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.
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.
Cricut 1- cuts and writes on about 100 different material 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 adds blue tooth technology. 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
Cricut Maker- Adds a whole new dimention to the Cricut line. It cuts more than 100 types of materials. It has a different blade for thicker materials. It also has a rotary blade that will cut fabric. There are sewing patterns to make your sewing projects semless
The Cricut Explore Maker
Setting Your Cricut Up
Here's where a the wonderful world of cricut gets started for you ! Out of the box, you need to know how to set it up and get started. These are my favorite ideas for getting started on the cricut ! Even handier is the Quick Install Guide PDF. It's a great visual sheet that makes your first experience with the Cricut smooth as butter
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
When cutting a 3x3 piece of paper or smaller, use a newer or tackier mat.
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.
Setting The Smart Dial
Always remember to check and reset the smart dials to the right setting on every cut. Forgetting to reset for the specific materials that you are using will result in a poor cut. If you are concerned that you might not have the right setting, do a test cut before you cut your project
More About The Custom Setting On The Cricut Smart Dial
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.
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 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 !
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
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
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
These tools are a must for all Cricut users. They are designed especially for Cricut users to maximize your experience
Cricut Tool Tips
- Tips & Ideas for Using Cricut Faux Leather - YouTube
Get tips for cutting, adhering and ideas for using Cricut Faux Leather on your projects. More Info in description below. PURCHASE PRODUCTS: Cricut Faux Leath...
More Tips and Ideas For Cutting Materials
Here are my favorite tips for cutting materials:
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
- Transfer paper can be used more than once. So place the covering back on it and keep it for further use
Want More Craft And Paper Craft Ideas?
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- Paper Craft Workshop Facebook Group
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- PCW Blog
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© 2011 Linda F Correa