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In the last couple years Dollar Tree has released a ton of new crafting materials. One of my favorites are the blank wood signs they release for the holidays! Last year I painted and decorated a fun fall set. Of course, I ended up having leftover wood blanks and I got to wondering… could I cut these on my Cricut?
First off, this should only be attempted if you have a Cricut Maker with a knife blade. A normal blade (or even a deep point) will not be sufficient. The knife blade should be able to cut up to 3/32 inch and these signs are about 1/16 of an inch.
I picked a fairly simple design to cut. (In fact, there is actually a sign at the Dollar Tree very similar to this, but I was trying to use up leftovers I already had.) When cutting wood make sure to use a purple (strong grip) mat and use masking tape to tape the edges of the wood down. Move your star rollers all the way to the right and make sure your wood is no more than 11 inches. I had to trim the handle off my board to make it fit.
My first attempt at cutting did not go well. The first wood piece I had was quite bowed and the Cricut rejected it. I tried switching directions in every which way but it did not work. Luckily, I had another piece. This one was more successful. It cut four out of fourteen passes before giving up.
I kept loading and reloading but the Cricut would stop in the same place every time. Finally, I pulled the wood off the mat and (because the Cricut had already started the process) was able to bend away the wood to get my design. I did a little sanding and got it presentable, but still not perfect.
So, why wouldn’t my Cricut Maker keep cutting the wood?
While I did technically get a cut, it did not go very smoothly. You see, the Dollar Tree wood isn’t the same as the Cricut basswood or other craft sheets. It is kinda just a bunch of paper-thick pieces of wood glued together. So, once that first sheet of ‘paper wood’ is cut, it can’t really handle anything being near it and flakes into a bunch of pieces. I tried cutting the wood by hand and had the same experience. It just really isn’t meant to be cut.
Also note, there are several different types of wood sold at the Dollar Tree. This experiment was specifically done for the wood blanks that are sold around the holidays. You might have a different outcome if you tried cutting the little pieces of a birdhouse kit or a pre-decorated sign.
That being said, with a little extra love, I was able to get two pieces that looked fairly similar to my vision. I used the Dollar Tree furniture scratch markers to stain my wood (which I HIGHLY recommend). These markers come in a three-pack and I used the cherry marker for this particular project.
Finally, I pulled out my Cricut again and used this adorable LOVESVG design to make a little Halloween sign. It’s not perfect, but it turned out pretty cute!
Overall: Can you cut Dollar Tree wood with your Cricut Maker?
Yes. Do I recommend it? No, because you are going to have little pieces chipping off everywhere and will have to do some serious touch up work afterwards. If you are looking for a Cricut brand alternative, check out your local Michael’s or Joann. I made this beautiful nursery sign using a piece of basswood I purchased at Joann with a 60% off coupon. It cut absolutely perfectly.
Have any other products you want me to try? Have a brand of wood that works well for you? Let me know in the comments! Thanks! Happy crafting!