The Cricut Joy Guide, What You Need To Know Before Buying For Beginners?


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?

If you are a fan of crafting also see the xTool M1 (US Readers) Hybrid Laser Machine and check out our thoughts on the fab laser cutting machine.

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What can you make with the Cricut Joy and what you need to buy for Cricut Joy Projects

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.

All about the Cricut Joy

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.

Cricut Joy vinyl stickers for Birthdays

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 do you need for the Cricut joy for beginners

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.

Smart Vinyl

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.

Large Vinyl Rolls

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.

Non permanent is perfect for wall decals, stickers, planners, phone covers and decorating books.

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.

Easy no sew children's face masks

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.)
Quick and easy table upcyle with Cricut Vinyl

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.

I used my Cricut Maker to cut the vinyl for the table below. However, this could have easily been done on the Joy.

choosing kitchen flooring, should my kitchen floor be light or match my worktops


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

Making cards with monogram maker

Paper Cuts

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

London Phone Box Paper Cut PNG file for Cricut Crafting

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.

Using multiple colours with infusible ink

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

And Any Of The Following Cricut Blanks

Infusible ink pen set


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

Using the draw feature on Cricut Joy Smart Labels

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.

Please note this post contains affiliate links.

What can you make with the Cricut Joy and a Handy shopping guide

7 thoughts on “The Cricut Joy Guide, What You Need To Know Before Buying For Beginners?”

  1. I found your website very useful as a new Cricut Joy owner.

    I have a question that I can’t find the answer to anywhere… I want to know if I need to cut the paper or card for papercuts to the exact size of the cutting mat or if it can be smaller?
    I find it very wasteful to have to use a large piece of card or paper for a small cut. I know you can use scraps of vinyl, but what about scraps of paper or card?
    Would you be able to help?

    Thank you

  2. Super useful blog, was wondering what tools/equipment I need and this is super clear whilst also saying it depends. What are the running costs in terms of templates/printing? Again I guess is depends, but on top of the obvious vinyl/card to be cut what other running costs are there?

    • Hi Nadine, its materials such as vinyl glue and card, I don’t think it uses much electricity at all although have never monitored that, also you can get templates and SVG free there are so many sites like mine that offer then free of charge, hope that helps Sarah x

  3. This is soooo helpful! I just treated myself to A Cricut Joy, on Black Friday. I have soooo many Cricut pens. Can I use them in the Joy? I have never had a machine that doesn’t use cartridges, and STILL love my Expression. However, I can super excited to be able to use cut files etc.


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