Cricut For Beginners: Part One 

In December my amazing husband got me a Cricut Explore Air 2 for Christmas. It’s such an incredible machine and has so many creative possibilities it’s a little overwhelming to say the least! I had no idea that there were so many terms to learn and different grades of crafting vinyl! To help out all the newbs out there I decided to start a series of posts of everything I wish I had known when I was just starting out. 
Types of Vinyl & Their Uses 

Cricut Vinyl. Cricut makes a variety of vinyl – from glitter to window cling to what we’ll call 631. MOST Cricut vinyl, unless otherwise noted, is 631. This means it’s NOT permanent. This type of vinyl is best for stencils or wall decals.

Oracle 631. See above ^

Oracle 651. This type of vinyl is permanent. Use it for drinkware or car decals. Do NOT stick this on walls because if you try to take it off it will peel off your paint. **While this is permanent I don’t soak it in water when I wash it. I also don’t run it through the dishwasher or heat it in the microwave! The heat from the dishwasher and microwave peels up the vinyl and emits toxic fumes {so I hear}. 

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV). Vinyl that needs to be ironed on. A little tip: shiny side UP on the cutting mat!! 

Common Terms 

Weed. So, call me naive but I didn’t realize that to get the image out that you cut you have to peel away the excess vinyl. This is called weeding. 

Attach. To get your image to cut at once instead of different sections select “select all”. It’s the paper clip icon at the top of the control panel in design space. 

Weld. This is most commonly done with cursive fonts. Once an image is welded the words cannot be changed. To do this first you need the letters to be touching. Move them closer using the “letter spacing” arrow in the fonts section of design space then select weld. 

Ungroup. Sometimes the letter spacing is a little weird…to move things around highlight your words and right click and select “ungroup”. To regroup them highlight all of your words, right click, and select “group”.

Layer. There are certain designs in design space you may want to use that have different colors on them. You’ll have to use different colors of vinyl and each color will have to be put on a different mat and cut individually. You’ll need to layer them together to get the image you want. It’s a little tricky at first but I’ll do a post on that later. 

The Freezer Paper Method. Using freezer paper as a stencil to decorate fabric with fabric paint. Place your freezer paper shiny side UP on your mat. Mirror your image. Put settings on custom > parchment paper and cut. 

Alright, fellow crafters, that should be enough to get you started. If you’re new, don’t be scared! I know it’s intimidating. Take that machine out of its box, get your sample card made (its included in the packaging) and make something beautiful! 

Stay tuned for part 2!  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *