What do you do when the circle size you need isn’t included in a pattern? Personally, I don’t know too many people who can draw a circle perfectly, let alone do it more than once. Here are a few ways to make templates and cut small to medium circles, easily and quickly:
A compass is something you may remember from highschool. It is two arms joined with a pin that allows the arms to be stretched out, with a point on one end and a marking device (usually a pencil) on the other. The pointy bit is used to firmly fix the exact center of the circle, and the pencil is used to scribe the circumference.
If you need a circle that is 5″ wide, you set the point on the zero-point and the tip of the marking device on the 2 1/2″ line. This is great for exact measurements. The ones you find in an office supply store can only make circles up to a certain size, so make sure to check and see what you need.
The Olfa Circle Cutter is essentially a “cutting compass”, that is to say, a compass with a cutting blade instead of a marking device. It can cut up to 8 1/2″ circles You can see a video about it here.
If you don’t need exact circles (for example, if 1 1/8″ is good enough to stand in for a 1″ circle) , consider making your own printable circles in a word document! I use Google docs, and have found that I can easily make perfect circles to print out. While it is nearly impossible to make them an exact size, I find that I can make them “close enough” to the size I want.
I have a number of these docs with different size circles that I can easily print out as necessary. Plus, there are a number of other interesting shapes from the menu I would consider using for other projects that I don’t have to draw out myself.
And say what you will, but nothing is as handy or easy as plopping down a cup, a bowl, or other round object and tracing around it. My longarm circle templates often do double duty! These are some quick and easy tools for making small to medium circles, some more accurately than others. Come join me next week when I show you how to scribe BIG circles!