What is a Cricut?

What is a Cricut? In short, it is a crafting machine that allows you to cut and draw on various materials.

A few months ago, I was listening to a teacher-friend talk about a colleague of hers. “She makes us custom t-shirts, coffee mugs, wine glasses. Labels everything in sight. She does it all with her Cricut machine.” I was instantly intrigued and began scouring Pinterest for information and project ideas. So, this year for Christmas, Ben got me a Cricut Air2 Explorer. He knew how excited I was to use it and decided to let me open it the day after Thanksgiving. 24 hours with the machine, and I was giddy with excitement as I made my first project, a wine glass for my mother.

What can you do with a Cricut?

The question is more like, what can’t you do with the Cricut? By using the program, Cricut Design Space, you can design, import, and make all sorts of projects. Think personalized mugs, wineglasses, t-shirts, cards, sweatshirts, earrings, wall decals- the list goes on and on. I spent the first weeks with my machine cutting vinyl for wine glasses and labels around the house.

The machine I have (Explore Air 2) cuts:

  • vinyl (iron-on and easy peel&stick vinyl)
  • felt
  • cardstock
  • infusable ink (using this material allows whatever pattern you cut to melt onto the project. For example, if you create a t-shirt, you can safely wash it without worrying about peeling)

Does the machine come with everything you need?

Not at all.

That being said, many of you have reached out and shared ‘Cricut bundles’ from sellers like Costco, Amazon, Michael’s and directly from the Cricut website. These machines go on sale frequently throughout the year. So, if you’re considering buying one- wait for a sale!

Cricut brand materials are definitely pricier than some other brands. So many of you have suggested using more budget-friendly brands for my vinyl and other materials. I haven’t ventured away from using Cricut-brand materials quite yet. I tried to use a less-expensive vinyl for a project and found it was harder to work with. Perhaps as I get more confident in my ‘cricuting’ skills, I will try different brands.

My must-have Cricut accessories to get started…

How did you get started?

I’m not one to follow the directions with crafts or recipes. (I’m sure we all remember this cake I attempted last month.) I did not complete the first project that came with my machine nor did I read any of the directions in the box. Instead, I went straight for Pinterest and YouTube.

Do I need to pay for the design program?

Cricut Design Space is where you create projects. The basic subscription is free, but it does not give you access to many fonts and designs. A friend at the gym told me a Design Space subscription would be the best $10 I spend each month. She is 100% right! Design Space gives me access to thousands of designs and fonts.

I also subscribe to LoveSVG and download tons of free project templates. If you intend to sell the projects you make, you cannot use any LoveSVG files. If you’re like me and ‘Cricut’ for fun, this is the perfect place to find ready-to-make designs.

Cricut has become a verb in our house, and I am having such a blast ‘cricuting’ my way through these cold winter months.

What is a Cricut? Laura Young

Photos taken by Sydney Sheehan Photo

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