Craft hobbyists and more serious crafters, alike, can take their skills up to a whole new level with a Cricut (pronounced like “cricket”) machine. Learn all about Cricut machines and which one is best for you.
Whether you are hearing about a Cricut machine for the first time or have been drooling over one for a while now, here is everything you need to know about Cricut machines, including must-have accessories and which model is the best one.
What Is A Cricut Machine?
A Cricut machine is a die-cutting machine, which is designed to cut materials, such as paper, fabric, or metal into a specific shape.
The manufacturing industry has larger, industrial cutting machines to create multiple products at the same time. However, smaller, more personal machines, are widely popular among crafters.
Think of it kind of like a printer – you create an image or design on your computer and then send it to the machine. Instead of printing your design, the Cricut machine cuts it out of whatever material you want!
Even more than cutting, however, Cricuts can draw designs too. It can draw patterns, or write for you. This comes in handy when you need to address 100 Christmas card envelopes or want a hand-lettered look to your wedding invitations.
What Can I Do With A Cricut Machine?
There are so many things you can create with a Cricut machine! In fact, there are too many possibilities to list them all. But, here are a few popular types of projects you can make to give you an idea of what the machine can do.
Create Your Own Stencils
Stencils are essentially designs (shapes, patterns, words, and phrases) cut into a plastic material that is then overlaid onto paintable surfaces such as wood, walls, etc.
Paint is then applied over the stencil. When the stencil is pulled away, only the painted part remains.
People use stencils all the time to create beautiful patterns or lettering on objects. Here are some amazing examples along with more in-depth tips to create stencils:
Create Your Own Christmas Ornaments
Wow, the variety of Christmas ornaments you can make with a Cricut machine is mind-blowing! Anything goes from intricate snowflakes to various 3D shapes. Glass, leather, wood…you name it. Here are some great examples:
Make Custom T-Shirts and Onesies
Have you ever looked at a clever custom t-shirt and thought “How can I make that without going to a t-shirt printer?” I know I’ve thought that more than once!
Now all you need to do is use your Cricut machine to create entirely custom t-shirts, and even baby onesies, that you can sell or wear to your family reunion or on your family trip to Disney!
Here are some tips I’ve found to be helpful:
Cut Out Fun Shapes and Letters For Scrapbooking
Scrapbooking is a method of preserving, presenting, and arranging personal and family history, usually in a book. Typical things you find in a scrapbook include photographs, printed media, and artwork.
Scrapbook albums are often decorated and may contain extensive journaling or written descriptions.
With a Cricut machine, you can easily create the shapes and lettering for scrapbooks! Here are some great examples:
Make Custom, Handmade Invitations or Cards For Any Special Occasion
With a Cricut machine, you can score as well as cut intricate designs or add lettering to your cards and invitations; making it both unique and beautiful. And, as you may remember from above, the machine can use a pen to write in a custom font as well.
Plus, it will only take a fraction of the time that it takes to create the same thing by hand which only makes the project even more enjoyable!
These are some of my favorites:
Create Custom Baseball Caps
Baseball caps are the most go-to DIY project for so many people! Whether you are creating some for your child’s sports team, your family reunion, or to sell, your Cricut machine will allow you to add that personal touch in half the time.
Here are a couple of awesome ideas:
Leather Bracelet or Hair Bow
Leather and faux leather designs are a snap with the Cricut machine. Design anything from bracelets to hairbows and more!
Here are some cute examples:
Design and Create Monogrammed Items
People love monogrammed items! Make them for yourself, to give as gifts or to sell in your craft store- no matter what, the Cricut machine can help make things easier and picture-perfect.
Take a look at some of these items:
Is A Cricut Machine Really Worth Purchasing?
If you craft regularly, and particularly if you want to make intricate designs, this machine will be a game-changer for you.
From experience, I know how much easier and fun it is to finish handmade projects in a fraction of the time, thanks to the Cricut machine!
What is the Best Cricut Machine to Buy?
With several models to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. The two most popular ar the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2. You just need to investigate what each model is capable of doing and weigh that against your budget and what you want to make.
I personally really like the Cricut Explore Air 2 because it is a great middle-of-the-road option, both in terms of cost and what it can do. It is a GREAT Cricut machine to get you started on your journey while also being much more affordable!
On the other hand, the Cricut Maker is a heavier duty machine that has 10X the strength and cutting force of the Explore Air 2. With the Cricut Maker, you are able to use more powerful tools and complex materials in your projects.
One note: if you are a sewer or quilter, you’ll definitely want to get the Cricut Maker. It can cut fabric thanks to a brilliant rotary cutting tool.
In the end, it really just comes down to your intentions and what you have planned to create with the machine.
Popular Cricut Accessories
Your Cricut machine will come with many of the things that you need to do most projects. If you’re interested in expanding your crafting ability, a few of the popular accessories I recommend are:
You don’t have to invest all at once! I would wait to see if you really like to use the Cricut (which who wouldn’t?) and buy the accessories you want one at a time.
Whether you are a dedicated hobby crafter or someone more serious with their crafting handiwork, I am confident that a Cricut machine will help you take your skills up to the next level and help you create projects you didn’t even know you could make yourself!