Friday, January 26, 2018

Cricut for Beginners

I finally have a Cricut Machine and I am so excited! I have the Cricut Explore Air 2, and it is a beauty. There are so many things that it can do; it is truly unbelievable! Now that I have been working with it for about a month, I wanted to create a post sharing recommendations, Cricut essentials, and things that I have learned along the way.
First, I highly recommend joining a few Facebook groups. I am a member of Cricut Newbies and Pros for Explorer as well as Cricut Newbies and Pros for Business. These groups are run by the same people, but they are both very different. There are always great questions as well as good tips; the members are also very friendly and helpful.

The Cricut comes with:
Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
Cricut Design Space Software (Online)
USB Cord and Power Cord
Cricut 12"x12" LightGrip Cutting Mat (Blue)
Carbide Premium Blade
Black Pen

Other Recommended Accessories:
Cricut Basic Tool Set- Each tool is unique in its own way and I have 
found them all to be very happy when cutting out projects.
Cricut Styling Stylus- This tool is used to create creases in the
paper to make it easier to fold or create dimension.
Cricut 12"x12" StandardGrip Cutting Mats- It is always nice to have
extra mats; they usually come in sets of 2!
Vinyl Transfer Tape- This transfers the vinyl to your project, 
whether it is wood, ceramic, plastic, etc.
651 Vinyl- For starting out, I definitely recommend this vinyl. It comes in an
assortment of colors and it is the strongest vinyl to make projects last. 

Once you become more "experienced", then you can broaden your horizons with HTV (heat transfer vinyl). HTV is somewhat expensive so I would practice and familiarize yourself with your machine.

Tips to Remember: 
Set Your Dial: You always want to make sure you have it set to the material you are using otherwise it could cut wrong.
Peel the Mat Away, Not the Paper: To prevent ruining your project, you want to pull the mat from the project, not the other way around.
Mirror Image for HTV: When cutting heat transfer vinyl, you want to make sure to mirror the image otherwise it will be backward. 
The Internet Will Be Your Best Friend: Now that Cricut is able to connect to the Internet, images and fonts are easily accessible for FREE!

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