Just like the rest of 2020, Christmas is going to look a little different this year. Despite the recent announcement of a temporary respite, the holiday period will still see more restrictions than ever before, with families shaping up to be a little more distant at a time which usually brings us closer together.
Despite all of the hardships the country has been through as a collective, 2020 has also brought out the best in people. We’ve celebrated lockdown birthdays, made friends with our postmen, and clapped for our key workers – recognising some of our real heroes who have helped the country keep going. While the prospect of restrictions easing in the spring there is a sense of a tough winter period ahead – and we all need a bit of a lift heading into 2021.
One of the easiest ways to give people a lift – whether it’s a friend, family member or neighbour – is kindness. Even just small, thoughtful acts can go a long way to showing someone you care. It even makes us feel good too. We carried out research to find out the nations latest attitudes towards kindness and its importance. We found that over half (58%) of people prefer giving, to receiving acts of kindness.
Being kind is important to us at Cricut. It may seem obvious, but we’ve always been struck by the power our products have to bring joy, thoughtfulness and kindness to someone’s day – from making someone a personalised card, to customising a gift for a special occasion. Cricut really does have the power to add little touches, which make a big difference.
That’s why this Christmas, we’ve launched the #MessagesOfJoy campaign, celebrating the small acts of kindness each of us has the power to bring to someone who might need it.
We’ve partnered with the fabulous Katie Piper to create the #MessagesOfJoy positive affirmations – beautifully crafted quotes that can be added to a gift, decorations, cards, and more, to give that special someone the lift they might need. From ‘Thankyou For Being You’ to ‘Be the person who just went for it!’, the mantras have been crafted to get people thinking, and creating.
We’d love to see you recreating Katie’s projects or maybe even creating your own personal messages for your loved ones. Don’t forget to share them with us on all of our social channels using #MessagesOfJoy. Because at Cricut, we care about kindness, and this year, we could all use a little more of it.
You can recreate Katie’s projects in Design Space:
Cricut Maker is designed to grow with you, and as you want to take on more crafting projects, a range of tools are available to help you do more.
The Cricut Maker Adaptive Tool System allows us to expand the suite of tools you can use for a number of different applications meaning you can add more effects to your projects such as scoring, debossing and engraving.
The tools designed specifically for Cricut Maker have the gold gear-like attachment at the top. That is what directly connects to Cricut Maker’s Adaptive Tool System so it can use the different controlled movements for each application.
We take a closer look at those tools, and highlight the tools that are compatible with both Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air 2 below:
The Rotary Blade comes in the box with Cricut Maker and brings infinitely customisable, precision fabric cutting to the home for the very first time. Use it to cut cotton, fleece, denim, and hundreds more materials. With its gliding, rolling action, it cuts virtually any fabric quickly and accurately – without backing material.
The extra-deep Knife Blade cuts through dense materials up to 2.4 mm (3/32”) thick with unprecedented ease and safety, almost like an automated X-ACTO® blade. It’s ideal for thicker materials like balsa wood, chipboard, and heavy leather.
The QuickSwap Tool system enables the quick changing of tool tips with just one housing. This includes Single Scoring Wheel Tip, Double Scoring Wheel Tip, Engraving Tip, Perforation Blade, Debossing Tip and Wavy Blade.
Switch between tool tips and blade with just one QuickSwap housing to expand the suite of Maker Tools and broaden your project potential. Simply press down on the button at the top of the housing to release a tool and switch it for another.
QuickSwap tools are available to buy with the housing or without, giving you flexibility to choose your own Maker Tool line up.
Single and Double Scoring Wheels
The Scoring Wheel makes a deep single-line score perfect for uncoated light materials like crepe paper, light cardstock and even acetate.
Double Scoring Wheel creates two deep, parallel score lines that are ideal for coated, heavier materials like poster board and cardboard.
The Wavy Blade adds a whimsical wavy edge to any design in half the time of a drag blade. This specially sculpted stainless-steel blade is great for original decals, envelopes, cards, gift tags, and collage projects, or anytime you need fabulously finished edges and stylish design accents.
Get the perfect tear quickly and effortlessly with precise perforation cuts on a variety of projects. Evenly spaced perforation lines allow for clean, even tearing without the need to fold beforehand – especially great for shapes with curves!
We also are obsessed with the Perforation Tip for creating fun reveals on the greeting cards you love to make for loved ones.
Fine Debossing Tip
Add professional polish and elevated elegance with the Debossing tool, creating crisp, detailed debossed designs. Unlike embossing folders, which lock you into a specific design, this rolling debossing ball offers free reign to customise, personalise, and design with incredible intricacy. Make a dimensional wedding card, thank you card with your monogram, or add flourish to gift boxes, tags, and more. The debossing tool creates a stunning effect on foil cardstock, coated paper, shimmer and glitter paper, foil cardstock, and much more.
Make a lasting impression with Cricut Engraving Tip. To get professional-looking results, just snap this tip onto the QuickSwap Housing and tell your Cricut Maker to ‘Go’! Watch with awe as you write personalised text or create monograms, draw decorative flourishes and embellishments, or inscribe your favourite quotes on a keepsake. For an eye-catching effect, engrave Cricut Aluminum Sheets or anodised aluminium to reveal the silver beneath.
Fine Point blade
The Fine Point Blade comes with your Maker (and Explore Air 2) and is the standard blade for cutting materials such as cardstock, Iron-on and vinyl with ease!
Foil Transfer Kit
The Cricut Foil Transfer Tool is now available, and it’s the easiest way to make your projects shine using foil.
The detailed foil lines make the process look complicated, but it’s actually quite easy to add foil embellishments to a wide variety of crafts using the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool. Just drop the tool into your Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air 2 machine and watch it work.
The Cricut Foil Transfer Tool is actually three tools in one. It comes with 3 tips (fine, medium, and bold) so you can transfer foil onto your crafts in different line thicknesses – even within the same project!
Even better, because the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool is fully integrated into Design Space®, you can create using all the various linetype options. Add a combination of foil, cut, score, write, or other linetype option all within the same project on your canvas.
Get into the Christmas spirit with this curated playlist hosted on Spotify.
This is the perfect soundtrack to your Christmas crafting and you’ll have it playing on a loop whilst the Cricut magic happens.
Here’s a small selection of what treats await:
There are more than 30 tunes in total, including Celeste’s soundtrack to this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert – A Little Love, and Cricut’s very own craft ambassador Zooey Deschanel’s duet with Leon Radbone – Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Pour a glass of mulled wine, warm cider or a cosy hot chocolate and get your Christmas craft on!
Make this Christmas more meaningful than ever with handmade gifts and home decor from the heart. From a show-stopping wreath to hang for years to come to yarn ornaments you can wrap with the little ones. Find peace and joy in the making process, whichever project you pick.
Yarn Wrapped Ornaments
These simple yarn-wrapped ornaments will make a big impact on your tree, and they’re wonderfully easy for smaller helping hands to assemble.
Cut chipboard on the Cricut Maker and wrap with yarn, glueing the ends in place. Add a yarn loop and hang on the tree. We chose a tree, star and reindeer but you can choose whatever shape you like.
Bring the fun, the festive, and some amazing flavour to the dinner table with tasty olive oil infusions adorned with custom labels.
Let Cricut Joy draw and cut your labels. Add lemon, chilli peppers and garlic to oil bottles, and fill with olive oil. Carefully peel backer away from label and adhere to the bottle with even pressure.
There is crafting — and there are craft cocktails. This original gift kit blends them together, adding more magic to the art of mixology. It’s also a clever and fun way to bring friends together for a virtual cheers.
Use Cricut Joy to create labels for your cocktail ingredients and apply to the containers. Cut the box label and weed away excess vinyl. Use Transfer Tape to help apply the letters to the box. Add tissue paper to the box, fill the containers with the ingredients and place inside the box. Send to your Cricut Cocktail Club cohorts and enjoy a virtual get together.
Getting started with your Cricut machine shouldn’t feel daunting, here are some tips and tricks to get you started on your Cricut journey!
First of all, download Cricut Design Space, and follow the steps to set up your machine. The screen will guide you through plugging in your new Cricut machine and will help you cut out your first image.
Once you have cut your first project, have a play with Design Space! Start with a simple vinyl decal or a cut-out image to create a card. You can use the spare materials that came in the box to get you started. Search in the image library for something that catches your eye, add it into the canvas, resize it to fit then click ‘make it’ to cut it out of your chosen material!
To start with, focus on one material, get to grips with that then everything will be simpler for you from there. This material could be vinyl or cardstock or even iron-on, whatever takes your fancy!
The free projects category is another great place to start. Each project has instructions for you to make it as is or click customise to open up the project in the canvas to be able to edit it. This is a great way to play around with a project without starting from a blank canvas.
There is lots of help available to you as you need it, here are some places to find it:
Join a Facebook group:
On Facebook, you will find lots of Cricut Facebook groups to join. As a beginner, these are a great place to get expert help and answers to all of your questions.
These groups are also a great place to make Cricut friends and join the Cricut community! You come across inspiration for your upcoming projects too. Search in a group for a topic, no doubt others will have asked similar questions before, or create a post asking for help – There are no silly questions; we’ve all been there!
Many groups have lives, workshops and online events to join in with, as well as units or files full of information to help you.
The following Facebook Groups are led by Cricut Product Experts (These are group admins who have been approved by Cricut):
If you purchase your machine from John Lewis you can get a free workshop.
Simply click the link on the product page on the John Lewis web site, complete the form, send a copy of your proof of purchase and you’ll be sent a link to view the workshop. Follow along at your own pace, pause, replay and watch as many times as you want to.
Cricut Wednesdays at Hobbycraft:
On Wednesdays Hobbycraft run ‘Cricut Wednesday’, where you will find a resident Cricut expert answering Cricut questions on the Hobbycraft Facebook page and sometimes Instagram stories and you’ll discover takeovers from Cricut experts, video tutorials and inspirational projects too.
You’ll find Cricut experts instore and check out your local custom crafting store for a wide range of Cricut supplies.
Follow fellow Cricut lovers on Instagram too by searching the hashtag #cricutcreated to find Cricut content and inspiration created by Cricut users. You’ll see creators using their machines for everything from home décor, sewing, organisation, paper crafting, model making and more, so it won’t take long to find someone whose projects will inspire you.
Cricut YouTube channel:
The Cricut YouTube channel has hundreds of easy to follow videos, these are a helpful resource for beginners as you will find short videos with everything you need to know.
There are lots of free images available to you in Cricut Design Space! Here’s how to find, and make the most of, your free images.
These images are available to you with or without a Cricut Access subscription. If you subscribe to Cricut Access, many more images will be available to you without an additional charge. Alternatively you can purchase images and fonts individually. Once you have purchased an image individually it remains on your profile, free to use on any future project. Cricut Access images are only free to use whilst you have an active Cricut Access subscription.
How to find free images
Open up a new project, then head to images in Cricut Design Space. You’ll find this in the left-hand bar in the Desktop version or in the tool bar at the bottom of your screen on the app.
Free this week, is the first place to browse free images. Each week Cricut make around 1,000 images in Design Space free for the week.
You can find these under Highlighted Categories. Click on Free this Week, to discover the selection of images that have been chosen for that period. Remember that if you use these images in projects after the free week is up, you may be charged.
Another place to find all free images is to head to the All Images screen and then click the green Browse All Images link. Use the filter function to apply a filter to Free under the Ownership heading. This will narrow your search to only images that are free. You will find this in the side bar on desktop. To access the filters on the app, click the funnel icon to bring up the filter menu.
You can also find free images in Shapes; the Shapes panel is a great place to find free quick and simple shapes and lines for your projects. Click Shapes, to bring up a menu of simple shapes, then click on the shape you would like to add it into your canvas. These shapes are always free to use.
How to find free projects
As well as free images, there are also free projects. Again these can change so you may be charged for a project you have previously cut for free.
In Design Space, filter the Ready to Make project category to Free.
Enjoy using your free images for all of your Cricut makes!
“Which Cricut machine should I choose?”… a question we often get asked and one we love to help answer! There are so many things to consider when buying a machine that we have put together this guide to help you make the best decision on which Cricut Machine is the right match for you!
It’s helpful to have a few things in mind to help you decide on a machine. Thinking about each of these points will help you match your needs with the best Cricut machine for you. In this article we also look at each machine in more detail, there’s a comparison chart at the end which summarises the key differences between the machines, and we’ve even created a little flow chart to help you further. But for now, let’s have a think about what we need to consider:
Is the size of the machine important to you and how portable you would like it to be? Cricut Joy is compact and can be taken out and about easily. Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air 2 are much bigger and heavier so will probably be harder to move around.
Think about what materials you would like to be able to cut. The cutting of different materials is one of the biggest differences between machines. So, is a good starting point to think about when choosing which machine is for you. Cricut Joy cuts 50+ materials, Cricut Explore Air 2 cuts 100+ materials and Cricut Maker cuts 300+ materials.
Have a rough idea of what you would like to make, looking for the best machine for you will be much easier if you have a few projects in mind! If your projects are big in scale and complexity then a machine with a larger cutting width such as Maker and Explore will be best. If your projects are more compact, or you don’t mind arranging smaller images together as one larger image, then Cricut Joy would be great.
Similarly, consider what size of cutting area you are interested in. Cricut Joy has a cutting width of 4.5 inches and a cutting length of up to 20 feet compared to the Maker and Explore machines that can cut up to 12×24 inches.
Think about the other tools you might be interested in besides cutting. Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker can both add foil embellishments and both can score; Explore with the scoring stylus and Maker with the stylus or the scoring wheels. The Cricut Maker also has the Adaptive Tool SystemTM so with additional tools can also engrave, perforate, deboss and there’s a knife blade for thicker materials such as basswood or heavy chipboard. It comes with the rotary tool for cutting fabrics too.
Will you want to do more in the future? Consider what your cutting needs might be in the future once you get the Cricut bug! If you think you’re going to want to try lots more and grow your craft skills then you’ll need a machine that grows with you. Cricut Maker is best for this as it can do the most.
Once you have a preferred machine in mind, there are a few other things to consider:
Everything you need to get started comes in the box with your machine, but we recommend buying a basic toolset, an extra set of mats and a few materials so that you can get playing straight away. If you are looking at using iron-on vinyl for your projects, consider the Cricut EasyPressTM to accompany your machine.
Download the software, Cricut Design Space. You can download the free Cricut app onto your smartphone or tablet direct from your app store (iOS and Android) or download the software to your computer from https://design.cricut.com/ before you have a machine. This means you can have a play with it to see if it’s right for you. This is the software that you use to design your projects then cut them on your machine. All machines are driven by the Design Space App so there is no difference for beginners when it comes to using the software, however, Cricut Joy does have a simpler app you can also use, to help you create quick projects on the go. Click here to find out more about Design Space and click here for details of the app created specifically for Cricut Joy.
All three machines use Bluetooth connectivity to connect to devices via Bluetooth. Cricut Joy has no cables to connect to the computer it works solely with Bluetooth, the Maker and Explore Air 2 have an optional USB cable to connect them to a computer or laptop.
Still can’t decide?
Emma Jewell of Emma Jewell Crafts, has put together this handy guide which leads you through a series of questions to find the Cricut machine that fits you best!
Of course, this is a bit of fun to start you on your search. Please use this information to help guide your search rather than give you a definitive answer!
Follow the questions to see which Cricut machine the guide recommends to you:
You’ll find a handy machine comparison guide below (prices, subject to change!) to help you compare the three machines:
We hope you have found this article helpful and now have a better idea of which Cricut machine is right for you, but if you’re still undecided, we’ve worked with John Lewis to offer a concise video to compare our machines.
Vivid. Vibrant. Voila! Welcome to Cricut Infusible Ink, where you can create beautiful, bold designs that look truly professional on your T-shirts, totes and more. What makes Cricut Infusible Ink so special is that it looks store-bought, but it’s infused by YOU. Unlike the vinyl or iron-on process, where artwork is attached on top of a base material using adhesive, an Infusible Ink transfer actually becomes one with the material itself. The results are bright, beautiful, seamlessly smooth custom transfers that are peel-proof, flake-proof, and wash-proof.
Beginner’s guide to Infusible Ink:
How Infusible Ink Works:
1. Choose your blank. Select Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or Infusible Ink Pens & Markers and a compatible Cricut blank.
2. Make your design. Use Design Space and your Cricut cutting machine to cut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or draw with Infusible Ink Pens & Markers onto standard copy paper.
3. Apply heat. Infuse your design into your Cricut blank with Cricut EasyPress.
These are sheets that come in block colours or patterns, that can be cut on a Cricut machine into your desired shape or design, then applied onto a blank of your choice. You put the sheets face up onto your mat and mirror your design. You then press them face down onto your blank. The high heat of the EasyPress 2 ensures the ink transfers from the sheet onto your blank and you can visibly see the difference with the colour disappearing from the sheet after the application.
Infusible Ink pens use the same Infusible Ink technology in a pen form. These can fit into your machines so that your machine can draw a design for you, or you can draw or colour by hand before pressing your design on to a blank (just remember your image will be mirrored).
You use copy paper to draw your design onto before pressing it. If you are drawing with the machine you just pop the piece of paper onto the blue light grip mat and load it into the machine.
Note that the Cricut Joy has different sized Infusible Ink pens to the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air 2. Joy pens are available in sets of 3, Infusible Ink pens for the Maker and Explore are available in packs of 5 or 30.
Because of the way Infusible Ink works it will only work with compatible blanks. We have designed a range of blanks that will give the best results, including T-shirts, tote bags coasters, cushion covers, make-up bags and a wine bag.
Here’s everything you need to make a project with Cricut Infusible Ink:
Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore or Cricut Joy
Cricut Standard Grip Machine Mat
Cricut EasyPress 2
Cricut EasyPress Mat
Cricut Blank (compatible with Infusible Ink)
Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or Infusible Ink pens
Cricut heat resistant tape
Butcher paper (comes with sheets)
Lint-free cloth (for coaster blank projects)
Lint roller (for fabric blank projects)
Scissors and tweezers
How to use Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets in 5 easy steps:
Choose an image in Cricut Design Space, make sure that it is smaller than your EasyPress. Mirror the image and choose Infusible Ink transfer sheet from the material list.
Lay the Infusible Ink transfer sheet face-up on the mat, then load it into the machine and start cutting. Once the cut is complete, remove the sheet.
Weed your design (take away the bits you don’t need) leaving only the design on the clear carrier sheet.
Next set up your EasyPress mat referring to the Cricut Heat Guide for the correct order to layer your mat and materials ensuring you lay a piece of paper onto the mat to protect it. Heat up your EasyPress, to the temperature indicated by the Heat Guide based on your chosen blank and Infusible Ink pens or sheets. Next lay down your blank on the mat. If you’re using a fabric blank, use a lint-roller to remove invisible fibres. If you’re using a ceramic blank, rub with a lint-free cloth to remove dust or unwanted particles. Add the weeded design face down onto the blank. Cover the sheet with a piece of the butcher paper. Press for the time indicated by the Heat Guide.
Once cooled, peel away the butcher paper and transfer sheet to reveal your completed project.
We often say that the possibilities are endless when you own a Cricut machine as there are so many different types of projects you can create. In this round up of 10 things you didn’t know you could make with a Cricut, there are a few more ideas that might surprise you!
Welcome visitors to your home with an extra personal greeting by creating your own doormat. Simply cut a stencil from stencil or removable vinyl and use it to paint a long-lasting doormat that will wow your guests and the postman!
To create miniature versions of your furniture there is no better tool than the Cricut maker! Emily (better know on Instagram as Make.e) has been creating a gorgeous dolls house with her Cricut Maker, we want to move in!
3. Body art stencils
Body artist Cat Finlayson cuts stencils on her Cricut machines to create intricate body art! Cat uses the stencils to add paint to a model’s body in intricate custom patterns. This technique would work great at home for children’s glitter tattoos and face paint too! Cat explains how she creates her stencils in her blog post here.
4. Engraved jewellery
Add an even more personal touch to a keepsake gift by engraving a name onto a charm before gifting it to a loved one. This thoughtful touch is made possible by the engraving tool on the Cricut Maker.
The rotary blade on the Cricut Maker takes the faff out of pattern cutting and marking. You can cut out all of the pieces for your own classy backpack on your machine, then sew them together to create a backpack to carry all of your things around in!
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