What can your Cricut machine do? The possibilities are as wide as your imagination can take you! I am an affiliate for Cricut, which means I may be compensated if you make a purchase through one of my links. This will in no way affect your pricing. It’s just a small way for helping them and me, while supplying you with easy excess to the products listed!
Cricut Machines and their many uses!
There are a lot of different Cricut machines around, along with other brands. All of them will probably work in basically the same way. Because I have a Cricut Explore Air 2, that is the one I will be reviewing here.
I purchased mine 2 years ago and just left it sit there! Even though I bought it with the intention of using it, I had no idea WHAT I wanted to do with it, or even where to begin! Now, I’m addicted!
Where to start with purchasing a Cricut Machine
Start with doing some comparison shopping, just to see what is available. Consider pricing first! Don’t get the most expensive, or even the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles. I think that would be a waste of money!
What are you going to use it for? If you are just going to play around with it, choose the simplest, cheapest one. You can always upgrade to a different one later.
I invested in the design space that is offered. It has a fee, but is totally worth investing in when you get familiar with your particular machine and what you plan on doing with it. It will also take some time to learn just how to find stuff in it and exactly how to apply what you learn.
I started with some old shirts and some iron on vinyl, playing around and experimenting, just to see what I could do. Using what I already had available, it saved time and money, which I wanted to do in case I messed it up! I am currently using mine for cutting vinyl to personalize glitter tumblers that I’m making. And I just started with leather earrings. Both of these are so much fun!
What you’ll need along with your Cricut
My Cricut came with a sample pack of materials that I played with to start. I would suggest buying sampler packs to start with so you can experiment until you find your niche!
You will need basic tools for weeding and trimming. Small tweezers will be useful for picking up small pieces (such as the little circle that’s inside a letter “e”). A weeding hook is probably the most essential tool! You will find it very useful for separating the vinyl from the backing, and pulling out those little pieces without messing up the actual design.
There are different kits available that give you several options for tools. Again, this takes some research for your own preferences. I use 2 different hooks, one pair of tweezers, and a small pair of scissors. (picture above)
The material you will want to use depends on what you’re making. You will want card stock, which is simply a little thicker than regular paper, for making cards. Vinyl will be used for most things that you will make. Anything from wall decor to signs. This is what I use for my glitter tumblers. Iron on is used for shirts, pillows, anything washable or wearable. I’ve been using this for my tumblers, too, which I’ll explain in a minute. Cricut has their own brand of supplies, but any will work. I try to find what’s on sale. Most craft stores have sales on a regular basis, or they might have a usable discount coupon.
These earrings were made using Faux leather that I found on Etsy and Amazon.
Transfer tape is used for transferring the finished cut out to whatever it’s being put on. It helps keep all the pieces lined up for easy transfer. I struggle with this, maybe because I don’t have the patience, but I’m still learning. This is why I use the iron on material! I just cut the design out in mirror image, then simply iron it on to the mug! So much easier for me. I just have to remember to turn MIRROR on.
Mats are a necessity, too. I would get several of these. The stickiness will wear off eventually, so you’ll want more than one of these. It is also beneficial if you will be using more than one color in your design, so you can get the next color ready while the first one is cutting. They come in 12″ x 12″ and 12″ x 24″. The size you will need depends on the size of the design and material you will be using.
What I Don’t Have
These are on my to buy list, but they are on hold for now, although I do think they will be helpful!
The Cricut BrightPad is used to back light the vinyl, making it easier to see where the cuts are when you’re weeding! If you have a well lit area, you might feel this is a waste. Some colors are harder to see than others, so this might be beneficial, especially for the glitter vinyls and the black. I will probably be getting one of these soon!
The Cricut Easy Press which comes in different sizes. I haven’t bought one of these yet, i just use my iron, but I think they would come in handy!
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