Earrings - A Great Beginner Project

In my craft room, I have equipment for several different crafts. My most used pieces are the embroidery machines, I have 2, and the Cricut electronic cutting machine.
Earrings were one of the first projects I made with both my embroidery machine and my Cricut. The lace butterflies are completely done on my embroidery machine. This method is called free standing lace.  The next picture is faux leather earrings cut with my Cricut Explore Air 2. And the little hats were made with the same type of faux leather, but this time the details were stitched with the embroidery machine then these earrings were cut by hand.
So many different methods and each style creates very different looks.
 I guess it's just the intricate appeal that I feel I need to achieve to see what these machines can really do.
Since cutting those earrings on my Explore, I have upgraded my cutting machine to a Cricut Maker. I wanted this machine, for it's amazing ability to cut a larger variety of materials. I have been playing around with different materials and abilities.Today's project is to attempt to cut genuine leather. I was given this pile of scraps from a leatherworker friend. I have been so excited to see what I can do with them.
I've been able to cut faux leather, and embroidery vinyl, on the explore with the fine point blade. Genuine leather is a much thicker and denser material so it requires the knife point blade. I will not hesitate to let you know, this scared me a little. I love to face my fears though. Which is why I am jumping right in the deep end. I like to challenge myself. Which is why I jumped right into engraving when I knew very little about it. It turned out ok though. But, more about that later.
Back to the earrings. There were varying thicknesses of leather in this pile of scraps. I thought it best if I start with the thinner ones. I just felt it would be the easiest cut for my first attempt. I was right.
Set up your cut shape in Cricut Design Space, select your material, place the proper tool in the machine, load the mat and press go.
The earring svg I used came in a big crafter's bundle from Design Bundles.
Teardrop style shapes are found all over the place though so don't feel restricted to just this one.
The whole process really worked quite flawlessly. When choosing the correct preset material for what you are using the machine is really quite "smart". I placed the leather right side down onto the mat so it would hold tight during cutting. The knife blade cut 2 passes around the shape and went all the way through nicely. I peeled away the excess and was left with 2 perfectly shaped teardrop earrings.
I felt these were a little plain so I decided to add some bling. This diamond shape was also included in the same bundle. I cut this shape out of shiny silver HTV (heat transfer vinyl) then pressed it onto the smooth side of the leather earrings using my Cricut Easy Press 2.
I think they turned out so cute!
 I like to punch my own tiny holes and I use this leather hole punch. It has a dial to set for the smallest little holes just for jewelry!
I do sell my crafts at a local craft store. So, I need earring cards to display them from. You can buy earring cards from amazon but I like to make my own.
Easy enough to find a shape, use the Cricut pens and write a cute sentiment on card stock and cut! I'm able to get 9 cards out of one piece of cardstock.
I continued playing for a bit and whipped out a few more earrings. These are so easy to make and probably my favorite way to make earrings. I think for me, it has to do with the fact I can cut smoothly with scissors. The machine does all the cutting!!

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