Another great option you have with your Cricut machine is using markers to create images as opposed to cutting the images out. This gives you a multitude of choices for card making. I like to use the markers to outline before I make cuts. This makes the cut images stand out more. It’s just another creative way to use your Cricut.
The pens can also add designs within the cuts. For example, a Mickey Mouse image might cut out the shape of Mickey, but the pen will draw the details inside the shape such as his eyes and clothing.
With this design option you can turn any image into custom stickers or make coloring books with all your kid’s favorite characters.
Pens are also good for shading or highlighting cuts.
You’ll have to remove the blade housing and replace it with a marker or a pen holder. I always put a piece of scrap paper under the pen so I don’t write on my mat or paper accidentally.
You can NOT move the carriage at all when you switch out the pen and blade. If you do, then the cut and the outline the pen made will not match. To match exactly you need to be sure you don’t move the carriage at all.
Select the image you want to draw and hit the cut button; the marker will draw the design. If you want to cut it out, press the load paper button and the carriage will return to the starting point. Never unload the mat because your images will not line up. Remove the marker and install the blade housing. (I know I told you to always turn off your machine when working with the blade, but this is the exception. If you turn off the machine it will forget the last instruction, so don’t turn it off, just be careful.) Now press the repeat last key and the cut button and watch the magic happen.
You can purchase markers and gel pens from Provo Craft. There are also other compatible pens and markers from other manufacturers. For the best quality look for pens that are acid-free, archival safe, do not bleed or fade and are waterproof.
Follow the settings given on the maker. You may have to increase the pressure and speed when you are done drawing and want to cut out the image.
Markers will usually provide a darker, wider line. Gel pens are better for thinner, lighter lines. Which to use will depend on the end result you desire for your project.
You can also lower the pressure to obtain thinner lines. The harder the pen is pressing down the darker and wider the line will be. But don’t increase the pressure too much or it will ruin the tip of the pen.
Not only can you find a variety of different colors; there are also metallic colors such as bronze, gold and silver. These can add an entirely different look to cards. You can also get glitter pens too.
Another use for the markers is to use them to preview how a cut will look on vinyl. This can help you choose the best font or size for your project and avoid wasting vinyl. Just try different options with the pens until you find the one you like best. Then make your cuts.