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When you got your Cricut machine, it’s no secret that you were overcome by excitement, eager to start using it. However, during your first project or two, you realized it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.
It’s overwhelming and enveloped in a fair share of frustrations and stresses. But the good news is, it’s not your fault. There is a lot to learn, and you just need a bit of guidance.
In this guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to use a Cricut Cutting Machine that’ll turn you into a pro. Soon, you’ll be crafting items that will have your friends and family green with envy. And, if you’re ready to learn more, we have a free Quickstart guide that you can access in a jiffy.
Setting Up a Cricut Machine
Once you remove your Cricut maker from the box, plug it into a power outlet. As you do so, leave enough clearance of 10 to 20 inches in the back and front of the machine for the cut mats to seamlessly pass through it.
The box contains two cords. One has a USB and square end to easily connect to your PC via Bluetooth. Plug in the square end of this code into the back of your Cricut machine and the USB end into your PC.
The second is the power cord. The circular end is plugged into the back of the machine and the other into an outlet.
Uses of a Cricut Machine
It’s your holy grail for crafting items such as:
- Cards and cardstock projects
- Wood Cutouts
- Jewelry such as earrings
- Personalized t-shirts
- Customized tumblers and coffee mugs
- Paper flowers
- Wood signs
The possibilities are endless!
A Computer Device
To use your Cricut cutting machine, you’ll need to download and install Design Space software that is compatible with your iOS and Android devices. It will be your holy grail when it comes to uploading and editing your projects in preparation for cutting them with the machine.
How to Cut Vinyl with a Cricut Machine
Once you have an illustration that you want to cut in Design Space, select the ‘Make It’ button that sits at the top right corner of the screen. Doing so redirects you to another screen on the preparation of your cut mats.
While you may have received more than one color along with the purchase of your machine, you’ll mostly be using the standard green grip mat. In the Cricut Quickstart Guide, you’ll gain more insight into the different materials that blend with the various mats and the best to care for them.
The colors that Cricut displays on the screen are not the color of the mat you need to use. Instead, it depicts the vinyl color you’ll need to place on the mat for your design.
With that being said, cut the vinyl to your required size and place it on the cutting mat with the side that’s depicted in the Design Space software, facing up. Then, load the cutting mat into the machine by placing it below two tabs on the side.
Lastly, hold the Cricut mat against the roller bar and gently press the unload/load button. Back in Design Space, select the ‘Continue’ option to ensure that your Cricut machine remains connected.
Removing Vinyl from the Cut Mat
Once the cutting process is done, the unload/load button on the Cricut machine will start flashing. That’s your cue to press the button to release the Cricut mat. To separate the vinyl from the mat, it’s advisable to flip the mat over. Then, ensure you put the protective cellophane back onto the cut to protect the mat from dirt and dust, thus maintaining a sticky texture.
Loading Paper into a Cricut Machine
It’s strikingly similar to the process of loading vinyl. So, start by aligning your paper on the top left corner of your Cricut cut mat. If you’re using thinner paper, it’s recommended that you use the grip cut, blue light mat. In turn, this keeps your paper sturdy and secures it in place for the machine to accurately cut it.
Slide the mat below the machine’s guides and hold it against the roller bar while pressing the unload/load button. The machine will load the mat and prepare to cut your Cricut design.
As is the case with vinyl, once the machine has cut your design, flip over the mat and separate it from the paper to prevent curling. If the paper gets stuck, use the spatula that is included in the tool kit to perfectly lift it off the mat.
Changing the Cricut Machine Blades
The cutting blades sit in clamp ‘B’ of the housing, whereas clamp ‘A’ is reserved for the scoring stylus and pens. Therefore, to take out the blades and housing, you’ll need to open clamp ‘B.’
One of the popular reasons for taking out the blades is to clean them because tiny pieces of paper, glitter, or vinyl get stuck and negatively impact the outcome of your project.
Therefore, you may end up shelling out some extra bucks for new blades when they essentially call for cleaning to be good as new. For cleaning, depress the plunger over the housing and wrap the blade into a ball of tin foil, carefully to avoid sustaining injuries.
For the fine point blade that is included in the Cricut machine coupled with the deep point blade, you can simply replace them without needing to purchase entirely new housing.
Depress the plunger sitting over the housing and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to slowly pull out the blade. It is held in by a magnet which means, removing it is a walk in the park. While still depressing the plunger, jerk in the new blade then release the plunger.
To Wrap It Up
Now that you’ve learned a lot about your Cricut cutting machine, remember, the more you use it, the easier it gets. After all, practice makes perfect for a Cricut beginner or expert! And, going the extra mile by grabbing our free Quickstart guide, you’ll learn about uploading CVG cut Images and Files, Design Space, and much more.
What will your first Cricut project be? Leave a comment below!