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Cricut Wood Cutting: How to Make a Balsa Wood Sign!

Are you thinking of making a Cricut wood cutting project? Find out how to cut and add HTV onto wood to create a cute DIY decor sign!

If you have the Cricut Maker, I’m sure one of the projects you’ve wanted to tackle is cutting wood. At least it was for me!

I wanted to make a new cute sign for my front door wreath and I am so giddy with how it came out! I painted the cut wood and added iron-on vinyl to it so I wanted to share with you the steps to make your own sign plus give you a FREE SVG file!

cricut maker wood projects pinterest

First, a few notes on Cricut Maker wood projects…

What kind of wood can a Cricut Maker cut?

The Cricut Maker can cut thin balsa wood and basswood.

It can cut balsa wood with thicknesses of 1/32″, 1/16″, and 3/32″. For basswood, it can cut 1/32″ and 1/16″.

Cricut has its own line of basswood which is nice and smooth and made to create optimal results with the knife blade. The Cricut basswood is 1/16″ and is what I used for this project.

Since the wood needs to be taped down on the mat, the maximum size a Cricut will cut is 10.5 x 11.5″ and 10.5 x 23.5″. Also, small intricate designs are not ideal and you will probably not get the results you want. So don’t waste your money and material on trying to cut out small jagged wood pieces!

What do you need to cut wood with a Cricut?

You will need the knife blade. This is one of the many Cricut Maker blades that are available for only the Maker.

You will also need a strong grip or purple mat and blue painter’s tape. I’ll explain why in a minute!

I’d also recommend a brayer to make sure you get it really stuck down (but this is optional). I love mine and use it all the time for so many different materials!

You will also need some time! Cutting wood with a Cricut takes a good amount of time since it will need to do a ton of passes. Depending on the size and how many cuts it needs to make it can take minutes or up to 30-45 minutes. It can pause if there are issues while cutting so you will want to be close by in case that happens.

Make sure to check out Cricut.com and read all about Cricut wood cutting details and troubleshooting.

Ok, so let’s get into the project!

Materials Needed for HTV on Wood Sign

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale, Awin, and Amazon.com. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

cutting wood with cricut maker

First: Cricut Design Space

Make sure to download the FREE SVG Home Sweet Home file from below. It might look blurry when it first comes up, but once you download it, it will appear clear. I have no idea why this happens sometimes!

Upload it into Cricut Design Space. It will have two layers – the shadow layer that I cut out of basswood and then wording that I cut out of iron-on vinyl.

home sweet home svg files

You can make it smaller or bigger if you like. Click on Make It and then make sure to toggle on the Mirror Setting. Cricut recommends cutting wood on mirror setting also, but I forgot to toggle that one on … oops!

cutting htv cricut

Click on the wood mat and drag the image down and in one inch. You will have tape on the edges so you don’t want it cutting off the edge which can ruin the blade.

cutting wood on cricut

Click continue and select the proper materials in the drop-down menu. I selected Patterned Iron-On for the wording.

patterned htv setting

Click done and get ready to load the mats.

Cutting Patterned Iron-On Vinyl

Place the patterned iron-on vinyl with the colored side down on a light grip mat.

cutting htv cricut

Load it when CDS prompts you too. Press the blinking cut light. Remove when done and weed off the extra HTV.

patterned heat transfer vinyl
weeding patterned heat transfer vinyl
weeding patterned heat transfer vinyl

Cutting Wood with a Cricut Maker

Cutting wood with the Maker is similar to cutting chipboard. Place the piece of basswood about 1/2 inch down and in from the sides of the mat. Press it down well with a brayer.

cutting wood with cricut maker

Secure the wood sheet in place with painter’s tape on all four sides.

cutting wood with cricut maker

Move the rollers of your Cricut Maker to the sides. Simply push two over to each side with your finger.

cutting wood with cricut maker

Make sure to change your material setting before cutting your wood!

cutting basswood setting

Remove the fine point blade and insert the knife blade housing.

cricut maker knife blade
inserting knife blade

Load the mat when prompted and push the cut light when blinking. After one pass of cutting, CDS will give you an estimate of how many cuts it will make and approximate time remaining.

cricut wood cutting
cutting basswood

If the Cricut pauses during the cutting phase, do what CDS tells you to do. Try to gently remove any loose pieces of wood or debris if you see any. Even though it looks like it might be done, let the machine finish all the passes.

cricut wood cutting

Mine got stuck on one part. I tried to wipe any debris away and start it again but it got stuck again! Since the cutting was almost done I unloaded my mat and removed the tape.

cricut wood cutting

Most of it was cut all the way through but a few sections were not. I turned the wood sheet over and used my TrueControl Knife to cut through the few areas that were not all the way cut.

cricut wood cutting
cricut wood cutting

Cool, right? Now I had both pieces cut out.

htv on wood

This is an optional step, but I wanted a bigger contrast between the wood and the wording so I painted the basswood with chalk paint.

cricut maker wood projects

The one thing I noticed after I painted was that the wood started bending. So once it was dry to the touch (about 20 minutes or so) I put a heavy book on it to flatten it back down.

cricut maker wood projects

Applying HTV to Wood

Once it was completely dry and flat I applied the iron-on vinyl. I looked up the heat setting on the heat guide and preheated my EasyPress to 305F and set the timer to 30 seconds.

iron on vinyl on wood

Once it was preheated, I pressed the chalk painted wood for 5 seconds. Then I centered the iron-on vinyl and placed a teflon sheet over then entire image and pressed it for 30 seconds with firm pressure.

home sweet home svg free
cricut maker wood projects
applying htv on to wood

When the plastic liner is cool to the touch, remove it.

home sweet home sign
cricut maker wood projects

Another thing I learned was that the thin wood likes to bend when it gets warm too! So I put some heavy books on it again (while it was still warm) and let it sit for a while.

I sanded the edges some to distress the wood sign, taped some twine on the backside, and then tied it on my wreath.

cricut maker wood projects
cricut maker wood projects
home sweet home cricut

FREE Home Sweet Home SVG

Here is the free SVG file to use for personnel use only. If you’d like to purchase a commercial use, click here.

Click Here to download the SVG file. Again, it might appear blurry at first but will upload into CDS clearly.

If you love Christmas crafting and free stuff, make sure to check out my roundup of over 30 cute free Christmas SVG files to craft with!

cricut wood cutting pinterest

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a festive season!

leap of faith crafting

Sharing is caring!

Lynne

Sunday 17th of May 2020

Can this be done with the explorer air 2 with different wood? Love it!

Leap of Faith Crafting

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hi Lynne, thanks! Honestly, I have not cut out wood an Explore but I have seen posts where they were successful with specific wood and the deep cut blade. I'm sure you can google it and find a tutorial or two! Sorry, I couldn't be more help!

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