I've seen a bunch of projects on Pinterest (like this one) that involve cutting shapes (usually hearts) out of maps. Usually it has to do with cutting out a specific place or city that holds personal significance. I've been wanting to do one of these projects, but didn't trust myself to cut a perfect heart shape with scissors, and I didn't own a paper punch big enough for what I wanted. I have my Cricut, but wasn't sure how to be sure it cut out a particular city...until I decided to "play" a bit yesterday and figured it out!
(tutorials are a bit picture-heavy and long, so be warned!)
I used the heart shape on the "George and Basic Shapes" cartridge (ie: the cartridge that originally came with my Cricut)
I used the "real size" setting and made 3 inch hearts
(I had this scrap piece of paper that I already used to cut a heart.)
The piece we need is the outside "stencil" shape. (you can save the inner heart to use in another project)
Unfold your map and decide what city you want to cut out. I have a bunch of road maps from my grandma left over from when she and my grandpa traveled the US in their retirement.
Then use the "stencil" as a viewfinder to determine exactly where you want your city to be oriented in the heart.
I chose Rochester, NY (even though I live off to the west of it now...a little bit north of Medina. You can see it at the left of the picture.) But out of all he places I've lived in my life, I lived in Rochester the longest. My parents still live there, I have a lot of friends there, and my husband makes the commute and works there. And it's only an hour away, so I still go there all the time to shop and visit my parents.
So when you've determined the placement, use the stencil to cut out a square. (the most important edges to have exact are the top and left edges, since those are the edges that will be aligned in the corner of the sticky mat. The bottom and right edges don't have to be exact, but I find it wastes less of he map.)
Place the map square onto the sticky mat.
I double-check to make sure the edges are right so the heart cuts in the correct spot.
Load the mat into the Cricut, then use the keypad to choose the design. (obviously, be sure to have the same size and design as you did when you made the "stencil"). Then...the moment of truth...press the "Cut" button and let the Cricut do its thing!
Then "unload" the mat from the machine...
Carefully peel the pieces off the mat. (you can save the outer map piece to use for other papercraft projects)
Speaking of Rochester and maps and crafting...check out my fellow RNESTer, Ally's shop Soft Shell Crafts for some cool handmade recycled-map journals! (I'm actually donating a bunch of maps to her when I go through the rest of mine and decide which ones to save for myself to craft with!).