Crafting, Cricut

What’s a Cricut Machine? And other common questions

Hello crafters!

I know a lot of you out there probably just purchased Cricut machines and you’re wondering… okay, what the heck do I make?

Or… what is a Cricut machine, anyway? I’ll give a brief synopsis and then on to what they’re for.

(Seriously though, that Cricut guide I just linked is a LIFESAVER.)

A Cricut machine is a new kind of crafting machine which can make all of your cuts for you. If you work with paper or vinyl a lot, these things are lifesavers. The best part is that any design you make once you can make over and over, improving it each time and sharing it with your friends and family.

A Cricut works in a few steps:

  1. You set up your project in Cricut Design Space software, laying out exactly where you want each cut to be made.
  2. You specify the material type and size you’ll be using
  3. You load that material on to a Cricut mat (it’s like a self-healing mat but covered with a sticky adhesive for holding your material)
  4. Make sure your design looks right in Design Space
  5. Cut the design!

Like I mentioned in my other post, you can make so many different types of projects. I’ve made my own t-shirts using Cricut iron-on vinyl, mugs with adhesive vinyl, and lots of 3d pop-up cards (like, way too many).

Cricut machines used to use a physical cartridge that you’d plug into the machine to load in your design, but they’ve done away with those since the Expression. The new models (Maker/Explore/Joy) all use digital software to take care of your designs. If you still have older cartridges lying around, fear not! Cricut has an adapter where you can link them with your new machine.

If I was just picking out a machine for the first time, I’d probably go with the Cricut Maker or the Explore Air 2. Both have pretty good deals during the holidays, and there are just loads of tutorials. That site also has reviews of them, but if you just search you’ll find loads of other sites giving their opinion. It’s usually best to go to a few different sources and weigh them against each other, so you aren’t too influenced by the first comparison you read.

I really recommend having around 5 projects in mind before you buy a Cricut. If you have too many written down, you’ll get decision fatigue and have a tough time figuring out what to start on. If you don’t write down any, you’ll do what a lot of us do and keep your new Cricut in the box, slowly accumulating dust until you can’t even read what it is!

Having a clear idea of the kinds of crafts you want to work on is a great way of avoiding those two equally distressing fates. If you have a hard time getting started, just drop me a line and I’ll show you what I’ve been making lately!

Hope this helped clear things up, feel free to share this article if it was helpful.

Crafting, Cricut

My favorite projects to make with a Cricut

Hi friends!

If this is your first time learning about Cricut or cutting machines, let me tell you you’re in for a TREAT.

You are about to go down a one-way path into CRAFTING MADNESS!!!!

So, what exactly is a Cricut?

They’re delightful machines, they can make any cut you want over and over, so you can make the same project, the same way, ENDLESSLY. Or, you can remake other people’s projects by just downloading the SVG cutting project file they send you.

Basically, Cricut machines give crafters a form of sheet music for crafting, a recipe you can follow but also make deviations where you see fit.

What can you make?

Well, lots of things! You can make

  • boxes
  • greeting cards
  • shirts
  • posters
  • stencils
  • decals and stickers
  • sewing patterns

Basically, anything you need to make cuts or draw accurately can be used with a Cricut machine. If you’re more of a visual learned like me, here’s a tutorial to get you started:

There are a bunch of different machine types you can get, some are pretty powerful like the Cricut Maker and good for experienced crafters. There’s also the Explore series that has the Explore Air 2 (this is the one I use!) which is pretty affordable and a good introduction.

The machine holds cutting blades inside and works with a cutting mat that’s sticky for holding your material in place when it’s cut. They don’t print like a printer, but they do have an arm available for holding a pen for drawing.

It’s usually good to follow a tutorial for your first few projects, and Cricut offers a bunch of them. I use something called Cricut Access which gives me fonts and designs I can use for free, and tutorials and projects that are easy to follow along. The downside is you don’t really own any of it, so you lose it all as soon as you stop paying for your subscription.

I also like to buy SVG files from other crafters, these I can import right into Design Space and use forever after paying a one-time fee. There’s a lot of free SVG files available, but I like supporting other DIYers.

So I mentioned my favorite projects, so let me just give a few ideas here about things I’ve made before. If you guys want you can vote and I’ll make another post on whichever project gets the most interest!

My big list:

  • making a custom t-shirt using heat transfer vinyl
  • making glittery tumblers or yeti cups
  • custom balloons (these are super fun)
  • how to make paper flowers with Cricut
  • 3-d spooky cards
  • stencils for painting old furniture
  • wall stickers for making really cute but removable designs, these use indoor decal vinyl
  • vinyl tile backsplashes
  • paper gift boxes & tags
  • felt coasters

I hope this helps you guys! Please drop me a line with which tutorial you have the most interest in and I’ll get it up for you as soon as I can. I’m excited!