If you are new to this Cricut malarky then unpacking a new Cricut Maker is both exciting and overwhelming. However once the initial overwhelm has settled down it really is the best thing ever. I wanted to share my top tips for using your Cricut Maker. Including how to navigate around and get the best from Cricut design space. In part one 1 am starting right at the very beginning. All those little things that really flummoxed me. Especially as so many people message me and ask, how do I use my Cricut Maker?
Tips for using the Cricut Maker Design Space and your Cricut Maker for beginners.
What can the Cricut Maker do?
No matter whether its interiors, crafting, scrapbooking or cooking, you can make almost anything with the Cricut Maker. The maker has the ability to cut hundreds of materials from paper and leather to balsa wood. Making it perfect for interiors projects such a cushions, or making labels to organise your spice jars. Yet it’s also perfect for traditional craft projects such a scrapbooking and paper crafting.
What is the difference between the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air?
The maker comes with a heftier price tag! However after using both I would say it depends on what you want to cut. The Cricut Maker can be used with 2 extra blades. The knife blade and rotary blade, this allows it to cut a wider range of products. As the Maker cuts fabric you can also access sewing patterns in design space.
You can also charge mobile devices on your maker as it works. As it comes with a use port and storage shelf to rest you phone or iPad.
And the Maker is totally digital, you can choose from 100s or cutting materials and 3 separate cutting pressure settings in design space before you cut. Where the Air has a dial on the machine thus giving you less choice of fabrics. However for paper crafting and scrapbooking this is more than sufficient, it really depends on what you want to cut as to what machine is best for you?
In terms of weight the Maker is a heavier machine weighing in at 30 lbs, while the Explore is 21 lbs.
What Software does the Cricut Maker Use?
Cricut use a unique bespoke software called Cricut Design Space. This is a one stop hub were you can use a pre set design or design your own images to use on projects. Design space is universal for all of the Cricut Machines, when I transitioned from my Cricut Explore Air 2 over to my Cricut Maker, all my projects stayed the same. You simply set up a new machine in design space.
Do I need internet to access Cricut Design Space?
Yes you currently do need internet access, however Cricut have just announced that Cricut aims to take design space offline by the end of 2019.
How Much Is Cricut Design Space Access Uk
If you pay monthly Cricut Design Space Access is £7.99 a month (which you can cancel anytime), however a yearly subscription will save you £24 pounds over a year. This works out at £5.99 as month (a one of payment of (£71.88). Thus giving you unlimited access to over 30,000 images, over 1,000 Make It Now™ projects, and 370+ fonts.
However Cricut design space is free if you just want to upload and edit your own images and not use the design space images.
Can I Use The Cricut Design Space On My iPad and iPhone?
Yes, it can be used on a desktop version, or downloaded as the Cricut app. I have it on my iPhone and iPad. This is great for designing on the go, and also printing projects if your desk top is not near your Cricut Machine. I save my project on my Mac and then open the Cricut App on my iPad to connect to my Cricut Maker and cut.
Tips For Using Your Cricut Maker, How to find projects and tutorials in Cricut Design Space.
Once you have set up your machine and are ready to go, scroll through your home screen the Cricut design space is full of video tutorials and ready-made projects. This is a great way to build your confidence in creating projects. It is all there for you, should you prefer to follow instructions and have the design all made and ready.
Can You Create Your Own Designs In Cricut Design Space?
Absolutely, and it is so easy once you know how. This is where the Cricut Maker comes into its very own. Allowing you to custom design projects for home-wear, the kitchen, clothing, party supplies and more. Today I am going to start with the basics, and look at how to create a custom image using un-grouping, and welding. I will also look at different types of paper cuts and slicing in design space.
How To Change Images In Cricut Design Space To Suit Your Craft Project.
Sometimes all you need are a few handy tips for using your Cricut Maker and Design Space to get the best out of it! It’s all about having a plan of what you want to create, I am going start with a unicorn horn. This is how I created my Unicorn Paper Cut, I wanted to create it myself from scratch and not use a pre made file as it was a gift.
This also makes use of the images I have available within my Cricut Design Space Subscription. I started by finding a suitable image in design space that I could transform, a Cricut access image. The image that caught my eye was a set of sea shells, which had a long shell that I knew I could transform into a unicorn horn.
First Select Your Chosen Image For Design Space
Click images on the side bar, and put your chosen search into the search bar. Be creative images can be changed, layers moved and deleted. You can ever slice parts of images away to make them work and fit into your design. Once you have chosen your image click select to transfer it onto your design space project area.
Once imported, right-click and highlight the image and click un-group (up in your top right hand corner). Un-grouping allows you to remove all the parts of the image you do not need or want. In this case I have left the two layers of my long green shell to choose from.
To remove the small holes at the base of the shell and make it appear more like a unicorn horn choose 2 circles from the shapes on the left hand side, size them to cover the holes, right-click and click weld in the bottom right hand corner. Welding will consolidate all the layers together to create on solid image.
Now You Have Your Unicorn Horn. You Must Decide Whether You Are Creating A Paper Cut Or A Reversed Paper Cut?
These are not technical terms. But how I differentiate two different paper cut methods in my own mind. As when you have your plan you have two ways of doing this:
Adding a series of designs by welding images together to create a final paper cut.
This would look like the image below. Can you see that I have welded lots of flowers and images together to create a paper cut, cut out? Check out the tutorial for the full vlog, but this is done by continually welding to build an image.
When it’s complete the Cricut Maker will cut this image out of the card. And you will discard the rest of the card leaving you with your design.
The important thing with this paper cut method is that before cutting you MUST weld the design together to send it to the machine to be cut. If you only group it, it will separate every single image on the cutting matt.
How Do You Weld Images Together In Cricut Design Space
To create a paper cut I keep adding imaging and grouping them together, this is easy to undo if you need to! Once I am happy with my design I right-click, highlight and weld (Bottom right corner). The image will now be permanently stuck as one image.
A Reverse Paper Cut Is The Opposite
Rather that welding images together, you slice them out of a large square in design space. This builds up a cut out image like the unicorn image below ( Can you see it is the opposite of the letter h above)
It is vital when using this method you leave some parts of each image attached. Can you see how the flowers pop out because they are still slightly attached to the card. But my unicorn horn was not so I had to stick this separately.
For an easy first paper cut try out this Elephant Family Beginner Paper Cut Tutorial.
Tips For Using Your Cricut Maker, Cricut Design Space Terms And What They Mean
Welding With The Cricut Maker
Welding is where you can weld images or layers together, this is permanent and will send your image to cut as it looks on the screen, if you weld by accident press undo to cancel the action.
Grouping In Design Space
Grouping is perfect for building up projects as it will group it together but it is not permanent. You can un-group at any time. However you must weld before cutting.
Slicing enables you to slice away parts of an image perfect for designing your own images. Check out the vlog below. You can only slice one image at a time, however of you want to slice multiple images into a background it’s a great idea to arrange them, weld them into one image and then slice, this saves so much time.
Scoring In Cricut Design Space
Scoring is for creating indentations on projects, perfect for flower indentations or fold score lines on cards. You will need a scoring blade or scoring stylus, if you use a stylus you will need to change the settings in the menu before cutting.
Creating A Contour
A contour is a cut within a cut, so for example of you design a heart with lots of little dots cut out in it. You can choose to cut your heart without the holes. If you right-click and select contour you can choose contours to exclude from a cut.
What Does Flattening Do In Cricut Design Space
Flattening allows you to use any image for print and cut. Print and cut projects print and image first and then cut it out. However if you choose a layered image in design space you can flatten it to make it printable.
There is so much to learn to get to know the Cricut Design Space. But once you know all the tips and tricks its actually very easy to use.
Check out Donna’s post on what you can cut with the Circuit Maker