Are you an avid crafter and do you enjoy discovering new and exciting ways to create new projects? If so, crafting with cricut could really take your crafting hobby to the next level.
This is the ultimate beginner’s guide to crafting with cricut and we will cover everything you need to know about this crafting speciality!
What exactly is cricut?
This is one of the most common questions that cricut enthusiasts get, especially since cricut is such an interesting term!
In a nutshell, a cricut is a sophisticated cutting machine that allows you to cut out and then create the most gorgeous and unique crafts using a wide range of materials including:
- silk, and
- much more!
Your cricut machine will also enable you to design, emboss, draw and insert interesting folding lines into your crafting projects. Many cricut hobbyists enjoy making 3D projects and greeting cards with their cricut machines.
How extensively you can use your cricut machine will depend on the model you have: some offer more features than others.
If you already love making crafts and enjoy art, you will definitely love using a cricut machine. A cricut machine can be extremely useful to you if you often have to cut things and like making crafts with a wide range of materials.
With a cricut machine, the possibilities are endless and there is no limit to what you can create with it. The only constraint is your own imagination!
The Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2 are the models most popular at the moment among crafters.
Using a cricut machine is incredibly easy and once you get used to it, you will wonder how you ever did without it.
As soon as you get to grips with the basics of cricut cutting, you will thoroughly enjoy testing out the creation of new and innovative craft projects.
With cricut crafting, practice is essential and the more you create, the easier it gets.
Cricut machines are ideal for makers, teachers and wedding planners.
If you are a teacher, maker, wedding planner or any other occupation that requires you to come up with interesting crafts from time to time, a cricut machine can change your life for the better!
For example, if you are a teacher, you can easily make your own, personalized classroom activity pages, worksheets, coloring pages, decorations and much more for your classroom. All this can be done in a fraction of time that it normally takes you to do them by hand.
Wedding planners love cricut machines but you don’t have to be a wedding planner to use it for special events. Many couples who are organizing their own weddings invest in a cricut machine to make their own wedding favors and crafts for their big day. A cricut machine can make a beautiful selection of name tags, gift cards, thank you cards, place cards and cake toppers. Even though the initial cost of a cricut machine is quite high, you will definitely use it again for other things so it is worth considering.
Do you own a shop on Etsy? If so, did you know that owning a cricut machine can help you to be much more productive? For instance, if you sell personalized items (such as t-shirts, tumblers or stickers), this can cut down your production time drastically and leave you with more free time.
What crafts can I make with my cricut machine?
Your cricut machine will revolutionize the way you approach crafting. There are thousands of crafting possibilities with your cricut machine and you can use a wide range of materials, like silk, felt, leather, poster board, vinyl, paper and much more.
Some cricut models (such as the Cricut Maker) allow you to cut more durable materials including, wood and thicker card stock paper with its tough knife.
If your cricut machine has a rotary blade, you will be able to cut beautiful designs out of even more fabrics and crepe paper.
Many cricut crafters like to buy additional accessories for the cricut machines so that they can perform a wider range of functions like cutting out wavy lines, engraving, de-bossing and perforating.
You can use your cricut at home and it doesn’t take up too much space. In fact, it is smaller than your average sewing machine and lighter as well, so it won’t take up much space in your crafting room.
The following are just a few examples of the exciting crafts you can make with your new cricut machine:
- jewelry (for example, earrings, bracelets and necklaces)
- advertising banners
- key chains
- greeting cards
- 3D cards and projects
- custom-made t-shirts and other clothing
- customized tumblers, water bottles and mugs
- paper flowers
- wood cut-outs
- pamphlets and brochures, and
- much more!
Unboxing your cricut machine and setting it up.
One of the most exciting parts of crafting with a cricut machine is unboxing your brand new machine and setting it up.
As you take your new cricut machine out of the box, you will notice how compact and shiny it is. This is part of the appeal to using a cricut machine- it is beautiful to look at and lovely to use as well.
When you are ready to set your cricut machine up, make sure that you have a plug point quite close to you. Plug your cricut machine in, making sure that you leave enough space in both the front and the back of the machine as you will be using cricut cutting mats with it (more about this later in this beginner’s guide to crafting with cricut).
Your cutting mats will pass through your cricut machine so bear this in mind when choosing a place for your cricut machine. To give you some idea of the size of the cutting mats, they are either 12 or 24 inches long. This means that you will to have at least 10 to 2o inches of free space in front and behind your cricut machine.
Your cricut machine comes with 2 cords. There will be a cord with a USB connection, as well as one with a square-shaped end. This connects your cricut machine to your computer. You can also connect it to your computer using BlueTooth technology but make sure that you keep the cord in a safe place, anyway as you may need it at a later stage.
If you plan on connecting the cricut machine to your computer, plug the USB cable in connecting the two.
Once your cricut machine is connected to your computer and you have plugged it in, you are ready to go!
The next step will be setting up Design Space (which is cricut’s special program to help you create crafting projects).
Making your first craft projects with your cricut machine.
When you have connected your cricut machine to your computer and it has been plugged in, you will need to create a user name and password for your Design Space account.
Once your Design Space account has been created, we recommend playing around in it and discovering what you can do in this creative program.
Try and allocate a few hours so that you can find out what each button does and how you can use Design Space to your advantage.
We recommend reading through your cricut machine’s user manual from front to back before starting. As boring as this may sound, it will give you a good idea of the basics and how best to use your cricut machine machine.
In the user manual, you will learn how to take care of the various components and the function of each part of the cricut machine.
Another excellent way to familiarize yourself with your new cricut machine is to watch some YouTube videos or online tutorials that cover the basics. Watching someone else using a cricut machine can work wonders and can help you to understand more clearly how it works.
In Design Space, you will also see some great videos that explain the basics so be sure to watch a few of them.
Since your cricut machine works with sharp and tough blades, safety is key and you need to be 100% sure of how the machine works in order to prevent injuries.
When working with your cricut machine, it is much better to have a clear and clutter-free workspace. It also goes without saying that your cricut machine should be placed on a flat and even surface for best results.
Arrange all your cricut machine supplies in an area close to you so that you have easy access to them.
In a nutshell, your cricut machine can has some interesting features, for example:
- It can write! Each cricut machine comes with a set of special cricut pens that let you sketch out your designs. If you want to write in a special font or style, you can find plenty of font templates online for cricut machines.
- Cricut machines emboss materials beautifully. All you need to do is to program your cricut machine for embossing and use the embossing accessory. The scoring stylus will emboss in a wide range of stunning styles and finishes.
- It cuts and prints: in order to do this, you can use your printer to print out your desired design. When using the cricut machine, it will automatically recognize the design and will cut and print your crafting project accordingly.
With its sophisticated software, your cricut machine can produce some amazing crafting projects.
Which accessories and tools are good to use with a cricut machine?
This is a great question! In addition to your cricut machine’s software in Design Space, you also have the option of buying some great accessories and tools.
If you are just starting out with a cricut machine, you might want to consider purchasing the following accessories:
1) A pair of tweezers.
If you buy cricut’s own brand tweezers, you have a wonderfully accurate tool that has a reverse grip design. These tweezers will help you to pick up delicate objects and place them in the correct place.
2) A scoring stylus.
Your scoring stylus is a very versatile tool that helps you to create folds in greeting cards and in 3D projects. A scoring wheel can also perform that same function.
Weeders are vital for many cricut projects as they allow you to pick up loose or stray bits of vinyl when making vinyl patterns and projects. The weeding process should preferably be done when your vinyl project is still on the crafting mat.
4) A good quality spatula.
Using a spatula will let you remove delicate or still drying craft projects from your cutter mat.
5) A scraper.
Your cutter mat will often have stray pieces of vinyl and other materials on it after you have finished with your crafting. A scraper can remove the debris quickly and easily and can also help you to smooth adhesive vinyl onto your transfer paper.
Trimmers are important for every cricut project as they assist you in cutting straight and accurate lines.
Project ideas for your cricut machine.
If you chat to any cricut enthusiast, they will tell you that it is very easy to come up with new and innovative ideas for using your cricut machine.
The following are only just a handful of creative projects that you can make using your cricut machine:
- Birthday cards with unique 3D objects
- Kitchen towels with your own seasonal design
- Personalized t-shirts
- 3D paper pumpkins for autumn and halloween
- Cupcake holders
- Garlands for parties
- Party favors (such as labels, tags and 3D objects)
- Nail decals with various creative designs
- Gift boxes
- Rock art
- Bracelets, and
- So much more!
Cutting fabric with your cricut machine.
Cutting fabric with your cricut machine is one of the most common actions for all users. Quilters and sewing enthusiasts love to use their cricut machines to cut fabrics as it gives them a much more accurate cut.
Your cricut machine will effortlessly cut fabric according to your exact requirements but it does have to be bonded to something else beforehand. This makes it thicker and heavier. To bond your fabric, you can use a special fabric glue so that it doesn’t shift out of place.
All you need to do to cut with your cricut machine is to place your bonded fabric onto your cutting mat and then let your machine work its magic- it really is as easy as this!
In terms of the fabric your cricut machine is able to cut, it can cut a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, silk, denim, satin and so much more. There is actually very little that the cricut machine cannot cut when it comes to fabrics.
The cutting process in your cricut machine is done using the rotary blades. It makes a rolling and gliding motion across the fabric in a seamless way so that it is very accurate and gives you very crisp edges.
Cutting heavy materials with your cricut machine.
Did you know that you don’t have to be wild about sewing to use a cricut machine? Even if you only use it for crafting, you will certainly get a lot of use out of it.
Many cricut users have their machines cut heavier materials without a problem. Examples of heavier materials that your cricut machine can cut include woods (like birch, balsa and bamboo), mat board, heavy and light leathers, poster board and so much more.
Future cricut machine models are expected to come with a new kind of knife blade that will allow you to cut an even wider array of materials, including thicker materials.
Crafters who routinely use their cricut machine to cut heavy materials use it to make things like jigsaw puzzles and wooden boards.
I don’t use a computer: do I really need one to use my cricut machine?
You don’t technically need a computer to use a cricut machine but you will need to download the Design Space software to use your cricut machine optimally.
If you don’t have a computer, you could always use your tablet or smartphone to use the software.
Cricut machines are great for designers and crafters but you don’t have to be an expert to create beautiful projects.
This is very important to remember if you are considering buying a cricut machine.
Many crafters mistakenly believe that they have to be experts to use a cricut machine and if you are a complete novice, it won’t be of any use to use. This is very far from the truth because a cricut machine actually makes it easier for you to craft!
As you get to learn more about your new cricut machine, you will be tempted to play around with it and create your own designs. Allow yourself to express your inner creativity and try and attempt anything new because you never know when something will turn out beautifully.
If you feel stuck in terms of creativity and inspiration, you can always fall back on the preloaded designs and templates in your cricut machine. This makes it so easy and simple to use a cricut machine.
A cricut machine will last for decades and is a very high quality tool.
Some crafters are put off by the price of a cricut machine. However, what many don’t realize is that cricut machines are made according to the highest standards of quality and workmanship.
Speak to any experienced cricut machine and they will likely tell you that they have a cricut machine that they have had for many years. This is just a little insight into what an excellent quality machine it is.
In addition, the components in a cricut machine are very durable and, even if you use your cricut machine every day, the parts will be unlikely to wear out any time soon.
As a company, Cricut is very helpful and if you ever experience any problems with your cricut machine, they will help you as much as possible and even replace your machine, if necessary.
Deciding whether or not to invest in a cricut machine.
Yes, a cricut machine is pricey but if you will use it extensively, then it will soon pay off. However, if you are still on the fence about investing in one, you may want to ask yourself a few key questions.
The following questions should help you decide if a cricut machine is worth it for you:
- Will you be using it a lot for scrapbooking?
- Do you enjoy making your own, unique gifts for family and friends? Would you like to do this more?
- Would you like to make customized clothing, like t-shirts or hats?
- Are you a maker? Do you sell crafts in stores and on online platforms, such as Etsy?
- Do you enjoy making crafts for special events, including weddings and milestone parties?
- Do you love making your own home decor?
- Do you make your own greeting cards?
- Do you make a lot of poster board or cardboard boxes for gifting?
- Are you always thinking of new crafting projects to take on?
The above questions should give you a good feeling as to how often you would potentially use a cricut machine and if it would be worth your while.
Many crafters buy a cricut machine simply because it is another toy or tool to use. However, if you are on a budget, you would need to think carefully before taking the plunge.
Another option if money is tight and you really want a cricut machine is to buy a second hand one. This can save you a lot of money! Try and locate one that has hardly been used and that someone bought on impulse as it could be just like buying a brand new one!
What are the benefits to using a cricut machine?
Once you start to use your cricut machine, you will realize that there are countless benefits to be had by investing in one. Let’s take a look at the main benefits…
1) It is fun to use.
Once you get started with your cricut machine, you will have loads of fun trying out new designs and techniques that you will not be able to without the cricut machine. It is very exciting trying out new creations and having them turn out brilliantly with this innovative little machine.
2) It is very user friendly.
Although you will need to set up your cricut machine initially and then download the Design Space software, you will soon realize that it is so easy to use. Of course, you will need to read the user manual carefully and then read through this beginner’s guide to crafting with cricut to get to grips with the ins and outs.
3) You can use it wirelessly.
The cricut machine is an incredibly modern crafting tool. Many crafters love using it wirelessly without having to connect it to their computer. This can be easily done with your cricut machine’s Bluetooth adaptor. With it, you can upload and then easily make innovative designs directly from your tablet, phone or computer.
This means that you can easily move around with your cricut machine and print your creations from any room you want.
4) It is an excellent tool for crafting beginners.
If you are a crafting novice, you don’t need any prior knowledge of the hobby to be able to use your cricut machine effectively. It is easy to operate your cricut machine once it has been set up and you will go on a steep learning curve as you try out various crafts and projects.
5) Your cricut machine allows you to write and cut, all at the same time.
Which other crafting tool can boast the ability to write and cut at the same time? Only the cricut machine lets you do both at the same time!
This can save you a whole lot of time when you are creating crafts. In addition, the state-of-the-art scoring stylus can help you to fold lines when making greeting cards, 3D objects, boxes and more.
6) Using old cartridges is not a problem.
Do you have one of the old model cricut machines? If so, you will be pleased to know that your old cartridges are completely compatible with the newer cricut machine models. This can save you a lot of money and you will feel good knowing that you can incorporate your old cricut tools with your new machine.
7) You can create crafts with the click of a button.
Unlike creating crafts by hand, which can take a long time, working with a cricut machine lets you make anything you like at a single click of a button! All you need to do is select the correct function and away you go!
What you ultimately use your cricut machine for will obviously depend on who you are as a person.
Remember that learning how to use a cricut machine is annoying process and that even the most experienced users still learn something new.
If you believe that you have the time, passion and enthusiasm to learn all about this wonderful tool that has taken the crating world by storm, then a cricut machine would probably be a great addition to your life!
Finally, the most important thing to consider is that using your cricut machine is meant to be fun and relaxing and if you think you will derive a lot of pleasure from a cricut machine, then your crafting future looks very bright!