First of all, let’s take a minute to do a big happy dance together to celebrate the fact that you bought a Cricut Joy! Cricut Joy is perfect for quick and easy projects, and to go along with that message, Cricut has made the setup for this machine just as fast and easy, too.
I wanted to walk you through exactly how to set up Cricut Joy for the first time, whether you’re an existing Cricut machine owner or Cricut Joy is your very first one. I promise, it’s really easy, and takes about 10 minutes total. (And half of that time is just waiting for downloads and updates.)
Follow this guide as soon as your Cricut Joy comes through your front door and you’ll have it up and running in no time.
Once you’re set up, Cricut Joy has a free beginner-friendly app with step-by-step project instructions. Learn how to use it with this exact guide.
How To Set Up Cricut Joy For The First Time
1. Unpack The Box
When you open your Cricut Joy box, you’ll first see the actual machine. Underneath will be your power cords and a fine point black pen.
You’ll also find an envelope up against the side of the box. This is super important, so don’t accidentally trash the box without taking this out. Inside the envelope is a setup guide, a standard grip mat, and some sample pieces of vinyl and paper to practice with. You’ll need the piece of vinyl later in the setup process.
2. Download The Most Recent Version Of Design Space
If you already have Design Space on your computer (keep in mind that the web version has been discontinued so you need to have the desktop app downloaded) you will be prompted to update any time it’s necessary.
But if you’re a new user, visit here to download Design Space.
Once Design Space is downloaded and updated, click the top left corner to activate a dropdown menu. Choose “New Machine Setup” and select Cricut Joy. You will be prompted to plug in your new Joy and your computer will attempt to connect with it.
**Make sure your computer has Bluetooth enabled. If your computer does not have Bluetooth built into it, you will need to buy a Bluetooth adapter like this one so it can connect wirelessly. Cricut Joy is not compatible with a USB cord.
Once connected, you’ll be prompted to wait for a firmware update. This is not the same thing as the Design Space software update. The firmware update manages your Cricut Joy specifically.
3. Create A Test Project
When your firmware has been updated, you’ll be prompted to choose a test project. Do not skip this step! This not only helps you familiarize yourself with Cricut Joy, but it also makes sure the machine is calibrated correctly.
This is where that piece of vinyl in your Welcome Envelope kicks in. Just choose the image you’d like to cut from the six options on the screen. I chose the mountains for this example, but you can pick any of them.
Insert the Smart Vinyl (AKA vinyl that doesn’t need a mat to cut with) by sliding it near the opening), and Cricut Joy will automatically pull it through. You’ll notice there aren’t any buttons on the machine. All “buttons” are in Design Space. When you click “Go” on your screen, you should be ready to insert the vinyl immediately after.
Cricut Joy will pull the vinyl through and measure it first, making sure there is enough material to complete the project. After it confirms the measurement, it will begin cutting. You don’t have to do anything, just hang back and let it do its thing.
Unload And Prepare Your New Decal
When Cricut Joy finishes cutting your design, Design Space will tell you to unload the vinyl. You will need to click the button on screen for Cricut Joy to release the material. Do NOT pull it out forcefully.
Weed the excess away from the design, and use a weeding tool to remove small pieces you can’t get with your fingers.
Gently pull away the vinyl decal and attach it onto whatever you’d like. I put mine on a water bottle, but you can put it on almost anything.
Ideas For Where To Put Your Test Decal
- Laptop Cover
- Coffee Mug
- Water Bottle
- Lunch Box Container
- Kid’s School Binder
- TV Remote
- Cardstock Paper
- Mini Photo Frame
- Notebook Cover
Try Out The Pen
This isn’t included in the test project, but I highly recommend you open up a new canvas, add some text, select “writing” in the font menu, and click “Make It”.
Choose the cardstock option in the materials menu on the next screen, and grab the piece of cardstock you received in your Welcome Envelope.
Remove the blade from Cricut Joy and replace it with the pen that came in your package. Gently drop the open pen into the slot and close the clasp. Do NOT push the pen down like you do with a Cricut Maker or Explore. It will NOT click and can damage your machine and pen if you push too hard.
Again, no mat is needed. Just click “Go” and watch Cricut Joy write perfect text in seconds.
Want To Know More About Cricut Joy?
You can read my full review of all Cricut Joy features in this post, and keep an eye out on my blog for more projects as I continue to create with it.
UPDATE! Cricut Joy is officially available! You can shop on cricut.com here, or you can buy it in-store where other Cricut products are sold, like Michaels, JoAnne, 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.
Make sure you follow my Instagram Page for updates on new Cricut Joy blog posts and projects as soon as they’re posted on the site.
And hop on my weekly email list so you can be the first to know when Cricut Joy is available and get my exclusive discount code so you can get it even cheaper than it already is! Drop your email address below to get on the list, and I’ll send you my Cricut Font Guide as a welcome gift!