At Corrinne Thorne’s house, Saturday nights are for movies and crafting. After a long work week, and all the running around that comes with being a mum of two, Corrinne loves these evenings “just chilling at home”.
She also loves spending time with her daughter, Lorelei (12), working together on craft-cutting projects that range from personalised presents to pantry organising.
HOW TO GET STARTED CRAFT CUTTING
YouTube is an amazing place to start learning. There are so many people on there who do step-by-step tutorials on literally everything to do with craft cutting. If you don’t know how to do something, they’ll walk you through it.
For inspiration and ideas, I love Pinterest. I’ve got so many Pinterest boards! Also have a play with your machine’s built-in designs and downloadable craft-cutting designs online just to see what is possible.
There are so many community groups on Facebook where you can ask questions. They’re really good, because you’ve got likeminded people, they’re in Australia, and they’re posting what they’re making. And then they’re telling you how to make it as well, so there’s that sense of community.
Son Oliver (9), isn’t quite so keen on making – “He’s all about Fortnite!” Corrinne laughs. But Lorelei has enough enthusiasm for the whole family. And Corrinne knows how lucky she is to share a hobby with her daughter.
“It’s nice for her to take an interest in something that I’m so passionate about, and then she’s become passionate about it as well,” Corrinne says. “Lorelei’s always researching new ideas, and then she goes, ‘Mum, how can I do this?’ And we work it out together.”
CRAFT CUTTING FOR CREATIVITY
Corrinne runs her own design and print company, producing labels and signs for small business. When she first started craft cutting about five years ago, it was a way of using up vinyl offcuts from the big printers at her work. “Lorelei was cutting stickers out by hand,” Corrinne remembers. And buying a machine was a way of making “all sorts of weird and wonderful things” together.
Since then, it’s become a favourite hobby. “This is a creative outlet for me, because with my business I’m constantly working on other people’s stuff,” Corrinne says. “It’s a way for me to actually step away from work and do something that’s purely for myself. And then with Lorelei, it’s something that we can do together.”
“You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create these beautiful things.”
Corrinne’s craft cutting is also a way for her to channel all her inspirations. “As a creative, your brain never turns off,” she says. “I’m constantly finding stuff. My phone has 5000 screen shots of things that I like! I’m always thinking, ‘How can I use that?’ I’m actually designing stuff for me, which is great.”
MAKE IT PERSONALISED
Making gifts for favourite people is a big part of Corrinne and Lorelei’s craft. And so Lorelei’s friends are kept well stocked with cute stickers – which also cover a lot of flat surfaces in their house, Corrinne says. They’ve cut designs for birthday t-shirts and gift boxes and trinkets. Sometimes adding a friend’s name is enough. Sometimes you need to make it even more special.
“One of my friends is a midwife, and during COVID she was struggling,” Corrinne explains. “So, we made her a coffee mug with a little personalised message that said, ‘Sarah, we appreciate you and everything that you’re doing.’ It was something really simple, but it wasn’t something you could find in a shop. We had this idea that we wanted to make it for her, and having a cutting machine we were able to do that.”
Current craft-cutting projects are more celebratory. Lorelei is already planning for her 13th birthday sleepover, so mum and daughter are busy making personalised gift bags and eye masks for her guests. “And everyone is going to have a shirt with their name on it, and on the back it’s going to say ‘Lorelei’s 13th Slumber Party’,” Corrinne laughs
MAKE IT ORGANISED
Some projects are more about getting family life, and the family home, under control. All while making things gorgeous, of course. So Corrinne has been making labels for water bottles and school supplies (“the kids were able to pick what they wanted,” she says), as well as boxes for organising everything from bedding to phone chargers.
“Obviously being a mum of two, my life is chaotic,” Corrinne says. “Running a small business from home, running around after kids – with dance and all the after-school activities, you need to be organised. You just need to know where your stuff is.”
Inspired by all those lovingly organised pantries on Instagram, Corrinne has tackled her kitchen as well. “We did the pantry labelling, because I had crappy old mismatched everything! Everything is now white and clear and labelled, it’s all really nice and aesthetically pleasing. You walk in, everything is organised, everything is in containers, everything has a spot, which is great.”
“You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create these beautiful things.”
DO IT YOUR OWN WAY
As a graphic designer, Corrinne is confident drawing and creating her own unique files for her cutting machine. She works first on her computer, then sends designs wirelessly to the machine. But for speedy crafting, she and Lorelei make the most of their ScanNCut’s built-in fonts and designs. Like the 3D printed flowers they’re making into a wreath for one of Lorelei’s mates. Or special labels for their crafting boxes.
Lorelei especially loves making stuff directly on the machine – no computer needed. “She’s very impatient!” Corrinne laughs. They also use downloadable designs from sites like Creative Fabrica and Design Bundles. “You can actually go on there, download the pre-made designs, and then use those on the cutting machine. It will read them and cut them straight away,” Corrinne says. “You don’t have to be a graphic designer to be able to create these beautiful things, which is awesome.”
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
Inspired by her hobby, Corrinne has started up a side business, Love Your Vinyl, making printed vinyl for craft cutting with sweet patterns like mermaid scales, tie dye and sparkles. Of course, Lorelei is helping, along with Corrinne’s mum. “It’s something we do as a family,” she says.
As a small business owner who spends her days making stuff for other small businesses, Corrinne is a big fan of supporting local suppliers and independent stores. This goes for craft supplies and machine dealerships as well.
“When you’re buying from a specialty store, they’re going to know the product, they’re going to know how to use it, they’re going to have that in-depth knowledge,” she says. “And you’re supporting an actual small business, which is obviously something that really resonates with me.”
HAVING TROUBLE GETTING CREATIVE?
I think everyone has a bit of creativity in their body. A good way to find that for yourself is to follow creative people on social media, so if they’re doing something you go, “Oh, I want to try that.”
Jump on Pinterest, pin whatever you like and then cull it all the way down. That’s how you can discover what your aesthetic is. You might think, “Oh, I really like this part of this design, so I want to incorporate that, but I like these colours.” That’s a good way to make it your own.
With craft cutting, you don’t need to create from scratch. There are pre-made designs built into the machine and on dedicated websites. If you want to make a birthday gift for an eight-year-old who loves unicorns, you can go online and type “unicorn SVG” and so many will pop up. Then you just pick one and make it. It’s a really good way to introduce yourself into becoming creative.
MAKING WITH THE BROTHER SCANNCUT DX SDX2200D
Corrinne can’t say much about how easy it is to set up the ScanNCut, because 12-year-old Lorelei got excited and did it for her. “I went to the post office, I came home, she’s made a Minnie Mouse box, and I’m like, ‘You got it sorted before I even touched it!’”
She loves how hands-on Lorelei can be with the machine, discovering and making fun new projects from more than 1000 built-in designs. “She’s made all this stuff without me having to help her, which is awesome,” Corrinne says.
Being able to create and make directly on the machine – no external computer needed – is a big plus, Corrinne says. They’ve been able to experiment with drawing their own designs on paper and scanning them directly to the machine for cutting. “It’s all touchscreen as well,” Corrinne says. “It’s really easy to navigate – just having that feature alone has been awesome.”
Discover more here. Or talk to your local dealer to find out if the ScanNCut DX SDX2200D is a good fit for you.