Cricut machines work by using a small blade to cut materials you load. These materials are secured via a ‘sticky’ mat so they don’t move as the blade moves around allowing you to get a perfectly clean cut every time.
You can use a variety of different types of mats depending on your projects. Each of these has a different grip strength so it’s important to choose the correct one for your material!
How to Work a Cricut – Mats
Mats are a key component to ensuring Cricut machines will perform at their best. They are specially formulated to hold materials securely and allow for easy removal of the material after cutting.
They come in various sizes and grips to suit different types of materials and machines. The Light Grip and Standard Grip are designed to handle lightweight materials such as patterned paper, cardstock, iron-on, and vinyl while the Strong Grip is for heavier materials like leather, glitter cardstock, and heavyweight cardstock.
As with all other products, Cricut mats need to be regularly cleaned and maintained. The best way to do this is with a little bit of warm water and dish soap.
The Cricut comes with a set of blades that are engineered to cut different materials. Each blade is suited to a specific type of material so it’s important to use the right one for your project!
For instance, the Bonded Fabric blade is engineered to cut through fabric with a bonded fabric backing. It’s also a great option for fabric that is smooth or coated.
The Deep Point and Knife blades are also engineered to cut through extra-thick or tougher materials like wood, leather, and metal. These blades are also designed to withstand heavy use so they are a great investment for the long term.
How to Work a Cricut – Paper
Whether you’re creating scrapbook pages or greeting cards, Cricut makes it easy to add intricate designs and custom text. These machines are able to cut paper, vinyl, and many other materials to give your projects a professional look.
When using different types of materials, it’s a good idea to use dedicated blades. These blades are designed for specific materials, which helps them last longer and make better cuts.
If you’re new to Cricut, it’s a good idea to start with simple projects and work your way up from there. This will help you get comfortable with the machine and avoid frustration.
Infusible ink pens and markers are the next big part of the Cricut ink system. They can be used with any of the Cricut machines and come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Infusible pens work similar to transfer sheets, but they can also be drawn freehand for a more personal touch! This allows you to create more unique one of a kind images that are not possible with transfer sheets.
The ink is infused into the base material (usually polyester) and becomes part of it! It is a lot like sublimation, but it is much easier and quicker to use.
This makes it great for a wide range of projects! You can use the infusible ink pens to create coasters, baby bodysuits (onesies), tote bags and more.
How to Work a Cricut – Design Space
Cricut Design Space is the software that pairs with your cutting machine to make digital art into a real-life object. It is similar to professional photo editing software, but it has additional features that allow you to create custom projects.
The program is cloud based and can be accessed on many devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It also has an app that is designed to run on the mobile devices.
To start a new project, click the green New Project button in the upper righthand corner. It will open a canvas in Design Space where you can add images and text.
Once your project is completed, save it regularly to prevent losing your hard work. This is especially important if the program crashes or something goes wrong!