watercolor them in using the Grip markers that also come in the kit and some Gelatos that I already had. The Grip markers are waterbased  and are perfect for scribbling out on a craft mat, adding water to, and then painting in the flowers on the paper. (And another cool thing about them is if they dry out you can dip them into water to reactivate them!)

I also used a stencil from the 101 Stencil Collection and both the Pearl and the Silver Texture Lux to add some texture and shine to the background.

Watercolor Flowers by Erin Bassett

I knew I wanted to tuck the other 6"x6" piece of paper behind the flower one so I wanted to keep it simple but meaningful and inspirational to me. I came up with the plan to just use a small tipped PITT Pen to write out the attributes of the Lord that began with each of the letters. I really enjoyed meditating on those and knowing I can pull it out and refer to it when I need it. I used the PITT Pen instead of the Grip marker that comes in the kit because it has a smaller nib that made it easier to write small with.
Alphabetical Atributes of God by Erin Bassett

This kit comes with so many cute smaller pieces of paper and tags that are perfect for keeping my lists on, so I bundled them all together and put them on a ring so I could hang them on one of the pens that come in the kit .
Lists by Erin Bassett

I also used some of the banner and diecut pieces that come in the kit to tie in with one of my favorite quotes I had written on another card that came in the kit.
Inspiration Vision Board - CloseUp - By Erin BassettThat verse in Ephesians has really been on my heart lately and I love how Jimmy put words to how I feel about it:
Yep, love that.


Don't you love that big, glittery hash tag!!! I knew that I wanted to use that on the frame and so I used my ScanNCut to cut out the word "inspire" out of Scor-Tape on cardstock and glittered it up to match.
#inspire by Erin Bassett

This was such a fun project to do and I hope to keep using the board, adding to it, rearranging things, and continue to be inspired from it.


Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Faber-Castell  and Brother ScanNCut to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 


Get Your Patriotic Decor Ready!


It's that time of year again for us in the USA to dust off our patriotic decor for the upcoming summer patriotic holidays to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed to give us the freedoms we have and then to celebrate our independence.  How's your decor holding up? Do you need to replace some of it?

Here are a few various patriotic projects you can quickly whip up using craft vinyl and your ScanNCut.  When working on multiple projects at once I like to plan out what designs I'm going to need cut out of each color of vinyl and get them all organized on the same "mat" in ScanNCut canvas and then send them over to my ScanNCut using the wireless transfer.  -I love that new feature! While previously using a USB stick to bring my designs back and forth from ScanNCutCanvas to my ScanNCut wasn't hard, THIS is even easier and faster!





You can watch this video of the whole process, or follow along with the instructions below:


1. Load your designs onto the ScanNCut and cut them out. Be sure to do a test cut first to ensure you are only cutting through your vinyl and not through the backing.

Test Cut (1)

2. Weed the negative areas out of the vinyl design.Weed Vinyl1

Repeat until they are all weeded and ready to be used.
Weed Vinyl1

3. If you've cut out any embellishing designs (like I did with the stars in the example below) use transfer paper to layer them on top of your vinyl design. 
Weed Vinyl1

4. Apply transfer paper over the entire design, burnish it well with your spatula, remove it from the backing, then take it to your project, burnish it again, and then remove the transfer paper.  I really like using the clear grid transfer paper because it makes it much easier to line things up.
Weed Vinyl1
Weed Vinyl1

You don't always need to use transfer paper though. If your design is simple, and you want a random pattern, just use your vinyl cut outs like a sticker and place them where every you'd like.

Make Stickers


And snap, we're done! Such fast projects!

Weed Vinyl1

Weed Vinyl1

Weed Vinyl1

Happy crafting!


Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 


Playing with new mixed media products

Boy, I sure love working with the companies I work with. I love that they are constantly coming up with such cool new products! Here's a video of the fun I had playing with a few of Faber-Castell's newest products in my art journal...the Cement and Asphalt Texture Paste and then Copper Texture Luxe.  And, because someone will ask me, the stencils I used in this I made by doodling on a sheet of paper, and then using my ScanNCut to scan them in & cut them out on stencil material

I will be sharing more in depth of each of these products (and more!) in upcoming articles.


Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Faber-Castell and Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 



Creating A Mixed Media Card Using The ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder

Have you played with the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder yet?  I love it!!!
Using the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder


Here's a video tutorial on how I created this card:



I used the Universal Pen Holder to draw out the heart with a Distress Marker on watercolor paper and then used a wet brush to pull the color out of the heart and fill it in. I also added some splatter by watering down some other colors of Distress Ink and flinging it onto my page with a fan brush.

  Using the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder

Using the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder

After that dried I put an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie into the Universal Pen Holder and had it draw the word "family" onto the card. I love that I can scan in the card and then place "family" exactly where I want it to go and then just have it draw it out! (Note: on my first test of creating this I used a Distress Marker to write "family," as shown in this photo, but it was a little too thick of lines for my liking so I did another one with the Sharpie and liked it a lot better)
Using the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder

And then I pulled out my favorite little alphabet stamps and added "our" to it and then finished it off with a couple pieces of washi tape.
Alphabet stamps and Using the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder

Here a peek at what else I did with this mixed media card, check out the full project tutorial and don't forget to enter to win a fun creativitE +ScanNCut giveaway HERE!

Using the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder

Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 


Craft Vinyl Home Decor Project & ScanNCut Giveaway!

Hey everyone, exciting stuff happening on my blog this week for National Craft Month!  

First up is a great home decor project I want to share with you. I found these great frames when I was out shopping and thought how fun they would be to use at home or in my art studio since they have little clips you can hang photos or artwork on. The frames are great on their own but I thought it would be cool to jazz them up a bit by cutting a warm cuddly phrase out of craft vinyl and applying it to the glass.

And, I not only made one of these...I made two! So a random lucky blog reader can win one along with a bundle of ScanNCut goodies! -Check out the details at the end of this article.

ScanNCut - Craft Vinyl on Glass Photo Frame - Title


Here's a video on how I created this project:




1. Use the "Scan To Cut Data" feature to scan in the word art or open up the Every_Family.fcm file onto your ScanNCut.

1 - ScanNCut Test Cut


2. Add a test cut to your project mat and then push the "cut" and "start" buttons. Even though you have multiple designs on your mat your machine will perform the test cut first and then pause so you can make adjustments if needed before cutting your vinyl. You want to have it cut through your vinyl but not through the backing so start off with the blade barely coming out of the blade holder, and adjust it from there depending on the results of your test cut.
1 - ScanNCut Test Cut


3. Cut out the phrase on vinyl and remove the vinyl from the machine.  Weed out the design by removing the negative part of the vinyl and leaving the words you will be using on the backing sheet.  For long phrases, like the one for this word art, I like to cut apart the vinyl I'm removing so it doesn't accidently get stuck to letters I want to remain on the backing sheet.  3 - Weed Vinyl


4. Cut off a piece of the grid transfer tape that is a little larger than your vinyl letters an apply it on top of the letters, lining them up with the grid lines.  Burnish the transfer paper onto the letters and then carefully peel back the transfer tape to lift off the letters.
1 - ScanNCut Test Cut


5. Once your have lifted off the letters place the stip onto the glass of the photo frame and burnish it again to firmly affix the letters to the glass.  
1 - ScanNCut Test Cut

Then slowly peel off the transfer tape so that just the letters remain on the glass.
1 - ScanNCut Test Cut


6. Repeat using the same piece of transfer tape for the rest of your design.


Such a quick project, but it sure packs a punch! This would make such a great personalized gift too!!  Later in the week I'll be sharing how I used my ScanNCut to create that mixed media art card I used in this project, so stay tuned for that!


Oh, and speaking of gifts, my friends at Brother ScanNCut is giving one very lucky blog reader a fun prize package! See the details and enter to win below!

 Comments are now closed, the entry time has expired.

Prize Package - Brother Craft Vinyl DatedGiveaway Duration - March 14, 2016 through March 20, 2016

Brother prize valued at $53.97 PLUS Home Decor Frame valued at $50.00

Brother prize package includes: 

-10 Sheet of assorted craft vinyl (valued at $22.99)

-6 foot roll of grid transfer paper (valued at $17.99)

-6 foot roll of black craft yinyl (valued at $12.99)

Plus you get your own Home Decor Frame that you can personalize with your own family photos and artwork.


Official Rules: To enter to win, just comment below on this blog post by midnight on March 20, 2016. By commenting on this blog post you are agreeing to the official rules and you agree to provide your name and mailing address to Erin Bassett and Brother International for prize distribution. Prize fulfillment will be done by Erin Bassett and Brother International.

Eligibility requirements: Open to USA residents 18 and older only. 

A random winner will be chosen via on March 21, 2016 and contacted that day. If potential prize winner does not claim the prize in 48 hours or forfeits the prize, the prize will be re-awarded. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.


Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 


Get Crafty For Your Valentine!

Heart Candy Kirigami - Title

This is a fun decoration for Valentine's Day, but it can also be filled with candy and used as cute gift wrap since it looks like a little piece of candy! While it looks pretty fancy it's actually really easy to make, especially when you use your ScanNCut to cut out the pieces you need.

To get started making this project I downloaded the original design, and asked permission to adapt the design it and after I got his blessing I then imported it into ScanNCutCanvas and got to work adding the heart details and duplicating each of the segments to create THIS (free) cut file that you can download and use.


To see how to create this project, watch THIS video:





  • Open up the FCM file in your ScanNCut and cut out all of the pieces with both pieces of cardstock. You will need 9 – 10 segments cut for each “candy”.


To assemble:

  • Choose one segment to be your “hook”. All of the other pieces will hook onto this and will fan equally around in a circle.

Heart Candy Kirigami - Step1
Heart Candy Kirigami - Step1

  • Once they all interlock flip the piece over.

Heart Candy Kirigami - Step2b
Heart Candy Kirigami - Step2b

  • Again choose a “hook” and begin hooking all the other segments onto it to finish off the project.

Heart Candy Kirigami - Step3
Heart Candy Kirigami - Step3

Now you get to choose how you use it. Will you fill it with candy and give it away or are you going to make some decorations out of it?

Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 


Are you ready for new craft products?

It's CHA time! Which mean all the new craft products are being unveiled and will be hitting store shelves soon. -It's an exciting time of year for the arts and crafts industry, and I'm thankful to get to be a part of it.  

CHA 2016 - Anaheim Convention Center


I'm over at the Brother ScanNCut booth demoing the NEW ScanNCut2 machine...and they even blew up a photo of one of my projects display on the outside of my demo station.  :)
CHA 2016 - Brother ScanNCut Booth


The theme of our booth is a candy shop so we have lots of samples of delicious looking papercrafts, sewing, and embroidery candy...along with the real stuff of course. May Flaum created this little vignette with the help of her ScanNCut. 
CHA 2016 - May Flaum Candy Display Brother ScanNCut


As I was headed out the door to the show I whipped up a few of these adorable candy huggers from an SVG file Lia Griffith created, the lucky few that got them loved them! If you're looking for lots of great SVG files you've got to check her site out.

Lia Griffith Candy Huggers


Also during the show I've been whipping up this kirigami pattern because it reminds me of candy! Philip Chapman Bell created the PDF file and I've been cutting it out on my ScanNCut2 and then assembling them.  It's super fun!

Paper Candy made with ScanNCut

 After the show wraps up I'll be sure to post a follow up on any cool new products I come across while a the show!


Happy crafting!


Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.


Playing with ScanNCut2

One of my favorite things I got to do this past year was go to the Brother's USA offices for a craft day to check out the new ScanNCut2 machine!

Brother USA


Messy craft desk

The ScanNCut2 has some great new upgrades...

  • Enhanced scanning - RGB Color recognition makes it easier to scan low contrasting color patterns and you are now able to scan up to 24"
  • Larger LCD display screen - it's 30% larger than prior models at 4.85" wide
  • Computer Connectivity - has two USB ports 
  • Wireless Network Ready - (my favorite upgrade!!) You can now transfer cut files wirelessly
  • and more!


After getting walked through all the new updates and changes on the new machine we got to work playing with them. I was really excited to try out the new Stamp Kit and see how the improved scanner worked.

Brother Designer's Craft Together
   Photo credit: Tina Zhen             

Ok, so for my project, I broke out my Plaid Fabric Creations Wood Block Printing Stamps, stamped each of the images I was going to use onto white paper and then scanned them into the machine and then had it cut out each of the designs so that I'd have a background stamp to use under the block print stamps.
DIY Bag using ScanNCut stamp kit + Fabric Creations Block Printing Stamps

Next I used a sponge to pounce the fabric paint onto the background stamp I created and stamped it onto my fabric.
DIY Bag using ScanNCut stamp kit + Fabric Creations Block Printing Stamps

After it dried I used the block printing stamp to stamp over the background stamp...I just eyeballed it and wasn't too concerned if it didn't line up exactly perfect.
DIY Bag using ScanNCut stamp kit + Fabric Creations Block Printing Stamps 

I kept going until the whole thing was complete. DIY Bag using ScanNCut stamp kit + Fabric Creations Block Printing Stamps

I'm totally loving this project!
DIY Bag using ScanNCut stamp kit + Fabric Creations Block Printing Stamps

And my colorful trash.  ;)
colorful trash

And, if you're wondering what the end of the day looks like at Brother...
Brother Mugs


Did you get a new ScanNCut2 for the holidays? How's it going? What have you made?



Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 


Comparing ScanNCut2 and Cricut Explore

SNC vs Cricut title

First off, prepare yourself, this is a long post!

Second, a bit of background on me: I’ve worked with both Provo Craft® (manufacturer of Cricut) and Brother (manufacturer of ScanNCut) as a designer and consultant, so yes – I’ve gotten machines and accessories from them and have been compensated by them both. This review, however, is based purely on my honest experience with using their current models and contains only my opinion and not either of the manufacturers. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer.

As a blogger, I get a lot of email and social media questions from you wonderful readers, and one of the topics that constantly comes up is which personal craft cutting machine to buy. I get it – it’s a big investment in not only the machine itself, but also in all of the accessories and materials you’ll be using with it. The advice is sometimes difficult to give. This is because people have such different workflows in their crafting process, in their comfort level with technology, and in the price point they want to stick with. In this review, I will try to point out the advantages and disadvantages regarding each of those points. Ultimately, however, you will know which machine will work best for you and your situation.

Now, I gave away my old Cricut Expression years ago, and so for this review (since I wanted it to be fair), I borrowed a friend of mine’s new Cricut Explore (with Bluetooth Adapter) so I could see the new changes to the Cricut machine.

Let’s start with the basics...


Cricut Explore - 24" x 9.5" x 9.5" inches and weighs 14.2 pounds

ScanNCut2 - 10.1" x 22.8" x 10.6" inches and weighs 9.9 pounds

Since I have been using my ScanNCut2 so much lately, I was actually shocked at how noticeably heavier the Cricut was when I lifted it out of the box. If you like to just craft at home and not take your machine with you, then this might not be an issue for you. But if you’re on the go or you have physical limitations, this is good information for you to know. The ScanNCut2 is also a little bit smaller as far as the footprint is concerned, but from viewing them on the same table – they look pretty similar in size. The Cricut does need more space overhead though since it has two doors that open (one up towards the ceiling that takes up 10" in height and another that opens to the front).


Comparison side by side


Set Up:

When setting up both of the machines, I didn’t use any instructions (because let’s be real, who really reads those?).

Cricut Explore - After I opened the box and took the machine and the cords out of the bag it comes in, I plugged everything in and then didn’t know what to do next until I opened the lid and saw the three steps sticker under the lid – 1: “Plug in”; 2: “Connect it to my computer with the included USB cord”; and then 3: “Go to the Cricut website to complete the set-up and walk through doing a project on the computer.” There is no display on the machine. Instead, it uses your computer screen or iPad® (once it’s linked via Bluetooth adapter, which is sold separately). I did like being walked through the first project, but since I like to create my own designs to cut out, I probably wouldn’t use their pre-made ones often (if at all). It also showed me how I needed to insert the pen correctly and how to use the “Smart Set Dial” to adjust the blade and pressure – it does it automatically for you if you select the correct material setting on the dial. While I’ve only used cardstock so far in the machine, I was impressed that it was able to cut varying thicknesses of this material using the same setting – and without cutting through the mat (although thicker cardstocks sometimes had a bit of fraying around the die cut).

Since I had created the card they had me do, I could now sync the machine to my computer or iPad®’s Bluetooth (via the Bluetooth adapter my friend had purchased separately). I’m not sure how I feel about being tied to a device in order to create or manipulate my designs. While I love, love, love my computer and iPad®, it sometimes ruins the groove I have going when I have to use it for my craft project. And once I lose momentum, the likelihood that I’ll actually finish my project grows smaller and smaller.

  2015-11-30 07.20.37


ScanNCut2 - Once you unpack this machine (sorry, no bag included with this one, but you can purchase it separately) and turn it on, it tells you on the 4.85" LCD touch screen display (which, by the way, is 30% larger than the original ScanNCut) that it is going to adjust the machine and then gives you two options: “Pattern” or “Scan”. From “Pattern,” you can use one of the built-in designs (one that you have on your computer/USB drive/or a design you’ve loaded wirelessly onto the machine). Or, you can choose “Scan” and scan a design in. With either choice, you are led through other options to get you to cut out your design. For me, it’s been foolproof. (My nine-year old niece figured it out right away.)

2015-11-30 07.59.18


Internet Connectivity:

Cricut Explore - One big drawback of this machine is that you must be connected to the internet and computer/tablet to use the software. Any cartridges you bought for previous models of Cricut must be linked online to the machine. You can connect the Cricut to your computer with the included USB cable or purchase the Bluetooth adapter and connect it to your computer (if it has Bluetooth) or your iPad®. You also must be connected to the internet to buy designs from the Cricut Image Library.

Cricut - Blootooth Adapter


ScanNCut2 - No computer is needed! You can use it with the built-in designs, a USB stick drive with designs on it, or scan designs in from the on-board 300 DPI scanner. If you want to connect directly to your computer, you can use either a USB cable (not included) or the built-in wireless connection. Being able to send my designs wirelessly to my machine from my computer and iPad® has been my favorite upgrade that Brother has made to the ScanNCut!

SNC Wireless Option



Cricut Explore -  Uses Cricut Design Space™ online cloud based software, so it’s compatible with PC and Mac. There is also a free app for newer Apple devices.

Cricut Design

I found it pretty simple to use the software with my PC and their pre-designed images, although I was frustrated by not being able to cut out multiple designs (with multiple materials) on the same mat. I was used to doing this on my old Cricut Explore and ScanNCut, and it kinda makes me nutty having to load and unload my mat multiple times. If you die-hard Cricut users have any tips on how I can get around this, please let me know.

I could upload my own images to cut, but they needed to be digital and on my computer. This required me to stop crafting and go into my office, scan in my art on my 3-in-1 printer/scanner/copier, and then import that file into the software. The app has no capability (at this time) to upload files, but there is an interesting camera button that will allow you to audition the pre-made designs onto your project (although I found it hard to get the scale correct). From your computer, you can upload JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, SVG, and DXF files to cut.


ScanNCut2 -  Uses ScanNCutCanvas™ online cloud-based software, and is compatible with PC, Mac, and most tablets that use the same link (not an app).  


If you’ve purchased the Rhinestone Kit, Sticker Kit, or Stamp Kit, you can use those premium features on both the computer and tablet. You can also send designs wirelessly with the ScanNCut “Transfer” option on both the computer and tablet as well.

I was able to import files (JPG, GIF, PNG, or BMP) from my tablet into the software to trace and convert to a FCM file (the file type that ScanNCut uses). From your computer, you can also import SVG, DXF, PES, PHC, and FCM files as well.



Cricut ExploreAs I already mentioned, the Cricut Explore One comes with a storage bag. It’s nice for holding the cords but it’s not able to fit much more than that. And because it’s not padded, I’d be leery of actually using it for a carrying case if I was traveling with it.

Cricut - Storage Bag


The machine also come with some nifty hidden storage.

Cricut - Storage


ScanNCut2 -  You can purchase a rolling tote separately, but the machine doesn’t come with a storage bag. What it does have, however, is a handy spatula and pen holder behind the LCD display screen.

SNC - storage


Designs & Fonts:

Cricut Explore - The Cricut Image Library contains images for personal use only from Disney®, Pixar®, Anna Griffin® (and more), along with projects you can purchase. You can purchase individual designs or buy a subscription. If you’re not the designing type and want to quickly purchase a design (especially a licensed design), then you may be happy using it. You can also use your previously purchased cartridges with this machine by going into your Cricut account and linking the cartridges in order to be able to use those designs from your computer or Apple device. There are over 300 Cricut fonts available for use and you can also use the ones already installed on your computer. Also, you have the capability to import SVG and other popular cut file types and cut them out.

ScanNCut2 - The CM650 model comes with over 1,100 built-in designs and 15 built-in fonts. While the ScanNCut is a stand-alone machine (i.e., you don’t have to be connected to the internet), you can also download free projects from ScanNCutCanvas and the Brother ScanNCut website. And (of course), you can convert or scan in any design or font you want as well (obeying copyright law, of course). You are also able to import SVG and other popular cut file types and cut them out.


Cutting Your Own Design:

Being an artist and having a digital craft cutting machines, one of the functions I use the most is hand drawing and then cutting out my designs. I knew I had to try it out on both of these machines to see how the final cut out designs looked, as well as how easy it was to accomplish. Here’s a video of me at work:



Cricut Explore - First off, I had to calibrate my printer and Cricut (not my favorite job since my eyesight isn’t what it used to be). The rest of the process was pretty simple:

  • I had to scan in my hand-drawn flower in order to have a JPG file to upload into Cricut Design Space.

  • Once it was uploaded, I had to choose how I wanted the image converted: “Simple,” “Moderately Complex,” or “Complex.” I went with “Simple.”

  • Next, I cropped down the image to only the flower.

  • Then, I saved it as a “Print Then Cut” image.

  • Next, I selected that image and inserted it onto the mat.

  • I had to resize it now, since it imported it really small.

  • Then I clicked on the “Go” button in Cricut Design Space, which opened up the print options. I then clicked on “Go” to have it print out on my printer.

  • Once the image printed, I placed it onto my mat, loaded it into the machine, and hit the “Go” button so that it could be cut out. The machine first reads the registration marks that are on your printout, and then it cuts out your design.

Cricut - Print Then Cut


ScanNCut2 -  Since the ScanNCut has a built-in scanner, the steps were extra-simple:

  • I placed my hand-drawn flower onto my mat and clicked the “Scan” button.

  • I then pushed the “Direct Cut” button and “Start” for my design to get scanned in.

  • Once it was scanned, I cropped it, told it "ok" and then I pushed “Cut,” adjusted my blade depth for my cardstock, and hit the “Cut” and “Start” buttons.

ScanNCut Direct Cut



Cricut Explore - Scanning is not an option, but the machine does have an “eye” that will allow you to use their software to Print Then Cut out a design that is no larger than 5.5" x 8.5" and which must be done on white materials only.


ScanNCut2 - When you push the “Scan” button, you have three options. You can “Direct Cut,” which is the simple option for when you want to just scan and then cut out what’s on your mat without doing anything fancy to it. You can also “Scan-to-Cut Data,” which will allow you to save your design so that you can manipulate it and do fancy things to it. Or, you can scan it and save it to your USB stick drive or computer. (That last option is great if you are scanning home photos to save or share online, or for artwork that you want to play with on your computer before cutting.)


SNC Scanning Optioins

In “Scan-to-Cut Data” mode, the default limitation for the smallest image you can scan is 5mm. You have the option to adjust the image down to 1mm, and also scan it up to 12" x 24" from the on-board 300 dpi scanner with RGB color recognition. The new and improved scanner on the ScanNCut2 “sees” colors better than ever. As a result, I have found that scanning lower contrast designs is even easier than it was on my original ScanNCut.

Also, one of my absolute favorite features is the capability to add my design and then scan in whatever is on my mat. I can then move my design that’s on top of it on the LCD display screen for getting the perfect placement. This gives me the choice to either use up paper scraps or get the perfect part of my mixed media art cut out.


SNC - scanning scraps



Cricut Explore - You’re able to purchase a variety of pen sets, including a metallic set. (A pack of 5 pens costs about $13.) Since Cricut has changed the blade/pen holder so that they are now separate, you can draw and then cut, although your pen will be uncapped and might dry out during the cutting phase.


Cricut Pen Holder


ScanNCut2 - The CM650 model comes with 8 pens (2 of which are for fabric and are water or air soluble). If you have a different model of ScanNCut, you can purchase those pens, but I'd recommend just getting the ScanNCut Universal Pen Holder, which will hold most pens and writing implements (and is a bargain at about $20).
SNC Universal Pen Holder



Comparison -Blades

We all know that cutting machines create sound when they are operating. (In fact, when I first used another brand of cutting machine, my husband came running in to see if I was O.K. The machine sounded like a dying moose!) Well, thankfully these cutting machines are much quieter than that, with the Cricut Explore being the quieter of the two.



Cricut Explore- You use the “Smart Set Dial” to select the proper settings for the German carbide blade and the material you plan on cutting. Then, use the web-based software to “tell” the machine to cut out your design, and, when it's ready, push the “Go” button. The Cricut Explore One’s cutting range is from .25" to 23.5" and it can cut material up to 1mm thick with the standard blade. Less dense material (such as fun foam) can be cut if it is less than 2mm thick.


Cricut - Smart Dial


ScanNCut2 - You manually adjust the German carbide blade depth by screwing the blade cover on or off to the proper height. The advantage of this is that you can quickly fine-tune your test cuts to get clean (not jagged) cuts. You can adjust your pressure settings by pressing the “Wrench” icon on the LCD display screen. Then, when you’re ready to cut, just tap “Cut” on the LCD display screen and then press the “Start/Stop” button. The cutting range of ScanNCut2 is from 11.75" to 23.75". (I've been able to cut materials up to 2mm thick with the standard cutting blade.)

SNC Wrench Settings


Wrap up:

The new Cricut Explore (and the rest of the Cricut Explore family of machines) has come a long, long, long way from the old Cricut Expression! I really hated dealing with the cartridges. I could never find the design I wanted and I hated the fact that I couldn’t use my own designs without using third-party software (which Provo Craft® strongly frowns upon). If you are a longtime Cricut owner and have collected tons of cartridges (or are a big time Disney or other licensed character fan), then you clearly want to go with the Cricut Explore One, since that model will be most compatible with what you already own. Also, if you prefer to not create your own design and would rather purchase designs from the Cricut® Image Library, then you may prefer a Cricut.


For me, personally (being a artsy and techie girl who likes to mainly create my own designs or scan in fabric and scrapbook paper), I prefer to use the ScanNCut2 (even though I have a gazillion Cricut cartridges linked to my Cricut account). My favorite feature is being able to import files from my iPad® to my ScanNCut, and then send them to my machine – wirelessly! And as I've already mentioned, I love that I can scan in my scraps for perfect design placement, as well as being able to scan in my art, stamps, scrapbook paper (and more) and quickly cut them out – without having to break my crafty rhythm.

So, that’s my take on the two cutting machines! What do you like about them? Would you recommend one machine over the other, and if so – why?


Disclosure: Erin is a paid consultant and has received  products from them to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely her own and based on her use of the products.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from these links it won't cost you a penny more but Erin will make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony). 


How To Make A Personalized iPad Sleeve Cover

EB Title - iPad Sleeve

The holidays are you need a great personalized gift for your favorite tech person? How about making them (or yourself!) a new iPad sleeve to protect one of their favorite toys?




Watch the step by step video to show you how to create your very own cover for your tablet:


To create the sleeve...

1.  Flip your placemat onto the backside and place an ipad on it so that it is about a half inch down from the top edge of the placemat. This will give the top of your iPad protection from getting scuffed up.

Title - iPad Sleeve

2.  Fold up the bottom of the placemat about a half an inch away from the bottom of the iPad. This will allow you to have enough room to tuck in the edges and anchor it closed.
Title - iPad Sleeve

3.  Cut about a half an inch away from the fold line.
Title - iPad Sleeve

4. Fold in raw edges of placemat on both sides and iron.

Title - iPad Sleeve

5.  Determine where to place your ribbon so that you can sew (or glue) it into place to be a closure for the sleeve and then sew (or glue) it into place.
Title - iPad Sleeve
Title - iPad Sleeve

6.  Sew (or glue) the two sides of the placemat together to create the backside of the sleeve and use the ribbon to cover the seem. Sew (or glue) the bottom edge of the sleeve together as well.

_DSC1052 (1)
To create the monogram... 

7. Open ScanNCutCanvas and open a new project. Then click on the "image tracing" icon.

Screenshot 2015-11-02 07.07.06


8. Select the image you want to use. Change the tracing options to "color" and then click "ok".
Screenshot 2015-11-02 07.07.06
9. Once it's finished tracing it your image will be on your mat. Select the center, which will be the rhinestone part, and move it to the right side of the mat. Right-click on it and choose "Rhinestone Wizard".

Screenshot 2015-11-01 22.46.35


10. In the Rhinestone Wizard you have the options on how you want your rhinestones to be placed on the template your creating. Select your desired settings and then hit "ok".
Screenshot 2015-11-01 22.46.35


11.  The Rhinestone Wizard will do all the work for you!
Screenshot 2015-11-01 22.46.35


12. Next, you need to transfer your finished designs over to your ScanNCut2. This is one of my favorite features because it's such a time saver! With the original ScanNCut I would use a USB stick to do this same task.   I'd first title my project, click "download" and then insert the USB drive into my computer and save the .fcm file to it and then take it to the original ScanNCut and retrieve the file to use it there. 

But now I can just type in my file name and click the download button...
Screenshot 2015-11-01 22.46.35

and then it will ask me how I want to transfer the file to my ScanNCut2...I do it wirelessly.
Screenshot 2015-11-01 22.46.35


And that's it! 
Screenshot 2015-11-01 22.46.35


On my ScanNCut2 I just click on the wireless transfer button and there's my image!
Screenshot 2015-11-01 22.46.35

13. Once you've cut out your images take them off  your mat and over to your desk. The best way to easily separate the rhinestone template you just made from the backing is to quickly pull it off of the backing. Most of the holes should remain on the backing and you can poke out any remaining stragglers.
Title - iPad Sleeve
Title - iPad Sleeve

14. Next, place your template onto the backing sheet in the box lid and pour on the rhinestones. Use the included brush to swirl the rhinestones around. The will automatically flip over and get into those holes!
Title - iPad Sleeve

15.  Next use a transfer sheet to gently lift off the rhinestones so you can iron them onto your project.
Title - iPad Sleeve

16. Figure out the placement for your iron-on vinyl letter outline and the rhinestone letter and iron them both on one at a time.
Title - iPad Sleeve

Title - iPad Sleeve

And you're done!
Title - iPad Sleeve

Such an inexpensive, easy, and cute gift to make!
Title - iPad Sleeve

sponsor: Brother International 

Disclosure: I am a paid consultant for Brother International Corporation and have received a ScanNCut from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and based on my use of the product. 

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from this link it won't cost you a penny more but I make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony)