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Cricut Ideas and Tips

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author. I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

The Cricut Explore

The Cricut Explore has been one of the popular electronic cutting machine

The Cricut Explore has been one of the popular electronic cutting machine

Your Cricut-The Best Cutting Tool

The cricut is an electronic cutter that cuts images from the cartridges that are linked to the machine. Each cartridge holds a host of themed images or fonts that can be used over and over again. The paper is placed on a mat which holds paper on it. The mat is fed into the machine which then cuts the selected images.

If you have made a Cricut purchase, it's time for you and your Cricut to get started in a new crafting adventure together !

No matter if you have owned the Cricut or are in the market for one, here are the tips and ideas that you need to make the most out of your cutter. These are tips and ideas that I have gathered while learning how to use my machine.

The Cricut is an unbelieveable tool that every scrapper, card maker and paper crafter should have in their craft space or room. It is so very versatile and can be used so many different ways, that it is well worth the investment.

My Cricut is the one tool that helps me be as creative as my imagination can be.

You will save money by creating your own letters, embellishments and images. I would not be without mine !

I own the Cricut Explore and the Cricut Explore Air. I am excited about the new Cricut Maker and may make that purchase in the near future.

The best way to get started using your Cricut is to learn as you go. Start with simple projects. Watch videos to learn about your tools in the Design Space. Join a Cricut group on Facebook. I promise it will all come together. We all started the exact same way !

Cricut Design Space Is user friendly. You can create projects that you never thought possible.

Cricut Design Space Is user friendly. You can create projects that you never thought possible.

Cricut Design Space

Cricut Design Space is the computer platform that helps you get the most out of your Cricut cutting machine. It currently has over 60,000 images. A very high percentage of those are free to use with a subscription.

Not only are there thousands of images, but there are projects put together that enables you to create things without having to design all the elements yourself.

There are images for cutting, vinyl and now even for sewing projects (available for the Cricut Maker) There are cards, scrapbook pages and a lot more. You cab search by category or by name.

There are images and projects with all the best and well known crafters.

You can also upload images in jpeg and svg files.

With the subscription, you also get discounts on any Cricut project your order.

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Beyond your subscription, some images will have a fee. These fees would be on special licensed products like Disney.

You do not have to subscribe. You can just use the main features and load your own files into the program.

Is the subscription worth the price. I would have to say yes, if you are going to get the most complete enjoyment from your machine

Cricut Design Space Program Update

As of January 29,2020 Cricut Design Space is now offline. This means that you now operate the program without going to your browser. On the home page of the new program rather than a jumbled up version. You can find project by materials. I like that feature because I do not cut fabric or leather. It is faster, and no more of those annoying flash updates.The font menu is now bigger, easier to read.There is also a drag and drop feature that makes it easier to upload files. Same features, just better.

More Information On Design Space Updates

Cricut Access Information And Ideas

You can download Cricut Design Space for free with limited use. After that, if you want a specific project or design, you will have to pay for each design

Cricut Access Free

In this plan there is no cost, but you have limited access. You get 1,000 free images, 15 plus fonts, ability to purchase additional images, 250 ready-made projects and up to 5 collections

Cost: None

Cricut Access Standard

In this plan ore features are added. Unlimited use of 200,000 images, unlimited use of 700,000 plus fonts, 10% off licensed images, 1000s of ready to make projects., and unlimited collections. You also get 10% off purchases, including machines (up to $50 savings per item)

Cricut Access gives you access to 30,000+ images, 1000’s of projects and over 370 fonts. If you are going to be using your Cricut a lot, then this will save you a lot of money than if you were to buy every project and image individually. This is a subscription program that you can order monthly or yearly to get access to all of these features.

You also receive Priority Member Care

Cost: $9.99 monthly or $95.98 yearly

Premium Cricut Access

You get all of the advantages of the standard plan. On top of that you also get

  • 20% off all materials
  • FREE economy shipping on $50+ orders4

Cost: $119 per year, paid yearly only

More Cricut Design Resources And Ideas

The Offset Feature In Design Space

Here is what the offset feature looks like

Here is what the offset feature looks like

New Design Space Features 2021

In April of 2021, Cricut announced and put into effect some new features in Design Space and here they are:

  1. Offset-The first thing to know about the offset feature is that it only appears in the new canvas, not in the classic canvas. So if you are not seeing it across the top of your canvas, you need to reset the canvas to new. You would do this in your Design Space settings. Offset creates a shadow effect behind your text. You can do this in black or any other color you desire. Great for scrapbook titles, journals and cards.
  2. Organizing Your Projects- All of your saved projects can now be organized in categories. You just go to My Projects. Hit the organize button. Then select the projects you want in that specific project. Then select and name the projects you want in that category. Once you have selected and hot done, you will see your categories listed

Newest Design Space Feature-Kearning

Cricut Design Space Tools Terms

ToolWhat It Does

Linetype And Fill

Tells the machine which tools you will be using.. Will have a different menu depending which model you are using


Selects the font for your project. You have options to use free fonts. There are also fonts that you can purchase to own


The slice tool is perfect for cutting out shapes, text, and other elements, from different designs.


The welding tool allows you to combine two or more shapes in one.


Connects two or more shapes together


This tool is extra support for the Print then Cut Fill setting


The Contour tool allows you to hide unwanted pieces of a design, and it will only be activated when a shape or design has elements that can be left out.


Creates decorative outlines to shapes, text, or groups of objects to make your designs pop.

Pen Thickness

From the Canvas, you can now preview your design with thicker or thinner pen & marker tip sizes — so you can better imagine what your project will look like.

Copy And Paste Between Projects

Now you can copy design elements from one Design Space Canvas and paste them to another. Just select and copy the desired object (or group of objects), then paste them into a new or existing Design Space canvas.

More Design Space Tool Ideas

The New Home Page For Cricut Design Space


Cricut Design Space Resources

The Cricut Joy us the newest model in the Cricut line

The Cricut Joy us the newest model in the Cricut line

Types of Cricuts Available

The older models of the Cricuts are gradually being phased out. While there still some older models out there, there are currently 4 models that are available.

What is the same with all models?

  1. They all use Cricut Design Space
  2. They all cut, write, score and print and cut

What are the differences in the models?

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy is the newest model in the Cricut line. It is a smaller, lighter, and more portable Cricut machine. It can do longer cuts, especially on vinyl without a mat! It also can create unique labels with new writable pens. There is also writeable vinyl for this machine. It will also make super fast greeting cards with a new card mat. There is a host of accessories that come with this machine. The size of the material to be cut is limited in size. You can cut materials that are 45" wide, and up to 115" long.

  • The Cricut Joy has just two tools — the fine point blade, which comes with the Joy, and the foiling tool
  • The Cricut Joy also cuts fewer types of material, focusing on heat transfer vinyl, cardstock, and what is known as “Smart Materials,” which it can cut matless.
  • One of the limitations of the Cricut Joy is the lack of a double tool holder (available on both the Explore Air and Maker). So when you want to use a pen, you have to remove the blade or tool to insert the pen, which can be a little tedious
  • The Cricut Joy is a great price point for those who are very new to crafting or consider themselves casual DIYers. The Cricut Joy also has an easier learning curve which can make it the right choice for the new or occasional crafter.
  • The Cricut Joy is often a good second cutting machine, as it’s more portable and very easy to use when you just need to make a quick card or vinyl decal.

The product will be released on March 1, 2020. It is only available in blue at this time.

The price for this product is listed at $179.99


Cricut Explore

Cuts and writes on about 100 different materials. Has the smart dial to select materials or use a computer program.

Able to load Cricut cartridges into the program one time Has Bluetooth connectivity with an adapter that you can purchase online

Comes in green and wild orchid (only available on HSN) This machine is being phased out.


Cricut Explore 1

Cuts and writes on about 100 different materials. Has the smart dial to select materials or use a computer program. Able to load Cricut cartridges into the program one time. Has Bluetooth connectivity with an adapter that you can purchase online. Performs faster than The Cricut Explore.

Available in blue, gold, wild orchid, and teal.

This is the most basic machine of the line and averages about $149

This machine is being phased out of the line


Cricut Explore Air

It also cuts and writes on about 100 different materials, but is faster than the basic models. It also has built-in Blue tooth technology

Available in grey, navy pink poppy, coral

Averages about $179


Cricut Explore 2

The Cricut Explore 2 has been very popular and comes in at a great price point these days. . The Cricut Explore Air 2 uses the basic Fine Point Blade and Smart Set Dial to cut various materials, from cardstock to heat transfer vinyl to Infusible Ink. It has a deep-cut blade that will cut thicker materials as well as a bonded fabric blade to cut fabrics with bonded backing. It can be used both with a blue tooth or with a USB connection. It is a great machine for those just getting started with electronic cutting machines.

  • It also cuts 100 different materials.
  • The difference in this model is that it cuts and writes 2 times faster.
  • It also has a dual adapter that allows you to write and cut at the same time on white paper.


  • Mint, sky, matte black, raspberry, Available flamingo pearl, are universally available.
  • Blue, pearl. peacock boysenberry, periwinkle coral, and sunflower (only at Michael's)
  • Rose, cobalt, and wisteria (only at Joann's).
  • Ivory and gold only at HSN

Averages about $300


Cricut Explore 3

The Cricut Explore 3 was launched in June 2021. It is faster than the previous models. It also does away with the Smart Dial. Now you can select the materials that you are cutting from a very populated list in the Design Space application program.

On the Explore 3, they swapped the glossy and matte finishes so the machines stay cleaner with fewer fingerprints. The Explore 3 has a new slot in the lid to hold your tablet or phone.

  • It also cuts some materials faster than other Explore models. This model cuts materials 2 x faster than other Explore versions. That saves a lot of time
  • Another new feature is in the Print Then Cut feature. Before you could only use this function on white paper. The Cricut Explore 3 now allows you to Print Then Cut on colored paper and printed paper too.
  • It also offers matless cutting with the use of Smart materials only. There is also a roller attachment which is a separate purchase. This allows you to use a roll of vinyl up to 75 feet. You can get Smart Materials in Smart Vinyl, Smart Iron-On, and Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock in a variety of colors and finishes.
  • Another feature is that you can cut vinyl projects up to 12 long.

the Explore 3 is great for all crafters and particularly good for a small business that is making decals for T-shirts, signs, and cups as it can cut faster and longer.

The only color available as of 6/21 is mint green

Average Price is $299


Cricut Maker

Adds a whole new line of functions to the Cricut line. It has built-in Bluetooth technology. This is considered the next step up from the Cricut Explore Air 2.It cuts faster than any other model. It also has a dual adapter that will allow you to do two things like cut and score in one pass. The nice thing about the Maker is that it can do Print Then Cut on colored paper as well as white paper.

  • It cuts more than 100 types of materials. It has a different blade for thicker materials. So that you can cut things like material, cardboard, light wood, and a lot more. There are more blades available with this model that will allow you to do more functions than ever before.
  • It has a new housing that was introduced for machine accessories. It’s called the Adaptive Tool System! This system has the ability to lift and turn the blade during the cutting process. It does this based on the type of material you are cutting and the type of blade you are using.
  • These extra tools allow for some really intricate cuts on less typical materials that you can’t get with the Explore. The Maker machines cut up to 300 materials, while the Explore machines cut up to 100 materials. And the Maker’s tool system allows for new tools, too — such as the new engraving tool that came out last year.

This machine would be for the more serious crafter who wants the ability to cut more materials,


Dark grey, blue rose, and champagne are currently available

Averages about $400


Cricut Maker 3

The Cricut Maker 3 has all the features of the Cricut Maker. The Cricut Maker 3 can do everything that the original Maker can do, but now it does it faster, longer, and — if you’re using Smart Materials — without a mat

You still have the Adaptive Tool System with all the tools previously available. The biggest difference between the Cricut Explore 3 and the Cricut Explore Air 2 is that the Explore 3 can cut Smart Materials in a long, continuous cut without a mat, and it can cut it faster. The speed of this machine will save you a lot of time.

  • Like the Explore 3, the Maker 3 also offers the Print Then Cut feature on white, colored, and printed paper.
  • The Cricut Maker 3 offers matless cutting with Smart Materials. It actually cuts 5 times faster with Smart Materials. You can get Smart Materials in Smart Vinyl, Smart Iron-On, and Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock in a variety of colors and finishes.
  • The optional Roll Holder hooks right onto the front of either the Cricut Explore 3 or Cricut Maker 3 and holds your roll of vinyl for you — this is SO useful! There’s even a built-in trimmer on the roll holder so you can easily cut off the vinyl when your cut is finished.

The Maker 3 is for the serious crafter who wants to cut as much as possible in as little time as necessary. It’s also great for smaller business owners for whom time matters.

The only color available as of 6/21 is baby blue.

Average price is $399

Maker/ Maker 3 Tool Projects

Everything You Need In One Bundle

The Cricut Explore Maker

Unique electronic cutting machine that also has a rotary blade to cut fabric, chipboard and more

Unique electronic cutting machine that also has a rotary blade to cut fabric, chipboard and more

Where To Place Your Cricut

So many people get their Cricut and leave it in the box, afraid to even get it set up !

There are a few things to consider when setting up your Cricut

  1. Set up your Cricut as close to your computer as you can. I have mine right next to my desk where my computer is on a rolling cart. I keep my tools, pens and vinyl in the draws on my cart. That way I only have a few steps to go to change my mat or make some adjustments in my settings.
  2. Give some space behind your machine. You mat will move forward as your project is being cut, so you will need to have some space behind your machine to allow for the mat movement. Before every cut, your Cricut will run the mat through to make sure that there is enough space behind the machine to run the mat. You should have about 24 inches in front and behind your machine.
  3. Have your Cricut on a flat surface with some room in the front. Your project will not cut properly if you mat falls straight down off your machine. You need a few inches in front of the machine to hold the mat upright to the cut goes correctly.
Keeping all your Cricut products together on a cart makes your crafting time more fun and keeps you organized

Keeping all your Cricut products together on a cart makes your crafting time more fun and keeps you organized

Setting Up Your Cricut

What you get in your Cricut Explore box will depend on the package that you purchase. The more you spend, the more you will get.

Basics that you will get include:

  1. The Cricut Explore machine
  2. Power cord for your unit
  3. The blade housing and the blade ( already installed)
  4. The pen holder and adapter
  5. Supplies for a sample project
  6. A green mat
  7. A pen
  8. Directions to put it together

Setting up your Cricut should not be a difficult task. Provocraft makes it so easy, that even if you have not handled one of these machines before, you will have no problems getting started.

  • Take any mats, pens and blades that you may have received and set them aside
  • Carefully, take the machine out of the box and remove all wrappings and cardboard. Remove the tape that is holding the lid closed and any wrapping on the dials.
  • Set the machine on the surface that you have selected.
  • Press the open button on the left side of the machine. If you have a Maker model, there will be no open button. Just open the top lid and the rest will follow.
  • In the bottom of your box will be a paper that has a link to help you get the setup done with ease. If there is no paper giving you those directions, then go to All you have to do is click on your machine and you will get all the information that you need.
  • Remove the power cable from your box. It is the one that has the brick like symbol. Follow the directions on your computer to attach it to your Cricut and then attach it to your power source.( Make sure that your power source has power)
  • Your Cricut should have your blade already attached to the B (Blade) tool holder which is the tool holder on the right. The other tool holder is the A (Accessories) tool holder on the left. This tool holder holds all other tools other than blades.
  • If you have a Cricut Explore Air 2 or a Maker, you can now create your wireless connection to your computer. First, power on your Cricut with the power on button on the upper right hand of your machine. Next, open your Bluetooth settings on your computer or ipad. You may need to enable it. You will either see Cricut AIR or MAKER in your list of devices. Click on Pair. Then enter the code oooo.
  • If you do not have Bluetooth or have an explore, you can still connect with the USB cable provided in your box. The square end goes into the back of your Cricut and the rectangular end goes into the port in your computer.

Congratulations ! You are now ready to complete the sample project that came with your Cricut ! Enjoy your new adventure !

Cricut Joy Smart Materials

Some Design Space Basics

When you first get on Design Space, the whole thing may feel a bit confusing, But once you get started and get used to the program, you will actually find out how easy it is to use.

There are several basic areas that you need to know when getting started.:

  1. Your Canvas-This is the page where you design your project. All the tools you need to create and customize your images and text are all on this page.
  2. The Cut Page- This is the page where your materials are cut once you are happy with your project. Once you are finished with your design and you hit the Make It button, the program will automatically go to this page
  3. The Upload Page- This is where you will upload SVG files that you have downloaded from your computer.

New Design Space Feature Kerning


Design Space Tips

Design Space seems very daunting, especially to beginners.

We have gathered some Design Space Tips to help your everyday Cricut use. Some have been around a while, some are new, and some are from experience.

Here are some tips that will help you while you are creating and navigating the program.

  • If you are on the main project page, the canvas page, and you want to see the keyboard shortcuts, hit the question mark on your keyboard.
  • If you wanted to make multiple cuts but it did not change the number for the design, just load another mat, and hot the start button and the project will recut.
  • If you want to cut out two same projects and you forgot to duplicate it, you can just load a new mat with material and it will cut again. You don’t even have to restart the project or click on the finish
  • When you’re working on the canvas, press the question mark on your keyboard and the keyboard shortcuts will pop-up.
  • Simply by dragging and dropping the images, you can move a cut anywhere on the mat and even rotate it using the handles on the upper right-hand corner. Moving images around on the mat is very handy if you have some scrap paper and want to use multiple colors on paper on one mat. This function is also handy if you want to do several different images on one mat.
  • To find FREE imagesuse the Filter within the Design Space Image Library. Simply select the “Free” option to see an array of images you can insert into your projects at no cost!
  • Want to find your free fonts without going through the whole list? Cricut Design Space will have any fonts that came with your computer plus the fonts that you may have downloaded from other free fonts websites. To find the fonts you can use without incurring additional charges, simply choose “My Fonts” from the font menu filter. This will show you ALL the fonts installed on your computer, as well as any Cricut fonts you may have purchased
  • A recent change to Design Space now allows ANY line to be easily changed from cut to score to draw with the simple Linetype drop-down menu on the top toolbar: This tool is especially useful when you have a Maker and are using the different tools available

More About Cricut Access

Cricut Blade Tips And Ideas

Everything you need to know about Cricut blades

Everything you need to know about Cricut blades

Cricut Blade Basics

Blade TypeWhich Cricut Used InUses

Fine Point Blade

Cricut Explore Air 2 & Cricut Maker

Most often used blade. Cuts medium weight materials.Use with paper, iron ons, vinyl, card stock, and washi tape

Deep Point Blade

Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker

Cuts through thicker materials up to 1,5mm thick, Use with magnet sheets, craft foam,foil, leather,and corugated paper

Bonded Fabric Blade

Cricut Explore Air two and the Cricut Maker

Used for bonded fabric and stiff felt. Cuts, silk, polyester,denim and burlap

Scoring Wheel

Cricut Maker Only-there is both a single and a double scoring wheel available

Creates extra deep scoring lines for folding. Use single wheel for light to medium materials. Use double wheel for heavyweight materials. There is only one housing for this tool. The tips are interchangeable

Rotary Blade

Cricut Maker Only

Cuts delicate soft fabric and non bonded material. Use with silk, cotton, lycra, denim, felt, cashmere, chiffon and crepe paper

Knife Blade

Cricut Maker Only

Cuts through thicker materials like chipboard, balsa and matboard

Take Time To Sharpen Your Blade


Cleaning and Sharpening Your Cricut Blades

Maintaining your Cricut blades will save you money! Taking the time to clean and sharpen your blades will save you time and money. You will get cleaner and easier cuts every time.

Cleaning The Blade

One of the most important things you can do is to keep your blades free of debris. Anytime you have little bits of paper or vinyl caught in your blade, your cut will not be clean. You will wind up with ripped paper or vinyl.

You can remove the blade from your Cricut housing. Blow on it to remove any bits that may be caught in the blade.

You can also wash the blade in soapy water to clean any bits. Remove the blade from the housing. Wash and dry the blade before you replace it back into the housing and the machine.

Sharpening Your Cricut Blades

All you need to sharpen your cutting blades is a large piece of aluminum foil. Simply ball it up and keep it where you have your cutting machine.

Every time you use your machine, simply remove the blade housing from the machine. Then press on the housing to expose the blade, Either pierce or slice the blade into the ball of aluminum up to 50 times. Your blade will be sharper and last longer if you take this step.


Blade Tips And Ideas

With the advent of the Cricut Maker there are now many new blades available. It is very important to use the right blade for the right project.

  • In a pinch, sharpen the blade on a stone sharpening slab or knife sharpener.
  • If the blade is ripping the paper rather than cutting it, check to make sure that there is not any bits of material around the blade itself
  • If you are cutting materials for sewing, it is recommended that you use the Cricut FabricGrip™ cutting mat and Washable Fabric Pen.
  • Replace your rotary blade when you notice uncut threads or when the material settings in Design Space no longer seem accurate
  • Use one blade to cut paper and a different blade to cut vinyl. Both of them will last longer.

Mats-Tools-And Pens-All in One Bundle

Blade Use Guide

German Carbide Blade

Makes precision cuts

Light to mid weight materials

Fine Point Blade

Great for detail and fine cuts. Similar to the German Carbide blade, but with a finer point

Light to medium materials

Deep Cut Blade

Deeper Angle blade-made for heavier materials

Magnets, chipboard,stamp materials, thick cardstock,stiffened felt,foam, cardboard

Bonded Fabric Blade

Blade and housing are a distinctive pink color to match FabricGrip™ Matfabric with an iron-on backer

Use for cutting fabric or bonded fabric

Rotary Blade

For use in the Cricut Maker.

You can also cut delicate materials like crepe paper. Cuts soft, flexible materials, such as silk,denim, cotton, burlap, and canvas

The Cricut Smart Dial


The Cricut Smart Dial

The dial settings are relatively simple to master.

  • The top button which is a circle with a line in it, is your on and off button
  • There are three buttons on the bottom. The ones with the arrow up and down is the button to accept your mat or remove it. The C with the antenna starts your cut once you have loaded your mat. The two lines together will stop your cut at any time you need to.
  • The actual dial sets the type of material you are going to cut. The customize button is for any material not on the dial. When you get ready to make your cut, design space will give you a list of materials to select.

he Cricut dial settings are so easy to use !

On & Off Button- located at the top of your dial. You simply press the button to turn your machine on and off.

Paper Feed Button-this button is used to load and unload your paper. Seat the mat on the unit close to the feed and depress the paper feed button. Your paper should move right in place for your cut

The Cricut Button- This is the button that you use to start your cut, once you have selected your project and sent it to the Cricut It is the middle bottom button marked as a C. It will light up and tell you you are ready to start.

The Stop Button-This button is located on the right side of the bottom set of buttons. It is used to stop a cutting if something happens. Most often because a paper problem or a bad cut.

Materials Setting

The settings button helps you use the right blade setting for the materials that you are cutting. It coordinates with the access system to cut the right materials with the right depth.

Each of the settings are self explanatory. However, when you use the custom setting, the Cricut Access Program will give you a choice for the exact material you are using.

Explore 2 Tip For Smart Dial

Set your dial to "Custom" setting and ;eave it there permanently. This will cause Design Space to prompt you to select the material you are cutting. You will have less errors and waste less material. After all, who has not forgotten to change the dial when changing materials

More About The Custom Setting On The Cricut Smart Dial


Cricut Explore Tips

Want more Cricut Explore tips? Here are some of my personal tips that I use daily when I make my projects

  • Check your material dial before you start your cut. In my rush to get something started, I forget to check my dial and botch the cut. Place a reminder on your machine to help you remember.
  • Make sure to save your projects. If you want to use a project again or want to go back to a project, make sure to hit that button to save your project.
  • If you don't see the settings that you need or want on your custom dial, go to custom. You will see a lot more settings to choose from. They are easy to use and you will be less frustrated. More options should not drive you crazy, thy should enhance your experience!
  • Deepen your score lines by adding more score lines at the exact same position of the original. That way the Cricut will pass over the line more than once. The score line will be more visible and easier to work with.
  • You can emboss with your Explore if you have an accessory adaptor. Just put your scoring stylus in place of your cutting blade. The stylus will then emboss instead of cutting. You can find the adaptor at the Cricut website.

Uploading Old Cartridges

if you have some old Cricut cartridges, you still have the option to upload those images. These machines offer the last chance to do so. If you opt to purchase the Cricut Maker, that option is not available.

Linking your cartridges is easy:

  1. Navigate to www,cricutdesign/com and sign into your account.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, click again on the green account button and select “Cartridge Linking” from the drop-down menu
  3. Insert the cartridge firmly into the port on the Explore machine. Make sure your Cricut Machine is turned on and connected to your computer.
  4. Once the cartridge is detected, you will be prompted to link the cartridge to your account. Click “Link Cartridge.”

Cartridges can only be linked to one account. Once they are linked they cannot be unlinked,

How To Upload An Image To Design Space

More About Uploading Images In Design Space

Making Your First Cut

5 Minute Cricut Tool Organizer

The easiest ever tool organizer. You can literally make this in 5 minutes

The easiest ever tool organizer. You can literally make this in 5 minutes

Cricut Mats

Cricut mats meet all your crafting needs, A mat for every material

Cricut mats meet all your crafting needs, A mat for every material

Getting The Most From Your Mats

our Cricut Explore will more than likely include the green sticky mat. This mat is the most often used mat for general projects, The mats come in 12" by 12" sizes. There is a green mat (medium strength mat) that comes in a 12" x 24" size for larger projects.

There are other mats that you can purchase as singles or in a package. Some of the packages will include one of each type of mat. Others will include several types of the same mat.

  • Blue Mat - is for lightweight materials and paper. You could use this on vellum, thin card stock, vinyl and vellum
  • Green Mat- This is the mat that you will use most frequently, It is the mat for medium materials like card stock, patterned paper, vinyl and iron on vinyl
  • Purple Mat-is a strong grip mat that is used for things like thick cardboard, glitter card stock, magnet materials, chipboard and poster board
  • Pink Mat- is for fabric
  • 2 by 2 Card Mat-This is the newest Cricut mat. It holds up to 4 2" by 2" cards. It works with all Cricut cards including cutaways. and insert cards. It works with Cricut Explore and Maker machines

You will see a lot of different ideas on keeping your mats clean. However, I recommend using the method that the manufacturer recommends. That is to wash your mats in dish detergent and water. You will find that it works just fine. Following their recommendation will not void your warranty. Allow to air dry.

Always pull the mat away from the project, rather than pulling the project off the mat. You will get less curling. You will also have less chance of damaging the project as it comes off the mat !

I have used the product Awesome as seen on the internet and I found that it removed a lot of the adhesive from the mat.

Make sure to load your mat correctly on your Cricut Explore. Both sides of the mat should be in evenly and must slide under the rollers..

Instead of peeling your project from the mat, which can result in curling (or total mangling), peel the mat away from your project. Bend the mat away from the card rather than the other way around.

It may help to turn the mat upside down and bend one corner to lift the cardstock. You can then slip the spatula tool under to help to remove your project.

Cricut Mat Uses

Type Of Cricut MatUses

Light Grip Mat

Copy paper, cardstock, construction paper, vimyl, parchment (vellum) paper

Standard Grip Mat

Cardstock, textured paper, embossed cardstock, iron on vinyl, vinyl, felt, fleece

Fabric Grip Mat

Fabric, leather, crepe paper, bonded fabric

Strong Grip Mat

Thick cardstock, glitter cardstock, magnet sheets, chipboard, craft foam, balsa wood

Cricut Mats

The Cricut mats are east to use. They come in three strengths- light grip, standard grip and strong grip. They come in 12 inch by 12 inch sizes and 12 inch by 24 inch sizes ( for larger projects)

Cricut recommends that you clean your mats with Dawn detergent and water. Before washing your mat, use your scraper to scrap off any left over materials on the mat. Let air dry.

  • If your mats have very little stickiness left to them. you can use painters tape to stick your materials down.
  • You can use a baby wipe or a Lysol Bleach wipe to try to renew the stickiness.
  • Avoid using any spray adhesives on your mats to re-stick them. The adhesives may get on your rollers and ruin your machine. Better to buy a new mat !
  • Cutting a piece of transfer tape the size of your mat and putting it sticky side down will re-stick your mat.
  • When cutting a 3x3 piece of paper or smaller, use a newer or tackier mat.
  • If you mat is beyond repair in its' stickiness, you can extend the life of your mat by using painter's tape or washi tape to hold down the material.
  • Always place the project down on a table. Then remove the mat from the project rather than removing the project from the mat. You will have less curling of the paper or vinyl.
  • Keep a lint roller by your Cricut, especially of you have pets. Use it every time that you use your mat.
  • If your mat gets cut through, you can extend the life of it. Use a piece of packing tape or Gorilla tape to seal the rip.
  • Avoid touching the mat with your fingers. The oil from your fingers will take the stickiness away.

Storing Your Mats

  • You can store your mats, by placing them right under your machine
  • You can place command hooks anywhere in your craft room and just hang them off the command hooks.
  • Always use the plastic covers on your mats when not in use.

How To Remove Materials From Your Mat

Always remove the mat from the material to prevent curling. Make sure that you do not bend the mat too far or it may crack, Roll it gently.

Always remove the mat from the material to prevent curling. Make sure that you do not bend the mat too far or it may crack, Roll it gently.

Cricut Mat Tips And Tricks

  • This one came directly from a friend at Cricut. When you first open your mat, instead of using it straight away, pat the sticky side against your shirt a little (unless you have pets that shed!). It will pick up the lint and prime your mat a bit, so you won’t get projects that are impossible to remove.
  • When you are starting to use a new mat, it's important not to use lighter paper on the mat for the first few cuts. Use cardstock instead for about three cuts and you will have better results.
  • If you have a new mat, you need to prime it first-Take a clean t shirt and lay it on the mat then peel it off. Your materials will be easier to get off, especially on the first cut.
  • Instead of peeling your project up off the mat, bend the mat in your hand and curve it away from your project. This will help loosen the project from your mat. Bend the mat both horizontally and vertically, letting the adhesive move and release your project. Use the spatula to gently ease your project off the mat. Never grab your project by the corner and try and lift — it will only tear or curl.
  • Another way to remove materials off your mat to get better results. After your cut, flip the mat over onto a work surface. Then gently remove the mat from the material. The material should spring right off the mat.
  • Use a lint roller to remove the tiny little particles from your mats. The ones that are specific for pets are especially useful.
  • The best way to clean your mats is to wash them with dawn detergent and allow them to dry.
  • After a period of time, you will notice that your mats will lose their stickiness. You can salvage them for future use by adding more stickiness. The best way to do that is to use Krylon fast tack. At about $5.00 per can, you will save a lot of money over replacing your mats. Tape the edges of your mats with removeable tape. Spray a light even coat of the fast tack and allow to dry.
  • There have been a lot of posts about using a product called Awesome that can be found at the dollar store. Yes it does work, but it also takes a lot of the stickiness of the mat off. Provocraft still recommends that you use soap and water to clean your mats
  • If your mats have ripped, you can use packing tape on the reverse side of the mat to make them last longer
  • Having a hard time wedding the vinyl on your mat? Sprinkle some baby powder on your project. Then blow the excess away, it will help the weeding process.

The Right Tools And Accessories

Your Explore package may come with some tools or may not depending on the offer and the price that you paid. You might have opened the package and found these tools and wondered what they were about.

Here are the tools that you need for your daily use of the Cricut Explore. They can be purchased singly if you only need one or two. Or they can be purchased as a package where you will always get the better value.

  1. Scoring Stylus-Scores folds and lines for cards, envelopes and more
  2. Fine Point Tweezers-Lifts and secures cuts and delicate materials
  3. Weeder-Removes negative or unwanted sections of cuts.
  4. Detail Scissors-Has a detailed micro tip with a cover. Use to snip fine detail on all materials
  5. Spatula-Lifts your cuts from the mat. Prevents ripping of parts of the cut
  6. Scraper- Assists is burnishing materials and helps you clean off the mat

Cricut Tool Set


Cricut Paper Tips and Ideas - How To Cut Paper With Your Cricut

  • You can cut on a 12 x 12 paper by folding it in half and sandwiching the mat in the fold. The same thing can be done to cut on a card of any size.
  • Use junk paper from packaging for making sample cuts to see how they will work.
  • If backing paper with Xyron before cutting, tape Xyron backed paper to mat to keep it from slipping.
  • Add a shim (piece of paper) under the mat to help cut thicker paper like Bazzill.
  • To cut multiple colors, put 6x6, 3x6, or 3x3 pieces on a single mat, and then move your blade to the top corner of the next color without unloading the mat.
  • Peel the mat from the material that you are cutting. Bend the mat and peel away to avoid any damage to the project.
  • Use A brayer to roll your paper onto the mat Roll the brayer several times on the paper on your mat. It will help the paper lift and keep your mat sticky longer.

One of the best features of the Cricut Design space is the print and cut feature. It takes images off the Design space program and allows you to print them on the printer attached to your computer. It then cuts the printed image out. It is a great feature. Here are just a few tips to make your print and cut feature a better experience:

  1. The images print better on inkjet printer Laser printers are heat induced. Design Space will have a harder time reading the registration marks.
  2. The images print and cut better on white paper. The machine may not be able to read the registration marks that are used to make the cut on colored paper. You can, however, print the registration marks on white paper. Then cut them out and tape them on the colored paper. Or you can print the registration marks on sticky paper and place them on a colored sheet.
  3. Sometime the Cricut machine struggles to read those black registration lines, it is coming up with an error. If you try to cut glossy paper on it I recommend that you take a scotch tape (make sure it is the matte finish), and place it over the black registration lines, just by doing that the Cricut machine will be able to read it.
  4. If you need a very large image size for this feature, use Chrome. Safari or Internet browser. Firefox does not support larger images.
  5. If your print and cut isn’t coming out perfect, make sure you have calibrated your machine. If you’re still having issues, wipe the sensor with a clean soft brush or a lint-free cloth.
  6. When you are doing the Print Then Cut feature, avoid sunlight shining on the Cricut machine. It can mess up the sensor light. That will make for a poor cut.
  7. If you want some text and an image to print and cut together, select both of them. Then group them and select flatten. The image and text will print and cut together.
  8. When using print and cut, make sure there’s no direct sunlight/light falling on the machine as it can mess up with the sensor light and result in wrong cuts.

More Print Then Cut Ideas

This is the cart in my craft room used to hold my two Cricut machines

This is the cart in my craft room used to hold my two Cricut machines

How To Cut Multiple Colors On One Mat

It is really simple to cut multiple colors on one mat. This is a perfect idea when you have a lot of scrap paper that you would like to use up. Here is how to get it done:

  1. On the Cut "Prepare" screen, select an image and click the three dots (...) in the upper left corner.
  2. Select "Move Object," and move it to another mat with other layers already on it.
  3. Place the different colored layers as far apart as possible on the single mat. (I like to put them into the far corners or the very top and very bottom.)
  4. Use the grid lines on the virtual mat to determine the material size for each layer. In my project, 6" squares were sufficient.
  5. Place the materials on your physical mat in the spots that correspond to the layer locations on the virtual mat. For my project, I put the gold paper in the left corner and the green paper in the right corner.
  6. Now, you can load one mat, one time, and your Cricut will cut the entire project in different colors at once!

Cricut Writing Tips

One of my favorite Cricut features is the ability to write with pens in all kinds of fonts. There are so many ways to use this feature. Here are my favorite tips for writing with pens.

Cricut makes a wonderful line of pens that fit perfectly in the Cricut. They are made in so many colors that you will be able to create inspired projects.

  1. If you are having problems getting your pens into the pen holder, place a craft stick under clamp A. As you insert the pen, stop just as the pen kisses the craft stick. Close the clamp. Pull out the craft stick. Your pen will be in the right position to get started writing.
  2. If the pen that you would like to write with is too thin, try wrapping some electrical tape around the barrel till it fits snuggly in the holder.
  3. Store your pens with the tip downward. That way the ink is always ready to be used.
  4. Make sure to load your pen at a 45 degree angle. Watch that the triangle on the pen is facing the correct way to get the most from your pens

Material Cutting Tips

Here are my favorite tips for cutting materials. Each of these tips will make your Cricut experience easier and more rewarding.

  • Felt-Use contact paper to help you cut felt without all the fuzzies being everywhere. Place the contact paper with the sticky side up. Place the felt on top of the contact paper. This will prevent the fuzz from getting all over the mat (almost impossible to remove)
  • Save time by placing several items on one mat. Divide the mat into several sections for each color paper (the paper should be the same weight and kind of paper ). This one tip will save you a lot of paper and time, It's great for using scraps.
  • Always use a separate blade then the one you use for paper to cut vinyl. This will extend the life of both blades.
  • If you are cutting stickers, always add white space around each sticker. When you print your stickers, they will cut more accurately.

More Material Cutting Guides And Tips

  • Cricut Handbooks Are Back
    You can now get Cricut handbooks for all your cartridges right here ! This is really exciting ! And they are free !

More Cricut Ideas and Tips

Craft Vinyl Tips And Ideas


Vinyl Tips For Cricut Machines

Who does not love vinyl projects on Cricut electronic cutting machines? They cut through vinyl-like butter. There are unlimited vinyl projects that can be made with your Cricut,

Here are a few tips to help you cut vinyl with your Cricut:

  1. Use Contact paper as a substitute for Transfer tape. Transfer tape can get very pricey, especially if you do a lot of vinyl projects. Use the Contact paper that is found in the "kitchen" area of most stores. You will want the clear Contact rather than a patterned or colored type.
  2. Reuse your Transfer Tape or Contact paper. Why spend more money than you have to? Keep the backing paper and reapply. You should get at least 3-5 applications from each piece.
  3. Use a credit card or a Cricut scraper as a burnishing tool, Burnishing is a technique of rubbing the vinyl on your project. Burnishing is typically used to set the transfer tape or Contact paper on the vinyl so that you can lift it from the mat. Then it is used again to transfer your project onto the surface of your project, You use the scraper or credit card to rub on the surface,
  4. There are three kinds of transfer tape, Strong Grip, Transfer Clear and Paper Transfer. Use the Strong for glitter vinyl. The strong tape may leave a residue. To reduce the grip, rub the tape on some fabric ahead of time. Leave and fabric bits on the tape. That will reduce the stickiness and relieve the residue problem.
  5. Remove the vinyl with the transfer tape face down. First, place the transfer tape onto the vinyl and burnish. Next, turn everything over, so the transfer tape is face down. Finally, slowly pull back the vinyl backing paper while pressing down firmly. The backing paper comes off and the vinyl sticks beautifully to the transfer tape!
  6. Cut your vinyl close to the size of the image you will be cutting. Vinyl is an investment and you want to waste as little as possible. Keep your scraps in a box for later use on smaller projects.
  7. Make Weeding Easier. The cutting lines are often difficult to see when you are removing the bits and pieces from your design. To see the cut lines easier, sprinkle a little baby powder or corn starch on the project. You can remove any leftover with a baby wipe
  8. Use a Paper Trimmer To Cut Pieces of Vinyl. You will avoid wasting vinyl
  9. Cut Slits In Transfer Tape If You Are Applying It To A Curved Surface-Cut the slits at the edges of the transfer tape. It will have more give as you apply it to the curved surface.
  10. When layering with iron-on sheets, you can place all the layers down at once so that you do not overheat your surface or your iron-on materials.
  11. Cut nail decals on the Washi sheet setting. That will give you maximum sharpness and a cleaner cut. The washi cut setting is perfect for more difficult cuts.
  12. Use craft punches on scrap vinyl. The Paper Craft Punch has different designs that you can use on your vinyl scraps, just punch and cut one of your choices to make different projects. These paper punches can be found on amazon easily!
  13. Place Heat Transfer vinyl with the shiny side down on your mat. The shiny side is how you transfer your design to your fabric or another object.
  14. Use dark transfer paper for iron-on vinyl. The transfer will turn out much better.
  15. Use Mirror when you are cutting heat transfer vinyl. Remember, you are cutting from the backside of the iron-on transfer. So, the entire cut will be backward if you do not use the mirror switch.
  16. Take an empty Clorox wipes container, the point where the wipes go through is perfect to remove the vinyl from the hook, and once the container is full you can throw it away.
  17. Apply this trick for use the transfer tape, it’s really useful.Many times it happens that when you are transferring your vinyl to the transfer tape by scraping the front side, it does not stick completely to the transfer tape, many parts remain stuck on the backside. All you have to do to fix this is to turn the transfer tape over, scrape the backside and then pull it off, you will see how much easier the vinyl sticks to the transfer tape, just by pulling the backside of the transfer paper.
  18. Store 12 by 12 inch vinyl sheets is a scrapbook in page protectors to keep the vinyl clean.
  19. Add Mod Podge to removeable vinyl. If you want to make a project last longer, and are using removeable vinyl, add some Mod Podge over the top of the vinyl
  20. Use a lint roller to remove little bits left over on your project. Make sure your lint roller is not too sticky because it will pick up a whole letter, you can rub the lint roller against your shirt and then run it across the vinyl, it will definitely pick up the little bits.

More Vinyl Cutting Tips

Cricut Projects On The Net - Creative Ideas For Your Cricut

Everyone who owns a cricut is always looking for ideas and projects to create unique cards, ptrojects and scarpbook pages. Here is our collection of ideas to get your creative juices flowing

The Cricut Tools

If you own a Cricut or have a Cricut, then the Cricut tools are a must ! Each of these tools has a function that will enhance your experience. The spatulas will help you keep your mats clean by removing all those tiny paper pieces.The little picks help you clean any bits of paper from your projects. The scissors help you "fussy" cut around your projects with ease. The best thing is that you can use these tools in and around your craft room. They are universal tools and can be used with any electronic paper cutter.

Cricut Tool Tips

More Cricut Resources

How To Clean Your Cricut Machine

The Cricut Foiling System

Cricut (as of October 2020) has come out with a new foiling system. Rather than being a heat based system, it is a pressure based system that works with a special foil.

The positive part of this system is that you do not need a laminator or any other tools. The special tips come in a set. There are three tips available-a fine tip, a medium tip and a bold tip. The tips are inserted in the housing. In addition to the tips and the housing, you will also get 6 4"x6" gold foil sheets. And you will also get 6 4" x 6" silver sheets

The system is meant to be used with the Cricut Explore and the Cricut Maker. It does only work with the desktop version of the Design Space app. There are quite a few "draw " images that will also work with this foiling system.

The price point for the system is just under $40. More information and ideas for this system will be coming out in the days ahead.