Learn how to use the Cricut Joy app to quickly create simple labels, paper crafts, vinyl, and iron-on projects for Cricut Joy without Design Space.
Are you afraid to take your new Cricut Joy out of the box? Do your 30-minute projects turn into 3-hour ones? Think those pretty labels are just for Pinterest and YouTube stars? So did I, but now I don’t. Getting started with Cricut Joy is about to be so much easier. Cricut Joy now has its own app for simple, single-layer projects. All you need is a machine and a Cricut account. I‘ll walk you through the free Cricut Joy app for Paper, Vinyl, Iron-On, Smart Labels, and Cricut Joy Insert Cards, so you can actually use your hard-earned machine quickly and confidently.
First Things First
The Cricut Joy app only works with Cricut Joy machines (Sorry, Maker and Explore users), and you must have yours already connected before downloading the app. If yours is still in the box, here’s a step-by-step setup guide.
Since the app is specifically designed for speedy projects from brand new crafters, you’ll still need Design Space for more complex jobs. The app is currently only available for iOS phones and tablets, but an Android version is in development.
Now that all the things the app can’t do are out of the way, grab it from the App Store, log into your Cricut account, and let’s see what it can do.
Quick Labels and Insert Cards
If you attempt labels in Design Space, you’ll realize that each label needs to be created separately. Cue the headaches as you try to organize your whole pantry. With the app, all you have to do is choose one style and add text. You can create 5 labels or 25 without copying each one.
1. From the main screen, tap the green Start button under Quick Labels or Insert Cards.
2. Then, you’ll see all necessary materials and some resources from Cricut’s website. You can use Smart Label Writable Vinyl and Writable Paper. Smart Vinyl and Deluxe Paper work, too. To make cards, you’ll need Cricut Joy Insert Card Kits and a Card Mat. Once you have your materials, tap Start Making.
3. Choose your label style (minimal cutout, decorative cutout, hand-drawn, or letters only.) You cannot add your own styles, but the templates should have what you need. Card templates have a search bar at the top for holidays and themes.
4. Set your dimensions and add your text. Use the plus button to add more labels. Cards are already sized to fit the Card Mat, so skip this step for those.
5. On the following screen, you’ll see a preview of your project. It’ll probably be a little basic to start, so let’s change that with the Edit button at the bottom. The font button is on the bottom-left; colors are on the bottom-right. For cards, the outer and insert colors are changeable with the Edit Color button at the bottom. Everything with an “A” requires Cricut Access, but for a limited time, all images and fonts in the app are free!
6. Once you’re loving the look, tap Next, and set your material. Cricut Smart Materials do not need a mat. To see a preview of how everything will be cut, tap Preview, but Make It is where the real magic happens.
7. You’ll see step-by-step animations for how to load and unload materials, and how to apply the labels to surfaces. That’s it. Beautiful, organized labels and cards in less time than it’ll take your spouse to find them.
Iron-On, Vinyl, and Paper
These follow the same process, except that pre-made shapes and images can be added, you choose an orientation to start, and these projects can be saved when exiting the app. (Labels and cards are quick enough to not require a save function.) Each material also has a separate button on the main menu.
For iron-on, the “Mirror” option is on by default, which saves you from accidentally making a T-shirt in upside-down English or a beach bag with the world’s most awkward umbrella. Ask me how I know this. I’ll wait.
Move, resize, rotate, and delete objects with your finger. There are up to three extra icons above each element in a project. A pair of scissors means that the shape, image, or text will be cut with the background. If the scissors have a white box around them, that means you can tell Cricut Joy to cut that area separately, which is perfect for text inside of shapes.
Finally, the pen and line icon is the Draw button. You’ll need a Cricut Joy pen, but for a personalized touch, the machine can draw instead of cut.
Cricut Joy Doesn’t Sound So Scary Now, Does It?
With a brand new app that isn’t as overwhelming, you now have step-by-step instructions to create Smart Labels, Insert Cards, Vinyl, Iron-On, and Paper crafts with Cricut Joy. You’ve taken your skills beyond the shiny shipping box and test project, and not only do you have a powerful little machine, you also have the confidence to use it. All that’s left to do is keep crafting, right?
Visit the Cricut Projects section of the DIY tab for more. Want VIP Cricut tips? Sign up for my email list to gain access to our exclusive Freebie Library and Cricut cheat sheets to become a pro with more projects. Here’s my Cricut Font Guide to get you started!