What is a Cricut machine and what does it do? I'm answering all your most frequently asked Cricut questions in this blog post and video!
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My Cricut machines are some of my favourite tools in my craft arsenal, and I get lots of questions about Cricuts whenever I feature one in a DIY blog post or a video.
Today, I'm sharing all about the Cricut: what it is, how it works, which Cricut you should purchase, and so much more!
Watch my YouTube video to learn all about the Cricut and how to use it:
What is a Cricut machine?
A Cricut is a cutting machine that can cut several different materials for your craft projects like paper, vinyl, and cardstock. Some Cricut machines can even cut thin wood, leather, fabric and more.
How Cricut machines work
You can connect a Cricut to your computer wirelessly, create or download designs onto your computer, and them send them to your Cricut for cutting. Cricut has software called Design Space (available for Windows, MAC & smart phone) that allows you to create and import designs to cut with your machine. The Cricut houses a tiny blade (or rotary cutter, or pen, or scoring tool) inside. Once you have a design ready to cut in Design Space, you can fasten your desired material onto a 12 inch wide cutting mat, send your design from your computer to your Cricut wirelessly, and then load your material into your machine. With the press of a button, your project will begin cutting. Click here for a quick overview on the Cricut website about the Cricut machine experience.
Can Cricut cut fabric, wood, and leather?
Yes, along with paper, vinyl & cardstock some Cricut machines can cut materials like fabric, leather and even wood! Read on to see which machines can cut thicker or more delicate materials.
Which Cricut should I buy?
There are currently three types of Cricut machines on the market: Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker and Cricut Joy (this one just came out). Choosing which machine to buy will depend on what types of project you'd like to make. All machines come with Cricut's free Design Space software.
Cricut Explore Air 2
This is the machine that I'd recommend purchasing for most projects. It's Cricut's most popular machine, and it will cover most materials you'll use for a wide variety of DIY projects like vinyl, paper, cardstock and chipboard. You can cut over 100 materials with this machine, and you can use 4 tools for cutting, writing and scoring. Shop the Cricut Explore Air 2 here.
This machine does everything the Cricut Explore Air 2 does, with the addition of being able to cut thicker or more delicate materials like leather, thin woods and fabrics. You can cut over 300 materials with this machine, and you can use over 12 tools for cutting, writing, scoring and other pro-level effects. I'd recommend this machine if you want to venture into more complicated projects and experiment with a wider range of materials. Shop the Cricut Maker here.
The newest Cricut machine, Cricut Joy, is a more compact machine than the other two for quick, everyday DIY projects. It can only cut materials up to 5.5 inches wide, but you can purchase material that is very long (up to 20 feet). It cuts over 50 materials, and can use 2 tools for cutting and writing. I'd recommend this machine if you want to spend less and create simple projects like vinyl signs, cards and small iron-on designs. Shop the Cricut Joy here.
Who sells Cricut machines?
You can buy Cricuts directly from Cricut's website (here), or Amazon is another good place to purchase the machines and accessories. Click here to shop Cricut on Amazon. Major craft retailers like Michaels and JOANN also stock Cricut machines and supplies.
Are Cricut machines hard to use?
Cricut machines come with a thorough online manual and there are a lot of other Cricut resources online, so they are fairly easy to learn how to use. Design Space and the Cricut machine itself are both designed to be very user-friendly, and you don't need lots of graphic design experience to use them (though it does help if you want to create your own designs from scratch). There's a library of images and designs in Cricut's Design Space that are simple to import as a new project. Some are free, and some can be purchased at a low cost.
Cricut How-To Videos
Watching video tutorials is a wonderful way to learn how to use a Cricut. I have many Cricut video tutorials on my YouTube channel, and you can find them here. You can also find all of my blog posts with Cricut DIYs and inspiration right here. You can also find many helpful video tutorials on Cricut's website here.
Are Cricut machines worth it?
If you love to craft - especially with paper and vinyl - a Cricut machine is a good investment. It will make your cut projects look crisp and professional, and once you are confident using it, your crafts will be much quicker to create. There are also may ways you can make money with your Cricut like selling custom t-shirts, mugs, decals etc. online or at craft fairs. I have definitely used my Cricut machines a lot, and continue to get more and more ideas on things I could create with them!
Tell me: Would you ever buy a Cricut? If you have one, what do you use it for?