First, of course, you need to know what a cricut machine is. Then your next question might be, “How can a cricut machine benefit me?” While I am still learning the possiblities and capabilities of a cricut machine myself, I may be able to give some clarity to newbies. For starters, cricut is actually pronounced like “cricket”. Doesn’t make sense to me, but that’s how it is.
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Most Current Cricut Machines
Next you should probably know that the Provo craft company has multiple different cricut machines. According to what I found, the first cricut machine was released in 2006. I recently acquired a *Cricut Explore Air 2 via a Facebook yard sale page. I got a really good deal. The lady was updating to the latest model, the *Cricut Maker, and had only used the model I purchased from her for two projects. The only downside was that the freebie images and project ideas that came with the machine originally were not available to me. She had also ditched the instruction sheet, so I’ve had to turn to Google and Youtube to learn about my machine.
So what can my cricut machine do? Well, primarily it is used for cutting out designs. It does not print projects like I thought it might. However, I was able to design a project in Canva, print it on my home printer, and then it coordinated with my cricut machine to cut them out. My particular model, the *Cricut Explore Air 2, also can write on projects. There is a pen holder in it, that makes this possible.
Materials Cricut Machines Can Cut
What materials can a cricut machine cut for you? So far, I have used it to cut cardstock, adhesive vinyl, and *heat transfer vinyl. I started by doing the “practice” card project they recommend. At first, it may seem overwhelming. The older cricut machines used catridges for the designs to cut. Now, with the newer models, everything can be done online. There is a software called Design Space, where you create the project you want to make. You can upload your own images and fonts to do this. Or you can purchase them from the Cricut library. There also is an option to pay a monthly fee, to access much of the library. Cricut did a live video about their Cricut Access program recently.
It takes time to learn how to use the Design Space software, and I missed the free online class Cricut offered for it. However, I got an email with the recording, and it looks like they also offer it more than once. But you can learn too, by getting in there and playing with it. The second time I tried to do a project, was when making gift tags for teacher gifts this year. I felt like I was understanding the program better, and felt less overwhelmed. There’s alot of info out there on the Internet, especially Youtube videos, on learning tricks for utilizing your cricut machine. So like I said, I’ve been googling as I go along.
However, cricut machines are not limited to the cardstock and vinyl I mentioned previously. I’ve also purchased some faux leather to use. And according to the list I found on their website, things like iron-on, foil, craft foam, poster board, and window cling are included as well. You will need to click on the word “materials” in the left side-bar to access this list via the link I included. Oh, and fabric cutting is supposed to be a perk of the new Cricut maker.
Projects You Can Make With Cricut Machines
But as far as projects go, the possiblities are extensive. I wasn’t sure what I would make with the faux leather when I purchased it, but I’ve found an idea for making a headband for my daughter. You can also make faux leather flower hair clips. So far, I’ve made the gift tags previously mentioned, decorated my cell phone with adhesive vinyl, and designed an iron-on t-shirt for my son. I also have an idea to make a wooden sign for my kids’ bathroom. Via visiting blogs and Pinterest, I’ve found that vinyl can be used for designing wooden signs or I could make my own stencils with my cricut and then paint it.
I’ve also seen cute mug projects that I would be into making as well. However, I want to figure out the best way to do that so the vinyl won’t come off with washing. I’m leaning towards the idea of using outdoor vinyl like *Oracal 651 vinyl. I’ve seen this suggested by other crafters and bloggers. Another neat idea is the possiblity of glass etching. It would be a neat way to personalize glass bakingware for gifts.
If you are big into crafting, and love the sound of having a cricut machine to make beautiful items for yourself and others, let me just mention one other possibility a cricut machine offers you. You can make money by having a business and selling products you make! Cutting For Business is a whole blog dedicated to helping people have their business with cricut and similar machines. How’s that for money-making hobby idea?
Now I hope I peaked your interest into learning more about Cricut machines. Maybe you already have a cricut machine, but just haven’t gotten started yet. I’ve started a Cricut board on Pinterest with tips and ideas. You can follow my board HERE. Also join me again, hopefully soon here on the blog, to learn about the tools and supplies needed to get using your cricut!