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Cricut Ideas and Tips

Updated on March 12, 2018
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

The Cricut Explore

The Cricut Explore has been one of the popular electronic cutting machine
The Cricut Explore has been one of the popular electronic cutting machine

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

Unique electronic cutting machine that also has a rotary blade to cut fabric, chipboard and more
Unique electronic cutting machine that also has a rotary blade to cut fabric, chipboard and more

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
Rotary Blade
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.

Materials Setting

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

Cricut Mats

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.

This is the cart in my craft room used to hold my two Cricut machines
This is the cart in my craft room used to hold my two Cricut machines

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 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

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.

Cricut 2002050  Tools Craft Basic Set
Cricut 2002050 Tools Craft Basic Set

These tools are a must for all Cricut users. They are designed especially for Cricut users to maximize your experience

 

Cricut Tool Tips

More Tips and Ideas For Cutting Materials

Here are my favorite tips for cutting materials:

Vinyl


  • 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?

We are dedicated to getting information to you on all areas of paper craft tips and ideas ! Please visit and join our other communities to get more inspiration, create more and share your crafts with those you love !

© 2011 Linda F Correa

Add Your Cricut Tips - Or just leave a comment

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    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Basic shapes comes with your cricut craft room subscription no matter if you have the explore or the expression . Just type in the basic shapes. You can load the craft room from the cricut website. Let me know if you need any additional help.

    • profile image

      Susan 3 years ago

      Is there a cricut cartridge containing basic shapes; circles, ovals, squares, etc. I am new at this and would like some simple shapes that I won't have to cut by hand. Thank you for any help

    • profile image

      Shastababy 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing so many great tips! I've had my Expression for a few years and learned quite a bit from your page. Pinned and looking forward to reading more from you!

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      The Cricut book mentioned is a very good source of information. I also suggest that you join one or two Cricut groups on facebook. You will get lots of ideas and tips. I like that particular book for reference. Good investment to get more out of your investment

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      The cricut expression guide that is listed above is the best guide on the use of your cricut. Do you have an explore or an expression? I also recommend that you join several facebook groups . You will learn a huge amount of information

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      The cricut expression guide that is listed above is the best guide on the use of your cricut. Do you have an explore or an expression? I also recommend that you join several facebook groups . You will learn a huge amount of information

    • profile image

      Lami 3 years ago

      Add Your Comment…I was just wondering if you have a Cricut create will the expression book that you mention help me learn how to use it? I have only used it a couple of times and was so frustrated with the results, trying to figure out sizing etc., a book would be helpful!!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Though I wouldn't have much use for this, I have friends to whom I can suggested it. Very thorough lens. Congrats on LOTD.

    • SofyBelle profile image

      SofyBelle 3 years ago

      I own a Cricut and I love it so much!! Thank for the wonderful lens and congrats on LotD!!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Well I'm not a crafter, but his is why I love squidoo because I'm always learning something new!! Congratulations on LOTD!!!

    • AnonymousC831 profile image

      AnonymousC831 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Great lens, I love the Circuit

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! You've include so much great information. Looks like an invaluable tool to have for crafting!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've never heard of a cricut before, even though I enjoy crafting - congratulations on LOTD

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 3 years ago

      Excellent information, thank you for sharing :o)

    • profile image

      PriyabrataSingh 3 years ago

      It is very nice lens..Truly deserves the lens of the day...Many congratulation.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

      Very nice!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What a resource - wow! Cool tool and very nice Lens of the Day!

    • profile image

      undecided_dreamer 3 years ago

      I made my first Scrapbook with my nan, the Cricut made the scrapbook much more effective and more relevant! It's a great machine to use!

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @SusanJoy: No I have not seen it, but I will sure checkl up on it....Thanks for the information

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @MJ Martin: I agree with you. I wish it was around when my kids were small. My grandkids and I do craft with it whenever we are together. We have a lot of fun with it

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @favored: I think this tool would be very useful to any teacher. Think to the projects that would flow from the creativity of the students. That is a super idea

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @Faye Rutledge: Thanks so much ! I will be gathering lots more ideas and tips as I explore more ideas and projects

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @delia-delia: Cards are just the beginning. There is so much more to this machine. Of course, I am very excited to make cards, but I have been busy with scrapbook pages and now leaning into home décor as well. Watch for more in my Cricut Craft Corner

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @Dressage Husband: Oh, you have no idea the places you can go with this machine. I have the new Cricut Explore plus the cricut expression. Cards and cutouts are just the tip of the iceberg. More information will follow. Watch for home décor, personal décor and projects that will get everyone excited

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! My daughter has this machine and uses it to make cards...very cool!

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @astevn816 lm: You are som very welocme. The Cricut is my passion. I love sharing what I have learned with everyone

    • astevn816 lm profile image

      astevn816 lm 3 years ago

      thank you for a very informative lens

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      All new to me, but seems like a lot of fun for the creative and artistically inclined. Well done on your LOTD!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      These are great ideas and tips! Congratulations on LotD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Terrific creativity. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      What a great tool for crafts and more. This is something every teacher could use in the classroom. Good review info and links. Congratulations on LotD.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 3 years ago

      Fantastic, congratulations on LOTD :)

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @SusanJoy: When was it published? I recently purchased the Cricut Explore and have spent lots of time cutting like crazy. Thanks for the tip. I sure will check it out.

    • profile image

      SusanJoy 4 years ago

      Have you seen the new Cricut book for dummies it's filled with tips and tricks.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbmd6ofNFWg

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @tcaldy: I recently purchased the Cricut Explore. Will be delivered on 3/17. Really looking forward to using it and sharing information on the newest. Will hang onto my older cricut.

    • profile image

      tcaldy 4 years ago

      Great information! I love my Cricut Mini. I recently started doing cards for Operation Write Home and am really enjoying it. Looking for card ideas has also inspired me to make more homemade cards for friends and family members. Thanks for your lens!

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @susan369: I bought the baby bug and will be shortly ready to get a new cutter. Really giving some thought to what machine is next in my life

    • profile image

      susan369 4 years ago

      Very useful, detailed information for Cricut users! I have a Silhoulette Cameo, which looks a lot like this. I think the difference is that the Cameo doesn't use any cartridges. You have to download the designs on your computer (or you can make your own).

      My Cameo has been sitting in my cupboard untouched for the past couple of years, but I haven't the heart to sell it. If I ever get a separate craft room to set it up permanently, I'm sure I will be using it a lot more. I'm actually now inspired to get it out and give it a test run! Also, I've been converting my cutting files, so I can use them digitally.

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @psiloveyou1: I am a big fan too !

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 4 years ago

      I have a Cricut Expressions and use it all the time!

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @sousababy: Thanks so much for your kind compliment. Will be adding more new information shortly

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      Wow, this is the most comprehensive page read about Cricut tips and maintenance. Certainly a page that will help many folks who craft. Pinned.

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @anonymous: Check out the free download cricut craft room ! You connect your computer to your cricut ! You get to trial one set of images for one week- You will be using your cricut daily when you find this resource ! You will also find some of the digital sets more reasonable and less storage space. You can also add your current cartridges to your craft room. Check out my page on the cricut craft room-

      https://hubpages.com/art/cricut-craft-room-tips-an...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @jcalbon lm: My husband got me a Cricut for Valentine's Day about 5 years ago (he had been watching me drool over the infomercial for years, lol) and I will say, I have not used it as often as I could have, mainly due to the price of cartridges. However, it does make cutting letters and certain elements of the cartridges I do have a breeze and much easier - especially when using the Auto Fill button (which just cuts out as many images as will fit on the page per the size you select the item to be)

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      This would save me a lot of money! Thank you for sharing!

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 5 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @kathleenhainey: You are so welcome. That's why I started this resource...was ;earning as I went along and wanted to share what I had learned

    • kathleenhainey profile image

      kathleenhainey 5 years ago

      I just threw a mat away! I wish I had read this before. Thanks for the tips.

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 5 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Using your cricut will save you tons of money-I buy a lot less letters and word stickers. I can also create im ages for my scrapbook pages, create papercraft projects, do cards. I personally would not be without it.

    • jcalbon lm profile image

      jcalbon lm 5 years ago

      There are so many fun projects out there for cricuts, but I've always wondered how much use I'd actually get from one. (Like, is it a crafting tool that would be left on the shelf more often than not...) You've definitely inspired me to give one some thought, though.

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