New Cricut Joy Beginner Guide
Cricut Projects

Introducing Cricut Joy!

A month ago I went to Salt Lake City, Utah with a small group of bloggers on the most top-secret trip I’ve ever been on. I got on a plane, not knowing who would be there or what was happening. We were brought into a room, they took up our phones, shut the door, and a lawyer stood in front of us and intensely stressed the secrecy of our meeting. Then it happened. The coolest surprise ever. Cricut has a brand new teeny tiny machine, Cricut Joy, and we were the very first to see it!

Cricut Joy has its own app, too. For step-by-step instructions on how to make labels, vinyl, Iron-On, and paper crafts without Design Space, read My Exact Guide To The Cricut Joy App.

Updated July 6, 2020

Cricut Joy size by maker

Meet The Brand New Cricut Joy

Isn’t this the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Don’t let the size fool you though, this bad boy really packs a punch! Cricut Joy is the perfect companion to crank out fast and easy projects in 15 minutes or less.

Cricut Joy new products

Practical, everyday personalization projects have NEVER been this accessible, and it’s ridiculously easy to produce a one-cut, one-color vinyl, iron-on, or paper craft in less time than it takes to brew your morning coffee.

Cricut Joy vs maker

Tiny & Light = Unlimited Portability

If you’ve ever had to drag your Cricut Maker down the stairs to work on a kitchen labeling binge, you quickly realized that Makers and Explores are meant to stay where they are. But not every project needs to be made in a craft room, and that’s where Cricut Joy comes in.

Cricut Joy Review and Beginners Guide

It’s so small you can store it anywhere, like a cubby, a bookshelf, or even a kitchen counter. That’s exactly where mine is right now! I’ve used it in almost every room of my house, including the bathroom!

It packs away and sets up instantly, so I can move it around just as easily as my laptop.

Cricut Joy mini cricut maker


Say whaaattt??? Yes girl, while there are tiny (and extremely adorable) mats for Cricut Joy, they aren’t required for basic vinyl and iron-on projects.

Pick your jaw up off the floor, and go ahead and ask what I know you’re thinking… “how can Cricut Joy cut without a mat, Lela?

Ok, so here’s the cool part: Cricut Joy has a full suite of brand new materials that are equipped with Smart Material technology. Sound fancy right? Oh yeah, it totally is.

The new Smart Materials feed straight into Cricut Joy, and come in extended sizes up to 20 FEET in certain colors!  Think of how many mats you’d have to load up for your Maker to cut 20 feet. And the best part is, Cricut Joy can cut those 20 feet continuously! You just roll out the material and that that baby go while you refill your coffee and take the dog out for a quick walk.

Exclusive New Materials, Just For Cricut Joy

The Smart Materials are just the beginning of Cricut Joy’s new materials collection. Smart Materials come in removable and permanent vinyl varieties, along with iron-on vinyl, Infusible Ink transfer sheets, and the brand new Cricut Joy Smart Label. (Quick note, you do need a mat for Infusible Ink.)

Learn all about what Smart Materials are and how they work in this blog post.

Cricut Joy pens

Cricut Joy Writes, Too!

Just like the Maker and Explore family, Cricut Joy writes with compatible* pens and markers. To keep Cricut Joy as small and compact as possible, the blade and pen share the same housing. You can easily swap them out when doing a cut-and-draw project.

*The existing Cricut pens do not work with Cricut Joy. They’re too big, so you will have to purchase Cricut Joy pens and markers for this machine.

labels made by Cricut Joy

I’ll show you the pen in action later in this post, when I break down how I made labels for my guest bathroom and linen closet just hours before a surprise guest came to stay with us.

Making Cards with Cricut Joy

Make A Card In 3 Minutes Or Less

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a “card maker.” I’m more of a “grab one from the dollar store on the way to the party” type of chick. But when I was in Utah I, no joke, made 10 cards in 30 minutes, and that included sharing Cricut Joy with another blogger who also made 10 cards!

Cricut Joy has new Insert Card Kits that come with decorative inserts and envelopes, and they have their very own special mat to make the cut process super fast and easy.

You can see my beginner tutorial for creating cards with Cricut Joy in 3 minutes or less in this blog post.

labels from Cricut Joy

How Cricut Joy Saved My Guest Bathroom

Let’s be real here. Sometimes I’m a bit of a procrastinator. I always get things done, but maybe I overestimate my ability to finish things before the clock strikes twelve and my carriage turns back into a pumpkin. So when I realized that an out-of-town guest was arriving to stay with us in one day and I hadn’t even started prepping yet, I had to get moving.

We don’t have a specific guest bedroom or bathroom in our house, so when guests visit (which isn’t too often, luckily) my son gives up his room to them and we convert his bathroom to a guest space.

guest linen closet

His bathroom was looking a little, well, teenage boy-ish, so I decided to give it an afternoon refresh before our guest arrived. I wanted to make sure the guest had everything they needed to be comfortable during their stay, so I stocked the cabinets and linen closet with anything and everything I could think of.

But the thing about being a guest is, you don’t want to go snooping through cabinets and drawers to find something, even when your host told you it’s ok. So I broke out my brand new Cricut Joy and labeled every container in the room. And guess what…it took THIRTY MINUTES!

Cricut Joy Smart Labels

Materials I Used:

bathroom and linen closet labels for Cricut Joy

1. Choose Label Style & Font

I started by setting up my labels and text in Design Space. I just searched for “labels” in the image library, chose the one that worked best for my containers, and added text for each one using the Tuesday font.

fast and easy bathroom and linen labels for Cricut Joy

You can make this project even faster and easier by swiping my exact design*, no customization necessary. Just make sure you’ve updated Design Space to the newest version so you see Cricut Joy in your machine options. I created the design to take up 43″ of a Cricut Joy Smart Label roll, which is 48″ total, so all labels will fit on one single roll.

If some of the labels don’t apply to you, you can click the “eye” icon next to the label group to hide it. The hidden labels will not cut/print. If you need to change the text to another word, you’ll need to unattach and ungroup, then make your changes, then group and attach again before clicking “make it.”

*This design is available to use in Design Space and you can go straight to it here.

Cricut Joy bathroom labels

2. Load The Cricut Joy Smart Label Into Cricut Joy

Once you click “Make It” you will be prompted to choose your mat option. Choose the “no mat” selection, then your machine will start to blink on top. Slide the material up to the opening and Cricut Joy will pull the Cricut Joy Smart Label through to make sure there is enough material to complete the cuts.

You’ll notice that there aren’t any buttons on Cricut Joy, so you won’t need to push anything to feed the material through. Once the machine detects the vinyl being gently pushed near the opening, it will automatically pull it through for you.

*Make sure you’ve unrolled the vinyl first, and you have enough space in front and behind the machine so the vinyl can feed through. If you’re using my exact design, I have already made sure it will all fit on one 48″ Cricut Joy Smart Label roll.

Cricut Joy writes

3. Start Your Project!

Since there are no buttons on Cricut Joy, you won’t have to push the “C” button to start the project like the Maker and Explore machines have. You’ll click “Go” in Design Space, and it will start automatically.

For my bathroom labels, I needed Cricut Joy to write and cut the labels, so I was prompted to load the pen first. It wrote all my text, all the way through, then stopped and waited for me to remove the pen and insert the blade.

*Note: If you have a Maker or Explore, you’re used to pushing the pen into the slot until it clicks. DO NOT DO THAT WITH CRICUT JOY. Just drop the pen into the housing gently and close the clasp. It will not click, and pushing hard will damage your pen and machine.

Cricut Joy bathroom labels

4. Switch From Pen To Blade

Once you’ve switched to the blade, you can press “Go” in Design Space again and it will start cutting. Don’t worry about the pen smudging; it dries almost instantly!

I was so impressed with this Cricut Joy Smart Label material and the new Cricut Joy pens, because there was no smudging at ALL! I don’t know how they did it, but even my printer smudges ink sometimes, so this combo is a total game changer when it comes to labeling.

bathroom labels by Cricut Joy

5. Just Peel And Stick

One thing I love about this project is there is no weeding or transfer tape needed! I just pulled off the excess vinyl from around the labels, then brought the long roll over to the cabinet and linen closet and peeled off the labels with my fingers.

Cricut Joy labels

No weeding picks, no tweezers, no scrapers, no sticky transfer tape, and no mess. They went on just like a store-bought sticker.

guest linen closet

The Whole Bathroom Was Done In 30 Minutes!

I was able to set Cricut Joy up on the bathroom counter, press “Go” and declutter and organize the bathroom while the machine was working.

By the time I finished reorganizing, my labels were done! The hands-off time of not managing multiple mats made this project so easy and fast. I finished the whole bathroom in 30 minutes flat, and still had time to set up the makeshift guest bedroom afterward.

*These labels are available to use in Design Space and you can go straight to them to cut and draw here.

bathroom labels Cricut Joy

Are You In Love With Cricut Joy Yet?

I’ve had Cricut Joy in my house for about three weeks, and I have SO many awesome projects to show you to make your home and life more Organized*ish.

Cricut Joy has been such a game changer for me, especially when it’s stored in my kitchen, because I can turn it on and make a quick lunchbox label, birthday card, or last-minute school project in minutes.

And since the materials are small too, I can keep everything I need in a drawer or handled caddy.

Cricut Joy versus cricut maker

Already A Cricut Maker Or Explore Owner?

Don’t write off Cricut Joy as something you don’t need. While it does cut the same as your existing machine, it doesn’t cut the tough stuff like wood, metal, leather, and felt. You’ll still use your Maker or Explore for that, as well as bigger and more labor intensive projects, especially since Cricut Joy materials max out at 5.5″ wide.

Think of your Maker or Explore as your big screen TV, perfect for Netflix binging and that new release move you’ve been dying to see.

And consider Cricut Joy as your cell phone; great for quick YouTube videos and casual streaming.

Read this post to see how Cricut Joy is the perfect companion to Cricut Maker. They’re total BFFs and you should have both in your crafting arsenal!

Lela Burris trying out the new Cricut Joy

They each have their specialties, and it makes crafting so much easier when you have options based on your project level. Cricut Joy is just what you need for fast, easy, quick-grab projects, and Maker and Explore machines are best used for your bigger, more labor-intensive projects.

Or you can be a boss of a multitasker and have both machines going at the same time to make double the amount of project components in half the time. That would be awesome for the next time you have to make 100 party favor labels one day before your best friend’s baby shower…

Cricut Joy travel bag

Plus, since Cricut Joy is so small and light, it can be used and stored anywhere. Now that the cat’s out of the bag and I can actually tell people about my new Cricut Joy, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be popping it in it’s travel bag and having Cricut And Wine Nights with my friends during Girls’ Night.

New Cricut Joy Beginner Guide

How To Get Your Own Cricut Joy

Cricut Joy is officially available! You can shop on here, or you can buy it in-store where other Cricut products are sold, like Michaels, JoAnne’s, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and more. And of course, you can also use your Amazon Prime membership to order it there and get it shipped super fast and free.

Have Q’s? Drop them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get you the answers from my BFFs at Cricut. 

new Cricut Joy review


  1. Hi! This is such a helpful post and I so appreciate you taking the time to write it! Can you share where you got the wicker/rattan organizer that you keep your supplies and laptop in on your kitchen counter? Thanks!

  2. I’d like to see ways to cut fabric for shirts/pants.

    • Brad - Admin

      Hi, Judy! The Cricut Maker is better suited for fabric projects, especially clothing. I don’t recommend large-scale fabric cuts with Cricut Joy.

  3. Sandra gandy

    Wow! It’s so small and cute. I love it. It would so easy for teachers to use when decorating and organizing their classroom.

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