Did you recently acquire a cricut machine for crafting? Are you now wondering how to get started doing some amazing DIY crafting? Let me share with you some useful cricut machine tools and supplies to help you successfully enjoy using your new cricut cutting machine. Are you ready to make some beautiful projects?
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If you are totally new, and don’t know what a cricut machine is or what it can do, please visit my last post DIY Crafting With A Cricut Machine. I personally own a *Cricut Explore Air 2 model. But the way it sounds, most of the models in the Cricut Explore group are fairly similar. There are other older options like the Cricut Expression, but they are becoming out-of-date. The newest model, the *Cricut Maker is supposed to be able to have even better capabilities.
To get started with your new cricut machine, you will first need to open an account in their online Design Space and link it to your machine. This is where you will create and upload designs for your machine to cut out. Or if you like, some even have the capability to write for you. Mine can do that too.
Tools To Consider
But now let’s get down to talking about the supplies and tools available to make using your cricut machine easier and possible. First, you must have the *Cricut mats. I think most other stuff is optional, and will vary from person to person. But the mats are required to load your materials into this machine. You should also know that the mats come in different sizes, and vary depending on the type of material that you want to cut. I currently have only used the standard 12×12 mat, but my husband did gift me the *12×12 variety pack. This pack contains 3 mats. A Lightgrip mat, a Standardgrip mat, and a Stronggrip mat which each have different “stickiness” on them, depending what medium you need to attach to them for cutting.
There are also larger mats available in the *12×24 inch size. I have read that these may come in handy when doing a large project like a sign or wall hanging that you want to be able to transfer in one piece. I’m planning to make a sign for my kids’ bathroom, and I contemplated whether this larger size might come in handy.
You also must have a cutting blade with the proper housing. I think most machines would come with one, but at some point it may need a *replacement blade. And depending on what type of substance you want to cut, you may need to get a *Cricut Explore Deep-cut blade and housing. This will vary according to which machine you have. Just make sure if you have any Cricut Explore model, that you get the deep-cut blade specified for that. I found out thru reading blogs and forums, that the regular Cricut Deep-cut blades cannot be used in an Explore.
Another item I would recommend getting is the *Cricut Basic tool kit. It comes with scissors, a scraper, tweezers, a weeding tool, and a little spatula. Are they required? No, but they will make crafting easier or less frustrating if you use them or some similar items. So far I have used everything except the spatula. As others have mentioned though, I did not find their tweezers the most user-friendly. The scissors obviously help to cut materials as needed. I have mainly used the scraper to smooth vinyl and remove air bubbles when placing it on my mat. Before I had it, I had to use a credit card. And the weeding tool has been great to remove the unwanted small scraps from my vinyl projects.
I have some interest in obtaining the *scoring stylus. This helps to make indentations on paper projects to add to your design, and I think other possiblities. As I mentioned above, my particular machine has the capability to write in whatever font I choose. There is a holder for pens. The person who sold me my used cricut machine, also included a set of pens. Cricut sells *their own brand of pens, to use in the machines, although some people have had success using other types. Do your research first. Make sure the pens you choose are compatible with your particular machine.
These are not all the tool options offered to use with your cricut, but they can help you to get started.
Supplies To Obtain
Now I want to talk about supplies for your cricut machine. This is not a cut-and-dried list by any means. I am simply throwing some options out there to consider. But you can’t use your cricut, if you don’t have anything for it to cut!
The first thing I made with my cricut was a paper card project that they recommended for practice. Fortunately I had cardstock on hand to do that. If making cards or banners interests you, than consider a *variety pack of cardstock. Of course definitely have white cardstock in your stash as well.
My next project was a little decoration for my cell phone case. I used adhesive removable vinyl for that. I purchased a little *sampler pack of Cricut brand vinyl to try. But know there are other brands out there that can be used with your machine.
A popular supply item to consider buying is heat transfer vinyl. This is applied to projects via an iron or heat press. I have found *Siser Easy Weed Htv Vinyl to be popular, and that is what I am currently using. I have made three t-shirts so far, and have two more in mind for my family.
Another highly recommended brand is *Oracle 651 Adhesive vinyl. I recently added this to my collection. I see many crafters recommending this in Facebook groups I have joined related to Cricut. It’s supposed to be a more durable vinyl that can be used for outdoor projects like car or sign decals. I also see ladies using on coffee mugs or tumblers, as the regular vinyl will come off too easily. They still say hand-washing is best for those items. I’d like to find a method to decorate mugs that will allow them to be used in the dishwasher. Still lots to learn.
Of course you will want additional items to decorate with your various vinyl cut-outs. I purchased my last two t-shirts from Hobby Lobby. But you could get them anywhere. Blankets, coffee mugs, cups, plates, sweatshirts provide project opportunities. A recent popular trend I’ve been seeing in a Cricut Facebook group I joined is something called “reverse canvas” designs. To do this, a blank stretched canvas is purchased and taken apart. It’s decorated by the crafter, and reattached to the wood in a way that it now frames the canvas like a picture. This is instead of wrapping over and covering the frame as it did before. I think I learned about this in the Facebook group Cricut Craft Life.
You can also create stencils and paint your designs. I have some *Cricut stencil vinyl I haven’t used yet. It’s an option that I could do to make the sign I have in mind.
One thing to note, for transferring some types of vinyl (not HTV) to the finished product, you will need some type of *transfer tape. There are DIY hacks out there that people use as well. Everyone wants to save money where they can.
Oh, and don’t forget about leather and fabric materials for cutting. I obtained some *faux leather like this on clearance at a craft store. I’m going to attempt making a headband or two for my daughter from it. I got some elastic yesterday for that project also.
Stores That Sell Cricut Items
Obviously, the first place you can buy anything cricut-related, is directly thru Cricut.com. I have also ordered some supplies via Amazon. As far as local stores, I have gone to Michaels, Joann Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby. Walmart and AC Moore are options as well. And there are more online supply stores out there if you look. I purchased a design and font bundle to download from *Craftbundles.com, to use on projects. They say they include commercial licenses with their bundles to allow you to sell your crafts.
Which reminds me, you will need to obtain fonts and design elements from somewhere unless you are talented enough to create your own. Cricut Access is one place you can do this, but there are other places like say, Etsy. Don’t forget to determine which are only for personal use and which can be used on items to sell if that is your desire.
There is much more information I could share about Cricut. Since I’m into the heat transfer vinyl projects right now, maybe I can elaborate in another post about some additional items to consider for that. Have a great weekend, and maybe enjoy some crafting!