I have spoken to and been messaged by so many people asking me what they need to buy to get started with the Cricut Joy, at first I was sort of wondering why, but maybe it’s not so obvious? I mean I eat sleep and breath crafting, mostly Cricut. Of course I know, but I thought it would be useful putting it all down in an easy guide to help non crafters or new crafters decide if the Cricut Joy is the right machine for them, what this amazing little machine does, what you need to know and most importantly, what do you need to buy to get started with Cricut Joy?
What Is The Cricut Joy?
The Cricut Joy is Cricut’s smallest most portable cutting machine, this gives you a lot of flexibility if you like to craft on the go, thus making it perfect for kids and teens starting out on their crafting journey, family crafting, or indeed for crafters and scrapbookers who want to make smaller projects and cut files. (Although you can make larger projects with a bit of planning)
Just because the Cricut Joy comes in a several hundred pounds less than the Cricut Maker or Explore, don’t be fooled into thinking the machine is inferior. In fact this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Cricut Joy cut is refined and sharp, much as you would expect from the more expensive models.
The difference is that the machine hasn’t got the capability to cut larger projects in one piece, it won’t print and cut, foil or cut products such as balsa wood, leather and fabric. However, there is a lot this machine can do just as well, or even better. I own a Cricut Joy, and a Cricut Maker and use the machines equally.
Beginners Shopping List, What Do You Need To Get Started With The Cricut Joy In The UK?
This is the main question people ask me, what do you need to get started with the Cricut Joy? The answer to that is it depends on what you want to make. Thus I have created a little buying guide, all my links are to Amazon, however you can also buy the Cricut Joy in Argos and the machine and all supplies in Hobby Craft and if you are in the US Michaels.
I will start with the absolute essentials for beginners to get started, and have also added project by project lists below.
Cricut Joy Essentials Shopping Guide
- Cricut Joy
- Cutting Mat get the 4.5″ x 12″ in blue or green. You can make bigger projects with a longer mat. The mat can be used with vinyl if you have wide rolls you need to cut to size or card stock.
- Tool Kit the link is to the basic tool kit, these are 3 or the 4 tools I use for every projects.
- Brayer this in my opinion is essential if you are using a mat, the brayer adheres card and vinyl to the cutting mat to ensure its nice and secure before cutting.
- Card Stock perfect for cutting out Alphabets and letters to frame, creating home made cards or scrapbooking.
- Carry Case for crafting on the go, I have the official case which I love, however this budget version looks great too. ( You will only need the case if you plan to travel with your Cricut Joy)
What Can You Make With The Cricut Joy And What Do You Need?
You can make so much with the Cricut Joy, for a small machine it does a lot! And after owning a Joy for a year I can thoroughly recommend it. In fact several of my friends have bought them and love them.
The Different Types Of Cricut Joy Vinyl Explained
Vinyl comes in several forms, smart vinyl and large rolls, permanent, non permanent and iron on.
Designed specifically for the Cricut Joy. It comes in a variety of lengths to allow you to make banners and stickers or smaller projects. Because it is designed specifically for the Joy you do not need to use a cutting mat, thus making it so easy to use for projects, you’re able to feed the vinyl straight into your machine. Smart vinyl comes in permanent and non permanent.
Also comes in a variety of lengths but are 12inches wide and designed to fit the larger Cricut machines. However, you can cut larger vinyl down, but this has to be used on a cutting mat.
Permanent And Non Permanent Vinyl.
If you want to use vinyl on projects such as cups, glasses and plates you need permanent vinyl as you are able to hand wash permanent vinyl. I have personalised many mugs with permanent vinyl and they have all stood the test of time.
Iron On Vinyl
My favourite vinyl, which is perfect for making t shirts, cushions, and decorating pumps, jackets and more. To adhere your design you must use a heat press and heat mat. You can use an iron to press your design, but I find it’s not as effective as the Cricut Heat Press as the heat press gets much hotter, and is designed to use with iron on vinyl.
What You Will Need To Get Started With Iron On Vinyl Projects.
- Iron On Smart Vinyl
- Cricut Tool Kit
- Cricut Heat Press, Or Heat Press Mini (This depends on the size of projects you want to make, I have both and love them equally, the mini takes up less space and is quick and easy to use! But not as effective on larger projects)
- Heat Mat ( You can not use an ironing board as some projects require pressure, I used to own a travel ironing pad, but the heat mat is thicker and more effective.)
Beginners List To Get Started With Vinyl
Vinyl is such an amazing product that does so much, its great for cups, glasses, wall decals, planner stickers, decorate phone cases, up-cycle furniture the list goes on and on, you will need.
- Smart Vinyl permanent or non permanent.
- Tool Kit
- Transfer Tape ( This enables you to transfer your design from the vinyl backing sheet to your blank)
I used my Cricut Maker to cut the vinyl for the table below, however this could have easily been done on the Joy.
Not only can you cut individual elements to make hand made cards, the Cricut Joy also has a dedicated card mat and card inserts. You simple slot the card onto the mat, choose a design and your card is ready in minutes. You can also design your own, or personalise existing designs. These work out great value compared to buying cards from a shop, and are so easy to make, thus making great last minutes cards. Check out my Cricut Joy Mothers Day Card Template here.
Card Shopping List
What You Need For Paper Cutting
Infusible Ink Projects
Infusible Ink is a wonderful invention, it does exactly what it says on the tin. So where Iron On Vinyl adheres to say a cushion or t shirt. Infusible Ink fuses into the fabric of the project.
When using Infusible Ink you also need to use the blanks designed to work with the ink. You must also follow the instructions rigidly, if you do this the results are fabulous.
What you Need To Get Started With Infusible Ink
- Smart Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or full size Infusible Ink sheets cut down
- Infusible Ink Pens (Optional but great for drawing, sketching and writing)
- Heat Resistant Tape ( For Coasters)
- Tool Kit
- Cricut Heat Press, Or Heat Press Mini
- Cricut Heat Mat
- White Card Stock
And Any Of The Following Cricut Blanks
- Cushion Blank
- Ceramic Coaster Blanks ( Also good to make hanging decorations)
- Cork Coaster
- T Shirt Blank
- Wine Bottle Bag Blank
- Cosmetic Bag Blanks
- Tote Bag Blank
The Cricut Joy has 2 types of labels, they both look very different, the white writable label vinyl is glossy in appearance, whereas the brown paper vinyl is almost like brown wrapping paper in appearance. You can cut and write and draw on both, although the pens are not washable, for washable labels use the cut feature or a permanent marker. The labels are perfect for labelling, but also stickers, planners and calendars.
What You Need To Get Started With Cricut Labels
- White writable smart label
- Brown label paper that comes in sheets
How To Use Your Cricut Joy And Cricut Design Space
I hope that was useful, now you have all you need its time for the best bit, crafting. Check out my Cricut Design Space guide which is packed with everything you need to know to use your Cricut Joy.
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