Hey Cricut lovers! Hey, Cricut lovers with small people at home! I have an awesome DIY Dollar store tracing mats project for you today and you DON’T need the Cricut Maker! That’s right, Cricut Explore users can do this project as well as Maker users! Turn cutting mats into personalized tracing learning mats + 10 more Cricut Dollar Store Projects from my friends!
For this project we will use our fine tip blade! That’s right, the fine tip blade which means that this project is great for both Explore and Maker machines!
I tried the engraving tip in addition to the fine tip blade, but I got much better results just using the fine tip blade. We will need to make a custom material but that is easy peasy and I will show you how below!
Let’s get started!
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Tracing Mat Supplies
- Cricut Explore or Maker cutting machine
- Dollar Store Cutting Mats (2 per pack)
- 12 x 24 StandardGrip Mat (Green Mat)
- Cricut Brayer
- Dry Erase Markers
Outside of physical supplies, you will need some digital supplies also. You will need to download and install a tracing font to your computer for use.
You can find some of my favorite Free Tracing Fonts Here. I used KG Dots
*Most free fonts are for personal use only. It’s is important if you want to sell these mats, that you purchase the commercial license from the font developer. You can read more about the importance of licensing on this post.
How to Make a Dollar Store Learning Mat
Time needed: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Turn dollar store cutting mats into personalized learning and tracing mats using your electronic cutting machine!
- Download & Install Tracing Font
Choose a tracing font and download to your computer for use with Cricut Design Space. You can find detailed instructions on downloading and using fonts with a Cricut here.
- Create your Design
Open a blank canvas in Cricut Design Space. The mats are 11 x 14 so I find it helpful to create an 11 x 14 rectangle to use as a guide (I changed the color to white) Note: We will not cut this rectangle
Add all the information you would like to on the canvas being sure to stay within the area of the rectangle.
TIPS: I used KG Primary Dots Lined font and needed to move the Letter Spacing down to 0.1 in order to get the 2 letters to appear as a single block.
- Attach Layers
First you may delete the 11×14 rectangle or use the “eye” to turn that layer off so it does not cut.
Select all layers of your letters or numbers and click the “attach” tool so that they stay exactly where you put them!
- Click Make It
In the upper right-hand corner, select MAKE IT.
- Select Large Mat & Mirror
You will automatically get a blue message banner at the top of the screen because our design is larger than 12 x 12 saying CDS will move you from a 12×12 mat to a 12×24 mat. Click OK.
You will also need to MIRROR your design. Click CONTINUE in the bottom right after both of those tasks are complete.
- Create a Custom Material
If using an Explore machine, turn your knob to CUSTOM. If using a Maker just keep following along!
For Materials, click “Browse All Materials” and in the bottom left corner is a link for Material Settings, click that link.
- Create Custom Material
Next you will Create a Custom material by scrolling past all the materials to the very bottom and click the button that reads “Add New Material”
- Assign New Material
Enter a new material name, I used “Tracing Mats” and then slide the slider up to 320. Keep double pass on OFF and keep FINE-POINT blade selected as your tool. Click SAVE.
- Select Material
In the Search Bar, simply search whatever you named your new material and select it as your material.
- Enable MORE Pressure
Once your material is selected, you will want to switch the drop-down below that from Default to MORE.
- Prepare your Mat
You will want to place the Dollar Store Cutting board mat with the SHINY SIDE DOWN onto a 12 x 24 StandardGrip mat (green mat). Ensure it’s firmly in place by using a over the whole cutting mat.
- Load the Mat
Load the Mat with the flashing arrow button
- Make it!
Click the Flashing “C” button and let it do its thing! It takes a bit of time depending on how much you put on your mat.
Unload after it’s finished.
- Use the Tracing Mat
Flip the mat over so the shiny side is UP and use a dry erase marker to trace! Wipe clean with a tissue or wet cloth! You can use it over and over!
Ideas for Dollar Store Tracing Mats:
- Child’s name
- Phone Number
- Alphabet (Upper, Lower, Print, Cursive)
- Clock with Hands to learn Time
- Sight Words
- Family’s Names
The options are endless! If you end up creating these I would love a tag on social media or you can email me!
Download Generic Pre-Made Files
(Numbers to 100 and Alphabet)
Downloading is easy!
Click the “Download Here” button below and enter your first name and email address! I will send you an email when I share new posts and when new flash freebies are available. Once confirmed, new members will be sent a password to access my entire freebie library!
I share my files through box.com and you can sign up for a completely FREE account here in order to easily access and save these free files!
This download is for personal use only!
MORE CRICUT DOLLAR STORE PROJECTS
Click the links below to discover some more awesome Cricut Dollar Store Projects from my talented friends!
- Reverse Canvas from Happy Go Lucky
- Dollar Store Fall Sign from Hello Creative Family
- Yoda Night Light from Artsy Fartsy Mama
- Before/After School Mug and Wine Glass from Happiness is Homemade
- Infusible Ink Placemat from Crafting in the Rain
- Skeleton Hand Oven Mitt from Everyday Party Magazine
- Painted Acrylic Sign from The Country Chic Cottage
- Penmanship Tracing Mats from That’s What Che Said
- Potholder Baking Mix Gift Set from Brooklyn Berry Designs
- Gaming Organization Bins from See Lindsay