Let’s learn the Cricut Maker Basics
You finally broke down and bought the Cricut Maker that you have been wanting. But now what? There are so many pieces and project ideas. Where do you start? Let’s learn the Cricut Maker basics together so we can start crafting beautiful pieces for our loved ones and homes.
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First things first let’s get that Cricut out of the box
Wow girly, let me tell you this very first step as simple as it is gets so many people stuck. The thought of pull out this amazing crafting machine from the box and somehow figuring it all out can just be so overwhelming. The more I googled it the more nervous I was.
The truth is you are going to have to get past what if I mess up when I set it up and just take it out of the box and follow the instructions. There are very clear step by step instructions from Cricut to get you set up and going with your first Cricut project that is in the box with your Maker.
I will share with you that I still had to repeat a part of the starter project and that is ok. We all have to get started somewhere to get to where we want to go.
So go ahead and UNBOX your Cricut Maker. I would recommend having about an hour to pull it all out and set it all up per Cricut’s instructions.
Note: I personally downloaded an illustrator program called Adobe illustrator(a paid program to create my own SVG files) before setting up my Cricut, but this is not necessary as you will need Cricut Design Space(there is a minimal subscription fee, but usually your Cricut comes with a free trial) anyways and it has tons of patterns and files already. There is also a free illustrator program to create files with called Inkscape it’s a perfect place to start creating your own svg files when you are ready.
NOTE: The basics of set up will be very similar to this, but please follow the Cricut set up instructions called “START HERE”. First unbox, plug in to power source, allow enough space for the machine to work about a foot in front and behind the machine, sync to your computer(wi-fi), join Cricut Design Space and start creating your first project(the starter project that comes with your MAKER). I’m only providing a brief over view so you can see despite all the extra verbage in the Cricut set-up instructions the process is pretty simple. Still nervous? You can get more detailed step by step instructions from me HERE!
What are you waiting for? Go get you Cricut Maker out of the BOX.
What is a Cricut Maker?
The Cricut Maker is a computer driven machine that creates pieces by cutting, embossing, scoring and writing.
You pick a design or “SVG file” from your compute either in Cricut Design Space or illustrator program(Adobe Illustarator or Inkscape) and upload the file in Cricut Design Space. The Cricut Design Space software then tells the Cricut Maker what to do(cut, score, emboss, write). You then take your pieces that were created by your Cricut Maker and assemble them into your finished craft project. The options are endless.
What materials can be used in the Cricut Maker
The Cricut Maker has a wide variety of materials that can be used with it. Make sure to select the correct material in Cricut Design Space before cutting your materials.
Material may include, but are not limited too
-VINYLS(adhesive, chalkboard, dry erase, glitter, glossy, matte, metallic, holographic, outdoor, printable, stencil)
-IRON ON VINYL-also known as heat transfer vinyl(foil, flocked, glitter, glossy, holographic, matte, neon, metallic, printable)
–CARDSTOCK and PAPER (cardstock, adhesive cardstock-label paper, copy paper, cardboard, cereal or other thin boxes, construction paper, flocked cardstock, flocked paper, poster board, foil embossed paper or posterboard, freezer paper, parchment paper, wax paper, glitter cardstock, metallic cardstock or paper, Metallic poster board, Pearl Cardstock or Paper, Kraft board or paper, paper grocery bags, rice paper, tissue paper, gift wrap paper, solid core or white core cardstock, crepe paper, watercolor paper, photographs and any other paper you may want to try)
-FABRICS and TEXTILES(burlap, ribbon, canvas, cotton, denim, faux leather or suede, felt, flannel, linen, leather, duck cloth, polyester, silk, wool, cashmere, fleece, jersey, printable fabric, oil cloth, Jute, knits, chiffon, mole skin, muslin, terry cloth, tulle, tweed, velvet and any other material you fancy)
-OTHER MATERIALS (adhesive foil, adhesive wood, aluminum sheets and foil, balsa wood, birch wood, cork board, corrugated paper, craft foam, poster boards, duct tape, embossing foil, glitter foam, magnet sheets, paint chips, plastic, printable magnet sheets, printable sticker/label paper, shrink plastic, light tin(soda can), stencil materials, tissue paper, temporary tattoo paper, washi sheets and tape, window clings, wood veneer, wrapping paper)
Cricut pro tip
- Consider Dollar store or Dollar tree Cricut Supplies while learning your new Cricut to practice with. Check out this post on Dollar Tree Cricut Craft Supplies and grab your free Dollar Tree Cricut Craft Supplies printable below.
What blades can be used with the Cricut Maker
Cricut has a variety of blades to use with your Cricut Maker.
Most projects will use the FINE CUT BLADE. This is great for cardstock, vinyl and other thinner materials
If you need to cut something thicker you will want to use the DEEP-CUT BLADE and Housing.(bonded fabric, cardboard, chipboard)
The ROTARY blade is for fabrics and other delicate materials like crepe paper.
The KNIFE BLADE is for thin wood and leather(thicker projects).
What tools and accessories do I need for my cricut maker
CRICUT MATS– there are four different basic mats that can come in a variety of sizes for the CRICUT MAKER you need a 12×12 or 12×24 size mat(Do not buy a smaller mat then these)
Blue light grip mat– light weight materials like copy paper
Green Standard grip mat– this is my go too mat for light weight projects(cardstock, vinyl)
PURPLE strong grip mat– heavy materials like cardboard, thin woods or bonded fabric
PINK fabric grip mat– great for non-bonded fabrics
CRICUT PENS– allow you to write on all types of projects perfectly with the Cricut Maker(cards, envelopes, labels) The maker can use other pens as well as the Cricut Maker Pens, but be careful that they fit appropriately or they could damage your pen holder on your Cricut Maker
OTHER CRICUT MAKER TOOLS-
Scrapper– helps remove extra pieces off of stick mats(DO NOT USE ON THE PINK MAT THOUGH)
Scoring Stylus– scores or indents paper for intricate designs. Great for cards and paper projects
Weeding Tools– helps with vinyl projects to remove extra pieces that are not needed but still attached to the backing
Quilling tool– used to curve paper while creating paper flowers
What projects can the cricut maker create
The possibility of projects with the CRICUT MAKER are almost endless it seems. There are so many amazing projects that you can make. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- PAPER FLOWERS
- INVITATION(wedding, birthdays)
- VINYL PROJECTS(coffee mugs, t-shirts, home decor signs)
- leather earring/jewelry
- home decor
- sewing patterns
- dolls and accessories
- personalized baby items
- coloring books
- cake toppers
- window decals
- foam and box crafts (3D)
- washi tape(print and cut your own)
- gift tags and boxes
- glass wear decals
- pet items(personalized)
- wall art
Do you need help planning your Cricut Projects?
Learning your Cricut can be a lot and keeping track of what you need for each project in the beginning can be almost too much at times. These easy to use Cricut project planner sheets are perfect to get your Cricut project all planned out and ready to go with EASE. Grab your Cricut Project Planner Cheat sheets printable from our shop now.
Don’t forget to Grab your FREE CRICUT cheats printable
The opportunities with your CRICUT MAKER are endless. Now you have learned the Cricut Maker Basics.
Let’s start creating together.
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