Take out your Cricut engraving tool and get ready to make some learning mats in this beginner-friendly Cricut project.
I’ve been homeschooling my toddler a lot more recently and continue to look for ways create learning materials for her using my Cricut. The Cricut engraving tool is so fun and easy to use and with my free SVG cut files, this project is the perfect Cricut engraving tool beginner’s project.
If you don’t have the Cricut engraving tool, you can still make these mats with permanent vinyl. See below for alternative steps.
If you like this tutorial, join our Facebook community where I post my free SVG files and resources! I look forward to crafting with you!
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MATERIALS TO MAKE THE CRICUT ENGRAVED LEARNING MAT
- Standard Grip Cutting Mat (the 12″x 12″ size and 12″x 24″ size)
- Dollar Tree Cutting Mats (found in kitchen aisle), they are 11″ x 14″ and come in 2 packs.
- My free SVG design files (available in my free resource library – get the password by filling out the form on the sidebar or below).
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HOW TO MAKE THE CRICUT ENGRAVED LEARNING MAT
If you’d rather watch a video on how to make it step by step, take a look at this video here (highly recommended!):
STEP 1: DOWNLOAD THE SVG FILE
Grab your SVG file from the free resource library.
Unzip the file. If you do not have a program installed on your computer to unzip, I recommend 7-zip. (It’s free! Windows only)
STEP 2: DESIGN IN CRICUT DESIGN SPACE
Upload the blank template design in Cricut Design Space.
The designs are already sized for cutting so no sizing adjustments are needed.
We do however need to customize the text for the name mat. The next few steps will show you how to do this.
Select the Text tool and start typing the top half of your design. The font you want to use is called Print Clearly. You need to download the dashed version of the font. (You should see three different fonts listed).
Resize the font after typing in your customized name to fit the lines.
Adjust the letter spacing to stretch out the letters.
Repeat with the bottom text.
You should now have 4 layers. One for the “Hello my name is:” which will be cut on Cricut permanent vinyl. One for the dotted lines and one for first name and one for the last name.
For each layer that we an engraving, (not the “Hello my name is:” layer), we need to tell Cricut that we are engraving instead of cutting. We can do this by adjusting the cut type to “Engraving”.
ALTERNATE STEP // If you do not have the Cricut engraving tool, you can leave these layers are cut and cut them out on permanent vinyl or cut using the fine point blade.
There is still one last thing we need to do before we are ready to cut.
We need to attach the engraving layers together and then attach the vinyl layer together. This will let your Cricut machine know that you want all of these different pieces to stay where they are.
Now we are ready to move to the next screen. Click “Make it”!
STEP 3: CUT IT OUT
I am using these cutting board mats from the Dollar tree. They come in 2 packs and are 11×14.
Cricut Design Space will sort the mats based on colour.
You should only have two mats. One for the engraving and one for the vinyl. If you have more than that, you likely missed something when you went to attach. Please go back and reattach the layers.
Now we need to mirror our images. Make sure you do this for both mats.
We should also drag our engraving layer and move it a little closer to the center. The cutting mat that we are engraving on is 11×14 so you can use that as a reference. I found moving the mat with the bottom engraving line just past the 1″ mark worked best.
ALTERNATE STEP // If you are using only vinyl (no Cricut engraving tool), you still need to mirror the mats. You do not need to center and move the design.
Now we can cut out our design.
There are two sides to the cutting mat. A shiny side (the side you will write on with dry erase markers) and the a gritty side. Place the shiny side down on the mat.
Tape it down with painter’s tape to help keep it secure.
The engraving cut is set to kraftboard with more pressure. This is for both the Maker with engraving tool as well as the Explore Air 2 with the fine point blade.
Don’t forget to change the setting when you go to cut your vinyl. I used the regular permanent vinyl setting for this.
STEP 4: WEED
Now we need to weed our vinyl. (This basically means removing the parts we don’t want to use.)
I liked to start from the corner to get the bigger piece off and then use my weeding tools to get the smaller bits.
Once you are done weeding, transfer your vinyl to your transfer tape.
STEP 5: PLACE THE DESIGN
Now that we have our template ready to go on our transfer tape, you can place it on our mat.
Remove the backing and place the design on the mat.
I taped one side of the design down and then cut half of the design from the middle. Then I laid down the design and pushed down the pattern using my scraper.
Remove the transfer tape.
Remove the painter’s tape and do the same to the other side.
ALTERNATE STEP // If you cut out these designs on vinyl instead of using the Cricut engraving tool, remember to do the transfer tape steps for the writing layers as well.
That’s all! Doesn’t it look great?
Head over to our Facebook community to show off the mats you’ve made!