Are you curious about how a Cricut machine works? Here’s what a Cricut can do, how it’s used, how to make a Cricut project, and more!
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If you’re interested in Cricut but wondering how exactly a Cricut works, you’re in the right place. There are so many creative Cricut projects out there, but if you haven’t used a Cricut machine before you’ve probably wondered how people actually make all of those cool projects. Well my friend, welcome to Cricut 101.
Cricut machines are powerful additions to any craft room or DIYers toolkit. I use my Cricut machines often for all sorts of projects ranging from organizing and labels to DIY gifts and home decor. I own both the Cricut Joy and Cricut Maker and use both frequently (check out my project archives here).
Today I’m breaking down all the basics you need to know before purchasing a Cricut. We’ll cover what a Cricut can do, what it’s used for, what kinds of projects you can make, how a Cricut works, and more.
FYI: The info in this post is universal to all Cricut machines – if you want a deep dive into each specific machine, check out my Cricut Comparison Guide to find the machine best for you.
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Table Of Contents
In a hurry? Use these clickable quick links to jump to specific sections.
- What is a Cricut?
- What does a Cricut do?
- How does a Cricut work?
- How do you make a Cricut project?
- Are Cricut machines hard to use?
- Which Cricut should I buy?
WHAT IS A CRICUT?
First, you might be wondering what exactly a Cricut machine is. An easy way to think of it is that a Cricut is a lot like a printer only instead of printing designs using ink, a Cricut machine cuts designs using a small blade.
Just about anything you would typically cut with scissors or an X-acto knife can be cut with a Cricut. In addition to cutting, Cricut machines can also draw, print and cut, engrave, perforate, deboss, and add foil detailing. All from a machine smaller than most home printers!
What Does A Cricut Do?
Cricut machines are capable of cutting things like paper, cardstock, adhesive vinyl, iron-on vinyl, thick leather, fabric, felt, thin wood, aluminum, chipboard, and more.
You can make projects like labels, greeting cards, clothing, party decorations, wedding favors, wall decor, jewelry, and much much more. Take a look at my project archives for some examples!
How Does A Cricut Work?
Although it may feel intimidating at first, Cricut machines are actually very user-friendly. Once you get the hang of a few basics, you’ll be able to create all sorts of cool projects!
Cricut machines have a tiny blade or other specialty tools like scoring wheels, pens, etc. You feed your desired material (paper, vinyl, iron-on, etc.) into the machine, and then you can begin creating with the press of a button. You can send your design to your Cricut from your computer or mobile device wirelessly.
You design your Cricut projects inside Cricut’s free software called Design Space (available as a mobile app and for Windows and Mac). You can choose from a large library of 100,000+ pre-made designs, images, and fonts or design your project from scratch.
Check out Cricut’s large library of tips and tutorials to learn more about how to use your Cricut.
How Do You Make A Cricut Project?
There are four basic steps to using a Cricut machine:
- Design your project using Design Space, Cricut’s free software
- Set up your Cricut machine by inserting the tool and material required for your project
- Send your design from your device to your Cricut machine to be cut/scored/drawn/embossed/etc.
- Remove the excess material using weeding tools, assemble your project, and you’re done!
Are Cricut Machines Hard To Use?
Cricut machines are designed to be user-friendly for the everyday crafter and are fairly easy to learn how to use. Once you create a couple of simple projects, you’ll quickly have a handle on the basics. And you don’t need graphic design experience to use a Cricut since there are plenty of premade designs.
One great thing about Cricut is that there are tons of free resources and tutorials online. Cricut itself provides a lot of free education and you’ll even be walked through a basic practice project when you first unbox your machine. And there are plenty of other content creators (like me!) who share a lot of helpful advice and easy-to-follow project tutorials.
Which Cricut Should I Buy?
This really depends on your personal needs and preferences, plus your budget. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of the Cricut machines on the market, they are all amazing crafting tools.
There are currently five Cricut cutting machines on the market:
Check out my in-depth Cricut comparison guide to compare Cricut machines and determine which one is best for you. I also have a one-page PDF comparison guide that will help you quickly compare the features of each machine.
If you have any questions about how a Cricut machine works, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help! You’re also welcome to message me on Instagram and we can chat there.
Check out my in-depth Cricut Comparison Guide to learn more about each Cricut machine and decide which Cricut is best for you.
Have a fantastic day!