How to Engrave Dog Tags & Jewelry on a Cricut


– Hello everybody my
name is Jenifer Maker, today we are engraving metal tags, charms, bracelets, earrings,
and necklaces using the Cricut Maker on The Great
Maker Show and Tell. (upbeat music) So did you know that the Cricut Maker can engrave metal? It totally can, and yesterday I engraved these beautiful anodized aluminum dog tags and charms on my Maker. I also engraved this copper bracelet and these brass earrings. And the best part it was so easy and fast. Just think of all the personalized gifts that you can give this year. So to do this yourself at home you’re first going to
need the Cricut Maker. Which is a pretty
fabulous cutting machine, if I do say so myself. Beyond engraving it can cut paper, vinyl, thin wood, leather, and even fabric. Thanks to the adaptive tool system that’s inside of it. You also need the engraving tip. You can buy the engraving
tip with or without the QuickSwap Housing. So if you already have the screwing tool for your maker you already have the QuickSwap Housing. And you only need to get the tip. And you’re also going to need something to engrave upon of course. So for the Cricut Maker engraving tip to work properly on metal to look good you’re going to want a soft metal like aluminum, brass, or copper. It should also work on things like pewter and sterling silver and even gold if you had it. It won’t work on anything like galvanized steel however. So avoid those metal signs that you see at the craft store. They’re not going to work. It’s also really important to pay attention to the thickness of your metal. Because anything that you want to engrave needs to fit in your Maker, and be able to move around freely under your engraving tip. So I recommend you go no thicker than 16 gauge metal which is
about 1/16 of an inch. But don’t worry most
metal engraving blanks, like all of these, are 16 gauge or higher. And the higher the gauge
the thinner the metal. So that’s totally fine. Other than a nice soft flat metal, like one of these, you’re
also going to want a purple StrongGrip Mat
that’s nice and sticky, and some painters tape
or some masking tape to keep your engraving blank in place as you are engraving it. And if you decide to make some jewelry like I have, you’re also going to want some jewelry making supplies like jump rings, needle nose pliers, and maybe even a bracelet bender. Which is how I was able
to make these bracelets. And don’t worry I am going to show you how to use it. And if you’re anything like me you already are worrying about how you’re going to get your engravings centered onto these
teeny tiny little blanks. But don’t worry, I’ve come up with a pretty easy way that works every time and I’m going to show you how to center your engraving blanks so you can get them looking amazing. Now once you have your supplies, it’s time to create a design. So let’s go to our computers and we’re going to do this together, and we’re going to design
something beautiful. Now the first step is to get or make engraving templates. I have some made for you already over on my blog at
jennifermaker.com/library or you can just choose enter the library when you’re in my blog itself. Now once you’re in the library you’ll want to search the page for engraving so that you can find the templates easily. And once you have them click or tap them to download them to your computer or device. You’ll want to open them and unzip them so you can locate the SGV files to upload them to your design software. Now don’t forget design software updates and changes over time. If anything about what I’m about to show you in the design software seems outdated or different than what you see on your screen, I’ve likely already discovered this and made updates for you. You can always check by opening a new window and going to
jennifemaker.com/updates. Videos are sorted by date. If there have been any updates to how the design software I show in this video works for this particular project, or if there have been any changes in how you do it. It will be listed here. And now the second step is to create or find a design. To begin let’s open Cricut Design Space. Click the new project button right there, and then click on Upload over on the left. Click Upload Image. Click Browse and find the SVG that you downloaded from my blog. That’s the template file, and click Open. You’ll see it appear and then go ahead and click the green button to save it. Once it’s there, select it. Click on Insert Images
to put it on your canvas. So here are the templates
that I’ve prepared. It’s not all of the possible
blank sizes and shapes, but it’s a lot of the really popular ones. Let’s make this a little bigger so we can see it a little easier. Now many people like to engrave names, so lets start there. To begin, click on the
text tool over on the left. Type the text that you want
to appear and choose a font. Now, you’re going to want to pay attention to whether a font is free or not. If there is a cost
associated with the font, a price is going to appear in the font selection menu, so
keep an eye out for that. And you can, of course, upload fonts. I have a separate tutorial on how to install fonts onto either your desktop, laptop computer, or
your iOS mobile device, like an iPhone or iPad
so that you can use them for free in Cricut Design Space. For this tutorial, I’m going to choose a multi-layer font called
“Boys Will Be Boys Block.” And this is available in Cricut Access. Now, I really like this font because not only is it fun and easy to read, but the fact that it’s multilayer means that it will show up a bit better after it’s engraved because it has two layers for each letter. So once you’ve chosen your font, it’s probably going to show
up way too big, that’s normal. So just click on that resize icon in the lower right and click and drag until you have it the size that you want. You want to make sure
you’ve got a good margin around your word so that it looks good on your engraving blank. I’m going to make this screen a little bigger so we can see. And now, this is a multi-layer font and you can see over on the right here that we have several layers and there is a separate layer for each letter. Now, one of those layers is
not even visible right now. We need to make sure that all layers are visible, and we can show any hidden layers by clicking on the eye
icon, just like this. Step three is to set
your design to engrave. Now, we change our layers in Design Space from cut to engrave
using the Linetype menu, but if you go there and you don’t see the engrave option, it’s probably because you don’t have your Maker selected. So be sure to select it up here in the upper right-hand corner, then use the Linetype menu, and then you’ll see the engrave option. All right but it’s important that all layers are set to
engrave, so be sure to select all layers in
your design and change them from cut to engrave. So now we can see in
the right, they’re all set to engrave, but they also need to be attached together. To attach the layers,
just select all of them then click the Attach button at the bottom of your screen, just like that. Now they are ready to be
engraved onto the dog tag. But we have one last step. We need to hide our templates. So select the template layer, which is this yellow layer here, and click on that eye icon to hide it. The only thing you want to
see on your screen is the design that you want to
engrave onto your blank. Once you have that, go
ahead and click Make It in the upper right-hand
corner of your screen. The fourth step is to center
your design on the screen. Now, after you click
Make It, it’s going to take you to the mat preview screen and you’ll see that it’s set to engrave and you’ll see your design. You need to click and drag your design to the dead center of your mat. That’s the intersection
of the six inch line at the top and the six inch
line at the side there. That is the very center. Now I recommend that you make your mat preview bigger so you can see better and then use your scroll
bars until you can really get in there close and then you really want to center it. Make sure that you have the same amount of space above, below, to
the left, and to the right of those two intersecting lines. That’s how you know
you’ve got it centered. So always check. I mean, you’re going to have to eyeball it unless you want to get out your ruler and put it against your screen, but eyeballing is totally good enough. When you got it, click continue. And now you’ll need to set your materials. So click on Browse All
Materials, and you want to look around for the material that you’re going to engrave on. I’m using anodized aluminum dog tag, so I’m going to select
that and click Done. Now, here’s a very important note. If you get to your
material selection screen and you don’t see the metals
that you’re expecting to, like the ones you see on my screen, it’s because you have
something on your canvas that’s not set to engrave. Because if you have something set to cut, the Cricut cannot cut aluminum or brass or anything like that, so it won’t show you those options. So go backwards, find out what item is not set to engrave, change it, and then go ahead and click that green Make It button again and then you will see your metals show up to engrave. So step 5 is to center
your engraving blank onto your cutting mat. Once you click that Done button, it’s time to load the engraving tip into clamp B and then load your cutting mat into your Cricut. All right, so here we
have our engraving tip already in our QuickSwap Housing and all ready to go. The tip says 41 on it if you’re having any issues identifying it, because there are other tips as well. We also have our purple StrongGrip Mat and our blue painters tape and our Maker. And then over here we’ve got our blanks. I’ve got a variety of blanks, but going to be using our dog tag blank and this is what we want
to center on our mat. So look for that white
crosshairs on your mat. All the new mats have
that white crosshair. Make sure that there’s
no film on your dog tag or your blank or whatever you’re using. You can usually tell just by kind of touching it, it feels like
there’s a protective film on it, make sure you remove that. And then center it on your mat. Use the intersection
to make sure that it’s right in the middle of your blank and then make sure you
have your blank above and below and to the left and to the right of that intersection in equal amounts. Right? And that’s how we can tell. And this is what it looks
like when it’s centered. You can see that center line is right in the middle of the blank and in both horizontal and vertical, okay? Now we also need to tape it down. It’s not good enough to just put it onto the StrongGrip Mat. So take some painters tape or masking tape and tape just the very edges. You want to make sure
you don’t have any tape where your engraving tip
will actually be engraving because it can gum up the works with tape and we don’t want that. So just place the tape on the very edges to keep it in place if it decides it wants to move around on your mat. Just like this. Now, the sixth step, we’re going to actually engrave the blank
with our engraving tip. So we’ve got our blank onto our mat, it’s all taped down, all ready to go. Let’s open up the Maker and we’re going to put our engraving tip into clamp B. So you’re going to remove any blade that might already be in clamp B and then you’re going
to make sure that you’ve got your tip into your housing
and it’s the right tip. Now remember you can press the button on the top of the QuickSwap
Housing to release the tip. You just need to line up the shapes in the tip and the housing
that they go together. And once it’s in there,
you can release that button and it will stay in place. And then you can put it
into your Cricut Maker, just line up the gears in the back, close the clamp, and lock it shut. Now it’s important that
you center your mat between the two mat guides because you’ll notice when you put it in here, there’s wiggle room. You can actually have it
a little bit off center if you’re not paying attention. So, when you press your mat in, make sure it’s right in
between those two mat guides instead of being too far to the left or too far to the right and then press your load button. And then once it’s loaded and looks good, it’s time to go ahead and engrave it! So press the flashing button
and it will begin engraving. Now, let me give you a close up so you can see what it looks like
when it’s engraving. (Cricut Maker engraving) And yes, this is how it sounds. (Cricut Maker engraving) When it’s all done, click
the unload mat button and you can see that it’s engraved! Doesn’t that look awesome? I think that looks great, I especially love this multi-layer cutting font because it definitely has a thicker, more bolder engraving design on it. So carefully peel off the tape. You don’t want to re-use this tape because you just can’t count on it to be in your machine, so
go ahead and discard that. And then to remove your
blank from your mat, flip your mat over and gently peel the mat away from the blank rather than the blank away from the mat. And that’s it! Here it is. Isn’t it awesome? I’m so excited, I think it’s so easy and it’s perfectly centered, too. Now of course there’s many more ways and things that you can
design onto your blanks. So for example, I’m
going to type out my name and I’m going to choose a
writing font called Emiline that’s in Cricut Access. I like it because it’s
a single stroke font. I’m going to bring that
size down so it fits onto one of my round disc blanks. And I’m using a cursive
font, so you can see how we bring the letters together. I use the letter spacing command to smoosh everything together and then I go up to Advanced and
choose Ungroup to Letters so I can move each individual
letter so it looks perfect because the kerning isn’t quite right in the Cricut Design Space yet. Once it’s all together,
I want to select just those letters and I want
to attach everything. And I’m going to go ahead
and hide the template and click Make It, but I
see an issue right now. But it’s set to draw, not engrave. I forgot to change it to engrave. So don’t worry, if you
do this, don’t worry. Just go up to your Linetype
menu, choose engrave, move your design to the
dead center of your mat, make sure it’s centered
using the plus sign down at the bottom to magnify it. And make sure that it’s
on engrave this time. Once your materials come up,
click on Browse All Materials and we’re going to choose
anodized aluminum again because it’s an anodized aluminum disc. Okay, now let’s center
it on our cutting mat. So now we do the same thing as before. We take our anodized
disc, make sure there’s no film on it, center it
right in the middle of our mat and we’re going to use our
painters tape or masking tape to tape down just the edges. We don’t need any more than that. Make sure that you center it in between your two mat guides,
press the Load Mat button and go ahead and press the
flashing button to engrave it. And this project is so
quick because it’s literally just my name, Jennifer, in
one stroke so it’s very fast. And that’s it. And here is our finished
anodized aluminum disc. Let me show you what this looks like. There we go. Isn’t that really well
centered and very clear? It looks great. So there’s tons of
other things you can do. How about we make a bracelet now? I’m going to use one of the
fonts that I’ve downloaded and uploaded to my
computer called “Couture” and I’m going to make a bracelet down here on one of the long
templates that you see here. And this font doesn’t,
again, it doesn’t kern well so I had to use the advanced
to ungroup to letters but then I select everything,
change it to an engrave, move it to the center of
my mat, just like before. Zoom in to make sure you
really got that centered well. And then I’m going to put
this onto a copper bracelet. Now, copper isn’t one of
the options that comes up in the material settings
on the Cricut, but I used the brass setting
and that worked just fine. So choose brass. And again, you want to
make sure you’ve got the film off of your
bracelet, center it right in the very middle of your
mat, and then tape it down. Again, just tape just the edges
so it doesn’t move around. You don’t want to be
engraving on tape itself. Center it between your two mat guides and load it into your Cricut. And it will go ahead and engrave “Craft a life you love” onto the bracelet, which I think is super cool. These bracelets are really neat because they just look like flat
pieces of metal right now and that allows us then to engrave on it but once it’s all
engraved, we can then use a bracelet bending bar
to bend it into shape. Now something that I
want to show you is that sometimes when you’re engraving, the tool will lift and spin in place and this is to remove any debris that might have gotten stuck on that tip so that you
have nice, clean engraving. So if it does this, it’s totally normal. Don’t worry about it. All right, so there’s our
bracelet, all engraved. Now one of the cool things that you can do is actually put an enamel marking pen or enamel paint on the engraved section of your bracelet or whatever
you’ve engraved really, this works with everything. And let it sit there for a few minutes and then wipe it off. And you’ll discover that the paint seeps into the engraved areas and it darkens the engravings and it
makes it easier to read. It does look a little more weathered, a little more antique, but
it’s really quite a cool look. And when you’re all done, you can bend it so it turns into a bracelet with this bar. This is also ImpressArt brand bar and you just bend it to the
size that’ll fit your wrist. And then it goes right on
your wrist just like this. Isn’t that awesome? These are going to make
a great gift this year. Okay, so let’s do another one. Make sure that you hide everything that you don’t want to do. Let’s go looking for a design. I’m going to pick these leaves here and we’re going to make
the brass drop earrings. So these are just leaf images that I found in the Image Library
here in Cricut Access. And I’m going to just rearrange them and put them together in a pleasing way and then I’m going to
set everything to engrave and we’re going to see what happens. So this is how you could use a design and make it fit your little, tiny blank or whatever shape you have. So I just, you know, this is it, I just use other people’s designs and I just put them together. And you could do this for
all these different pendants. And it’s really awesome, there’s lots of really cool shapes and
stuff in Cricut Access. But let’s do just this little flower. Again, we’re going to
center right in the middle of our mat in the mat preview. I’m going to put it onto a alkeme disc. Now, this is a sterling silver knock-off that is much less expensive
than sterling silver but it’s super shiny like sterling silver but really very soft, and this is also an ImpressArt blank. Now use anodized aluminum
for the material setting in Cricut because alkeme isn’t an option, but the anodized aluminum setting works just fine for alkeme. So again, we center it on our mat and we tape down just the sides so that we don’t have any tape on the section that we’ll be engraving. Load it into our machine and press go. And it did a excellent job. So let me show you what it looks like. There we go! It looks great. And let’s do another one. How about we do pewter one? So I have a pewter heart, so I’m going to just do a J + G and make sure that I show all the layers,
change them all to engrave, attach, and hide our
template and move it to the center of mat, just like before. And for the pewter, I’m going
to choose anodized aluminum. And it’s just like
before, we just center it right on our mat, tape down just the edges and go to town and that’s it. I mean, I know I did
these last few projects very quickly but I wanted
you to see how we could do some different designs
on our engraving blanks and they all worked out
and it’s really so easy to center things on our mats. And I just did these,
these are very quickly. They took only a few minutes each. All right, let’s end
with a aluminum plaque. So I’m going to get some
designs and some letters. You know what, some sort
of like swirly things or something like decorative
to put at the corners, so I’m going to search
“border,” see what I can find. Oh, this looks good, I think. That would be perfect. So I’m going to center that right there and then I’m going to
type my name and change the font to “Couture,”
which I really like. Change everything to engrave,
attach it all together, move it to the center of the mat. Make sure it’s right
there in the very center. Click continue. And this is an aluminum plaque so under material settings
we’re going to choose aluminum sheet and we’re going to do exactly the same thing that we did before. Remove any film that’s on our blank, center it right in the middle of our mat making sure we’ve got
an even amount of space above and below and to the side of that cross in the middle. Center it between our mat guides and then go ahead and load the mat in and press the flashing
button to start engraving. All right, there we go, it’s done. We’re going to take off
our tape, throw that away. See? Doesn’t that look awesome? Now wasn’t that easy? I love how quickly and simply the engraving tip and
the Cricut Maker works. And how we can get it lined
up and centered so well. Now remember if your design doesn’t seem to be centered like you expected it to be, you’re probably inserting your cutting mat off to one side or the other. Always keep it centered
so when you push it in. If you can’t do that for
one reason or another, just keep it to one side or the other and then account for that offset when you center your blank on your
screen or on your mat. And did you know that the engraving tip can be used on other materials, too? You can also engrave acrylic,
plastic, and leather. Look for more video tutorials where we use other engraving blanks
for making awesome stuff. Now, if you have any questions
at all about engraving metal on your Cricut
Maker, just leave your question below or come on over and ask in my awesome Cricut group at jennifermaker.com/cricutcrafters. This is also the perfect place to share your photos of the engraving
projects that you made. I love to see what you made. And that’s it for today. Remember, if you can tell
me what you want to make, I can show you how to make it. Until next time. (cheerful music playing)

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