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What is a Cricut Machine?
A Cricut is a cutting machine that you can use on materials to create cuts for your craft projects. Some examples of materials used on a Cricut machine are cardstock, foam, kraft board and vinyl. However, there is a massive list of materials you can use on the Cricut website. If you’re looking for handmade gifts, I actually launched my own Etsy store, which is a great place to find items made with my Cricut machine!
Types of Cricut Machine
There a range of Cricut Machines capable of cutting different materials; the models currently on the market are the Joy, Explore Air 2 and The Maker. All of which have some truly great features, and Emma from Emma Jewel Crafts has plenty of advice when it comes to choosing the best machine for you, as well as a range of guides for you to get started on your Cricut. I started with the Cricut Joy as it is the most recent machine model, the easiest to use and the smallest. Although, starting with this, I quickly realised that I would need a separate machine for the products I wanted to create. Thus me upgrading to The Maker just a few months later.
Where to get graphics?
Dependent on what you want, the graphics will depend on where you get them from. If you’re looking to sell products featuring graphics, I’d recommend using Design Bundles. Not only do they have a vast catalogue of choice, but all of their products come with a premium license which allows them to be used to create and sell. You can find a wide range of SVGs required to cut, such as angel wings SVG, deer SVG, festive SVGs and plenty more. Whether you’re looking for designs to use with vinyl or cardstock, you can buy some huge graphic bundles.
When I first opened my machine, I couldn’t wait to create vinyl for one of my mugs. Whether you’re looking to upcycle an existing mug or start on a blank canvas, this is one of the projects I’d recommend trying to begin with. My first project added graphics to cups for Christmas presents for my friends; I found this a fun place to start. For my first designs, I decided to pick a bundle from Design Bundles. They offer a range of complimentary designs each week, as well as paid-for ones. Once I’d downloaded my choice of design, I added it into the Cricut design space, ready to cut on my machine. I’d recommend watching YouTube videos if you’re unsure about cutting your first vinyl, but it does become easier each time you try it.
To start the cutting process, you need to load your material, and if you’re using the Explore Air or the Maker, you will require a matt for any material you want to cut. However, the Joy offers matless cutting as they have smart materials, which are as simple as loading into the machine and pressing go.
Once your item has printed, you need to ‘weed’ it, which means removing all of the smaller bits which don’t need to be in your design. Once this has been done, your design is ready to be transferred on to your blank (using transfer tape is always good), and then you’ll have your finished product.
When getting started, there so many amazing YouTubers and bloggers who provide excellent advice and tips, so if you’d like a separate post on those, do let me know.
P.s. this week, I finally launched my Etsy store, Confetti Cove, full of my design creations, so feel free to check it out here.