The Cricut Maker Engraving Tip/Tool greatly expands the variety of project options for our amazing Cricut Maker’s. Today I’m here to show you how to easily engrave on an Aluminum Bracelet from choosing the best fonts to lining your project up perfectly on the Cricut mats.
Before I get to the Cricut Maker Engraving Project, let me cover a few important tips about Engraving with the Cricut Maker to assist you on future engraving projects.
There is a bunch of tips I share here but don’t mention all of them in my video.
I do have a tutorial video on how to engrave aluminum bracelets further down if you’d prefer to watch 👌
Free List of Fonts that are Best for Engraving
Free PDF – Sign up below to grab my list of 10 Awesome Writing Fonts that are BEST for Engraving. These fonts are free except one if you have a subscription to Cricut Access.
Cricut Maker Engraving Tip/Tool
This, my friend, is the Cricut Maker Engraving Tip. It is one of four new tools Cricut had released at one time.
These Tips and Blades work in conjunction with the Cricut Quick Swap Housing
When the four new tips/blades were released I already had the Quick Swap Housing with the single and double scoring wheels.
This meant I only needed to purchase the tips/blades without the Quick Swap Housing. Yes, I said that right! If you have the Quick Swap Housing you do not need to buy another one unless you choose to. Yay! Thank you Cricut!
If you don’t have the Quick Swap Housing yet and also want the Engraving Tip you can find one here.
Here is the Quick Swap Housing with all the tips/blades in all it’s glory!
- #01- Scoring Wheel Tip
- #02- Double Scoring Wheel Tip
- #11- Perforation Blade, Basic
- #21- Fine Debossing Tip
- #31- Wavy Blade
- #41- Engraving Tip
How to set up the Cricut Maker Engraving Tip
Happily It’s very simple. Grab the Quick Swap Housing and press the cute little button and insert the #41 Engraving Tip. It only goes in one way so line it up or simply turn it a bit until it meets up with the Quick Swap Housing then release the button.
Be careful to not have your finger on the button when inserting the Quick Swap Housing into the Cricut Maker Clamp B so the Engraving Tip is secure.
Video of Inserting Cricut Maker Engraving Tip
Recommended Materials for the Engraving Tip
- Aluminum Sheets (0.5 mm)
- Faux Leather (Paper Thin)
- Foil Acetate
- Foil Holographic Kraft Board – Neon
- Foil Poster Board
- Garment Leather 2-3 oz. (0.8 mm)
- Genuine Leather
- Glitter Cardstock
- Heavy Watercolor Paper – 140 lb (300 gsm)
- Kraft Board
- Metal – 40 gauge thin copper
- Metallic Leather
- Metallic Poster Board
- Shimmer Paper
- Sparkle Paper
- Tooling Leather 2-3 oz (0.8 mm)
- Tooling Leather 4-5 oz (1.6 mm)
- Tooling Leather 6-7 oz (2.4 mm)
- Vinyl Record
- AND More!
Note: Per Cricut – The Engraving Tool is not intended for use with glass at this time
TIP: Often when I am creating an engraving project, I’ll notice a new setting. Today, for example, I used Stainless Steel for my Aluminum Bracelet with more pressure and was able to get a deeper engraving then when I used the Aluminum Sheets setting.
In the past the “more pressure” option was grayed out so I hope it really stays for metals.
Today my Cricut Maker Engraving Project is an Aluminum Bracelet but if your interested in some other engraving projects check these out
- Cricut Engraving on Acrylic & Canning Lid (Great gift project!)
- Engraving Acrylic with a Cricut Maker (Mermaid cuteness alert!)
- Engraving Dog Tags with a Cricut Maker (Engraving colored anodized aluminum is super easy!)
How to set Design Space to Engrave
By default Cricut Design Space usually defaults to the “Cut” line type. If you see a design or fonts you want to engrave, it’s as simple as changing the line type to “Engrave” via the drop-down menu
Video: Cricut Maker Engraving an Aluminum Bracelet
How to engrave an Aluminum Bracelet
You can grab my file in my resource library or you can simply use my template in my file and add your own text & wording if you like.
TIP: If you add your own text be sure to “attach” the letters/words or designs before you click “make it”
This is what my file looks like and I added 2 more word choices since I made the video
- Just Breathe
The Aluminum Bracelet Blanks I used came in a package of 7 and includes a Bracelet Bender. The Aluminum Blanks are 5/8″W X 6″L.
If you like you can add ink to your bracelet once done with engraving.
It’s best to use a Strong Grip Mat and utilize some tape to adhere the bracelet blank to the mat.
And of course, you’ll need the Cricut Maker as it’s the only Cricut machine approved for Engraving and so much more!
Steps to Engrave with the Cricut Maker
- Grab my file above or design your file in Design Space
- Ensure your line type is set to Engrave and letters/words are “attached”
- Click “Make it”
- Now you will be on your “preview” mat. Drag your design to the center of the 6 X 6 middle of the mat as seen below
- It’s quite helpful to increase your zoom level to ensure your placing your bracelet blank EXACTLY centered.
Look how helpful it is the Zoom in on this Preview Mat below
Tips to center your Engraving perfectly every time
TIP: Something to consider when you are trying to center your design. Be careful when trying to find a balance if you have a combo of uppercase letters and lowercase letters.
It will look off-center if you center with the uppercase letter and make your project look to high on your bracelet.
Gratitude is a great example since the 2 t’s are the same height as the upper case G, so this one is easy to center as it has a nice balance. *If only the G was that height, I’d center the lower case letters.
Another tip is if you add shapes such as a heart, be sure to find a balance with the different sizes of letters as well.
I just try to envision what the end result will be on the bracelet.
Final Tip: Remember that where you place your design on your Preview Mat (the one you can zoom way up to see it larger) is “just” as important as where you place your Bracelet Blank on your actual physical Cricut Mat. If one or the other is not in the same placement, your engraving will be off a bit.
I have found 100% of the time, it’s my user error if my design is just slightly off. Usually cause I’m in a hurry! Always best to check and double-check so as not to waste material. 😉
I’d much rather double check and save money!
Can you do a trial run on paper first?
Ok a Bonus Tip! Why YES you can! If you find you are struggling with centering designs you can do a trial run on paper first.
- Create a same exact size and shape template of your blank and make it a cut file
- Add your design and attach it to the blank template as a “draw” file.
- Use one of those ugly card stock papers you some how got LOL
- Once the project is done cutting and drawing, unload your mat.
What this does is show you exactly where your design would have engraved. But it also gives you a chance to see if you need to place your blank a little higher next time or lower OR move your design on the “preview mat screen” a little higher or lower etc.
Here is a picture to help drive the example for you.
I completely centered my 8 1/2″ X 11″ #110 Card stock scrap piece by using the grid lines on the mat. What you can’t see is the messed up drawing I did on the back side Ha! Hence the word scrap!
Why this works is because I centered my template and design on the “preview mat” on the computer at dead center of the 6″ X 6″ mark (from the top and sides) as shown in pictures previously.
This tells me it will draw then cut the template out exactly where I wanted it to be.
Now you have several options.
A. Peel off the bracelet part piece that was cut and drawn on and then place your bracelet blank in its place. Then pull the remainder of paper off the mat and tape the blank to your mat.
B. Peel off the bracelet part piece but leave the remainder of paper in place and put your blank it it’s spot. Be sure to carry the tape clear over to the mat edge so the bracelet does not move while engraving as I did here.
C. Remove the outer piece of paper but leave the cut out of the bracelet template. Put a pen mark on each end side of the bracelet paper blank on the Cricut Mat itself or trace around it so you know where to place your blank. (if you use this method, once marked, remove the paper template so the bracelet blank sticks well to the Cricut Mat).
Again to note! These methods will only work if you place your design on the exact same spot on the preview mat. This is also why it’s so helpful to Zoom the Preview mat way up to be precise.
I think these methods just help you feel more secure in knowing just how you line both the “preview mat” and the “blank on the actual physical mat” then see where it draws the design, it possibly helps you not waste precious money 💲 on materials. Right? Thank you!
Don’t forget to change your Design Space file back to turn off the template layer and change the draw line type to “engrave” 👍
One very last thing to note, sorry thought I was done. 🙋♀️ I have heard and read that some Cricut users suggest using a paper method similar to mine.
But a few of them advised to not unload your mat and swap the paper blank with the real Aluminum blank then hit the C (Go) button and it will go through its process without losing exactly where it drew.
Yet see here’s the thing, you would have to “cancel” your project on the Design Space end of it to be able to switch the line type from draw to “engrave” and turn off the template layer.
This process negates the idea of not unloading the mat in hopes the Cricut Maker will remember it’s position.
Plus when you cancel you have to go all the way back to change your line type which means you will be lining up the very same image AGAIN on the preview screen which again means you could accidentally line it up slightly off.
But in their defense so does my suggestion. I just wanted to cover all angles and hopefully clear up possible confusion.
So unless I’m missing something their suggestion simply won’t work. If you figure out a workaround please leave me a comment as I’d love to know!
For myself I find it comforting to make a paper template and place it where I plan on putting my bracelet blank and have it draw the design. It gives me a chance to see how it will look and if I need to adjust anything. I just have to remember to line everything up for my actual engraving project as I did with the drawn project.
Whew, I knew I wanted to provide some details to help anyone who needed help as I’ve seen a lot of comments and questions and concerns on having issues lining up projects whether it’s metal, acrylic etc.
Can you engrave the same design twice in the same place
Yup! In fact many times I do this just to see if I can tell if it engraved deeper. To be honest with you I have not seen this on my end yet it’s a difficult thing to measure. My guess is it may work on softer materials before it would work on harder materials.
If you want to try, all you do is when your project is done engraving the loading button will blink. Don’t unload your mat. Simply hit the C (Go) button again and it will engrave another time.
One time I engraved acrylic 5 times to see if it would get deeper. And I have to tell you, if it did, it was not noticeable. I will still try off and on though since Cricut is really good about updates and improvements!
If I find anything new or helpful I will definitely update my crafty friends!
Now that your design is centered on the Preview mat
Proceed here if you decided not to use the paper methods above
So you’ve zoomed in on your design on your preview mat and possibly even used a ruler on your screen to ensure your centered where you want the design to be.
You can even use a Digital Caliper as I do. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I could have swore a bracelet blank was straight but when I pulled this bad boy out to double-check, guess what? I was slightly off on one edge or side!
This is exactly why I stated above it’s 100% user error if mine is crooked LOL I’m not ashamed to admit it and I hope all these tips I’ve provided really help you and save you money too!
Plus you can’t even measure confidence!
Once your bracelet blank is right where you want it, simply load your mat, and here is another Tip: Those 2 plastic tabs where you insert your Cricut Mat into? Guess what? It will make a difference if you place your mat all the way to the left or right.
Recall how much time you put into centering both your design and bracelet blank in both places? Let’s not mess up that good work and then not center our Cricut Mats into the Cricut machine. I really only worry about this for a project that “has” to be centered.
Just something to keep in mind.
Be sure to slide your rollers all the way to the right as well for this project as mine are above.
Press “load” then when the “Go/C button” flashes press it and enjoy watching this AMAZING machine engrave!
TIP: You will see this screen in Design Space multiple times during the engraving process. I took this picture for a previous project of engraving canning acrylic tags or labels. But it is the same message for any engraving project and it is to be expected and not meant to alarm you.
Once it finishes engraving the load button will flash. This is the time if you want to engrave again to NOT unload your mat. Simply press the “Go/C button” even though it’s not flashing and it will engrave the entire project again.
If you accidentally unload your mat you can NOT engrave it one more time, so peek if you need to but don’t unload your mat until you are sure.
If you want to add color ink to your engraving, it’s easier to do now before you bend your bracelet. The process is simple, just cover the engraved letters with the ink. Allow it to dry 3-5 min. Then wipe off with a microfiber cloth.
I mention in my video that I’m not a fan of the ink on these bracelet blanks with the fonts I chose for these bracelets. There is probably a combo I would like of font with this type of project but I’ve not found it yet. If I do, I’ll surely update this post.
Feel free to test it out if you like and when you come across a fantastic font with this Aluminum Bracelet Blank with added Ink leave me a comment so others can read it to!
I just happen to like the Engraving fonts without the ink. But it could just be my personal preference. You may love the look!
How to bend your Cricut Maker Engraving Bracelet
These are really easy to bend. I only have some difficulty due to some Carpel Tunnel in my wrist. So off camera I was able to bend it a little then take a picture for you.
The bracelet has a bend on the curved end. Simply place your bracelet all the way into that bend and slowly bend the bracelet around the curved part.
TIP: If your planning on making a gift or to sell the bracelet I’d advise covering both sides with blue tape to prevent any scratches prior to bending.
Wouldn’t these be a blast for a teenager sleep over project!
Next, turn the bracelet bender slightly in your hand so you can get a tad bit more of a bend.
Turn the bracelet and bend the other end in the same manner.
Once you get it to this point (both ends bent) If you need to make it smaller or tighter, I’d advice to do a little bend on on each side at a time until it fits right.
Take care to not bend it in half in the middle of the bracelet. 😊
Wow! So this was a lot of information but I truly hope it brings you Engraving Success!
What kind of Cricut Maker Engraving Projects would you like to create? I’d love to hear, leave me a comment!
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