Meet a Crafter: DIY Alex Vanover
Alex Vanover is a 27-year-old American crafter. She is based in Louisville, Kentucky. Even though she has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, she’s been crafting since 2012. In the year 2016, she bought her first Cricut machine.
How did your crafting journey begin?
I have always enjoyed crafting, but my Cricut journey began when I got my first Cricut machine in December 2016. I purchased my machine to DIY my 2017 wedding, and I never stopped! Immediately after getting married, I moved to a new city and got a new job. It was a stressful time in my life, so I learned even more about my Cricut to be my creative outlet.
How do you usually find inspiration?
I usually find the most inspiration from my audience. I am very active on social media because I create content for crafters, and it’s part of my full-time job. The conversations I have with them, or the questions they ask spark many of my ideas.
Could you please describe your creative process?
A lot of what I decide to create is based on what my audience is interested in. Whenever I notice a new trend or new project to try, I begin learning about what it takes to reverse engineer it. I start with what I want to make, and I figure out the process of reproducing it with my twist. I will not film a tutorial during the first time I’m doing a project. So while learning the project, I can make helpful notes that I use to make the tutorial.
What do you like about your crafting discipline/ job the most?
I am amazed at the creativity that Cricut (and all die-cutting) machines unlock for people. For instance, I cannot cut a straight line with scissors. That is a significant barrier to crafting! Because the Cricut machine can take care of the primary functions that I’m not good at, I can unlock a whole new level of creativity with my device! I also enjoy seeing the creative and practical ways others utilize their tools to create.
What design or creation do you feel proudest of, and why?
I feel proudest of the epoxy tumblers I create. They have the most extended process of any craft I make, so by the time they are done, I feel like I’ve finished a marathon! Plus, I get to look at sparkly tumblers every morning when I drink coffee.
Did you expect to become so popular?
I started posting videos on social media for my full time at 651vinyl.com. So I expected most of my audience to come from 651vinyl customers that I was helping, but I’ve found that most of my followers start seeing my tutorials organically now. I didn’t expect things to go that way, but it’s been a pleasant surprise.
Looking back, what would have you done differently?
I would tell myself not to be so nervous to get started and about making mistakes. In the beginning, I over-edited my videos and tried to make every craft perfect. As I’ve gained experience, I realized making mistakes makes me more relatable, and my audience doesn’t see it as a bad thing. It helps me explain what not to do.
What is the next thing you want to create or learn?
I want to create more tutorials for DIY Brides. Since I started my Cricut journey for my wedding, I am very passionate about helping brides create their dream weddings. I have only scratched the surface of tutorials I have in mind for brides.
Can you give us three specific tips for somebody that wants to start crafting?
1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! They are the best teachers.
2. Buy more than what you need for essential projects. It’s better to have extra than not enough.
3. Don’t try to learn everything at once if crafting seems overwhelming. Find a tutorial, buy the materials, and do the project. It’s tempting to watch every video on the craft, but that causes many to get too overwhelmed to get started with their machines.
Thank you so much for your time!