Learn 25 awesome Cricut tips and tricks that will make your crafting much easier and save you money.
I have 25 Cricut tips and tricks to share with you that I think you will really like. Most are things you can do right away, and some advice is about things that can save you money. Beginners and seasoned crafters both will benefit. At the end, these tips will help you craft better and make things easier and simpler for you. Let’s get started!
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1. Vinyl and transfer tape issues
Ever had vinyl that you couldn’t get to stick to transfer tape? Try burnishing it from both the front and the back. Once you’ve burnished the front, flip it over and burnish the back a few times.
2. Your vinyl won’t release from the transfer tape
I’ve had this issue come up a time or two. When I’m trying to place my vinyl on a blank, it just won’t release from the transfer tape no matter what I do. It’s probably because my transfer tape is too sticky or strong. If this happens to you, grab your hair dryer or a heat gun and put it on the lowest setting. Run it back and forth to warm the adhesive vinyl. Try transferring again and it should transfer to the blank.
3. Quick and easier way to weed the small bits
This Cricut tip helps when you have an intricate design that you need to weed. Try running a lint roller slowly over the design before you start weeding with a pin pen or a weeding tool. It will pick up some of the small pieces that need to be weeded, saving you time.
4. Reverse the way you release the vinyl from its backing
Usually, we learn to peel the transfer tape from the backing. Try instead peeling the backing from the transfer tape, especially when you have an intricate design.
5. Save money on transfer tape
Transfer tape, particularly Cricut Transfer tape, is pretty sticky at first. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because you can use it several times before you have to throw it away. So save it and reuse it so you can get the most bang for your buck. If it’s too sticky at first, press your hands on it or stick it against your shirt to prime it.
Learn how to use alternatives in my post How to Use Adhesive Vinyl Without Transfer Tape to save money.
6. Make your own “Tweexy” trash bin for your weeding
You can use everyday household items to make a bin for weeding. An empty Kleenex box makes a great receptacle. Cut an X in the lid of an old yogurt or sour cream container, or use a lint roller. These options are nice because you can just throw them away when they get filled up. You can always opt for a Tweexy if you want something stylish.
7. Use a brayer
Use a brayer to get a nice, clean cut and help extend the life of your mat.
8. Not sure if it’s Iron-On (HTV) or Vinyl
We’ve all been there. Is it adhesive vinyl or heat transfer vinyl/iron-on (HTV)? Look on the back. If it has a white backing, it is most likely adhesive vinyl (regular). If it is the same color or close (a clear backing), it is most likely heat transfer vinyl / iron-on. Oracal will show what version of adhesive vinyl it is (651, 631), and Cricut will show the type (permanent, removable). Note: yellow HTV can have a white backing, but will not indicate it is an adhesive vinyl.
9. Cricut Tray
Your Cricut Explore and Maker series machines have a tray in the front that is designed to hold blades and other items. Search Etsy for “Cricut tray organizer” or “Cricut storage insert” to find some really cool custom organizers designed to hold all kinds of blades and other items for the tray.
10. Space for your iStuff
11. A charging port
There’s also a charging port on the side of the Cricut Maker series for your phone and tablet (or earbuds in my case!)
12. Use Smart Materials on a mat
Here’s a Cricut tip that comes up frequently as a question. You may have leftover smart material scraps from using them without a mat. Anything less than 6 inches must be used on a mat, so what do you do? Throw them away? No! Use them up on a mat! You can also use them on a mat with your Cricut Maker, Explore Air 2, Joy and other Cricut machines.
13. Use other pens with your Cricut
Other pens can work with your Cricut Maker series with an adapter set. Check out this article from Abbi Kirsten for more information. She even has a recommendation for the Cricut Joy!
14. Glossy Registration Marks
Is your Print Then Cut sticker paper too glossy to cut? Cricut won’t cut your stickers because it can’t read the registration marks? No problem! Grab some matte Scotch tape and cover all of your registration marks with it. It will remove the shine and your Cricut will be able to read the marks.
15. MichaelsPro – Buy in Bulk
Did you know that Michaels has a bulk buy area for everyone? The prices can be really great too! And the number of items really isn’t a lot. I buy shadow boxes, t-shirts for iron-on, and all kind of things through MichaelsPro. Give it a look!
16. Make your own pin pen for weeding
Save some money with this Cricut tip and make your own pin pen for weeding. Many people love theirs. Why not make yours for a lot less than it costs to buy one? You probably have what you need at home right now. Learn how here and here.
17. Buy a large scraper for a couple of bucks
Why buy a large scraper that costs a lot of money when you can buy one for just a couple of bucks? This Bondo spreader was recommended as a scraper and is inexpensive. Plus, it’s a multi-pack!
18. Weeding tool alternatives
Try the Harbor Freight hook and pick set as an inexpensive alternative to weeding tools. Some people swear by them.
19. Buy vinyl and HTV (iron-on) online
Craft store vinyl is very expensive per square foot. Buy online to save money. Even better, opt for Oracal 651 and Siser EasyPSV for adhesive vinyl and Siser Easyweed HTV for heat transfer vinyl. They are industry standards and cost less per square foot than Cricut brand.
20. A box for Print Then Cut
Print Then Cut is limited to a size of 6.75″ W x 9.25″ H. When you’re laying out your design or stickers in Cricut Design Space, it can get tricky to make sure you’re within that specification. Draw a rectangle and set it to 6.75″ wide and 9.25 inches high. Send it to the back with the Arrange feature. Now you have a template to lay your design or your stickers on to make sure they all fit within the parameters.
When you are ready to make your design or stickers, hide the rectangle in the layers panel by clicking on the “eye” next to it.
21. Make graphics outside of Cricut Design Space
Have you thought about taking your design skills to the next level, or maybe turning your hobby into a business? Consider creating SVG designs outside of Cricut Design Space to sell and share. You can use Silhouette Studio without owning a Silhouette machine (you’ll need the Business Edition to save to SVG). Silhouette Studio is a great in-between program between Cricut Design Space and Adobe Illustrator if you want to get your feet wet.
You can also use Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator if you’re ready to jump right in. Inkscape is similar to Adobe Illustrator, but it’s free. It has support and resources, but since it’s part of the open-source community, those are not as robust as Adobe Illustrator, which is backed by a large company. But it’s been around a long time and is a good program to learn on. I recommend it!
22. Keep your paper and sheet vinyl clean and dust-free
Use Iris/scrapbook boxes to hold your paper, cardstock and sheet vinyl. They will stay clean, and no dust will settle on them. Plus, you’ll be able to categorize everything neatly!
23. Tape it down
Cutting heavier materials? Tape them down. Use masking or painter’s tape on the edges of balsa wood, chipboard and basswood, among others to keep them from coming loose on the mat when cutting with your Cricut.
24. Keep a cut settings guide
Keep a cut settings guide for materials. Whenever you cut a new material, jot down information about the material and cut settings you used so you can refer back to it in the future. This means you will only have to run a test cut once for that material. Download my free Cut Settings Guide Printable to use at the end!
25. Create custom cut settings
Don’t be afraid to create your own custom material cut setting for materials you use frequently but don’t quite cut right with available materials selections.
Are you always changing the pressure number on a material cut setting? Or can’t find a material that cuts yours quite well enough? Make your own!
The Cricut tips and tricks here are a surefire way to ease your burden a bit while crafting. They might even save you a bit of money! Do you have crafting tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments. I love to hear from y’all. Happy, happy crafting!