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Six weeks of owning the new Cricut Maker and am crazy about it! The sky is the limit now that I’m no longer afraid of the machine. Do a couple of projects and that fear goes away! You’ll be ready to tackle everything that wonderful machine will cut! Scour the internet for every nugget of knowledge, try every project that interests you and you will have a list of tips also. Nothing like learning as you go!
I learned these as a newbie, some of my tips might be obvious, but at the time it was a light bulb moment for me! Here is my list of 15 Cricut Maker tips I’ve learned (some the hard way!) in random order.
Transfer paper can be used repeatedly as long as it still is sticky
1. Save the backing paper and put the transfer tape back on it and it can be reused until it is no longer sticky. Have some sort of storage for your pieces, I use a plastic shoe box size box. A collection of different sizes will develop and repeated use of the size appropriate piece will save a little money in the long run. Use your own judgement for when the piece is no longer usable. You’ll know!
Practice cut on Cardstock
2. When in doubt, cut a practice piece with cardstock to see how it looks. The first few projects are scary. How are they going to look? Well, cut the design out of “cheaper than vinyl” cardstock and place it to see if it’s going to be right. It will ease your mind when it’s time to do it for real with vinyl. You will gain confidence each time you practice.
Clean surfaces with alcohol
3. Wipe all residue that might prevent your vinyl from sticking with 90% alcohol. There are many substances that could be on your surface and the alcohol will remove them. Oils from your skin, sticky glue residue and specks of dust are a few things that will keep the vinyl from sticking to the surface so this step is very important for the success of the project.
Contact Paper Saves Mats
4. Put contact paper on the fabric mat when cutting felt or batting. Place it so the sticky side is up when you peel the covering off. Then just peel it off when you’re done. Saves the mat and therefore money. It’s in your best interest to take as many precautions to save your mats.
Dollar Tree Contact Paper
5. Clear dollar tree contact paper can be used for transfer tape to save money. It can be reused as well until the sticky is no longer useful.
6. Move the weeding tool slowly under the weed until a piece plucks up and you can grab it or it sticks to the tool. Have a piece of paper towel to wipe the small pieces in to so that they don’t go everywhere. Additionally, you can stick them to a scrap piece of paper or have a container of some sort to drop them in. The more projects you do, you will find little bits of vinyl on you every where. Found a heart on the bottom of my sipper once.
7. Set the maker on vinyl and cut contact paper for stencils to save money. It works just fine. It weeds and transfers easily.
8. Click on your image in design space ‘make it’ screen and move it to position where it will be cut on the vinyl.
9. You can select more than one image and or upload to put on the canvas in design space.
10. Center design and make a line box around the area the design needs to fit in. Use it to frame your image on its destination. This takes the guesswork out of centering things.
11. Wad up big pieces of off cast so it doesn’t stick to the garbage can. Just plain annoying!
12. Reverse weeding is good for small things. Put transfer tape on and weed from it. Things don’t move around as much.
13. Set letter spacing to 0 move all letters together when grouped. Ungroup letters in words and click on them to move individually.
15. Once you make your first project you will be hooked for life! You’ve been warned!
There are so many free and for sale images out there to choose for your projects. Pinterest is full of them and Facebook groups offer a lot of ideas. Personally, I like making my own designs. Lots more to learn therefore more YouTube! Keep searching and studying and practicing! You may even want to start selling your projects on Etsy to support your habit.
I’d love for you to check out more about Getting to Know My New Cricut Maker and what I taught myself to make.
What have you learned about your Cricut? We’d love for you to share your lesson with us below.