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Read Time: 8 mins

What is Cricut? You may have heard the name and initially thought it was related to a sport, but then heard it combined with the words “vinyl” and “T-shirts” and got very confused (I know I did!).

I often get asked questions like “What is a Cricut?’ and “What can a Cricut do?” So I will be answering both of those questions and so many more in this Cricut beginner's guide.

picture showing all cricut machinespicture showing all cricut machinespicture showing all cricut machines

I'll also go over the possibility of starting a small business with your Cricut machine and all the resources you can find on Envato Elements for that. And if you enjoy video tutorials, then don't forget to visit the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel! You'll find lots of useful content, like this "What Is Cricut" video:

What You'll Learn in This Cricut Beginner's Guide

  1. How to Pronounce Cricut
  2. What Is a Cricut Machine?
  3. What Does a Cricut Machine Do?
  4. How Does a Cricut Machine Work?
  5. What Can I Make With My Cricut?
  6. Sell Your Creations Made With Envato Elements
  7. How Many Cricut Machines Are There?
  8. What Can a Cricut Do and Cut?
  9. How Big Can I Cut on My Machine?

1. How to Pronounce Cricut

First of all, people often ask how to pronounce Cricut—and luckily for us, it is pronounced exactly the same as both the sport and the insect: “kri·kuht“. This is also why their brand mascot is an adorable little creature with antennas.

It is often pronounced “cry-cut”, but this is unfortunately not the correct Cricut pronunciation. Now, if ever you get asked, or hear the incorrect pronunciation of Cricut, you can correct them and know your way is correct!

2. What Is a Cricut Machine?

You may be wondering, what is a Cricut machine? A Cricut is an electronic cutting device that can do a wide variety of functions. It is also often referred to as a die-cutting or vinyl-cutting device due to its ability to accurately cut small things, but it can do so much more than that. It is an extremely powerful machine to add to any crafting or small business arsenal, and it's extremely easy to use. 

Image of Cricut Explore 3 machine, with black foam on mat loaded into machineImage of Cricut Explore 3 machine, with black foam on mat loaded into machineImage of Cricut Explore 3 machine, with black foam on mat loaded into machine

3. What Does a Cricut Machine Do?

A Cricut machine can do so many different things such as cutting, drawing, scoring, engraving, perforation, foiling, and debossing. You can perform these functions on so many different materials, with some of the machines compatible with over 300 different material types.

The Cricut brand not only produces these awesome crafting machines but also has a wide range of its own products, including many different materials such as vinyl, paper, acetate, and so much more. In addition to this, there's also a range of other machines that complement Cricut machines and materials like heat presses, and they've recently added a few lighting options to their range too.

Many small businesses use Cricut machines to make their products in some way or another, as there are honestly just so many things you can do with these machines—and there's no end to what a Cricut can do!

Baby shower decor, bunting, onesies hung on a ropeBaby shower decor, bunting, onesies hung on a ropeBaby shower decor, bunting, onesies hung on a rope

4. How Does a Cricut Machine Work?

How a Cricut machine works is with two rollers on either side of the machine, which grip the mat or material and roll it back and forth, while also moving the blade housing left and right. Because of this, the Cricut machine has access to a very wide area on the mat or media, and it can cut or draw any shape you tell it to!

The material that you are cutting stays in place on the mat because of a special sticky glue that allows it to be easily removed without being damaged. These mats, if properly cared for, can last for several months, and they can be lightly washed to remove dirt and make them a little bit stickier for a little bit longer!

While the Cricut brand offers a very wide variety of its own products, you are not limited to using Cricut products in these machines—and there are many different brands that produce similar materials. 

up close shot of bars and Cricut carriageup close shot of bars and Cricut carriageup close shot of bars and Cricut carriage

5. What Can I Make With My Cricut?

The options of things that you can make with your Cricut are endless. Many use it to make things like stickers, T-shirts, mugs, and cards. But with the materials that this machine can cut, there are so many different options and applications that you can use in order to make something out of the ordinary. As an example, you can use stencil vinyl to cut and apply a stencil to wood, and use wood burning gel to make a customised chopping board. You can use the same principle to create doormats, etched glass artwork, and so many more things.

One of the fan favourite things to do with your Cricut is to make stickers, and with these machines you can print something on your printer and have it cut on your Cricut!

up close keyring with vinyl and covered in resin on a bagup close keyring with vinyl and covered in resin on a bagup close keyring with vinyl and covered in resin on a bag

6. Sell Your Creations Made With Envato Elements

My favourite use of my Cricut machines is for party decor. I'm always looking for a way to wiggle myself into the organising committee to use my Cricut to create personalised bunting, fun decor pieces like “ready-to-pop” popcorn containers, and baby boxes.

Did you know you can sell your creations when you use assets from Envato Elements? Envato Elements is a no-tie subscription service that has a huge range of fonts, graphics, photos, etc that can be used in a unique way. You can easily create gorgeous projects that will set you apart from anyone else with your product range.

Did you know you can have unlimited access to thousands of professional fonts on Envato Elements?Did you know you can have unlimited access to thousands of professional fonts on Envato Elements?Did you know you can have unlimited access to thousands of professional fonts on Envato Elements?
Did you know you can have unlimited access to thousands of professional fonts on Envato Elements?

They also have other amazing assets, all covered under an easy-to-understand commercial license. You get unlimited downloads with a monthly subscription, and you can cancel at any time.

Subscribe to Envato Elements Now

7. How Many Cricut Machines Are There?

Currently, there are five different machines on the market, in three ranges. The smallest machine is the Cricut Joy, which is a fantastic entry-level machine. It cuts up to 13cm wide and is also the cheapest machine on the market. 

The middle-of-the-range machines are the Explore range. Currently there are only two machines in this range: the Explore Air 2 and the Explore 3. These are extremely popular machines due to their price range and the number of materials they can cut.

The top-of-the-range machines are part of the Maker family. In this range, there is the Maker and the Maker 3 (there is no Maker 2). These are the flagship machines which can cut a much wider variety of things than the others.

all Cricuts lined upall Cricuts lined upall Cricuts lined up

8. What Can a Cricut Do and Cut?

Each of the machines has a different number of materials they can cut. The Joy range can cut many of the basic materials that would get any small business off the ground: many different kinds of paper, cardstock, adhesive vinyl, and heat transfer vinyl (iron-on). Many have even cut things like faux leather! According to Cricut, the Joy machines can cut 50+ different materials, although many have cut things not listed on their website.

The Explore range can cut 100+ materials, which is one of the main reasons why it's so popular with so many small businesses. It can cut everything the Joy can cut, and so much more. It also offers the "print then cut" functionality—which is probably one of the most popular Cricut features!

The Maker range is the most robust machine yet, with 300+ materials under its belt. It can do everything that the Explore and Joy ranges can do. It also boasts the compatibility of the QuickSwap Housing which has the option to deboss (emboss), engrave, perforate, and more. It's compatible with a few additional tools like the knife blade for heavy materials like leather, balsa wood, and chipboard, and the rotary blade which is used to cut unbonded fabric.

showing multiple different material types that a cricut can cutshowing multiple different material types that a cricut can cutshowing multiple different material types that a cricut can cut

9. How Big Can I Cut on My Machine?

These machines can cut a very wide variety of sizes, with the Joy being the smallest, able to cut materials that are 13cm/5” wide, and up to 30cm/12” long on a mat (or 6m/20ft long on smart vinyl—without a mat).

The Explore Air 2 and the Maker can both make use of the 30x30cm/12”x12” and the 30x60cm/12”x24” cutting mats, whereas the Explore 3 and the Maker 3 can use both mat sizes, as well as Smart Vinyl up to 3.6m/12ft.

different mat sizes and materials cricuts can cutdifferent mat sizes and materials cricuts can cutdifferent mat sizes and materials cricuts can cut

Explore More Tutorials and Resources for Cricut Design Space

Now that you know exactly what a Cricut is, maybe you want to learn how to use the very user-friendly software. Here are some tutorials and resources you can check out to see how simple it is to navigate Cricut Design Space and discover everything you can do with your Cricut machine!

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