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Personalisation has been such a big trend in retail recently and it’s exploded to the point where you can buy just about anything with your initials monogrammed onto it, whether that be a suitcase or pyjamas or children’s hats.
Google searches for crafting machines that allow you to add monograms yourself have also gone up over the past 12 months, and with lockdown meaning I have a little extra time on my hands, I decided to dive into this trend and give it a go.
Kmart has recently started selling faux leather women’s accessories that look remarkably similar to ones made by Australia’s reigning queen of personalisation, The Daily Edited - but for a scandalously low price.
A black crossbody bag that looks just like this $130 one from TDE, is just $9 at Kmart, while a knockoff of this $60 cardholder will only set you back $3. The only thing the Kmart version is missing is a little gold monogram, but that can be easily rectified if you have access to a Cricut.
If you aren’t already familiar with it, a Cricut is a precision cutting machine popular among crafters, and it can be used to personalise whatever your heart desires.
I used a Cricut to cut initials out of gold iron-on vinyl, and then used heat to attach them to a Kmart bag and card holder to make them into TDE knockoffs. Although the end result is a pretty convincing dupe, it’s really only skin deep as the quality of the synthetic Kmart products is incomparable to the genuine leather TDE uses.
Nevertheless, I’m pretty impressed with my handiwork, and the whole process only took about 20 minutes (which wasn’t nearly enough time to burn in lockdown, but oh well).
The same technique can be used to add monograms to just about anything as the Cricut is compatible with between 50 and 300 materials, depending on which model you have, and I’ve since gone to town on all of my toddler’s things.
I’ve added monograms to a pair of faux suede shoes and a Kmart tracksuit set for her, put her name on all her drink bottles and a pencil case, and even cut a personalised wall decal for her bedroom.
With the number of Covid cases in Sydney remaining high, I’ll have every loose item in the house monogrammed before lockdown ends!
Iron-on vinyl is a really easy product to work with and, as you can see from my TDE dupe, isn't just limited to use on clothes.
It's as simple designing something using the Cricut Design Space app, cutting it, and then using an iron to attach it to your material.
To make the application of iron-on designs easier, Cricut also has a separately sold EasyPress that does exactly what your home iron would but allows you to set an exact temperature and countdown timer. You then use the website’s calculator to enter in the materials you’re working with and it’ll tell you what temperature and time to set to.
For example, to attach iron onto faux leather I needed 30 seconds at 140 degrees, whereas to add Infusable Ink to the pencil case above I needed 195 degrees for 60 seconds.
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