The Cricut Maker obsession is a VERY real thing. No matter your favorite application, this tool is an amazing gift for any creative person!
Chances are that you already know a creator with a Cricut Maker™ obsession. You just might not realize it. Do you ever wonder how crafters make a lot of their projects with finely cut pieces? Maybe you don’t wonder and instead, just take for granted that some people can cut, with perfection, repetitive shapes to create amazing projects.
There are SOME people who can. I’ve seen them and they’re true artists with their tiny little scissors making fast moving incredibly intricate cuts. Yet for the VAST majority of us, we have help! That help comes in the form of a precision cutting machine. One of the leaders on the consumer market is the Cricut Maker.
Without exaggeration, the Cricut Maker™ opens doors to a whole new world of possibilities. For this reason, it is by far one of the best gifts you can ever give anyone special in your life who loves to create!
That said, this equipment is NOT cheap. There are a LOT of tools and accessories to purchase along with them. It can definitely be overwhelming.
I’ve had my Cricut Maker™ for 3 years. It was a Christmas gift. Honestly, it took me about 2 months to begin using as it completely intimidated me. It has also taken a LOT of trial-and-error (including repurchasing lots of tools that I ruined) to get some best practices down. YouTube (thank the heavens for YouTube) is a BIG help. Yet, if you just want to get your bearings quickly, I’ve put together a gift guide to help you assemble a righteous gift that will be the highlight of someone you love.
This is organized first by establishing the basics of what you need to give. Then, I’ve broken down projects for you to consider adding to your gift depending on the interest of the recipient. I wouldn’t get all of them. It’s too much at once. Start with one area that you think will interest them and then move on to the next. OR, forget my suggestion and go whole-hog getting them the entire spanking list.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Cricut maker™ essentials
You can buy a Cricut Maker™ alone or as a bundle. Below, only pertains to when you buy the machine alone as each bundle contains different components.
The Cricut Maker™
First, what is it? Fundamentally, a digital design is created. This can happen in the Cricut Design Space™, purchased from a designer (via Etsy, for example), purchased on Cricut Access™, or uploaded from a software platform (e.g., Adobe Illustrator). Once the design is ready, it’s sent to the Cricut Maker™. There, the design is cut with precision that few of us can get free-hand.
The cuts can be made to a wide variety of options including (but not limited to) paper, fabric, leather, vinyl, and wood. People have built profitable careers through their ability to use the Cricut® product line up and their own imagination.
The purchase of the Cricut Maker™ includes:
- Cricut Maker machine
- Rotary Blade + Drive Housing
- Premium Fine-Point Blade + Housing
- Fine Point Pen, Black
- FabricGrip™ Machine Mat, 12″ x 12″ (30.5 cm x 30.5 cm)
- LightGrip Machine Mat, 12″ x 12″ (30.5 cm x 30.5 cm)
- Welcome Book
- USB cable
- Power adapter
- Free trial membership to Cricut Access™ (for new subscribers)
- 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns
- Materials for a practice project
This is a great start but by no means enough to get someone off to the races.
basic tool set +
I’ll say it again, there are SO MANY things that are available to use in projects using the Cricut Maker™. The bits and pieces I’m sharing are just the beginning, yet a very good beginning to take the crafter from cut to finished project.
To get the materials cut, some basic tools are needs to pick, pull, weed, separate, and burnish. All of these are terms that become familiar with use and not at all needed for the gift-giver to understand. What IS needed to understand is that there are some basic tools to do all of this that can be purchased as a starter set.
From left to right, there’s a small (very pointy) pair of scissors, scraper, tweezer, weeder, and spatula.
To this, you might want to add two other sets:
The final must-have includes basic cutting tools. Many crafty sorts already have these but if not, they really make life SO much easier.
What is necessary is a self-healing cutting mat, rotary cutter, and quilter’s ruler. They can be purchased as a set.
That’s it for the essentials! The next sections you can spend time considering based upon the types of projects you think you (or, I mean, your gift-recipient) will want to try.
So popular right now! There are shops that specialize in wood signs and many of these use precision cutters just like the Cricut Maker™.
For a basic sign, the materials needed include:
As skills grow, there are glazes and paint extenders, a variety of types of paints, and many other techniques that can be employed in making a cool wood sign. These are perfect for the initial projects.
One thing that I really like about painting wood signs is that this type of project tends to bring people together. Once they see one person do it, everyone in the house will want to try to make one too!
Another popular project are iron-on t-shirts. That’s our next breakout.
heat transfer vinyl t-shirt
There are a bunch of ways to do a t-shirt design. This is just ONE that is a great starting point.
Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is the basic iron-on material a lot of us know. It doesn’t become part of the weave of the t-shirt fabric. Instead, it is fused by heat on top of the t-shirt. Here’s what is needed at a minimum:
You’ll also need a heat source. A household iron works fine, however, a heat press works better. The Cricut EasyPress™2.0 is a great upgrade from the household iron. If you go this route, you’ll need a protective mat. I use a wool quilter’s pressing mat and like it very much.
Now, let’s move onto a project with fabric.
Fabric applique throw pillow
Even experienced quilters and sewers are blown away by the versatility afforded to them once they start using the Cricut Maker™ to cut their applique shapes.
I remember being in a quilting class that was demonstrating how to use a particularly good manual cutting tool. The instructor pointed out that this tool could cut stars of any size. We had been chatting about different projects, so she looked at me and said, “I bet that’s something new for you!” My friendly response was that I can cut ANY SHAPE, ANY SIZE with my Cricut Maker™. It wasn’t snarky or sarcastic, just the truth.
Here’s what is needed at a minimum:
- Throw Pillow Blank
- Applique Fabric
- Embroidery Supplies
- Use Glad Press’n Seal (sticky side to fabric) to protect your cutting mat.
- Apply HeatnBond™ Lite to the wrong side of fabric BEFORE cutting to protect the edges and to make applying to the pillow blank easier.
In addition to applique, fabric paint is also a really fun practice using the Cricut Maker™. It can be done in a lot of ways, such as a throw pillow. The next breakout shows a tote bag option.
Fabric paint tote bag
For the person who comes from an artistic background, this is a really fun option. The shape can be uniform and precise using the Cricut Maker™ while the paint allows for complete freedom of expression.
This is all that’s needed (note that it’s very similar to the painted board project):
Heat should be applied to the tote bag once painted, so a household iron is also needed. I use Teflon Sheets to separate the bag and paint from the iron’s surface.
There’s just one final project breakout that is a HUGE favorite if there are kids in the house.
Temporary and permanent decals
One of the favorite projects for young crafters (or the kids of mom-crafters) is decals. Decals can be used on binders, water bottles, mirrors, magnets, etc.
Basic one color decals aren’t hard to achieve, although multi-color can get a little thought-provoking. The application takes practice to prevent bubbles. A suggestion (word to the wise, do as I say and NOT as I did, haha) is to start with a FLAT surface and NOT with a water bottle. OY!!!
Here are the supplies:
Tips: Even the temporary decals are pretty darn hard to get off. If adding a graphic to a wall, paint is better, or use the Cricut® vinyl specifically designed to be removable. For a car, if it’s supposed to be akin to a bumper sticker then place it on a magnet and NOT directly to the car.
Practice is a good idea. The vinyl is definitely a sticky bugger!
and that’s just the beginning
There are so many areas that haven’t been touched on yet. Cardmaking, scrapbooking, jewelry, stickers, labels, business cards, banners, posters, buntings, paper flowers, and on and on and on. What is included here are some of the more popular types of projects.
Tip: For paper crafting, add adhesive to the back of the paper that will be cut into small or intricate shapes. This makes them like a sticker. I use a Xryon Creative Station for this purpose. Works great!
Bottom line, if you know someone who enjoys creating then they will LOVE the Cricut Maker. There is a minimal amount of computer use that’s required yet even a basic computer user can learn to find a full array of projects to create.
To see some other creative projects, here are a few suggestions:
Still, want to see more? I have your back. Check out ASC’s Pinterest Boards, where there are always new pins happening! In fact, better yet, follow ASC on Pinterest so you know when I add more to my boards (I find great pins!).
Do you have a question or a suggestion? No problem! Email me with all of it and I’m happy to respond.
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Have a fantastic week! Namaste,