I eat, sleep, and breathe crafting, mostly Cricut. 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 wondered why, but maybe it’s not so obvious. Of course, I know, but I thought it would be helpful to put 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 fantastic little machine does, what you need to know and most importantly, what do you need to buy to get started with Cricut Joy?
What You Will Find Here
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 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 at several hundred pounds less than the Cricut Maker or Explore, don’t be fooled into thinking the machine is inferior. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Cricut Joy cut is refined and sharp, as expected from the more expensive models.
I own a Cricut Joy and a Cricut Maker and use the machines equally. The difference is that the machine can’t cut larger projects and won’t print, 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. In one piece; i
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, the machine, and all supplies in Hobby Crafts and, if you are in the US, Michaels.
I will start with the absolute essentials for beginners to get started, and I 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 do bigger projects with a longer mat. The mat can be used with vinyl. You need to cut to size or card stock if you have wide rolls.
- Tool Kit the link is to the basic tool kit; these are three of the four tools I use for every project.
- Brayer this is essential if you use a mat; the brayer adheres card and vinyl to the mat to ensure it’s nice and secure before cutting.
- Card Stock is perfect for cutting out Alphabets and letters to frame, creating homemade 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! Several of my friends have bought them and love them. And after owning a Joy for a year, I can thoroughly recommend it.
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 can feed the vinyl straight into your machine. Smart vinyl comes in permanent and non-permanent.
It also comes in various lengths but is 12 inches 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 can hand wash permanent vinyl. I have personalised many mugs with permanent vinyl, all of which have stood the test of time.
Iron On Vinyl
My favourite vinyl is perfect for making t-shirts, cushions, and decorating pumps, jackets and more. You can use an iron to press your design, but I find it could be more effective than the Cricut Heat Press as the heat press gets much hotter and is designed to use with iron-on vinyl. You must use a heat press and heat mat to adhere to your design.
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 a fantastic product that does so much; it’s great for cups, glasses, wall decals, planner stickers, decorating phone cases, up-cycle furniture, and the list goes on and on; you will need it.
- 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.
You can cut individual elements to make handmade cards, and the Cricut Joy also has a dedicated card mat and card inserts. You 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 Mother’s Day Card Template here.
Card Shopping List
Paper crafting is my absolute favourite. However, if designing is not your thing, I have so many free cut files available for you to download and a few in my Etsy store. Plus here is a great list of places to find free SVG files.
What You Need For Paper Cutting
Infusible Ink Projects
Infusible Ink is a wonderful invention; it does exactly what it says on the tin, whereas Iron On Vinyl adheres to a cushion or t-shirt. Infusible Ink fuses into the fabric of the project.
When using Infusible Ink, you must 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 two types of labels; they both look very different; the white writable label vinyl is glossy, whereas the brown paper vinyl is almost like brown wrapping paper. You can cut, write, and draw on both, although the pens are not washable; use the cut feature or a permanent marker for washable labels. The labels are perfect for labelling, 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, it’s time for the best bit, crafting. Check out my Cricut Design Space guide, which contains everything you need to know to use your Cricut Joy.
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