A fireplace mantle may be a great spot to hang stockings at Christmas but it can also serve as a spot for your seasonal décor other times of the year! Start a collection of basic décor items and mix in some DIY components that are seasonal specific. Check out this DIY Thanksgiving fall mantle made with a Cricut Maker and grab some SVG files to make the pieces for yourself!
If you haven’t noticed by now, I have a deep love for my Cricut Explore Air 2! That machine helped me cut countless cardstock, adhesive vinyl and iron on materials these past 2 years, but I’m excited to announce that a Cricut Maker has now been added to my collection! (and the crowd goes wild!)
The Cricut Maker can do everything the Explore Air 2 can do plus it can also cut thicker materials, like chipboard, poster board or leather, and textured materials, like fabric and felt! This versatile machine includes an adaptive tool system where you can swap out the blades to make different types of cuts or decorate treatments which I used to create my DIY Thanksgiving fall mantle.
The Cricut Maker machine, tips and new vinyl materials are all available at your local AC Moore. They recently expanded their Cricut selection of tools and materials and I recently learned that you can use COUPONS on non-machine Cricut purchases! I’m pretty sure no other craft store does that, making it my favorite place to stock up on vinyl when I’m running low!
My DIY fall mantle was made mixing the standard fine point tip, fine point pen and four new QuickSwap tool tips: debossing tip, wavy blade, perforation blade and engraving tip. You can swap out each of these tips in the QuickSwap housing unit (seen above) with a push of the button making them easy to mix and match within one cutting session. Each of the tips are numbered so you can keep track of them as I’m sure these won’t be the last tips they create!
The textured leaves used in the wreath and the twigs were made using both the deboss tip and wavy blade in foil poster board and metallic poster board. In order to make them, you must choose the linetype for each element when in Cricut Design Space.
You can see the vein element I have highlighted here and “wave” being chosen from the dropdown menu on the upper left. The layers panel on the right shows each element and what linetype was chosen. In this case, the leaves only show “fine deboss” and “wave”.
Before sending it all to cut, I highlighted it all, right clicked and chose “attach” to make sure all the elements are treated together vs random shapes all over the mats. The machine will prompt you when to make the change to swap out a new tip, as shown in the above screenshot halfway through my cutting process.
Look at those beautiful debossed veins! Confession: I did have to complete a little trial and error with my design to make sure to get nice, smooth debossed lines. Straighter lines seemed to do better than ones which had a weird curved angle and sometimes it seemed to matter which direction I had them laid out on my canvas.
The wavy blade was the perfect cut for these pieces to make them more leaf like!
I love how they look on the twigs but also on the wreath in the middle of the mantle.
This wreath includes another decorative element right in the center: an engraved acetate sign.
Yes, the Cricut Maker can cut thicker materials, like my 2mm thick acetate! You just have to make sure to chose the right one from the material list that appears once you send your design to cut.
Acetate Engraving Tips:
- Peel the top protective layer of your acetate but leave the other side attached.
- Attach the acetate to your Strong Grip mat using masking tape to help hold it in place.
- Move the white star wheels on the roller bar all the way to the right to give more clearance for the machine to engrave this thicker material
- Once it’s finished engraving you’ll find these little plastic shavings on your acetate piece, as shown above. Brush them away with a dry, clean paintbrush.
- Note: The only limitation you have on this is the size as you can’t cut larger than 11″ pieces of materials.
This was actually my first attempt and it came out perfectly!
I can see this engraving technique used in future party setups, especially table number stands!
As I know my girls LOVE a good interactive countdown, the next project I created for my fall mantle was a little countdown calendar.
The dates are written by the Maker with the fine point pen, the tear away portion was created with the perforation blade and the shape itself was cut with the fine tip blade.
The girls are able to tear a sheet each morning, representing each of the 30 days this month. I have a feeling they are going to request more of these for future months!
A mantle design wouldn’t be complete without some custom signs! This layered turkey sign was made with the new premium pearl metallic and holographic bubbles vinyl. The pearl metallic vinyl gives a nice glossy look while the holographic bubbles give a little reflection and dimension for your turkey feathers.
The “Gobble til you wobble” sign features the new holographic threads vinyl. You can see a little texture with the thread design and shine with the glossy look! Grab the SVG file for both these signs and make them for your home!
AC Moore also has tons of cute finished decorative pieces that mix and match well with your DIY creations. I found these dapper birds in their Thanksgiving decor section and I’ve already been eyeing a few pieces from their new Christmas collection!