If you know anything about a Cricut, you know that the mat is basically the #1 essential tool you need for the machine to function. Because of this, there are several different types of mats depending on the project you are working on.
For the absolute novice, a Cricut mat is what you use to line up your project correctly and feed it into the machine. There are 4 standard types of mats you can use and we will explain all about them in this blog post. Each mat is sticky so that the material you are feeding into the circuit sticks to the mat and stays in place to cut.
A few quick tips before we break down the mats…
1. All of the mats come in 2 sizes: either a 12×12 or a 12×24.
2. You will typically use the 12×12 mat the most because it works best for smaller projects.
3. You can buy Cricut mats directly from the Cricut website, Amazon, or usually at a local craft store.
4. Always keep your mats covered with the clear plastic sheet that comes with it. Don’t throw that away. It helps keep the mats clean and sticky.
5. Tape heavy materials onto the mat. I talk about this later in the post but some materials need extra help. The mat alone sometimes won’t hold super heavy materials.
Here is the basic breakdown of each Cricut mat…
This mat has the lightest amount of grip (or stickiness) to it. It is meant for lightweight materials such as…
– Construction Paper
– Copy Paper (computer paper)
– Lightweight cardstock
These are materials that can rip easily so the light grip mat helps to prevent tearing during the cutting or removal process from the Cricut machine.
This mat is considered the “standard” grip mat and can be used for most materials. This is typically the mat that you are going to use the most when crafting. This mat is great for…
– Textured Paper
– Iron-on Vinyl
– Patterned Paper
This is the strongest adhesive mat for the cutting process. It will hold your materials firmly in place, so this is great for any heavy or stiff materials such as…
– Balsa Wood
– Poster Board
– Thick Cardstock
– Magnet Material
It’s still recommended that you secure materials like wood or poster board to guarantee that they don’t move while being cut. But in general, this is the heaviest grip mat that you can use for heavy duty projects.
This mat is specifically designed for cutting fabric and has a different adhesive than the other mats. You can use this mat for…
– Crepe Paper
I hope this guide helps you understand the cutting mats more in depth. It is super important to know which mat to use depending on your projects or crafts. Do not make the rookie mistake of using one mat for every single project. If you want more information on Cricut materials, check out our blog post on Cricut Maker Material Bundles.