If you know me at all, or have been following my blog for any amount of time, you know how much I love my Cricut Machine. But if you’re new to the world of crafting you might be asking yourself what is a Cricut machine and what does it do?
Well you’re in the right place. In this article, we break down everything that you need to know about Cricut Crafting & Cutting Machines.
What is a Cricut Machine?
A Cricut Machine is a machine that is used for craft projects that has the ability to cut a variety of materials including paper, cardstock, vinyl (including heat transfer vinyl), and other thin materials such as fabric, wood, and felt.
Cricut Machines are cutting machines made specifically for DIY crafting at home. Cutting machines like the Cricut brand are also known as die-cutting machines and cutting plotters. Cricut is one brand in a variety of crafting options. (But if you ask me, it’s the best option!)
Cricut came into the crafting world with the Cricut Personal (no longer made). This first machine was small and could not do designs larger than 5.5 by 11 inches.
However, this first machine opened craft fans up to the many possibilities. You can now purchase a variety of machines that include the Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, Cricut Joy.
Let’s dive in!
What can you do with a Cricut Machine?
A better question is what can’t you do with a Cricut Machine! Since a Cricut Machine cuts so many different sorts of material the possibilities are endless for crafting. You can make custom t-shirts, vinyl stickers, pantry labels, banners, mugs (with the Cricut Mug Press), wall art… You get the picture!
If you’re having a hard time visualizing how a Cricut Machine works, here’s a great video from the brand itself showing what the three primary models look like and how they work.
Beyond their machines that cut, the brand also offers Cricut Heat Presses that include the Hat Press and Mug Press mentioned above. They also sell lighting, accessories, and many materials. There are TONs of design apps (from Cricut and others) that help you personalize your designs and find inspiration. They are available for both iOS and Android.
What can a Cricut Machine Cut?
Cricut Machines can cut lots of different materials. These include: paper, cardstock, cereal boxes, construction paper, fabric, and much much more. When it comes down to it though, it truly depends on the model of the Cricut Machine that you are considering. Top of the line Cricut Machines have the ability to many of the following materials:
|Category||Material||Maximum Thickness (Cricut Explore Air)||Maximum Thickness (Cricut Maker)|
|Paper||Cardstock||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Cereal Box||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Chipboard||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Construction Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Glitter Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Kraft Board||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Kraft Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Metallic Cardstock||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Metallic Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Notebook Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Paper Grocery Bags||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Parchment Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Paper Board||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Photographs||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Paper||Wax Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Vinyl||Adhesive Vinyl||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Vinyl||Chalkboard Vinyl||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Vinyl||Smart Vinyl||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Vinyl||Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Burlap||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Canvas||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Cashmere||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Cotton||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Denim||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Felt||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Leather (Real and Faux)||N/A
(Only Cricut Maker)
|Fabrics||Linen||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Polyester||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Silk||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Suede (Faux)||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Fabrics||Velvet||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Aluminum Foil||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Balsa Wood||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Birch Wood||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Cork Board||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Corrugated Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Craft Foam||N/A
(Only Cricut Maker)
|Other Materials||Plastic Packaging||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Tissue Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
|Other Materials||Wrapping Paper||2 mm||2.4 mm|
Do you need a computer to use a Cricut Machine?
The answer is no. You do not need a computer or to be super computer savvy to use a Cricut Machine. WIth that said, you do need some sort of device to use the Cricut Machine’s Design Space software. Below are the different types of devices you can use:
- A desktop of laptop (Windows or Apple)
- An iOS device (Either an iPad or iPhone)
- An Android device (smartphone or tablet)
The Cricut Design Space app helps you set up designs and layouts and comes pre-loaded with a variety of patterns and designs to help you get started.
Examples of Cricut Projects
By now, you should be realizing that you can create a ton of craft projects with a Cricut machine. However, if you need any inspiration, below are some examples of Cricut projects that you should consider trying.
Paper-based Cricut projects
DIY paper-based crafts are great projects to do when first starting out with your Cricut. Below are a few of my favorites.
Regardless of the time of year, paper banners are a great and beautiful way to display your newly-found Cricut skills!
If you’re like me, you’re probably constantly needing greeting cards for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings… You can make handmade cards with your Cricut machines!
Posters and collages
Create beautiful and personalized collage posters for any occasion.
Cloth-based Cricut projects
Make adorable drawstring cloth bags with your Cricut. Give them as gifts or make them larger and use them as shopping bags for groceries!
Felt-based Cricut projects
Felt flower and garden accessories
Make beautiful and useful DIY plant labels for your indoor herb garden.
I’m obsessed with this fall-inspired necklace! With that, I’m also obsessed with this incredible blogger I came across. Check out this necklace below and find instructions for the felt necklace here.
Leather-based Cricut projects
If you’re a major bookworm (or maybe your kids are!), create personalized leather bookmarks for them.
Yes, make another necklace with your Cricut! But whoever said you could have too much jewelry?
Holiday Cricut Crafts
Make this adorable felt Easter Bunny.
Or make these adorable personalized Easter gifts with Mason Jars.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
Make mom this beautiful framed quotation craft to hang anywhere in her home.
And what dad doesn’t need a personalized hammer?
Make gifts with your Cricut Machine
For the person who has everything, make a variety of monogrammed gifts. From makeup cases to purses.
Customized mugs and glassware
Gift the gift of coffee (or at least the mug) by creating a one-of-a-kind mug.
Home decor with your Cricut Machine
To spruce up your kitchen
Create these. cute Removable Vinyl decals for home appliances.
Or experiment with this reverse canvas project that makes a beautiful wall hanging.
Finally, spruce up your morning java ritual with some adorable coffee bar decor!
Additional Cricut crafts
Holiday craft Cricut DIY
What Cricut Machines are available?
Like what you are hearing and want to purchase a Cricut machine for yourself? Look no further. Here are the top Cricut Machines. Which one is right for you?
- Cricut Joy (The Best Cricut Machine for Beginners)
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut Explore 3
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut Maker 3
Is there a cheaper alternative to Cricut?
Other brands in the crafting world include Sizzix, Silhouette, and Bira Craft. So yes, there are cheaper brands. As you know, I’m a Cricut girl. But other machines are comparable. Below are a few other brands and models I found on Amazon that have similar functions.
Additional tools you (may) need with a Cricut Machine
- Regular cutting blade
- Different types of materials
- Fine point blade
- Smart Materials
- Internet connection
- Scoring stylus
- Cricut Design Space
- Cutting map
- Smart phone, computer, or tablet
There is so much more I could go into regarding Cricut Machines. They really are phenomenal. But I hope this post has given you a sense of what a Cricut Machine is and what it does.
Have questions? Drop me a comment below! Until next time! And if you need something to do, check our recent post on file folding, your ultimate laundry hack.
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