If you’re new to Cricut, you’ll need a list of Cricut accessories you need and ones that are nice to have in order to start crafting. We’ll provide that must-have and nice-to-have list Cricut list, and include a few organizational items and beginner tips along the way to get you started on your crafting journey.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Cricut Accessories You Need
- 2 Cricut Accessories That Are Nice to Have
- 3 Cricut Materials
- 4 Organizational Items
- 5 Information I wish I had in the beginning
Cricut Accessories You Need
The first accessory you need to have is a weeding kit (Amazon). It comes with a spatula, one weeder, one scraper, one pair of scissors and one pair of tweezers. I have several weeders, but I use the Cricut one exclusively. It’s just at the correct angle to get all those little pieces of vinyl! The tweezers are great at getting leftover pieces off of the Cricut mat when I’m trying to clean it off, and I love using the spatula to help lift cardstock off without harming the mat.
A brayer is a roller that is used to press vinyl onto your project. It helps ensure that the vinyl is adhered to the mat evenly and prevents any bubbles from forming. You can get away with not using a brayer, but you will notice a difference in the quality of your cuts and weeding if you start using one. I recommend starting out with one.
The second Cricut must-have accessory is a cutting mat (Amazon). It is used to hold your material while it is cut in your Cricut machine. It has a sticky surface that your material clings to. There are 4 types of mats: LightGrip, StandardGrip, StrongGrip and FabricGrip mats. Each progressive mat has stronger adhesive. In the beginning, you will most likely use the LightGrip (blue) and StandardGrip (green) mats the most. If you buy glitter cardstock or glitter vinyl, you must have a StrongGrip (purple) mat as well.
You may have seen or read about off-brand Cricut Mats like Nicapa. Since your Cricut is most likely still in warranty, I recommend using the Cricut brand mats. While there is nothing wrong with these off-brand mats (I use them), non-Cricut mats will void your warranty. So you will want to use Cricut mats while your machine is still under warranty.
Now, the Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3 do not come with mats, while the Maker comes with a LightGrip and FabricGrip mat and Explore Air 2 comes with a LightGrip Mat. Either way, you may want to grab a set.
You’ll also need to have a good pair of scissors. These aren’t your fabric or paper scissors; just a good pair of craft scissors that you can use to cut pieces of vinyl and cardstock with, along with the occasional plastic wrap, etc.
If you’re going to work with fabric or cardstock you must have craft glue. Craft glue is much stronger than regular ole’ Elmer’s. It can bond many different materials. E6000 is a common brand which many crafters use. I use it, also use Aleene’s Tacky Glue and Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue.
General Office Supplies
Rubber bands, binder clips, pens, pencils and post-its have come in handy. I have a small desk that I keep these office supplies in. I use these drawer organizers to separate the supplies, but you can certainly easily make some custom fit and cute ones!
Unless you plan on cutting fabric, for a couple of months you probably won’t need to have another blade other than the Premium Fine Point Blade (Amazon). I didn’t need anything other than that one until my third month. I was learning and taking some online classes, but almost all of the projects I made were cardstock and a couple of vinyl projects. If, however, you bought your Cricut because you are a sewist and plan to cut fabric, you must have the Rotary Blade (Amazon), and it does not come with the Maker 3. It does come with the Cricut Maker.
Also, you don’t need to get any extra blades right now. If you keep your blade clean, it should last for a while. If your blade isn’t cutting well right out of the box, you may need to replace it (this happened to me with both of my Makers). If you’d like to learn more about the different blades, take a look at The Guide to All Cricut Blades.
Cricut Accessories That Are Nice to Have
A larger scraper (Amazon) is a Cricut accessory that’s nice to have. The small one will come in the Cricut Weeding Kit if you choose to get it. If not, you quickly you will notice how much work the small scraper will be when you are trying to scrape large pieces of paper and vinyl off of your mat(s). The large scraper is just more efficient and easier on your hands. I like it because of my arthritis. Plus, you can use the scraper to help clean your mats and again, it goes so much more quickly. So, it’s not required, but it sure is nice to have.
Use instead: Bondo Spreader (I haven’t used this but it was recommended.)
You can use the Cricut pens to create cards, invitations, sentiments and more. They come in wonderful colors and types! It’s nice to have at least one black pen (Amazon) around; especially if a birthday catches you off guard! There is also a washable fabric pen (Amazon) if you plan on marking and cutting fabric with your Cricut!
Use instead: Use non-Cricut pens in your Cricut
A self-healing mat (Amazon) might be considered optional, but having one will keep your table from suffering. Since I use my craft knife frequently, and Cricut crafts do not usually stop once off the Cricut mat, a safe crafting spot that won’t hurt your table top needs to be in place. I have a simple 12×12 self-healing mat that I use to build and work with my smaller crafts when I need to do work that might harm my table surface.
Use instead: cut pieces of boxes
A craft knife (Amazon) is another essential must-have accessory for vinyl crafters. It’s perfect for cutting out small details in your projects. I also use it to cut around any vinyl I need to weed so that I don’t have to wrangle with so much vinyl. I use mine quite a bit.
Use instead: Fiskars Heavy Duty Craft Knife
If you’re going to paint or do anything that might mar up your table surface that requires a larger space than 12″ x 12″, consider getting a roll of craft paper that’s at least 18″ wide. I keep 2 rolls in my craft room: one that is 18″ wide and one that is 36″ wide. Sometimes there are very large crafts that just call to be made!
Use instead: cut pieces of boxes
A paper trimmer (Amazon) is a must-have if you are going to work with vinyl and/or cardstock. You will have vinyl and cardstock remnants even if you don’t do vinyl crafts. It’s perfect for all types of paper projects and can save you from having to use scissors (which I am not good at). If you have a Cricut Series 3 machine, you’ll need a 13″ trimmer.
Use instead: scissors
Rolling “tape” is really nice to have if you’re going to work with cardstock. If there’s anything that can replace working with hot glue, I’ll take it! In a lot of cases, this works perfectly and it doesn’t show at all.
Use instead: hot glue
A tape measure is something nice to have around for any crafter. Most of us have one somewhere. It’s perfect for measuring the dimensions of your projects and ensuring that everything is cut to size. I use my tape measure so much I practically have it around my neck. I also have 2 of them on the table at a given time because I’m so prone to forgetting where I put one. I double measure everything it seems. If you are going to work with fabric, a tape measure is a must!
Use instead: ruler (won’t work for everything)
When crafting with vinyl, you will generate a lot of waste. It’s helpful to have a small trashcan next to your work area so you can easily discard the excess vinyl. This has been indispensable to me. I use it for almost all of my weeding, even though I have a weeding ring.
Use instead: larger trashcan around the house or weeding ring
You’ll want a couple of reams of copy paper if you don’t normally keep it in stock at home. This will cover your printing and using it for practice/testing for cardstock, sticker and decal practice.
For awhile, your projects will probably be in cardstock as you learn how to use your Cricut and make projects. In the beginning you’ll want an assortment of cardstock with an emphasis on white cardstock. Also, you don’t need to buy expensive materials unless you are making crafts to gift or decorate your house with and you want to. In those cases, purchase full core cardstock (the color runs all the way through the middle.) Otherwise, for practice, spend less money on cardstock, even if it’s not full core.
Some cardstock drags and does not do well in the Cricut, though. I recommend reading the reviews and search specifically for electronic cutting machine users (Cricut and Silhouette). I use Recollections and American Crafts white cardstock, and I prefer to purchase cardstock that is 12” x 12” when available. I also tend to prefer 65# over 80# for most projects.
Purchase permanent vinyl (Amazon) if you plan on creating projects that will either be outdoors, signs, or drinkware-related. Some people buy the off-brand vinyl through Amazon, and some purchase well-known brands from the beginning. This really comes down to what you can afford, and what you prefer and find reasonable. Also, you can choose to do both.
Please just note that there are quality differences in the vinyl once you move from practicing into crafting for gifts and decorating. Check out my guide on The Different Types of Adhesive Vinyl for more information on types of vinyl.
The same is true for removeable adhesive vinyl (Amazon). You may want some of both. In fact, you may want a little more removeable than permanent in the beginning. It depends on what you want to practice on. If you plan on making mugs, opt for permanent. But if you are going to try vinyl out on plastic, mirror, glass, frames and walls, get some removable to try. It will help because it is easier to reposition, which is nice when you are starting out. And if you don’t like the result, it’s much easier to remove.
If you plan on doing any adhesive vinyl crafts, you will need transfer tape (Amazon). You do not necessarily need to use Cricut brand transfer tape, even if you buy Cricut adhesive vinyl. There are other brands out there.
You can even use alternatives to transfer tape as it can become expensive if you use a lot of it. Check out How to Use Adhesive Vinyl Without Transfer Tape for more information on that.
Cricut Everyday Iron-On (HTV)
If you want to make t-shirts or onesies or any other product that uses heat transfer vinyl, you will want to take a look at Cricut Everyday Iron-on (Amazon) or Siser Easyweed Heat Transfer Vinyl. Siser Easyweed is the industry standard for heat transfer vinyl, and Cricut Iron-On is Cricut’s name for HTV.
If you are using an iron for now, consider investing in a Cricut EasyPress as soon as you can so that you will have a more even heat element to adhere HTV and even sublimation and infusible sheets to down the road if you choose.
If you want to make stickers, decals or printed labels, consider getting some sticker paper and/or printable vinyl (Amazon). When you are ready to print your stickers after practicing on copy paper until they are perfect, these are what you will need. You can use Avery Shipping Labels or if you want to be cost-conscious.
None of these options will be water-resistant, waterproof or last very long unless you put clear vinyl on them. You will also need an inkjet printer for if you want to make stickers or print then cut labels or decals.
You can learn more about making Print Then Cut stickers and decals in my guide on How to Make Print Then Cut Stickers for Beginners. Also, see a review of printable vinyl in The Best Printable Vinyl for Stickers.
These Iris boxes are perfect for storing your supplies. They can hold cardstock, adhesive vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, transfer paper and more. They even hold some regular size rolls! The 12″x12″x3″ size is great if you’re just starting out with craft storage solutions. They stack, which is nice, allowing them to fit in easy places such as corners and closets. They even fit several on top of each other in a 13” cube organizer. Each of these boxes will have room as your supplies grow. And you can buy more and continue to part out your supplies into multiples of them.
Craft Tool Organizer
A tool organizer is a must-have for crafters. One that’s on everyone’s list is the Simply Tidy Storage Desktop Carousel at Michaels . The one that I use is the DeskMaid Die Stamp and Supply Storage . I like it because it has customizable partitions. Either way, they’re both about the same price and go on sale. In my opinion there isn’t much difference between them except in style (I prefer the rectangle to the carousel).
If a table top organizer isn’t in the cards for you right now, consider a smaller iris box or other portable organizer to carry your tools to your crafting area. It will make a difference to have them placed conveniently next to you while you make your projects.
Information I wish I had in the beginning
- The material I use the most is white cardstock. I practice and test my projects a lot before I run the “real” project through. I use white cardstock mostly when doing this, so I don’t waste money on expensive materials. If you choose to do the same, stock up on white cardstock. It’s less expensive than the other cardstock as well.
- I also use copy paper for test and practice for high value cardstock projects, stickers and practice sublimation transfers. It can be worth it to keep copy paper around if your projects of choice are in these areas.
- Some people buy their supplies as needed (by project) and some buy in bulk. You really need to find out what works for you. Will you be doing projects just for you? For family, friends, church and charity? Do you plan on selling crafts? Do you know specifically what type of crafts you will be making? The answers to these questions will help you decide how much and when to buy your materials. As for where to buy, I have found that Cricut doesn’t get products to me fast enough to buy on a project-by-project basis, so I buy in bulk from them during their sales (which can be amazing, especially if you have Cricut Access). I can rely on Amazon, but a lot of times, I want to do projects in the moment. So, I tend to keep more materials around than some others.
- You don’t need to buy all the supplies at once. Try cardstock projects. Then try vinyl. Pick the one thing you’re interested in first. If you choose vinyl or HTV first, You’ll need to buy “blanks” so it can get expensive fast. Blanks are the items you will “put” your vinyl on or adhere your iron-on vinyl to. So, cardstock is a good material to start with as you don’t have to buy mugs or t-shirts or other types of blanks to craft with it.
- Don’t be afraid to use your materials. That’s why you’re buying a lot of white, inexpensive cardstock. You will make a lot of mistakes. Allow yourself to make them so you can learn.
- Once you get your supplies, don’t hold onto them. Use them and have fun!
I hope this list has been helpful in providing you with the tools, materials and organization items that will be essential to your crafting. Whether or not these are things you already have, I encourage you to share in the comments anything that you’ve found you can’t live without or has been important to you in the beginning that isn’t on this list. I love hearing from you!
Also, if you’re interested in what you might need sublimation, check out our guide on Everything You Need for Sublimation.
Happy, happy crafting!