Coasters have been on my DIY radar for a while. I made some cement coasters a few years back, but we needed something lighter and baby safe that would still protect our furniture from wet glasses or mugs. Of course wanting to try cut cork with my Cricut Maker was a great excuse!
How to cut cork with the Cricut Maker
I spent quite a while looking around for advice on cutting cork with the Cricut Maker. All I could find was to use the cork setting in Design Space, however I couldn’t find a cork setting when I looked. Instead I did a little experimenting of my own. First up was the knife blade. As expected, it was too strong for the cork and it tore it up along the edge on the first pass, without getting through (see left below). I almost gave up right there. Buuuuut, once I had it figured out, it was an absolute breeze!
The key is to use the rotary blade! I cut my 2mm thick cork using the canvas setting and it worked PERFECTLY first time (see right below)!
- Line the underside of your cork with transfer tape* and stick the transfer tape to your mat. (I used standard grip)
- Use masking tape to tape the corners or edges of the cork to your mat.
- Cut using the rotary blade and canvas setting. This will work best for simple designs that don’t have sharp internal corners. You may need to adjust your settings slightly depending on the thickness of your cork.
- Voila! Perfect edges.
*Note: While cork does not stick well to the transfer tape, the transfer tape helps to keep your mat nice and clean. Without it the cork will leave tiny little cork crumbs on the mat. Stay close to the machine while cutting and make sure it doesn’t move. You can gently place your fingers on the cork to add a little extra stability if the cut pieces are getting loose. The full piece of cork will be nicely held in place by the masking tape on the edge.
If you’re looking for a Cricut Machine for yourself, you can find a full list of South African retailers here. The Wholesaler SA is the sole distributer of Cricut in South Africa and they are bringing in more and more exciting Cricut products all the time. There are some real game changing products! You can follow them here to see what they’ve got up their sleeves. My Cricut Maker was gifted, but as always, all content and opinions are 100% my own.
DIY Cork Coasters with the Cricut Maker
What you need
Cork Sheet (or precut cork coasters)
Iron-on in the colour of your choice (also called Heat Transfer Vinyl)
Transfer Tape (not pictured)
Floral SVG Pattern – Free download for personal use
Rotary Blade (Included in Cricut Maker purchase)
Iron or EasyPress
What to do
1. Start by drawing your coaster shapes in Design Space. My circles and hexagons are 9cm high.
2. Upload the SVG floral pattern (available above). Ungroup the designs and resize them to fit on your coasters. Change their colour so that they’ll sort to their own cutting mat.
3. “Make it”. Although it doesn’t really matter for these patterns, if you want your plans to match remember to mirror your designs for the iron on. Set the floral pattern to iron on and the cork mat to canvas. Follow all instructions given by Design Space. Remember your transfer tape and masking tape for the cork.
4. Gently weed the iron on designs.
5. Cut around each design and place it on the cork (iron on side down). Covering with a piece of paper gently iron over the designs to transfer them to the cork. Or if you have an EasyPress, use that. I lined up each design so that the end of the stalk went slightly over the edge and then ironed it on around the corner. This should help it to stay better stuck to the cork.