Welcome to the Cricut world! Let’s face it. Getting your hands on your first machine is exhilarating but can also get overwhelming pretty quickly. With the barrage of crafts that you can dive into, the possibilities are endless.
But, regardless of the path your crafty heart chooses, we’ll break down a step-by-step process of getting started with your Cricut machine along with the accessories that will set you up for success.
Cricut for Beginners: Getting Started
If you’re new to cutting machines, it’s no secret that you’re probably wondering how steep the learning curve is to get up and running. Spoiler alert: it’s pretty easy! Simply follow the straightforward steps below, and you’re good to go.
1. Remove Your Machine from the Bag
A Cricut machine comes packed in a carrying bag that will come in handy for storing safely and keeping it safe from dirt, debris, dust, or pet fur. So, first things first, take it out of the bag.
2. Plug-In and Open
Set the machine on a table and plug it into the nearest power outlet. Then, connect it to your PC, tablet, or smartphone via USB or Bluetooth. To connect the machine to your device, you may be prompted to key in a password. If so, use 0000. To open your Cricut machine, press the button located on the left side labeled ‘Open.’
3. Turn on Your Machine
Briefly hold down the power button located on the right side to power-up the Cricut machine.
4. Log In To Cricut Design Space
Once you’re done with the setup process, your device and Cricut will be connected, and you’re ready to design your first project. Here’s where Design Space comes into play.
It’s cloud-based application software that you’ll use to design projects and communicate with your Cricut machine. Cloud-based implies that you can easily access your designs and account on any device that has the app installed. So, this makes it suitable for avid travelers.
Ensure you have access to the Internet to download and start using this app. And, the app allows you to design and craft away without an Internet connection. Nonetheless, you’ll need a stable Internet connection for the initial download.
Design Space is perfect for beginners as it provides a step-by-step guide on how to start and complete each project.
For offline crafting, ensure you download the fonts and images that you’d like to use beforehand. To save projects offline, click on the ‘Save’ icon, then select ‘Save As.’ The project will be saved onto your device instead of the cloud.
To access your offline projects, simply click on the drop-down categories menu and choose ‘My Projects on this iPhone’ or whatever device you’re using, then open it from there.
When crafting online, you’ll see countless projects available in the app and the opportunity to come up with designs from scratch via the ‘new canvas’ feature. Once you’re through with the project, click ‘Make It’ to notify your Cricut machine.
5. Take Your Pick on the Smart Set Dial
Rotate the dial on your machine such that the dot on the pressure-setting dial faces the material you intend to core, cut, or write. If it’s not listed, then select ‘Custom’ then choose your respective material on the drop-down menu in Design Space.
6. Load the Cutting Mat
Place your material on the cutting material, then follow the step-by-step instructions in Design Space on how to load the material. Remember to hold down the flashing load button (located on the right side of your Cricut machine with an up and down arrow) once you position your mat in the guides for proper loading.
7. Hold down the Cricut Button and Leave the Rest to the Machine
Once you select ‘Go’ in Design Space, the Cricut button on your machine will begin flashing, signaling you to press it to kick-off your project. As the Cricut is hard at work, Design Space will inform you if you need to change mats, pens, or blades for your project.
8. Remove and Bask In the Glory
Once your project has finished scoring, cutting, or writing, a notification from Design Space will crop up coupled with flashing lights on the Cricut machine. This will prompt you to unload your cutting mat. Press the flashing up and down arrow button again to unload the mat. Now, it’s time to remove your project from the mat and revel in the fruits of your effort.
The Must-Have Supplies
We’ve rounded up the essential accessories you require to get started with your Cricut machine.
Cutting mats come in various colors for easier crafting. Firstly, blue has a light grip and is perfect for vellum, generic paper, and light cardstock.
Secondly, green has a standard grip and is compatible with vinyl, heavy cardstock, and iron-on.
Thirdly, purple provides a strong grip and is gels with mat-board, backed fabric, and specialty cardstock. Lastly, pink delivers a fabric grip and is a lifesaver in cutting most fabrics with a rotary blade.
Available in different sizes, this squeegee comes in handy when smoothing out paper projects or applying vinyl.
Significantly thicker than standard paper, cardstock is suitable for cutting out a myriad of patterns.
Ideal for overall crafting, we recommend having various pairs of scissors for different types of material, ranging from paper-crafts and fabric to heat transfer vinyl.
It’s Suitable for various vinyl crafts. Transfer tape is a carrier sheet to perfectly remove your vinyl design from its paper backing and onto the base on which you want to place it.
Glue tape is quick and easy to use, delivers a better finish compared to wet glues, and is a must-have for all types of paper crafting.
As opposed to making a cut project using your Cricut machine, you can write with these Cricut pens. These markers grant you free rein to craft all types of projects, such as making customized coloring sheets for your kids.
While Cricut machines are easy to use, they certainly take some getting used to, particularly for beginners. But, like everything else in life, it gets easier with practice. So, keep crafting, and you’ll be cutting like a pro in no time!
Did we leave out anything? Let us know in the comment section below!