Saturday, December 4, 2021
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Hand Embroidery Tracings

Ola, creative world. This post has many hand embroidery tracings, which are very useful for everyone in this creative field. All the designs are printable, you can resize them as per your wish.

Hand Embroidery Tracings

Learn Aari Work From Home

Hello Creative World !! Now Learn Aari Work From Home. Scroll till the bottom of the post and I am sure you will learn Aari Work just by watching these easy videos. Most of the Aari Work basic stitches are covered here. Make sure you have all the required materials and by practicing the basics slowly you will learn aari work from home.

Let’s start with what all material is required to do Aari Work or Maggam Work.

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Aari Work Materials –

In this video, I have explained the most commonly used materials in Aari Work. You can source these materials from any local store around you or order online through Amazon.

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Basic Chain Stitch

– The video shows how to work chain stitch using Aari Needle.
Chain Stitch is the most important stitch in Aari or Maggam Work as all other stitches are somehow related to it. Hence it is very important to get the technique right. It is very important to practice working chains in all directions. You will also see how to wind and manage the thread below the fabric using your left hand in the video. Understanding this is extremely important as everything else depends on this.

How to End the Chain Stitch

– In this video, I have shared 3 different Knotting techniques. You can use any method you want. In the beginning, it might look confusing and difficult but it is easy if you practice knotting a few times. One suggestion is to try to get the knotting using Zari and once you get it right, only then try using silk thread. It will be easier for sure.

How to Add Beads in Aari Work

– In this video, you will learn how to add beads using Aari Needle. You can work with any kind of beads, pearls, crystals, sequins, bugle beads, etc. You have to know how to work chain stitch before you try this.

Water Filling, Leaf & Button Hole Stitch

– In this video, you will learn how to work water filling also known as paani chain. We will also learn how to work leaf stitch and buttonhole stitch. All these stitches can be used as filling stitches in any design. Buttonhole stitch can also be used in the borders.

How to Work French Knots

– Lot of us are fond of Knot Work these days, and once you watch this video you will know how easy it is to work these cute-looking knots. French Knots look very cute and it adds an embossed look to the design. French Knots can be worked in silk threads as well as zari thread. You can also mix zari and silk thread to work these knots.

Clove Stitch

– In this part, you will learn how to work clove stitch. This stitch looks like a french knot. It can be used in filling as well as in borders.

How to Work Bullion Knots

– In this video, you will learn how to work Bullion Knots in different ways. Bullion Knots look like spring and adds a very elegant look to any design. You can replace zardosi with Bullion knots if you don’t like using zardosi. Using these knots you can make pretty flowers, roses and it can be used in Borders as well as Filling.

Gota Patti Work

– Gota is a kind of lace but in aari, we use small pieces of gota. It can be of any shape like round, teardrop, diamond, or squares. Using the Gota lace you can cut the shapes yourself or go for already cut gota pieces available in the market. Gota work looks very elegant, especially on Kurtis and Sarees.

Mirror Work or Shisha Work

– This video you will learn how to do mirror work in a very easy way. You can use this on the blouses or your Kurti neckline. You can use any shape mirrors you want. Use Fabric Glue to stick the mirrors, let them dry well before you start working around them. I have used silk thread and Zardosi to work around the square mirrors.

Satin Stitch

– In this video, you will learn how to do a satin stitch using a normal needle as well as an aari needle. You can use whichever method you find easy. Satin stitch is one of the most commonly used stitches in filling as well as borders.

Cut Work – Cutting Method

– In this video, you will learn how to do cutwork using Cutting Method. This method can be used only if you want to work straight lines. Curved lines cannot be worked using this method. This method will also save you from burning the fabric.

Cut Work – Burning Method

– In this video, you will learn how to do cutwork using the burning method. While doing this please be extra careful, because there are chances you may end up damaging the fabric while using agarbathi or coil to burn. It needs good practice before you try it on a blouse.

3D Embroidery

– Here you will know how to do 3D Embroidery using Net Fabric and Zardosi, using this method you can work all over the garment or create pretty flowers as per your choice. If you don’t want to use zardosi, you can replace the same with silk thread, zari thread, or sugar beads. You can do this with tissue fabric or any other suitable fabric.

How to Fix Aari Round Stand

– We generally use 18 Inches Round Wooden frames for Aari Work. To make it easy you can use this kind of metal stand, to avoid balancing the frame as both your hands are required to do the work. It will also help you sit in a good posture while working. The frames are available in 16 inches sizes as well as 18 inches sizes. The metal stand will depend on the size of the wooden frame you are using. Using this stand is not mandatory but it will avoid back pain if you are working continuously.

How to Bind the Wooden Frame

– Binding the wooden frame is very important before fixing the silk fabric to the frame. As we all know silk fabric is very delicate, to avoid damage it becomes important to bind the frame with a cotton cloth. By binding, the sharp edges of the frame will not cause any damage to the fabric.

How to Set Up Aari Work Cot

– This video will help you understand how to set up the big cot before starting your aari work journey. This is a one-time setup, once you set it up, you can change the fabric and keep using the cot. Watch the video very carefully to understand the same. Since it’s a big cot you can attach 1-meter fabric at once.

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How to Transfer the Designs

– This video shows how to transfer the design on the fabric before starting the embroidery work. To transfer the designs onto the fabric always use white or yellow carbon. Place the fabric on the hard surface before you start transferring the design. Avoid using back and blue color carbons on the fabrics as they might leave a stain.

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Aari Work Samples

– Here are a few samples I worked on using the most common Aari Work Stitches. I have used black raw silk fabric so that it does not get dirty. For every design, I have tried using a combination of stitches to create depth. A lot of thread work is done as I am not a fan of beadwork. You can refer to these designs and practice well to get better.

Aari Work Blouse Marking

– Watch this video to understand how to mark the blouse before starting to work. You can follow this method to do the paper cutting. Use the paper cutting as the stencil to mark on the fabric.

Interested in Learning Saree Kuchu For Free ?? Click Here – Learn Saree Kuchu For FREE

Aari Work Latkans –

I have shared different designs along with different latkan making techniques.

Aari Work Waist Belts & Saree Kuchu Designs

Do you think you cant learn this art Online ?? Then you should check this and you will start believing You can Learn Aari Work From Home too … Student’s Work

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Tatting – Let us get to know about Tatting

Hello Crafters !! Have you ever wondered what exactly is Tatting? Let us get to know about Tatting. Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace from a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging as well as doilies, collars, accessories such as earrings and necklaces, and other decorative pieces. The lace is formed by a pattern of rings and chains formed from a series of cow hitch or half-hitch knots, called double stitches, over a core thread. Gaps can be left between the stitches to form picots, which are used for practical construction as well as decorative effect.

Types of Tatting

Shuttle Tatting – Tatting with a shuttle is the earliest method of creating tatted lace. A tatting shuttle facilitates tatting by holding a length of wound thread and guiding it through loops to make the requisite knots. Historically, it was a metal or ivory pointed-oval shape less than 3 inches (76 mm) long, but shuttles come in a variety of shapes and materials. Shuttles often have a point or hook on one end to aid in the construction of the lace. Antique shuttles and unique shuttles have become sought after by collectors — even those who do not tat.

To make the lace, the tatter wraps the thread around one hand and manipulates the shuttle with the other hand. No tools other than the thread, the hands and the shuttle are used, though a crochet hook may be necessary if the shuttle does not have a point or hook.

Needle Tatting Traditional shuttle tatting may be simulated using a tatting needle or doll needle instead of a shuttle. There are two basic techniques for needle tatting. With the more widely disseminated technique, a double thread passes through the stitches. The result is similar to shuttle tatting but is slightly thicker and looser . The second technique more closely approximates shuttle tatting because a single thread passes through the stitches.

The earliest evidence for needle tatting dates from April 1917, in an article by M.E. Rozella, published in The Modern Priscilla. A tatting needle is a long, blunt needle that does not change thickness at the eye of the needle. The needle used must match the thickness of the thread chosen for the project. Rather than winding the shuttle, the needle is threaded with a length of thread. To work with a second color, a second needle is used. Although needle tatting looks similar to shuttle tatting, it differs in structure and is slightly thicker and looser because both the needle and the thread must pass through the stitches. However, it may be seen that the Victorian tatting pin would function as a tatting needle.

Cro-Tatting – Cro-tatting combines needle tatting with crochet. The cro-tatting tool is a tatting needle with a crochet hook at the end. One can also cro-tat with a bullion crochet hook or a very straight crochet hook. In the 19th century, “crochet tatting” patterns were published which simply called for a crochet hook. One of the earliest patterns is for a crocheted afghan with tatted rings forming a raised design. Patterns are available in English and are equally divided between yarn and thread. In its most basic form, the rings are tatted with a length of plain thread between them, as in single-shuttle tatting. In modern patterns, beginning in the early 20th century, the rings are tatted and the arches or chains are crocheted. Many people consider cro-tatting more difficult than crochet or needle tatting. Some tatting instructors recommend using a tatting needle and a crochet hook to work cro-tatting patterns. Stitches of cro-tatting (and needle tatting before a ring is closed) unravel easily, unlike tatting made with a shuttle.

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Tatting – Let us get to know about Tatting Patterns –

Older patterns use a longhand notation to describe the stitches needed, while newer patterns tend to make extensive use of abbreviations such as “ds” to mean “double stitch,” and an almost mathematical-looking notation. The following examples describe the same small piece of tatting (the first ring in the Hen and Chicks pattern) Ring five ds, three picots separated by five ds, five ds, close, turn, spaceR 5ds, 3 p sep by 5ds, 5ds, cl, turn, spR 5-5-5-5 cl rw sp

Some tatters prefer a visual pattern where the design is drawn schematically with annotations indicating the number of double stitches and order of construction. This can either be used on its own or alongside a written pattern.

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Computerized Embroidery – Silk Blouses

Ola! This post is all about the Computerized Embroidery Silk Blouses done by us. The model I have is Brother Innovis V3 SE. It does an amazing job, and I totally love it. Below are the designs worked on this Machine. A lot of people are doubtful if they can rely on this but with my personal experience, I can tell you this machine is just the right choice. It is very user-friendly and the frame size is also big and hence it makes life easy.

All the designs below are worked using Silk Threads and Matching Zari. There are a lot of designs available to choose from. Motifs, Butta, Mirror Work, Kutch Work, etc can be easily worked. Each design looks different because it uses different types of stitches. Boat Neck & Deep Neck designs are available. This work is cost-effective when compared to Aari Work or Maggam Work, and hence a lot of people like it. Since only Silk thread and Zari is Used in this work the blouse will last for long as there is no fear or worry about beads turning black or stones falling off.

This Computerized Embroidery Machine is very different compared to the regular hand-operated machine embroidery. The difference is very evident because there are a lot of stitches that look different. Matching Latkans can also be worked for the blouses just like how we do in Aari Work. All the pictures below are the Computerized Embroidery Silk Blouses we designed recently. Hope you guys like scrolling through!

Aari Embroidery Class – Student’s Work


Hello, Beauties !! In this post, you will see Aari Embroidery Class – Student’s Work. I am sure you are gonna scroll till the end and all the way you will definitely have a smile on your face. All the pictures you see below are my Student’s Work – Online & Offline Classes. Each one is beautiful and it is very difficult to say that a beginner has worked it.

I am so excited and happy to share my Aari Embroidery Class – Student’s Work. This is for each and everyone out there who is not sure if they can do it. I hope the beautiful work shared below is good enough for all of you to gain confidence in yourself. With proper guidance, focus, determination & practice anything is possible. These are the people who din’t know they will design something as beautiful as these. But they did it and they did extremely well. So can you. So don’t tangle yourself in any kind of confusion just go ahead and take up the course if you are interested and I am sure you will nail it.

All of you may have a lot of questions in mind just keep them all aside and trust me you will learn well. I personally teach this course Online & Offline and I am going to make sure you are thorough with everything. We will start from the basics, and move on to advanced stitches. At the completion of the course, you will be so confident and I don’t have any 2nd thought about it. All the techniques will be taught and you will also be able to design something as beautiful as these here.

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Poured Paint Art Tutorial – and a Mom Play Date * Moms and Crafters



A few months ago, I got together with a couple of friends to make poured paint art for my friend’s living room. It was so much fun, that I decided to share it with you here! This post contains affiliate links. Product was received free of charge from Plaid to stock my craft room in case I’ll share with you.

Poured paint art main hero

Pour painting is such a popular technique now, but frankly it’s NOT my favorite for one reason: I like to control outcomes. It comes with my OCD and because therapy for OCD is exposure, letting go while making poured paint art was such a great experience.

It all started when my friend needed a big piece of art for her living room. She mentioned that she wants to try a marbleized paint pour to match and add a little color to her decor.

In this post, I’ll mostly share tips for choosing colors, as color theory is important when making poured paint art.

Plaid Crafts (makers of the wonderful Mod Podge and FolkArt paints) tend to stock my craft room and send me samples when they have new products. So I had loads and loads of different paint pour supplies stocked up that we were able to try – so I can also share which were my favorites!

As you can see from the title of this post, a huge part of our experience was the play date angle. Since this was something that really pulled me way out of my comfort zone (exposure therapy is actually extremely difficult to experience) it really helped that I was having fun with friends.

Paint pouring a huge canvas with friends is really fun. We really let loose. And no, it didn’t come out perfect, but my friend loves it, her living room looks gorgeous, and she’s gotten loads of compliments on it!

So get pouring, let go of perfection, and have loads of fun with the process.

A few notes: many people use silicone oil to create cells in their pour painting. This is definitely a cool effect and really exposes the layers underneath.

You don’t have to use it, and we didn’t for this painting. Here’s one I did a different time with silicone oil to create cells:

If you are very concerned about the effect, you may prefer to go with a 3-part split canvas and use the same colors. It’ll coordinate but you’ll automatically have some variety and a balanced, clean look.

Poured paint art is a messy process! We worked on a dropcloth with a plastic disposable tablecloth over it, in an unfinished basement. We wore junk clothes. And we had the time of our lives making a mess…

While there are many more specific techniques, we chose to simply pour the thinned paints where we wanted to, and marbleize it by turning the canvas in different directions.

Since this was a collaborative project, each person took a side and tilted the canvas the other way, directing each other based on the side we could see.

We worked with a mixture of pre-mixed paints and paint that we mixed on our own (regular craft acrylics mixed with a paint pouring medium.) The pre-mixed paints were so convenient, and if you’re puchasing special for your project I’d totally recommend to go that route! You can also save the leftovers from your project for another, which is harder to do when you mix your own.

But if you like to keep a paint stash handy, already have paints, like to have more versatility, or to use any leftovers for another type of project, you might be better off mixing your own using craft acrylics.

You CAN seal it if you want – we didn’t seal the one for my friend’s living room, but you can see that this one was sealed:

And finally, this uses a LOT of paint. Keep extra handy. It’ll definitely use up a few bottles of acrylic, and a couple of big paint pouring medium bottles. You don’t want to run out in middle – I’d err on the side of having extra supplies.

How much you need will obviously depend on your canvas size too, so I can’t even give you a final amount – just an estimate. We used 1.5 bottles of pouring medium, and a few acrylic paints, plus a few ounces of pre-mixed paints.

Paint Pouring Supplies

Choosing colors for making poured paint art

When you’re pour painting, the colors mix to some degree and interact with each other.

So when choosing your colors make sure that you want the colors they form when present mixing as well!

Use very dark colors like black minimally if you’re new to this.

Keep a few neutrals handy.

Work with analogous colors (next to each other on the color wheel) if you want to play it safe. You can also stick to a single color family, like we did – keeping it blue but with some neutrals like gold, white, and gray. We also used black in moderation.

You can use gold or other metallics in your pour if you want many areas to have a larger metallic sheen. You can drizzle it on after for a stronger metallic look with a touch of glam.

How to make poured paint art

  1. If using regular acrylics and mixing your own, follow package directions to mix your paints in cups.
  2. Prep your canvas by pushing push pins into the four corners in the back where it’s stretched on the wood frame. This allows you to place it flat a little off your surface so that excess paint can drip off without pooling on the edges of the canvas and drying that way.
  3. Start pouring! Make sure to work around the edges so that you cover the sides too.
  4. As you pour, tilt your canvas to spread it. Pour more paint in the areas you want. Keep tilting until you have no white spots.
  5. Optional: you can drizzle or drip on an accent color. We did this with the brushed gold paint. I love how it looks, my friend whose living room it’s in would have preferred it without 😉
  6. Optional: when it’s dry, you can seal it with an acrylic sealer. We didn’t seal this one.
  7. Allow it to dry completely before hanging.

We did this poured paint art without really recording the process, however, one friend snapped photos as we went along, so that you can see how our artwork developed from the images included in this post. I hope they were helpful!

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make poured paint art! What tips do you have to share? Which color schemes, paint types, methods do you prefer? Comment below!

If you loved making paint pouring art, you might love these ideas


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Luxury Baby Gear and Products that are Worth the Splurge



If you’re looking for gift ideas for the mom who has everything, you’ll love these luxury baby gear that are totally worth the splurge! If you’re on a budget, you’d prefer to read about the best baby products on a dime. This post contains affiliate links.Any price or rating reference is accurate at the time of writing and may change.

luxury baby gear hero image

When I was asking other moms which baby products were absolute sanity savers, I really had in mind those on the lower end, as I linked above. However, there were many products that moms swore by that were more luxury items.

If you’re buying for yourself, these are much more worthwhile than that adorable outfit your baby will outgrow way too quickly. And if you’re buying a gift for the mom who has everything, that $250 snappy will fit for 2-3 wears, as long as it doesn’t run too small, in which case, it’ll be passed on with the tags still attached. However, these upgraded luxury baby gear ideas were hand-picked because they functionally provide mom with a bit of respite, and help make the early days of parenting a wee bit easier.

Table of Contents:

Not all of these are prohibitively expensive – some are just upgrades on the basics – upgrades that are worth making! Some are only “splurges” because they’re so not necessary, but still so helpful to have.

And some are totally luxuries, but, again, worthwhile ones that are totally lifesavers. Some of these expenses can even be put into the context of what it would cost to hire extra help, that’s how good they are. I’ve highlighted that by the relevant products below.

And finally, most luxury baby gear have very high resale value. That means, because it’s a high end product that’s popular and valuable enough that people are actively seeking to buy them second hand, you can actually sell them when you’re done quite easily when you’re done with them. When you’re done, they don’t cost that much more than buying cheaper gear that’s harder to resell. Of course, that’ll depend on where you live, if you’re willing to put in the minimal effort it requires to resell your gear.

A word of caution: the more extra baby gear becomes, the more you’ll see knockoffs on the market. I’d be cautious and avoid buying these, as many aren’t regulated for child safety. Buy the original brands, avoid counterfeits.

If you’re buying a gift, avoid things that are very personal, unless you’re buying it for you. Or, include a gift receipt so that mom can swap it out. This includes breast pumps, diaper bags, things that feature as home decor, such as high chairs, and items along those lines. Or offer mama and let her choose the exact style.

One thing you can’t go wrong with (and a common denominator between these) is extra sleep for mom! If it’s luxury baby gear that helps mom sleep, you have a winner.

Better Baby Gifts Under $100

  1. DockATot Baby Lounger:

We used this for a while. It’s not safe for babies to sleep on, but it’s very comfortable for them to play, relax, lounge on. (I confess, I did use this for supervised naps too). It’s incredibly comfortable and really afforded me some peace of mind. The edges are raised, making them feel enclosed. If your big baby/young toddler tends to chill mid-day with a bottle, the DockATot on the floor also feels safer than having them do this on the couch.

We used it for Y until he was three, allowing him to sleep on it (after the age of one) when he wasn’t feeling well and needed to elevate his head a little. For that you’ll want the Grand.

You can get the basic Deluxe version for under $100 but you may want to upgrade to the larger Grand, extra covers, or prettier covers, especially if you’ll be using it in main living areas.

2. Hatch Baby Rest:

Get a night light, sound machine, and time-to-rise clock all in one. While this might seem pricey for any one of these items, it’s actually a fantastic price for a combo of three super helpful products, that saves space and is less wasteful.

Parents swear by sound machines to help baby sleep, especially during the day, in busy households. A night light is a must for midnight feeds, and some children prefer to sleep with one too. And finally, a wakeup timer is a lifesaver for the older toddler-preschool age, when they can sometimes wake at 4-5 AM and not realize it’s not morning yet!

The best part: it is controlled from your phone, making it really easy to set and to control from the next room.

3. Manito Stroller Cover:

A proper stroller cover is a lifesaver, unless you never really go out in the rain…

We used a Manito stroller cover with M and Y and the same one with Princess A.

With UV protection, it doubles as an all-weather shield, and it’s definitely helped keep my babies warmer with wind protection. Pull down the top flap to help them sleep.

The Alpha is created for most fixed-seat strollers, and the Beta for detachable reclining seats.

4. Tushbaby

I can best describe this as a hybrid between a baby carrier and actually carrying your baby. If a baby carrier hurts your back, but you need a little help and support, the Tushbaby helps provide support while carrying baby. It’s pricier than a sling but much more ergonomic.

5. Nested Bean Zen Sack:

These lightly weighted sleep sacks help soothe baby when transitioning from swaddle to sack, and beyond. It has adjustable snaps to grow with your child, and a bottom zip opening for easy changes.

The idea is: babies sleep better with light weight on their stomachs. But stomach-sleeping brings with it a risk of positional asphyxia. This allows them the soothing weight on their stomach, without exaggerating, overheating them, putting loose items in their crib, or other unsafe practices.

And we all know that more sleep for baby = more sleep for mama which is priceless!

6. Lullyboo Bassinet to go:
This brilliant foldable bassinet is a fantastic solution for visiting. It works as a lounger for baby, for supervised naps, and as a safe place for baby to play. It folds into a lightweight backpack.

We use this heavily for both Y and Princess A at home and away. It’s a fantastic solution for the issue of not having a good, clean place to put baby down at other people’s houses.
An alternative that other moms suggest is the Fisher Price On-the-Go Dome. It folds flatter but bigger, and has a full canopy which makes it great for days out in the sun.

Urban Bundleme:

I take Princess A, our winter baby, out even on 20 degree days thanks to the Urban Bundleme that JJ Cole sent me. Babies do NOT like straitjackets, I mean snowsuits, and I only put those on her twice, for two minutes to take her into the snow a bit. It wasn’t pretty.

The Bundleme is a fantastic solution as it allows me to layer a little better, putting her into a comfy sherpa pram instead of a full snowsuit, with the Bundleme functioning like a blanket that she can’t kick off. It’s really cozy and even surrounds her from the top, keeping her head extra warm.

We have the Original Bundleme too, which I use in the car since it’s unsafe for her to wear a coat in the car. It’s so helpful – I seriously do not know what I’d do with a winter baby without it. I love the quilted Urban Bundle for walks because it’s warmer, has a pocket to stick pacifiers and such, and has functional buttons on the front. Plus, the headpiece on it keeps her warm even on really cold days.

I use this in addition to this bomber hat set (hat, mittens, booties) that they sent me as well. They are a legit, really warm, really practical, and really cute set that took me from November through February (so far).

Gifts for the Mom who has Everything Under $300

7. Woolino:

Get two of these and it’ll take your baby through age two for all seasons! It helps regulate baby’s temperature instead of being warm or cool. It might be pricey, but moms report that you save money while having to store less because they last through baby’s first years. They are under $100 each but you’ll want two of them so that you can still have one while the other is in the wash.

8. Baby Brezza Sterilizer and Dryer:

Sterilize and dry your bottles easily – this was a lifesaver when I used it for Baby Y! Especially when he had thrush and I needed to exclusively pump and sterilize the parts (it was the only way we could stop giving it to each other!) I sold it after using it for him, as I didn’t have space to store it, but I wish I had it for Princess A.

9. Baby Bjorn Bouncer:

This five star bouncer is a luxury baby gear that is so worth the upgrade for mom’s sanity:

  1. It looks amazing in your home!
  2. It is a longer-term piece of gear and accommodates your baby up to age two. It has height/angle settings according to the age of your baby.
  3. Most of all: it really bounces, and is easy for baby to bounce.

It’s generally a well-made item, breathable from below so baby doesn’t get too hot, and has good resale value. It folds flat, so you only need to pull it out when you need it. Many parents use it as a safe place to put baby down when they need that shower.

10. Baby Care Play Mat:

This comfortable play mat is a fantastic surface for baby to crawl on comfortably. My kids learned to walk on a similar mat, as they feel more secure on this than they do with a hard floor underneath. It’s also more comfortable for parents to sit or kneel on when playing with, changing, or otherwise on the floor with kids.

Luxury Baby Gear $300 and over – that are totally worth it!

11. The better stroller:

There is a world of a difference between your standard stroller and a good one. I own two strollers. One is a popular budget brand, one of their better models. The other is an Inglesina Quad.

When I upgraded to the better budget stroller, there was already an improvement in the ride. When I started using the Inglesina, it strolled like a dream! Especially if you stroll on busy, bumpy city roads, or have kids tagging along, a smooth running stroller makes a huge difference in avoiding stroller fatigue.

Other popular, smooth-riding strollers moms swear by are the Uppababy Vista and BabyJogger City Select. These strollers both have high resale value as popular mainstream high end models that people are specifically seeking out. They also grow with the family with add-on seats and have bassinet options for newborns. Both are car seat compatible and work as travel systems too. You literally get everything you want in one stroller.

12. SNOO Smart Sleeper:

The SNOO is a magical, unique, incredible piece of luxury baby gear that moms swear by because…. SLEEP! Mom can’t begin to recover until baby sleeps well, and the SNOO is designed by a pediatrician to help them do just that, and safely. It responds to baby’s sounds with soothing noise and movements. It’s cheaper than a babysitter, a night nurse, and it’s so worth the sanity.

SNOO is the award-winning, responsive bassinet created by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the celebrated parent guide, The Happiest Baby on the Block.

Yes, it’s incredibly pricey.
That’s why SNOO has a rental option. And that’s so much cheaper than buying it new! Rent it for the months you need it, and then return than you’re done.

And you’re not committing – you can cancel and return it at any time, so you’re only really committing to a month at a time. If it doesn’t do the job for you, it wasn’t a big loss.

It also has incredible resale value. But if you don’t trust yourself to actually sell it, rental might be a better option for you.

With your rental, you get (new, to keep):

  • (3) 100% organic cotton white SNOO Sacks (S, M, & L)
  • (1) 100% organic cotton fitted sheet
  • (1) Mattress and water resistant-cover

This way you don’t need to purchase additional accessories. It’s majorly sanitized before you get it, and quarantined for ten days too. It includes automatic sleep logs, weaning modes, built-in advice from Dr. Karp, white noise, and of course the advanced algorithm that can tell baby noise apart from room noise and know when to soothe your baby back to sleep.

13. Doona:

Getting out with baby is so hard – even with a travel system! Especially since it’s unsafe to place babies in the car seat with a snow suit, in the winter, babies need to stay cozy in their car seats when you pull them out.

Doona is basically a stroller with pop-out wheels so that you can just wheel it around, without having to clumsily transfer unwieldy and bulky car seats onto bases that you need to schlep out of your trunk too. It currently has 4.8 stars on Amazon and parents swear by it.

Which luxury baby gear do you recommend as something that’s worth the splurge? What’s your favorite baby gift ideas for the mom who has everything? Comment below!


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How to make wire jewelry clasps * Moms and Crafters



Learn how to make wire jewelry clasps to really slay those jewelry crafts! It’s really easy, even for copper jewelry making beginners. This post contains affiliate links.

How to make wire jewelry clasps hero

If you’re making your own jewelry using wire, you can make simple clasps for bracelets and necklaces! Here, I teach you how to make wire jewelry clasps.

These clasps are best for wire jewelry creations because they really flow with the look. They are stupid simple S hook clasps that anyone can make.

Use these on stiff bracelets or on necklaces. Loose bracelets will be less secure with this clasp.

I originally made this for my simple beaded bangles but it can have so many other applications!

I’ll take this moment to remind you how wire gauge works. The lower the number the thicker the wire. The thicker the wire the more sturdy it is, and the easier it is to work with.

I used 16 gauge wire to teach you how to make wire jewelry clasps because:

  1. Some of my tools (wire cutter, end rounder) are recommended for a maximum thickness of 16 gauge.
  2. It is easier to work with but totally thick enough, making it a “happy medium”.

I happen to be obsessed with copper so I used this exact wire, but you can do this with any real, non-coated metal, such as silver or brass.

What you need to make DIY jewelry clasps

How to make wire jewelry clasps

1. If you’d like, smooth the end of your wire using the file. Fold it back as small as you can using nylon jaw pliers so you don’t nick your wire.

2. Leave about an inch and curve back. I used the widest point of of the pliers to measure the size of this curve.

3. Trim your wire off the spool. I left just about the same length as the length of the clasp.

4. Form a simple loop from the end you just cut off. Use the nylon jaw pliers to bend your wire slightly TOWARDS the first fold you made in step 1. This should be just below that point, as pictured. Use the round nose pliers to form a loop starting form the tip, and curling away from the loop.

5. Work harden your clasp by hammering it with the flat side of a chasing hammer. You can also use the ball side to add a fun hammered texture.

6. Attach your clasp to your bracelet or necklace and enjoy how gorgeous it looks!

You’ve successfully nailed how to make wire jewelry clasps! Keep making more and more and watch your skills improve!

Now try these:


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Joy vs. Explore Air 2 vs. Maker



This Cricut machine comparison will help you figure out which Cricut is best for your specific needs. Choose between the Joy vs. Explore Air 2 vs. Maker and then check out my other review, is Cricut Access Worth it? This post contains affiliate links.

Cricut has three current machines for sale, and each one has unique advantages. This post is designed to help you choose the right one for you, because the answer will not be the same for everyone.

I am privileged to own all three machines: the Maker, Joy and Explore Air 2. I am also a very diverse crafter. Therefore, I figured I’d write this out to share my experiences with each machine, what they do best, who it’s best for.

Table of contents:

Cricut Machine Comparison Chart

There’s nothing like a good, visual table to help you get your Cricut machine comparison at a glance. Tip: check out Cricut’s comparison chart here.

Or refer to my personal review charts below. They are a more visual representation of this post, but I elaborate much more below. You can download in high resolution and print them below as well.

Cricut comparison chart by machine features:

cricut machine comparison chart by features

Cricut comparison chart by craft type/material:

cricut machine comparison chart by craft type

Cricut Machine Comparison – Each Machine in a nutshell

Cricut Joy

This cute machine is the newest and fantastic for those short on space, or without a dedicated crafting space as it’s super portable.

It has a few additional superpowers:

Cricut machine comparison - smart materials
Look, ma! No mat!

The Joy is designed for quick and simple projects you can whip out in minutes. So if you tend to do simple labels with vinyl, pre-made card designs, or are short on time this is your type of machine.

You can also get writable vinyl that is incredible for labeling things around the house.

This is the machine I’d recommend for personal organizers in a flash.

To be honest, as an owner of two full size Cricut machines, I still seem to use the Joy a lot. My Cricut space is small and cramped (although I hope that’ll change soon!) So I often bring the Joy to the dining table for when I’m doing single projects or those that are small enough for the Joy (such as baby size Cricut shirts for girls).

Made with Cricut Joy. The shirt, not the baby.

The biggest limitation with the Joy is the cut size – a maximum of 4×11.5 inches (with the long mats). With other machines, you can do larger than mat projects, and you can do it with the Joy as well, it’s just more work for projects you’d be able to do more easily on the larger machines.

It’s also not as powerful with the others and cuts fewer materials (50+). It’s also limited in writing (fewer colors and options than the other machines) and only has a fine point blade to cut with.

The Joy is an amazing second machine for heavy users too.

See what you can cut with the Joy here.

Cricut Explore Air 2

If you’re looking for a full sized machine and are a casual crafter with a budget, this is probably the one for you. It can do a lot more than you realize, including cutting leather.

The maximum size is 11.5 inches wide by 23.5 inches long if you use the 24 inch mats.

The Explore Air 2 is limited in comparison to the Maker because:

  1. It’s not as powerful so it doesn’t work as well with tougher materials and
  2. There are fewer tool options.

The deep point blade for the Explore Air 2 (which, by the way, works for the Maker too) gives you a lot of extra functionality, including adding leather to the list of materials you can cut.

Cutting woven leather bracelets on the Explore Air 2

If you stick to specific craft types (more on this below) then the Explore Air 2 will be perfect for you. You can cut full-size vinyl and iron-on cuts, so if you tend to stick to shirt-making, the Explore Air 2 will have everything you need! The same goes for paper cutting.

The Explore Air 2 can even score if you get a scoring stylus, making pretty much all paper crafts doable on this machine.

And finally, if you want to start cheaper, all your tools for the Explore Air 2 will work with the Maker. It’s a fantastic starter machine, and a perfect second machine for running side-by-side for bulk orders if you sell your crafts.

See what you can cut with the Explore Air 2 here!

Cricut Maker

The Maker is hands-down the the best, most feature-rich of all the Cricut machines, however it comes with a price tag.

Still, if you’re setting up a home craft business, it’s a joke of an investment if you compare to the high end other business equipment you might need for similar business types (laser cutters, 3D printers, sublimation printers etc.)

If you like to craft 3D crafts with wood, chipboard, or even cardboard this is the machine for you.

And with many tool options, you can take things much further! I use the rotary tool for fabric, the deboss tool for cardstock and leather, the engrave tool for personalized leather gifts (you only need one with the QuickSwap housing – for the rest you can just get the tip). Scoring is better with scoring wheel than it is with the stylus.

Keep in mind you’ll need a good budget for all tools beyond cost of machine, to get most out of machine, but you can purchase these incrementally.

The Maker is 10x stronger than the Explore Air 2, thanks to the adaptive tool system. The higher price tag is for a serious upgrade.

From Cricut’s description:

Only Cricut Maker features unique, commercial-grade technology that controls the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match your material. Plus, with 10X more cutting power, you can take on more materials than ever.

It has little details that make a difference. For example, the Maker has a docking slot and a USB slot so that you can charge your device on the Maker while creating.

The Maker is a MUST if you’re going to use your Cricut for sewing. The Explore Air 2 only cuts bonded fabric. With the Maker, you can cut out pattern for any sewing projects where the parts are smaller than 11.5×23.5 inches. Definitely get the long FabricGrip mat as you hit that length quickly.

See what you can cut with the Maker here!

Cricut Machine Comparison by craft or material type

If you’re more of a specific crafter, have something in particular you want to start with, or are running a business focusing on one type of product, it’s easier for you to hear suggestions and a Cricut machine comparison of how it’ll work with your craft.

I obviously can’t focus on everything at once, so I chose the most common ones. But feel free to comment with any questions!

Which Cricut is best for paper crafting

Whenever the Explore Air 2 is the right machine, the Maker will be better, because it’s more powerful.

However, for paper crafting, the Explore Air 2 does everything you need it to do.

Paper and cardstock is an easier material to cut using the Fine point blade on the Explore Air 2. Even specialty papers cut nicely. You can score using a scoring stylus however the Maker does a better job scoring using the scoring wheel. You can also deboss paper with the Maker – and it’s quite beautiful!

Cricut machine comparison for paper crafts

Unless you stick to small crafts, such as cards using the insert cards and paper bookmarks, you’ll want the larger 11.5 inch size to fit your scrapbook papers. For regular cardmaking you’ll still want the full size mat that the Explore Air 2 and Maker offer.

And finally, you can do so much with paper crafting using the Print then Cut feature! I’ve used it for place cards, paper doll coloring pages, paper puppets, and more. Fine more Print then Cut ideas here!

Good enough: Explore Air 2

Bonus features: Maker

Not quite there: Joy

Which Cricut is best for Cardmaking

I’m going to split card making into two categories

  1. Scrapbooking-style card making, including pop-ups and all sorts of creative ideas
  2. Simple cards you can put together quickly that have a handmade touch

If you’re more into getting creative with cardmaking, you’ll want to refer to the “paper crafting” category above.

You’ll want to be able to score.

You’ll want to be able to print then cut some embellishments.

You’ll want a bigger size mat.

You’ll want the Explore Air 2 (fantastic) or the Maker (best).

However, if you’re like me and just like making cards for the experience of creating and to have a perfect little handmade touch to include with a gift, the Joy is simply amazing. We use it heavily with the insert cards for quick cards for every occasion. They are really pretty and don’t require much assembly.

Cricut Machine comparison - Joy
More about Cricut Joy card making here.

Fantastic: Explore Air 2

Best: Maker

Best for quick and easy cards with minimal assembly: Joy + Insert Cards

Which Cricut is best for making shirts

I’ve shared both Cricut shirts ideas for boys and Cricut shirts for girls and you’ll see in most of my posts that I use a variety of machines.

When it comes to using iron-on materials on shirts, it’ll boil down to size. You’re only cutting – not even scoring. And I’m not sure that the extra power that the Maker has will have much of an effect on your iron-on projects.

That’s why this is one of the only categories where I’ll really say that the Explore Air 2 does everything you want it to.

The Joy also does a fantastic job with Iron-on materials. You’re just very limited with size. The biggest perk: mat-free cuts using smart iron-on! This is most helpful if you’re a quick hobby crafter and want to save time loading things onto mats (which CAN be a pain).

Baby bodysuits fit Joy mats (usually). I need to make one for me too – on the Maker or Explore Air 2).

I’ve done my lazy, low key crafts on the Joy, including larger sizes. I simply split my cut into two in areas where it didn’t make a difference (such as in the white space between the parts of the design, between letters). If you’re getting the Joy for shirt making, definitely get the longer mat too. You’ll also get a little more width out of Smart Iron-on than you will from the mats

Fantastic: Explore Air 2

Longer term investment: Maker – see note.

For smaller, quicker cuts: Joy

Note: since the Maker does at least what the Explore Air 2 does, and so much more, if you plan to do assorted crafts in the long run, even if your focus is making shirts, you might save by purchasing a Maker to begin with instead of upgrading later. If you’re on a tight budget, though, you’re better off getting the Explore Air 2 and investing in an EasyPress 2 as well.

Which Cricut is best for vinyl or sign making

Vinyl is very similar in cutting quality to Iron-on.

Therefore, much of what I said about shirt making right above is going to apply to vinyl – including tumblers, sign making, and more vinyl applications. So make sure you read that section too.

There are a few exceptions where the Joy gives you more:

  • Sign making: if you like to make tall signs with letters no bigger than 4.5 inches in one direction, the Joy with Smart Vinyl will give you that longer cut.
  • Organizing: if much of your application for using vinyl is in organizing projects – labeling pantry jars, bins, etc. the Joy is more portable so you can bring it to the area of the house you’re using. It’s quicker with Smart Vinyl (which, by the way, seems to be easier to weed too.) You can use writable vinyl for quicker, gorgeous organizing projects. And finally, you don’t need to worry about the size limitations because you’re unlikely to go bigger than the max width.
  • Home decorating: since you can do very long repeating cuts, the Joy allows you to create cool decals for wall trim, furniture, and more. But really only trim or repeating patterns because of the width limitations.

Fantastic: Explore Air 2

Best for specific needs above: Joy

Longer term investment: Maker (see note above)

Cricut Machine Comparison for cutting leather earrings and jewelry, hair bows, and other leather crafts?

Let’s divide leather into three categories:

  1. Real leather Cricut’s or otherwise. You’ll get much cleaner cuts using the Maker + knife blade (you can see my comparison on this woven leather bracelet tutorial). You can accomplish this using the Explore Air 2 and Deep Point Blade.
  2. Faux leatherthis Cricut product is paper thin and can be cut using any machine with the fine point blade. The only advantage of one over the other is the size limitations on the Joy. I’ve made Princess A some adorable hair bows on the Joy while hardly functional.
  3. Regular faux leather some of these have stretch. It was a groundbreaking discovery for me when I started cutting these with the rotary blade – Maker only! So much easier! Stiffer ones can be treated like real leather (Maker + knife blade for cleaner cuts, doable with Explore Air 2 and Deep Cut blade).
Get the pumpkin templates

The Maker gives you extra features that are fun to use with real leather, such as engraving and debossing.

Best: Maker

Good enough: Explore Air 2

Only paper thin faux leather: Joy

Which Cricut is best for fabric, felt, or quilting

The Maker. Done.

Okay, I’ll elaborate.

The second you need a tool other than the regular blades to complete a project, you’ll want to go with the Maker.

The Maker comes with the tools you nee to cut fabric beautifully – a rotary blade and FabricGrip mat – and it was a lifesaver when making masks. You can use it for DIY fabric hair bows too.

Make the mask lanyards here.

Get the longer fabric mat and you can expand and cut many types of patterns (you get access to loads with your purchase too).

Finally, when it comes to cutting felt, things get a little grayer. Cricut’s felt sheets are designed to be easy to cut with the fine point blade. However, I found it to be even easier to cut with the Maker and rotary blade, treating it as a fabric. This is even truer when cutting better, thicker wool felts. By now, I use the Maker with the rotary blade for all my felt crafts.

So ultimately, for felt, you can technically start with the Explore Air 2, and if felt is a side thing you happen to do occasionally, you’ll be fine. But if you like to cut felt regularly, you’ll likely get frustrated quickly and want the Maker.

These intricate shapes cut most consistently with the rotary blade. Get the SVG here.

However, for fabric, you simply don’t have the tools you need to cut it unless you get the Maker, or unless you bond each piece and use this blade.

Doesn’t quite cut it 😉 : Explore Air 2 or Joy

Get: the Maker

Which Cricut is best for wood projects

If you’re looking at making wood signs with vinyl appliques (or other vinyl-on-wood projects) see “vinyl” above.

If you’re looking to cut wood, you’ll need the Maker.

Here’s the deal – the biggest innovations with the Maker were:

  • More power (see my review of the Maker above)
  • More blade options

For cutting wood, you’ll need both. (Note: I’ve seen people share about cutting thinner woods with the Explore Air 2 and the deep point blade, but it’s really difficult to get it right).

Even so, you’re limited to 2.4mm and certain woods, so if you’re looking to cut wood to make your next piece of furniture, you’re barking up the wrong tree (ha!)

If you’re looking to cut detailed intricate cuts, you might prefer to invest in a laser cutter.

However, if you like to make wood earrings, small wood elements with simple cuts, or even small wood home decor and toys, the Maker + knife blade is the way to go.

You have other similar options that you can use with the Maker as well – such as chipboard or corrugated cardboard.

And there are so many cool ideas.

Get: Maker

Which Cricut is best for beginners

I’m torn on this.

On the one hand, if you’re not sure that you’ll really get into it, the Explore Air 2 is much less expensive.

However, I hear from so many people that they are now upgrading to the Maker because they want to do more! Buying two machines is more expensive than one, obviously.

So if you’re starting out AND plan to sell your craft, what you can do is get the Explore Air 2 (assuming your craft type is a good fit), make back your investment, and then upgrade to the Maker once you’ve “earned” it. Once you have a successful Cricut business running, it can actually be convenient to have two to run at once as long as:

  1. You have the space for it
  2. You have two devices to work from

So basically:

Get in touch with your “crafting reality” – what you usually do, what you might like to do. If you can swing it, I’d recommend the Maker, because it’s not just stronger – it DOES much more.

If you really don’t know if this is something you’ll use much, the Explore Air 2 is significantly cheaper.

And finally, the Joy I really only recommend over the Explore Air 2 for those making small, simple projects, those who want’ bigger cuts, those who aren’t crafty but like to vinyl things up a bit, organizers, or as a second machine.

In those cases it’s the better machine.

Great: Explore Air 2

Best: Maker

For simple, small projects: Joy

Which Cricut is best for teachers

You have two angles you can take here:

  1. The Joy is portable and can be toted to and from school. But it might not do much of what you’ll want to do as a teacher, other than labels/tags for class gifts. But it also is harder to do things like that for entire classes at once. You can get some cool functionality out of the longer smart materials – such as an ABC border for your classrooms.
  2. The Explore Air 2/Maker is not so portable (although you can get a carry bag for it. ) However, you can do so much with Print then Cut (such as these alphabet animal puppets), and you can do classroom decorations too with the full sized mat on the Explore Air 2 or Maker. You can do STEM/engineering type projects with the Maker and thicker materials
The Joy is smallest, most portable

Personally, I think the Explore Air 2 is definitely good enough for what a teacher might want to leave in the classroom. If you’re going to be using it both at home and in school for a variety of hobbies as well, the Maker still gives you more functionality, and is two-ish pounds lighter.

Cricut Machine Comparison in summary: which Cricut is best for me?

In any product comparison, I’ll tell you that what’s best for me might not be best for you.

But the best Cricut machine for me will always be the one that most realistically fits my budget AND my projected use.

So you might not get it totally right, but if you get the wrong one and replace it, that’s more expensive than getting the one you really need to begin with.

So I can’t tell you which one is best for you. It’ all depends.

But I can give you the following one-line summaries:

  • Cricut Joy: Second machine for convenience and more specific uses, home organizing/labeling, long cuts, quick cards, and quick smaller cuts.
  • Cricut Explore Air 2: full size cuts but really can’t afford the Maker and it’s much, much better than nothing OR craft in specific categories: vinyl, iron-on, paper (no serious scoring), Print then Cut, cardstock, Cricut felt, Cricut paper thin faux leather.
  • Cricut Maker: If you can afford this one and step into the realms of fabric crafting, leather/faux leather, or other diverse crafts, this is the one that simply does much, much more than the others.

Was this Cricut machine comparison helpful to you? Which do you suggest for any of these categories? Comment below!

If you haven’t yet, download the Cricut comparison charts here:

See some examples of what you can make with Cricut here


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