It’s time to get started with your Cricut
It’s time to set up your Cricut and register it on Cricut Design Space.
(If you’ve done that already, feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post and get right into some crafting.)
I really don’t see the need for a video showing how to un-box your Cricut
Unboxing your Cricut is really easy, so I don’t propose to insult your intelligence by videoing that with a voiceover.
If that’s the kind of thing you want, head over to YouTube and find one you like.
My unboxing video was made to help me understand what comes as standard.
Just click on the image below if you want to watch it now.
And I’ll see you back here in 5.
Here’s what you’ll find in the box.
- Power cables x 2, one UK one US
- Two mats, one blue light-grip, and one pink fabric-grip mat. These are your starter cutting mats
- A starter pack with one large piece of white card stock, one small blue square of card stock, one small square of fabric
- ‘Get started in 4 steps’ cards – in 7 languages
- One roller cutting blade for fabrics
- One fine-point cutting blade that you’ll find you use more than any other blade
- One fine-point Cricut pen with black ink
- A USB cable needed for initial setup
The fine-point blade will be in the Cricuts Adaptive Tool System when you unbox it.
Adaptive Tool System?
It looks like this, and you’ll find it when you open the lid of your Cricut.
There are two clamps used to hold your tools when using your Cricut. These are the same on both the Maker and the Explore Air 2.
Clamp A has a round holder to insert pens for drawing or your Cricut Scoring Stylus if you use one.
Clamp B houses the cutting blades, and scoring wheel. When you are using your Cricut, Design Space will prompt you to change the tools as needed for the design you are cutting.
But please be careful with the blades.
The picture above is of the storage slots for some of your tools, pens and so on. The front slot in the picture (empty on my Maker) is for storing blades in their housing without damaging them.
There’s additional storage for replacement blades – the metal magnetised strip shown in the video below.
This storage space is found under the front of the Maker or Explore. That part that folds down when you open your Cricut.
The blades are very sharp and will cause you damage if you don’t handle them with respect.
I learned that early on when trying to change the housing on one of my blades.
And, it goes without saying that you should store the Cricut blades out of reach of children.
But you know that already, right?
As the Cricut Maker and Explore have the same storage space for blades and tools that appears to well hidden, you could be tempted to leave your Cricut where small people can open it and play.
I wouldn’t. Just saying.
The connection to a power source is simple
Your Cricut will have power cables for use in both the UK and US. There’s no mystery to plugging in the power cable to the back of your machine.
The buttons on the Maker, shown below are, in order,
Top – power on/off.
The bottom left is the button used to load your cutting mat into your Cricut. The button will flash to tell you when to load your mat.
The middle ‘Cricut’ button also flashes to tell you to start the cutting operation.
And the bottom right is a pause button. I haven’t had to use that so far, but I’m sure I will in time.
The Explore has a dial used to choose your cutting material
Unlike the Maker, the Explore Air 2 has a dial that you will use to change settings for the different materials you will use in your designs. The Custom setting enables you to choose from additional materials within Cricut Design Space.
To be clear, I don’t own an Explore machine (or a Joy although I have hopes!) so I won’t be giving you hands-on tutorials for those machines. Having said that, I doubt that Maker and Explore will differ significantly from one model to the other.
Now you have your Cricut ready to connect to Cricut Design Space
The set-up of your Cricut machine is pretty simple. Head to www.cricut.com/setup and open your account with Cricut.
Having said that, I did encounter some problems. If you do too, check out this post – from the heading WHICH TAKES ME TO THE CRICUT WEBSITE – to see how I got around the problem.
You’ll get the option to download the Cricut Design Space (CDS) app to your computer, tablet or mobile. I installed the app on my Mac.
New user bonus
The great news is that you get 1-month free access to CDS as a new customer. That gives you access to Cricut Access where you can choose from various pre-made designs to use and test out your Cricut.
That’s a whole month to not only set up your Cricut but to get started with your Cricut crafting.
Make the most of that time by trying out lots of different craft types, and really getting to know your Cricut capabilities from card making, print & cut, to producing iron-on designs for t-shirts, mugs, etc.
Be aware that some of the designs are only for use on the Cricut Joy. That’s due to the difference in cutting size for the Joy compared to the Maker and Explore. Additionally, Cricut Joy uses materials made specifically for that machine.
A word of warning. If you don’t intend to buy the monthly (or annual) Access plan after the initial trial period, any designs you have used or created during the trial period, will not be available to you to re-use after your trial period ends.
Some images and fonts are free to use, but all other resources carry a charge to use if you don’t have a subscription plan.
You will need to connect your Cricut to a computer
To complete your Cricut registration and set up Cricut Design Space and your machine, you will need to connect your Cricut to your computer using a USB cable. Turn on the Cricut power and follow the instructions on the screen.
You’ll be taken through the set-up procedure using the card and fabric samples that came with your machine.
This is the only time you’ll be asked to connect your Cricut via a cable. From here on, you will connect using Bluetooth.
Now you’ve set up your Cricut – it’s time to get creative
We will head over to Cricut Design Space and make a simple vinyl cut design, using one of the CDS images available within Cricut Access.
I will start by showing you how to cut some permanent vinyl to put a design onto a cup, mug or glass of your choice.
So if you haven’t already stocked up on vinyl, head over to your favourite craft design store and buy some, as ever, Amazon has a huge choice of vinyl to choose from. I’ll be using basic black vinyl, but you can choose whatever colour you like.
You will also need some transfer tape. The great news about transfer tape is that it’s reusable.
You will also need a weeding tool from your basic tool kit to work on your cut vinyl design.
There are many different brands of vinyl and transfer tape available. Don’t feel you have to use Cricut branded materials all the time. There will be times when it’s advisable to do so, and I’ll let you know when those are over time, as I share my experiences with you.
Let’s get going.
Beginner’s Guide to Cricut – our first production!
Click on the post title below and we’ll get started.
I can’t wait to see what you create.
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