We are in full swing here at ThriftyMum headquarters trying to survive lockdown with two little boys. When the news landed last week, I was actually quite excited about doing the whole “homeschooling” thing. Last spring, the boys hadn’t started primary school yet so with nurseries closed, I just had to keep them entertained and not fighting with each other!

The weather was so much nicer in the first lockdown too, so this feels like a very different experience to last year! I’ve been through that rollercoaster of wondering how on earth I’m going to juggle everything, to realising that support bubbles are still in place and I can surround myself with my “village” to keep myself and the boys sane and still thriving.

Great timing!

Thankfully, we had just had Christmas and I’d received some money from my parents which I spent on a beautiful new primrose yellow Cricut Explore Air 2 to play with. Little did I expect though that I would be using this in 2021 for so many school projects too!

cricut

The key to making homeschooling work, for us at least is to make the learning as fund and creative as possible. This covert learning is so much easier to deliver than trying to get them to sit at the dining table or indeed sit through an online lesson. Their attention span is exactly how you’d imaging a 4 and 5 year old’s to be!

Why Design Bundles

If you’re now an owner of a fresh new Cricut too, then you may never of heard of SVG Files, but these are essentially the images you need to start creating your own products using your Cricut.

There are some huge facebook groups full of other cutting enthusiasts and these are a brilliant source of information and guidance. There are a few different types of Cricut but whichever you have treated yourself to or have been given then you’ll want to start collecting beautiful SVG files right from the start.

What are we making?

It’s only been a week in lockdown and already we have seen, my own birthday, Ted’s 4th birthday, grandma’s birthday coming up in a few weeks, valentines ahead next month and then mother’s day too!

I’ve been preparing all sorts of gifts and party decorations using Design Bundles! I got some inspiration off Pinterest and Design Bundles itself.

How much does it cost?

Starting at less than £1.50 (!) the design bundles from Design Bundles are EXTREMELY reasonable! The Valentines bundle is super cute with millions of designs to pop on your creations.

If you’re really unsure where to start with adding these SVG files into your computer or phone to be able to cut and print on your machine then you’ll want to access the Design School. Here you’ll find all the information you’ll need to navigate the process of downloading your first SVG and making your gift or school project.

There really isn’t anything better than receiving a personalised gift and there are so many opportunities to pop your child’s name on a mug through sublimation or make a beautiful thank you card for those hard-working teachers!

Great examples

Some of the best designs are the simplest. In fact these Christmas gifts made with an Cricut Explore Air simply used a drawing by my youngest son of his daddy.

cricut creation

A scan of his drawing was made into an SVG and then using fonts from Design Bundles for the writing. A lovely example of the handwriting and formal fonts available is this one which I love.

Can I sell my creations?

In a word yes! I believe 2021 is *the year* of the side hustle. Even if you’re furloughed you’re allowed to get another job and earn more cash to top up your income if its been reduced to just 80%.

Creating personalised gifts from home is such a great covid-friendly side hustle!

What you need to ensure is that the SVG files you’ve purchased offer a licence for commercial use too. This is the label you’re looking out for:

However, you’ll find that in some Cricut facebook groups, many makers who sell their creations for cash can be a little cagey about where they have sourced their images! The best thing is to check out Design Bundles and start from there!

I guess these makers like to keep where they have sourced their SVG files from a secret because they’re worried about copycats. The thing is that everyone takes inspiration from one another or from anything else they see around them so of course there will be times where there’s similar items for sale on the market.

The key to being a successful maker and seller is to start with a base design, lie from Design Bundles and then adding your own twist to really make it your own and help you stand out form the crowd.

However, my opinion is that its not a crowded market at all. It’s never been easier and cheaper to set up as a sole trader, grand yourself some social handles and a facebook business page and you’re good to go!

Is it just cutting then?

No way! Although I’ve invested in a Cricut Explore Air2, I’m already after upgrading to the Cricut Maker. This one is a beast but the possibilities of what I can make with it are endless! The maker engraves and cuts plywood and leather!

Come Father’s Day I’d really like to give this a go and am hoping to utilise this SVG file to make something with the word “grandpa” on as it’s so rare to find anything with Grandpa on in the shops!

That’s the beauty of owning my own Cricut and access to Design Bundles as I can make something, even last minute and it has exactly the right term for the recipient on it too!

What’s next?

February is not only Valentine’s Day but there’s Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 17th Feb and I spotted this file on DEsign Bundles for completely free! Again this one comes with commericial use and I think would be super popular this year.