Many craft projects can be enhanced using a Cricut machine. For instance, you can use the machine to create Christmas gift tags. Instead of purchasing tags at the store that never seem to match your wrapping paper, you can customize your gift tags by using different color cardstock papers and just a few craft supplies.
Plug in your Cricut machine on a sturdy table. Insert the Very Merry Tags cartridge into the machine and place the specialized keyboard in the proper position on the top of the machine. Remove the plastic cover from the cutting mat and set aside.
Remove a sheet of cardstock from the package. You'll find holiday-inspired cardstock packages at your local craft store, featuring different varieties of Christmas colors, glitter accents and textures. Cut the cardstock to the 12-inch by 6-inch size required to fit onto the mat. Place the cardstock against the sticky side of the cutting mat.
Insert the mat into the machine with the arrow facing toward the machine. Press "Load Paper" and the Cricut will pull the mat into the correct place. Use the cutting guide that came with the Very Merry Tags cartridge for corresponding buttons and layers to determine which style of tag you will cut first.
Set the size dial on the side of the Cricut to the size you desire for your gift. The more detail you plan to place on your tag, the larger its overall size should be. Press the "Shadow" button on the Cricut and then press the corresponding tag to cut. The "Shadow" button will cut out the outline shape of the Christmas gift tag. Depending on the size of each tag, more than one can be printed at the same time. Press the "Cut" button once you have finished your selections and wait for the machine to finish.
Press "Unload Paper" when the machine has finished. Remove the cut tag outlines and the paper scraps from the cutting mat. Use a different color holiday cardstock from the package to complete the top layer decorations. Cut the cardstock to 12-inches by 6-inches and place on the cutting mat. Load the paper and mat back into the Cricut machine.
Press the "Layer" button on your keypad. Use your cutting guide to decide what top layer you want to cut for the outline that you have just completed and select those designs on the keypad. Note that the top layer is the decorative portion of the gift tag. Ensure that the top layer you are cutting is similar in size and shape to the outline you have just printed by correlating the size with the side dial setting.
Press the "Cut" button and allow the machine to cut out the shapes. Remove the top layers from the cutting pad and set any scraps to the side. Take the outline cut pieces and place the cutout layer pieces on top of them. Make any adjustments needed with a pair of scissors to ensure the top layer pieces will fit on the tag outlines.
Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of the layer pieces. Press the layers onto the tag outlines and smooth them down with a finger to prevent air bubbles from forming. Allow them to dry fully. When dry, cut small pieces of correlating ribbon colors. Thread the ribbon through the pre-cut eyelet in your tag and tie them at the top. Accent the gift tags with glitter or cut out secondary layers using the Cricut machine and glue them in place as well. Allow tags to fully dry prior to placing them on Christmas gifts.
Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.