DIY Leather Luggage Tags with Cricut Knife Blade

It’s here!  The Cricut Knife Blade is finally here.  I know many of you, like me, have been eagerly been awaiting the arrival of the Knife Blade for the Cricut Maker and I’m thrilled to not only tell you that the wait is finally over!  To celebrate this new product launch I’m sharing everything you’ll need to know about using the Knife Blade and these DIY Leather Luggage Tags you can make with the Cricut Knife Blade.

Let’s start by answering some of the questions you might have about this new product.

What is the Cricut Knife Blade?

  • The Cricut Knife Blade is compatible with the Cricut Maker and is designed to work with the Adaptive Tool System.  The Knife Blade features a steeply angled edge, so you can safely and easily slice though thicker, denser materials with 10X more cutting power. 

What can I cut with the Cricut Knife Blade?

  • With all the power behind the Knife Blade you are probably wondering what materials you can cut.  You can cut materials such as balsawood, leather, craftfoam, Cricut chipboard, shrink film, matboard and so much more.  Check out the entire list here.

What do I need to know before I start my first project with the Cricut Knife Blade?

  • You will need to first calibrate your Knife Blade to your machine. To calibrate, just choose the drop-down bar on the left of your screen in Design Space. Follow the prompts on your screen and then select the cuts that match the best.
  • Due to the nature of the materials you will be using you need to only use the Strong Grip Mats, these are the purple mats.
  • You will need to use basic masking tape or painters tape to tape down your material on the mat.  This is an extra step you do not want to skip, it will make a huge difference in helping to make sure your material stays firmly in place while the machine cuts out your project.
  • The maximum width of the material you can cut is 11″ 
  • Before you begin cutting you will need to move the white star wheels to the right side of the machine.  It’s important to make sure no part of your material will go under the rubber rollers or this could cause the machine to jam or error.
  • The knife blade works by slowly gaining more pressure with each pass of the blade. Because of this, it can do up to 20 passes for each cut. It’s important to note that this is not a super fast project kind of tool.  Make sure you set your expectations that the project will take some time to cut and complete.
  • Because it can take so much time to cut a project, you have to use your desktop for all Cricut Knife Blade projects. Make sure you change your settings so that your computer is out of sleep mode and it is plugged into an outlet.

Where can I buy the Cricut Knife Blade?

  • Knife Blade + Drive Housing is for sale at cricut.com and on other major craft and fabric retailer websites.

Where comes with it and what does it cost?

Knife Blade + Drive Housing is priced at $39.99 MSRP. It comes with Knife Blade Drive Housing, Knife Blade, and a blade changing instruction sheet.  You can also purchase a replacement Knife Blade Kit prices at $16.99 MSRP, that includes a replacement Knife Blade, a blade changing instruction sheet and a Safety Changing Cap for extra protection when changing blades.

Ok, now that you know a little bit more about the Knife Blade let’s see it in action!  I am gearing up for a trip next week to Ireland and decided to create custom DIY Leather Luggage Tags for our bags.  This was a great first project to tackle with the Knife Blade.  It took me approximately 1 hour from start to finish to complete 4 custom leather luggage tags.

What You Will Need:

Step 1: 

I started by opening up Design Space and this luggage tag design file.  Click on the “customize” tab to edit and customize your luggage tags.  Once I had the file open I deleted everything but the basic tags.  Hide one of the tag layers and insert a basic rectangle shape.  Resize and layer the rectangle over the tag, select both images and slice them together.  Move the rectangle shape off of the image and delete both shapes.  This will create the “window” for your luggage tag.  

Step 2: 

Now it’s time to create the custom designs for each of your tags.  In addition to the tags and a rectangle shape for the clear vinyl window, I simply made a few fun adventure/travel themed quotes with some of my favorite fonts and sized them to fit each tag.  I also created the information card with my address and contact details should my luggage actually get lost.

Step 3:

Prepare your machine to cut everything out by making sure you move the white star wheels to the right (towards the side with the power button.)

Step 4: 

Next comes the fun part, cutting everything out with the new Knife Blade.  Select the material you want, make sure you are selecting the correct material for your project so you don’t ruin your blade, machine or material.  Don’t forget to use masking tape to tape down all 4 sides of your material to your cutting mat.

Step 5: 

Once the Knife Blade makes it’s first pass it will pop up a notification on the screen that lets you know how many more passes it will make as well as how much time remains before it’s complete.  

Step 6: 

Use the weeding tool to weed each of the vinyl sayings.  Place the vinyl on the front of the luggage tag and use the EasyPress to adhere it to the leather.  The recommended settings for leather are 340º for 30 seconds.  Flip the tag over and heat for an additional 5 seconds.  Peel off the protective covering while the material is still warm to the touch.

Step 7: 

Now that you have everything cut out it’s time to put your luggage tags together.  Start by placing a dab of Rubber Cement on the edge of the open window tag.

Step 8:

Place the clear plastic vinyl rectangle shape on top of the rubber cement on the window tag.  

Step 9:

Dab more Rubber Cement around the edge of the tag and place the top part of the luggage tag on top of the bottom piece and make sure everything is matched up.  Use a sewing machine or hand stitch a saddle stitch around the sides and bottom of the tag (you are going to leave the top part open so you can insert the information card.)

Step 10: 

Insert your information card into through the opening at the top of the tag. 

Step 11: 

Pack your bags and head out on an adventure!  

I love my custom new leather luggage tags and can’t wait to use them on our upcoming trip to Ireland.  I know that these durable tags are going to hold up to any adventure we take, near or far.  

I am excited about all of the possibilities and things I can create with the new Knife Blade.  So far I’ve experimented with leather, chipboard and balsa wood, but I have plans to try out a few other fun materials soon.  What have you been dying to create with the new knife blade?  

 

 

Mariah
Mariah Leeson is the creative mind behind www.gigglesgalore.net. With a passion for celebrating, Mariah created Giggles Galore to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas. She loves cooking, reading, crafting, hosting parties and most of all spending time giggling with her family.
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Comments

  1. Love the luggage tags! I tried to open the file you posted for the luggage tags and its asking me for my computer log in password?

  2. Kelly Aley says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I just got my knife blade and am excited to try it out on a project. If you lengthen your stitch length a bit (4mm), you will get better looking stitches on both vinyl and leather. Also, for others, don’t forget that once leather gets a hole, that’s it. Don’t use pins, just use clips for both vinyl and leather. Beautiful creations!

    • Thank you so much for the feedback Kelly! It’s been a while since I had my sewing machine out and it was my first time sewing leather so I struggled a bit with the finished look of these tags. I didn’t realize that lengthening the stitch would help, but now I can’t wait to try again with your tips and hopefully have better results. 🙂

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