As I’ve been hinting on our Instagram… I am now a part of the Cricut machine owner club! This may be the best Christmas gift I’ve ever received, really the possibilities are endless. However… as soon as I pulled the machine out of the box, I was instantly overwhelmed. With great power certainly comes great responsibility. The goal of this post is really to give you an introduction into Cricut and give some tips I learned through completing my first couple of projects. Really, I need some friends to go on this Cricut journey with 🙂
What is a Cricut?
Maybe you’re like my husband and have no clue what a Cricut machine even is… Long story short, a Cricut is a crafters dream machine. It is a “printer” that allows you to create designs and then cut those designs into various materials (EX: cardstock, vinyl for stickers/ iron ons, and even leather). Honestly, I think Cricut is solely to blame for the monogram-everything phase we all went through (and still are in). Cricut made creating special designs accessible for mere mortals like me.
Like I mentioned earlier, while there are so many options for what to create with the Cricut, I was pretty overwhelmed. Here are some things I learned out of the gate…
- You will need some extra Cricut tools to get started: Here is the pack of tools I have and they have been perfect to use. Mainly, you will use them for “weeding” (separating out your design from the “extra”) and placing stickers. You also need these Cricut adhesive cutting mats to print your designs on.
- Start small: I follow some crafters on Instagram that are doing some CRAZY things with their Cricuts. It’s easy to look at them and get overwhelmed trying to tackle the world out of the gate. My advice… Start simple. I went to Walmart, bought a value pack of various colors of Cricut brand vinyl, and just started experimenting.
- YouTube is a GREAT resource: There are tons of crafters that have created life-saving videos walking you through every step of the Cricut process. Here are some of the searches I used: “unboxing Cricut Explorer”, “Creating vinyl stickers for beginners on Cricut”, “How to use heat transfer vinyl with a ome iron”, etc. As I completed my first projects, I was able to follow experts step by step!
- Etsy and Pinterest will be your best friends: You might be asking… What would I even make on a Cricut? Well I’ve found a lot of inspiration from Etsy and Pinterest! As I’ve gotten more familiar with the machine, the more I’m saying to myself, “you know, I could make that!”. One other tip: If you want to make a sticker/ iron-on of a more complex design you can actually buy SVG files of the design on Etsy for instant download (usually for a couple of bucks). Then you can import that into the Cricut Design Space (the computer/ phone app that lets you create designs), and voila! There are also SVG downloads for Starbucks cup wraps, cute seasonal designs, and all kinds of characters. In fact, I think this might be my next project!
- Getting free fonts is super easy!: I’m a huge fan of the farmhouse look/ feel, so naturally I was looking for the perfect calligraphy font. You can actually go to dafont.com and download all kinds of fonts for free! I even searched for a video on YouTube: “How to download new fonts into Cricut Design Space” for help importing them. It ended up being super easy. The only thing is… Most fonts you have to purchase the license to use it on items you plan to sell. If you are just using the fonts for personal use, they are free.
- Only “Weld” if you are ready to print: Now, this is a little specific to Cricut users, but make sure to ONLY “weld” the design together if you are ready to print, since you can NOT “unweld”. Also, make sure to “weld” any calligraphy words before printing because otherwise your letters get cut individually, even if they are touching.
And finally, here is how my first projects turned out! (Nanny and PaPa… If you are reading this, don’t scroll any further 🙂 – I’m about to share a picture of your Christmas gifts that I haven’t given you yet!)