Craft

What is a Cricut machine? Why it’s a must-have tool for crafters

The sky is the limit.
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A Cricut cutting machine might not sound like much. But to an avid DIYer, a Cricut opens all of the doors in terms of craft projects you can accomplish.

Watch: How to make an acrylic wall planner with Cricut

What is a Cricut machine?

So what exactly is Cricut? A Cricut cutting machine is a tool that lets you cut out different shapes, letters, and designs from various materials such as paper, vinyl, and fabric. It’s like having a super precise pair of scissors that can cut any shape you them to. 

But how? The Cricut machine uses a computer program that tells it what and how to cut the materials. So, if you want to make a fancy birthday card or a personalised t-shirt, a Cricut cutting machine can make that happen. 

Instead of asking yourself what a Cricut does, you should ask yourself what it doesn’t do. 

Cricut joy tools
Cricut Joy

Types of Cricut machines

There are currently four Cricut machines on the market: The Cricut Maker 3, Cricut Explore 3, Cricut Joy and the Cricut Explore Air 2 (the predecessor of the Explore 3).

The Cricut Maker 3 has the most advanced features, and it can cut a broader range of materials and use more cutting tools. The mid-range model is the Cricut Explore 3. The Cricut Joy is the smallest portable, easy to set up and use.

Cricut Maker 3

cricut maker 3

The Cricut Maker 3 can cut up to 300+ materials. See all 300 compatible materials here. It’s also compatible with 13 blades, making it the top dog when it comes to Cricut cutting machines. 

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What it can do:

  • Cut
  • Write
  • Draw
  • Foil
  • Score
  • Engrave
  • Deboss
  • Perforate

Materials:

  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on (HTV)
  • Infusible Ink™
  • Paper & cardstock
  • Writable labels
  • Kraft board
  • Printable sticker paper
  • Craft foam
  • Leather
  • Fabric
  • Felt
  • Wood veneer
  • Softwood
  • Chipboard

Cricut Explore 3

cricut explore 3 cutting machine

With the Cricut Explore 3 machine, you can create custom iron-ons and large banners in less time. This machine is compatible with six tools that can cut and decorate various materials, including cardstock, vinyl, cork, and bonded fabric.

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What it can do:

  • Vinyl decals
  • Written labels
  • Cards
  • Gift tags
  • Custom mugs
  • Full-colour stickers
  • Personalised apparel
  • Banners
  • Gift boxes
  • Signs
  • Jewellery

Materials:

  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on (HTV)
  • Infusible Ink™
  • Paper & cardstock
  • Writable labels
  • Kraft board
  • Printable sticker paper
  • Craft foam
  • Leather
  • Bonded Fabric
  • Felt
  • Wood veneer

Cricut Joy

cricut joy cutting machine

It may be small, but the Circut Joy holds its own. Created personalised projects for DIY designs, like card-making, home decor, gifting, and custom-made t-shirts and clothing. 

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What it can do:

  • Vinyl decals
  • Written labels
  • Cards
  • Gift tags
  • Custom mugs

Materials:

  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on (HTV)
  • Infusible Ink™
  • Paper & cardstock
  • Writable labels

Cricut Explore Air 2 

cricut explore air 2

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is very similar to the Explore, except it can’t cut Cricut Smart Materials and is a little slower. 

If you aren’t sure which Cricut machine is right for you, the easiet thing to do is head over to the Cricut website. They have all the features of each machine here

How Cricut Machines Work

Cricut machines work by cutting or drawing designs you create or select using the Cricut Design Space app. The app tells the device what to cut or draw on your chosen material, such as paper or vinyl.

How to use a Cricut machine

Step. 1

To use a Cricut machine, open the Design Space app and select the design and project you want to create. Alternatively, you can design one yourself. 

Step. 2

how to use a cricut cutting machine

Once you’re ready, select ‘Make It’ and following the instructions. The app will tell you to place the material you want to cut or draw on the machine’s cutting mat and load it into the machine.

Step. 3 

how to use cricut. cricut joy cutting vinyl

The clever cutting machine will then cut or draw your design onto your chosen material. 

What can you do with a Cricut?

We know the possibilities for what a Cricut can do, but what can you make with a Cricut? A lot! The sky is the limit. 

Here are some common craft projects you can make with Cricut:

  1. Customised t-shirts, tote bags, and other fabric items using iron-on vinyl
  2. Decorations for weddings, birthdays, and other special events, such as banners, signs, and centrepieces
  3. Personalised cards, invitations, and envelopes
  4. Vinyl decals for car windows, laptops, mobile phones and home decor
  5. Wall art, including vinyl lettering and stencils
  6. Labels and stickers for organising items around the home or office
  7. 3D paper crafts, such as boxes, flowers, and other home decor items
  8. Etched glassware or engraved metal items, such as jewellery or keychains.

To help you get started, here are 6 Cricut ideas you didn’t know you could make at home. All include easy-to-follow instructions. 

FAQS

Can a Cricut cut felt, fabric, and leather?

Yes, the Cricut Explore 3 and the Cricut Maker 3 can cut felt, fabric and leather. 

Can a Cricut cut wood?

The Cricut Maker 3 can cut wood veneer, softwood and chipboard.

Can a Cricut make stickers?

Absolutely! The Cricut Explore 3 and the Cricut Maker 3 can cut sticker paper. 

Do you need a computer to use a Cricut Machine?

You don’t need a desktop computer or a laptop as such. Still, you need a tablet or mobile phone to download the Cricut Design Space to send your designs to your Cricut cutting machine. 

You will need a computer or a smartphone to access Cricut’s design software and send your design to the Cricut cutting machine.

Is the Cricut machine worth it?

If crafting is your middle name, you will love using your Cricut. Start with something like cards, then work your way up to personalising everything you own, t-shirts and more. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating with your Cricut, making it worth every cent. 

Where to buy a Cricut

Cricut machines are available in-store and online at the following retailers:

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