This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut.The opinions and text are all mine.
If there was any craft item on my ultimate wish list. It would be the Cricut Maker, the ultimate smart cutting machine! For someone that does as varied a selection of crafts as I do, it is truly a must-have, for so many reasons.
The hard thing for me, is that it doesn’t come cheap, so is it something I could make the best use of? Is it right for me? I don’t really know what it can be used for. I’m sure there are others out there who feel the same way. If that’s you, read on! I was contacted in the new year by the lovely people at Cricut, asking whether I would be interested in working with them. Once I had pinched myself, confirmed that it was real, and had a cup of tea to recover, I of course sent a very enthusiastic response!
Soon after came some extremely exciting post, a shiny new Cricut Maker, accessories and more! So here we are with the first of many posts sharing my honest thoughts, experience and of course projects using this phenomenal machine!
First of all, the Cricut Maker comes so incredibly well packaged. When you open the box, this is what you will find:
The Cricut Maker – Features
This machine has definitely been created with the user in mind, and considering its sleek appearance, it is incredibly clever!
The storage cup on the left side of the machine is divided into two sections, one side shallow; ideal for storing smaller tools and pen lids. One deeper, great for keeping longer tools and pens to hand! The bottoms of both of the cups are lined and so you won’t damage the points of your Cricut Tools either! Definitely designed with the user in mind!
When you open the Cricut Maker, there is a space for you to rest your phone or tablet, as well as a USB charging port on the right hand side of the machine. The lowered door also opens to reveal another storage space! Perfect for scrapers and other tools!
Speaking of tools; included with the machine, is a Premium Fine-Point Blade and Housing, and a Rotary Blade and Drive Housing, a Fine-Point Pen, 12x12in FabricGrip Mat and 12x12in LightGrip Mat, plenty to get started with!
The Cricut Maker has a huge selection of tools including Scoring, Rotary and Knife blades, and other handy craft tools, you can purchase separately, enabling you to design and create nearly any craft project you could think of. This smart cutting machine can cut hundreds of different materials from light, delicate fabric without interfacing, paper, vinyl, cardstock, leather and even wood. After only weeks of owning the Cricut Maker I have to say, this is an incredible machine for any kind of crafter, whether you create projects for fun, or for a business. The quality and finish of everything I have tried out so far is amazing.
Some of the popular materials that the Cricut Maker can cut (using the correct blades) are:
Paper – Everyday paper, cardstock and vellum
Craft Materials – Washi tape, craft foam, glitter paper
Fabric – Including craft cotton, polyester, silk, felt, and denim
Vinyl – standard, craft and heat transfer vinyl for iron-on projects!
As well as thicker materials such as canvas leather and even balsa wood!
When you start your machine for the first time, you will need to set it up online, and here you will meet the Cricut Design Space, if you have never had a Cricut machine before. Here is where you will create your projects, with access to fonts, images and if you’re stuck for ideas, check out the Ready to Make Projects section! You can access Design Space from a computer, and connect via USB or Bluetooth, as well as from your phone or tablet! Great for coming up with ideas on the go!
While you do need to be computer literate to navigate Design Space, there are lots handy tutorial videos available, and I would especially recommend the Cricut channel on YouTube, and generally it is easy to navigate your way around projects, whether you are creating from scratch or making an existing project.
You can create your own designs, using your own system fonts, or the fonts included with Design Space, as well as images, patterns and even photos. It is easy to move things around, and see how the sizing works, though there are also templates included.
Getting to know the Cricut Maker
When I had my first free day with the Cricut Maker, I invited Stu’s mum Helen to join me, and we both agreed it was simple, and clear to produce a project, though found a great deal of the available content in the Design Space, somewhat specifically targeted an American audience. Though many items are customisable and given the amount of content, there is still plenty to choose from aside from these.
We played around with different types and thicknesses of paper and cardstock as well as fabrics, which cut evenly, with an incredible finish!
I already know this will be great for making handmade cards (which I do all year) as well as producing elements for scrapbooking and other craft projects. Also there are already several projects from Design Space I want to make!
You get free access to 50 projects with your machine, including sewing patterns, as well as a trial for Cricut Access, which I have also been gifted, and trust me, it’s SO worth it; there are so many projects to choose from, as well as fonts and other images which are perfect for cards and gifts!
All of these were cut with the Cricut Maker all using free images on the Design Space from different papers, fabric and cardstock.
Believe me; you aren’t limited to papercrafts with the Cricut Maker! There are so many different types of materials you can cut, which means you can make all kinds of things, from home décor items, party decorations, clothes and accessories, toys and gifts, as well as handmade cards and embellishments!
Honestly, I have spent hours checking out the Design Space, and there is so much I want to make and try! If you are into sewing or quilting or are a keen papercrafter, I would seriously recommend a Cricut Maker, I can’t wait to explore it further and share some more projects!
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