Must-haves Cricut supplies for beginners

Want to know what Cricut supplies are essential for beginners? This post will tell you exactly what Cricut tools are essentials and which Cricut machine to buy by type of project!

This question must be the one I hear most often: Which Cricut machine should I buy and what other products are essential for Cricut projects for beginners?

And the first thing I always say is: What kind of project are you interested in?

It’s the most important thing to know when you want to make the leap into the Cricut world. As a matter of fact, someone whose passion is scrapbooking will not need the same products as someone who sews.

So instead of just explaining the difference between each Cricut product, I decided to tell you what is essential by type of projects.

This list can also be a great gift guide if you know someone who owns a Cricut!

Cricut Machines

To avoid repetition, I will describe here the differences between the 3 Cricut machines: The Cricut Joy, The Cricut Explore Air 2, The Cricut Maker.

Further down, in the types of projects, I’ll just name what machine I think is better.

You can also see the comparison table for quick visualization of the characteristics of each machine. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience and at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

The Cricut Explore Air 2

Credit: Cricut.com

The Explore Air 2 is, in my opinion, the basic Cricut machine. It’s perfect for everyday DIY. By adding the deep point blade to your purchase, you can increase the amount of material you can cut and make it up to 2 mm thick.

For more information on the different blades, you can see my article on the different Cricut blades, wheels and tips.

The Cricut Maker

Credit: Cricut.com

The Maker is perfect for the crafter who always wants to try new things. It is 10 times more powerful than the Explore Air 2 and offers a wide variety of blades and tips.

To see clearly the difference between all the blades, wheels and tips available, you can see this article.

The Joy Cricut

The Cricut Joy is the newest of the Cricut machines.

It has two very different characteristics from the other two: First, it can cut materials up to 20 feet (but you need to buy The “Smart” materials from Cricut).

Second, it has a special mat to make cards quickly (but you also need to get the mat that is sold separately and use the card templates available in Cricut Access that requires a monthly subscription).

As you can see, there’s a lot of “but.” Personally, I have a hard time understanding why it exists unless you want a Cricut that is easily transportable and takes up very little space.

My first Cricut also had, like the Joy, a 6-inch wide carpet and I found myself very limited by this feature.

I also point out that the blades and pencils are exclusive to the Cricut Joy. In other words, don’t think about using the Cricut pencils from the Explore Air or the Maker with the Joy, they are not interchangeable.

Honestly, the Explore Air 2 often comes on special at a price barely a little more expensive than the Joy. I strongly suggest you invest a bit more so you don’t regret it in the end.

Cricut Design Space

Comparison table

FunctionalitiesCricut JoyExploreAir 2Maker
Ideal forQuick, everyday projectsA wide range of DIY hobbiesPro-level DIY performance and versatility
Maximum material width14 cm
(5.5 inches)
30 cm
(12 inches)
30 cm
(12 inches)
Maximum material length6 metres
(20 feet)
61 cm
(2 feet)
61 cm
(2 feet)
Material compatibility50+ materials100+
materials
300+
Materials
Maximum material thicknessLimited to what the Joy’s fine-point blade can cut2.0 mm (Limited to what fine and deep point blades can cut)2.4 mm (Limited by the metal bar under which the carpet fits)
Tools/ Capabilities2
(for cutting & writting)
4
(for cutting, writing, scoring)
12+
(for cutting, writing, scoring & other pro-level effects)
Double tool holderXX
Commercial-grade cutting technologyX
Up to 2X faster cutting and writing (fast mode)XX
10X more power to cut hundreds of materialsX
Works with “Smart” materials for long, continuous cuts without cutting mat.X
Works with card mats for quick custom cardsX
Print Then Cut capabilityXX
ConnectivityBluetooth®Bluetooth®, USBBluetooth®, USB
From the Cricut website

Types of projects

Here is the list of essentials, in my opinion, by type of projects. Note that the essentials are the minimum. So if I list the Explore Air 2 as essential, that doesn’t mean the Maker doesn’t do the job 😉.

Paper / Cards

Although the Cricut Joy makes it possible to make nice quick cards, I still recommend the Explore Air 2 for the reasons listed above. Here is the list of essentials:

Optional:

Scrapbooking

The reason I put scrapbooking apart from the previous category is that scrapbooking often involves the use of chipboard. If you want to create your own design with this material, you will absolutely need the deep point blade.

Optional:

Cricut Pencils (note that the Explore Air 2 already comes with a fine-tipped black pencil)

Adhesive Vinyl

You would like to make projects with adhesive vinyl like that mug I made or this candle? Here’s what you’ll need:

Optional:

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)

Are you passionate about adding vinyl to fabrics like sweaters or bags? I admit it’s more addictive than I might have thought!!! You can see the t-shirt I made as well as the tip to layer several vinyl colours here.

So you’ll need:

Optional:

Note on the Easy Press: When I bought my Easy Press, I wanted to make sweaters to go to Disney and I really didn’t think I’d like making more than that. I just bought the Easy Press 9″ x 9″ and told myself that I would never do anything wider than that. Well, that was a mistake!

Since the Cricut can cut up to 11.5 inches, it’s wasn’t long before my 9″ Easy Press was not sufficient. Well, with vinyl, you can still get, but my advice to you is not to hesitate and take the 12 x 10″. It’s not true that you’re only going to make baby bodysuit 😋.

Infusible Ink

Unlike vinyl, the Infusible Ink is very hard to work with. You will need blanks that are 100% polyester or those sold by Cricut. Also, since the Easy Press needs to stay very still when applying the Infusible Ink, meaning you can’t go over it twice, the Easy Press 12″ x 10″ becomes essential.

You can read my full post on Infusible Ink.

The must-haves:

It is important to note that you will need the Easy Press 2. The original version of the Easy Press is not powerful enough for the Infusible Ink.

Optional:

Foil transfer

Foil transfer can be done on a lot of materials and Cricut now has a special tool for it. And the best thing is that it works on both the Maker and the Explore Air 2.

The must-haves:

Keep in mind that you won’t use the Foil transfer alone so you need to join it with another category on this page, like paper, card, scrapbooking, etc.

Felt (flowers or other objects)

Crafting with felt is special because it all depends on what kind of felt you use. The one sold by Cricut is very thin and cuts easily with the fine point blade (the blade that comes with the Cricut). The same goes for wool felt, which is more expensive.

If you use the craft felt (acrylic), found in Dollar stores or Michaels, for example, you will need the rotary blade of the Maker. This one will be able to cut all the types of felt perfectly. That’s why I’m going to consider it essential.

The must-haves:

Check out the post on making felt crocuses to have the details about the different felts and all the tricks to cut them.

Engraving

Oh! When you start having fun with this, it quickly becomes addictive. I don’t have a post about it yet to refer to you, but it won’t be long!! Here’s a test I did with a picture of my dog 😍.

If you want to get into engraving, here are the essentials:

Sewing

Sewing is not one of my qualifications! But I’ve made a nice collage by cutting small triangles of fabrics with my Maker. It’s a gift I made for a friend.

I really wouldn’t have wanted to cut all of these by hand!! Whoa!!!

If your passion is fabric and sewing, you’ll need the Maker! Yes, there is a fabric blade for the Explore Air 2, but you will need bounded fabric (i.e., that is glued to a rigid material). It can do the trick, but it’s not ideal. That’s why I recommend the Maker that comes with the rotary blade.

I want to make everything!

Haha! Then you’re like me! Of course, it’ll take the Maker! But no need to buy it all at once! Unless you can get the“Everything material bundle” that will save you a lot of money when you’re starting.

If you really only want the base to start with, I suggest at least this:

Then refer to the types of projects above to add the essential tools depending on what you want to do.

An essential for all types of projects

No matter what type of project you want to do, you’re going to have to learn how to use Cricut Design Space.

As a matter of fact, it is only this program that can send projects to your Cricut.

Many people think they have to watch tons of videos before they can finally understand Cricut Design Space and use their Cricut. But this is not true because I have the solution for you!

I suggest you use my ebook A Maker’s Guide to getting started with your Cricut. This digital book will guide you in the making of your first projects. You’ll learn Cricut Design Space while crafting 3 easy projects.

If you have any other suggestions for project types or questions, please leave them in the comments below.

And don’t forget to Pin it!

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