Cricut Ideas and Tips
The Cricut Explore
Your Cricut-The Best Cutting Tool
The cricut is an electronic cutter that cuts images from the cartridges that are linked to the machine. Each cartridge holds a host of themed images or fonts that can be used over and over again. The paper is placed on a mat which holds paper on it. The mat is fed into the machine which then cuts the selected images.
If you have made a Cricut purchase, it's time for you and your Cricut to get started in a new crafting adventure together !
No matter if you have owned the Cricut or are in the market for one, here are the tips and ideas that you need to make the most out of your cutter. These are tips and ideas that I have gathered while learning how to use my machine.
The Cricut is an unbelieveable tool that every scrapper, card maker and paper crafter should have in their craft space or room. It is so very versatile and can be used so many different ways, that it is well worth the investment.
My Cricut is the one tool that helps me be as creative as my imagination can be.
You will save money by creating your own letters, embellishments and images. I would not be without mine !
I own the Cricut Explore and the Cricut Explore Air. I am excited about the new Cricut Maker and may make that purchase in the near future.
The best way to get started using your Cricut is to learn as you go. Start with simple projects. Watch videos to learn about your tools in the Design Space. Join a Cricut group on Facebook. I promise it will all come together. We all started the exact same way !
Getting Started With Cricut
If you are new to the Cricut world, the best way to get started is to use the materials in your package to make the sample projects
Do not buy used cartridges to download into your Cricut Explore or Cricut Explore . You are only able to download the cartridge once and it is likely you will be spending money on something that will yield you nothing
Cricut Design Space
Cricut Design Space is the computer platform that helps you get the most out of your Cricut cutting machine. It currently has over 60,000 images. A very high percentage of those are free to use with a subscription.
Not only are there thousands of images, but there are projects put together that enables you to create things without having to design all the elements yourself.
There are images for cutting, vinyl and now even for sewing projects (available for the Cricut Maker) There are cards, scrapbook pages and a lot more. You cab search by category or by name.
There are images and projects with all the best and well known crafters.
You can also upload images in jpeg and svg files.
With the subscription, you also get discounts on any Cricut project your order.
Beyond your subscription, some images will have a fee. These fees would be on special licensed products like Disney.
You do not have to subscribe. You can just use the main features and load your own files into the program.
Is the subscription worth the price. I would have to say yes, if you are going to get the most complete enjoyment from your machine
Cricut Design Space Program Update
As of January 29,2020 Cricut Design Space is now offline. This means that you now operate the program without going to your browser. On the home page of the new program rather than a jumbled up version. You can find project by materials. I like that feature because I do not cut fabric or leather. It is faster, and no more of those annoying flash updates.The font menu is now bigger, easier to read.There is also a drag and drop feature that makes it easier to upload files. Same features, just better.
More Information On Design Space Updates
- Cricut Design Space Changes – July 2019 – Lydia Watts
Here's a quick look at recent changes to Design Space including machine selection, error messages, and settings.
- Important Changes to Design Space! | Cricut
Learn the new updates on Cricut Design Space
The New Home Page For Cricut Design Space
Cricut Design Space Resources
- How to Upload Fonts To Cricut - Easily Add Fonts To Design Space!
Learning how to upload fonts to Cricut is very easy. Become an expert at installing fonts on Cricut Design Space today! The most important...
- Design Space | Cricut Learn
From getting started in design space to tips and ideas, it is all here
- 47 Best Cricut Design Space images in 2019 | Cricut tutorials, Cricut craft, Cricut air
Get tips, tricks , ideas and resources to help you make the most out of your Design Space experience | See more ideas about Cricut tutorials, Cricut craft and Cricut air.
Types of Cricuts Available
The older models of the Cricuts are gradually being phased out. While there still some older models out there, there are currently 4 models that are available.
What are the same with all models?
- They all use Cricut Design Space
- They all cut, write, score and print and cut
What are the differences in the models?
Cricut JoyThe Cricut Joy is the newest model in the Cricut line. It is a smaller, lighter and more portable Cricut machine. It can do longer cuts especially on vinyl without a mat ! It also can create unique labels with new writable pens. There is also writeable vinyl for this machine. It will also make super fast greeting cards with a new card mat. There is a host of accessories that come with this machine. The size of the material to be cut is limited in size. You can cut materials that are 45" wide, and up to 115" long. The product will be released on March 1, 2020. It is only available in blue at this time.
The price for this product is listed at $179.99
Cricut Explore ..Cuts and writes on about 100 different material. Has the smart dial to select materials or use computer program.
Able to load Cricut cartridges into program one time Has bluetooth connectivity with an adapter that you can purchase online
Comes in green and wild orchid (only available on HSN)
Cricut Explore 1- Cuts and writes on about 100 different material. Has the smart dial to select materials or use computer program. Able to load Cricut cartridges into program one time. Has bluetouth connectivity with an adapter that you can purchase online. Preforms faster than The Cricut Explore.
Available in blue, gold, wild orchid and teal.
This is the most basic machine of the line and averages about $149
Cricut Explore Air - It also cuts and writes on about 100 different materials, but is faster than the basic models.It also has built in Blue tooth technology
Available in grey, navy pink poppy, coral
Averages about $179
Cricut Explore 2- It also cuts 100 different materials.
Has blue tooth technology.
The difference in this model is that it cuts and writes 2 times faster.
It also has a dual adapter that allows you to write and cut at the same time
- Mint,sky, matte black, raspberry,Available flamingo pearl, are universally available.
- Blue, pearl. peacock boysenberry, periwinkle coral and sunflower (only at Michael's)
- Rose, cobalt and wisteria (only at Joann's) .
- Ivory and gold only at HSN
Averages about $300
Cricut Maker- Adds a whole new line of functions to the Cricut line.It has built in Bluetooth technology.
It cuts faster than any other model.It also has a dual adapter that will allow you to do two things like cut and score in one pass.
It cuts more than 100 types of materials. It has a different blade for thicker materials.So that you can cut things like material, cardboard, light wood and a lot more.There are more blades available with this model that will allow you to do more functions than ever before.
It has a new housing that was introduced for machine accessories. It’s called the Adaptive Tool System! This system has the ability to lift and turn the blade during the cutting process. It does this based on the type of material you are cutting and the type of blade you are using.
Dark grey, blue rose and champagne are currently available
Averages about $400
The Cricut Explore Maker
Where To Place Your Cricut
So many people get their Cricut and leave it in the box, afraid to even get it set up !
There are a few things to consider when setting up your Cricut
- Set up your Cricut as close to your computer as you can. I have mine right next to my desk where my computer is on a rolling cart. I keep my tools, pens and vinyl in the draws on my cart. That way I only have a few steps to go to change my mat or make some adjustments in my settings.
- Give some space behind your machine. You mat will move forward as your project is being cut, so you will need to have some space behind your machine to allow for the mat movement.
- Have your Cricut on a flat surface with some room in the front. Your project will not cut properly if you mat falls straight down off your machine. You need a few inches in front of the machine to hold the mat upright to the cut goes correctly.
Setting Up Your Cricut
Setting up your Cricut should not be a diufficult task. Provocraft makes it so easy, that even if you have not handled one of these machines before, you will have no problems getting started.
- Take any mats, pens and blades that you may have received and set them aside
- Carefully, take the machine out of the box and remove all wrappings and cardboard. remove the tape that is holding the lid closed and any wrapping on the dials.
- Set the machine on the surface that you have selected.
- Press the open button on the left side of the machine. If you have a Maker model, there will be no open button. Just open the top lid and the rest will follow.
- In the bottom of your box will be a paper that has a link to help you get the setup done with ease. If there is no paper giving you those directions, then go to https://design.cricut.com/setup. All you have to do is click on your machine and you will get all the information that you need.
- Remove the power cable from your box. It is the one that has the brick like symbol. Follow the directions on your computer to attach it to your Cricut and then attach it to your power source.( Make sure that your power source has power)
- Your Cricut should have your blade already attached to the B (Blade) tool holder which is the tool holder on the right. The other tool holder is the A (Accessories) tool holder on the left. This tool holder holds all other tools other than blades.
- If you have a Cricut Explore Air 2 or a Maker, you can now create your wireless connection to your computer. First, power on your Cricut with the power on button on the upper right hand of your machine. Next, open your Bluetooth settings on your computer or ipad. You may need to enable it. You will either see Cricut AIR or MAKER in your list of devices. Click on Pair. Then enter the code oooo.
- If you do not have Bluetooth or have an explore, you can still connect with the USB cable provided in your box. The square end goes into the back of your Cricut and the rectangular end goes into the port in your computer.
Congratulations ! You are now ready to complete the sample project that came with your Cricut ! Enjoy your new adventure !
How To Clean Your Cricut
Keep a can of compressed air in your craft space. Periodically spay the air in the area where your rollers and moving parts are. This will help clean any bits and pieces that might keep your Cricut from functioning.
Design Space Tips
Design Space seems very daunting especially to beginners. Here are some tips that will help you while you are creating and naviagting the program.
- If you are on the main project page, the canvas page, and you want to see the keyboard short cuts, hot the question mark on your keyboard.
- If you wanted to make multiple cuts, but did not change the number for the design, just load another mat, and hot the start button and the project will recut.
Cricut Blade Tips And Ideas
Blade Tips And Ideas
With the advent of the Cricut Maker there are now many new blades available. It is very important to use the right blade for the right project.
- In a pinch, sharpen the blade on a stone sharpening slab or knife sharpener.
- If the blade is ripping the paper rather than cutting it, check to make sure that there is not any bits of material around the blade itself
- If you are cutting materials for sewing, it is recommended that you use the Cricut FabricGrip™ cutting mat and Washable Fabric Pen.
- Replace your rotary blade when you notice uncut threads or when the material settings in Design Space no longer seem accurate
- Use one blade to cut paper and a different blade to cut vinyl. Both of them will last longer.
Sharpen You Cricut Blade The Easy Way
Make a good sized ball of aluminum foil. Push on the housing of your blade. Push the exposed blade through your aluminum foil
Blade Use Guide
German Carbide Blade
Makes precision cuts
Light to mid weight materials
Fine Point Blade
Great for detail and fine cuts. Similar to the German Carbide blade, but with a finer point
Light to medium materials
Deep Cut Blade
Deeper Angle blade-made for heavier materials
Magnets, chipboard,stamp materials, thick cardstock,stiffened felt,foam, cardboard
Bonded Fabric Blade
Blade and housing are a distinctive pink color to match FabricGrip™ Matfabric with an iron-on backer
Use for cutting fabric or bonded fabric
For use in the Cricut Maker.
You can also cut delicate materials like crepe paper. Cuts soft, flexible materials, such as silk,denim, cotton, burlap, and canvas
Setting The Smart Dial
Always check the Cricur Smart Dial before you hit the cut button. Having the wrong setting will cause a bad cut. You can also leave the setting on "custom" and then select the material you are cutting every cut
The Cricut Smart Dial
The Cricut Smart Dial
The Cricut dial settings are so easy to use !
On & Off Button- located at the top of your dial. You simply press the button to turn your machine on and off.
Paper Feed Button-this button is used to load and unload your paper. Seat the mat on the unit close to the feed and depress the paper feed button. Your paper should move right in place for your cut
The Cricut Button- This is the button that you use to start your cut, once you have selected your project and sent it to the Cricut It is the middle bottom button marked as a C. It will light up and tell you you are ready to start.
The Stop Button-This button is located on the right side of the bottom set of buttons. It is used to stop a cutting if something happens. Most often because a paper problem or a bad cut.
The settings button helps you use the right blade setting for the materials that you are cutting. It coordinates with the access system to cut the right materials with the right depth.
Each of the settings are self explanatory. However, when you use the custom setting, the Cricut Access Program will give you a choice for the exact material you are using.
Do A Test Cut
If you have not used a specific material or are unsure about a project, do a test cut on a material that is similar to your project
More About The Custom Setting On The Cricut Smart Dial
5 Minute Cricut Tool Organizer
Mat Stickiness Is Critical To Your Project
Make sure that you are using the right mat and that the mat is sticky ! Lack of stickiness is one of the biggest cause of project failure. There is nothing worse than to watch your paper move all over the place and jam because the mat was not sticky enough.
The Cricut mats are east to use. They come in three strengths- light grip, standard grip and strong grip. They come in 12 inch by 12 inch sizes and 12 inch by 24 inch sizes ( for larger projects)
Cricut recommends that you clean your mats with Dawn detergent and water. Before washing your mat, use your scraper to scrap off any left over materials on the mat. Let air dry.
- If your mats have very little stickiness left to them. you can use painters tape to stick your materials down.
- You can use a baby wipe or a Lysol Bleach wipe to try to renew the stickiness.
- Avoid using any spray adhesives on your mats to re-stick them. The adhesives may get on your rollers and ruin your machine. Better to buy a new mat !
- Cutting a piece of transfer tape the size of your mat and putting it sticky side down will re-stick your mat.
- When cutting a 3x3 piece of paper or smaller, use a newer or tackier mat.
- If you mat is beyond repair in its' stickiness, you can extend the life of your mat by using painter's tape or washi tape to hold down the material.
- Always place the project down on a table. Then remove the mat from the project rather than removing the project from the mat. You will have less curling of the paper or vinyl.
- Keep a lint roller by your Cricut, especially of you have pets. Use it every time that you use your mat.
- If your mat gets cut through, you can extend the life of it. Use a piece of packing tape or Gorilla tape to seal the rip.
- Avoid touching the mat with your fingers. The oil from your fingers will take the stickiness away.
Storing Your Mats
- You can store your mats, by placing them right under your machine
- You can place command hooks anywhere in your craft room and just hang them off the command hooks.
- Always use the plastic covers on your mats when not in use.
Loading The Cricut Mats
Load mats correctly for the best cuts ! Make sure that both ends of the mat are loaded equally and are slid under the rollers.
Cricut Paper Tips and Ideas - How To Cut Paper With Your Cricut
- You can cut on a 12 x 12 paper by folding it in half and sandwiching the mat in the fold. The same thing can be done to cut on a card of any size.
- Use junk paper from packaging for making sample cuts to see how they will work.
- If backing paper with Xyron before cutting, tape Xyron backed paper to mat to keep it from slipping.
- Add a shim (piece of paper) under the mat to help cut thicker paper like Bazzill.
- To cut multiple colors, put 6x6, 3x6, or 3x3 pieces on a single mat, and then move your blade to the top corner of the next color without unloading the mat.
- Peel the mat from the material that you are cutting. Bend the mat and peel away to avoid any damage to the project.
Use A brayer to roll your paper onto the mat Roll the baryer several times on the paper on yoour mat. It will help the paper lift and keep your mat sticky longer.
Cricut Mat Tips And Tricks
- This one came directly from a friend at Cricut. When you first open your mat, instead of using it straight away, pat the sticky side against your shirt a little (unless you have pets that shed!). It will pick up the lint and prime your mat a bit, so you won’t get projects that are impossible to remove.
- When you are starting to use a new mat, It's important not to use lighter paper on the mat for the first few cuts. Use cardstock instead for about three cuts and you will have better results.
- If you have a new mat, you need to prime it first-Take a clean t shirt and lay it on the mat then peel it off. Your materials will be easier to get off, especially on the first cut.
- Instead of peeling your project up off the mat, bend the mat in your hand and curve it away from your project. This will help loosen the project from your mat. Bend the mat both horizontally and vertically, letting the adhesive move and release your project. Use the spatula to gently ease your project off the mat. Never grab your project by the corner and try and lift — it will only tear or curl.
- Another way to remove materials off your mat to get better results. After your cut, flip the mat over onto a work surface. Then gently remove the mat from the material. The material should spring right off the mat.
- Use a lint roller to remove the tiny little particles from your mats. The ones that are specific for pets are especially useful.
- The best way to clean your mats is to wash them with dawn detergent and allow them to dry.
- After a period of time, you will notice that your mats will lose their stickiness. You can salvage them for future use by adding more stickiness. The best way to do that is to use Krylon fast tack. At about $5.00 per can, you will save a lot of money over replacing your mats. Tape the edges of your mats with removeable tape. Spray a light even coat of the fast tack and allow to dry.
- There have been a lot of posts about using a product called Awesome that can be found at the dollar store. Yes it does work, but it also takes a lot of the stickiness of the mat off. Provocraft still recommends that you use soap and water to clean your mats
- If your mats have ripped, you can use packing tape on the reverse side of the mat to make them last longer
Remove Bits And Pieces From Your Mat
Keep a lint roller handy in your work space. It will help you remove all those tiny bits and pieces from your mat
How To Remove Material From Your Mat
If your mats are beyond help as far as the stickiness is concerned, you can extend their life by taping your paper down with painter's tape or washi tape,
Print And Cut Tips
One of the best features of the Cricut Design space is the print and cut feature. It takes images off the Design space program and allows you to print them on the printer attached to your computer. It then cuts the printed image out. It is a great feature. Here are just a few tips to make your print and cut feature a better experience:
- The images print better on an inkjet printer
- The images print and cut better on white paper. The machine may not be able to read the registration marks that are used to make the cut on colored paper. You can however, print the registration marks on white paper. Then cut them out and tape them on the colored paper. Or you can print the registration marks on sticky paper and place them on a colored sheet.
- If you need a very large image size for this feature,use Chrome. Safari or Internet browser. Firefox does not support larger images.
- When you are doing the Print Then Cut feature, avoid sunlight shinning on the Cricut machine. It can mess up the sensor light. That will make for a poor cut.
Cricut Writing Tips
One of my favorite Cricut features is the ability to write with pens in all kinds of fonts. There are so many ways to use this feature. Here are my favorite tips for writing with pens.
Cricut makes a wonderful line of pens that fit perfectly in the Cricut. They aremade in so many colors that you will be able to create inspired projects.
- You can use other pens in your Cricut pen holder. Bic Round Stic Ballpoint Pens, Crayola Fine Line Markers. Jelly Roll Metallic Pens, or American Craft Stick Markers will also fit in the holders. also fit in your Cricut Pen Holders.
- If you are having problems getting your pens into the pen holder, place a craft stick under clamp A. As you insert the pen, stop just as the pen kisses the craft stick. Close the clamp. Pull out the craft stick. Your pen will be in the right position to get started writing.
- If the pen that you would like to write with is too thin, try wrapping some electrical tape around the barrel till it fits snuggly in the holder.
- Store your pens with the tip downward. That way the ink is always ready to be used.
Material Cutting Tips
Here are my favorite tips for cutting materials. Each of these tips will make your Cricut experience easier and more rewarding.
- Felt-Use contact paper to help you cut felt without all the fuzzies being everywhere. Place the contact paper with the sticky side up. Place the felt on top of the contact paper. This will prevent the fuzz from getting all over the mat (almost impossible to remove)
Cricut Updates - EveryThing New At Cricut
Things change and we want to bring you the latest Cricut Updates ! Click on our links to check back often ! We post everything Cricut here
- Cricut Handbooks Are Back
You can now get Cricut handbooks for all your cartridges right here ! This is really exciting ! And they are free !
Use a single mat for each type of material that you cut. Mark on the back the type of material like card stock, vinyl, fabric, ect
More Cricut Ideas and Tips
- Intro - Setup
How to set up your cricut and use the cricut features
- Explore User Manual
Manual that gives tutorials about the cricut
- Cutting Vinyl With Cricut
Great Tips for cutting Vinyl
- Cutting Fabric With Your Cricut
Nice tutorial that gives more ways to use your machine
- Cricut Cartridge Checklist
Very complete checklist of cricut cartridges-even the discontinued ones
Craft Vinyl Tips And Ideas
Vinyl Tips For Cricut Machines
Who does not love vinyl projects on Cricut electronic cutting machines. They cut through vinyl like butter. There are unlimited vinyl projects that can be made with your Cricut,
Here are a few tips to help you cut vinyl with your Cricut:
- Use Contact paper as a substitute for Transfer tape. Transfer tape can get very pricey, especially if you do a lot of vinyl projects. Use the Contact paper that is found in the "kitchen" area of most stores.You will want the clear Contact rather than a patterned or colored type.
- Reuse your Transfer Tape or Contact paper. Why spend more money than you have to? Keep the backing paper and reapply. You should get several applications.
- Use a credit card or a Cricut scraper as a burnishing tool, Burnishing is a technique of rubbing the vinyl on your project. Burnishing is typically used to set the transfer tape or Contact paper on the vinyl so that you can lift it from the mat. Then it is used again to transfer your project onto the surface of your project, You use the scraper or credit card to rub on the surface,
- Remove the vinyl with the transfer tape face down. First, place the transfer tape onto the vinyl and burnish. Next,turn everything over, so the transfer tape is face down. Finally, slowly pull back the vinyl backing paper while pressing down firmly. The backing paper comes off and the vinyl sticks beautifully to the transfer tape!
- Cut your vinyl close to the size of the image you will be cutting. Vinyl is an investment and you want to waste as little as possible. Keep your scraps in a box for later use on smaller projects.
- Make Weeding Easier. The cutting lines are often difficult to see when you are removing the bits and pieces from your design. To see the cut lines easier, sprinkle a little baby powder or corn starch on the project. You can remove any left over with a baby wipe
Storing Vinyl Rolls
Use a piece of painter's tape to keep your vinyl rolls from unraveling
More Vinyl Cutting Tips
If your thicker material did not cut through, without removing the mat, hit the C or Go button. The machine will cut in the exact same place and more than likely cut through your material.
Cricut Projects On The Net - Creative Ideas For Your Cricut
Everyone who owns a cricut is always looking for ideas and projects to create unique cards, ptrojects and scarpbook pages. Here is our collection of ideas to get your creative juices flowing
- Over 50 Easy Cricut Projects For Beginners - Tastefully Frugal
If you're a Cricut newbie and feeling a little overwhelmed (it's totally normal) these 50 projects can totally help! I remember when I first got my Cricut Explore Air there were SO many things I wanted to make! Of course, all the ideas I had were way
- No Sew Paper Garlands (and Drafting Table Makeover) with Cricut! - Kingston Crafts
Learn how to use your Cricut machine to turn a few sheets of cardstock and some embroidery floss, into the perfect no-sew paper garland!
- Cricut Project Ideas
Projects especially for the beginner
Carefully, pull off the excess paper, before you remove the paper cut design. Lift the diecut with the spatula so it comes off whole
The Cricut Tools
If you own a Cricut or have a Cricut, then the Cricut tools are a must ! Each of these tools has a function that will enhance your experience. The spatulas will help you keep your mats clean by removing all those tiny paper pieces.The little picks help you clean any bits of paper from your projects. The scissors help you "fussy" cut around your projects with ease. The best thing is that you can use these tools in and around your craft room. They are universal tools and can be used with any electronic paper cutter.
Always keep the pan covers on the end of the pen when using it to write on your projects. That way you won't lose them.
Cricut Tool Tips
More Cricut Resources
- 17 Best Cricut Explore Techniques images in 2019 | Manualidades, Cricut help, Cricut ideas
Learn how to use your Cricut with these special techniques | See more ideas about Manualidades, Cricut help and Cricut ideas.
- 44 Best Cricut Design Space images in 2019 | Cricut tutorials, Cricut craft, Cricut air
Feb 13, 2019- Get tips, tricks , ideas and resources to help you make the most out of your Design Space experience | See more ideas about Cricut tutorials, Cricut craft and Cricut air.
- 76 Best All About Cricut images in 2019 | Cricut help, Cricut air 2, Manualidades
Feb 10, 2019- Cricut is one of the most popular electronic cutting machines. Learn how to chose and get the most out of your Cricut with our tips, ideas and techiques | See more ideas about Cricut help, Cricut air 2 and Manualidades.
When you sign into design space, you will see tutorials in a list above your projects
How To Clean Your Cricut Machine
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