Got yourself a brand new Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore? Cool!..Ok. Now what?…
Like every Cricut Beginner knows, when you first get your machine it can be SUPER overwhelming. You’ve searched out Pinterest and have tons of project ideas but just don’t know where to go or where to start to make them happen. Just like with any hobby, there are certain supplies that you need to be using with a cutting machine. I’m here to answer those questions like “What Cricut accessories do you really need?,” “What do I need to start using my Cricut?,” “What if I don’t have a scoring stylus for Cricut?” Time is not a luxuary for many of us so I’ve put together this essential must-haves (and nice-to-haves) guide to What Cricut craft supplies you really need to get you crafting under away!
First off, you really don’t need EVERYTHING Cricut publishes on their site. Your Cricut will come with a lot of the REALLY essential things. Check out my Cricut mat guide and blade run down for more information.
Tools + Equipment
The Weeding Tool
If you’re cutting vinyl, this is your absolute best friend. The weeding tool will remove all the tiny bits of vinyl that you don’t want to transfer to your project. Buy your Cricut weeding tool here. If you don’t have a weeding tool, you can always use an alternative, such as a Dental Pick (Users who use dental picks for weeding swear by them. They are fantastic, but the handles may not be as comfortable.) or try a Xacto knife (super inexpensive and you can pick one up almost anywhere. The sharp point is small and precise enough to get into the small details. Combine this with tweezers to be extra careful not to damage the project.)
The Scrapper Tool
The scraper is essential when cutting paper (it comes in a standard size and XL for larger projects). It’ll help get all those awkward little bits of paper off of your mat and will also help to smooth materials onto the mat or burnish materials such a vinyl to remove air bubbles or wrinkles. A clean mat is important to getting clean cuts and making sure your material doesn’t move around during cutting! Buy your scraper here
If you want to cut thicker materials, you’ll need one ( or both) of these blades. Which one you purchase will depend on your machine. Having this blade will open up a lot more opportunities for cutting! Trust me. Create personalized wall calendars from chipboard, use rubber sheets to cut your own stamps, or even make custom magnets.
The deep-point blade is compatible with Explore AND Maker machines and will cut up to 1.7mm. The knife blade is for the Cricut Maker only. This will cut to 2mm. Neither of these will come with your Cricut unless you purchase a special bundle. If you want more information about all the different blade types and what they can do check my blade guide here. With both blades, you’ll have to purchase the housing as well. Buy on Amazon, the official Cricut store, or from any major craft store.
CRICUT HACK INCOMING, Yes, you heard me right. This handy supply comes straight from your kitchen. Keep your blades clean and ‘on point’ by scrunching up some foil. Take your blade, press the top of the housing (so you can see the tip), and poke it into the ball for a minute or so. Voila! This will prevent you from having to replace your blades so often, saving you $$. Where to get it: your cupboard!… Or there’s always Amazon
If you are looking to craft with paper and need to easily fold cards, envelopes, boxes, 3D projects and more, then you will need either a scoring stylus for (Cricut Explore) or the scoring wheel ( Cricut Maker) Both tools are compatible with the maker but the scoring wheel will give you a deeper score. You can get the scoring stylus here and a scoring tool here on Amazon! You’ll also find both stocked at your local craft store.
If you’re wanting to begin papercraft projects right away, you’ll need cardstock! You don’t need every color (even though it may be tempting 😉 just buy what you need. As with all these great items, you can get them from your local Craft Store. I recommend 65lb solid core paper, like the Recollections brand. The Cardstock Warehouse is a great website to use too.
Vinyls + Transfer Tape
Ah! Vinyl. So much fun to be had with some many different things you can create with it: t-shirt designs, decals on cars and cups, sign making, labling your pantry and so much more. It’s good to have a selection of different types on hand for whenever you get a new urge to create something. The main types I use are self-adhesive vinyl and iron-on vinyl /heat transfer vinyl (also called HTV) The main brands I use are Oracle, Cricut and Siser.
Vinyl comes with an adhesive on one side that is temporarily covered with a backing sheet. When using your cutting machine the goal is to cut through the vinyl without cutting through the paper backing. Check this handy Cut Settings Chart that will be a lifesaver! After the cuts have been made, the excess vinyl is removed (weeding) and you’re left with only the project on the backing. You then transfer the vinyl to its desired location, you can do this by hand but Transfer tape makes it so much easier. Transfer tape is only used on adhesive craft vinyl. Heat transfer vinyl has a clear carrier sheet attached to the vinyl that is used instead.
- HTV– used on fabric and comes with its own transfer sheet
- ORACAL 651– permanent grade adhesive vinyl that is suitable for outdoors up to 6 years. ( This is gloss they also do a Matt version )
- ORACAL 631– removable adhesive vinyl typically used wall decals
- ORAMASK 813– translucent blue material used for stenciling
- TRANSFER TAPE – FOR STENCILING
- TRANSFER TAPE – FOR PERMENANT GRADE VINYL
(Nice to have)
More Cricut Mats
If you’re a frequent crafter, you’ll probably get through mats fairly frequently. Some projects (particularly those using thick materials) will need a newish mat that is still very sticky to work right. There’s nothing more annoying than when you’re in the middle of the project and realize your mats are no longer sticky! You can wash them, which will help but it’s still ALWAYS a good idea to have extra mats on hand. I recommend having one of each of the mats, and then some 12” x 24” mats if you intend to do larger projects. CHECK OUT EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT CRICUT MATS HERE
If you’re still using an iron for heat transfer vinyl, it’s really time for an upgrade. The Cricut EasyPress will make things so much easier than an iron.
There are 4 different sizes of EasyPress to suit your needs. No more peeling after 1 or 2 wears. The EasyPress takes out all the guesswork of the right time and temperature (60 seconds or less!). It’s lightweight and portable too 😊 OR…If you have space, you can get a real heat press for just a little more money. Consider a beginner heat-press, especially if you are doing anything in mass quantity or commercial purposes. Where to get it….Try Cricut or Amazon
These fun toys are amazing to work with. They illuminate every detail making it ideal for tracing, weeding and other detail work, especially good when working with vinyl and iron-on. There are so many to choose from in lots of different sizes. Try out one of these lesser expensive ones and upgrade from there.
If you like the idea of doing envelope addressing or writing then pick up a few Cricut pens. They fit directly into your accessory clamp! You can write on labels or make beautiful card designs with these. *make sure the pens you buy are compatible with your machine as all are slightly different! Where to get it: Amazon.com
Fabric Pens/Fabric Marking Pens
The Cricut Maker cuts fabric so nicely.. Make your fabric creations easier to work with by getting yourself a fabric pen. This Cricut supply can be used to make instructional markings or sewing patterns/embroidery lines on cotton-based fabric and it it’s washable. Get it from Amazon. It’s not expensive
When transferring adhesive vinyl to an object for example a mug you need to make sure the surface you attach it too is clean and free from any direct. A quick application of this rubbing alcohol will to the trick.
If you are like me you value mess free crafting and time saving tools. Glue tape is quick and easy and gives a better overall finish than using wet glues, an absolute must if you are doing any kind of paper crafting. There are lots of different options for glue tape out there. Just like with anything they range from super inexpensive to a little more expensive.
When applying HTV to a garment its best to make the fabric as clean as possible so the vinyl applies smoothly. Use this lint roller to get the best surface for your application.
You really don’t need replacement fine-point blades. Use this aluminum foil ball trick to keep your blades sharp and clean!
You don’t need every color and type of cardstock or vinyl, even though you may be tempted. I recommend you buy your supplies on a project-by-project basis to avoid stockpiling too much and getting overwhelmed.
NOW, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR CRICUT?
So there we are. Our top accessories, tools, and supplies to get you started! Of course many other cool and very useful items will be missing here. Be sure to check out my other resource guides below for more information to keep your creative juices flowing!
Head over to our free svg library and pick a design that works for a project you may have in mind. Some projects will be harder or require tools or materials you don’t have yet, so try to stick with something simple at first. Check out more blog posts for more guides for Cricut beginners