A tailor's clapper is an essential tool for quality pressing. Your seams will be flatter than ever by adding this humble piece of wood to your sewing routine. Whether you already have a tailor's clapper or are interested in getting one for the first time, you may be wondering how to add some of your own creative flair to your clapper. Making a personalized tailor's clapper is easier than you think!
This week, guest blogger Racini Aranda of Racini's Quilts shows us how to use a Cricut to make a personalized tailor's clapper! Racini is Filipino American, was born in Hawaii, and grew up in Germany, and she has traveled the world. She loves learning about quilts wherever she goes.
Her quilting journey started as a hobby and grew into a business focused on making custom quilts, including personalized name quilts that can also be made using a Cricut. She's a Cricut and quilting pro! Racini's tutorial focuses on personalizing your tailor's clapper, but you can apply these same steps to a variety of materials including fabric, paper, metal, and other wood objects!
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Customizing your sewing notions is easy with a Cricut! Not only does it give your sewing supplies a personal touch, but personalized tools also make for great photos for your Instagram, Facebook, or blog.
If you're new to cutting machines, you might be asking, "What's a Cricut?" right about now. Cricut is an electronic cutting machine that can cut any design your heart desires out of a variety of materials. You can purchase ready-to-use Cricut designs or create them yourself.
Depending on the type of Cricut machine you have, you can cut different materials such as vinyl, paper, card stock, thin wood, fabrics, and more. It is a great tool for all your crafting needs.
I bought my first Cricut four years ago to help with my DIY wedding. It brought a sophisticated touch of personalization, something that I would not have been able to achieve without it. After the wedding was over, I realized then that I could also use the Cricut to customize my quilts and quilting tools, and it has really helped with my creative process and branding!
In this tutorial, I will walk you through the steps to make your own personalized tailor’s clapper. Imagine how great it will look stylishly flattening the seams of your quilt blocks!
Supplies to Make a Personalized Tailor's Clapper
- Tailor's clapper
- Any Cricut Machine
- Cricut Mat
- Suzy Quilts original Quilter for Life PNG Files: Click the links below, and right click to save each file. Be sure to download both the heart and text files if you want to do a 2 tone design.
- Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV): Please note you can use any type of adhesive vinyl you would like, but I personally prefer HTV as it is more permanent and makes it feel as if the logo or image is painted onto the wood.
- Weeding tool or tweezers
- Scrap Fabric
Step #1: Choose the Image for Your Personalized Tailor’s Clapper
As part of this tutorial, we are offering a free download of an original Suzy Quilts design that is the perfect fit for a personalized tailor’s clapper. You can choose to make this design in 2 tones or 1 tone. For my tutorial, I will be showing you steps for the 2 tone version.
Step #2: Upload Your Image to Cricut Design Space
Once you have your image chosen or your Suzy Quilts design ready, it’s time to upload it to the Cricut Design Space, which is the software that accompanies any Cricut machine. This software allows you to upload your image and make some customizations to it before sending it to your Cricut to be cut.
If you purchase a Cricut, it will come with instructions about how to download and use the Cricut Design Space, but here’s a link with more information as well. Here's how to upload your image:
- Launch the Cricut Design Space App.
- Choose, “New Project.”
- Choose “Upload,” then “Upload Image.” You can either search for the image file you want to use from your computer’s files, or drag and drop it into the Cricut Design Space.
- For the Suzy Quilts design, you will choose “simple” since it’s 1 color per upload and simple shapes.
The “Select & Area” page allows you to delete any part of the image you may not want to use or cut. If you are using the Suzy Quilts design, then your image is ready for cutting so there is nothing you will need to erase. However, if you have an image or logo with a background, this is where you can erase the background so the Cricut machine will only cut your logo.
- You will be cutting the logo, so you can select “Cut” for the “Select Upload Type”.
- Click upload, and your image is ready for the next step.
- Repeat again for the 2nd image/file.
Step #3: Preparing Your File for Cutting
As soon as your file(s) are uploaded, you can begin preparing them for cutting. Select the image(s) you want to use and click “insert image.” This will bring you to the “canvas” page. Here you can change the size of your image(s) and color code your different cuts to keep it organized. For the Suzy Quilts design, the total size should be 1.75" in height. You can adjust your size to match your tailor’s clapper.
- Select the outline image and change the size to 1.75" H (located on the top panel).
- While the outline image is still highlighted, change to your desired color (located on the top panel, under “operations”). I like to change it to the color of the vinyl I am using because it helps to keep my project organized.
- Next, select the background heart image. Drag the image to adjust the size using the 2 opposing arrows on the bottom right corner of the image). Drag it so that it fits the size of the outline image.
- While your background heart image is still highlighted, change to your desired color.
Once you are satisfied with the size, hit “Make It” on the top right corner and you will be ready to cut!
Step #4: Cutting Your Vinyl
The first step for cutting is to prepare your mats. On this screen, you should see 2 different colored mats to reflect your 2 cuts in the colors you chose. Here you can move your image anywhere on your mat. Note that wherever your image is placed on the screen is where you will place your vinyl on the mat. I like to keep mine on the top left corner.
Extra Important Tip!
Since this is an iron-on, make sure to hit “MIRROR ON” for both mats! I’ve wasted so many iron-on vinyls by not hitting this button. If you don’t hit this button, your letters will be backwards. If you are working with regular adhesive vinyl, you don’t have to hit “mirror on.”
Cut your vinyl to the correct size and place it on the mat in the same place your image is located on the screen with the glossy side down.
Now it’s time to make sure your Cricut is turned on and connected to your computer via bluetooth or direct plug in.
Once you are finished placing your images where you would like on both the screen and the mat, and your Cricut is turned on and connected to your computer, hit “continue.” Since I have the Cricut Maker machine, I will choose the material I am cutting on the next screen (everyday iron-on).
If you have a Cricut Explore Air 2 or earlier, you may need to choose your material on your actual Cricut. No matter what Cricut you have, make sure to select “iron-on.”
Load your mat with your vinyl by hitting the arrow button on your Cricut machine. Once the Cricut logo on your machine starts blinking, hit that button, and your Cricut machine will do the rest!
Repeat for the next mat/image. You’re so close to having a personalized tailor’s clapper!
Sep #5: Weeding Your Vinyl
Now that your vinyls are cut, it’s time to weed out the parts you do not want to iron on to your personalized tailor’s clapper. You can do this with any weeding tool or tweezers. If you are using the Suzy Quilts design, be careful when weeding out the outline as the lines are thin since it is a small cut. Isn’t this part so satisfying?
Step #6: Ironing the Vinyl Onto Your Personalized Tailor's Clapper
Once you are done weeding out the excess, you should be left with the text, outline, and background color for the heart. Iron the background color first. Place the image where you would like it on your tailor clapper. Cover with some scrap fabric and press for about 30 seconds on medium to high heat. Remove plastic when finished. Now place the outline directly on top of the background color and repeat. Viola, you are officially finished with your personalized tailor’s clapper! Well done!
Now that you have your personalized tailor’s clapper, it’s time to start using it and admiring your work. We would love to see pictures of your personalized tailor’s clapper so don’t forget to tag us! Want more designs? Be sure to check out the Racini's Quilts Etsy page for more sewing related files. How are you going to personalize your tailor clapper? Share your ideas below, and let us know what quilting related Cricut tutorials you’d be interested in seeing in the future!