Create Your First Cricut Maker Project in 20 Minutes!

Hello creative friends! Have you heard about the Cricut Maker, a smart cutting machine that has been making lots of buzz lately? Or maybe you just got a brand new Cricut Maker but are feeling intimidated to get started?

In this Cricut Maker review / beginner’s tutorial, I will share my personal experience using the Cricut Maker machine for the very first time, and show you how incredibly fun and easy it is to get started.

Look at this gorgeous greeting card: the entire project took less than an hour from the moment I took the brand new machine out of the box!

Disclosure: I received the Cricut Maker and other related tools as free gifts for my honest review after trying the products. I only endorse products that I would sincerely recommend to my own friends and family. Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

As a long time designer, DIY blogger and first time Cricut Maker user, 3 things really stand out for me about this machine:

1. It’s a great quality machine with many beautifully designed details.

From the heavy duty professional grade cutting blades to the little compartments that keep your tools organized, you can see the great care that went into the creation of this smart cutting machine.

The Cricut Maker is the only home cutting machine that can cut hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from delicate fabric and paper to 2.4 mm (3/32”) balsa wood, mat board, and leather.

2. The Cricut Maker is beginner friendly and really easy to use 

I am one of those who is always intimidated by a new machine or gadget. The Cricut Maker proves to be incredibly easy for a total newbie like me. I made my first project easily in less than 1 hour!

If a total beginner like me can do it, so can you!

3. There is a great community with tons of inspirational projects ready to make  with just a few clicks.

Cricut Design Space is a companion app and free software that lets you design and cut with Cricut machines. You can create a project from scratch or browse thousands pre-designed projects from sewing, home decor, to cards and fashion. It’s highly addictive!

I feel like a kid who just stepped into an enormous, magical, and exciting candy store! Below is a peek at a few of my favorites saved in Design Space!

Now let’s walk through our first Cricut Maker project in a few easy steps! 

The best way to learn anything is to just do it! Take the machine out of the box, plug it in, and connect to your computer or tablet through the cable or Bluetooth connection.

Next open the Cricut Design Space on your computer (by going to cricut.com/setup ) or tablet. You will be prompted to go through a few simple steps to set up your account and register the machine. It only took me 10 minutes.

Now you are ready to make something! You have the choice of creating your own design to cut OR creating one of the “Make it Now” projects, which are projects that are designed to be made from start to finish. You can save projects to your favorites to make later!

The optional Cricut Access membership (under $10 per month) will gives you access to thousands of free projects plus additional reasonably priced projects which you can keep after purchase. I bought this premium card design for only $1.50, which offers unlimited future uses.

Can you think of all the people who would be so happy to receive a “LOVE” card?

Click “make it”, now the magic is about to happen.

Here’s something really impressive about this little machine: it guides you through every step from selecting materials to loading mats to changing blades!

It even told me that I put in the wrong cutting blade, and showed me what the right one looks like! By now my fear of the new machine is replaced by a feeling of excitement .

When a project requires different materials, you will be guided to load each mat with the right material, and change blades for different types of cuts such as cutting or scoring.

I used the Cricut ivory white and black card stock for this project. When I used Silhouette in my previous craft projects, I had to remember to manually adjust the blade depth for cutting and scoring. The Cricut Maker takes out all the guessing and remembering, just relax, follow its prompts and be wowed by the beautiful cuts it makes!

The card came together really easily. You can use the Cricut scraper to clean the little pieces off the mat easily. After each project, put the clear sheet back onto  the mat to keep it sticky.

however I did learn a few tips and tricks through this project and some helpful tutorials which I want share with you!

Working with card stock: Cricut Maker tips and tricks.

Tip 1: Which cutting mat to use for card stock?

Although I knew the standard grip mat is recommended for cutting card stock, you can see in the photos that I used the light grip mat because it felt sticky enough to me, and new mats tend to be quite sticky. It would have worked fine except that the design is really intricate, and there were a couple of spots that got a little torn.

What I learned here: use the standard grip mat for card stock, and give it a little extra press if the design is super intricate. Use the light grip mat for cutting thin paper.

Tip 2: Peel the mat from the paper.

I learned this trick from one of Cricuts video tutorials. When we peel the paper away from the mat, the paper could end up curling! This trick helps the paper and card stock to stay flat!

However, if the design is super intricate, use the next tip!

Tip 3: Working with intricate designs.

Use a spatula to carefully lift the intricate designs off the mat, this will prevent the designs from tearing. Don’t panic if your design has a tiny rip, you can usually make it almost invisible when you put it on the finished piece!

Tip 4: Changes I would make to this card.

You can use the “customize” option to make changes to an existing Cricut design. If you want to make the same card, here are a couple of options I would consider.

The finished card measures 4″ by 5.5″. I would scale everything up by 25%, which would create a bigger 5×7 card, and maybe skip the envelope so it can still be made on the same 2 sheets of card stock.

I would also cut one extra “LOVE” outline insert (the white piece behind the black designs) to make the back side more rigid, or use a thicker card stock ( I used 80 lb card stock here), because this card looks great standing up as a little decor piece. 🙂

To sum it up, I LOVE the Cricut Maker! It is super smart and high quality cutting machine. It is also one of the most beginner friendly tools I have learned to use. I am so excited about all the creative possibilities with this machine!

If you have any questions about the Cricut Maker, feel free to ask in the comments!  I will be making new projects soon, please come back soon and check them out!

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Happy creating! See you soon!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

19 Comments

  1. Where is the step by step instruction of the love card?? I read through twice and it doesn’t describe anywhere…. I thought that was what this entire article is about ?…

    • hi yvonne! we described the process in detail from opening the image file to cutting, that’s really all there is to this simple card. cut and glue basically 🙂

  2. I admit, I have not used a Cricut machine yet. BUT my sister-in-law has one, and she absolutely loves it. What a great idea for a tutorial right around Christmas, when I am sure lots of people will be getting new ones!

  3. Oh my! It is the first time I see anything like this! I’ve overheard someone used it and wanted to know more, it is simply fantastic!

  4. I can tell you are a mega talented DIY gal. That machine sounds like a great gift idea for a friend of mine who is a designer.

  5. I am grateful for your post as I am behind and did not know about the Cricut machine. Well I must say that I am impressed although I am not crafty but it is very interesting.

  6. I have such an obsession with Cricut. Mostly because I’m in awe of them. I’m a sewing machine gal… I hope to have enough time one day to actually add this to my crafty knowledge.

  7. I would love to get something like this soon. I know a few who use them to make vinyl for shirts and other things. And I would use it all the time for my scrapbooking!

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