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Take Your Cutting Machine Out of the Box!

Jan 31, 2020

How many of you know the quote that I am famous for? You know the one where I make that funny face and say…

“Get that machine out of the BOX!”

Did you get a new Cricut or a Cameo cutting machine for Christmas? Or maybe you got one just for fun years ago and it’s still sitting in the box? I can’t count the number of times that I have been told, “I have a cutting machine, but it has been in my closet for three years.” or “It has never been out of the box and I’ve had it for over a year.”

It’s time to ask yourself “What is keeping me from getting my cutting machine out and getting started?” Are you afraid of it? Is it overwhelming to think about setting it up, registering it, and trying to learn the software? Are you afraid you won’t be able to do it? I hope it will make you feel better to know you are not the only one! I’ve heard these concerns over and over from so many people. But I can help! I am here to help you overcome your fear and master your cutting machine and the software.

I remember when I got my first Cricut about 14 years ago. I bought it with every intention of using it. I got it out, set it up, and could not figure it out. Those were the days when it had a keypad on it and it did not connect to the computer. I gave that little Cricut to my sister and she started using it right away. She had it figured out in no time at all. Show off!

Fast forward to three years ago when I started decorating sugar cookies and wanted to learn how to make custom stencils for my cookie orders. I bought a brand new XActo knife and tried to cut a stencil. That didn’t work, so I bought a little tool that is supposed to burn stencils and that was a joke. A total waste of money! And with both the XActo knife and the stencil burner, it took me forever to even attempt cutting the design. And when I finally did, it just looked terrible. That’s when I remembered that little Cricut that I couldn’t figure out how to use. I knew that there had to be some improvements and thought maybe I could figure it out this time around and use it to cut stencils. So I went to, bought my first cookie inspired Cricut, and I did not let it intimidate me this time! When it was delivered, I pulled it out of the box, read every word in the directions, got online, and registered my account. I even watched all of those suggested video tutorials. That was the easy part. The only trouble was that none of the tutorials were about designing stencils. I had to figure that out all on my own. I had to learn to see everything as a stencil. And so began my stencil designing journey.

I am not going to tell you that it was easy. I am going to tell you that it was hard. And I got so frustrated some of the time that I cried. I would spend hours and hours designing a stencil trying to figure out how to use Cricut Design Space. Some days (or the wee hours of the early morning because I had stayed up all night), I wanted to go at that cutting machine with a bat and throw it out the window. I literally banged my head on my desk multiple times. I can’t even tell you how much stencil material I wasted. I tried cutting on paper but that didn’t work very well because the paper would stick to the mat. Then I tried cutting on card stock but it didn’t always give me the results I wanted. So I decided to just go for it and use the stencil material I had purchased even if I wasted it. And I wasted a lot! I cut holes in my mats and I would have to buy new ones and tossed bad stencil after stencil I the trash… but I kept going and I kept getting better!

As I began to get familiar with Design Space, I started sharing my experiences with other people in a Facebook group while I was designing stencils for my cookie orders. I was totally hooked. I loved designing stencils and helping people learn how to design them too. Once I started helping people and offering encouragement, I started getting emails and Facebook messages and questions in our Facebook group from people all over the world. That’s when I decided to begin writing a blog with tutorials. I was still getting all of the same messages with the same questions over and over and I really wanted to be able to talk to people so I could explain thoroughly. I just had to keep typing the same answers over and over. That’s when I decided to start a Facebook group of my own and within six months that group had grown to nearly 5,000 people. I continued helping as much as I could while trying to bake and decorate cookies. When I realized that I could not do both, I started The Colorful Cookie Club. I’m still hooked on designing and I still love teaching people how to design stencils too. I love it!

I’m here to encourage you! You don’t have to figure this all out on your own like I did. I’ll teach you everything you need to know. If you have a cutting machine and don’t have a clue where to begin or, dare I ask, if you still have it in the box, try The Colorful Cookie Club. You’ll have access to tons of video tutorials (including ones that show you how to get machines out and set them up)! On top of the tutorials, you’ll also be part of a community of amazing cookiers of all different skill levels. We encourage each other and you’ll be able to ask any questions you have and receive answers from me and other club members who want to see you succeed. We’ve all been at the beginning at some point, and we are still learning and sharing new cookie skills every day! And the great thing is that it’s a monthly subscription. It is a small investment with a HUGE return! You can join and give it a go and cancel if it’s not for you. But I promise I will do everything I can to get you going and on your way! I will warn you though, once you get started, it is very addictive. But it’s also so satisfying to master the machine and design custom stencils for your cookie orders. When you can customize your cookies, people will want to order YOUR cookies. Whether you decorate cookies as a business or a hobby, stencil designing is so satisfying!

I haven’t even mentioned that I also teach people how to use their cutting machine for printable treat toppers, edible images, cookie-cutter design, and so much more than that. I even teach members how to draw stencil designs on the iPad and cut them on their cutting machines. These cutting machines are amazing, there is so much that they can do! And once you get going you will wonder why you left yours in the box or your closet and didn’t get it out sooner. I know it can feel daunting at first but I can coach you every step of the way. Don’t be afraid! You just need to take that first step, which is…GET THAT MACHINE OUT OF THE BOX!



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