Meet the Maker: Emma Jewell

There are so many different things that can be achieved with the Cricut machines and the Design Space software, from card making, to patchwork, wedding stationery to super-cute plushies, the possibilities are literally endless! 

Here we catch up with Cricuteer and glitter fanatic Emma Jewell and find out all about her adventures with her Cricut Air and Maker machines and what’s next for 2018/9.

How did you first get into making? Have you always been creative?

I’ve been making things for as long as can remember, crafting was always a go to for me as a child. I remember making some very questionable projects such as a pillow made out of tissues?! And cutting out the members of east 17 from a magazine and suspending them by cotton inside a jar to create an upside down snow globe (Which I probably gave to someone as a present!). I also spent a lot of time making bin bags into dresses!

I never really considered crafting or making as career though, even though I choose art and textiles for my GCSEs. I was always focused on dancing, which eventually became my career.

I started my craft blog in 2013 just for something fun to do, and from there craft just took over my life really! I guess it filled the spaces where dancing had been. To the point that I recently had to swap my craft room/office with my bedroom as craft supplies were falling on my head every day! So now my bed just fits into my room, but all of my craft supplies have a place and I have plenty of space to create!

What’s your favourite type of craft?

To be honest anything with glitter! But I love working with paper, I think there’s something cool in the fact that you can turn a cheap bit of paper into something wonderful. I also have a massive soft spot for Hama beads and anything I can use a glue gun for!

Halloween and Christmas are my favourite craft seasons, because anything goes and it’s the perfect excuse to add glitter to everything!

What/who inspires your makes/projects?

I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest and Instagram looking for inspiration, But I really love that feeling when someone asks me where I got something, and I can tell them I made it! So, I spend a lot of time chasing that, and searching out things on the high street that I can make in my own way.

You also create costumes for stage plays, how did you get started in this area?

I was a professional dancer and had danced since I was 3 years old before working professionally, so theatre has always been a big part of my life. I volunteered to create costumes for a show about 6 years ago at my local theatre (I was actually paid in sequins!) and then it kind of escalated from there into a paid side hobby!

Most recently I have costumed a production of Bugsy Malone for 130 children!

What kind of things do you get to create?

All sorts depending on the production, I recently worked on a festival themed play so got to create lots of festival headwear. But some of my favourites are my costumes for Glinda and the Lion in The Wizard of Oz and the dress I created this year for Tallulah in Bugsy Malone, which is extra special as it can change quickly into a second dress in the blink of an eye!

Quitting the 9 – 5pm job and working for yourself is something many makers dream of. What inspired you to take the leap?

I’m lucky in that during my career as a dancer I worked freelance so never had a 9-5 so the leap into working for myself was actually quite a small one. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss, so when the ideas for The Glittery Hands Box and The Craft and Cocktail Club came to me I was ready to give working for myself a good go.

How do you keep on top of all the different things you have going on? You must have one hectic schedule!

Haha! So as well as my blog and making costumes, I run The Glittery Hands Box, a monthly craft subscription box and The Craft and Cocktail Club a monthly Craft night for adults which I run in Bromley, South east London and Stratford upon Avon.

I’m basically fuelled by tea and run by a massive colour coded wall planner!

We’ve noticed your partial to a little bit of glitter, what are your top three projects to make with the sparkly stuff?

I really love glitter, I’m generally covered in it, my friends and family don’t even bother telling me if I have some on my face now!

These glitter boots are definitely in the top three, I used Glitter iron on vinyl cut into Stars, moons and planets to jazz them up!

Next up would be these glitter bag tassels, they are one of my fave crafts, especially to make with friends. I used glitter fabric to make them ad always get compliments about the one on my handbag.

Lastly glittery dinosaur DIY, because if you aren’t covering everything you own in glitter then who are you?

You’ve been busy creating lots of different things with your Cricut machine, when did you first get your machine? And what was the very first project you made with it?

I first bought my Cricut Explore Air back in 2016 and fell madly in love with it, the first project I made was a 3D Gem (living up to my namesake!). I then became obsessed with making garlands and even made my brother’s wedding invites.

I recently got the Cricut Maker too, which blows my mind even more every time I use it! Being able to cut material on there just adds millions more possibilities for me, I recently made a leather backpack and a plush disco ball by cutting the material on my maker.

A little birdie told us that you’ve created some decals for your car with your Cricut machine? We’d love to see a snap! What did you use to create these?

I have an old mini Mayfair; her name is foo! The beauty of an old mini is that it is so customisable, so I had to do something; She currently has vinyl on the roof which I cut on my Cricut using outdoor vinyl. I cut out lots of shapes- sausage dogs, buttons, hearts, Lego men, skulls, diamonds and added them all over the roof.

I’m planning to re-do her soon, perhaps with a craft theme!

What would be your top tips for newbies to the world of Cricut?

Just get it out of the box and play! Pick a project and give it a go, you’ll learn way more that way. Also join a couple of Facebook groups for Cricut owners, there are always people willing to help you if your stuck and you learn so much by seeing what others have made and how they fixed their problems!

And don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of what you think it can do, I’m constantly surprised still by the amount of materials it can cut, how small it can make things and what I can do with it.

My final tip is too spend a lot of time trawling through the projects on cricut design space (they have some fab things on there!) and then using that project as a base and customizing it to what you want to make!

What’s next for 2018/19?

Definitely lots more glitter! I’m very excited to get started with Halloween and Christmas making this year.

I’ve got big plans for both The Glittery Hands Box and The Craft and Cocktail Club and in my dreams I’d really like to make my own line of craft supplies and have my own craft book!! So a quiet year really!

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