How to use the Cricut Machine: Setting it up and preparing your first cut

Today, I am going to show you how I got started with my new Cricut machine. Hopefully, I am going to talk you through the set-up and my first cut. The machine comes with a few pieces of card, a pen blade and a green mat. I did have to buy a few extra accessories, to begin with. I bought the Vinyl sampler pack because the colours are great and it’s a cheap way to practice with the vinyl. I bought the basic toolset as this doesn’t come with the machine (which is a shame) and I bought the transfer kit.

So I know what scares most of you about the Cricut is the technology side of it. And in this situation, I am going to say me too. Just a little bit nervous. You don’t need any training with die cutting machines you just need to get the plates right. With this mammoth machine, I never have to buy a die again. I can just use the ones on the app or design my own. But as this machine is aimed at people with creative skills rather than technical skills, so hopefully it shouldn’t be too difficult.

The designer in me is screaming with delight. Any shape, image, cut I want to make I can. Imagine that.

What can it do/ Create

The truth is there are absolutely no limitations (except for size to what you can create). It cuts any shape, scores any line and will draw or write anything you want to program it to. This is one really creative machine. I did see it on Kirsty Allsops Christmas programs last year and was dreaming about one. My fiance very generously bought me it to help with all the crafting we will be doing for the wedding. With all these options I am trying not to add more projects on to my list but you never know!!

 

Setting up your machine

So, the first thing you need to do it download the app.

The Cricut won’t work without it. So fill in the details and agree to the terms.

Then they show you nice screenshots of exactly how to set it up which is really helpful. I hate it when instructions don’t have good images or call cables and plugs thing I have never heard off. The instructions are clear and concise so you don’t have to worry. It really takes you through step by step.

Put in the blue tooth connection and set it to your Cricut. I was worried about doing this all on my iPhone as it is such a small screen so I connected it to my iPad as well. That’s it. You are all connected to your amazing machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other than adding your pen, blade and scoring stylus the setting up of the machine is already done for you. You just need to select a project to make and have a go.

Patience is a Virtue

Opening my Cricut was a little piece of magic. I can imagine the craft angels all singing in harmony at how smoothly it opens. I even grabbed my fiance to show him how beautiful it was. The machine blinks lights at you when it wants you do do something. Then dial you need to change depending on the material you are using. So this part of the set up is easy peasy.

They recommend you make a simple card that they give you the card for. I did struggle to take a picture of my mat to scan in the image. It didn’t work for me and I don’t know if it was the lighting in my room just my lack of patience. In the end, I just pressed go and managed to slice off the side of the card. Watching the pen glide along and write in perfect handwriting was a joyful experience.

So I showed you how to use the Cricut: Setup and first cut my opinion

My wedding was the reason I bought this machine. I am so excited as it is going to save me hours of hand cutting all my invites. it may take an hour or two of planning but we are talking about nights and nights of slaving over my complicated 3D invites. The more you use and practice with the Cricut the more smoothly projects will be created. There are a lot of free projects on Cricut Design Space that are free and all sorted for you. When my old laptop is up and running I think it will be easier to be more accurate but I am still really impressed with what I can achieve on my phone.

Pros

  • There is pretty much a youtube for every situation
  • Scanning in your own images is pretty simple
  • It is super fast to set up and it is quiet
  • The results can be amazing
  • The Cricut is a gorgeous machine and looks great in my art room ( corner of the dining room)
  • If you make a mistake you can stop the process really easily

Cons

  • This is an expensive machine and an investment
  • If you are not going to use it then dont get one
  • Sizing on the canvas can be a bit of a nightmare. The sizes change rather than sticking to the matt sizes which would be more helpful
  • Working on your phone can be a wee bit tricky as it is so small  but you can do
  • Lots of your friends will start asking you to do a bit for you
  • You may get bored of all my Cricut makes on the Crafty Arts Blog

 

 

In conclusion

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Cricut set up.

Was it worth I?…. every single penny. I did a silly drawing and even go the machine to cut that out for me.

The accessories are a bit on the expensive side but I have used most of the tools in my first few projects. I am sure I will get my money back on how much I use it. I just wish that the basic set included a scoring stylus. I love the colour and I love the endless possibilities I can create. If you have one let me know what you have created and whether you love it as much as I do. Also, let me know what you don’t like about it?

My advice to you is to buy the basics don’t go too crazy and then add as you need. I have my eye on some iron-on vinyl bridesmaid projects so watch this space!

I am going to go home and play with my wedding invites.

 

 

 

 

Bye for now

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