Cricut Gift Guide for the Beginner Crafter. Find the perfect Cricut gift for the crafter on your list. Everything you need to know to get started with Cricut.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I have used and loved my Cricut machines long before I was a blogger. I had the old version of the machine where you still had to use cartridges to create your designs. Cricut has come such a long way and my Cricut machine is definitely one of my most favorite crafting tools I use and love.
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Cricut Gift Guide for the Beginner Crafter
I get a lot of questions about Cricut, especially from readers who are just starting out with crafting. They are not sure what to buy that will be the most value for their money.
Which Cricut Machine Should I buy?
I wrote an in-depth post comparing the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air 2 machines. If you want to learn more about each machine start here: Cricut Explore Air 2 vs Cricut Maker.
For most beginning crafters, the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine will be the one to choose. It delivers tons of versatility on the projects you can create with a digital die-cutting machine. The Explore Air 2 can cut 100 materials – from cardstock to vinyl to iron-on, plus a wide range of specialty materials such as glitter paper, bonded fabric, poster board, and felt.
You can also use the machine to score and write on your projects. It works wirelessly with your computer, iPad, or phone using Bluetooth technology. Plus, it has a fast mode to cut and write up to 2X faster.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 has a lower price point than the Maker, making it the perfect machine for a beginning crafter. (The Explore Air 2 starts at $249.99 and the Maker at $399.99.)
Cricut Access SUbscription
Both the Cricut Explore machines and the Maker use Cricut Design Space software. You can create designs for free within the software, but you will need to purchase any images you use to create your project.
The subscription gives you access to over 100,000 images and designs, plus over 400 fonts. You will also receive exclusive deals on licensed artwork like Disney®, Marvel®, and Simplicity®.
Additionally, you receive a 10% discount on product purchases like machines, accessories, materials, and more. You have access to the Priority Member Care Line which is an amazing resource if you are new to Cricut – with 50% less wait time. And, if you purchase a premium membership you can get free shipping on orders over $50.
My suggestion is to try out Cricut Design Space first. Simply, go to https://design.cricut.com/ and register for an account. Play with the software and see everything it has to offer. Then, purchase your Cricut Access Subscription. Use your 10% discount to purchase everything else you need!
Cricut Gift Guide: Accessories
If you already have a machine, to get started you will need some basic tools and accessories to go with it.
Essential Tool Set
The Essential Tool Set is one of my favorites. It comes with a paper trimmer, scissors, scoring stylus, tweezers, weeding tool, spatula, and scraper. I use these tools all the time, especially the paper trimmer and weeding tool.
Your Cricut Explore Air 2 will come with a mat to get you started, but you will need more as that one wears out and to work with different materials. The machine mat variety pack comes with all the mats you need – LightGrip, StandardGrip, and StrongGrip.
You can also purchase 12″ x 24″ mats for bigger projects you may be working on.
Cricut Gift Guide: Materials
You need materials to make your projects. The three basic materials many beginning crafters use are iron-on, vinyl, and cardstock.
Iron-on (or heat transfer vinyl) is one of my favorite materials to work with. One thing people usually want to make when they first get their Cricut machines is a t-shirt or tote bag. Customizing and personalizing shirts is one of my favorite things to create.
Cricut has a wide variety of both solid and patterned iron-on. When you are just getting started the mini sampler packs are an inexpensive way to try out iron-on before you move on to bigger projects. They come with three sheets of 3.7″ x 24″ iron-on to use.
Cricut EasyPress 2
And if we are talking about using iron-on, I have to tell you about the Cricut EasyPress. It is a life-saver when working with iron-on projects! I have both the 9″ x 9″ EasyPress 2 and the new EasyPress Mini.
When I first started using Cricut iron-on I had a regular household iron to transfer my designs. It worked, but sometimes after repeated washings, the iron-on would start to come off around the edges a little. Then, Cricut came out with the EasyPress.
The EasyPress machine combines the speed of a heat press with the convenience of an iron. It will heat up to 400° and the heat plate provides consistent, even heating, to make your projects last even longer.
Cricut has extensively tested heat-transfer and base materials together to take all the guesswork out of the time and temperature to use for any project, making it perfect for a beginner.
The EasyPress 2 comes in three sizes – 6″ x 7″, 9″ x 9″, and 12″ x 10″. And there is a new EasyPress Mini for smaller projects like hats and shoes. The size you choose will depend on the types of projects you want to work on.
When purchasing an EasyPress, I recommend also getting an EasyPress mat. It eliminates moisture and directs heat to your iron-on design. And, it shields your work surface from damaging heat.
Iron-on is used primarily for fabric, while vinyl is used for most other surfaces, like cups and mugs, paper, frames, and more. Cricut has a wide choice of solid, patterned, and specialty vinyl to choose from.
You can purchase a vinyl starter kit that includes 8 sheets of vinyl, transfer tape, weeder, and scraper. This is everything you need to get started working with vinyl.
You can also get a sampler pack in a variety of colors to work on projects with.
If you are going to be working with vinyl I strongly recommend getting transfer tape. It allows you to easily transfer your cut vinyl design without having any of the pieces shift or get stuck to each other while transferring.
How transfer tape works:
- Cut your vinyl design using Cricut Design Space and your Cricut machine.
- Weed the excess vinyl from your design.
- Cut a piece of transfer tape and place it over your design.
- Peel off the transfer tape from the vinyl backing sheet and use the sticky side to adhere the design to your project.
Last, but not least, many crafters want to make paper crafts like cards and scrapbook pages. Cricut has a great selection of quality solid and patterned cardstock you can use for your projects. I like the sampler packs with several colors per pack. You can even purchase 12″ x 24″ cardstock to use on larger projects.
PUrchase a Cricut Explore Air 2 Bundle
The best way to save on Cricut supplies for the beginning crafter is to get a bundle. These bundles are the biggest bang for your buck while getting you everything you need to get going. There are quite a few to choose from, but my favorite is the Cricut Explore Air 2 Essentials Bundle.
It includes the machine, deep point blade and housing, mat variety pack, scoring stylus, basic tool set, pen set, and window cling. You are all set with all the tools you need to get started – just add whatever materials you want!
If you want a bundle that includes everything above, plus lots of materials to get you started, choose the Everything Bundle.
If you have a Cricut on your wish list this holiday season, be sure to share this Cricut Gift Guide or pin it on Pinterest!
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