I’m not exaggerating when I say the first month of owning any cutting machine (whether it’s Cricut or not) will test you. There are plenty of times that I thought maybe this isn’t for me, maybe I’m just not this kind of crafter. Stick with it, you will get there, but for now here’s some tips that changed how I crafted.
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What should I make?
There are plenty of websites, youtube videos, tiktok videos and facebook groups that can help you figure out what items you’d like to make, but if you’ve bought cutting machine it’s likely that you have an idea.
My biggest tip is don’t get distracted by what everyone else makes concentrate on what you want to make and make it really well. I can now make 50 bows in my sleep, but talk to me about stencil vinyl or self adhesive and I’m not a pro.
Different matts are for different things. As you go forward you’ll end up like me, using whichever matt is sticky, but you really should use the one that each one is designed for.
What are each matts used for?
There are four matts; pink, blue, green and purple (obviously not their real names but in my mind they may as well be).
- Pink: fabric matt – comes with the machine, ideal for light weight fabrics, depending on the weight of the fabric can cause it to lift.
- Blue – light grip matt, ideal for paper crafts
- Green – standard matts, in doubt use this
- Purple – strong grip matt, just amazing for faux leather, felt anything that needs a bit more grip.
I waited a few months before getting a purple matt, it’s something that I wished I had done a lot earlier, it was flawless for cutting bows and cake toppers (not that I continued doing this, but that’s another blog post for another day).
Cleaning your matts
One of the many skills that I learnt on tiktok. I used a standard glass cleaner and a scraper and it worked wonders.
Should I use non-cricut matts?
This is a personal choice, the important thing to know is if you use non-cricut matts it voids your warranty. There are plenty on Amazon and Ebay if you decide that you’d rather buy non branding versions.
Cutting vinyl in a Cricut machine
Now you know all about matts, the next thing you should know about is Vinyl. There are two types of vinyl; heat transfer vinyl and adhesive vinyl. Heat transfer vinyl involves heating the vinyl to a surface whereas adhesive involves using transfer tape to transfer it to a surface.
Heat transfer vinyl
There’s plenty of great places to get heat transfer vinyl from. When using heat transfer vinyl you’ll need to mirror your design. There’s several types of heat transfer vinyl; below are the ones that I’ve used.
- Glitter transfer vinyl
- Holographic vinyl
- Plain heat transfer vinyl
Self adhesive vinyl
And there’s the basics. Keep an eye out for more blog posts and sign up for our newsletter if you want them straight to your inbox.