Yesss! I remember my excitement when I first bought myself a Cricut. After all, it is a coveted machine that crafters only dream of. My Pintrest boards were filled with amazing craft ideas for projects that I would complete once I splurged and bought myself the machine that could make it all happen. I convinced myself that my lack of equipment was the only thing that was holding me back. Boy, was I wrong.
I carefully unboxed my Cricut and beamed with pride. Oh, the things I would create!
Little did I know that it can be quite the learning curve to actually get started and create something that you are proud of. Weld? Contour? Slice? SVG? Mirror? What did all this mean? I just want to be crafty and make things!
After making a simple project with a close friend which embarrassingly took a lot more effort than it probably should have, I packed it back in its box. I wasn't ready to enter the amazing Cricut world. Crafting was supposed to relaxing, not frustrating. There was still so much to learn!
Over time, Youtube became my tutor and I became a quiet observer. Tutorial after tutorial, my craft idea pins were quickly replaced with how-to videos and tips. I slowly learned how to weld, contour and even make my own svg!
Then finally, the Cricut came back out and the sleepless nights spent creating began. I started to experiment with materials and designs until I got into my groove. I made gifts for co-workers, friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and was finally proud of the end result. The best part was that they loved receiving the custom gifts I had made just for them. I no longer felt like a noob.
Here is my short list of must-haves that I wish I knew about before I began creating with my Cricut:
- Siser vinyl and HTV - their colour selection is amazing and it cuts and weeds so much easier than any other vinyl brand I have tried. This is the only brand I use. Click here to see their amazing selection and find out more.
- Cricut mats - more than one mat is not only necessary but makes your crafting so much easier. You can prep a mat while the other one is cutting. Multitask like the champ you are! The Green, blue and purple are all convenient to have on hand depending on what materials you are using. If the mats collect too much glitter, paper fibres or even cat fur, you can clean them off with some dish soap and mild scrubbing. Don't worry, they don't lose their stickiness and will be good as new once they dry completely. Magic!
- Measuring tape - a simple measuring tape can make a world of difference. You can take accurate measurements to ensure your designs fit the blanks properly. It takes the guess work out of creating and helps you reduce wasted supplies. Eyeballing it isn’t as accurate as you would lead yourself to believe. Trust me.
- Bins and boxes - always save your vinyl and HTV scraps! My rookie mistake was always tossing out pieces that I didn't think I would ever need or use. Organizing your scraps by type and colour in clear bins will save you so much money. Believe me, you will always find a use for that tiny piece of vinyl and wish you had kept it. It doesn't make you a hoarder. It makes you a “curator of an extensive craft collection”. Yes, we will go with that.
Whatever you create, and whatever your current skill level, be patient with yourself and keep going! You will make mistakes as you navigate through your creativity and become a Cricut guru. Don't just learn the techniques - embrace the whole process.
Crafting is fun and sometimes even therapeutic, although I argue whether it is actually cheaper than therapy. On second thought, maybe buying a bin to keep receipts hidden is also a good idea. Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me.