Cricut Tips And Ideas
Here are all the things, quick fixes, and ideas to help you get the most out of your Cricut machines
How To Set Up Your Cricut Machine
It is so easy to set up your Cricut Machine, With just a few steps, you are ready to start creating your first project.
- Plug the machine into your power source. Use the round end of the power cable supplied in the shipping box. Plug it into the back of your Cricut machine. Plug the other end into a power source. Power on your Cricut machine.
- Space Your Machine. Cricut mats go from the front, through the machine, and out the back. You need to make sure that there is 10" of clear space behind your machine so that the mat can move freely.
- Connecting Your Machine To Your Computer. you can use the USB cable that is provided with your Cricut machine. Plug it into the back of your Cricut and then into a port on your computer. Mac users may need a USB Adapter for the cable.
- There are two clamps to every Cricut machine; Clamp A and Clamp B. Clamp A holds things like pens and accessories. Clamp B holds all your blades. There should be a blade preloaded in your machine,\.
Note: there is a diagram in your box that will guide you on how to set up your Cricut!
Setting Up Bluetooth As The Connection To Your Computer
This is the second option for setting up your Cricut machine to your computer. It is easy to do and eliminates one cable from your connections
- Ensure that your Cricut is switched On and plugged into a computer
- Make sure that your device has Bluetooth enabled and is on
- Open Bluetooth on your device which will allow your device to search for other Bluetooth devices nearby.
- Select the Cricut device from the list of covered devices (if you are prompted to enter a pin, type 0000)
- Select Connect. You are all done.
How To Set Up Cricut Design Space
Cricut Design Space is the platform where you will create all of your images and projects. It is free to use and there are options to add more options at reasonable prices.
- Click Here To Download Cricut Design Space
- You need to download the Design Space software, You can use the software on a laptop, I pad or phone (via an app)
- Click The Download Button, This will begin the download process for the Design Space Plugin
- Wait while the installing process starts. When the Setup Wizard prompts you, open your download file. The Setup Wizard will automatically install the software for you
- Once the program finishes the setup, it should welcome you to Design Space.
- It will then ask you the type of machine you want to set up. Choose your machine from the pictures provided.
- create your Cricut ID Fill in all of the blanks. Do not forget to agree to the Terms Of Agreement
- Follow the instructions on the screen to connect your machine with Cricut Design Space. Your Cricut machine must be on.
- Click on "updates" to make sure that you have the latest version of Design Space. The software should automatically register your machine.
Design Space Tips
- When you are on the canvas part of your Design Space program, press the question mark on your keyboard and the keyboard shortcuts will pop up. This is a huge timesaver.
- If you want to cut more than one of the same image, and forgot to duplicate it, just load a new mat and it will start to cut the project again.
- Once you have welded a project, it cannot be undone. So before you weld, it, duplicate it, That way you will not have to start the project from scratch,
Different Types Of Cricut Blades
The Cricut Maker and the Cricut Maker 3 have the most amount of blades you can use. The rotary, knife, wavy, and perforation have specific cutting programs only available to the Maker and the Maker 3.
Here are a few tips on blades:
- Anytime you are doing an intricate cut, use a new blade. You will get better results
- Have separate blades for vinyl and paper. Paper tends to dull a blade.
- Have a ball of aluminum foil near your machine. You can remove the blade to clean and sharpen it. Just push down on the top of the blade and punch into the foil
Fine Point Blade -designed to cut medium weight materials
- Regular paper
- Washi tape
Deep Point Blade-designed to cut thick materials
- Craft foam
- Corrugated paper
Bonded Fabric Blade-designed for bonded fabric
- Silk polyester
Rotary Blade-designed for fabric (not- bonded) Cricut Maker Only
Knife Blade-Designed for thick and dense materials) Cricut Maker Only
- Heavy chipboard
Quick Swap Tools -Cricut Maker Only
- Engraving Tip
- Perforation Blade
- Wavy Blade
- Debossing Tip
- Single Scoring Wheel
- Double Scoring Wheel
1. Remove the blade housing by opening Clamp B
2. Remove the blade. Push the pin on the top of the hosing and gently remove the blade from the bottom
3. Insert the new blade. Remove the plastic covering from the new blade.
4. Insert the new blade into the housing
5. Replace the blade housing. Place the blade housing back into clamp B and close the clamp.
Loading Pens And Markers
Loading pens and markers couldn't be any easier.. Here is how to get the job done:
- Open The Clamp-Open Clamp A of the accessory housing mechanism
- Insert The Pen-Remove the cap of the pen. Hold the accessory clamp with your one hand while you push the pen into the clamp. The black arrow of your Cricut pen should disappear from view
- Close The Clamp-Close the clamp. The machine is now ready to use with your pen.
- Remove The Pen-To remove the pen, open Clamp A and pull the pen up to remove, Close the clamp.
Remember to put the lids on the pen when not in use to keep the ink in the pen last longer.
Using The Setting Dial
If you have a Cricut Explore Air 2, you still have the setting dial. Here is how you can change the settings on this dial:
- Paper-Lightweight Paper- For paper such as copy paper or patterned paper, use the standard blade and a Standard Grip mat with this setting
- Vinyl-This setting assures that the blade will only cuts through the top layer of material and leave the backing sheet whole. and uncut. Use with the standard blade and the Standard Grip Mat.
- Iron On-Used for heat transfer vinyl. This setting will assure that only the top layer will be cut to make the design. The blade will only but the top layer. leaving the backing uncut. Use with the standard blade and the Standard Grip Mat.
- Light Cardstock-Used for paper and cardstock weighted between 60-65 lbs. Used for printed papers as well as decorative paper. Use with a standard blade and a standard grip mat.
- Cardstock-For paper and cardstock weighted at 80-90 lb. Use with the standard blade and a standard grip mat.
- Bonded Fabric-Used for fabric that has been backed with iron-on adhesive interfacing. The fabric backing is required to cut fabric on the Explore Air 2.
- Poster Board-Used for heavyweight materials such as display board, Use with the Deep Point blade and the strong grip mat.
Dial Tip- The dots on the dial are used to increase and decrease the pressures.
You have the option, even on the Explore to use custom settings. These are settings for a very large list of materials that has been preset for you. On the Cricut Explore, set the dial to custom settings. You can select your materials from the list.
Mark the materials that you most often use as your favorites. That way you will not have to go through the whole list every time. They will come up for you.
Doing Test Cuts
Always do a test cut before you start cutting your actual project. That way you will not lose time and materials.
When you are new to Cricut or when you are using a new material, it is always smart to keep a list of materials that you used and what settings worked best. Record the dial or material setting as well as if you used the default, more or less blade setting, Keep a little notebook by your machine so that you always have the information available.
- When cutting out felt, first place contact paper on the mat, sticky side up. Then place the felt on top of the contact paper. That way you will not go crazy trying to get the fuzz from the fleet off of your mat.
- Different mats have different purposes. The green mat, which is the most commonly used mat comes with some pretty strong tackiness. when new. It is so sticky that the paper or other material that you put on it may rip when you are trying to remove it after cutting it.
- So, when you get a new green mat, place a clean dry try short on the mat. This is priming it for its first project. Then remove the short and you are all set to go. The blue light grip mat does not have the same problem.
- Use a lint roller t remove bits of paper and debris from your mat. It is a timesaver
- Make sure to keep the cover on the mat when not in use, That keeps any debris and dust off the mat. It will also keep the stickiness lasting longer.
- Try not to touch the mats with your fingers. The oils of your fingers will cause the mat to lose some stickiness.
- Never use the purple or green mat for copy paper. Only use the blue light grip mat. The others will hold onto that paper like glue. It will be very messy to get it off
- To avoid paper curling, always pull the mat away from the paper.
- To bring more stickiness to your mat, try using a nonalcohol baby wipe. Wipe the entire mat with the wipe, then allow it to air dry for about 10 minutes.
- If your mat has lost its stickiness and materials are moving around on the mat, you can extend the life of the mat by using painter tape to hold down the project. Just make sure that the tape does not get wound up on the rollers.
- Store all of your Cricut pens (except gel pens( with tips down. That way the ink will be ready to go when you are, The pens are packaged tip up, so if you are having problems with new pens, store them with the tip down overnite and that should solve the problem.
- Gel pens should be stored horizontally so that the ink does not leak,.
- Keep the caps on your pens when not in use. The pens will dry out a lot faster if you leave the cap off.
What Do These Terms Mean?
You will hear a lot of new terms as you navigate through your Cricut experience. Here are some of the words you may hear in Cricut Design Space, They actually refer to functions in the program.
- Group-This feature moves your items together so you can move and edit them as one. This does not affect how your images will be cut. Ungroup your images to edit them as singles
- Weld-The weld tool joins together multiple layers or objects to make a single image of the same color.
- Attach-Attach your items so that they cut the same way they look in Design Space
- Slice- Use the slice function to slice words out of projects, to create shapes, or to crop images into any shapes.
- Resize-Use the resize button at the lower right of your image to keep the proportions of the image but make the image larger or smaller.
- Flatten-The flatten function allows you to merge all selected layers into a single layer. This turns it into a printable image to use in the Print and Cut feature.
- Contour-Removes an object or objects from the same layer '
Print And Cut Feature
The Print and Cut feature allows you to take any image, text, or combination of the two into a printable project. Multiple layers of designs come together to create one professional-looking printable design. Once you print the design on your home printer, the Cricut then will cut the design for you.
Print And Cut Tips
- When you use the Print and Cut feature, make sure that there is no direct sunlight on your Cricut machine. It can affect the sensors and cause a badly cut project.
What Images Can Be Used In The Print And Cut Feature?
Any image and/or font can be converted in the Print Ans Cut Feature. You can use those already have in Design Space or those SVG files that you have uploaded.
When you are uploading images, you have the option of selecting Print And Cut when you upload the images. This is useful with complicated and multiple layered images.
Materials That Can Be Used With Print And Cut
There are a wide variety of materials that you can use with the Print And Cut feature
It is important to know that the Cricut Explore machines can only print on white materials. That is because the sensors in the process can only read the marks that guide it to cut on white backgrounds.
The Cricut Maker is programmed to read registration marks on both white and colored pages, However, darker colors like black and blue may have marks that are not readable by the machine.
Printers You Can Use
Cricut recommends that you only use inkjet printers with the Print and Cut feature. The reason behind that is that the heat from a laser printer can ruin the material you are printing on.
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