If you unwrapped a new Cricut machine over the holidays, here’s everything you need to know to set it up, get started, and make your first few projects successfully.
Nothing is more exciting for a crafter than unwrapping a brand new Cricut machine on Christmas morning, but it can also be a little scary and overwhelming if you’re a complete beginner. You’ve seen all kinds of projects on Pinterest and Instagram and wanted a Cricut machine so badly, but now that it’s in your hands, you have no idea what to do with it, or even how to get it out of the box. Don’t panic, I’ve got you! Here’s everything you need to know to get started with your new BFF.
Unboxing Your New Cricut Machine
One of the most common DMs I get is “I got a Cricut machine two months ago and it’s still in the box because I’m scared to open it.” I promise, it’s not as intimidating as it seems. Let’s walk through it together.
Cut the tape on the seams and open the lid, then you’ll be greeted with a packet including instruction manuals and information for warranties and test project materials. For now, you can set all that aside.
Remove the cushioning materials from around the machine and the power cords, then take out the machine. It will be wrapped in a dust jacket, and some machines are also wrapped in shrink wrap. Carefully remove both of those, and then carefully remove the tape holding the top and front doors. (Or just the front door on a Joy)
Open the front and top doors next, and you’ll find some foam around the tool holders. You can remove that, too. Now you can take anything else out of the box (mats, pen, practice materials, etc) and you have successfully unboxed your new Cricut!
Getting Started With Your New Cricut Machine + Design Space Setup
Now that your new Cricut machine has been opened up, it’s time to set up the machine and connect to the software that you’ll create your designs on. Inside your welcome packet, there will be a piece of paper with a link to visit to download Design Space. Or you can follow this link to avoid typing it in. This must be done on a desktop computer or laptop.
Download the software to your computer, then follow the on-screen instructions to connect your machine. (Don’t worry, it’s super easy) Here’s a detailed walkthrough for Maker 3/Explore 3, Explore Air 2/Maker, and Joy if you want to follow along, but your computer screen takes you through each step automatically.
The final step of the setup process is to make a test project. All Cricut machines come with some kind of sample material for completing a test project. Some are programmed in the setup screen to make a sticker using vinyl, and others are set to make a paper cut using cardstock. Just follow the instructions on screen to make your test cut.
Things Cricut Newbies Need To Know
What To Buy As A Newbie + How To Save Money
First things first, let’s talk about what you need to buy to make the type of crafts you’re interested in. This post gives you a beginner-level shopping list of materials and tools you need based on your crafting hobbies. And this post helps you save money on Cricut supplies, because they can definitely get expensive as you start acquiring more and more things.
Learn The Cricut Lingo
You’ll come across quite a few words and phrases as Cricut beginner that make you scratch your head in confusion. This post that tells you all the Cricut words and terms you need to know about machines, tools, and supplies. And this post covers all the words and phrases in Design Space that may be unfamiliar to you.
Cricut Tools And Materials For Newbies
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to using the tools and materials with your new Cricut machine. I recommend starting with the Cricut Basic Tool Set, and here’s a full rundown of what each tool in the set does and how to use them. Next you need to learn how to weed vinyl, and I cover all that in this post. Another important skill is the proper way to use transfer tape. This Instagram Reel shows my hack for getting transfer tape to stick and peel away easily every time.
Cricut Machine & Supply Storage
As you start to acquire more materials and tools, you’ll quickly realize that you need an organized way to store them all. If you have a small space, this craft cart solution works really well. For a larger craft room, here’s a tour of how to maximize all the storage space. HTV (Iron On Vinyl) requires special attention when it comes to storage, so here’s my best tips to extend their lifespan. If you need an all-in-one crafting storage and workspace zone, here’s the cabinet I recently ordered that changed my life. And if you need help planning and organizing your craft space, I have an organization e-course that helps you from start to finish.
Browse All My Cricut Archives
There are three years worth of Cricut tutorials, projects, and hacks on the blog, so after you’ve binged all the links above, head here to browse the entire Cricut category for all kinds of inspo. And make sure you grab my free Cricut Font Guide, because choosing fonts is SO time-consuming. Just pop your email below and I’ll send it right to you. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @lelaburris, because I post new Cricut videos and projects every Wednesday.
Planning A Craft Room Makeover?
The next semester of The Organized-ish Craft Room is open! This is my self-paced workshop-style training for how to plan, set up, organize, and maintain your craft space, no matter how big or small it is. If your craft room (or closet, or dining room nook) needs some serious organization, this course is for you. Enrollment fills up quickly, so grab your spot while you still can.