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From classic vinyl decals to wooden puzzles to sewing patterns. There is so much you can do with a Cricut Maker and I’m here to answer some of the pressing questions you have. You may want to know what kind of DIY projects can you make? Or, what makes the Maker different from other Cricut machines? Or even, what to know when you first get your machine. All of these questions and more, answered!
What Can I Make With The Cricut Maker?
If you are still in the deciding phase and are wondering if a Cricut Maker is right for you, you may be wondering what you can make with this versatile machine.
Did you know there are 300+ different materials you can cut with a Cricut Maker?! You can check out the full list of materials here, but a few that are my favorites are HTV (heat transfer vinyl), permanent vinyl, balsa wood, cotton fabric, felt, leather, transparency sheets, and freezer paper.
That is a HUGE list of materials that you can cut! So what would you make with some of those 300 things? Here are a few projects to give you some inspiration.
Quilled Paper Snails from Rock Your Craft
Personalized Coasters with Vinyl from Rock Your Craft
DIY Stenciled Welcome Sign from Rock Your Craft
What Makes The Cricut Maker Different From Other Cricut Machines?
The biggest thing is the versatility. As mentioned above, there are so many different materials that you can cut with the Maker that you just cannot with other machines. The biggest thing, though, is the adaptive tool system, which is part of the reason that you can cut so many different things!
The adaptive tool system allows you to change out your blades/tools, and the machine will intelligently control the direction and cut pressure to match the material you are using with that tool. Tools that were designed specifically to work with Cricut Maker, because of the Adaptive Tool System, include the Rotary Blade, Knife Blade, and Single and Double Scoring Wheels, Wavy Blade, Perforation Blade, Fine Debossing Tip, and Engraving Tip.
This system can control your tools to cut from side-to-side, move up and down, and lift and turn, so you can cut more materials with more pressure than ever before. This is what makes it easy to cut through fabric without a backer (right off the bolt) using the Rotary Blade.
In contrast, the Cricut Explore family of machines has a drag blade technology system that moves up, down and cuts side-to-side. While you can still cut a number of amazing materials, they have to be stabilized otherwise the blade will get stuck in the fibers. It also makes it difficult to cut through dense materials like balsa wood, basswood, and leather because the Cricut Explore Family doesn’t have the same pressure as the Cricut Maker.
Should I Choose The Cricut Explore or the Cricut Maker?
If you think you’ll stick to cardstock paper projects, iron-on and vinyl, the Explore Air 2 is a great option for you.
However, if you’re someone who likes to push the boundaries of what you can make – from 3D projects to sewing and fabric, then the Cricut Maker is the right choice.
What I Wish I Knew When I Got My Cricut Maker
If you’ve made your decision and your machine is on the way, you might be wondering how to get started with your Cricut Maker. The good thing about using this machine and software is that they make it easy for you. You will be guided through a step-by-step first project as soon as you plug in your machine and connect it to your computer.
After that, there are many simple and easy projects for beginners. There are a few things I wish I had known when I got my machine, though, that would have saved me some time and frustration. Here are some tips that can help you learn from my trial and error.
Cricut Maker Tips For Beginners
- Watch the videos. Seriously, if you want to know how to do something, the best way is to watch the pro’s on Cricut’s YouTube channel.
- Start with HTV (iron-on), which is easy to weed. Once you’ve mastered that, then jump into weeding vinyl and more intricate designs.
- Use a pre-made project in Design Space to get your feet wet, then explore creating your custom projects to give them that personal touch!
- Always save your designs in Design Space frequently. You never know when you’ll have a computer issue, and you don’t want to lose your entire project because you didn’t save.
- Search #CricutMade or #CricutCreated on Instagram and chat with seasoned users. We love sharing tips and troubleshooting with beginners.
If you’re ready to get started, check out this playlist on YouTube from Cricut called “Getting Started with Cricut Maker.”