I’m sure you have heard everyone talking about the best cutting machine around…the Cricut! But, even though I just told you what it is, I bet you still have no idea what it can do and the many things you can make with it.
What do you do with a Cricut machine?
The Cricut machine is a tool that can write, cut, and score a wide variety of materials. I know what your thinking…So can a pencil, markers, scissors, knives, saws, razor blades, and many more. LOL But, this one machine can replace all of those with a push of a button!
Yup. Imagine your making a greeting card for a friend. No more getting out your markers to draw some flowers. No more getting out the scissors to cut out your design. Forget about a scoring tool to fold your card. You don’t even have to hand write your message. This machine does it all for you!
Wanna make some custom mugs? Use Design Space (Cricut’s software program) to create your design then send the project to the Cricut to cut. All you have to do is put the design on the mug.
Do you love all the custom farmhouse signs you see for mucho money? You can make one yourself…easily! And for very little money. I wish I had a picture of the porch sign I made so I could show you, UGH!
Need matching t-shirts for your family trip to Disney? Easy peasy! It’s just a matter of creating your design, sending it to the machine, and ironing it on your shirt. Check out the t-shirt I helped my granddaughter make below (and yes it’s a joke).
Which Cricut should I get? There’s a few different machines to choose from
The Cricut explore line has a few different models to choose from. They are basically upgrades from their previous machines, but all work exactly the same with a few added features.
Cricut Explore One
The Cricut Explore One machines can cut 100’s of different materials such as paper, card stock, vinyl, iron-on, cork and bonded fabrics. This machine is one of the older ones and is not blue-tooth enabled and is a bit slower to cut than the newer models. It comes with a few different blades for cutting different materials as well as a holder for writing with pens. I made this mirrored try with my Cricut Explore One a long time ago.
Cricut Explore Air and Air 2
The Cricut Explore Air and Air 2 have blue-tooth capabilities and is much faster than the original Explore. The latter being even faster. They come with a double tool holder for blades and pens.
This is the Mac-Daddy of all Cricut machines…The Cricut Maker! This machine does everything the others do and much more. It has 10 times the power for cutting 100’s more fabrics than the Explore machines, cuts with a rotary blade which is way better for cutting fabrics, and they do not have to be bonded materials. It has a knife blade for cutting thicker materials such as leather and chipboard. And it comes with a scoring blade for razor sharp folds.
Now having purchased all of the machines above, yikes! I can say you are better off purchasing the Maker. The Maker, even though it is considered the elite, works exactly the same way as all the other machines. It’s just way more powerful and can cut way more materials.
So, if your thinking you won’t need all that it has to offer, I’m telling you now, once you realize what this machine and software can do, you will want to make more and more things.
Don’t do what I did and get the least expensive model. Trust me you are going to want to cut something that the other machines won’t cut.
I literally have 3 machines sitting in my craft room because I can’t part with any of them. I bring one with me to have in our camper so I can craft while we are away. And the other two are on two separate work spaces so depending on what project I’m working on, I have one right next to me.
Oh, and did I mention they come in all different colors! I have to stop myself from buying another one. They are sooo pretty!
Accessories available for Cricut
Depending on where you buy your Cricut, and what sales are happening, will determine what accessories come with your machine, if any. But, there are plenty more you can purchase separately.
Mats are what you put your material on to send through the machine. There are a few different mats designed to hold different types of materials.
They have some for thin papers like rice paper, notebook paper, and foils. So, these mats are less sticky than the others so you can easily remove your cuts.
Thicker materials such as card stock, craft board, or stencil material will need a different mat with more sticking power.
They also have one specifically for fabrics.
Also, the mats also come in a few different sizes, 12 x 12 for cutting smaller projects, and 12 x 24 for larger project cuts. I’ve seen smaller ones but didn’t see those on the Cricut site.
Cricut makes many tools to use with the machine and for use with crafting in general. Here is a partial list.
- Rotary Cutter
- knives and blades
- scissors, tweezers, and weeders
- scrapers, spatulas
- paper trimmer
- piercing and quilling tools
- fabric crafting supplies such as brayers, seam ripper, thread snips
- and lot’s of accessory sets
Materials you can use with your Cricut
There are hundreds of materials you can use with your Cricut devices and here are a few category types
- Paper and card stock such as copy paper, vellum, construction, photo, cardboard, metallic and glitter, freezer paper, rice paper, scrapbook and more
- Vinyl adhesive, chalkboard, dry erase, printable and more
- Iron-on materials…printable, glitter, glossy and more
- Fabrics such as cotton, leather, flannel, linen, oil cloth and more
- Thin woods such as Balsa, chip board, birch wood and more
- Misc materials such as tape, foam, cork, magnet sheets, transparency sheets, window cling and many more
Look at these cute mason jars. Some of these would be so easy to make by using your Cricut to make a vinyl stencil or image cutout. Check out the painted leaf, home, chalk desk jars, and the farmhouse animal jars. All of these would literally take you less than 1/2 hour to make.
How much does a Cricut cost?
The price on the Cricut machines will vary from store to store. Some also sell as a Cricut bundle package, and others do not, which will also effect the price. But I can give you a price range for each model. Look for sales at Cricut and at Michael’s, Joanne’s Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby.
- 1. Explore One (machine only) from $130 – bundle packages up to $180
- 2. Explore Air machine can only find on the Cricut website for $250
- 3. Explore Air 2 (machine only) from $199 – bundle packages up to $299
- 4. Maker (machine only) from $359 – bundle packages up to $418
You can also look for used machines all over the web. You may even want to check some local yard sale sites.
Don’t forget to compare apples to apples. Each store offers a different bundle package with many different options. Therefore, make sure to compare prices and packages carefully.
Cricut Design Space and Cricut Access
Cricut Design Space is the portal you use to make your designs, and Cricut Access is a paid program where you get access to all of their images.
You start by using Cricut Design Space. This is a web based program where you can design any number of items to send to your Cricut to write, score, and/or cut for you.
The best part is that Design Space is easy to use and offers many ready-made projects that you can send directly to your machine for writing and cutting.
Cricut Design Space is free to use and there are many items you can make even if you don’t have a cutting machine. However, having a Cricut Cutting Machine makes your job a whole lot easier and faster. I suggest you create a free account and go in and play around with it a bit. Then see everything there is to make, and just how easy it is to use and create.
There are Cricut templates you can use to help you design your own custom made designs. Basically you choose a template and it shows up on your working canvas. This way so you can see what your design will look like all made. For instance, if your making an iron-on for a t-shirt, you will use the t-shirt template and design right on the t-shirt image. It really helps to be able to see how your design will look before you print it.
You also have access to hundreds of FREE and paid images to download directly into your project.
Get access to the paid images with their feature, ironically called, Cricut Access. You can pay a small monthly fee to have unlimited access to all of their images and there are thousands. Or, if you’d rather, you can just purchase individual images for anywhere from $.99 to a couple dollars. Once you pay for an image it is yours and you will always have free access to it.
There are many tools within the Design Space dashboard for customizing your designs such as cut, draw, print, score, group, duplicate, slice, weld, attach, flatten, contour and many more.
It may look intimidating at first but it’s very easy to learn if you just get in there and play around with it.
What do you do with a Cricut? Here are some things you can make with your Cricut
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. You can make items such as…
- coloring pages
- holiday projects
- home decor
- kids crafts
- party decor
- photo projects
- sewing and quilting
- custom gifts
- and many, many, more
These holiday wood blocks are my readers favorite craft project and I made them using my Cricut.
Why I love my Cricut machines
I have always loved to make things and consider myself a faithful DIYer. And anything that is going to make my projects quicker and easier is my best friend.
Well, Cricut definitely saves you time and frustration when trying to construct a project. It also has opened me up to many, many, new ideas because of their inspiration projects right on Design Space.
There have been many times that I got an idea from something that I saw on their site and thought “I like that but I would rather…”. Then a new design is born. For instance, I designed a whole line of mugs for my husband to sell at his used auto parts business. And all because I saw a t-shirt that had a “car guy” saying on it.
I also enjoy making projects with my three grandchildren. They also love coming to Mimi’s house to make a project for school or just because they want to get crafty.
I love making things for my home and holidays. Everything below was made using my Cricut. I really need to get better at taking photos of my projects.
The “welcome camper” sign is wood that is cut out in the shape of a vintage camper, but you can’t see that in the pic. (this was not cut with the Cricut, just the design on the wood). The Halloween stencils were made for the kids at camp so they could make custom treat bags. But my favorite one is the teddy bears. I made a template to cut out my mom’s clothing and made them into memory bears. I gave a bear to each female in my family shortly after my mom passed away.
Cricut helps me make custom stickers for my planner book.
Wanna print and cut some cute weather stickers? Click the link to open the project in Design Space. If you do not have a Cricut, you can print the stickers but will have to cut them by hand. A 1/2″ circle punch will help with cutting your stickers.
How to print and cut your stickers…Click the link and wait for the project to load. It could take a minute or two. When it loads hit the “make it” button in the top right corner. Click the print button to send the project to your printer to print on sticker paper or full label sheets. You will see a message about connecting your Cricut. If you don’t have one just ignore and send to your printer. If you do then connect your computer to the Cricut and follow the onscreen instructions.
There are so many things you can do with your Cricut and I wish that I had taken photos of even 1/2 the projects I’ve made. So, I’ll definitely take more photos in the future.
If you have a Cricut machine please share your projects here. I’d love to see them and you just might help convince someone who is on the fence about buying their own Cricut to bite the bullet.