Heat Press Break-Downs and Recommendations

With so many brands and styles of heat presses which one do you choose!? Purchasing a heat press is a huge investment and you’re really going to get what you pay for. Low quality heat presses can produce uneven heat and pressure application. Investing in a good quality heat press will reduce times, costs and frustrations!

Two Main Types of Heat Presses:
• Swing Away
• Clam Shell

What is a Swing Away heat press?

This style of heat press has a heated top platen that swings to the side and away from the bottom platen.

For Amazon’s best selling Swing Away heat press Click here

Pros of a Swing Away heat press:

• The top platen swings completely away from the bottom platen (often 360 degrees) which allows you to easily work with multi-layered pieces and gives you easy access to adjust your garment.

• Will easily press thicker items and has the ability to press different types of materials with ease.

• You get access to the bottom platen without the risk of burning your hands or knuckles.

Cons of a Swing Away heat press:

• Takes up the most space. You will have to allow for space for the heat press and for the plate to swing away.

What is a Clam Shell heat press?

A Clam Shell heat press has a top and bottom platen that open and close like a jaw or like -you probably guessed it- a clamshell.

For Amazon’s space efficient Clam Shell style heat press Click here

Pros of a Clam Shell heat press:

• They take up the least amount of space. The top platen moves up and down where as a Swing Aways top platen moves side to side.

• They are simply made and have less of a potential for problems arising and are easier to learn how to use.

Cons of a Clam Shell heat press:

• The top heat platen is directly above the bottom platen. This gives you less space to lay out your garment and design. You also have to be careful not to burn your knuckles!

So Which One do you Choose??

Things to take into consideration are how much space do you have to properly use and store your press? You also want to think about how clumsy you are (especially when considering getting a Clam Shell press!). Take into consideration others reviews. There are a lot of package deals so if you are wanting to press garments such as hats, mugs, plates you may want to get a heat press with attachments such as the one pictured below.

To check it out Click here

If this was helpful to you please share with your friends and subscribe! If you have more questions about heat presses leave us a comment below. Also, let us know what you want to see next!

Happy crafting!


The Free Font Bundle

Guys…. FontBundles is offering a free font BUNDLE and I had to post it for you!

The-Free-Font-Bundle-Vol2-MainCover (1)

It includes 15 fonts, ALL FREE! All for you!! Here is just a preview of what they are offering! You know I’m the Queen of Fonts – so enjoy! 😉

Click the pics and it will bring you directly to the free font bundle! Have fun!



Glitter Ornament Tutorial Pt. 2 – Making the Ornament

Part two of our Glitter Ornament Tutorial, working in Cricut Design Space to get everything ready to cut! Check back next weekend to see how I layered the vinyl and how I applied it to my ornament!

Find the Bundle Here:


Check back next weekend to see how I layered the vinyl and how I applied it to my ornament!

Glitter Ornament Tutorial Pt.1 – Working in Design Space


Cricut Basics Mini Series: Attach

So you’ve purchased a Cricut die cutting machine. You did the research and watched so many videos on YouTube that your eyes are going to fall out. You finally get your machine set up – and you’re completely lost. Fear not! Tri-Coastal Crafting is here to save some of your time (and sanity). We will be doing a Basics Mini series, explaining in detail all of Design Space 3’s basic functions. If you aren’t a new user but new to the Explore and Maker models, Design Space will be new to you after using Cricut Craft Room for so long. Let’s dive right in with out first basic function: Attach!

Basic Function #1: Attach

Imagine your project is tangible, in your hands in front of you. You want to bind two pieces together, you use a staple to keep things in place and right where you want them. This is essentially what Attach does in Design Space 3 (DS3 going forward in this post). Attach allows you to combine two or more layers together, pinning them in place so when you hit “Make It” they are exactly where you want them. DS3 has a habit of moving projects on the cut screen out of alignment to save space, ignoring your hard work and planning! Attach allows DS3 to see it is ONE piece, ONE design, and keeps it together as you have it.

Shapes from toolbarIn this basic screen by screen tutorial, I will show you how to attach two basic elements: a shape, and some text. The image to the left is the LEFT side of your DS3 canvas. Select the Shapes tab to see all the preset shapes available in DS3.  I’ve selected a square for this tutorial.

You can click and drag on the square to enlarge it to what you need, or you can click the LOCK icon on the bottom LEFT of the square to unlock its proportions, dragging it into a rectangle. You can also type in your size on the top bar under “Size” if you wish.


text over square not attachedUsing my text tool (located above the shapes tool) I typed out some basic text and layered it over the square that we have already on our mat. At this point, the two objects are separate design elements and DS3 see it as such, so when you send them to the cutting mat, they will jumble up to save space. This is where the attach feature comes into play. By attaching the text to this square, we are going to PIN the text to it, keeping it in place.

Layers Panel showing 2 layers pre attach


When you have these two items on your canvas, stop and take a look to your right on the screen. This panel is called your Layers panel. It shows you every element of your design, and how it is associated on the canvas. In this example (left, image) the layers tab has the square as one layer and the text as another.


both layers with SELECT ALL seen


Okay! we now have all our elements on the canvas, ready to attach them to make them ONE layer. In the upper left of the image, you will see a “select all” button. Using this button will do just that, highlight everything on your screen. Alternatively, you can click and drag over everything you wish to select OR use Control + A as a keyboard shortcut (windows, not sure about Mac systems).


attach button highlighted


Now they should all be selected, making the “ATTACH” button on the bottom RIGHT under your LAYERS panel become an option.

After you press Attach, the following will occur. (Left Image) your Layers panel will reflect the change, now showing your two items under an “Attach” header with drop down arrows so you can see all the details for each. Because attach does just that, attaches two layers together, both the text and the square are both editable.

Now that the two are attached, DS3 will turn your image one color to show the union. (right image) Because they are now attached, the image shows that the text is going to cut out of the square. This is especially helpful when you get into weeding boxes and alignment for cards, but that’s another post for another day. 😉

When and Why to Use the Attach Feature

  • When you are working on a design with two or more colors, you can attach all LIKE colors and then attach overall to keep the colors in their exact spot and all like colors on their appropriate mats. It gives you more bang for your vinyl or paper buck and makes layering a breeze!
  • Sometimes you don’t want to slice, so attaching (like I did in this tutorial) will give you the same results! If it’s something as simple as text, you can do as I have shown you, and weed out either the box around it, OR the words and make it a reverse for a stencil for painting or etching. Bonus? The straight lines of the box around it make aligning your project simple and quick, as opposed to spending countless hours fussing over 1/16″ (what? just me?)
  • When using the writing feature in DS3, you want to have the machine WRITE your text, but CUT the shape around it. Attaching your text (make sure it’s set to write) to your square let’s DS3 know to do just that! If it isn’t attached it will cut through every individual letter, making your project a bust.
  • If you are using PRINT THEN CUT, you MUST attach your print design AND flatten in order for DS3 to cut the outer shape and NOT all the individual design elements. I see this happen OFTEN, and it’s frustrating for sure! Attach let’s DS3 know it’s not a part of the bottom layer and should not cut with it. (Flatten will be discussed in another post!)

What other ways can you think of using Attach when using DS? Leave a comment below to share your creative genius! I hope this tutorial has helped explain the Attach feature and how to use it successfully.


Happy Crafting!

Amy R Signature Charlotte


Machine Tote……and?

Oh my goodness guys! I don’t know why it took me so long to buy this! I should have jumped on it when it first came out! Have you seen the Machine Tote by Cricut?

I got it in the mail last week, and to be honest I had to clean a space so I was able to take pictures before I opened it! If you are anything like me craft organization isn’t your first priority! I’m telling you right now the Tote by Cricut and the other mystery box I opened will help with that!


Can you believe these beautiful boxes just sat in my living room for over a week unopened? Well they did! My cat loved them, he had his choice of boxes to sleep on every night. He was taller then ever before and had a great view of the living room!
Well I finally took them upstairs today and opened them, and I fell in LOVE!! The pictures I took and the pictures you’ve seen online do this tote no justice, it’s so much more beautiful in real life! Seriously how pretty is this?

It has 2 extremely convenient side zipper pockets which I am going to be using for the 4power cords. The inside is padded too! Last August I took my Cricut on a road trip to TN, and I worried about it the whole time. This summer I won’t have to worry about it because look at this padding!!! I didn’t take any pictures of the machine in the tote, however I will take some later on and I will post them on our Facebook and Instagram pages so make sure you keep your eyes open for those in the future! I truly can’t say enough about the quality of the tote. It is so beautiful. Again, I’m slightly ashamed that I didn’t buy it sooner, if you all could see my craft mess you would agree! I almost forgot to mention that it also comes with a shoulder strap, I likely got a little too excited over that!

So, I thought….. I can’t just have the Machine Tote, I’d better by the Rolling Craft Tote too! How could I have one and not the other??


The details on both of these totes are amazing, and I took almost 140 pictures while I was un-boxing because I was so impressed. I won’t post them all here, but I will post some of my favorites.


Look at the details! The stitching! The logo on the zipper! They went as far as padding the handles for comfort! I was truly impressed! I took about 50 detail pictures as I stated above and these were just a few of my favorites.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The rolling craft tote has so much storage, and it’s laid out brilliantly! Cricut thought about tools, vinyl, mats and so much more when they created this travelling storage system!

12I wish this would have been on the top of the box, and that is my only complaint because when I looked at the tote before finding it I thought the wheels looked a little weird. I even made a FB and Insta post about it. 10 minutes later I found the wheels and the instructions and felt extremely silly!

I know I’ve said this already but I am extremely pleased with both of the totes. The tweed is so pretty in real life, everything I’ve seen online about the totes does not do it justice at all. The details are through the roof! I will proudly carry this around with me, whenever I need to craft on the go! I am really glad I purchased it, and again a little upset I didn’t get it sooner… I’ve learned my lesson for next time!

All of these items are currently on sale on the Cricut website!

The Machine Tote: $99.00
The Craft Tote: $149.99
The Machine and Craft Tote Bundle Deal: $229.99
and finally
The Shoulder Bag (which is not featured here): $29.99

If you click on any of the pictures in this post it will direct you to the Cricut website with prices and links to all the totes!




Wednesday’s Free Font Round-Up 10/4/17

Wednesday’s Free Font Round-Up

Simply click the FREE font you want, make an account and download! It’s all yours including commercial license! Can’t get any better then that!

(Afil Links Ahead)