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Cricut-Ideas and Tips

Updated on June 10, 2017
linfcor profile image

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

Cricut Expression 2 Electric Cutting Machine
Cricut Expression 2 Electric Cutting Machine

The bundle is the best option to purchase the cricut ! You get some of the cartriges and more than enough to get you started right out of the box !

 

Your Cricut-The Best Cutting Tool

I had been eyeing the Cricut for quite a while, before I actually got my hands on one. My husband caught me dreaming about all the possibilities that this machine could have. I guess I was wishing hard, because he came along and asked me what I was looking at. I explained all about it. He told me he was thinking about my birthday, so he suggested that I order it for my birthday. A new chapter in my crafting life was born.

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.

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 now own a Cricut Explore but I know that there are many Cricut Expressions and older generation machines out there, so these tips are for you.

Cricut Universal Overlay for Cartridge
Cricut Universal Overlay for Cartridge

This is a one time purchase for all cartridges purchased after August 2013. It will not be included in the

cartridge packaging

 

New Universal Keypad Overlay

In the new Cricut cartridges there is one thing that they all share and that is the universal Overlay. This is a keypad that can be used for all cartridges. Any cartridge released after August 2013 will use this new keypad. The keypad is not included in the cartridge packaging. It must be bought separately. But is only needed as a one time purchaseYou only need to buy this keypad once. The Cricut company states that the new cartridges are made so that you only need to learn one keypad. The new system makes the cartridges more affordable and keeps each cartridge more environmentally friendly. Only the Original Cricut®, Cricut Create®, and Cricut Expression® machines require this new keypad.You will also note that the packaging has become smaller

Must Have Guide For Every Cricut User

This guide is a must have for every cricut user. I promise that you will get your use out of this book. Mine is marked and highlighted for quick reference !

Cricut Expression: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating with Your Machine
Cricut Expression: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating with Your Machine

This guide is a must have for all cricut users-beginners to advanced. You will have this book open all the time. It will teach you new techniques and ideas to get the most from your cricut

 

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


  • 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

When cutting a 3x3 piece of paper or smaller, use a newer or tackier mat.

Cricut Letters and Ideas

  • When you have the "real dial size" feature on, all your letters will be the same height. So basically, it makes all the letters unicase.
  • Put your bug on the highest pressure setting (meaning 1) and cut letters of a word or a shape on vellum. It doesn't actually cut through the vellum, but it leaves a cool impression on it. You can then put the vellum on some colored CS and the impression shows up quite well!
  • If you want letters smaller that 1 inch, I print it via a special feature and pop out the letter. Depending on the special feature you use (like the "sign" feature on George), you can get letters close to 1/4 inch.

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.

Basic Button Functions

Paper Saver: Puts multiple image cuts to optimize paper space.

Real Dial Size: Will cut all items selected to be the same size, otherwise the machine will cut it proportionately.

Shadow Feature: Larger shadow image.

Shadow Blackout: Solid version of shadow feature (holes will be filled in)

Shift: Lets you select the letter or shape in the upper right hand corner

Shift Lock: Repeats selections.

Space: Puts the space between words in a phrase and shapes

Blade Navigation: Lets you to move around the cutting mat

Repeat Last- Will repeat the last cut.

Load Last: Will take you on the mat where your last cut ended.

Set Paper Size: Will let the machine know how much paper is on the mat.

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 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

XYRON-Perfect Companion For The Cricut

Xyron XRN500EN 5 Inch Create-a-Sticker Machine
Xyron XRN500EN 5 Inch Create-a-Sticker Machine

Once you have cut your cricut letters you need to have an adhesive to attach them to your products. You can use glue or scrapbook tape, but the xyron actually makes your cricut cuttings into stickons. This medium sized product at this size is perfect

 

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 Dust Cover - DIY Dustcover For Your Cricut

Cricut Dust Cover
Cricut Dust Cover

This is a really terrific and easy craft to make with some felt to cover your Cricut cutter. All the directions and templates are available. Just click on the picture and it will take you to the project. Just remember to come back!

Cricut Mat Tips And Tricks

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.

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.


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.

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
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      Linda F Correa 2 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 2 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 2 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @psiloveyou1: I am a big fan too !

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 3 years ago

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

    • linfcor profile image
      Author

      Linda F Correa 3 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 3 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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.