If there’s one phrase both beginner and experienced crafters have heard more than Cricut Joy in the past month, it’s Smart Materials. I won’t let the shiny new name intimidate you, though, so I’m answering the eight most common questions I’ve gotten about them.
What Are Smart Materials?
Cricut Joy Smart Materials are any material that does not require a mat. They have a special backing that allows the machine to cut through the material without cutting through the backing, but it’s strong enough to slide through the machine without bending and folding.
What Options Of Smart Materials Are Available?
Currently, at the time of this blog post, there are the following Smart Materials available to purchase:
- Smart Vinyl, in both removable and permanent
- Smart Iron-On, in Everyday and Glitter varieties
- Smart Label, in white writable vinyl and brown writable “Kraft” paper
What About Infusible Ink?
Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets are available for Cricut Joy, but due to the nature of the material, it does require a mat, therefore not qualifying as a Smart Material.
But don’t write off Infusible Ink for your Cricut Joy projects, because the mat comes with your Cricut Joy machine, so you’ll have it on hand when you’re ready to use the Infusible Ink already.
What Sizes Do Cricut Joy Smart Materials Come In?
All Cricut Joy Smart Materials come in rolls just like the vinyl you’re used to buying from Cricut, aside from a few varieties of Smart Iron On, which come in flat sheets. The rolls are all 5.5 inches wide, and come in lengths of 12″, 18″, 48″, 120″, and 240″.
*Currently the 10ft lengths only comes in black, white, gray, and red, and 20ft lengths are limited to black and white.
If I Cut Smart Materials Shorter Than 5.5″ Wide, Do I Need To Use A Mat?
Yes, if you are using scrap vinyl, whether it’s Smart Vinyl or not, you will need to use the mat. The Smart Materials are only able to be used without a mat when they fit securely between the two guide slots on each side of the loading slot.
Do I Need To Use Transfer Paper With Smart Materials?
For Smart Vinyl, you will need to use transfer paper. You can buy Cricut Joy Transfer Paper, but if you already have some regular Cricut Transfer Paper, it will work just the same.
You don’t need transfer paper for Smart Labels, though. They just peel off like stickers, although they are a bit harder to remove. You’ll need some nails for sure! I don’t recommend using weeding tools because the Smart Labels are very thin and can bend and tear.
And of course, you won’t use transfer paper for Smart Iron On Vinyl. It already has the clear backing on it.
Can I Use My Current “Regular” Cricut Vinyl With Cricut Joy?
Of course! The vinyl, iron-on vinyl, Infusible Ink sheets, and paper you already own will work just as well as it does with your current Cricut machine. You’ll just need to use a mat.
As a rule of thumb, use the Cricut Joy Standard Mat for vinyl and Infusible Ink, and the Cricut Joy Light Grip Mat for paper, including the new Cricut Joy Adhesive Backed Deluxe Paper.
Are More Smart Material Options Coming Later?
As far as I know, yes, there will be new materials, colors, patterns, and options coming in the future. These Smart Materials are part of the Cricut Joy product line launch, and a lot of time and energy went into creating a collection of materials to make available immediately.
You can expect to see new additions later this year, although I have not heard from my friends at Cricut what they will be yet. We’ll just be surprised together!
How To Get Your Own Cricut Joy
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’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.