Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Your brand new Cricut is waiting for you to get creative
A Beginner’s Guide to the wonderful world of Cricut crafting.
As one of the lucky new owners of a Cricut, have you found yourself looking at it and wondering what to make?
I bet you’ve checked out YouTube and a couple of blogs and seen people confidently creating wonderful things. They even let you download free SVG files of designs they’ve created so you can make them too.
Don’t they make it look easy?
What exactly is an SVG file anyway?
What I found lacking in those videos and posts was anything to help build my confidence and teach me the basics of crafting with my Cricut.
I quickly realised that I needed a beginner’s guide suitable for a Cricut virgin like me.
Much as I enjoyed watching other more competent people creating designs, I just wasn’t at that stage.
My first attempts haven’t been quite like the videos
Can I offer some advice from one Cricut virgin to another?
Keep it simple and use the resources in Cricut Design Space as they are, without changing them beyond the colour of material you choose.
Sounds obvious right?
It does sound obvious. But I promise you that the temptation to buy loads of supplies and additional tools and blades to make some of the crafts you see online will be huge.
Before you fall into that trap, remember this. If you bought your Cricut new and boxed, it came bundled with the basic tools you need to get started.
Getting started means creating stuff with the tools that come in the box.
Even better, you may have bought a Cricut bundle with some of the tools and/or materials you’ll need to start creating stuff right away.
I have a Maker, and it had everything I needed to get crafting with the obvious exception of materials such as cardstock or vinyl.
The Cricut has the basics you need to get started
It doesn’t matter which model of Cricut you have. Your Cricut comes with pretty much everything you need to get started. Or at least to get your machine set up and test that it’s working using the test materials in the box.
The bundled blades and mats will get you going immediately.
As a Cricut virgin though, you will need to buy some starter materials.
That’s where you should spend your time checking out what you can do and what you want to make before you spend any more money.
This is where your ‘beginner’s guide’ comes into play
Cricut Design Space is brilliant for beginners like us.
It’s brilliant period. But being packed to the rafters with images and cut-file designs, it can be a little daunting too.
Which is why this beginner’s guide is here.
It will help you to stay focused on how Cricut Design Space can help the Cricut virgin.
Added to this beginner’s guide will be helpful articles – like this one – and some ‘how-to’ videos.
As a result, you’ll soon start to feel much more confident that you’ll get the results, and enjoyment, you want from your Cricut.
Best of all, you’ll begin to see the possibilities your Cricut provides for gifting and creating gorgeous and helpful stuff for your home.
Beginner’s Guide must buy accessories
There are some things you will need to buy.
My first recommendation is this basic tool kit available on Amazon. For me this was one of the best purchases I made.
The basic tool kit contains 5 essential tools that I think you will need.
The spatula-shaped tool is to lift cut shapes from your cutting mat. Trust me when I say that using your fingernails to remove small cut shapes gets painful.
You also get tools to help you weed your designs. More on that later.
The flat-looking spreader thing helps you when you apply your designs onto mugs etc. Again, more on that later.
Second best purchase
The Cricut Scoring wheel was another great choice.
I know the scoring wheel combo is the most expensive item on this list. I bought the scoring stylus first, having read some reviews. My decision to buy the stylus was based solely on price.
The Cricut Stylus
The Stylus didn’t work well with my Maker. As soon as it pressed down onto the card stock, it shot back up out of the holder and did absolutely nothing. So my money-saving purchase turned out to be a waste of money.
Having said that, I do use the stylus for some tasks, just not in my Maker.
You will need a scoring wheel (or the scoring stylus) to make things such as greeting cards. The scoring tool marks out fold lines in designs, making it easier to finish your craft after the Cricut has cut out and/or drawn the design for you.
The handiest accessories I have are the Brayer, used to make sure your material is evenly attached to the cutting mat. The Brayer is particularly useful when your mats get less sticky with repeated use.
And my much loved rotary cutter.
Watch this short video for a demonstration of these last two tools.
A short beginners guide video to Two of the most useful accessories
Amazon isn’t your go-to choice for materials?
I understand that Amazon isn’t everyone’s first choice destination for materials.
If you live in the UK, you should check out John Lewis.
John Lewis has a great supply of materials and often offer discounts that can really help when you’re getting started.
I bought my Cricut Maker from John Lewis as they offered a free tutorial to get me up and running quickly. I still get invitations to free virtual events from them too.
But remember, it’s easy to get tempted by all the lovely things you’ll see there!
Last but not least for the first part of this beginner’s guide
Download Cricut Design Space
No beginner’s guide would be complete without telling you to set up your account and register your Cricut on Design Space.
Having said that, I must say that the registration process is frustrating.
To help, I advise you to check out this post. Scroll to the section headed ‘Learning Point 2’ and use that as your guide.
Time to take to YouTube
YouTube is a vast wonderland of free tutorials.
In fact, I’ve started to add my videos on Cricut crafts to my YouTube channel.
(When you visit, remember to click the subscribe button to add my channel to your subscriber list.)
But please remember!
The videos on YouTube are great at convincing you that you need lots of accessories and materials to create the things you see.
My recommendation is that you make good use of the search box to find those videos showing you how to create whatever it is you want to try first. For example, if you want to put a design onto your favourite mug, watch a good how-to video on that subject.
Buy the permanent vinyl you need to do that and get started.
Read on for more from this Cricut virgin
Check out these posts if you haven’t already.
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