Make a 'Coworker Recognition Fishbowl' Using a Cricut Expression

Introduction: Make a 'Coworker Recognition Fishbowl' Using a Cricut Expression

About: I am a registered nurse living on the east coast of Iowa. ;-)

 Recently, in my workplace, demands on productivity were high, morale and employee engagement were low, and we lacked a way to recognize the hard work and efforts made by our coworkers. So I decided to create something for my coworkers and I to recognize each other and provide a tangible reward for going above and beyond.

The way it works:
This fishbowl sits at our main nurses' station. If my coworker does something I feel should be recognized I will write her name on a fish and a brief description of what she did. Then I put it in the fishbowl. At our monthly unit meetings our manager picks out several names from the fishbowl, reads their contributions, and awards a giftcard of some sort. (Prior to implementing this I did get approval from my manager so that prizes would be available.)

The idea is easily modified and you don't have to use a Cricut to cut out the fish (or whatever design your choose to use), any diecutting or similar machine should work. Just make sure the resulting shape is big enough for people to write on.

Other ideas: golden coins/nuggets into a pot o' gold, or even just peices of paper into a basket - the nice thing about this design is that you can see it as it fills up, and its visibility reminds us to utilize it. :-)

Clean glass fishbowl
pretty rocks for the bottom
fishy signs to mount inside the bowl (I cut these out by hand, and then after these I decided to use a Cricut)
a plant (optional, but it looks fun)
blank paper fish

*Since some may already know how to use a Cricut, I will show how to cut out the shapes using a Cricut at the end of this instructable.

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Step 1: Put It All Together.

Add rocks to the fishbowl.

Mount the fishy signs to the rear of the INSIDE of the fishbowl (so you can see what they say through the glass).

Add the plant.

Get your fishy cutouts and start recognizing your coworkers!

Continue on for in-depth instructable on using the Cricut.

Step 2: Assemble Cricut and Supplies

I am using a
Cricut Expression
12x12 cutting mat
Animal Kingdom cartridge
some bright paper (8.5 x 11)

Step 3: Install Cartridge, Turn Cricut On.

Install cartridge.
Turn on the cricut.
Place paper on cutting mat.
Line up cutting mat in front of cricut.

Step 4: Load Paper.

When your paper is lined up, hold it steady and press Load Paper. The Cricut will begin feeding the cutting mat into the machine.

Step 5: Set Paper Size.

When it stops, use the arrows that encircle the Cut button to move the paper and blade until the cutting blade is at the top right corner of your paper.
Then click "Set Paper Size.

Step 6: Select Image.

The image I used is made in the "shadow" font. So click on the shadow button.

Also, since I am only cutting one image that will not have to be sized in relation to other images, I clicked the "Real Dial Size". That allows me to specify the size of the image in 1/4" increments using the dial on the right-hand side located to the right of the font cartridge. For my fish I chose 2 1/4". 

Then click the fish.

Step 7: Auto Fill, Cut, and Enjoy!

Since I wanted to cut out as many fish as possible on my paper I pressed the Auto Fill button. Once you do that you should see the Cricut calculate the number of times it will cut that image and display that on the screen.

If you are ok with that then press the Cut button and let the Cricut go to work.
(If you notice that there is a problem you can press the STOP button at any time.)

When the Cricut stops cutting. Press the Unload Paper button and the paper will be ejected back toward you.

Then carefully peel your images off of the cutting mat. (Cricut sells a tool set which includes a spatula which can be helpful with this, depending on how thick your paper is.) I use a letter opener if I have to but I usually don't have any difficulty getting the paper up.

When you get them all peeled of the cutting mat take them to work, place them near the fishbowl, and start recognizing your coworkers!

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    6 years ago

    I recognize you... as a human unless I'm that case, neigh.