A Cricut is an electric cutting machine that can cut various materials for craft projects, such as paper, vinyl, HTV (heat transfer vinyl), and cardstock. Cricut machines can cut thin wood, fabric, leather, and much more. Some Cricut machines can cut fabric, leather, and even wood with paper, vinyl, and cardstock. You can connect a Cricut to a computer wirelessly through Bluetooth, create or download the designs, and send them to Cricut to cut. Inside the Cricut machine is a small blade (or rotary cutter, pen, or scoring tool). Cricut has Design Space software (available for Windows, tablets, Mac, iOS, and Android smartphones) that allows you to create and import designs to be cut from the machine. Once you’ve a design ready to cut into the Design Space, you can place your desired material on a 12-inch-wide cutting mat. Then, send your design from the computer to Cricut wirelessly, and then load your materials into the machine. With the click of a button, your project will be cut.
Over the past 9 months, I’ve been figuring out the most common issue new Cricut customers have. The most common question is, where do we begin? The questions can be so overwhelming for some new customers that they fail to also take the machine out of the box. A Cricut machine is a significant investment. When I bought my first Cricut machine, I had preconceived notions of everything I would build and do with my machine. Frustration arose when my expectations were not met for how my projects turned out.
Getting the machine on and setting it up isn’t too difficult for most customers. But recreating projects you might have in mind is often a different story. New customers constantly ask, “How can I use my Cricut machine?” Here’s what I always recommend to them.
First, do a sample project.
New machines always come with a sample project. The machines add some small pieces of cardstock to help complete this sample project. This is usually a simple card, and once the machine and Design Space is set up, it will walk the new customer step by step on the project.
I always encourage new customers to complete the project and leave it. This will ensure that the machine is operating correctly and give the new Cricut owner their first project under their belt.
Secondly, choose the Design Space Make It Now project to recreate.
Cricut machine has to Make It Now projects to build within the Design Space already. There is a wide variety of projects to choose from cards to vinyl projects. Select a beginner project. Within the Make It Now projects, you’ll see a supply list as well as any assembly steps. Each Make It Now project is ready to be cut within the system.
Build the project from start to finish. It will serve some purposes. You will increase your Cricut and crafting supplies. You will have another completed project. And while the Make It Now project is intended to help create simple projects, you also have to figure out some aspects of the project yourself (switching mats, loading mats, etc.).
Third, Google is a particular Cricut project you want to build.
When trying to find a project, the more specific it is, the better. For example, Google “doesn’t make cards.” Instead, you can try “How to Make a Birthday Card” or “How to Make a Halloween Child Shirt with a Cricut machine.” You might not find a project similar to the one you’ve in mind, but you should see a project that works. This should include a supply list and detailed instructions on building the project. Many bloggers share Cricut projects step by step. These are great places to find the best tutorials. Follow the tutorial to recreate the exact project.
Next, you’ll have 3 projects under your belt and a small stockpile of Cricut supplies. At this stage, these projects should have given you enough experience to start building Cricut projects on your own. If not, keep revisiting Make It Now projects and Googled tutorials until you’re ready to tackle one yourself.
There are many methods to make money from your Cricut machine, such as selling custom t-shirts, decals, mugs, etc., online or at craft fairs. If you love to craft, a Cricut machine is a great investment, especially with paper and vinyl. It will cut projects look crisp and professional, and once you’re confident using it, your crafts will be much quicker to make. I’ve used my Cricut machines and continue to get more and more ideas on things I could build with them.