getting started with my Cricut!

2022, crafting

Hello!

My husband (still getting used to that!) bought me my cricut for my birthday in 2021 and honestly, it sat untouched for over a year before we decided together to figure it out and use it for some crafts for our wedding.

Now, we are headfirst obsessed with it – I’m now much more confident in using it on my own (I get very easily overwhelmed by new things, so he helps me figure it all out) and I’ve got so many ideas for projects! I keep resisting the urge to buy everything cricut related (I need vinyl in all the colours).

So I thought I’d collate a few of my tips for starting out with the Cricut! Because the whole world of cricut can be incredibly overwhelming at the beginning.

I have a Cricut Explore Air 2 – I don’t know much about the machine models, I know the ‘Maker’ series can work with a lot more complex materials but I don’t know the difference between the ‘Explore’ and the ‘Explore Air’ series, but so far I’ve not had anything that my machine can’t do.

For the wedding in particular, we used the cricut to make our seating plan.

I found that starting with a drawing and cutting paper project rather than vinyl was much less intimidating, both because it wasn’t a brand new material and because the vinyls are quite expensive so I didn’t want to waste them. We started by choosing a font for writing everyone’s names, then by cutting out the white and green circles. It took us a little while to get used to Cricut Design Space, but honestly between Google and random YouTube videos, any questions we had were incredibly easy to answer. We ended up choosing a font that didn’t need ‘filling in’ (so it was just a single line, if that makes sense!) and the cuts were very basic, so it was a really good place to start.

What we ended up making the most of with the cricut, was using the precision drawing to actually draw a line on the green card so we could line up the white circles exactly in the centre when we got round to sticking them together. It was so easy to line up two circles in Design Space, set one as draw and one as cut and then off it went! It was such a tiny thing to do but having the cricut made it so easy.

The next thing we did was make the vinyl stickers for the titular wording – it was so easy to choose a font, cut it out, weed off all the excess vinyl and line it all up. Initially we thought we could just peel off the stickers and line them up but we massively underestimated how useful the transfer tape would be – being able to transfer everything in one go (especially in the words where some of the letters weren’t connected!) made it all much smoother.

Having such large font for our first vinyl project definitely made it easier, as some projects I’ve worked on since that have been much smaller have been incredibly fiddly and frustrating so starting bigger was definitely less intimidating.

The next thing we used the cricut for was stencils for our welcome sign.

We’d already been through a whole process in dismantling a couple of pallets, putting on multiple layers of wood stain and gluing it all together, that when it came to painting the lettering on I was actually really anxious of messing it all up.

At first, we used white paint that my mum had lying around but it turned out to be primer paint so it was much thinner and runnier than we needed it to be. We had some wedding themed stencils I’d picked up from Hobbycraft and the first version we did looked awful. Luckily, my husband worked through my frustration to wipe it all off (still not sure how he did it tbh) and we tried again much more carefully. It wasn’t perfect, but it would do.

Then when it got to writing our names, I didn’t feel confident enough to do it freehand so we used some of the leftover white card from the seating plan to make stencils which I then filled in with an acrylic paint we picked up in one of our numerous trips to Hobbycraft. Using a little masking tape to hold everything in place made this such a simple process, the only thing was I couldn’t figure out how to make a stencil that would work with letters with holes in (for example, the ‘o’, ‘p’ and ‘e’ in Sophie) so I had to improvise with those but I think it turned out okay in the end! I also found a love for painting in this time – I’m no artist, but give me one colour to paint over and I’m golden. It was so therapeutic!

I then used a staple gun my mum leant me (a bold move, if I do say so myself) to attach some foliage to make a border and honestly, I love how it turned out. I’d love to repurpose it to use again for any other events we may host in the future!

The last project we did for the wedding using the cricut was a much more complicated one – we took a generic white postbox (again from Hobbycraft), painted it blue with acrylic (that I was incredibly lucky it was such a good colour match!) and added the windows, the black sign and the writing of the TARDIS from Doctor Who!

This was surprisingly challenging on two fronts – the text on ‘POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX’ was incredibly fiddly so making sure I weeded all the excess vinyl away correctly and didn’t move anything was tricky, but then the windows (which were just six boxes!) were more difficult to transfer from the vinyl sheet to the box because making sure they had properly stuck to the transfer tape was more challenging than anticipated!

But we are actually ridiculously proud of how this one turned out – to know we made this basically from scratch ourselves was so satisfying and it’s now sat in pride of place in our living room as a wedding memory box with all our cards and some other bits and bobs from the day.

It’s mad how what is essentially a few stickers can really bring a project together!

And now, we’re full on obsessed with all the things we can make with the Cricut – we attempted making some confetti out of old book pages, I attempted to make some stickers for a wedding scrapbook (though the transfer tape stuck too much to the cover!) and I made these Christmas tree decorations that I’m so, so proud of.

As a joint Christmas present to ourselves, we’ve just invested in the Cricut Heat Press, so now we’re experimenting in the world of heat transfer vinyl to make t-shirts, tote bags and anything else we could possibly iron some vinyl on to so watch this space for any more creations! I’m seriously considering starting an Etsy store, but I definitely don’t think I’m at the level yet where what we’re making is good enough for people to pay real money for. Maybe one day!

If you have any questions about starting out with a cricut or have any tips for someone who’s still figuring it all out, please let me know! I’m spending a lot of time on cricut tiktok at the moment!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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